New York Magazine

Skip to content, or skip to search.

Skip to content, or skip to search.

Small-Screen Flashback

This garden is still magical.


Native New Yorkers in their twenties to early forties will be thrilled to discover the just-released DVD set of Carole & Paula in the Magic Garden, the winsome kids’ show that ran from 1972 to 1984 on WPIX-TV (channel 11). As you spontaneously sing along with “The Hello Song” and others, you’ll be amazed by how much comes back to you. “It calls up things you don’t remember remembering,” explains Paula. Better yet, you’ll see your own offspring getting a kick out of it, too. “The show has been re-reviewed by today’s educators, and there’s a great deal of benefit,” says Carole. Any parent used to today’s overstimulating programming will be soothed by the show’s simple structure—repeated routine, songs, characters, an easy-to-follow narrative arc, nothing disjointed, no quick shots. These gems were almost gone for good. The original master tapes were stuck in storage, then lost. Their absence was noticed when fan queries motivated the station to plan a retrospective. An intrepid program director set about finding every single episode and enlisted the Paley Center for Media to repair and archive them. Any signs of age on the resulting DVDs add a quaint vibe that matches Carole and Paula’s long seventies pigtails and their swing seats. These talented ladies have been friends for 54 years since meeting as 14-year-old students at Brooklyn’s Midwood High School. Fans who want to see Carole and Paula in person should check their Website; they still tour around. For those who didn’t grow up with channel 11 accessible via rabbit ears—that includes our kids—the DVD set is a must.

Out now ( or; $29.98.


Current Issue
Subscribe to New York

Give a Gift