Not sure why this show wasn’t picked up. The 60’s and 70’s had more than their share of beyond lame sitcoms…not that things haven’t gotten much better. This show had some genuinely funny moments and should have been given a shot. It does have an awful theme song sung by The Lettermen.
Mason Reese plays an eight year old genius. His parents are Howard Bennett (Barry Nelson) and Peggy (Barbara Stuart). They have an older married daughter Joyce who has a daughter named Carrie.
The show aired July 4,1977, two years after it was made.. It opens with Howard trying to cozy up to Peggy only to find that under the covers is Mason. Howard and Peggy talk about their move to New York since it has the best school for Mason and also a school of magic since that’s a major interest of Masons’.
Peggy is concerned that Mason doesn’t have any friends. Howard doesn’t think there’s any mystery about it. Peggy calls Joyce and tells her Mason will be over. It’s not long before she brings him back.
One day Mason announces he has a friend named Linc that he met flying a kite in the park. He says they’re going on a camping trip together. That’s called off when Howard and Peggy meet Linc. He’s forty-two.
The next day Howard is on the couch with headphones so he doesn’t have to hear Peggy. He takes them off and the two discuss Mason. Peggy leaves the room and Howard puts the phones back on. He doesn’t see Mason go out the door with a suitcase.
He goes to Linc’s place. The door is unlocked so he walks in and hides in a closet. Linc comes home with a sexy blonde names Bernice. Linc opens the closet to hang up his coat and there’s Mason. Mason says he’s moving in. Bad timing. Bernice is a ditz but Linc tells him he has to go. Mason lays a guilt trip on him and says, “You don’t want me.”
Mason goes back home. His suitcase is missing. There’s a good line about that. The show moves on to the usual sitcom scene where Dad has a father-son talk with Mason. He’s supposed to explain the birds and the bees. It’s the usual mixture of comedy and warmth but it never gets maudlin.
Thanks to a load of commercials, Mason Reese was a 70’s icon.
Barry Nelson holds the honor of the first person to ever play James Bond. It was an adaption of “Casino Royale” on “Climax! that aired October 21,1954.
Dear Lord–look what they put on the air during that era! I wasn’t the biggest Mason Reese fan (although I did love his interviewing Leonard Nimoy–and Nimoy’s pimptacular denim patch bell-bottomed suit!) on the Mike Douglas Show. I’m trying to think of the worst shows of the 1970s–I guess the variety shows (Starland Vocal Band, the Star Wars Holiday Special…), yet this wasn’t good enough. Hmmm…
TV hasn’t shown a lot of judgement dating back to October 12,1949. That’s when the Three Stooges pilot, “Jerks Of All Trades” was rejected.