Customer Reviews for

The Judy Garland Show: The Christmas Special

Average Rating 3.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010


    Was interesting watching this, got to see her children, a young Liza. Good variety of songs, great guests. Brought me back to my youth watching something in black and white.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Christmas Time Capsule, Garland Style

    If you remember 1963, and unfortunately I do, you'll recall a very sweet, almost cloying wholesome atmosphere on television. So what is CBS to do when it's time to tape a wholesome TV Christmas special hosted by the world's most unwholesome woman? Step back, hold its corporate breath, and hope she'll show up. Well, she did, and the results make for a sweet 1963 Christmas time capsule starring Judy Garland, featuring her favorite jazz singer Jack Jones (known today primarily for singing The Love Boat theme), obnoxious but talented Mel Torme, plus all three of her children. As to Judy's mental condition- was she disoriented due to a whole barrelful of psychiatric medication? Here's a clue: the entire show is shot in a set furnished and decorated to be Judy's home, and at the beginning, Judy invites us, the audience, into her home. While inside, she encourages her children to sing, "just like we do at home." Poor Judy, she forgot she's supposed to be in her home. CBS decided to humanize and normalize Garland to ordinary proportions to cut into NBC's megahit Bonanza's audience. Mission Impossible. Nomatter what she did, Garland seemed like a diva, and not knowing what to make of her, people found her nervous and tuned her out, except for her gay urban fan base. The show was a ratings failure, but still, there were bright moments. The Christmas Show is one of them. Toward the goal of making Judy seem everyday, the show trotted out all her kids, as if at a church social or school pageant. Lorna, barely 10, already handled her songs like a pro. Liza, about 17 at the time, was a real trouper. Judy's only son, Joey Luft, son of agent/manager/grifter Sid Luft, aside from being tone deaf... well, do you know how some kids seem to be gay even by age 8? Y'know, the parents feel pleased that they build a treehouse, then discover there's a spice rack in it? Well, that is the case with Joey. The highlight of the hour is a Judy and Mel duet of "The Christmas Song," which Mel co-wrote. Oddly, she calls him "Mort." More oddly, she wrecks the lyrics of his song. Judy also, on a couch setting, slurs her way through "What Child Is This?" to which Jack Jones fawns, "Beautiful!" Well, looking back through the gauzy filter of memory, it was a beautiful show during a beautiful decade. Of course, at the time, I, like most people, watched Bonanza. But Bonanza didn't pass the test of time as Judy did. See any Bonanza Christmas specials for sale?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2010

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