"When Things Were Rotten" - NOW ON LEGIT DVD!

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"When Things Were Rotten" - NOW ON LEGIT DVD!

Post by Wallingford » Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:59 pm

Mel Brooks' great sitcom spoof of the Robin Hood legends: it ran for an unlucky 13 weeks in the fall of '75...garnered critical praise and had its hardy cult of admirers (yours truly included). A dozen years later the A&E channel reran all episodes, and I duly taped them, first onto Betamax, then transferred them to VHS, then did a third-generation dub onto DVD-R. It ended up staying at my old residence when I moved out of state, and I considered for a long time getting a bootleg edition of the complete series, but lo and behold, now it's "on-demand" on a legit label (CBS Home Entertainment). I'm giving it the honor of being purchased with my Amazon gift card.

If ever a sitcom had the stuff of which a long-running sitcom should be made, it was When Things Were Rotten....it wasn't one of those "relevant" or "topical" comedies that were in vogue then, and because it was out of place and out of time, it looks as fresh as the day it was made. The incongruous 60s-and-70s cultural references hurt not a bit, even, and enhance the humorous value even today.

The roles were all memorable....Dick Gautier (formerly Hymie the robot on Brooks' previous sitcom Get Smart!) showed real charisma as Robin; David Sabin was the perfect Little John; and we got to see Dick Van Patten as Friar Tuck and Bernie Koppel as Alan-A-Dale (before their future stardom in, repectively, Eight Is Enough and Love Boat). Henry Polic was supremely oily as the Sheriff Of Nottingham, and Misty Rowe was a smart dumb blonde as Maid Marian.
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
--Paul Simon

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