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Comment count is 35
The Mothership - 2014-07-03

Ah yes, on before Webster but after Matlock on the syndicated channel, during the odd month when they gave Threes' Company a break.

Even I, an extremely devoted daytime TV watching middle-schooler in the early 90s, could not watch this.

BHWW - 2014-07-04

The 1980s and early 1990s airwaves were just filled with this sort of low rent, first run syndicated sitcom trash.
Small Wonder was probably one of the worst, one of the first sitcoms produced directly for syndication, none of the networks would pick it up (huh, wonder why?) so it was instead sold to a "consortium" of broadcasters. Small Wonder did well enough to convince other producers to sell their own garbage shows directly to syndication - either 'original' sitcoms or terrible failed network shows that were dusted off and revamped for syndication, leading to the survival of trash like Charles in Charge, or Mama's Family coming back for several more cheaper-looking seasons of Vicki Lewis wearing a bad wig and shrieking punchlines.

Small Wonder and probably Charles in Charge were probably definitive sitcoms of this era of television - examples of everything bad and deeply, deeply wrong with 80s sitcoms:

The inane theme songs that did not seem to belong to any particular genre of music. The strained wacky schemes, the obnoxious sub-par child actors and general mugging by the entire casts. Being produced directly for syndication and therefore shot as cheaply as possible, with only a couple of sets, which looked like they were going to fall over at any moment.

Looking back on these crappy 1980s shows, you notice that bad shows were worse back then than any show could get nowadays. The bad sitcoms of today are for the most part incredibly mediocre but have at the very least a certain basic workmanlike professionalism in acting, production values, script structure, with a few exceptions.
A bad '80s sitcom like Charles in Charge or Small Wonder or We Got it Maid or She's The Sheriff or It's A Living or so on looks like it was created, written and directed by some sort of cave-dwelling creatures. The unbelievable levels of amateurishness is part of the reason why people remember these shows at all, compared to most of the bland bad sitcoms of the 1990s.

M-DEEM - 2014-07-04

Totally, and I submit that the spirit of the shitty 80s sitcom lives on in stuff like The Pitts (2003). The Pitts is just dicks in your face.


memedumpster - 2014-07-04

I hope Jennifer Slept Here haunts your dreams at night.

John Holmes Motherfucker - 2014-07-04

>>The Pitts is just dicks in your face.

You say that like it's a BAD thing...


John Holmes Motherfucker - 2014-07-04

This was on for four seasons? I have to assume it got better.

M-DEEM - 2014-07-04

Wow. 96 episodes.

So in terms of longevity, this show is better than Deadwood and Freaks and Geeks!

Kid Fenris - 2014-07-05

And better than Firefly! Be sure to point that out to every Joss Whedon fan you know!

Ocyrus - 2014-07-04


Syd Midnight - 2014-07-04

One of the first PoE sites I ever saw was a fetish page dedicated to VICKI

Centennial Ostrich - 2014-07-04

I clicked on the link to make that same comment. *shudders

Callamon - 2014-07-04

I remember being a little in love with vicki then horrified when the dad took her face off.

John Holmes Motherfucker - 2014-07-04

Checked Google, and her IMDB page. She became a Christian, and hosted the 700 club at 17. There's a clip in youtube, also a blooper reel that is way funnier than this terrible show. She was way cuter than you'd think from seeing her as Little Miss Butterface in the tent dress.

She's 39 now, and a counselor working with children and young adults. She's also a registered nurse. It does the heart good to learn of a child star leaving show business to become a productive member of society as an adult, even if she's a christian. Recently looked up one of my favorite child stars from the seventies, Lisa Gerritsen, and learned that she'd worked for a software company, i and now is a relocation consultant, and she's just about my age. She's married with a Son in the SF area.

M-DEEM - 2014-07-04

I once looked up the girl who played Newt in Aliens. She never acted in anything before of since, and is now a school teacher according to IMDb.

M-DEEM - 2014-07-04

"before of since". pffft.

Syd Midnight - 2014-07-06

I've noticed that there's a small group of child actors who only ever appeared in one good movie before retiring, despite being a fine actor, and as such have completely avoided the whole "child actor" self destruct syndrome and instead grew up to be normal people.

dairyqueenlatifah - 2014-07-04

Me and my sister used to watch this when I was 4 and 5 years old and we were too poor for anything other than rabbit ears so when saturday morning cartoons ended we had nothing else to watch.

I recall a really creepy Small Wonder fansite, complete with message board, and the ugliest yellow on white page design you'll ever see, that was on the front page of PoE years ago. I remember a "VICKI Poetry" thread that was like 300 posts by the same two guys.

Rodents of Unusual Size - 2014-07-04


All I remember about this show is how much I hated literally every single character.

Unmerciful Crushing Force - 2014-07-04

This isn't the site you mention but it's worthwhile as it's one of the series' staff going on and on about the show and it's aspirations towards legitimate sci-fi.

http://members.surfbest.net/smallwonder@surfbest.net/SWonTV/SW onTV.html

baleen - 2014-07-04

Watched this show all the time when I was a kid.

jreid - 2014-07-04

My 8 year old self had a huge crush on that robot girl, which kind of explains many of my relationships as an adult.

badideasinaction - 2014-07-04

Did you end up with a robot fetish?

Caminante Nocturno - 2014-07-05

I've always had a robot fetish and I've always hated this show.

boner - 2014-07-04

I never watched this show but I did watch the one with the teenage girl who talks to her dad who is an outer space alien through a crystal on her night table

badideasinaction - 2014-07-04

Ah yes, Out of This World, another show that got a weird following.

I also remember The Charmings, about snow white and prince charming transporting to modern LA

Nominal - 2014-07-04

Out of This World, the show about a teenager with time stopping powers who never ONCE uses it to cop a feel.

Actually, there was some shitty independent movie on Netflix that had that exact plot. Dude working at a grocery store who gets time stopping power and just uses it to mosey around the aisles stripping every hot woman.

John Holmes Motherfucker - 2014-07-04

Weirdly, I had never heard of this show in the last 30 years, but I just saw a reference to it with a clip in a discussion of "uber patriotic anthems" from the Onion's AV club less than a half hour before seeing it here. Since today is the 4th of July, I guess I'll try to submit this.

cognitivedissonance - 2014-07-04

There was another show that was paired along with this, and it was essentially Mary Poppins but with a twist... the eccentric magical nanny was an angel, and had to report to God at the end of every episode. Every time I try to explain it, people think I'm making it up.

memedumpster - 2014-07-04

I started to say Touched By An Angel, but that came after Small Wonder. And it ran for nine years.

cognitivedissonance - 2014-07-04

No, it was definitely a sitcom, whereas Touched By An Angel was a CBS Fogey Drama. She dressed like a Time Lord.

Kieran27 - 2014-07-04

I vaguely remember something like that show you describe, but I have no idea what it was called. Damn... This is gonna bug me now.

Sanest Man Alive - 2014-07-04

How did America fuck up a Dr. Slump adaptation this badly?

Unmerciful Crushing Force - 2014-07-04

On the other hand, if they re-imagine it, it would probably be a Gunslinger Girl adaptation.

fluffy - 2014-07-09

This show was terrible. I watched a couple episodes. One of them was the obligatory "drugs are bad" one. It made no sense.

Jet Bin Fever - 2014-07-10

The scene at 8:35 or so is horrifying.

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