Old time radio blog.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Back to School

If you like school-bound TV shows like Head of the Class, Room
222, and Welcome Back Kotter, you'll probably like Our Miss
Brooks and The Halls of Ivy. OMB stars Eve Arden as the title
English teacher at a California high school; HOI stars Mr & Mrs
Ronald Colman as a college dean and his ex-actress wife.
Brooks is more of a situation comedy dealing with silly
escapades and petty jealousies among staff and students; Ivy is
a gentler, classier look at school life. Canadian Colman and
British wife Benita play off each other beautifully as they deal with
students and administrators, not to mention various oddballs off
campus. They also remind me of the late-middle-aged lovers
Judi Dench & Geoffrey Palmer in As Time Goes By.

Brooks has a crush on the hunky biology teacher (played from the late 40's
through the early 50's by actually hunky Jeff Chandler), her
student Walter (Richard Crenna at his squeakiest) has a crush on
Harriet, and Harriet's dad, Principal Conklin (Gale Gordon) is a
pompous pain in the ass. Both became TV shows, but OMB
lasted longer; Ivy's high-road writing apparently couldn't maintain
an audience in the heyday of madcap redheads and
bongo-playing husbands. Good luck if you can find a copy of it,
while OMB has aired on TV Land. Don't mistake me, I love 'em
both, but it would have been nice to have seen the Colmans in

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