Angel (1960)

CBS (ended 1961)



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Angel (1960)

Show Summary

Petite young French girl Angel has just moved to America and married her American sweetheart John Smith. Adjusting to American life is not easy, but it's very funny!

Angel was created by Jess Oppenheimer, who also served as executive producer and who earlier had created and produced the iconic I Love Lucy, and there were similarities between the two series. French actress Annie Fargé starred as naive but well-meaning French-born housewife Angelique "Angel" Smith, living in California with her American husband, architect John Smith, played by Marshall Thompson, who later starred in the CBS adventure series Daktari . Like Lucy Ricardo, Angel would sometimes find herself involved in innocent mischief, and like Ricky Ricardo, she had occasional difficulty making herself understood in English, with comical results. The Smiths' neighbors were Susie (played by Doris Singleton, who earlier had an occasional role on I Love Lucy as Carolyn Appleby) and her husband George (character actor Don Keefer), who were roughly equivalent to the Mertzes. Despite the clout provided by Oppenheimer, whose named and animated image were featured prominently alongside the show's two main stars in the opening, and by Annie Fargé being hailed by Time magazine as the most promising newcomer to television situation comedy, Angel did not fare well against the competition, mainly two other sitcoms, ABC's My Three Sons and NBC's Bachelor Father, and was cancelled after one season.

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  • Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, all rolled into one.

    "Angel (1960)" was created by Jess Oppenheimer, who was a writer for "I Love Lucy", and it shows. Angel is a pretty young French girl who has just moved to the U.S.A. and married her sweetheart, young architect Johnny Smith. Her French accent makes her resemble Ricky Ricardo, and the situations she gets into make her resemble Lucy somewhat. Still, she longed to be a good American-style housewife to Johnny, whom she loved very much. Johnny was the straight man, and was ever patient. The Smith's neighbors and best friends were George and Suzie, more or less like the Mertzes, albeit perhaps a little more sophisticated. Suzie (Doris Singleton, who guest-starred in a few episodes of "I Love Lucy") sometimes tries to disabuse Angel of the notion that their marriage can be blissful. When Angel starts to believe her, Johnny comes and reassures her. George worked with Johnny at the office.

    "Angel" lasted one season (1960-61, CBS) before being cancelled due to poor ratings. Annie Farge, who starred as Angel, was called a promising newcomer, but did little acting after the show's cancellation. Marshall Thompson (Johnny) would go on to star in the safari adventure series "Daktari". "Angel" has been little seen since its cancellation, which is a shame.moreless
  • Fourmula sitcom about inter-national marriage and the confusion a foriegner has with America, a distaff version of Ricky Ricardo.

    In 1960, after Desilu's most famous product, Lucy and Ricky Ricardo ceased production due to the divorce of Lucy and Desi Arnaz, they produced this series about a French girl who has married an American, and settles in suburban California. It's somewhat reminiscent of "Ricky"s plight, how to make sense of an alien culture and deal with an oft times hard to understand spouse. Writer/producer Jess Oppenhiemer was responsible for both, and the impression was that he thought he could just recycle a lot of old material and it would be as appreciated as I Love lucy. Indeed, the classic bit of business where Ricky can't fathom the English pronouncing variables of words with "ough" is restaged with Angel.In another episode a "nieghbor's house" is the Ricardo's living room, the set still dressed from their final shooting in March, 1960.

    Annie Farge` was a Parisian pixie, probably not five feet tall, with big sad gamin eyes. She mugs it up constantly, pouting, knitting her eyebrows, stomping her feet, and in general over acting and overstating how cute she is. Marshall Thompson, probably most famous for his later series Daktari, had to take this job because of serious financial difficulties. He'd been a minor contract player at MGM. He's a real square. He has no sense of humor,and not much patience before he starts bellowing orders at her. He's got the ultimate safe sitcom job : he's an architect. His character's name is John Smith. Together, they seem to argue, often screaming at each other. Not funny.

    Angel is easily confused and the comedy should spring from her misunderstanding English words or American customs, but they always seemed to only go so far. She's gullible to the point of being stupid, but we're instead offered that in France, nobody ever lies or cheats anyone, so how could she know?

    Her nieghbors are young Fred and Ethel clones, dripping with wise cracks and vitriol for each other.They often touch off men vs. the women stories, inspired by just how supposedly happy the young couple are- they can't stand it. He's jealous of Johnny because his own wife is so nasty, and she's so embarrassed that Angel cheerfully does all the housework without complaining, she's got to make her more like her. Apparently in France, women are perfect wives, made up and dressed like Jackie Kennedy at 6 AM. What a nice place France must be! Angel wrapped up after only 33 episodes, primarily due it's going up against ABC' smash new hit, My Three Sons. and outside of a few small guest spots on programmes like The Rifleman and Perry Mason, Miss Farge seems to have taken her own French leave about 1965.moreless

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