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He & She (1967)

It was said at one time that television is a vast wasteland, and there is ample proof to support that statement. On the other hand, sometimes a really good TV show is ahead of its time, and that can be as fatal as being an awful TV series. Case in point - He & She of 1967. From the IMDb:

I have mentioned the failure of the above-average GOOD MORNING, WORLD, that was on Tuesday nights in 1967 - 1968. Ironically the same year that that fine program failed, a Wednesday night comedy which was superbly funny and original failed as well - despite critical acclaim. HE & SHE was set in Manhattan, where Dick and Paula Hollister (Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss) lived in an apartment in a building where the super was Andrew Hummell (Hamilton Camp) and their closest friend was Harry Zarakados (Kenneth Mars) lives next door (Harry is a fireman, who enters their apartment through a board balanced between his window sill and the Hollisters). Mars, when not fighting fires, frequently dropped over to see them - which sounds like Cosmo Kramer's frequently dashing into Jerry's apartment in the later series SEINFELD.

Dick was a cartoonist who did a cartoon called JETMAN, which had just been turned into a successful television series starring Oscar North (Jack Cassidy). It was an obvious spoof of the then popular series BATMAN (starring Adam West), but Cassidy's "North" was not like Adam West, who from all accounts is a gentleman and very professional. Cassidy's North was a very egotistical type, who hired an elderly man (in one episode) as his new sidekick because he would not steal scenes like an alternative child actor or a trained animal. The elderly man (who could only speak Greek) would have no dialog in his part, and would be called "Mr. Shush".

The show featured a well acted ensemble cast, and it should have succeeded. Instead it lasted just the one season. A year later it was shown in reruns, and the T.V. Guide (when it returned) said it just may have been too far ahead of its time.

I have to agree. This was an excellent TV series but it was canceled nonetheless, being replaced by quite possibly the worst series ever to appear on television. More on that in an upcoming article.

YouTube seems to feature all episodes and I have embedded the premier episode below. take a look and see just how good commercial television could be 50 years ago.


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