The 1965 ABC-Screen Gems sitcom of GIDGET, based on the the adventures of author Frederick Kohner's real-life daughter (which had already formed the basis for the 1959 Sandra Dee movie "Gidget" and a slew of sequels). It launched the career of promising up-and-coming actress Sally Field, whose heroine became the quintessential picture of 1960s wholesomeness and girl-next-door charm.
Frances Lawrence, known as Gidget to her family and friends, spends every spare moment on the beach at Malibu where she surfs and enjoys harebrained adventures, though her married sister Anne loves to interfere with Gidget's plans. GIDGET suffered from poor ratings and only lasted for one full season before being shelved, though the show did generate some interest during summer re-runs. However, a second season could not be filmed due to Sally Field having been all but signed to do "The Flying Nun", and GIDGET was axed altogether.
The series remains pleasant and enjoyable viewing with fine performances from the entire cast, particularly Don Porter ("Private Secretary") as Gidget's widowed father Russ and Lynette Winter ("The Parent Trap") as Gidget's shy best friend Larue. Sally Field, in her first big starring vehicle, is perky, appealing and everything else we expect Gidget to be. The rest of the cast includes Betty Conner, Pete Duel and Michael Nader. Keep an eye out for several guest stars including Richard Dreyfuss, Bonnie Franklin, Barbara Hershey and Henry Jaglom.
Sony Pictures has released the entire series of GIDGET in this well-presented boxset, joining their other outstanding season-sets of "Bewitched", "The Flying Nun" and "I Dream of Jeannie".
Extras include the rarely-seen original pilot episode as well as a brand-new retrospective interview with Sally Field.
COMPLETE EPISODE LISTING:
"Dear Diary...Et Al" - Anne reads Gidget's diary and assumes her sister's highly imaginative entries are true.
"In God and Nobody Else, We Trust" - Anne begins to worry when John escorts Gidget to a luau.
"The Great Kahuna" - An older man dates Gidget as part of a plan to make his girlfriend jealous.
"Daddy Come Home!" - Gidget becomes concerned when her father begins dating a woman she suspects is a gold-digger.
"Gidget Gadget" - When Anne and John have a major spat, it's up to Gidget to play marriage counsellor.
"A Hearse a Hearse, My Kingdom for a Hearse" - Deciding she should have her own means of transportation, Gidget becomes the part-owner of a broken-down hearse.
"Gidget is a Proper Noun" - Gidget is convinced her new English teacher hates her.
"Image Scrimmage" - Gidget becomes infatuated with Larue's cousin Roger.
"Is it Love or Symbiosis?" - Anne and John convince Russ he's too dependent on Gidget, so he decides to send her to a private school in Paris.
"All the Best Diseases are Taken" - When the price of movie tickets begins to go up, Gidget organises a demonstration to bring them back down.
"My Ever-Faithful Friend?" - Gidget helps Larue look more attractive by giving her a makeover, and then becomes alarmed when she thinks her father has become attracted to her.
"Chivalry Isn't Dead" - Gidget and her friends come up with a scheme to stop their boyfriends from taking them for granted.
"The War Between Men, Women and Gidget" - An isolated beach cove becomes the object of a battle between the boys, Gidget and her girlfriends.
"Gidget's Foreign Policy" - Gidget educates a foreign bride-to-be in the "American way" and nearly wrecks her impending marriage.
"Now There's a Face" - Gidget falls for a fashion photographer, not realising he's engaged to be married.
"Too Many Cooks" - Gidget unintentionally makes a date to go to the dance with both of the Cook brothers.
"I Love You, I Love You, I Love You...I Think" - Gidget develops a crush on a surfer, not realising he's her new math teacher.
"Like Voodoo" - When accidents begin to happen, Gidget believes a fortune-telling gypsy has put a curse on her.
"Gidget's Career" - When Gidget's singing group gets to perform on TV, she changes their name to "Gidget and the Gories".
"Ego a-Go-Go" - Gidget decides to build Durf the Drag's self-confidence by inviting him to the Spinster Hop.
"In and Out with the In-laws" - When Jeff suddenly invites Gidget to meet his parents, she mistakenly believes he's going to propose.
"We Got Each Other" - Although jealous of her father's dates, Gidget tries to prove she's not.
"Operation Shaggy Dog" - When her favourite hamburger joint is threatened to be torn down, it's Gidget to the rescue!
"Ringa-Ding-Dingbat" - The fab British singing duo, The Dingbats, is in town, and their biggest fan Gidget hatches a scheme to meet them.
"Love and the Single Gidget" - When Russ goes out of town, Anne and John hire a college student to keep an eye on Gidget.
"Independence, Gidget-Style" - When Gidget gets a job to buy Russ a birthday present, he mistakenly believes she's working in a nightclub.
"One More for the Road" - Gidget's new job requires her to learn how to drive.
"Ask Helpful Hannah" - Taking over the school magazine's advice column, Gidget gets wrapped up in bringing two lonely hearts together.
"A Hard Night's Night" - Unaware Russ invited a friend to stay in their home while he's away, Gidget begins to believe that the house is haunted.
"I Have This Friend Who..." - When her boyfriend's father insists on coming along on their dates, Gidget tries to find a way to discourage him.
"Don't Defrost the Alligator" - To comfort her new young friend over the death of his pet alligator, Gidget preserves the remains in her family's freezer.
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About the reviewer
Byron Kolln (Byron_Kolln)
Byron has been actively involved in theatre since the age of 12. He has had a great variety of roles (both on-stage and off). In addition he has hosted the long-running "Show Business" programme … more
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Gidgetlaunched the career of the ever-perky Sally Field (who decades later still looks like the sweetie-pie beach bunny she played in the mid-'60s series). The show is a valentine to Southern California, surfing, and plucky girl power--in fact, Gidget's self-aware musings and intrepid ways of getting out of trouble lay the groundwork for later TV heroines like Buffy and Veronica Mars. The show's aged surprisingly well, mostly because of the undeniable charms of Field, who seems to take her teenage "horror stories"--as when squeeze Jeff (a.k.a. Moon Doggie) is poised to return to Princeton and suggests they date other people--with a knowing grain of salt. The teen drama is all a bit tongue in cheek, since it's clear nothing will get our Gidget down for long. The dialogue is a real treat, a crazy mix of late film noir ("How old's the underripe tomato?") and pre-Summer of Love hipster California-speak ("Well, look at all the wiggy birds around here!"). The set includes all 32 episodes, with a short interview with Field, who has a lot of affection for her young persona--as do we all, Daddy-o.--A.T. Hurley