While it seems a bit corny at times now, "That Girl" still offers some fun moments and certainly maintains a place in sitcom history. The series, which ran from 1966-1971, was the first show that featured a woman as an independent lead character instead of the sidekick or one-dimensional romantic interest.
The series starred Marlo Thomas as Ann Marie, an aspiring actress who spends her days working at the stand (I wish gum was still 5 cents, as it is in the pilot) in an office building. In the first episode, she's picked to be "That Girl" (!) by a director looking for a woman to star in his new ad. It's a job that's almost taken out from under her when she's saved by office worker Donald (Ted Bessell, who has great chemistry with Thomas, as well as the other way around), who isn't aware that the situation's an ad and that she's not really in trouble. The two meet cute, bicker and debate over who gets a desk, but by the time the credits roll, their attraction has made itself known and the two start seeing one another.
From there, the series sees Anne officially moving to New York City (via a cute little intro that's primitively animated before cutting to NYC footage), developing her relationship with Donald and struggling to make a go of it as an actress, taking on little gigs (in the second episode, she's offered a job on a kids show as a mop) and trying to get something bigger. While the series understandably looks a bit dated, it's still energetic and funny, with a great performance by Thomas and fine supporting efforts from Bessell and the pairing of Lew Parker and Rosemary Decamp as Ann's parents. Young women today heading off into the world on their own may also enjoy "That Girl", as well.
The third season of the series follows the further adventures of actress Anne Marie (Thomas) and boyfriend Donald (Ted Bessell). Highlights include: "Secret Ballot" (Ann keeps her choice for present to herself), "The Face in the Shower Room Door" (Ann gets stuck in her new shower), "Ann Vs. Secretary" (Ann is dismayed when she thinks that Donald's new secretary is trying to steal him away from her), "Should All our Old Acquaintances be Forgot" (Ann and Donald want to ring in the New Year together, but get interrupted when Ann's parents show up), "Eye of the Beholder" (Ann gets a awful art piece from Donald) and "Dark on Top of Everything Else" (Ann gets trapped in the basement at her parents' house, requiring a rescue from Donald.)
1 Sock It To Me
2 The Hi-Jack And The Mighty
3 Eleven Angry Men And That Girl
4 7 ľ (Part 1)
5 7 ľ (Part 2)
6 Secret Ballot
1 The Face In The Shower Room Door
2 A Muggy Day In Central Park
3 Just Donald And Me And Jerry Makes Three
4 The Seventh Time Around
5 Ann vs. Secretary
6 Decision Before Dawn
7 Should All Our Old Acquaintances Be Forgot
1 The Homewrecker And The Window Washer
2 The Eye Of The Beholder
3 Dark On Top Of Everything Else
4 The Earrings
5 Many Happy Returns
6 My Sisterís Keeper
Disc 4 1 There Was A Time Ann Met A Pie Man
2 The Subject Was Rabies
3 The Defiant One
4 Fly Me To The Moon
5 Itís So Nice To Have A Mouse Around The House
6 Bad Day At Marvin Gardens
7 Sue Me, Sue Me, What Can You Do To Me?
VIDEO: "That Girl" is presented by Shout Factory in 1.33:1 full-frame. For a show from the 60's, "Girl" looks surprisingly fresh. Sharpness and detail aren't remarkable (nor would one expect the series to look razor sharp), but the picture still does at least look consistently crisp throughout.
There are some scattered flaws on display here (some minor specks and debris on the elements, as well as some slight hints of shimmering), but they're relatively minor and I'll still say that the show looks in good shape for its age. Colors remain bright and nicely saturated throughout, with no issues.
SOUND: The mono soundtrack, while basic and a tad thin, is still clear and crisp.
EXTRAS: Shout Factory has done a marvelous job pulling together some great supplements for this set, which are sure to delight fans of the series. Marlo Thomas and series co-creator Bill Persky offer audio commentaries for "The Face in the Shower Room Door", "My Sister's Keeper", "It's So Nice to Have a Mouse Around the House" and "Bad Day at Marvin Gardens".The two do get caught up in watching the episodes at times, but when they do chat, they do offer some good insights into working on the series, some of the early uncertainty, jokes that they think still get a laugh and some other background details about the series.
"That Show...That Woman..."The Creation of That Girl: The Woman on Both Sides of the Camera" is the lengthy title for the "making of" featurette included on the DVD. We also get makeup test footage with Marlo Thomas.
Final Thoughts: "That Girl" is a bit corny at times, but Thomas offers a great lead performance and the show remains a fun series that holds up pretty well. The DVD set is quite nice, offering very good audio/video quality, as well as a solid set of supplements that should delight the show's fans.