Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Won't You Please, Please Help Me?

The Beatles' Help! (the movie, not the album) is notably mostly for the way it anticipates so much of American sitcoms of the 1970s. Well, there's also the fact that it's the only major motion picture I've ever seen that features curling, but really, there are so many sitcom elements present here.

It goes beyond the fact that this is basically the greatest episode of "The Monkees" ever made (much as To Catch a Thief is the greatest episode of "Moonlighting" ever made). There's also:

* The font for the interstitial titles is the same (or very close to it) as used on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show."

* There's a gag early on when the female spy (or whatever she is) pulls back Ringo's covers to reveal his pillow and finds his stockinged feet, which anticipates a joke from "The Odd Couple," when Felix does something similar to Oscar (to be fair, "The Odd Couple" stages this much better).

* And of course, every few minutes the boys play another number, just like on "The Partridge Family."

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