Monday, April 2, 2018

Classic TV: Our Miss Brooks (1952)

A while back, we took a look and a listen to the radio version of Our Miss Brooks. Now, it's time to scope the more familiar television version.

Eve Arden reprised as Madison High teacher Connie Brooks, with Gale Gordon as principal Osgood Conklin, Richard Crenna as student Walter Denton, and Robert Rockwell as Mr. Boynton, Brooks' long suffering beau, who would eventually marry Brooks in the feature film version of the series.

On CBS TV, Our Miss Brooks ran for 4 seasons (1952-6), with the movie serving as the coda for the series. Curiously, while Desilu produced the TV show, the movie was distributed & produced by Warner Bros.. Go figure.

Now, let's scope a sample episode:

Post-Brooks, Eve Arden had two more series. The first was a self-titled sitcom that came along shortly after Brooks went off the air. We'll look at that another time. The other was the Desi Arnaz-produced The Mothers-in-Law, which ran for 2 seasons on NBC (1967-9). Richard Crenna, of course, moved on to The Real McCoys before turning to drama. Gale Gordon would stick with sitcoms, first joining the cast of Dennis The Menace before becoming Lucille Ball's go-to foil in The Lucy Show & Here's Lucy.

The fact that Eve Arden wore her hair similarly to Ball reminds that Ball had been considered for the lead on radio, but opted to remain with My Favorite Husband.

Rating: B.

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