Monday, September 1, 2014

Classic TV: The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (1959)

Any good parent will tell you that good grades will bring you everything you really want, like a job and the love of a beautiful girl.

Max Schulman's teenage dreamer, Dobie Gillis, was introduced in a book of short stories, which, in turn, led to a 1953 feature film with Bobby Van in the title role. Six years later, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis debuted on television, with Dwayne Hickman in the title role. Gillis had it totally backwards. He was more interested in wealth & love ahead of furthering his education. His best friend and sidekick was beatnik Maynard G. Krebs (Bob Denver), who was, well, phobic when it came to jobs and girls. Go figure.

The series lasted four seasons, ending in 1963. Of course, Denver moved on to Gilligan's Island, after a year's break, and cemented his iconic status. The gang got back together for a TV-movie several years later, with Dobie still trying to better himself while continuing to fend off Zelda, who was as interested in him as he was in Thalia Menninger (Tuesday Weld) in season 1. Another future Hollywood icon, Warren Beatty, co-starred in season 1 as well.

After sporting blond hair in season 1, Hickman dyed it black for the rest of the series. From season 4 comes "Vocal Boy Makes Good", in which Dobie is a temporary member of the Lettermen, as the vocal group are the special guest stars.

Currently, Me-TV holds the cable rights to the series. Not sure about other channels.

Rating: B.

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