“Kiss my grits!” It was this quotable line for the classic 70s sitcom Alice that when uttered to my mom when I was kid got me in a lot of trouble. When I was a kid I loved this show, and after watching the first season my love for the series has not waned a bit.
Alice ran for nine seasons (1976-1985) on CBS and was the TV version of the film Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974). Starring Linda Lavin as the title character, it follows the misadventures of a recently widowed singer whose care breaks down in Phoenix on her was to L.A. with her son, Tommy (Philip McKeon). She takes a job at a very greasy spoon called Mel’s Diner where she works with sassy Texan Flo (Polly Holliday), dingy Vera (Beth Howland), and the diner’s namesake the curmudgeonly Mel (Vic Tayback).
Fun fact: Did you know this is one of the only TV series to have a different variation on its main theme song each season it was on the air?
It’s a classic sitcom with plenty of sitcom-style situations, zingers, running gags, and one-liners while also attempting to bring social issues into the mix. There are a few eps that could be labeled with the phrase “A Very Special…” due to their subject matter, but for the most part Alice is just wacky sitcom fun. Oh, and I would like to believe that Mel’s threats of violence against his waitresses were merely threats and never would go farther than that. So there.
As a huge fan of classic TV, I highly recommend Alice: The Complete First Season.
Alice: The Complete First Season is available NOW on DVD!