The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Vol. 14 [DVD]
Placed in a cultural history context, the fifth season of The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet takes on an importance of earth-shattering dimensions. Not that the basic format of the series has changed all that much: Ozzie Nelson still rules the roost in his family home even without any visible means of support (though for the first time, a passing mention is made of his previous "life" as a popular bandleader); Harriet Nelson remains the family's voice of reason and common sense; and sons David Nelson and Ricky Nelson continue to pursue higher education and the fairer sex. (In one memorable episode, David goes on a date with Carol Morris, 1957's Miss Universe.) As for the supporting cast, Don DeFore, Frank Cady, and Lyle Talbot are still on hand for sporadic appearances as the Nelsons' neighbors Thorny Thornwell, Doc Williams, and Joe Randolph, with Mary Jane Croft added to the cast as Joe's wife (and Harriet's best friend) Clara Randolph. Beyond all this, season five marks an extremely significant development in the realm of popular music. For it is in the episode "Ricky the Drummer," originally telecast April 10, 1957, that 16-year-old Ricky Nelson makes his national singing debut, performing Fats Domino's "I'm Walkin." The extraordinary audience response to this golden moment encouraged series star/producer Ozzie Nelson to showcase Ricky's vocal talents in countless future episodes -- and thus, in the humblest and unlikeliest of surroundings, was a major rock & roll idol and icon born! ~ Hal Erickson
Cast & Crew
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