Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Review of "The Betty White Show Volume 1: 4 Full-length episodes," DVD

 Review of

The Betty White Show Volume 1: 4 Full-length episodes, DVD

Four out of five stars

Early television when it was live

 While everyone concedes that Betty White is a television icon, few realize the extent of her achievements. The very low budget sitcom called “Life With Elizabeth” (labeled here as “The Betty White Show”) starred White and was produced in 1951. It was filmed live at KLAC-TV in Los Angeles. She was the first woman to produce a sitcom and she retained full control when the show was syndicated.

 The premise of the show is that White as Elizabeth and Del Moore as her husband Alvin live in the suburbs and get into situations. An episode is split into short eight to ten minute segments with announcer Jack Narz popping in with brief explanations, openings and closings.

 When watching these shows, the modern viewer must keep in mind that they are viewing history being made. Comedy on television was very much in its infancy and the players had no historical record to consult. Furthermore, the allowable situations were much more limited at the time. Laughter was genuine and the entire scene had to be concluded once begun. All of this combined to make the action appear a bit stiff at times.

 A trailblazer for both women and comedy on television, White deserves her status as an icon many times over. In this DVD, you see her in her television comedic infancy as all players were creating something that had never existed before.

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