Fresh and Exciting
Brilliant and touching
This is a coming of age storyline that you've seen in one form or another for decades. It takes a truly unique voice to make yet another one worth watching.
Exactly the movie you think it is, but not the movie you want it to be.
The Judy Garland Show's many triumphs and misfires have been common knowledge for a long time. CBS's powers-that-be never really had a clue as what to do with this million-watt talent. Given the fact that it would not be practical to showcase her singing for a solid hour each week, the producers unwisely decided to tear down her iconic image to make her seem more accessible as a sort-of Dinah Shore type of variety show host. She was given Jerry Van Dyke as a sidekick, and, frankly, his segments are the very worst parts of this entire series. To be fair, Mr. Van Dyke has said he had little to no impact on the writing of his segments. Every show had it's highlights, usually anything that Judy sang, either solo or in some rather inspired duets, and it's low points, most of the comedy, and even the Tea For Two segments seem flat and forced today. This is not to criticize Judy, for she always gave her all and really tried to make this show work. For myself, I find the DVD of Judy Garland: The Concert Years to be the best way to enjoy The Judy Garland Show. In 85 minutes, you get just about every highlight from this series and several more from specials she did before and after the series run. There is even a clip from 1929's The Big Revue, the earliest example of "Baby Gumm" on film, along with her sisters. But thank god The Judy Garland Show has been preserved so we can get a look at the brilliant entertainer late in her life,, when she was still at her Carnegie Hall concert peak. She looks gorgeous in the series, and Mort Lindsey lent his brilliant orchestrations to the venture. We shall never again see the likes of a program like The Judy Garland Show for the simple reason we shall never again see a performer with the talent and electricity that she had. If I could pick but one number from this series that perfectly displays her talent, it would be her astonishing version of "The Battle Hymn Of The Republic". Sung in tribute to the then recently assassinated John F. Kennedy, I have never seen anything by anyone to compare it with.
Talent, skill and training are one thing, Encountering someone with these qualities who is willing to commit everything in a performance is yet another thing. Judy had a TeeVee variety show like dozens of others but she was totally unlike any of them. Only she would be putting her life on the line each time, live. I recall that rather than fight the drugs, her producers at least initially worked with them under a doctor's supervision. So what we see is a great talent on speed for possibly the 5 thousandth time and coddled so she can just focus on connecting passionately.The sets are more abstract and the dance more modern than normal for the time (or ever, for that matter).Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
I'm SO enjoying watching THE JUDY GARLAND SHOW on DVD. What a treat it is to see this extremely talented (yet troubled) artist in what is as close to live performances as I'll ever see. (I was only 6 years old when this show aired, so I have no memory of watching it--and I probably had to be in bed before it came on at 9 p.m. anyway.)It's also wonderful to see so many stars appearing with her: Streisand and Merman in what is a unique experience; Diahann Carroll; Donald O'Conner; and, of course, Mickey Rooney and Judy together.I get the impression from watching these shows that the Judy we're seeing is the REAL Judy Garland and not a character she's playing. She has such a great sense of humor, including her light-hearted self-deprecating comments. (I particularly enjoyed her remarks about her "firing" by MGM.)The audio and video transfer quality is excellent. It's like watching the show live!!If you're a Judy fan--or just a fan of great talent--then please treat yourself to these wonderful DVDs.
"The Judy Garland Show" has found new life thanks to Pioneer Artists' DVD release of most of the series episodes. After years of clips and compilations, it is a incredible to finally be able to see these shows in their entirety. Garlands's performances are undimmed by the passage of time. And so many wonderful performances by guest stars like Barbra Streisand, Peggy Lee, Mickey Rooney, Lena Horne, Tony Bennett, Vic Damone and Liza Minnelli are preserved here as well. The technical quality of these DVD releases is astounding. Included also are many outtakes, alternate takes, and other fascinating behind-the-scenes shots. I just can't recommend these shows too much