Julie has an amusing premise: Julie Andrews plays Julie Carlyle, a famous actress and singer. Carlyle hosts a successful New York based TV variety show, but she has decided to move to Sioux City, Iowa. Why? Because that’s where the man of her dreams lives — a nice veterinarian played by TV veteran James Farentino. Carlyle and Dr. Sam McGuire get married in this pilot episode.
Carlyle’s TV contract requires her to continue her weekly show, which means that part of each edition of Julie concerns the efforts of this major star to put on a network variety series in a city not famous for its concentration of big-name entertainers. The rest of the time, Julie follows Julie’s comic efforts to adjust to her new Midwestern life with her new husband and her new stepchildren-two adolescent youths from Sam’s previous marriage (Rider Strong and Hayley Tyrie).
With a talent as versatile as Andrews’ behind it, Julie might have been fun; instead, it’s a cliched show that reduces its star to a standard-issue sitcom stepmom. The kids are wisecracking brats; Farentino’s character is warm, fuzzy (he’s grown a trim little beard), and dull. The subplot about her Sioux City TV show surrounds Andrews with supposedly colorful characters that are actually just dull rip-offs. (Kevin Scannell, for example, plays a local-newsman-turned-talk-show-announcer who is just another variation on The Mary Tyler Moore Show‘s Ted Baxter.)
One of the executive producers of Julie is Andrews’ husband, film director Blake Edwards. To launch the series, Edwards directed this first episode, but it’s a measure of Julie‘s triteness that not a nanosecond of the slapsticky wit that characterized Edwards films like The Pink Panther and 10 is evident here. Andrews is charming, but Julie is a drag. C-