TJGS Episode 8: Judy Garland, A Baseball Coach, A TV Actor and a Pack of Hillbillys

This is the strangest assortment of guests yet, and all ordered by Hunt Stromberg, Jr.  as an attempt to appeal to a wide array of folks.  Judy Garland chatting with Leo Duroscher, coach of the LA Dodgers?  She knows nothing about baseball, freely admits it, and while she's very sweet and convivial, it makes for a bewildering three or four minutes.  And then there's the idea of matching her up with The Dillards, a downhome bluegrass band that had been featured on The Andy Griffith Show.  Round it out with George Maharis of "Route 66" and you have one of the very reasons I said earlier that these Jewison produced shows seem more "daytime".  The guests assembled are of the caliber you might easily find on a chatty daytime talk show, all clumped together with little thought to chemistry or cohesiveness.

One thing the show does have going for it?  Judy's vocals are back in top shape, she sounds and looks at ease, and thank the Lord the guests stopped insulting Judy through song.  The show itself is a very polished production, very streamlined and with little of the stumbles and stammers that marred earlier episodes.  The material is not great, the writing's pretty flat, but it's executed well by the performers.  The cast may be selling shit, but they sell it with panache!

The highlights of this program?  Judy and George Maharis sing a lovely arrangement  of "Side By Side" with beautiful harmonies, and they seem to love being with each other. 

Highlight number two is this near perfect rendition of "I Wish You Love".  So lush and poignant.