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A ‘visit’ to Herman

December 8, 2012
By Cindy Votruba , Marshall Independent

It was time to wax nostalgic the other week when I requested the DVD "Herman USA" through interlibrary loan. The movie, which came out more than a decade ago, was a fictional look at Herman, Minn., and its high number of eligible bachelors.

I saw it here in the theater and somehow I ended up with a VHS of the trailer (I think it was a promotional item sent to the paper). It was an amusing and sweet story starring Michael O'Keefe (Fred from "Roseanne"). He was the only one I really recognized.

Throughout the years, I would check and see if this movie was available, either in VHS or DVD, I wasn't fussy; I wanted to see it again. So I was nosing around again a month ago and discovered that it had been released on DVD, back in 2007.

I didn't want to necessarily buy it, so I searched the statewide library system and sure enough, a scant few were available. The description of the movie was that there's 78 eligible bachelors in Herman, so they advertise for women to come and check out the town during some festival. And the women come out in droves - from 37 states and four countries.

In the movie, a couple of the local gals, including the one who was pining for O'Keefe's character, Dennis, felt like they were being overlooked - "hey, we're single too." Yes, it was that feel-good, funny movie I remembered with the hometown group of guys, who were on the high school football team together in '79, looking for love.

And continuing on that nostalgia trip, I grabbed an Amazon "lightning deal" during the Black Friday sale and bought the complete series of "Get A Life," a FOX show that starred Chris Elliot as a 30-year-old paperboy. In looking through the reviews of the DVD set on Amazon, they were "great show, bad transfer." It was compared to watching a VHS tape that's been recorded over several times - grainy, pixilated, etc. One reviewer actually sent back the DVDs because he/she couldn't take the bad transfer. In watching the first few minutes of the first episode, yeah, I'll admit the picture is not the greatest, but in those first few minutes, I was laughing out loud. Hopefully I won't be too disenchanted with the grainy picture.

Then there's "Downton Abbey." I finally managed to finish the first season (shouldn't have been a problem as it's only seven episodes, but well, it did take a few checkouts from the library). Ah, to be a Crawley I admire the personalities of all the family members - from Violet, portrayed by the spunky and amazing Maggie Smith, to Sybill, the bold and daring youngest daughter. I'll admit I didn't like the two servants, Miss O'Brien and Thomas, at first, but the first world war years have mellowed them. It's an intriguing time period to watch - the series began after the sinking of the Titanic.

I'm currently on the last couple of years of World War I. I wonder how long the series will last as favorite characters come and go. And five years have passed in a season and fourth. Season 3 is supposed to come out next month on this side of the Atlantic. Guess I better get season 2 done.



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