Here, There be a Writer

Saturday, February 1, 2014

5 shows that I am sure existed, but are they still good?

I've been reminiscing about a number of things this week . It's been a long week and somewhere between Tuesday and Friday I stopped. My brain just couldn't focus. I just didn't really feel productive, or maybe I just felt that I need to figure out what to do post Obscure Poetry Month. This weekend I am  refocusing on the blog. I missed my check-in on Wednesday for #AROW80. I didn't have a lot report. Somewhere my head said that it wanted to try and make more of my goals. Sunday's check-in will be going more in the realm of my norm. But, that is for a different time. Today is Saturday and want think of 1980's TV shows.

There was a fantastic time in the mid to late 80's, about 1985 to 1990, where the sit-coms were funny, different, and current are mostly buried in obscurity. I haven't been into sit-coms in 10 years, most of theme are downright silly by 80's standards. There are a few that stand out in my mind. One's that I loved to watch as a kid. I miss the feeling of watching this shows, laughing at the silliness or at least being entertained. I did watch quite a bit of TV back in the day, before the age of the internet. The best times were the 1980's, when sit-coms weren't so squeaky clean as "Leave It to Beaver" and "The Donna Reed Show"; when you had Prince Charming in the suburbs, a half alien teenager, or a child-like robot.

My mind has been running into these show, partly because of a blog of HelloGiggles, where I was reminded of "The Torkelsons" (best not to ask). This was one a many shows from my youth; shows I hardly think are really shows that existed. The shows that hide within the dark corners of my mind, some feel as though they ever existed. Others, I am well aware of their existence, and maybe want to forget. There is a part of me that while curious, I feel that the memory might be ruined after re-watching them. Today i am going to brave the mists and dust of my memories to reveal a few of these 80's diamonds or 80's iron pyrite.

 5. "Out of this World" (1987 to 1991) - A show about Evie, a teenage who is half alien from Antareus. Her Dad is an alien and she can call him on this Crystal Box that acts as a phone would. What I can remember of this? It was kind of silly, with her misusing her powers or trying not to get discovered having special powers. This show lasted 4 seasons. It featured almost a dozen special guest stars: Mr. T, Tiffany, Jamie Farr, and Tom Bosley. The voice of Evie's Dad is the very own Burt Reynolds. I found a FULL EPISODE (there also appears to be other random episodes on youtube). The jokes are a bit dated and the fashion, oh the fashions (a good recall of 80's fashions)! The show is not terrible, mostly filled with a situational comedy and crocked full with a bunch of dated jokes and one-liners.

4. "The Charmings" (1987 to 1988) - What happens when you transport Snow White Charming and Prince (Eric) Charming to modern day (1980's) LA? This show (the opening credits)! It lasted barely two seasons. Features Paul Winfield as the Mirror and a young Brandon Call (from Step by Step) as Tommy Charming. I remember enjoying it. It was fun and it's was about the 'real life' fairy tale characters. There are episodes on youtube, First Episode Part 1. Being a lover of fairy tales and all things of the renaissance. It was right up my alley.  I would love to see it on DVD someday. Being only a season and a half, a one DVD set would be most excellent. The first episode sets up the Charmings in an LA subburb and what happens when fairy tales meets the modern tales.

 3. "Marblehead Manor" (1987 to 1988) - Possible the silliest show that I ever watched. Also, probably why I love fast paced comedy. This was a fast paced, silly show with a lot of gags. But it was SOOOOO GOOOD! I can only seem to find the opening credits on youtube and a few promo ads. It lasted only a season and featured a young Michael Richards (Kramer from Seinfeld). What I can remember of the premise is the antics of a wealthy family on their estate. Someone is cited that "Marblehead Manor" was a modern retelling of the theatrical production/movie, "You Can't Take it With You." The story of a wacky family and their own weird pursuits. The world would prefer them to be normal, but they are just fine as is. That would be an accurate statement of "Marblehead Manor" and as I have worked on a production of "You Can't Take it With You" I can attest to this.  Creators Bob Fraser Rob Dames must have been inspired, to say the least. If I can find it, I will do a proper review of "Marblehead Manor". If anyone has episodes, I would be willing to make a trade (leave comments below). Most vivid memory of this show was begging my Dad to make sure we got home to watch this show on the nights it aired.

2.  "Small Wonder" (1985 to 1989) - A show featuring a child-like robot maid built by the mr. Lawsonm the father and masqueraded as the family's daughter. The hilarity would often ensue as Vickie (the small wonder) would do something to have the family try to explain her behavior, or fix an issue she created. See an episode here: "Small Wonder". This show is on DVD, season 1 and 2. I remember enjoying the show enough to watch it, but it wasn't my favourite though.

1. "Just the 10 of Us" (1988 to 1990) - It was a spin off of "Growing Pains", reprising Bill Kirchenbauer as Graham Lubbock who taught at the same school as the two eldest Sever kids attended (Mike and Carol), until his character was let go due to 'budget cuts'. The premise featured the adventure of the 10 person Lubbock household. Most of 10 members were girls, the elder girls ere the focus of many of the episodes. Lubbock coached at a Catholic Boy's High School where the elder Lubbock girls attended (yeah, that was a good idea, and many of the episode plots). It has not held up very well in the years since I watched it. It's a bit too schmaltzy, like a hallmark card, much like how Growing Pains was an overly family oriented show.  I watched quite a bit of the show back in the day, even though it last 1  and 1/2 seasons. I remember relating to the smart Lubbock girl, Marie (although not a pious as her character generally was) at times and the ditzy and klutzy, Cindy Lubbock (I wonder why). The overall feel of the show felt like a Christian sit-com. I could be wrong, but after re-watching the one episode I found on youtube, i felt that this should remain buried. Most notably though, the theme song was sung by Bill Medley.

These were the shows of my youth, as were "My Two Dad", "Bosom Buddies", and "Blossom". It is
harder to find some of these, mostly through youtube; only Small Wonder is currently on DVD. Although you can get a Region 2 DVD, Volume 1 of "Out of this World". Since DVD's of TV shows have become popular and streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu more accessible I can only hope to see more of these obscure TV shows being released or featured

While I can at least look back fondly of this show, sometimes I wonder if the memories are better than reliving. I am too much a curious seeker not to try them out, might give give me more blog material to return to. But, there the chance that some of these shows are really terrible after years of being shoved into the closet of my memories. I don't necessarily want to ruin the good memories associated with them. Others I might actively pursue.

Verdict is that "Out of this World", "The Charmings", and "Marblehead Manor" are still worth watching. It might be kind of hokey, but it's my kind of hokey. Marblehead is just waiting to be resurrected. The others, not so sure, somethings are better left alone.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave me a note: