TopBilled

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TopBilled, It is archaic as you so rightly point out.  It is symptomatic of the times in movie & TV portrayals of gays.  Actually, the show was considered progressive in that white liberal way of the 1970's.  I remember watching the show pretty regularly when it was originally broadcast but haven't seen it since then.

 

If the show was made today there is no way you're going to have three white kids on an eight-man team in an inner city high school.

 

Yes, they're attempting to cast the series in a way that's racially balanced though it's not entirely realistic. The episodes try to touch on social issues-- in one a guest character is illiterate, in another a new ball player is partially deaf, etc. So the gay angle was just another topic for them to explore. The breakdown scene at the end is well-played by Peter Horton, but it's slightly over the top, and the illiterate kid or the deaf kid would never have such a breakdown. It's like they're implying Horton's potential gayness is all psychological and after his breakdown he can recover from it. Did people really think that way in the late 70s?

 

Sometimes what we call 'classic' today is disturbing, and if anything, these films and TV show episodes can give us a glimpse of social history and misguided thinking.

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Yes, a lot of people did feel this way in the 1970's, at least in more conservative social circles.  Remember that it wasn't until sometime in the 1970's that the shrinks decided that being gay was not a mental illness.  Anyway, shows like THE WHITE SHADOW are sort of a time capsule and in hindsight we can look back at them now and see they weren't really so progressive after all.

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Yes, a lot of people did feel this way in the 1970's, at least in more conservative social circles.  Remember that it wasn't until sometime in the 1970's that the shrinks decided that being gay was not a mental illness.  Anyway, shows like THE WHITE SHADOW are sort of a time capsule and in hindsight we can look back at them now and see they weren't really so progressive after all.

 

I think what "surprised" me about this is The White Shadow was written and produced by the same people responsible for St. Elsewhere and Northern Exposure. Both those series I remember being quite socially progressive. Maybe's it's just the issue of homosexuality where they got tangled up. 

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I think what "surprised" me about this is The White Shadow was written and produced by the same people responsible for St. Elsewhere and Northern Exposure. Both those series I remember being quite socially progressive. Maybe's it's just the issue of homosexuality where they got tangled up. 

 

This shows the same team evolved over time in creating new shows.  If I recall correctly, I think ST. ELSEWHERE came out in the 1980's and NORTHERN EXPOSURE in the 1990's.

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This shows the same team evolved over time in creating new shows.  If I recall correctly, I think ST. ELSEWHERE came out in the 1980's and NORTHERN EXPOSURE in the 1990's.

 

Yes, those shows appeared on the TV landscape in the 80s & 90s. I know there was a gay wedding at the end of Northern Exposure well in advance of legalized same sex civil unions. It's been awhile since I've seen episodes of St. Elsewhere and don't recall stories about gay characters, except there was a straight doctor (played by David Morse) who was raped in prison.

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Yes, those shows appeared on the TV landscape in the 80s & 90s. I know there was a gay wedding at the end of Northern Exposure well in advance of legalized same sex civil unions. It's been awhile since I've seen episodes of St. Elsewhere and don't recall stories about gay characters, except there was a straight doctor (played by David Morse) who was raped in prison.

 

Good memory.  I watched NORTHERN EXPOSURE but not much ST. ELSEWHERE.  The doctor being raped in prison may be more about control than sex, just like in the outside world.

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Yes, those shows appeared on the TV landscape in the 80s & 90s. I know there was a gay wedding at the end of Northern Exposure well in advance of legalized same sex civil unions. It's been awhile since I've seen episodes of St. Elsewhere and don't recall stories about gay characters, except there was a straight doctor (played by David Morse) who was raped in prison.

 

Does it ever concern you that you keep looking for ONE episode in every single series??   <_<

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Good memory.  I watched NORTHERN EXPOSURE but not much ST. ELSEWHERE.  The doctor being raped in prison may be more about control than sex, just like in the outside world.

 

St. Elsewhere had a later time slot so they could explore a lot more "adult" type issues. I don't think it was syndicated in the U.S. (it was syndicated in Britain where it's still popular), and only the first season was released on DVD. All the seasons of Northern Exposure were made available on DVD.

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Visiting the set of Will & Grace

 

I had never watched this show, and it was in the middle of its sixth season when a friend asked if I wanted to go to the set with her. I said sure, and was glad I did. Will & Grace was recorded at the CBS Radford lot in Studio City. The location was formerly the home of Republic Pictures, and when you went in through the gates, it did feel like going on to the grounds of an old movie studio.

 

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The soundstage for W&G was on the far end of the lot, which meant that after we parked in the main garage, we walked the length of the entire property before we arrived at the building where we’d watch W&G. I remember seeing actors from the soap opera Passions walking around, since they taped episodes nearby. And in the soundstage next door to W&G we saw the cast and crew of Good Morning, Miami rehearsing. That series didn’t last long; it featured Suzanne Pleshette and was produced by the same people in charge of W&G.

 

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The episode shot for W&G was a two-parter called ‘Flip-Flop.’ At least this is the title it had when it aired, because the day we were on the set we were told it was called ‘Flippers.’ The storyline involved the two main characters working as realtors, and their client was a cantankerous old gal named Zandra (Eileen Brennan). Brennan appeared as Zandra a few other times prior to this, and she’d be invited back for one more episode. There was a subplot involving Megan Mullally’s character and her love interest played by John Cleese. But we did not see Mullally or meet Cleese, because their material had already been filmed a day earlier. They showed us Mullally’s scenes on a playback monitor so we could understand everything that was going on.

 

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Technically we only watched half the episode being filmed, the part that involved Debra Messing. She was in her third trimester of pregnancy and had limited hours on the set. This might have been one of the very last episodes she did before she went on maternity leave. The pregnancy was not written into the show, so she was wearing a black dress, filmed mostly from the chest up and standing behind furniture in the long shots. Jimmy Burrows was the long-time director, and it all went like clockwork. It was a manic work environment, but very professional.

 

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A few random memories stand out. When the cast was introduced at the beginning, Eric McCormack who played Will came on to the stage reading a copy of Playboy magazine. Obviously he was referring to the fact he was straight and only played gay on TV. It was funny but also struck me as slightly homophobic. Messing seemed exhausted; her pregnancy was clearly sapping her energy. She did her usual good job, but in between scenes she rested.

 

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At the end, the cast took a bow, and Eileen Brennan received the loudest round of applause. The filming for this series occurred in the afternoon. Every other sitcom I visited was filmed in the evenings. But W&G was done in the afternoon, so it felt like watching a matinee performance of a live play.

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I enjoyed WILL & GRACE.  I haven't seen the updated version.  The show got into gimmick guest casting too much the last couple of years, in my opinion.  Re Eric with the Playboy mag:  maybe he read it for the articles?  Now, if he had held up a Penthouse, I'd be convinced of his heterosexuality.  LOL.  For real, though, it was kinda lame for him to do that.

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I enjoyed WILL & GRACE.  I haven't seen the updated version.  The show got into gimmick guest casting too much the last couple of years, in my opinion.  Re Eric with the Playboy mag:  maybe he read it for the articles?  Now, if he had held up a Penthouse, I'd be convinced of his heterosexuality.  LOL.  For real, though, it was kinda lame for him to do that.

 

I have a feeling he probably did that every time he was introduced to the studio audience.

 

I haven't seen the updated version either. 

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I have a feeling he probably did that every time he was introduced to the studio audience.

 

I haven't seen the updated version either. 

I'm not that happy to see them again.

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I'm not that happy to see them again.

 

I didn't even know a continuation series had been planned. The ratings for the first episode were very good, but the numbers have dramatically fallen off with each subsequent airing. So I don't think it will last beyond the current order. 

 

I can only think of one continuation series that was just as big a hit as the original, and it was the late 60s version of Dragnet which featured several remakes of earlier classic episodes. Jack Webb didn't change much during the ten years between the two productions. But in this case, Will, Grace, Jack and Karen might be too much a product of an earlier era and the times changed without them. We'll see what happens.

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I'm not that happy to see them again.

 

My wife and her gay brother were really into the show so the new version is 'must see T.V.' in our household and I have seen all the episodes.  

 

I really don't see such a show working today since the 'gay mans only close friend is a heterosexual women (and vise-versa) concept is dated.      I just don't see how they can keep it interesting but we shall see.

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WILL & GRACE has already been renewed for next year.

 

I thought they extended the original order of 12 episodes to 16 after the first episode did so well. But the ratings have really dropped off since then, and unless it rebounds it could be gone by spring. Maybe they will have to resort to using some more big name guest stars.

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My wife and her gay brother were really into the show so the new version is 'must see T.V.' in our household and I have seen all the episodes.  

 

I really don't see such a show working today since the 'gay mans only close friend is a heterosexual women (and vise-versa) concept is dated.      I just don't see how they can keep it interesting but we shall see.

The problem is that - with two gay men and two straight women - the show is just not gay enough.

 

Give me re-runs of a show that is/was gay - "Queer As Folk".

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The problem is that - with two gay men and two straight women - the show is just not gay enough.

 

Give me re-runs of a show that is/was gay - "Queer As Folk".

 

Queer As Folk may be viewed as being too-gay for an over the air network to broadcast.

 

I hope that isn't the case,  but sadly it might be.

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The problem is that - with two gay men and two straight women - the show is just not gay enough.

 

Give me re-runs of a show that is/was gay - "Queer As Folk".

 

I haven't seen the new W&G but in the original Karen was actively bisexual. Did that change in the current version? Is she now straight, exclusively into men?

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Queer As Folk may be viewed as being too-gay for an over the air network to broadcast.

 

I hope that isn't the case,  but sadly it might be.

I'm sure it is.

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Actresses marrying into royalty

 

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Constance Bennett was born into an esteemed acting family. She had a high profile film career and several high profile marriages. The third man she married was the ex-husband of Gloria Swanson, a French nobleman named Henri le Bailly– the Marquis de La Coudraye de La Falaise. He was a movie director in his native France, and he co-produced two films with Bennett. After nearly a decade of marriage, they divorced and she wed her former costar Gilbert Roland with whom she had two daughters.

 

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Virginia Cherrill‘s acting career lasted only eight years, but during this time she made the memorable film CITY LIGHTS with Charlie Chaplin. She went through husbands in rapid succession and had four of them. One was Cary Grant. Her third husband was George Child-Villiers, the ninth Earl of Jersey. She became known as Virginia Child-Villiers, Countess of Jersey.

 

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Geraldine Fitzgerald was born in Ireland and began her acting career in Dublin. But like so many Irish performers, she went to London to find greater opportunities. While she was in England she married Sir Edward Lindsay-Hogg. The marriage lasted from 1936 to 1946. After they separated Geraldine married again, but her second husband was not nobility.

 

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Rita Hayworth was one of Hollywood’s biggest stars when she walked away from movies in 1948 to marry Prince Aly Khan. There had been a year-long courtship while she obtained a divorce from Orson Welles. After they wed, a daughter (Princess Yasmin) was born to the couple. But the prince’s womanizing quickly put an end to the marriage. By 1953 Hayworth was divorced, living in the U.S. with Yasmin and back to filmmaking.

 

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Gene Tierney was married twice. Her first husband was fashion designer Oleg Cassini. Cassini was the son of an Italian countess and a Russian count, making him also a count. When Tierney was married to him, she was a countess. They had two daughters. After the couple broke up, she dated Rita Hayworth’s ex, Prince Aly Khan. They had a lengthy engagement but Tierney ended up marrying another man instead. Her new husband was not a member of a royal family.

 

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Grace Kelly gave up her screen career when she married Prince Rainier of Monaco. The prince’s actual name was Rainier Louis Henri Maxence Bertrand Grimaldi. His father was a count, and his mother was a princess and duchess. Princess Grace, as she became known, had three children. She remained happily married to her husband until a car crash took her life in 1982.

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Some observations on TopBilled's actresses marrying into nobility.  Grace Kelly  may have been happy with Prince Ranier but she was never allowed to make any more films.  Geraldine Fitzgerald walking behind her husband in your photo - just plain sad.  These women get the fancy title but the marriages don't seem to have been all that wonderful.  It seems like they have to subvert the vibrant personalities they present on the screen once they become royalty.

 

Any examples of Hollywood men marrying into royalty? What were those marriages like?

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Some observations on TopBilled's actresses marrying into nobility.  Grace Kelly  may have been happy with Prince Ranier but she was never allowed to make any more films.  Geraldine Fitzgerald walking behind her husband in your photo - just plain sad.  These women get the fancy title but the marriages don't seem to have been all that wonderful.  It seems like they have to subvert the vibrant personalities they present on the screen once they become royalty.

 

Any examples of Hollywood men marrying into royalty? What were those marriages like?

 

I can't think of any off the top of my head, but I'm sure there were some.

 

Re: Grace Kelly's retirement from the screen, there was talk she had been offered and considered doing MARNIE with Hitchcock but of course, it never happened.

 

My guess is that Rita Hayworth would have officially retired if her marriage to the prince had worked out. But fortunately for us, it didn't...and she came back to Hollywood. Her comeback film was AFFAIR IN TRINIDAD:

 

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I think Marnie would be an unlikely comeback vehicle for a princess - a movie about a "frigid" woman who steals?  I could see Grace in a role like Audrey Hepburn played in Charade; she's the co-lead but she's not a crazy criminal.  Wouldn't it have been fun to see Grace Kelly and Cary Grant together again?  I bet Prince Ranier would have loved that.

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I think Marnie would be an unlikely comeback vehicle for a princess - a movie about a "frigid" woman who steals?  I could see Grace in a role like Audrey Hepburn played in Charade; she's the co-lead but she's not a crazy criminal.  Wouldn't it have been fun to see Grace Kelly and Cary Grant together again?  I bet Prince Ranier would have loved that.

 

Agree. The subject matter for MARNIE was all wrong for her, and I can see why she didn't do it. A light-hearted crime caper, maybe even a sequel of TO CATCH A THIEF, is what Hitchcock should've pitched to her and the prince.

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