Friday, June 10, 2016

Dean Martin Show Christmas (1968)

It's hard to think about Christmas without including holiday music. Recently, I wrote a review of the 1969 Christmas episode of the Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour and it was well received so I thought I'd write another. Anyone else a Dean Martin Show fan? Let's take a look at the 4th season Christmas installment of The Dean Martin Show from 1968.

The Dean Martin Show ran on NBC from 1965-74.
There seems to have been a resurgence of TV variety shows in the past couple of years. Not only have numerous retro Christmas TV variety show episodes and specials been newly released on DVD, including this 1968 Christmas episode of The Dean Martin Show, but the TV network GetTV aired quite a few holiday variety specials during December last year. I sure hope they repeat that trend in programming this year. There's still a wealth of Christmas variety entertainment from the past that hasn't aired on television in decades! Let me remind you about the 1968 Christmas episode of The Dean Martin Show.

Dino transforms into Kris Kringle.

The show opens with the show’s background singers dressing Dean Martin in a Santa Claus costume while they sing “Look At That Face" followed by “Be A Santa.” As the song continues, the number turns into a dance production of happy Santas.

Fear not--you're seeing that correctly. These dancing St. Nicks are each wearing a face mask.
I'm guessing that the creative decision to wear masks was made in order to attempt to give each Santa an identical appearance--without intending to scare viewers.

The dancing masked Santas are interrupted by short comedy sketches with this episode's guests: Dom DeLuise, Bob Newhart, and Dennis Weaver. The opening sequence comes to a close when Martin arrives center stage riding Santa's sleigh pulled by a gorgeous team of reindeer.

Dean's not afraid of a stage full of scary masked Santas.

Dean is filled with the holiday spirit.

Next, Dean Martin sings his signature holiday song "It's a Marshmallow World." He's relaxed and freely joking around during the song's performance. His female co-stars in this scene are dancing along side him--even pinching and tickling him--as he mugs into the camera and acts silly. The in-the-moment behavior creates a fun, easy-going, and fresh performance. Viewers can easily tell that the performance and song is taped live and not synced to a recording. An entertainer has to be a strong, confident performer to pull that off. And, Dean is smoking a cigarette while singing and clowning around. They don't make TV like this anymore!

Comedian Bob Newhart doing what he does best--creating an awkward conversation.

This is followed by Dean joining Bob Newhart in a comedy sketch about an embarrassed man awkwardly asking to return a gift toupee at the department store during Christmas time. Dean repeatedly breaks character laughing during the sketch. It's comedy gold.

The wardrobe budget for this episode must have fallen short--The Golddiggers perform without pants.

Next, the lovely Golddiggers take center stage and sing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." Then Martin joins them and together they perform a medley of the standards "Daddy," "True Love," and "We Wish You the Merriest." 

Dino surrounded by The Golddiggers.

In another comedy sketch, Dom DeLuise plays a policeman giving Santa Claus a parking ticket.  This is immediately followed by another sketch with Dean and Dom playing two hobos on a park bench at Christmas.

This episode was filmed thirteen years before DeLuise and Martin would share the screen again in the movie Cannonball Run.
Martin and Lane frequently perform a song together on The Dean Martin Show.

Dean returns to the set to join pianist Ken Lane to sing "Jingle Bells." This is followed by surprise guest Bob Hope who emerges from the closet to exchange comedic barbs with Dean. The closet gag with a surprise guest is another recurring element on The Dean Martin Show. DeLuise returns once more for another sketch--a pantomime bit about an unruly office holiday party.

Bob Hope is well-known for his own NBC Christmas TV variety specials.
DeLuise plays an office worker whose coffee is spiked with alcohol during the office Christmas party.
Dino shares a few on-screen moments with the cast & crew's children. The kids are hilariously unpredictable!

The musical finalé brings Martin, the guest stars, The Golddiggers, the background singers and dancers, and the children of the cast and crew together. Dennis Weaver sings “The Marvelous Toy” accompanied by the children who play along with simple instruments such as whistles and tambourines.

Tom Paxton wrote "The Marvelous Toy" song, however Peter, Paul, and Mary's version may be the most familiar.
The Golddiggers are dressed in orange. DeLuise, Weaver, Martin, Newhart, and pianist Lane are in the center.
Together the cast sings a medley of “Deck the Halls,” “Joy to the World,” and “Silent Night.” On a children's playroom set filled with toys, we hear Martin sing the heartwarming song “Christmas Is for Kids.”

Martin solos on the beginning of "Silent Night."
During the song "Christmas is for Kids," the camera pans across a roomful of toys on display. This segment is an eyeful for viewers like myself who crave to remember the hot toy trends of 1968.

"Christmas is for Kids" serves as a segue for Dean Martin to introduce a charity toy drive he's involved with. After he announces that more than $100,000 worth of toys have been donated to hospitals and orphanages across the country, Dean identifies a hospital in his hometown of Steubenville, OH as one of the locations. This is followed by more video clips of his celebrity friends announcing 39 more locations across the country where the toys will be donated.

Celebrities including George Burns name hospitals and orphanages in cities from coast to coast to receive toy donations.

The long segment of celebrity video clips is impressive. In addition to Martin, hospital and orphanage recipient announcements are made by George Burns, William Holden, Tony Bennet, Vince Edwards, Gale Gordon, Phil Harris, Dom DeLuise, Charles Nelson Reilly, Nancy Sinatra, Johnny Carson, Bob Newhart, Glenn Ford, Glen Campbell, Greg Morris, Raymond Burr, Kay Medford, Peter Graves, Don Rickles, Lorne Greene, Petula Clark, Barbara Feldon, Dennis Weaver, Rowan & Martin, Dan Blocker, Roy Rogers, Joey Bishop, Michael Landon, Jim Nabors, Diahann Carroll, Andy Griffith, Frank Sinatra Jr., Red Skelton, Paul Lynde, Kate Smith, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Jimmy Stewart, Jack Benny, Bob Hope, and Lucille Ball. One can only hope the overwhelming endorsement of the toy donations inspired viewers at home to give generously at holiday time that year as well.

Jimmy Stewart is one of the celebrity announcers as well. I think a great many needy children were made merry at Christmas in 1968.

It's chaos under the closing credits as gifts are handed out to everyone on stage!

The show closes with the group singing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." Toys from under the Christmas tree on set are handed out to the cast and children while the closing credits roll on-screen.

Recognize the little girl sitting on Santa/Bob Newhart's lap?

Sharp-eyed viewers may recognize a few familiar faces in the crowd of children in this episode. A beautiful and confident little girl in a blue dress captures the camera's attention several times. She's sitting on Bob Newhart's lap in a comedy sketch at the beginning of the episode. She's also quite visible during the finalé as she hugs Dean Martin, and corrects Dennis Weaver about the order of the instruments within his song.

She tells Dennis Weaver that the whistles in his song come before the tambourines!

Hold on to your hats--that's a four year old Melissa Gilbert (from Little House on the Prairie and many TV movies). What is she doing on Dean Martin's Christmas episode? Her grandfather is Harry Crane--a head writer on The Dean Martin Show.

Recognize him?

Another adorable child in the crowd draws attention to himself when he won't stop laughing! Dean Martin asks him "Have you got a favorite singer?" The little boy replies in the negative--and just keeps laughing!  I think that cute blonde boy is two year-old Peter DeLuise, the son of comedian Dom DeLuise. (Peter eventually starred on 21 Jump Street and now directs TV).

Weaver sings to the young DeLuise too.

Many TV variety shows have incorporated the cast and crew's family and children into the Christmas episodes. I've seen it on done by Lawrence Welk and his Champagne Music Makers, Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash, Andy Williams, Sonny & Cher, the King Family, and others. Isn't it revealing and personal for entertainers to share their loved ones with TV viewers at Christmas time?

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Christmas in July 2016

The annual Christmas in July party I host each year on this blog is happening soon.  If you've been around awhile, you may remember that each year the summer party is a little different.  I try to do something special in July each year because each of us gets very busy in December and it's a fun to have a get-together when we aren't in the midst of the holiday season.

This year I'd like to repeat the mini-questionnaire as a way to spark a dialogue and to have everyone get to know each other  better.  I was inspired to try this approach from what I saw (and participated in) three years ago on the website Kindertrauma.  With their blessing, I've adapted the questionnaire to fit our needs.  We did this last year too--remember all the fun answers?  Click on these links to see the 2014 introduction and the 2015 intro again.

Answer the following five questions as completely or as briefly as you like.  Everyone is invited to take part--long-time readers, other bloggers, casual TV fans, or just the curious passer-by.  Everyone should feel free to join the Christmas in July party. 

Copy + Paste the questions below in an email, answer them, and email it back to me.  Send your responses in immediately and I'll email you back with a number.  That number is your confirmation that I received your answers and it is your place in the queue.  I will begin posting the responses starting on July 1st--and roll them out in the order received.  (DON'T put your responses to the questions in the comments below--email them in).  Don't worry about photos either--I'll take care of that.  And duplicate answers are part of the party experience--don't exert too much effort trying to find rare examples for your answers.  If you want to change your answers after you email them to me--please resist the urge.  Instead, add comments to your own post when it goes up in July.  Email your responses to: joanna @ 1 7 0 1 press dot com

This Christmas in July party is supposed to be fun and entertaining so don't sweat your responses.  Don't spend four hours on it--just go with what comes easy.  If you feel you need a little help, feel free to flip through your dog-eared copy of the encyclopedia Tis the Season TV--or put a copy on hold at your local library.  Or, use the search box or click through the archives on this website.  Christmas TV memories will come flooding back, I'm sure.

Whether you send in a response or not, please feel free to follow along throughout the month of July.  Reading other people's responses is half the fun.  I want to encourage everyone to leave comments too--it makes people feel good to know their entry is being read by others.  If you like, please feel free to use the popsicle Christmas in July 2016 badge on your website or social media posts to let others know what you are up to!

Let's get this party started:

Christmas TV Party 2016: (insert your name--your website/optional)

1) What Christmas episode/special/or movie always puts you in the holiday spirit?

2) What Christmas program or scene brings you to tears?

3) What's your favorite quote of dialogue, song lyric, or sentiment from a Christmas program?

4) Is there a Christmas program that unintentionally frightens you--or turns you off?

5) Name one character from Christmas entertainment with whom you closely identify? and explain why.

Since I'm hosting this party, I'll be glad to be the first one to join the party and lead by example.  Isn't this fun already?

Christmas in July 2016:  Joanna Wilson from

1) What Christmas episode/special/or movie always puts you in the holiday spirit?

Watching A Charlie Brown Christmas always puts me in the holiday spirit.  As soon as I see the opening scenes of the animated Peanuts ice skating and I hear the familiar piano chords and the vocals "Christmas Time is Here," it feels like Christmas--even if I'm watching in April or August!

2) What Christmas program or scene brings you to tears?

It is hard for me to pin down just one title or scene because it seems like I'm always crying while watching Christmas entertainment! But the first scene that came to mind is the one in which John Boy opens his Christmas gift in the 1971 TV movie The Homecoming: A Christmas Story. The moment in the film is already an emotional one--the father of the Walton family has finally arrived home, his absence worried the family through most of the movie. The relief of John Walton coming home safely and sharing the story of confronting a stranger (Santa Claus?) on the roof--who dropped the sack of gifts for the whole family is a climax to the drama. But when the sensitive teenage John Boy finds that his gift is several blank writing tablets, he knows that his parents support his desire to write--a yearning he's struggled to share with them because he fears they won't understand. While his younger siblings open their gifts of toys and treats, John Boy has received acceptance and encouragement for Christmas. It makes me cry every time!

3) What's your favorite quote of dialogue, song lyric, or sentiment from a Christmas program?

"Remember no man is a failure who has friends." I love the quote that the angel Clarence writes in George Bailey's book in the movie It's a Wonderful Life.

4) Is there a Christmas program that unintentionally frightens you--or turns you off?

I don't want to be a killjoy but the Christmas TV specials in which toys come to life often make me squirm. The worst one for me is The Christmas Toy. The toys come to life and roam about the house while the humans are sleeping. If they bump into a human in the middle of the night, the toys stop moving in order to hide their true nature. For some reason, Toy Story doesn't bother me--it's fun and delightful--but Jim Henson's A Christmas Toy somehow turns creepy for me.

5) Name one character from Christmas entertainment with whom you closely identify? and explain why.

Sometimes I feel like Buddy the elf from the movie Elf.  With my line of work, it's Christmas 24/7 for me. I'm frequently humming "Jingle Bells," checking Christmas movies out of the library, and wearing a Christmas pop culture t-shirt--all year long. When Buddy left the North Pole and went to New York City, he felt out of place and sometimes I feel out of place too. But, like Buddy, I too like my life and lifestyle so I just keep doing what makes me happy!

If you have any questions, ask below in the comments.

Send in your responses today!  Thanks for playing along and Merry Christmas in July.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Ottawa Vacation: Pop Culture Records

This past week I took a break from work to journey north of the border to Ottawa. Why Ottawa? I came to hang out with Jeff Fox of You've poked around his website before, haven't you? Yeah--me too! His interests cover Christmas TV episodes, specials and movies too. Fox came to holiday entertainment by way of his interest as a Christmas music record collector.

Jeff took me to the best thrift shops and record stores.

When I arrived in Ottawa and Jeff asked me what I wanted to do, I told him that I wanted to go record shopping with him. I too have a collection of records--pop culture and Christmas recordings--but nothing significant compared with Jeff's collection! I still had a lot of fun. Curious to see what I found last week in Ottawa?

Jeff's new James Brown Soulful Christmas LP.

I have a small collection of TV novelizations too!

At one of the first thrift stores we visited, I found these five paperback books. I already have a small collection of TV novelizations. The two top books are volumes #8 and 9 in a series about British sci-fi/espionage series The Avengers (featuring John Steed and Emma Peel) and the bottom three book are volumes 1, 2, and 3 novelizations from the later series The New Avengers with John Steed and his partners Mike Gambit and Purdey. Yes--that IS a young Joanna Lumley on the book covers! I love The Avengers (who doesn't, right?) and have previously reviewed the TV series' 1965 Christmas episode "Too Many Christmas Trees" on this website. Remember that one?

Jeff gave me The Twilight Zone action figure as a gift!  Thanks Jeff!

Another collectible I returned home with is this Santa Claus/Art Carney action figure from a series produced about popular Twilight Zone characters. Jeff knows I love the 1960 Christmas episode of The Twilight Zone entitled "Night of the Meek." What a fantastic gift--thanks Jeff!

Dennis Day was a regular on The Jack Benny Program.

Okay--back to records. I was excited to get this classic LP. Singer Dennis Day was a regular on comedian Jack Benny's TV show. The 1960 Christmas episode of The Jack Benny Program is a personal favorite and includes Day singing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." You may remember I wrote extensively about that particular episode in my book The Christmas TV Companion. I can't wait to check out this record.

Front cover

back cover

I also found two LPs with music from the 80s TV series Fame. I wrote lengthy discussions about both of Fame's two Christmas episodes--1985's "Ebenezer Morloch" and 1986's "All I Want for Christmas"--in my book Merry Musical Christmas Vol. 1. Both episodes include significant holiday music and wonderful performances. Did you know that the actor Albert Hague who played Mr. Shorofsky on Fame (the guy with the white beard pictured on the back cover above) is the same man who composed the music for the 1966 animated TV special How the Grinch Stole Christmas? That's amazing, isn't it? What a talented man. I don't believe either of these LPs include music from the Christmas episodes but I'm still excited to hear them.

2nd Fame record I found in Ottawa.

I also acquired a decent copy of the soundtrack to the 1963 movie Lilies of the Field--the film in which actor Sidney Poitier won the Oscar for Best Actor of the year. This movie resonates with me because there was a Christmas TV movie sequel produced in 1979 starring Billy Dee Williams. I wrote a review of Christmas Lilies of the Field for this website a few years back. The 1963 film's soundtrack includes the song "Amen" with vocalist Jester Hairston (and the 1979 movie sequel includes Hairston's arrangement too).  Hairston was a well regarded singer/composer and actor--you may remember him playing Rolly Forbes on the 1980s sitcom Amen. Remember the 1987 Christmas episode of Amen that featured Hairston singing the song "Mary's Boy Child"--the Christmas carol he wrote?



I was also pleased to get the brother and sister duo, Kristy & Jimmy McNichol album. I can't wait to hear what treasures lie within. Everybody remembers David Soul's hit single "Don't Give Up on Us," but now I have the entire album to discover. Of course, getting both of these records in one place reminds me that actress/singer Kristy McNichol appeared in the 1976 Christmas episode of Starsky & Hutch (with David Soul). Classic Christmas TV.


Jackpot! Although the cover isn't in too great shape, the record itself is good. When I found this, Jeff and I discussed how many Christmas episodes were produced by the 80s TV sitcom The Facts of Life.  Can you name them all? (Hint: there are five of them!)


I remember Lynda Carter as TV's Wonder Woman. Apparently she released this album as well. I can't wait to hear her version of Billy Joel's "She's Always a Woman" (side 1, track 2).

I can't find what year this album was released--maybe Jeff can tell me. It should be 1968 or later--indicated from the copyright date on the cover illustration of Snoopy from United Feature Syndicate Inc. The album is children's holiday favorites including "Snoopy's Christmas." Nothing special that I know of about the recording but I do like the album cover.


I'm excited to add this album to my collection of pop culture records. I already own Patty Duke's 1965 record "Don't Just Stand There." I've always admired her career. Duke appeared in numerous holiday programs including the 1963 Christmas episode of The Patty Duke Show.  Her recent passing was a tragic loss.


The one record I'm most proud of snagging is this Harpo Marx LP. Harpo is of course, the non-speaking, harp-playing brother of the comedy team The Marx Brothers. He actually whistles along as he plays the harp on the song "Lullaby Doll" on this album--the same style of performance he's known for in the Marx Brothers movies. What a find. Have you seen Harpo in the 1960 Christmas episode "A Silent Panic" of The Dupont Show with June Allyson? You can find it on the Shout Factory DVD set The Marx Brothers TV Collection.

Do you collect Christmas records or pop culture items too?

All smiles while we thrift for records and pop culture finds.

Thanks for hosting my visit, Jeff. If anyone is interested in reading about my past vacation stops, please feel free to click on the following links to the original Walton's Mountain in Schuyler, VA, the Jimmy Stewart Museum in Indiana, PA, and the It's a Wonderful Life Museum in Seneca Falls, NY.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Alfred Hitchcock Presents Christmas (1955)

Last March, I shared about the 1960 Christmas episode of The Twilight Zone and it reminded me of the first season episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. 1955's "Santa Claus and the 10th Avenue Kid" is a classic Christmas TV episode that also starts off from a place of cynicism and bitterness. However, just like "Night of the Meek" this episode too ends on a hope-filled note in the full bloom of the holiday spirit. Are you familiar with this Christmas episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents?

The series' theme tune is unforgettable. It is from "Funeral March of a Marionette" by French composer Charles Gounod.

In "Santa Claus and the 10th Avenue Kid," viewers meet career criminal Stretch Sears after his release from prison as he visits his parole officer. His parole officer Mr. Chambers introduces him to an employment counselor Miss Webster who works in the office. She is an optimistic person who believes she can help rehabilitate Mr. Sears. Miss Webster has gotten him a job at a local department store to help him acquire skills to invest in his future. She reminds the aging Sears that he'll end up returning to prison (maybe for the rest of his life) if he doesn't try harder to take advantage of the opportunities they offer him. But in voice-over narration we hear Sears' dark and pessimistic attitude about his chances of going straight.

Sears and Miss Webster talk about his future.

When Sears reports for work at the department store, he sees that he's been assigned duty as the store Santa Claus. Not exactly the role he would have chosen for himself, Stretch decides to pursue the path of least resistance and goes along with it.

Once a thief, always a thief.

Sure enough, on his first day of work, Sears is caught stuffing silver serving trays under his Santa Claus suit. (The implication is that he was stealing store merchandise). Sears talks his way out of the awkward theft situation and begins visiting with the children in line to talk to Santa Claus.

Actor Barry Fitzgerald plays the world weary Stretch Sears. The Irish character actor was in quite a few notable films--but you may recognize him as the elderly Father Fitzgibbon in Going My Way with Bing Crosby.

The store has instructed him to push certain toys in inventory that they need to sell this holiday season. He's also supposed to take notes on what each child asks for--and help the parents with the list of what to buy. The already bitter Sears is disappointed in the role of the modern Santa Claus.

The 10th Avenue Kid meets Santa.

Most of the children are typical kids filled with the innocent excitement of the holiday. Several of them are a bit frightened of the scruffy Sears and his version of Santa Claus. However, one child stands out. He's a wise guy--already certain that Santa won't bring him what he wants for Christmas. Sears asks him what he'd like and he replies that he'd like the expensive toy jet plane hanging on display overhead. But the kid admits he doesn't believe in Santa Claus anyway. This little one has Sears' attention.

This young man who doesn't believe in Santa is played by child actor Bobby Clark. (He was also on the short-lived series Casey Jones with Alan Hale.)

Miss Webster is played by character actor Virginia Gregg. She was also one of Jack Webb's regular troupe members on Dragnet.

To help keep him from temptation, Miss Webster collects Sears' paycheck and deposits it straight into the bank for him. She also picks him up after work each day to drive him to the men's shelter. She reminds him how much she believes in him and hopes he enjoys his work. Sears bristles under the restraint and control. The cynical man knows all this manipulating won't keep him from doing what comes naturally to him.

Not all the children are convinced that this Santa is on the up and up!
This episode's tone is light with comedic moments throughout. There's a real juxtaposition between Sears' inner dialogue and the spirit of Christmas.

Sears' bitter worldview is confirmed by the store's efficient approach to using Santa to sell its toy inventory.

Sears continues his job as the department store Santa Claus. The children step up to sit on his lap, he writes down what each one wants, and he hands the note to their parents. What a racket!

Sears sees a bit of himself in this street tough.

Eventually the wise guy returns to the toy department and Sears exchanges a few more words with him. Sears recognizes what the kid is up to--and asks him to unload the pockets from his oversized coat. Sure enough, the kid was stealing toys. Sears hears himself warning the kid about the future with the same words Miss Webster used to describe his own limited future. Sears asks him why he doesn't believe in Santa Claus but the kid remarks that people in his neighborhood don't get gifts at Christmas. The boy admits he dreams of becoming a pilot when he grows up but this feels too far fetched to believe in. The kid tells Santa that if he's really Santa, he'll bring him the expensive jet plane toy and leave it under his Christmas tree at home--and gives him his address on 10th avenue.

How will the kid turn out if he never believes in Santa Claus?

On Christmas Eve, his last day at work, Sears continues to think about the kid. Recognizing that he was the same type of disappointed child when he was young, Sears considers what he could have achieved differently in his life if he had believed in Santa Claus at that age. Would he have grown up to become a career criminal? On his way out of work, Sears removes the jet plane toy from the store display and secrets it into a sack. Sears breaks into the apartment on 10th avenue and stashes the expensive toy inside. When he leaves the building, he sees his parole officer and the police are waiting to arrest him.

Miss Webster believes in Santa Claus! Or, at least this one.

At the police station, Miss Webster vouches for Sears. She explains to the police that she had confiscated his paychecks and surely he wants to pay for the "borrowed" toy. He'll also return the stolen Santa suit. Miss Webster convinces the police that this Santa is worth believing in. It's a happy ending for both Sears and the kid who come to believe in Santa Claus and find redemption. It's a potentially dark story that ends with hope and optimism. Very Christmas-y, indeed.

Hitch is hoping to keep Santa from entering his home this year!

Don't worry--this episode isn't too sugary sweet. Alfred Hitchcock's appearances in the episode's opening and closing are still pretty dark.  As he introduces the story, we see him bricking up the chimney. He explains he's also loosened the upper bricks to collapse if anyone tries to enter the chimney to come into his home. He's tired of Santa Claus tracking soot from the chimney into his home each year! In the closing, we see that the chimney bricks have indeed collapsed but Hitch says he's going to rescue him! It's a happy ending for everyone, I guess.

Disillusioned Santa Clauses pull on my heart strings--what about you? Art Carney as Santa in the 1960 episode of The Twilight Zone.

Do you see the similarities between this story and The Twilight Zone Christmas episode? Both feature world weary men that work as department store Santas. Both men find redemption in the spirit of the season. Both stories also acknowledge the reality that decades ago, stores often employed down-on-their-luck men to work as temporary help during holiday time as store Santas. (Remember the drunk Santa that Kris Kringle replaces at the start of Miracle on 34th Street? That's another example, as well.) In both The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents episodes, these hardened scruffy men earn their second chances with hearts of gold. Can we expect nothing less than a happy ending?