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Green Acres

By Donald Liebenson

The Catalog of Cool describes Green Acres this way:

To be truly cool, one must genuinely understand the uselessness of logic and reason in a world gone mad.... Eddie Albert (ostensibly sane) spent six seasons appealing to the whacked out citizens of Hooterville to behave in a rational and orderly manner. Naturally, he got just what he deserved--the gradual erosion of his own mental stability. Aficionados of this show like to call it surreal. I call it real life.
All one can add to that, to paraphrase the classic title song, is that DVD is the place for Green Acres to be. Hooterville may have been condemned by critics as a vast wasteland, but as the first season demonstrates, it provides fertile ground for bizarre behavior for a gallery of classic characters who rival the residents of Twin Peaks.

"Oliver Buys the Farm," the series pilot, is a comparatively tame episode that gives little hint of the weirdness to come. Lawyer Oliver Wendell Douglas (Albert), weary of life in New York ("It's a rat race, and the rats are winning!" he declares) buys the Haney place to the horror of his socialite wife Lisa (Eva Gabor), whose ditziness has yet to be established. Look for appearances by Petticoat Junction denizens Uncle Joe (Edgar Buchannan), Sam Drucker (Frank Cady), Hooterville Cannonball engineer Floyd Smoot (Rufe Davis), and everyone's favorite wonder pig, Arnold Ziffel.

In "The Day of Decision," all of Hooterville wonders whether "she will" or "she won't" as Lisa chooses between life on the farm or returning to New York. Of course she stays, and in "It's Human to Be Humane," she becomes Hooterville's humane officer, which explains the elephant in the farmhouse. This video also includes "Who's Lisa," in which the amnesiac Lisa can remember everyone except Oliver. She is even transformed into a gourmet cook!

"Lisa Bakes a Cake," in which Lisa lists Oliver in the phone book as an attorney, is about as flat and heavy as one of Lisa's infamous creations. Fast-forward to "Jealousy, English Style," in which Lisa objects to Oliver's departure for a "farm symposium," or as she calls it, "a stag party with farmers." She tries to make Oliver jealous of visiting Englishman Tony Ashley, whom Oliver has hired as a temporary farm hand (Eb, we are told, is on his honeymoon!).

In "Never Look a Gift Tractor in the Mouth," Hooterville is beginning to look like Peyton Place when Doris Ziffel becomes convinced that her husband Fred and Lisa Douglas (Eva Gabor) are having an affair. And all is not well in "Water, Water Everywhere" when Mr. Haney's new well turns Hooterville's citizens into reservoir dogs forced to tap into Pixley's water supply. This video also contains two down-to-earth episodes, "Lisa's Vegetable Garden" and "Lisa's Jam Session."

While these episodes are not exactly a bumper crop, each does have its share of ripe moments that transcend the corny humor. In addition to the "eggs-quisite" credit sequence, "Lisa's Vegetable Garden" features Arnold Ziffel's uncanny Lassie imitations. "Water, Water Everywhere" benefits from the presence of venerable character actor Percy Helton (he was the drunken Santa in the original Miracle on 34th Street and Sweetface in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) as Willie the Well-Witcher. Quite provocative is one buttoned-up matron's admiring sidelong glance at the sight of general-store owner Sam Drucker draped in a towel! And throughout, Eddie Albert, as the perpetually confounded Oliver Douglas, confirms his standing as the master of the slow burn.

"Old Mail Day" also delivers some chuckles as Sam Drucker gets around to distributing all the misplaced mail in his general store. One letter to Washington from an outraged Oliver, and Sam is forced to pedal around Hooterville himself delivering the mail (to everyone except Oliver, that is). More letters to Washington only worsen the fiasco, and as the episode ends, Oliver's tar and feathering seems imminent.

In "Oliver Goes Broke," Hooterville rallies around Oliver as Bedford Falls did for George Bailey when a rumor spreads that he has gone bust. V-chip alert: Lisa snuggles up to Oliver in bed and coos, "Why don't you turn off the light, and we'll talk about crops and things like that." Even more provocative is Hank Kimball's offhanded reference to Sam Drucker's blonde wig and dress!

Perhaps Hank Kimball's finest hours are the two episodes, "Kimball Gets Fired" and "Ralph's Nuptials," in which Hank and Ralph get married (or do they?), but not before he asks Oliver to tell him the facts of life. "You love Ralph, don't you?" Oliver reassures him. "Who's Ralph Dontyou?" a more-distracted-than-usual Hank asks. Trivia to impress your friends: it is revealed that Hank's middle name is Wadsworth.

Green Acres on DVD!
Green Acres is now available on DVD! Get it at Amazon.com!
Season One, Season Two

 

Share Your Memories In Our Forums!

Check out our Green Acres forum! Do you have a favorite episode of the show? What do you remember about the series? Do you have any questions about it or its stars? Now you can post comments and questions directly to our TV forums! Click here to see what other Green Acres viewers have said or to post your own comments about the show!

Your Memories Shared!

I am the #1 "Green Acres" fan in the entire country. I didn't start watching it on a regular basis until April, 1966, starting with the Molly Turgis episode, and it has been my favorite show ever since. The late Eva Gabor, who played Lisa Doughas on the show, was not only my favorite charachter, but my very favorite actress and was the idol of my youth. I was just simply captured by her beauty, charm, and glamour. I have collected pitcures of Eva Gabor from the time that she was doing the show up to when she was going out with Merv Griffin. Of all the pictures that I have of Eva Gabor, two of them are my personal favorites, which were taken when she was doing the show. Although these are black and white pictures, she was photographed wearing this beautiful, but very sexy, light-colored print strapless gown, a medium-sized choker necklace, tiny droop earrings, and a beautiful satin stole, which was wrapped around her, just below her bare shoulders. Her beautiful blonde hair was styled just so perfectly neat and chic, and she had the brightest and sexiest smile that you could ever imagine. She was definitely one of the most beautiful and glamorous women in all of Hollywood. She looked just like a beauty queen in those two pictures, and she looked very sexy in that strapless gown. To me, she had that sexy style of glamour. I'll admit this, but I look at these two pictures every time I listen to music, especially the Motown artists. I have also combined my very favorite episodes of "GREEN ACRES" along with these pop/rock music infomercials, films, documentaries, and specials. I don't have a particular favorite "Green Acres" episode. However, I consider the Christmas episode to be the rare episode. Although it first aired on CBS back on December 21, 1966, I didn't see it again until 19 years later, on Christmas Day, 1985, when the reruns were being aired on one of the local UHF stations. It aired again on the same station around Christmas of '87, in which I taped it. However, the tape broke and I had to wait another 10 years to tape it, when the reruns were being shown on TV Land, and I have made several copies of this particular episode so I don't lose it again. One one particular tape, I have an infomercial of Dick Clark's Rock and Roll Era after this particular episode. When I heard the news of Eva Gabor's sudden illness and death, I couldn't believe it at first. Then in August of '97, my cable company added TV Land to its lineup, which at the time was airing the reruns of "Green Acres", and I just started crying on and off. I just couldn't accept the fact that Eva Gabor was dead and that I truly and deeply missed her. Although I've gotten over it now, to me she's alive today in spirit and is in a better place. In fact, I plan to visit her grave the next time that I go out to Los Angeles. Because to me, EVA GABOR STILL LIVES.

--Nan

Note: This is just a random sample of the Green Acres messages in our TV forums! Click here to see what others have said or to post your own comments!

 

TV TIDBITS

Aired: September 15, 1965 - September 7, 1971

Cast: Eddie Albert, Eva Gabor, Pat Buttram, Tom Lester, Alvy Moore, Hank Patterson

Network: CBS

Genre: Sitcom

Theme song

Image courtesy of CBS


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Eddie Albert Videos and DVDs!
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Eva Gabor Videos and DVDs!

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Copyright 1994-2017, Super70s.com. All Rights Reserved.
Use of this site is subject to our Terms of Service.
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