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The Episodes - Your Reviews & Favorites

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Critic: T. Fuller   e-mail: tofull@ix.netcom.net

The first episode I lauged out loud several times. It definately showed alot of promise, and I can see why NBC eventually picked up the show. It was well-written and had some very good lines. Dealing with teenage sex is something I really didn't expect. I guess they could get away with more because of their original time slot (9:30PM). The episode reminded me of the show Frasier with McLean being Frasier and Joanna Gleason being Roz and then Earl could be Mad Dog (?). A big difference is that there are no kids on Frasier (atleast they are rarely seen). Then in the second season, Hello Larry adds Larry's father. 
I was trying to remember where I had seen Donna Wilkes before, then I went to the Internet movie database and saw that she was in Jaws 2 and Angel (about a teenage prostitute runaway). Angel is sort of a cult classic with some people. Donna Wiles was ok in the first episode, I liked Kim Richards' character and acting alot better. 
I don't remember seeing George Memmoli in anything. I have a feeling that he was a comedian at one time. Sadly, I saw that he died sometime in the 1980's. I really couldn't tell from the cast picture that he was that big of a guy, so that surprised me. There were alot of fat jokes in this episode as I am sure there were in other episodes. 
The little kid in this episode (Christian Zika, I've seen identified as Christian Zika-Brackett in a few books and at the IMDB), I had seen several times before. He was in a few CHiPs episodes and I remembered him in another sitcom with Martin Mull around 1984 or so. I went to the Internet Movie Database (I go there alot), and saw that the name of the show was Domestic Life (the show was set in the northwest (Seattle) like HL plus Martin Mull worked a tv station. I don't know if the show was ever shown in syndication (because it lasted less than a year), but for some reason I remembered it. I guess I would have been around 10 years old when the show aired. I wonder if anyone has any tapes of these episodes, I would like to see them again. 
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The second episode (The Final Papers), I really didn't like as much as the first episode. 
The writing was ok in the episode, the acting was fine though. 
All of the cast members looked different (especially their hairstyles) in this episode from the first. My guess is that the pilot was shot in the summer of 1978, and then they shot this episode much later (maybe 5-6 months) after they had been picked up by NBC. 
I didn't notice Joanna Gleason in this episode, it seems odd they would leave her out. 
Another adult issue (divorce) in this episode. I started seeing a theme in the first few episodes. 
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The third episode (The Hitchhiker). I would rank this one above The Final
Papers, but below the pilot. 
They sure picked some good issues for the first three episodes (this time hitchhiking). I felt they dealt with them in a good manner. This episode had some good lines. 
I liked the setting of the apartment (it was an apartment wasn't it?). It
seemed very 70's-ish. 
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