Melba (1986)

TV Series   |  TV-PG   |    |  Comedy


Episode Guide
Melba (1986) Poster

Newly divorced Melba is raising her pre-teen daughter Tracy with the help of her mother Rose. Besides hanging out with her long time best friend Susan, she works at a NYC visitor center with Jack and Gil.


7.6/10
7

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18 February 2017 | Steeber
5
| CBS Didn't Listen
My review is more of a memory than anything else. New to New York, I was employed part-time doing musical accompanying, and I had plenty of roam time for the city's famous sidewalks. Around Sixth Avenue, attractive female pages with clipboards were summoning passersby --querying them about coming into Black Rock (CBS's headquarters) to watch prospective TV shows. Who could resist?

I took up the invitation one day and was ushered into the famous black tower. We rode an elevator to whatever floor the screenings were happening, and I ended up entering a tiny theater with about fifteen to twenty other people. There was a projection screen (as I recall) for us to watch, and we sat in cloth-padded chairs that had consoles attached to them. Buttons corresponded to laugh moments, moments of approval and disapproval. I guess all of this "data" would go into some master view of audience reaction - a mediocrity Rorschach, in a sense.

I did mean mediocrity. "Melba" was pure formula. Even Lou Jacobi's asides, I remember, sounded like Yiddish-English commentary from a laugh barrel. Melba herself seemed a bit lost in her own sitcom. I voted with my buttons - sure that I might make the difference whether this show might air. I remember being incredulous that CBS didn't understand the dross they were offering for review.

After the lights went up, we were able to scribble a bit on our tiny comment cards with the usual dulled half-pencil. I started writing an essay on the foolhardiness of airing this comedy-like piece, so filled with clichés. A CBS page urged me to finish and exit, which I did - offering the card filled with my disapproval.

To my astonishment, CBS did air "Melba". I didn't remember that it was the night of the Challenger explosion, though I do remember that day. Perhaps I watched in astonishment once again, though I was hardly surprised that the show didn't make it any further than the ill- fated shuttle. In both cases, you had ground crews who might have known better, though thankfully no lives were lost at CBS - just jokes.

Upon exiting the floor I was given a ballpoint pen in a box "signed" by Donald T. Grant, thanking me for my time. I cherish it as a memento of 80's New York, and another adventure from much younger years.

Details

Release Date:

28 January 1986

Language

English


Country of Origin

USA

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