Green Acres Season One

Green Acres Season One
I suppose the idea of spending approximately 30 bucks on the first 32 episodes of Green Acres may seem a little far-fetched but there's more entertainment on these two discs than you'll find in many of the comedies down at the multiplex. The show, which ran from 1965 to 1971, tells the story of Manhattan lawyer Oliver Douglas (Eddie Albert) who abandons New York for the simple life of farming in Hooterville, taking his less than enthusiastic wife Lisa (Eva Gabor) with him. The premise is precarious, the plots are close to nonexistent and the main characters are likeable but schmaltzy. What drives the humour in this show is its absurdist comedic structure and the off-the-wall supporting characters. Oliver constantly swims against the tide of rural insanity, chickens require "thank you" notes (in large print) and planting is based upon the "wheat bumps" sprouting on their neighbour Mrs. Ziffel's head; the jokes are repeated relentlessly with a hilarious pile on effect. My favourite character is Eb, the farm hand. Dressed in the exact same outfit every episode, Eb gets all the best lines. Virtually everything he says is unfounded in reality and stated with the utmost conviction and enthusiasm. The Ziffels are also good, especially Arnold, their son, who's a pig. There are moments when you are reminded that this show is just a sitcom but at other times it comes off like Samuel Becket meeting Jed Clampett. It's also interesting as a TV time capsule. This was a period when TV became very self-aware, satirical and unchained from representation, i.e. Batman and Get Smart. Green Acres is definitely in this camp of camp. And it's such an old fashioned premise. Can you imagine anybody today watching a show about clueless rich people moving out to the country and mingling with farm folk? (MGM)
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