In my foggy memory of early childhood, I still see images of a small
television set before my little eyes. I may have been either four or five
years-old, but I remember sitting there watching "The Brady Bunch" (the
later years where the Brady family had cousin Oliver visit), "The Partridge
Family," and a show I couldn't stand, "Room 222." Mixed in there was "Love
American Style." I loved the opening credits with the animated title, those
fireworks blasting away, and that theme song by the Cowsills. The show, on
the other hand, was totally adult to me.
"Love American Style: Season One, Volume One" is now on DVD.
The show was a product of its era. Many people, including myself, associate
the show with being a 1970s show, which it was. But it actually began airing
in the fall of 1969. The premise was innocent and simple. Have an anthology
of skits based on marriage, young love, divorce, then place short slapstick
skits in between. Guest stars included '60s staples as Flip Wilson, Norman
Fell, Rich Little, Arte Johnson, JoAnn Worley, Phillis Diller, and to my
surprise, Regis Philbin.
The show was silly and filled with fluff. The show had more
misunderstandings than "Three's Company." The show wasn't deeply written,
nor was it meant to be taken seriously. If anything, it is a time capsule of
the period. What was probably seen as revolutionary then is pretty
lightweight today. It's interesting to see guys like Bob Crane ("Hogan's
Heroes") play a husband who expects his wife to have dinner ready on the
table ("Love and the Modern Wife"). His wife, played by Patricia Crowley, is
liberated by going out and taking night classes. The short skits that
featured actor Stuart Margolin were funny in a lighthearted way. They
usually centered around men trying to do gentlemanly duties, like taking off
their coat when a lady is trying to cross a mud puddle, only to have things
go awry. There were also themes of young couples trying to make it on their
The show is very dated, but if you grew up or were an adult in that era,
it's nostalgic. I remember some family members who had furniture and carpet
just like they had on "Love American Style." I think one of my aunts had one
of those oil lamps with the lady statue inside of it (check out the bar
sequence in "Love and the Modern Wife.") The hair styles and clothes are
pretty funny to look at, too.
Don't revisit "Love American Style" and expect heavy-handed 1960s statements about
the women's movement, young hippies in love or black power. Just enjoy the
kitchy ride, baby.
Special thanks to Click Communications
Photos: © Paramount/CBS. All rights reserved.
Goofy late-'60s show brings back memories
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Dolby Digital 2.0
DVD RELEASE DATE
November 20, 2007