Friday, February 10, 2012

Quality TV = That Girl!

Before Mary Richards on the Mary Tyler Moore Show, there was Ann Marie on That Girl. The MTM Show is generally credited as the first TV show featuring a single independent woman living and working on her own. However, do you know who actually was the first career girl on a TV sitcom? That Girl!

That Girl followed the exploits of aspiring actress, Ann Marie (the girl with the perfect flip hairstyle) in New York City. Marlo Thomas played the goofy, yet charming Ann Marie, and Ted Bessell played her dependable boyfriend, Donald Hollinger. There is real chemistry between these two (so rare these days), and the show still holds up after all these years as opposed to modern TV sitcoms that rarely make me laugh.  

In many respects, That Girl foreshadowed the changing roles of women in early Feminist America. That Girl ran from 1966-1971, with each episode beginning with someone exclaiming ". . . that girl!," as the camera then focuses on Thomas. The opening and closing credits show Thomas wandering the streets of New York City, in an era before all those glass skyscrapers. It had a catchy theme song and was also ground breaking. In 1968, following feminist protests against wearing bras and other feminine products, Marlo Thomas began going bra-less on the show. "God created women to bounce," Thomas said. "So be it."

I saw That Girl while flipping channels. It can be seen on ME-TV Portland, Maine at 9:30 PM. ME-TV stands for Memorable Entertainment Television, and that it is! The network showcases classic TV shows from the 50s through the 80s, and it's worth a visit, if you're in Maine and want to unwind with some quality nostalgia.

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