Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The 90-minute TV special Eunice reunites the "family" originally created for the weekly variety series The Carol Burnett Show. Carol Burnett plays Eunice, the frustrated, viper-tongued, ever-envious wife of dyspeptic, long-suffering Ed (Harvey Korman, who also directed). Eunice carries on a ceaseless battle with her cranky, obnoxious mother (Vicki Lawrence), who considers the day wasted if she can't spread a little gloom amongst her loved ones. The special is constructed in the form of a three-act play. Act One, set in 1955, delineates Ed and Eunice's courtship, and also introduces Eunice's easily hurt brother Philip (Ken Berry). Act Two takes place in 1963, with Philip encouraging Eunice to head to New York in pursuit of an acting career, which comes to naught when, in Act Three, she self-indulgently chooses a life of booze and broken dreams. And Act Four occurs in 1978, with the death of Eunice's unlamented mother (a character later revived for the TV sitcom Mama's Family) and the invasion of her snooty, judgmental sister Ellen (Betty White). Alternately hilarious and heartrending, Eunice was first telecast March 15, 1982.
brother, career, courtship, family, mother, alcoholism