That Girl is Still in Fashion
First Season of That Girl
Start from the beginning.
Final Season of That Girl
Season five is where it all comes to an end, at least for the television series.
That Girl ran for five seasons, 1966 to 1971. At the time Ann Marie was the first career girl/ woman, living as a single, independent woman. The show starred Marlo Thomas as Ann Marie and Ted Bessell as Donald Hollinger.
Marlo Thomas wanted a show where where the main character was a modern young woman focused on her own goals. Originally, she wanted the show to be called Miss Independence which was the nickname given to her by her own parents.
After the feminist protest against bras and other feminine products from the Miss America pageant in 1968, Marlo Thomas went braless on That Girl.
The Story of Ann Marie, That Girl
The show begins as Ann Marie leaves her home in Brewster, New York and moves to Manhattan, planning to become an actress. She moves into apartment 4-D at 344 West 78th Street, New York City. She gets an agent who wants her to change her name. However, her parents don't like this and Ann decides to keep her own name. A lot of the show was not about Ann bulldozing her way through but about how she could listen, compromise and yet still be true to her own heart and goals.
Each week the show follows the story of Ann, her friends and neighbours in the apartment building and others she meets in between places. Also, her boyfriend, Donald Hollinger, a reporter for Newsview magazine. In between auditions and acting classes she takes odd and part time jobs. Donald and Ann meet during the filming of a TV commercial she is in.
Ann and Donald dated and then were engaged but there was no happy ending because the show was cancelled before they were married. Marlo Thomas wanted the show to end on a high note so Ann and Donald never married during the final season because Marlo Thomas did not want to send the message that the end goal for every woman should be to get married, as if that were the reason the show could now end.
A pioneer those days, That Girl was one of the first TV shows about a single woman living and working on her own. Before Mary Tyler Moore Show or Murphy Brown, That Girl portrayed women as career women who could still be feminine and fashionable.
That Girl and That Man Too
The Vintage That Girl is on Modern DVDs
I found a reference to a whole box set of DVDs with all five seasons but I could not find anything packaged that way on Amazon. It would be very nice! If you look you can find a paper doll kit created for That Girl too. I found a photo of it but nothing which could be bought online.
I Remember Marlo Thomas as That Girl
I don't know how I have such strong memories of watching That Girl. I was born at the end of 1964 so I would have been about two years old when it started. But, I do remember it well. I remember her clothes, I remember her voice and I remember always managing to work things out by the end of each show.
Later in my own life, when I was on the Internet and wanted a login name I could use online for all kinds of sites and not feel silly about, I picked That Grrl. A modern, digitally correct version of That Girl. I still use That Grrl, or thatgrrl, on almost every site I begin an account online.