There is one show, however, I do not get. I watch it, mind you, I just don't know why. I don't enjoy it. I can't, for the life of me figure out its appeal or who its target audience was in its initial run from its premiere in 1961 to its swan song in 1966. With each episode (and there are five seasons worth!), it gets increasingly frustrating.
Of course, I'm talking about Hazel.
At one time, Shirley Booth was a popular, versatile and well-respected actress. She made her debut on the Broadway stage in 1925 and went on to win an impressive three Tony Awards including Best Actress in the gut-wrenching drama Come Back Little Sheba. Shirley reprised the role of "Lola Delaney" in the film version of the play and won an Academy Award for her effort. She also received high praise for her role as "Dolly Levi" in Thornton Wilder's The Matchmaker, the non-musical source for Hello Dolly. Although she only made five films in her career, she was a staple in live theater, originating the roles in The Desk Set and Summertime that Katherine Hepburn eventually played in the films. She was the wise-cracking "Miss Duffy" on radio's Duffy's Tavern and she auditioned for, but lost, the lead role in Our Miss Brooks to Eve Arden.
|Mr. B and Missy|
Still, I can't figure out who the hell was watching and enjoying this infuriating bullshit? Who was relating to this? I grew up in a middle class family in the 1960s. We didn't have a live-in maid. I didn't know anyone who had a maid, live-in or otherwise. Yet, everyone in the Baxter's neighborhood has a maid — and Hazel is friends with all of them. (And by "friends," I mean she's sticking her bulbous nose into their business as well.)
|Meet the new boss.|
Same as the old boss.
So, why do I watch it now? Because, in comparison, I would rather suffer through Hazel disrespecting poor Mr. B than be subjected to the reality shit storm that The Today Show has become.
* It should be noted that I like everyone in I Love Lucy, except for Lucy. The ensemble cast — William Frawley, Vivian Vance and Desi Arnaz — are funny. Lucille Ball, however, is annoying, overbearing and not at all funny. Maybe they should have called the show "I Love Everyone Except Lucy." But, I watch it just the same.