the studio gate

the backlot

the screening room
The Screening Room

In my foggy memory of early childhood, I still see images of a small television set before my little eyes. I may have been either four or five years-old, but I remember sitting there watching "The Brady Bunch" (the later years where the Brady family had cousin Oliver visit), "The Partridge Family," and a show I couldn't stand, "Room 222." Mixed in there was "Love American Style." I loved the opening credits with the animated title, those fireworks blasting away, and that theme song by the Cowsills. The show, on the other hand, was totally adult to me.

"Love American Style: Season One, Volume One" is now on DVD.

The show was a product of its era. Many people, including myself, associate the show with being a 1970s show, which it was. But it actually began airing in the fall of 1969. The premise was innocent and simple. Have an anthology of skits based on marriage, young love, divorce, then place short slapstick skits in between. Guest stars included '60s staples as Flip Wilson, Norman Fell, Rich Little, Arte Johnson, JoAnn Worley, Phillis Diller, and to my surprise, Regis Philbin. 

The show was silly and filled with fluff. The show had more misunderstandings than "Three's Company." The show wasn't deeply written, nor was it meant to be taken seriously. If anything, it is a time capsule of the period. What was probably seen as revolutionary then is pretty lightweight today. It's interesting to see guys like Bob Crane ("Hogan's Heroes") play a husband who expects his wife to have dinner ready on the table ("Love and the Modern Wife"). His wife, played by Patricia Crowley, is liberated by going out and taking night classes. The short skits that featured actor Stuart Margolin were funny in a lighthearted way. They usually centered around men trying to do gentlemanly duties, like taking off their coat when a lady is trying to cross a mud puddle, only to have things go awry. There were also themes of young couples trying to make it on their own.     

The show is very dated, but if you grew up or were an adult in that era, it's nostalgic. I remember some family members who had furniture and carpet just like they had on "Love American Style." I think one of my aunts had one of those oil lamps with the lady statue inside of it (check out the bar sequence in "Love and the Modern Wife.") The hair styles and clothes are pretty funny to look at, too.

Don't revisit "Love American Style" and expect heavy-handed 1960s statements about the women's movement, young hippies in love or black power. Just enjoy the kitchy ride, baby.

Bill Kallay

Special thanks to Click Communications

Photos: Paramount/CBS. All rights reserved.

Quick Glimpse


Goofy late-'60s show brings back memories

Directors: Various

Cast: Various



Not rated


Picture: Good
Sound: Good

Flower Power, man! Check out them threads

Aspect Ratio (1.33:1)

Dolby Digital 2.0

November 20, 2007