The Patty Duke Show Forums

ABC (ended 1966)

The Patty Duke Show

  • Avatar of tvking1

    tvking1

    [1]Sep 5, 2007
    • member since: 11/08/05
    • level: 42
    • rank: General Lee
    • posts: 513
    This was perhaps the first successful series to revolve around a teenage girl (or actually girls, counting both Patty and Cathy). As such it wouldn't be my cup of tea, except that it was one of the sitcoms from the last years of TV's Golden Age, and was a good period piece. As is the case with other old shows' forums, I don't understand why there aren't others visiting this forum, or why this is the first post here.
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  • Avatar of crazyrhythm

    crazyrhythm

    [2]Sep 30, 2007
    • member since: 07/22/05
    • level: 52
    • rank: Guzzlefish
    • posts: 1,079
    I guess the network decided to risk it because Patty had just won an Academy Award. I was glad to see that William Schallert is still alive and kicking. I caught him on an episode of My Name Is Earl last season. What a tv career that guy has had!
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  • Avatar of tvking1

    tvking1

    [3]Oct 2, 2007
    • member since: 11/08/05
    • level: 42
    • rank: General Lee
    • posts: 513
    Yes, William Schallert was one of TV's most recognized character actors, but he was a regular on The Patty Duke Show for three years as Patty's father.
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  • Avatar of tomovox

    tomovox

    [4]Feb 7, 2009
    • member since: 02/07/09
    • level: 1
    • rank: Weatherman
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    This show is remarkable in so many ways. The first and obvious point is in the actress herself, Patty Duke. Ms. Duke remarked in her book, "Call Me Anna," that she felt playing the two characters was basically a matter of playing it faster and funnier for the Patty character and slower and more serious for the character of Kathy. I got the impression she didn't feel that she had done anything earth-shattering in playing either character, but I feel she did a remarkable job of creating two distinct characters. Yes, maybe Kathy's accent wasn't region-specific (Ms. Duke states she had developed an authentic Scottish accent for Kathy, but the network or producers felt it was maybe "too authentic" for television) but it certainly didn't sound generic. There did seem to be quite a few traits and quirks given to each character, sometimes incredibly small, nearly imperceptable differences until the differences seemed so consistent, you really could believe these were two actresses. Especially in the first two seasons, you'll notice each character even had unique ways of smiling, standing or reacting. Even more astounding is when Patty Duke was pulling the neat trick of one character impersonating the other, she was detailed enough that the accent was just a bit off, the reactions or body language, even, were just a bit akward enough that you knew when Kathy wasn't really Kathy, or vice-versa.

    One of the other things I find fascinating about the show is the character of Patty. What a far cry this girl was from the norm in television at the time. She had the full range of character attributes AND character flaws. The writers weren't afraid to show the character could be sometimes plotting and calculating, manipulative and yet still be, at heart, a good, decent individual. Usually on television, especially during the 50's and 60's, the lead character (if it was a girl) was supposed to be candy-cotton sweet. Patty is completely believeable as a character because we see her as a genuine person- good and kind, but with all the regular faults and shortcomings as well.

    Finally, take note that Patty was not one to sit back and wait for things to happen. She wasn't afraid to take charge and create an opportunity or take advantage of an already existing one. Both Patty and Kathy were resourceful, very intelligent and you knew they didn't necessarily need a boy to lead the way for them- indeed, in one third season episode, it's Patty who resuces her boyfriend, Richard from the greedy, seedy and unscrupulous clutches of a lawsuit-happy couple. For this reason alone, Patty Duke can be very proud of playing a character who showed girls could very well be independent and leaders.

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