Post 78- America Was Watching ABC!
First, watch this:
Amazing, right? Did you feel the waves of nostalgia wash over you? I sure did. I’m going to be discussing each clip in order so prepare to go back and re-watch it again and again! Let’s get cracking!
1. The cast of The Wonder Years. I think it’s clear throughout this promo that Fred Savage is the happiest kid who ever lived. He is so filled with glee I almost forgot that there was hardly an episode of The Wonder Years where he got to smile. Sure, occasionally he kissed Winnie Cooper, but those instances typically followed with her saying, “I can’t. I’m dating the taller football player.” Or, “My brother just died in Vietnam.” The Wonder Years was a great show and very real, but depressingly so. The Arnold Family took the fun out of dysfunction. Kevin Arnold’s (Fred Savage) brother Wayne was a violent asshole, constantly beating Fred up, his sister was a drugged up hippie who rarely acknowledged his existence, his dad was an emotionally detached alcoholic—an unsuccessful, fat Don Draper—and his mom was miserable, lonely and depressed, trapped in a loveless marriage. But at least Kevin had Paul, right? Right? Frankly I’m surprised this show lasted six seasons. Not because it wasn’t quality, it certainly was, but because it was so dark. If this show was on TV today, it would maybe be on FX, certainly not on glossy ABC.
2. Who the hell is that creepy guy in his pajamas pounding his fists together eight seconds in? How did he make it in this super happy promo?
3. Of course Bob Saget is that happy! He may have been “held back” comedically in the 90s, but he had two hit shows and was becoming a multi-millionaire!
4. Why is Roseanne surrounded by six, fat Asian Roseanne children? This is becoming a bad acid trip.
5. Tony Danza—whatever it was that you did, people loved “it.”
6. Even back then Neil Patrick Harris had a great voice. But from the looks of it, a different nose…
7. You know who else enjoyed the 90s? The cast of Family Matters. You know who is not enjoying the 2000s? The cast of Family Matters. Why did they make Steve Urkel wear those giant prop glasses? What zany photographer had that idea? Side note: How come current sitcoms featuring black families can only be on BET, from the mind of Tyler Perry, or cartoons (The Cleveland Show)? Another side note: How pissed off were the show’s writers when the Steve Urkel broke out? “We wanted to write a family sitcom about an African- American working class Chicago family, and now we’re being forced to write gags for a creepy, voyeuristic, accordion-playing freak who ruins everything.”
8. Growing Pains cast. You could do no wrong in my book.
9. There goes happy Fred Savage again!
10. I don’t know what this show is where Tom Bosley (Happy Days’ Mr. C) plays a priest, but I want to watch it.
11. Why would they use the take where the news anchors crack up? (Just kidding. It’s to humanize them.)
12. Hey it’s the token bearded red-head! The Jesse Tyler Ferguson pre-Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Actually that’s Timothy Busfield, West Wing’s White House reporter/oft-lover of CJ Craig, Danny Concannon.
13. Where do these casts get these props? Why is Mike Seever (Kirk Cameron) holding a magnifying glass?? When has Growing Pains ever used a magnifying glass??? Who on that show would even need one? There must have been an episode where Ben becomes a junior detective to figure out who keeps taking his cookies, and then Mike Seever tells him not to worry about cookies since the rapture is coming and to pledge his love for Christ before it’s too late.
14. Cartoon Beetlejuice. Why is he the only cartoon featured? Weren’t there others?
15. Bob Saget featured again. America loved Bob Saget! His direction for this second little clip: Go like you’re going to eat the apple, but right before you take a bite, look at it like you suspect it’s been poisoned.
16. Classic Peter Falk! “I’m an actor, not a monkey. Get the fuck outta my face.”
17. It’s Alyssa Milano back when only creepers thought she was hot.
18. Now Roseanne is dancing with fat Asian Roseanne children in front of a fake Hollywood sign.
19. Apparently there was a cowboy show on ABC. No recollection of that one.
20. Why are all the clips with these two weirdos (1:21) always sped up? You can barely register who they were.
21. I imagine the Tom Bosley priest show featured him going on lots of adventures with nuns. Lots of fun to be had there.
22. The Full House dads sure had a great time on screen. It’s cause they were getting so much pussy off-screen.
23. TV SHOW ROLL CALL:
Baby Talk! The co-creator of Everyone Loves Raymond used to work on that show which was a spin-off of the Look Who’s Talking movies. But instead of being voiced by Bruce Willis, the baby was voiced by…who else, but TONY DANZA! For those of you counting at home, Tony Danza now has TWO shows on ABC in 1990. Of course the network execs would want the baby to talk like a thick New Yorker. And because John Travolta didn’t do TV anymore, to play his part they got…Scott Baio. It’s a real shame this show didn’t last more than…wait. 23 episodes? It lasted almost a full season?! Ok. Never mind. This show was given more than a fair run.
Cop Rock! I like how for in this clip they didn’t even show cops. They show a gospel choir. This show tops the unintentional comedy scale. A precursor to Glee, it had it’s own riginal music with such gems as, “Be Careful Out There.” There’s so much comedy in this song it requires its own post.
Gabriel’s Fire. James Earl Jones as a psychotic baseball player? This clip reminds me an awful lot of this one.
Going Places- Just judging by the title and one second clip I’m guessing this is a modern day Laverne and Shirley perhaps? Two women. Going places. Doing some research it has come to my attention that this Heather Locklear show was about the production staff behind a zany talk show. But with only 19 episodes, I guess no one got anywhere.
Married People- Fighting over what seems to be a jar of peanut butter and yelling at each other. “That’s Marriage!” I guess couples were too busy doing that, that they couldn’t watch this show.
America’s Funniest Part II- Was that just more clips? Clips that didn’t make it into the show? Like the Godfather Part II, was it better than the original? Only Bob Saget knows.
Enough with the fat Asian Rosennne children!
More Saget, more sped up wackos, more exctiment all building up to the finale…
AN OLSEN TWIN! The linchpin of the entire ABC lineup. “Watch ABC because we have The Olsen Twins!” Ending this promo with a shot of “Michelle” really indicates the Olsen’s value. Michelle was ABC’s crowning glory. She epitomized all that is good and fun and wholesome and lovable. They made sure not to even sneak a shot of her earlier, making this last shot that much more grand.
(Sigh.) I miss the 90s. But honestly, not that much. I’d rather watch Mad Men, Breaking Bad, or 30 Rock then any of this crap.