Sunday, March 30, 2014

Cool clip on You Tube/Mising in Action/Stuff We Should Bring Back

I'm cramming 3 post themes into one today because this clip epitomizes several things we need to talk about, like, for example, Ron Rifkin was on One Day at a Time?

First of all, though, where the heck IS One Day at a Time? When I was growing up, it was a fixture on CBS' primetime schedule, and it was even in daytime reruns. Somehow it fell off the national landscape after the series ended in first run, and apart from a run on E! (doesn;t that seem odd now?), I haven't seen it on a national platform in decades. I think one of the Chicago versions of Me-TV ran it, so it's presumably not in some kind of TV limbo. Yet it only got one DVD release--its first season--and although just about every other big Norman Lear sitcom has appeared on Antenna TV, ODAAT has never showed up.

Seeing this clip of the sixth season intro reminds me that the show was on a long time. In fact it was on a really long time--9 seasons. So if the sight of a sixth season jolts you, well, there were 3 more after this one, pal. Also, I just don't remember as much about this sitcom as I thought. For instance--well, let's just wach this clip:

Wow, where to begin? Well, let's begin at the beginning! That telop of Archie Bunker's Place is exactly what I was talking about last week when I said we needed to bring this stuff back. It's just beautiful.

Then, due to the kindness of this fantastic uploader, we see the classic CBS SPECIAL PRESENTATION bumper, perhaps the single most fondly remembered several seconds of television from my childhood. I find it amusing that a one-hour episode of One Day at a Time gets this treatment. I guess the "Special" in 'CBS Special Presentation" was a bit more loosely defined that I would have recalled.

The song itself is great. It's one of the most underrated theme songs in sitcom annals, maybe because of its limited exposure in recent years. It has energy, it sets up the premise. and it still feels fresh 30 years later. Watching more "One Day" openings on YouTube, you notice that it's one series that did not feel compelled to screw around with its theme song just for the sake of change. I respect any series that has the discipline to resist commissioning an "updated" (usually worse) version.

Now look at who is and who is not in these credits. Mackenzie Phillips, evidently in one of her dark periods at the time, is not there, but Ron Rifkin is. Ron Rifkin? Holy cow, I forgot he was ever a cast member. I remembered the rise of Michael Lembeck and even Boyd Gaines, I remembered the Glenn Scarpelli phenomenon, and if pressed I could have recalled the Howard Hesseman era. But Rifkin?

Wait, I just looked this up: Rifkin was the father of the Scarpelli character? And he was KILLED OFF after this one season? Bummer. OK, that makes sense.

Towards the end we see the credit of producer Bud Wiser, and many of the YouTube commenters express their amusement. I wish I had something witty to say, but, nah, I just chuckled at that myself.

The most fascinating credit is the co-creator one for Whitney Blake/ THE Whitney Blake of "Hazel" fame? Indeedy, and she based the series on her experiences raising Meredith Baxter. Wow. See, there is a lot going on here, and this is just one opening of 9 seasons' worth of show. Maybe someone should put this series back on so we can explore the Schneider thing again.

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