Credit: THAT GIRL: Shout! Factory

That Girl: Season One

Remember when parents wanted their kids to live at home until they got married, couples kissed with mouths closed, and a backbreaking fancy dinner set you back $35? Neither do I. You know who does? That Girl!

Bold in 1966, the conceit of this sitcom — Ann Marie (the fetching, if manic, Thomas) sets out to establish her acting career in New York before she even considers marriage — is toothless 40 years later. But these first 30 episodes on That Girl: Season One are winning mainly because of the talent behind them. Writers like James L. Brooks and Cagney & Lacey creator Barbara Avedon insert no end of zany bits (That Girl gets her toe stuck in a bowling ball!). One need only endure some overheated performances — the judge who hears Ann Marie’s fender-bender case is a prisoner of his own slow burns, and Rob Reiner overdoes it as an obnoxious pal — to be rewarded with Carroll O’Connor as an on-the-make Italian tenor or glimpses of Dabney Coleman, Richard Dreyfuss, and George Carlin.

Bonus-wise, brace yourself for ultramod promos, a pilot that led to sizable changes (Thomas says test audiences deemed her original parents too ”ethnic”), and behind-the-scenes peeks at the signature NYC exterior shots. In a making-of, the star recalls pitching ”a show about a young woman who really just wanted to be somebody herself” and recommending that the head of ABC read The Feminine Mystique. Remember when that was audacious?

That Girl: Season One
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