Episode 201 - THE SPOTLIGHT

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Episode 201 - THE SPOTLIGHT

Post by Episode Guide » Tue Jun 23, 2015 8:00 pm

Date: May 16, 1965

Summary: Ben invites retired opera star Angela Bergstrom to perform at the Virginia City anniversary celebration. She accepts, neglecting to admit that she no longer has her famous singing voice.

Written by: Dick Carr
Directed by: Gerd Oswald
Guest Stars: Viveca Lindfors (Angela Bergstrom), Ron Randell (Carleton)

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Slideshow courtesy of Adamant

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Re: Episode 201 - THE SPOTLIGHT

Post by Adamant » Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:25 pm

Although this isn't probably on anyone's list of fave episodes, it contains some delightful moments such as the bet between Hoss and Joe that Miss Bergstrom can't keep talking--and the pay-off (she talks incessantly!) It also is poignant in that it presents what happens to performers when their talent had left them. It also has Minnie Brown--remember her from "Enter Thomas Bowers" when she attempts to sing?--who Ben auditions as Angela's accompanist. Ben is so polite!

I do find it interesting that even though Angela talks about Sweden, no one mentions that Hoss' mother was Swedish. And this also contains the throwaway line from Joe about 'We got rid of him," when Hoss starts reciting Shakespeare. It is assumed ML is referring to PR having left the series early after he fulfilled his contracts. I think TV Land cuts it out.

And also, if you notice during the slide show, when Ben is looking at playbills in the office, the poster of Mazeppa (considered a cheap, trashy piece during that time by legitimate theater owners) is behind him on the wall. Ah, Magnificent Adah, relegated to the background scenery! :laughing
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Re: Episode 201 - THE SPOTLIGHT

Post by daisy60 » Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:32 pm

I love the way Hoss and Joe were making fun of Miss Bergstrom's constant yakking. It wasn't the best episode but it had it's moments. I liked the ending with Miss Bergstrom showing up to hear her former accompanist and he introduces her.

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Re: Episode 201 - THE SPOTLIGHT

Post by Tracy » Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:55 pm

Adamant wrote: I do find it interesting that even though Angela talks about Sweden, no one mentions that Hoss' mother was Swedish.
I always notice this, as well. It seems that if anyone mentions having been born in New Orleans, having been to New Orleans, having thought about going to New Orleans, having read about . . . you get my drift - SOMEone mentions that Joe's mother was from New Orleans. But nothing about Inger and her Swedish roots.
Adamant wrote:And this also contains the throwaway line from Joe about 'We got rid of him," when Hoss starts reciting Shakespeare. It is assumed ML is referring to PR having left the series early after he fulfilled his contracts.
This apparently impromptu line bothers me, and I wish they'd cut if from the DVDs. When an actor "flubbs" his or her line, the director yells, "Cut!", and the portion of the scene is redone. This should have happened in this instance.

The "powers that be" left that line in the episode, and it was left in when the DVDs were made. While it bothers me that Mike said it, it bothers me more that it was left in the episode and on the DVD releases.

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Re: Episode 201 - THE SPOTLIGHT

Post by Adamant » Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:19 am

I see ML's ad-lib remark--I doubt it was in the script--as the bravado of a small boy who has been hurt and trying to pretend he hasn't been--just like his comment about shortening the dining table and only laying three settings after PR left. After all, that injured small child we once were is always deep inside us. So if ML could joke about it, then no one could see how painful it was and how much it hurt. ML was the one who always convinced a recalcitrant PR to say a line or play a scene or follow directions because ML wanted to keep his family together and for everyone to get along. And PR always ended up giving in and dping what had been asked. And it seems--from what I've read--as if ML admired PR as well. It is only after PR left that ML said things that suggested they didn't particularly care for each other but I don't think that's true. And then PR went and broke up the "family" and not w/o hurting feelings. How awful that must have been for the young actor with such a tumultuous real family history.

So I forgive ML. Although I am a bit surprised that the director allowed it but then, maybe they were all angry with PR and the things he said or allegedly said about them and the show.
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Re: Episode 201 - THE SPOTLIGHT

Post by ellen » Fri Jul 17, 2015 12:44 pm

I don't have a problem with the "we got rid of him" comment staying in the episode. I'm sure in that time frame the fighting between PR and the producers was causing stress on the set with the cast and the crew. ML just made a quick joke. I don't see it as a big insult to PR - maybe a little one.
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Re: Episode 201 - THE SPOTLIGHT

Post by Tracy » Fri Jul 17, 2015 12:56 pm

ellen wrote: I don't see it as a big insult to PR - maybe a little one.
I see it as unprofessional.

Unprofessional that it was said in front of crew and other cast members, unprofessional that ML, LG, and or DB didn't ask that the director "cut" and redo the scene, unprofessional that the director and any others "higher-ups" on the set didn't redo the scene, and unprofessional that, in the editing process, someone with authority didn't question whether or not they should leave it in.

It was a one-time case of going over the top, I know. It bothers me, but I still love the show and everyone in it.

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Re: Episode 201 - THE SPOTLIGHT

Post by daisy60 » Fri Jul 17, 2015 1:22 pm

I agree with Adament, mainly because of reading interviews with both Michael and later, with Pernell. Michael had a lot of past hurt but, according to Pernell, he was the one who would try to talk to TPTB, to allow Pernell time off to do other roles and defended him when there were negative comments made about Pernell. Pernell later said he didn't realize his leaving would hurt some of them and wished he could go back and change that. He also said he should have stayed a few more years.

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Re: Episode 201 - THE SPOTLIGHT

Post by Sharry » Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:04 pm

daisy60 wrote:I agree with Adament, mainly because of reading interviews with both Michael and later, with Pernell. Michael had a lot of past hurt but, according to Pernell, he was the one who would try to talk to TPTB, to allow Pernell time off to do other roles and defended him when there were negative comments made about Pernell. Pernell later said he didn't realize his leaving would hurt some of them and wished he could go back and change that. He also said he should have stayed a few more years.
I don't personally remember reading a lot of post exit interviews myself, but I don't doubt that Michael would have been one of Pernell's biggest defenders. I can see him being a big negotiator on behalf of 'his family'. I also don't think Pernell would have hurt any of them on purpose. He was doing what he thought was best at the time, and whatever someone ultimately decides to do in a difficult situation, no one can really go back despite wanting to change some aspect of circumstances. I hope they all worked it out personally between themselves, and suspect that they did.

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Re: Episode 201 - THE SPOTLIGHT

Post by Adamant » Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:28 pm

Sharry wrote:...and suspect that they did.
They did. ML saw PR at a hospital--ML's mother was a patient and PR visited her while he was there. From what I' read about that incident, they were happy to see one another. I often wonder if PR visited ML when he was in such frail condition. My gut tells me he did.

But in this episode, it looks to me as if ML is going the extra mile to show that they can function w/o PR and ML's jokes and such seem a bit forced. It's a bit awkward.
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