Friday, February 08, 2008

She's Still Here! (In a Paper Sleeve...)

Seeing as how I'll be in town this weekend, and the only event I'll be going to is Smith and Grimm's cabaret at Davenport's tomorrow night, I plan to spend the rest of my Saturday (in between trips to the laundromat) watching my new find on Netflix, "Two's Company," a 1970s sitcom featuring Elaine Stritch as Dorothy McNab, a famous author, and Donald Sinden as her butler, Robert. (From the description, he sounds a bit like "Benson"--a servant, yet the "smart one" in the house.)

I actually giggled with glee and clapped my hands when I got the red envelope at work today (I have them sent there, because I'm afraid that they won't fit in my home mailbox if I get too much other stuff).

I love Elaine Stritch in just about everything I've ever seen her in (except "Cocoon II," and that wasn't her fault). I just hope this doesn't prove to be one of those stuffy Noel-Coward-knockoff sitcoms that Britain tended to crank out in the 70s to appease the codgers who refused to watch "Are You Being Served?" (You know the type of shows I'm talking about--WE'RE producing them NOW.)

I know Elaine was living in England at the time while she was married to John Bay, so I think she still had a pretty fair amount of choice in the stuff she did, and at that point, just a few years after "Company," I think she had reached the point where people brought projects to HER with her in mind, rather than having to take whatever shitty thing she could. (The aforementioned "Cocoon II" being a rare exception. OK, and that "Ellen Burstyn Show," too. But she stole that one--all three episodes of it.) But the jist of the show is that she and her butler are constantly trading insults, but like each other deep down. So it has to be pretty good.

I'll let all of you (OK, both of you) know how it is...if I like it a lot, I may splurge at Amazon and buy it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember Elaine Stritch from someplace. Did she ever do guest spots on game shows? I seem to faintly remember her as a tough talking broad with a lot of piss and vinegar. I think this Two's Company might be a good show. Strange name though. Three's Company came from the cliche: Two's company, three's a crowd" I suppose this show came from the same thing. Ed

8:56 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

She was a Broadway actress for many, many years...she was also the second Alice Kramden on the "Honeymooners" sketches on the old Jackie Gleason show in the 50s (after Pert Kelton got blacklisted). She's best known on Broadway for her part in "Company" singing "The Ladies Who Lunch."

And it is a fantastic show--I'll blog more about it tomorrow. It's unlike American television in that it's very character driven, focusing solely on Elaine and Donald, with one or two guest stars in each episode. They didn't subscribe to the whole "group therapy/gosh we just can't handle the silence of only a duo" approach to comedy that America leans on...

Three's Company was based on a British sitcom called "Man About The House," but I wouldn't be surprised if they took some inspiration for the title from this show...

2:55 PM  
Blogger BC said...

I got to see At Liberty a few years ago here in Chicago, and she was incredible! The HBO version of that show is not to be missed. I love her on 30 Rock,too:
"I'll have them fighting like drag queens at a wig sale..."

11:21 AM  

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