Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Come and Knock on Our Door

1998, first paperback edition, from St. Martin's Press
Chris Mann
Come and Knock on Our Door: A Hers and Hers and His Guide to Three's Company
Original price $17.95, purchase price $8.98
Worn paperback

With apologies to Joey Green, this is probably the best book I own about a sitcom.  It's partly that 3'sC was one of my favorite shows growing up (ages 9 to 16 during the original airing), but I also think Mann digs deeper into a show than anything since the 1986 SNL book by Hill and Weingrad.  Yes, there's lots of gossip, especially about Suzanne Somers's salary demands, but Mann also talks about the good times, the warmth among the cast, some of it still to this day.  Mann was able to talk to just about everyone, from guest stars to producers, everyone except Priscilla Barnes.  He's remarkably even-handed, presenting all sides on every issue.  He takes the show seriously, with comments on many specific episodes, but never too seriously.  Well, he does think 3'sC was a work of art, yet he recognizes the silliness, contributing his own.  (Even I think he overdoes the wordplay.  "Buddha pest"?  Ouch!)

He takes the show from its beginnings as a three-pilot adaptation of the British Man About the House, and on to the last season, with discussion of the spin-offs, The Ropers and Three's a Crowd.  He mentions the ways that the show still had an impact in the '90s, including on Friends, not just references but Audra Lindley's cameos.

Lindley died shortly before this book was published, Norman Fell later in '98, while John Ritter's death hit me hard in 2003.  And then Don Knotts went in 2006, but at least he'd lived to be 80.  For years, Mann has promised an update of this book, and the last I heard it was due out in Fall 2014.  That'll be too late for this project of course, but I'm curious to see how he addresses things like Joyce and Suzanne's reunion.

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