Saturday, February 22, 2014

1960s TV Sitcom Barbies


 Barbie as Donna Douglas as Elly May Clampett.  One of the most beloved and memorable sitcoms of that or any era was the hysterically silly The Beverly Hillbillies.  Running from 1962 until 1971, this was the story of Jed Clampett, a poor mountaineer who accidentally struck oil in his backyard.  Packing up his family in a flatbed truck, he moved to the land of cement ponds and movie stars.  While Jed's neighbor, the greedy banker Mr. Drysdale, gave the millionaire family preferential treatment, Jed's family adjusted to LA-life.  Granny whipped up vittles and home remedies.  Cousin Jethro tried his hand at school.  And the beautiful, but innocent Elly May--expert wrestler, baseball player, and slingshot shooter--cared for her critters and considered her suitors.  That was wonderful TV!
 Barbie as Elizabeth Montgomery as Samantha Stephens.  One of the most beloved and memorable sitcoms of that era or any era was the enchanting Bewitched.  Running from 1964 until 1972, this was the story of Samantha and Darrin Stephens.  In the very first episode, they met, fell in love, and married. Even more unusual than their lightning fast courtship was the fact that Samantha was a witch!  Could the love between a witch and a mortal ad man endure?  Despite the constant meddling of "Derwood's" mother-in-law and nemesis Endora and a host of witches and warlocks, this interesting mixed marriage thrived!  Week after week, Samantha twitched her nose, and we fell under her spell.  That was magical TV!
Barbie as Barbara Eden as Jeannie.  One of the most beloved and memorable sitcoms of that or any era was the whimsical I Dream of Jeannie.  Debuting September 1965 and running through May 1970, the show told the fantastic story of astronaut Captain--later promoted to Major--Tony Nelson.  Stranded on a desert island with his disabled spacecraft, he discovered a genie bottle, home to Jeannie, who instantly fell in love with him.  Freed from the bottle after 2,000 years, she happily wove her magic for her "master" with a blink of her eyes and a nod of her head--beginning with whisking them off the island.  Together the pair hid her true identity from their friends, family, and the Air Force psychiatrist!  In the final season, Tony and Jeannie married, but could this wacky marriage ever work?  That was magical TV!
(1960s TV Sitcom Barbies from the personal collection of David Mansour.)
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