02 December 2005

great moments in TV history

(or ones that just stuck in my head)

Who knew that Mr. Belvedere would waste so much space in my memory? Two episodes, in particular, remain vivid. One featured Wesley at day camp. A counselor’s “good job, son” shoulder squeezes progressed into an uncomfortable situation. Wesley’s standard goofiness dissolved into an end-of-episode acumen mandated by ‘80s sitcoms, and he untangled himself from the situation.

Heather was the character in focus on the other Mr. Belvedere episode I somewhat keenly recall. She scored a date to a big dance with Johnny Football or someone of his date-raping ilk. And—did I give it away all ready?—he assaulted her. I’m not sure to whom she finally revealed this, but it was probably Mr. Belvedere. Whoever it was encountered Heather in the attic, hiding the dress she wore that night. If only she had taken Wesley’s blonde friend who wore the head gear to the dance instead!

Kooky Punky Brewster had that prim and prissy friend Margaret, who, in one episode, managed to get stuck in a discarded refrigerator. This terrified me. As if the episode weren’t a public service announcement enough for not leaving doors on fridges when you throw them out, it included a somber warning at the end of the show. I wonder how much the Organization for the Leaving Off of Doors on Discarded Refrigerators paid to have this plotline worked into the show.

Rags to Riches picked up where Annie left off in inspiring hope in little girls. Hope to become orphans because not only do rich, albeit gruff, men adopt you, but you can sing and dance something fierce. I particularly recall the episode in which rough and sassy Marla buys an ice cream truck. For some anger-induced reason, she douses it with gasoline so she can set it on fire. But I can’t remember if it actually caught on fire or if there was time to learn an important lesson before the van went up in flames.

On one episode of Who’s the Boss? Samantha’s boyfriend gave her a hickey. That’s right—a hickey! Omigod, I was probably soooo embarrassed to watch this if my parents were in the room. Sam tried—futilely, of course—to conceal it. Scarves, turtlenecks, a stupid dance routine. But you can’t hide anything from Tony Danza.

I should have identified more with all the nerds on Head of the Class, but I was too absorbed with coveting the lives and beauty of Samantha Micelli and the girls on Just the Ten of Us. I do recall the time the accelerated class went to Russia for a class trip, and Arvid and Dennis smuggled Levis into the country to sell them. I'm not sure, but hilarity—allegedly—ensued.

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