Sally Field In “Gidget”: Summer Fun Lasts Forever

“If you’re in doubt about angels being real, I can arrange to change any doubts you feel. Wait’ll you see my Gidget, you’ll want her for your Valentine.”

Based on the popular film series, Gidget is a fondly remembered 1965-66 TV series starring an 18-year-old Sally Field as Frances “Gidget” Lawrence. Based on the novels by Frederick Kohner, the show — which ran on ABC for a total of 32 episode” chronicled the adventures of Gidget as she spends her days having fun in the sun. While deeply in love with surfer guy Moondoogie, she pals around with best friend Larue and gets advice on life and love from her widowed professor dad (Don Porter), who is always on hand to offer sage advice or a shoulder to cry on.

There’s a certain mid-60s charm about the series, as more than anything it is a celebration of youth and an idealized view of Southern California life that exudes a charm and innocence that is wildly engaging. Porter is fantastic as Gidget’s often put-upon father too, but obviously the major draw here is Sally Field. Although not yet a household name, Field delivers an early performance full of charisma and keen comedic timing that foreshadows her Academy Award-winning acting chops. Although the series is the television equivalent of bubblegum pop music (a regular criticism lobbied at the show), it does exactly what it sets out to accomplish by being completely entertaining. So what if its stories are lightweight, not all programs have to be dour.

With summer just getting underway, we encourage you to check out the complete Gidget series. We think you’ll find it as warm and funny as you remember, and the perfect counterpart to the lazy, hazy, surf-filled days ahead.