Marie (1979) ABC Pilot
Season 3 – Episode 4
This should have worked: placing Marie Osmond into a sitcom. Even if the obvious progression did not come to pass (why not take Donny AND Marie out of the musical variety format and put them both into a sitcom?), this sitcom idea still should have worked with just Marie. Marie, while no great comedienne, had at least proven she could handle banter and comic patter. She had a pretty good grasp of comic timing in terms of delivering a punch line, even if the material wasn’t always that strong. Certainly, she always maintained an engaging, charming personality.
As it turned out, it didn’t work. That may be why you never heard of this show before.
The fault isn’t Marie’s exactly, not completely anyway: given this attempt at a sitcom is an Osmond Production, one must assume she had some say in the material, she must have had some input into the basic premise of the show.
But, wow, choices were made and not one of them was a good one. It’s all sitcom cliches: Marie is a 20-year old aspiring dancer(?) (why not have her simply be an aspiring singer?) who comes to New York City to make it big.
Wait till you meet Marie’s roommates. Wait till you meet Marie’s tough-but-with-a-heart-of-gold (and a nice rack) dance instructor. Wait till you meet Marie’s racist landlord (this kind of humor was un-PC even in 979). Wait till you meet how the writer of this show writes for a 7 year Puerto Rican boy who is Marie’s neighbor.
Join More Bad Apples for this special episode as we examine this rare Osmond relic and dissect what went wrong with what should have been a sure thing.
– Christopher Hasler