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Old 01-18-2020, 09:26 PM   #1
MiracleHand
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Default Vic Tayback/Mel getting the last moment

Does anyone find irony in the fact that the show ends not with Alice, but with Mel getting the last line of the show as well as him being the one closing the diner for good in the final moments? Irony because Linda Lavin famously hated being upstaged by both Polly Holliday and Diane Ladd only to have Vic Tayback getting the last word in on the finale.

A lot of shows with ensemble casts usually end up with the top-billed character having that final send-off moment (see Mary Richards in the last episode of MTM as a prime example) yet with Alice, it ends up with Mel front and center at the end.
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Old 01-19-2020, 06:21 PM   #2
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I've often thought the series should have been called Mel's Diner instead of Alice.
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Old 01-19-2020, 08:11 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by retroTVfan4ever View Post
I've often thought the series should have been called Mel's Diner instead of Alice.
I agree. A lot of people that can't remember the name of the show call it Mel's Diner anyway.
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Old 01-19-2020, 08:44 PM   #4
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As I'm sure you all know, it was called Alice after the movie "Alice doesn't live here anymore" that the show was based on!
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Old 02-01-2020, 02:29 AM   #5
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I don't think it was intended to be an ensemble cast but instead showcase Linda Lavin as Alice and the others were there as supporting cast.

In early episodes the content revolved around Alice and in the off chance they didn't the focus was still on Alice. Such themes in the beginning were Alice related: life insurance, arrested for prostitution, Mels gay friend, et al. In the episode that actually gave Vera one of her first episodes about her it still showcased Alice with the verbal role and constant on camera scenes.

I think the audience liked the other characters and it didn't take the show long to figure out Alice was not the star but part of an ensemble. Of course that is just my opinion and observation from watching how the show evolved from "Alice" to Mel's Diner focus.
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Old 02-01-2020, 08:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by who8mycookie View Post
I don't think it was intended to be an ensemble cast but instead showcase Linda Lavin as Alice and the others were there as supporting cast.

In early episodes the content revolved around Alice and in the off chance they didn't the focus was still on Alice. Such themes in the beginning were Alice related: life insurance, arrested for prostitution, Mels gay friend, et al. In the episode that actually gave Vera one of her first episodes about her it still showcased Alice with the verbal role and constant on camera scenes.

I think the audience liked the other characters and it didn't take the show long to figure out Alice was not the star but part of an ensemble. Of course that is just my opinion and observation from watching how the show evolved from "Alice" to Mel's Diner focus.
Very well stated and this seems to be the case. How the series evolved as you described, likely led to Linda's alleged difficulties with the some of the cast members along with some of the show's personnel behind the camera.
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