I know that everyone likes to make fun of this show because who the heck is going to get stuck in a refrigerator? Well, friends, I decided it would be a great idea to sit in the refrigerator as a kid. Luckily, I was a little too big to fit between the shelves at the time and therefore couldn’t get the door to shut all the way. Also, it was 1995 and I’m pretty sure I could have just kicked the door open unlike the door on this this really ancient death-trap refrigerator.
So this episode occurred in 1986, but Punky’s guardian loves the fridge he’s had since c.1945. When it pretty much explodes, he’s forced to get a new one. He leaves the old on in his backyard (and has some kind of plan to remove the door for the Salvation Army). Meanwhile, Punky and her friends are playing hide and go seek. Having seen Punky’s friend Cherie go inside earlier (before she doubled back to the refrigerator), he tells the rest of the kids to come in out of the snow.
Then we just watch the locked refrigerator for a few minutes as Cherie cries for help before she passes out. After a few hours, the adults and kids alike figure that maybe they should go looking for her. Like maybe it’s kind of odd that an eight year old has been hiding for like two freaking hours. No one is THAT dedicated to hide and go seek.
Finally, they discover her in the refrigerator, unconscious. Punky and her friend administer CPR. Now, I have to admit that my CPR certification expired in June of last year. But I’m still 99.9% positive that you’re supposed to check for a pulse like first and foremost. But instead Punky just kind of like says she’s not breathing and starts mouth-to-mouth. Then at some point they realize she doesn’t have a pulse and start chest compressions. I feel like maybe this is not correct CPR, but Punky did just learn it that very same day in elementary schools, so I guess she’s some kind of “expert.”
Then Punky’s other friend cried because he didn’t know CPR. Her guardian says he’s the only one to blame because he didn’t take the refrigerator door off in the snow (???) like that’s the weirdest survivor’s guilt I’ve ever heard of. Except they all survive because Punky learned CPR in 20 minutes and Cherie doesn’t even need to go to the doctor because Punky is such a good medic!
Very Special Lesson: Pay attention in class!
6 thoughts on “Punky Brewster: Cherie Lifesaver”
Oh, man. I think I was absent that day when they taught Hide and Seek.
Lol. It probably saved your life! Also, I’m just thinking about how weird it is that this episode is called “Cherie Lifesaver” and not “Punky Lifesaver” or “Cherie’s Lifesaver.” I don’t understand the title grammatically!
I think the writer was just frothing at the mouth with excitement over the use of a “Cherry” pun in the title, he didn’t care about how it might confuse so many of us. PLUS the Lifesaver brand is called that because if you choke on one, the hole in the middle will prevent suffocation. Looking back on it, the writer of this episode is goddamn brilliant.
If YouTube comments are to be believed, this episode idea was actually submitted by a fan. Also that pun confused at least one kid. The little boy who thought he was responsible for her near death called her Cherry instead of Cherie (like Cheryl).
I know this is an old post, but apparently in the ’70s kids dying in old fridges was such a big problem in the UK that the government had to make adverts telling people how to do their flytipping responsibly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sIbV3PUB3s
Oh my gosh you’re right! Apparently, this episode came from a viewer suggestion to do a CPR episode and the show’s research into refrigerator-deaths. Eek! http://mentalfloss.com/article/74018/oral-history-punky-brewsters-refrigerator-danger