SO I MANAGED TO WATCH SEVERAL EPISODES of The Addams Family and F Troop on DVD over the weekend. Both shows held up better than I feared — I hadn’t watched them in decades. In particular, The Addams Family shows really good ensemble acting. One of my readers wrote that “The Addams Family was the *only* show I remember on TV when I was growing up in which there was much in the way of open display of affection between a married couple.” That’s pretty right, and although it’s subtle it’s much more grown-up than I had remembered, since when I was a kid I missed some of that stuff.
On F Troop, I noticed that Forrest Tucker seemed more realistic than the other characters in that not-at-all-realistic show, and on looking at his IMDB biography discovered that he had actually served in the U.S. Cavalry before he became an actor. He must have been one of the very last guys to appear in any kind of a western who could say that.
Anyway, I certainly enjoyed both shows a lot more than “The Celebrity Paranormal Project,” Mariel Hemingway notwithstanding.
UPDATE: Reader Jim Allan emails:
Just an odd thought when I read your post.
I went to Washington-Lee HS in the 50s and the person who was most responsible for Forrest Tucker’s success, his answer, was an English teacher and mentor by the name of Marie Mallot. She taught at W-L for about 30 years. I was fortunate to have her as a teacher. One afternoon a large man appeared in the classroom and Ms Mallot, Mother Mallot to us, absolutely broke down as Forrest Tucker gave her a big hug.
It was quite a moment. She actually would go to his house and see to it that he came to school.
I can imagine that he needed that treatment. It’s nice that he got it. A good English teacher can do a lot for you. Two of mine — Mrs. Miller and Mrs. Ferguson — certainly did, though they never showed up at my doorstep. But they might have, if it had been called for.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Christopher Fountain emails:
Had to laugh, Glenn. My father, who refused to permit a TV in the house until I was 10 (1963? 1964?) did occasionally watch bits of F Troop with us – he was in F Troop, Squadron A (NYC) cavalry unit in the years before WWII and seemed to get a kick from the antics on TV. Other than that, don’t remember him watching the damn machine, ever.
Your father was a wise man, Chris. I’m guessing he wouldn’t have made an exception for the celebrity paranormal show, either . . . .