Judy Garland Show: Vol. 1
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The first episode of Volume One illustrates what was wrong with the show. All three major TV networks at the time (CBS, NBC, and ABC) had a bidding war to sign the amazing and incomparable Judy Garland to a weekly TV series. CBS, having won, couldn't decide which "format" to put Judy in (note: nobody "formats" Judy Garland!) and seemed determined to change her from a dynamic diva into an average TV personality. Whatever changes CBS threw at her (and their were innumerable changes throughout the 26 episodes), Judy gamely rolled with the punches and gave her very best.
The first episode starts promisingly; with Judy singing "The Sweetest Sounds" with Count Basie and his orchestra. Later, she also sings "Memories Of You." There should have been more musical magic with Judy and Count Basie. Instead, too much time is wasted on asinine "comedy routines" with series regular Jerry Van Dyke. Please, Jerry Van Dyke never belonged on the same stage as Judy Garland! Mel Torme sings a manic version of "Fascinating Rhythm" while simultaneously playing drums. Obscure folk singer Judy Henske (who?) delivers a strong rendition of Billie Holiday's classic "God Bless The Child," and then joins Jerry and Mel for a pointless parody of Peter, Paul, and Mary called "Peter, Paul, And Irving." Judy Garland, finally and at last, returns to close the episode with the heartbreakingly sad "A Cottage For Sale" and the rousing "Hey, Look Me Over" from the forgotten Lucille Ball musical "Wildcat.Read more ›
Seeing young, fit Torme was a treat as I had seen him at Michael's Pub late in life. Also the genuine affection and affinity Liza and Judy shared moved me to tears. Seeing them together made up a little for my disappointment, I can't believe an astute producer such as young George Schlatter opted to have van Dyke as a regular (ugh). I worked with Schlatter in the 1980's and I am stunned at his choice. Also Count Basie was under-utlized. If you can tolerate the annoying van Dyke "pop-ups," then it's worth seeing. If I had the equipment, I would edit him out of all the episodes. In the meantime, thanks God for the FF key on my dvd player! For those who can't get enough of Judy like myself, get one volume and then decide if you want more.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Jerry Van Dyke skit where he performs to the sound track of the first Lone Ranger radio show. Who else would have thought of this. Comic genius in my opinion.Published on August 11, 2013 by Bud Douglas
You can read the details of the musical numbers in the two shows presented in this volume - the first of 13 to come from Infinity - so I won't rehash that information here. Read morePublished on August 20, 2009 by Steve Ramm