Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Lotsa Luck - The Complete Series|
Actors: Dom DeLuise, Kathleen Freeman, Wynn Irwin, Beverly Sanders, Jack Knight
Genres: Comedy, Television
Lotsa Luck was the first TV show to showcase the comic brilliance and acting skills of Dom DeLuise, although he did go on to star in a couple of other short lived shows. The writing on the series was crisp, funny, and bril... more »
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The Orange Toilet
The Big RG | West Coast | 10/27/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had never heard of this show back in 1973 but then again I was only 12 years old at the time. Still, I happened to find this show amongst all the DVDs here at Amazon and it looked so interesting that I happen to place it in my shopping cart for later purchase. After several months of saving up for it I finally bought it and I am here to write a review of it.
I was a bit worried that I had wasted my money on a bomb of a show but it turned out to be a wise investment. I've always been a Dom Deluise fan so for that matter alone the show had something going for it. I noticed immediately the quick and sharp writing, and soon I found myself laughing, which is something I rarely do with today's TV. From the very beginning familar faces like Mona Freeman and Beverly Sanders from the old days of television (we're talking '70s old here) soon sprouted up and added to the entertainment.
The show centers around a guy (Deluise) who works as a custodian at the bus company, but who is a bachelor still living at home with his mother. That's bad enough, but he also has to live under the same roof with his sister and her husband, who are also still living at home. The sister is what they used to call "kooky" in the old days, and her husband, an out-of-work slob with a lisp who does nothing but hang around the house all day in his bathrobe, add for some funny situations for Deluise to play off of.
This DVD set consisting of 4 DVDs also contains the pilot, which really should be called "The Orange Toilet." The plumbing goes bad in the upstairs bathroom (probably the only one they have in this Brooklyn NY tenament) and Dom and the gang end up going toilet-hunting. They settle on of all things an orange colored toilet. Have you ever seen a toilet that's colored orange? Well get ready for some good laughs as the family brings home the toilet which Deluise installs himself.
For a show that's almost 35 years old and was running in prime time amongst such popular shows of the day like "All In The Family," "The Brady Bunch" and "The Carol Burnett Show," this is a breath of fresh air if you're longing for a time when TV brought us true entertainment 7 days a week.
The shows were done on videotape, though the opening credits are on film, and they are in marvelous condition. Sharp, crisp, very good quality. The theme song is a bit corny and reminds me of the opening credits to "Cheers." That I could do without. As for the discs and case, I can't say it's done cheaply, but an episode guide wouldn't have hurt the company's wallet. There are 22 episodes plus "The Orange Toilet" pilot. No Christmas episode, which would have been nice.
Lastly, I was rather surprised about the frequent use of sexual innuendo jokes which wasn't stylish yet until four years later with the debut of "Three's Company." But that type of humor I have always welcomed. I was just surprised to hear it so early in 70s television.
If anything, buy this for taking a trip back in time once more to what television in 1973 had to offer. You won't be disappointed."
The poor guy never got his color TV . . .
trebe | 02/14/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Family based sitcoms in the 1950's, were mostly about idyllic situations, with shows like Leave It To Beaver, Father Knows Best, and The Donna Reed Show, being just a few examples. In the 60's, programs about ideal families were still around, but some of the most popular comedies, were about weird or atypical families. The Beverly Hillbillies, The Munsters, Bewitched, and The Adams Family, to name a few. In the 70's, All In The Family (1971) started an era, where abrasiveness, irreverence, and harsh criticism within the family unit, came into vogue. Programs like Sanford and Son, and Norman Lear's spinoffs, The Jeffersons, and Maude, soon followed. Another program that appears to be part of the attempt to ride this wave, is Dom DeLuise's Lotsa Luck (1973).
Lotsa Luck, like All In The Family, was based on a program that originated in Britain. Lotsa Luck had an impressive creative staff, with Carl Reiner the creator of The Dick Van Dyke Show, partnering with Bill Persky and Sam Danoff, the team that created That Girl. The opening credits have a depression era vibe, for this comedy about a family living in Brooklyn, New York. Quite timely, as the energy crisis would soon contribute to plunging the country into a recession, that would last for several years (1973-75).
In part, this is a comedy about coping with hard times. Dom DeLuise is Stanley Belmont, a worker in the lost and found department, of a bus company. He lives in a two storey house with his mother, played by comedic veteran Kathleen Freeman. As in most families, 'Ma' is the glue that holds the family together. For Stanley, guilt and responsibility are strong factors, as he feels the need to live up to a promise he made to his dead father, to provide for the family, which also includes his younger sister Olive (Beverly Sanders), and her chronically unemployed husband Arthur (Wynn Irwin).
Stanley is the sole source of income for the family of four, and much of what happens, is related to money, or the lack thereof. Still watching a black and white set, Stanley's big dream is to save up enough to buy a color TV, but unexpected expenses, always seems to come up. His brother-in-law refuses to get a job, and has been living rent free, with Stanley paying his bills, for the seven years he has been married to Olive. This understandably, is a source of constant resentment and fiction between them, as Stanley frequently comments about how much food Arthur consumes. Stanley, is not as harsh or crude as Archie Bunker, but they may have similar viewpoints regarding freeloading family members. While Archie gets into politics, and has marital issues to deal with, Stanley is a bachelor with an interest in female companionship.
As Olive, Beverly Sanders wears thick glasses, speaks in an annoying nasal tone, and is generally made up to appear very plain and unattractive. Olive is not too bright, and is hopelessly devoted to her loser of a husband, who displays almost no affection for her. Their lack of a love life, is another target of Stanley's barbs. Arthur spends his days dressed in a bathrobe, and has no shame about the way he lives. Fortunately he is just lazy, and not a criminal, or even worse.
Things are mostly centered around Stanley's home life, as the rest of the family spend almost all of their time there. When Stanley is at work, he often hangs with his long time buddy Bummy (Jack Knight), a bus driver, and ladies man. Any episodes were Stanley is in a different setting makes for a nice change, although the most entertaining stories usually involve Stanley and a lady. In `Shall We Marry?' Stanley meets a beautiful woman who wants him to move in and live with her, but he feels guilty about leaving his mother. In 'The Talent Show', Stanley enters the company talent show and displays his skills as a magician, but his female helper upstages his act. Future Three's Company star Suzanne Somers, guests as Bummy's girlfriend, who unexpectedly falls for Stanley. In 'Stan and the Wealthy Widow', an old high school friend looking for a husband, offers Stan a job. Stanley dons a toupee to look younger to the ladies, but the makeover works a little too well, in 'The New Stan'. DeLuise's talent for physical comedy is featured in 'Get Off My Back', when Stanley injures his back in a fall. In 'Stanley and the Librarian', the circumstances surrounding Stan's decision to save his money for a color TV, according to Dom DeLuise, made this episode the most controversial of the series.
Unfortunately, Stanley never did get his color TV, and the series was cancelled after one season. The program started out with a pretty narrow focus, but by the end of the season, the scope of the stories had expanded quite a bit, demonstrating that Lotsa Luck probably had the potential to be even better, had it been extended for a second season. The writing improved, as the situations and settings became less restrictive, allowing the cast to shine a bit more, and the program became much more entertaining.
Generally regarded as a humble, and fun-loving guy, it is nice to see Dom LeLuise looking quite thin and fit here. The talented comedian, was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance in the series. This is a pretty nice set, as the DVD also features some amusing interviews with the late actor, including one where he is playing with his pet bird, a Lotsa Luck trivia quiz, and a photo gallery. The image and sound quality of the episodes is very good, although they are without chapter stops or subtitles."
An old favorite
SAM | NH | 12/11/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a series that most people won't remember, and was a favorite of my family's in the early seventies. There is no great laughs or must see TV here. The jokes are very tame, which is the charm of watching shows from that period. You have to be a fan of Dom Deluise, and the other actors on this show that appeared in many of the sitcoms from the sixties through the seventies, to appreciate this series."