I’m not sure how I went so long without watching That Girl, because it is simply all the things I love in a TV show – It’s funny, smart, relatable, and retro. Marlo Thomas is simply fantastic as the aspiring actress Ann Marie, who has come to New York to become an actress, and more significantly, a self-sufficient, independent woman. Each episode is packed with comedic flavor and charm, not to mention the clothes… Oh the clothes! Thomas embodies the epitome of the mod-style of the time, having brought that sensibility to the character after she herself had starred in the Neil Simon play Barefoot In The Park, in London’s West End.
The show hinges on Ann Marie’s relationship with her writer boyfriend, Don Hollinger (Ted Bessell) as they both try to make their way in the world, as well as her relationship with her over-bearing father (Lew Parker) who shows up often to represent the conventional traditions Ann is choosing to reject. Throw in her weekly struggles with booking every kind of acting job under the sun, plus needing to work “real jobs” to make ends-meet, and regularly having to navigate through a city of seedy men, and well, you got yourself a comedy! I adore seeing Ann and Don help each other through their early adult years, and their sweet, young love reminds me of my own younger days with my Moondoggie.
That Girl is like a breath of fresh air and so enjoyable to watch. I recommend it to everyone. Most of season 1 is on YouTube, which will give you a nice sense of the series, but the rest of the series is only available on DVD as far as I can find, and trust me, it’s easy to get hooked! Still I think it’s worth the cost, every episode is so unique, funny and clever, which is why That Girl is this week’s Classic TV Tuesday pick.
Here is one of my favorite episodes: