Monday, September 21, 2009

1.16: Give Me Land, Lots of Land

"You have a love of the land that I don't quite understand..."

Oliver buys the Watson farm. The Douglases now own 300 acres...but not the nice house on the Watson property. And, that sentence should clue you in to a portion of the plot in this episode. But, luckily, not a large portion of the plot. Lisa moves their stuff into this house that isn't theirs. But, at this point in the show, it's quite nice to see them working through the sitcom tropes. There's a lot of verve and there are actual laughs.


Lisa's Haggling with Mr. Haney.

Mr. Kimball being forced to give a straightforward answer.

Oliver and Lisa enjoying their new bedroom with no walls on the sides.

Mr. Watson's hard sell of the farm to Oliver.

All this one is missing is some Ziffel action and a visit from the Monroe Brothers.

Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor seem to be really enjoying this episode. Lisa makes a joke or two, which seems a bit odd but it's not outside the realm of possibility. And, Oliver is clearly excited when he has the chance of almost doubling the size of his farm. Especially, when he realizes that stuff actually grows on this land.

Lisa is not thrilled but she loves the house, which Oliver doesn't even notice.

There is a very strange moment near the end when Oliver arrives home and the house is empty... Instantly, I flashed right back to the second episode and the desolate filthiness of the place. The doorknob even goes through the wall again. For a brief moment, I think Oliver believed that Lisa has gone away. It gets cleared up and the Watson furniture, briefly, ends up in their house (which also looks weird) but, for that moment, the house that they have made a home becomes a shack again. It's slightly disconcerting.

Another fine episode and a mini-milestone.

We are now halfway through with Season One of Green Acres.

January 5, 1966 was the original airdate.

Next time, we enter the second half of the season and The Day of Decision looms ever closer.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

1.15.: How To Enlarge a Bedroom

(It is now September 12th. I wrote this over a week ago and, frankly, I'm not so thrilled with it. But, it is a spray of my thoughts on this very good episode. So, I'm posting it. Enjoy.)

"I called you three weeks ago for an estimate."
"Ralph was on vacation."
"Oh...When does that end?"
"Last Wednesday."

And...the Monroe brothers have arrived. Alf & Ralph!

Except one of them is a sister...Ralph.

They're not as wacky as they will be in a few episodes but their patented "Monroe brand" of laughs is here.

Lisa offers Oliver an "either-or". Enlarge the bedroom or the six months are up! So, Oliver gets Alf and Ralph over there immediately. At the same time, Eb is trying to borrow Mr. Douglas's car for a date with Ophelia, his gal. Oliver will not budge.

It's so great to be back on track with the "six months moving into the farm" stories again. There's no Mr. Kimball in this episode. But, aside from the Monroe's, Fred & Doris Ziffel get a great scene together. They get in some nice back & forth bickering, which is always great. (Arnold acts a little oddly but he's, generally, still a regular pig.)

This episode does begin immediately with the "enlarge the bedroom" plotline but it works here because there is a lot to get done. Alf & Ralph arrive. They expand out the bedroom. That actually means that they pushed out the wall with the window as far as Lisa wants it. That means that there are no walls along the side and anyone can just stroll in. And, it means that the telephone pole is now in the middle of the room. Oh, Monroe Brothers!

The episode follows Oliver from spot to spot. Lisa still hasn't completely adapted but, in this episode, she has become one of the characters that Oliver keeps meeting up with during his journey. And, now, there are so many of them. The Ziffel scene has a great moment when Oliver goes to check a reference for the Monroe Brothers work. Oliver's face when he learns what they did for Fred and Doris is great. Basically, the Brothers re-hung their front door so it swings a different way. And, they fixed the front porch. Of course, they broke it...

Eddie Albert carries the episode with a mix of bemusement and frustration and confusion. The Monroe's inability to give a proper estimate and the building inspector's bribery of sorts (Ophelia is his daughter. Room won't pass if Oliver doesn't give out the car.) drive him to some raging. But, then, watch his reaction when Mrs. Ziffel tells him that he looks pretty. It's very charming. The man perfectly fits into this society that he doesn't fit into that well at all.

Eva Gabor is as charming as ever. Really though, the episode is about Oliver trying to get the bedroom work started and get Eb to leave him alone. So, she doesn't do much here. In the last episode, she was the focus.

So, as we go through, approaching the second half of Season One, the bits are in place. Things are coming together and the bedroom will expand and Alf & Ralph will grow. (Apparently, Alf is married? Maybe he was kidding.) Being on the ground floor of a show is always great, if it's a good show. Let's see what happens next.