Monday, August 15, 2011
Forgotten TV Shows: Dobie Gillis
The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (1959-1963)
"Teen Dobie wanted hot girls, money and to do as little work as possible, egged on by equally work-adverse beatnik pal Maynard (Bob Denver). But Dobie's modest background made that difficult, as did nemeses like golddigger Thalia (Tuesday Weld), the girl Dobie wanted, and handsome rich kid Milton (Warren Beatty), Dobie's rival for Thalia's affections."
Best TV Shows of the 50s.
Ed here: I was a big Max Shulman fan so I was happy to see one of his best books turned into a TV series. The casting was spot on. Dobie was the kind of earnest kid who couldn't get laid with a bag of cash and a Maserati and Maynard the kind who turned shiftlessness into a protest movement. Perfect. Tuesday Weld was not only radiant and beautiful she obviously had a great time playing heartbreaker Thalia Menninger. And Warren Beatty was perfect too--a pain in the ass then and a pain in the ass still.
The whole cast was rich and deep. Frank Faylen and Flordia Freibus as Dobie's parents, Sheila James as Zelda Gilroy (the "sensible" choice for Dobie to hook up with but whoever wanted "sensible," right?) and of course the great Steve Franken's Chatsworth Osborne Jr. nearly stole every episode he was in. He showed Beatty how to play an obnoxious rich kid.
I still watch these on DVD. The first three seasons are the best. Few things satisfy me as much as hearing Dobie's old man say "I gotta kill that kid someday." Now THAT's my kind of "family" show.