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Don't worry - I'm not going to subject you to extensive reviews of "The Mothers-in-Law" any more than I would "Petticoat Junction." But I was a classic, latchkey child growing up, and The Mothers-in-Law is a show that I watched dozens of times, so I thought I'd watch the first episode as a reminiscence.

I had no idea the Executive Producer was Desi Arnaz, and this must have been premiered right after the breakup of Desilu Productions (which went defunct in 1967).

This aired on NBC, and I read that they aired it on Sunday evenings against "The Ed Sullivan Show," which pretty much guaranteed a short run; I'm pretty sure I only caught afternoon reruns, although I don't remember. I recall, for some odd reason, liking Eve Arden as a child - my son accuses me of being a "hipster," of all things, because I eschew popularity (I dispute this, but that's another subject) - anyway, if it were true, my liking Eve Arden as a young child would be an obvious early example of such a thing. Yes, she was very popular, but not among young children.

The most striking inconsistency in this show is the role of Roger Buell, which was played by Roger C. Carmel in season one, and Richard Deacon in season two. Does anyone know if unannounced character changes are as common these days as they were fifty years ago? it used to happen fairly often.

"The Mothers-in-Law's" premise is two neighboring families, Eve and Herb Hubbard (played by Eve Arden and Herbert Rudley), and Kaye and Roger Buell (played by Kaye Ballard and Roger C. Carmel / Richard Deacon). Son Jerry Buell (Jerry Fogel) married daughter Suzie Hubbard (Deborah Walley), hence the entanglement of the two families, and the name of the series - Eve Arden and Kaye Ballard being the "mothers-in-law." 

Considering how silly and unremarkable the show was, there are some fairly big names throughout the cast, and between Desi Arnaz, Madelyn Davis (aka Madelyn Pugh), and Bob Carroll, Jr., it's little wonder that "The Mothers-in-Law" was a screwball comedy in a similar vein to "I Love Lucy."

Anyway, what harm is there in watching the first episode?

Season One (Sep 10, 1967 - Apr 28, 1968)

1.1 - "On Again, Off Again, Lohengrin" - Sep 10, 1967 - Screenshot 2017-09-04 at 1.57.47 AM.png
Directed by Desi Arnaz - (Ricky Ricardo on "I Love Lucy."), Written by Madelyn Davis (Writer or Co-Writer of 181 episodes of "I Love Lucy" (2)) and Bob Carroll, Jr. (Writer or Co-Writer of 181 episodes of "I Love Lucy" (3))

[This is a standard sit-com opener where the characters are introduced, the wives get into a fight, they cry and make up (that's the picture), the wedding is announced, and the future mothers-in-law meddle in the wedding - there's nothing special at all here. "Lohengrin" - aside from being a famous opera by Richard Wagner - is also a medieval Germanic legend about a knight (Lohengrin) who comes to rescue and defend a duchess - the obvious reference being to the mothers-in-law and their meddling.]

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