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Addams Family, The (ABC 1964-1966, John Astin, Carolyn Jones)

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”They’re creepy and they’re kooky,
Mysterious and spooky,
They’re altogether ooky,
The Addams Family…”

It’s tough not to snap your fingers when the first strains of The Addams Family theme song kick in. Gomez, Morticia, Fester, Wednesday, Pugsley… they were just some groovy little ghoulies with an infectious beat. And the show was good, too.

This ABC sitcom began its life in 1937 as a series of macabre, mostly wordless one-panel cartoons drawn by Charles Addams. These cartoons featured a ghoulish-looking family indulging in their strange idea of family fun (i.e. sitting down to a dinner of two-headed pig, baking cookies in the shapes of bats and snakes, etc.). They found a regular home in New Yorker magazine and became one of its most popular features.

The cartoons were translated into a television series in 1964 by the team of producer Dave Levy and writer Matt Perrin. The family, which did not have names in the cartoons, were given their own identities: Gomez was the patriarch of the clan, a lawyer who loved to fence. Morticia was his wife, a ghostly and deadpan femme who could drive her man into romantic frenzy by speaking a few words in French (”Tish! You spoke French!”). Rounding out their nuclear family unit were two creepy kids, Pugsley and Wednesday.

Other cast members included Grandma and Uncle Fester, who also lived in the Addams family home. Jackie Coogan portrayed Fester, a switch for actor who was previously known as a child star (he appeared in The Kid with Charlie Chaplin). Lurch was the hulking, monosyllabic family servant (”You rang?”). Another servant was Thing, a disembodied hand that scurried around the house to do odd jobs. And lest you think the kookiness was confined to the family’s Gothic home, the Addamses received frequent visits from Cousin Itt, a relative who was covered from head to toe with hair and spoke in an unintelligible language that only the Addamses could understand. Ophelia, Tish’s sister, was added in later episodes of the series.

The episodes usually revolved around the outside world’s attempts to make sense of the family’s offbeat customs and the family’s general ignorance of the fact that they were considered strange by others. Pugsley and Wednesday didn’t really mean any harm when they brought a pet tarantula as a boy’s birthday gift, nor did Gomez think it was a bad idea to run for mayor because taxes were too low. Each episode would end with both the Addams family and the ‘normal’ world learning something new about each other after plenty of fish-out-of-water laughs.

The Addams Family was moderately popular in its time but only ran for two seasons. This happened for two reasons: it had competition from The Munsters that split its audience in half, and the show was not held in high regard by network executives. However, The Addams Family gained a new lease on life in syndication, boosted by Saturday morning cartoon and feature film versions in later decades.

The Addams Family

Gomez and Morticia had one of the most loving relationships on TV in the 1960s.

A major reason the show remains so popular is that it allows those who feel ‘different’ to know there is no shame in being that way. The Addams Family was always painted as a caring family unit that expressed their feelings freely while the outside world was painted as uptight, intolerant, and hypocritical. Indeed, The Addams Family allows non-conformists everywhere to rejoice in the fact that they are different—ooky, even.

In 1973-74 Hanna Barbera/NBC broadcast a cartoon version of the show with Ted Cassidy and Jackie Coogan voicing their roles as per the series. In this cartoon series Pugsley was voiced by the then 8 year old Jodie Foster. And in 1992 Hanna-Barbera produced another cartoon version to tie-in with the pair of big budget films made by Paramount in the early nineties.

production details
USA / ABC – Filmways / 64×30 minute episodes / Broadcast 18 September 1964 – 2 September 1966 black and white

Creator: Charles Addams / Executive Producer: David Levy / Theme Music: Vic Mizzy / Producer: Nat Perrin

cast
JOHN ASTIN as Gomez Addams
CAROLYN JONES as Morticia Addams
TED CASSIDY as Lurch
JACKIE COOGAN as Uncle Fester
BLOSSOM ROCK as Grandmamma Addams
LISA LORING as Wednesday Addams
KEN WEATHERWAX as Pugsley Addams
FELIX SILLA as Cousin Itt
TONY MAGRO as Voice of Itt

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TV

Christmas Princess (UP 2017, Nicole Munoz, Zak Santiago)

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Christmas Princess Nicole Munoz

Christmas Princess is the true story of Donaly Marquez who, through a childhood of neglect and abuse, achieved her dream of becoming a rose bowl princess. An inspirational story of resilience, strength and finding a family to call your own.

cast
Nicole Muñoz as Donaly Marquez
Rosa Blasi as Sara
Zak Santiago as Ignacio Marquez
Olivia Steele Falconer as Emily Marquez
Jaedon Siewert as Abraham Marquez
Lina Renna as Young Donaly
Paloma Kwiatkowski as Chloe
Ty Wood as Trent
Pendo Muema as Monique
Kalyn Miles as Maria
Kaaren de Zilva as Roberta
Garfield Wilson as Dr. Miller
Clay St. Thomas as Judge #1
Patti Allan as Judge #2
Natalie von Rotsburg as Judge #3

crew details
Director: Allan Harmon
Writer: Tracy Andreen

production details
Country: Canada
Network and Production Companies: UP
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 10 December 2017

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Christmas Reunion, A (Lifetime 2015, Catherine Hicks, Denise Richards)

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A Christmas Reunion Lifetime

In A Christmas Reunion a Madison Avenue executive, Amy, discovers an unusual Christmas surprise when she inherits her Aunt’s hometown bakery. The real surprise comes when she learns the other half of the bakery was left to her long-ago boyfriend, Jack.

Unresolved personal issues resurface between them, as the exes return home to co-manage the store, along with its traditional holiday cookie bake-off.

cast
Denise Richards as Amy Stone
Patrick Muldoon as Jack Evans
Jake Busey as Dylan Carruthers
Catherine Hicks as Aunt Linda
Parker Stevenson as Don Dupree
Patricia De Leon as Janette Crowder
Jon Briddell as Luke Crowder
Robert R. Shafer as Frank O’Brien
Anna Barnholtz as Chloe
John Colton as Steve Evans
Sandra Evans as Shari
Brody Fitzgerald as Young Jack Evans
Michael Gaglio as Earl Pratt, Sr.
Gib Gerard as Earl Pratt, Jr.
Joyce Greenleaf as Helen

crew details
Director: Sean Olson
Writers: Margaret Base, Mary Glenn, Sam Irvin, Sean Olson, Peter Sullivan, Michael Varrat

production details
Country: USA
Network and Production Companies: Lifetime – Hybrid
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: 13 December 2015

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TV

Final Vision (ID 2017, Scott Foley, Dave Annable)

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Final Vision ID

Final Vision is a twisted psychological thriller and a true-crime drama based on the longest running criminal case in U.S. history. It’s the story of Jeffrey MacDonald (Foley), a handsome, Ivy League-educated U.S. Army Green Beret doctor, who was convicted of brutally murdering his pregnant wife and two young daughters in the middle of the night.

Told through the eyes of best-selling author Joe McGinniss (Annable), who was approached by MacDonald to write a book about his personal nightmare as he was about to go to trial.

cast
Scott Foley as Jeffrey MacDonald
Dave Annable as Joe McGinniss
John Doman as Bernie Segal
Lochlyn Munro as Wade Smith
Jessica Harmon as Colette MacDonald
Caroline Aaron as Leslie Sterling
Primo Allon as MP Sergeant
Julia Maren Baker as Kimberly MacDonald
Julia Benson as Nancy McGinniss
Baylee Breen-Wood as Kristen MacDonald
April Cameron as Nurse at St. Mary’s
Aaron Craven as James Blackburn
Bruce Dawson as Doctor
Parveen Dosanjh as Woman at Party
Lane Edwards as Brian Murtagh

crew details
Writer: Denis O’Neill
Director:  Nicholas McCarthy
Executive Producers: Angela Bromstad, Christine Connor, Linda Berman S

production details
Country:  USA
Network and Production Companies: ID – Lincoln Square Productions
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From:  Sunday 10 December 2017

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