Friday, August 21, 2009

Return of the Worst TV Show Ever!

With news that SMALL WONDER is finally coming to DVD, I've decided to rerun a post from last fall about the show.

SMALL WONDER was a syndicated sitcom that from 1985 to 1989. In New York, where I lived at the time, it aired Saturday nights on Channel 5, WNEW (or WNYW) - around the time the station became a FOX affiliate.The show felt like an awkward throwback to the 1960s, especially with it's cheesy theme song. The premise was this: some nerdy scientist guy secretly builds a robot that looks like a 10-year-old girl, but she really is designed to perform house work at superhuman speed. The Robot is named Vicki, and this guy and his wife pass her off as their adopted daughter–even though they make her sleep in the box she came in!!! Very creepy!Complicating things are the guy's bastard of a boss, who lived next door with a nosy, bratty daughter. It was like THE JETSONS meets BEWITCHED meets MY LIVING DOLL (which I've never seen - but am dying to!) I can recall watching several episodes of this show just out of disbelief that it actually got "greenlit". It must have had some loyal fans because it lasted FOUR seasons!Of course, now I wish it was airing somewhere. Hello, TV LAND? Here's an ambitious fan site dedicated to the show. I'm sure the show is even (unintentionally) funnier as seen through 2008 eyes. I say "give me SMALL WONDER over over-hyped crap like GOSSIP GIRL any day!"
Apparently, after four seasons, yes, wonders do indeed cease.


td. said...

ohmygod - I love this show too!!! and i gate gossip girl.

Mikey Jay said...

Interesting facts about Small Wonder:

Because it was airing on UHF channels that became FOX affiliates during the first season, SMALL WONDER is, officially, the first in-house produced Fox sitcom. Not MARRIED WITH CHILDREN, ladies and gentlemen, but SMALL WONDER. Chew on that.

There is a cult devoted to finding out what happened to Jerry Supirian, aka Jamie. Apparently, after SMALL WONDER he was never heard from again. Stories range from 'he died in the early 90's' to 'He works at an Outback Steakhouse in Oklahoma City.' In fact, the entire cast of SMALL WONDER never worked again in the same capacity. The dad is a director, the mom is a legal attorney or something, Harriet the neighbor is an agent, and Vicky is some born-again Christian who does something for a living. Most likely covering Sonseed hits for an in-home CD selling business.

SMALL WONDER is responsible for my favorite pick-up line from ages 19 through approximately a few months ago: "What shakin' with the little mama's bacon?" In the third or fourth season, Jamie procured a then-staple of 80's sitcoms: the ethnic best friend. This friend of Jamie's (I can't remember his name) was either black or Mexican or both, and -- true to form -- was cocky and a 'hit with the ladies' in a Damone-from-Fast-Times-at-Ridgemont-High sort of way. His token phrase - "What's Shakin' With the Little Mama's Bacon?" - was co-opted by yours truly and helped drive my legendary hook-up status into the stratosphere. Thank you, SMALL WONDER!

doug said...

Great stuff - Mike! Thanks for posting. Hopefully a DVD box set will appear one day. Hell if PUNKY BREWSTER can be don dvd - why not SMALL WONDER?

Anonymous said...

altho from different era's, both are glimpses into what the masses desired as escapism.

it is possible to appreciate both gossip girl and small wonder... i do!

-amelie in san francisco

MOP said...

She's fantastic! Made of plastic!
She's a smaaaalll wonder!

Kevin said...

Never seen this but I was a big fan of "My Living Doll" when I was a kid. Hubba hubba Julie Newmar in a towel! I love these credits because they're a compendium of all bad sitcom cliches in one 90-second sequence. Especially the nosy girl who looks like Adam Rich in a witness protection program. Oh, and I love "Gossip Girl" so go easy on it even if it is overhyped.