Betty White – Life With Elizabeth

I bought a set of movies from WalMart called “Lucy & Betty – TV’s Comedy Queens”. It’s a set of discs spotlighting Lucille Ball and Betty White’s lesser know stuff. I like Lucy, but I was a big fan of the Golden Girls. Since I hadn’t seen anything before Mary Tyler Moore’s collaboration with Betty, I decided to check this out. $10 for a number of discs. Not bad.

I started watching the episodes of Life With Elizabeth with the mindset that it was 1950-something. The writing was dry, and over a few episodes, Elizabeth turned into a ditz. I am a big fan of subtle breaking of the fourth wall, but this was a little much. Here’s the format:

A guy comes up on screen and says “Incident number one in the Life of Elizabeth…” and gives you a teaser of what’s to come. He stammers, then says something to the effect of “let’s have a look”. Now, mind you, the incidents are not in any kind of order, as sometimes they go back in time. So already the incident numbering is “off”. There are three “incidents” per episode.

When they cut to the scene with Elizabeth, the announcer asks her questions and she can’t speak. Odd. She mimes what’s happening. At some point, the announcer asks Elizabeth if she’s ashamed of what she’s done, and she shakes her head. Then, at the end of the episode, all the people in the room are arguing and the announcer cuts in and makes them say goodbye to the audience. Ok, fourth wall be damned!

I love it when cartoons reference the fourth wall without breaking it, as in Squidward saying, “every 11 minutes of my life…”, which actually goes back to Ren & Stimpy referencing the same time period.

So, to give this a review, I would have to rate it based on standards in 1953. It’s ok. How’s that for a rating?

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