Small Wonder: Chewed Out (Smokers Delight)

grouchovickiIt has been quite a while since I posted a legit Very Special Episode on this blog. I figured I better go ahead and get back in the game, lest the internet gods grow angry and take this website’s name away from me. Today, we’re exploring a little show called Small Wonder. I’m primarily looking into this show because several years ago a friend said to me, “I think I also read somewhere that they based Small Wonder off of your childhood.” I had never heard of Small Wonder, so he linked me to Wikipedia and it turns out that it’s a show about a robot child, so I replied, as one does, “I have emotionsssss.”

I can only assume he drew such a comparison because I was once a small brunette child who could rock a pinafore dress like a mofo. Today, I watched my very first episode of Small Wonder. It is a creepy, creepy show.

4437f4bc78c323b549967d74d63c2c96Basically, there’s just like this really adorable child who is like Rosie the Robot from The Jetsons. She is NOT technically a human, but it kind of looks like this suburban family has a little girl as a house slave. As the robot mops the floor, Ted “the Dad” has a cigarette after a stressful day at work. Both his wife and child robot-maid admonish him. (So does the child-robot have self-awareness or not? If so, then this is like even creepier.) Also, this show ran for four (4!) seasons! What happened when the child actress aged? Does the ROBOT age? Is it a feature of the robot to grow up? AHHHH I WILL HAVE NIGHTMARES.

Anyway, some (real) children enter the kitchen. While the parents run errands, the (real) kids find the pack of cigarettes in the trash. They’re like ooooh if we smoke these, then the older kids at school will think that we are cool. The the robot offers to show them how to smoke because she saw it on TV and retained the info in her hard-drive.

9026337892_311365e006_oThe robot demonstrates how to smoke but she exhales through her ears and even blows smoke rings THROUGH HER EARS. I’m telling you people this is the CREEPIEST thing ever.

The next morning (none the wiser to the smoking) the mother sends the robot to her son’s room to fetch him for breakfast. The next thing we see is the robot dragging the kid into the kitchen by his ear. He complains to his mother that the robot barged in on him changing, and his dad says not to worry because she isn’t a girl, she’s a robot. (Okay, so she is JUST a machine. That’s only until the machines rise up to get us, of course.) But after some discussion, the parents agree to keep her in their room instead. I literally do not understand how this show was EVER on the air.

Then their son and his friend entice a cool kid to hang out with them by promising him a rare baseball card. They try to casually smoke some cigs to show him how cool they are. But he informs them that cigs are out and chewing tobacco is in. (Um people who were teenager in the 80’s, is this true? I SERIOUSLY hope not beause I cannot think of a more disgusting habit.) He then demonstrates how to use “chewing tobacco,” but he actually shows them how to use dip, so this loser either doesn’t know what he’s doing. Or has stuck leaves of tobacco inside his lip. So either way, that’s gross.

0Meanwhile, the robot has moved her cabinet into the parents’ bedroom. Mom and Dad get freaked out when they realize the robot can both see and hear them through her cabinet. It’s almost like having a lifelike child robot in your home is NOT the ideal situation. Also, this robot seems to have opinions. Like she doesn’t LIKE it when the dad makes her face the back of the cabinet. She seems to have THOUGHTS and a PERSONALITY. This is just WRONG on SO many levels.

Anyway, I’m thinking the real kid in this family might get away with smoking/dipping with no consequences from his parents. They’re pretty distracted by the artificial intelligence in their bedroom and they did carelessly throw out a pack of cigarettes where their twelve year-old son could easily find them. So I’m thinking, they are hands-off on the whole parenting thing. Plus, the kid stupidly swallowed the dip and I thought maybe THAT would be the whole “learning your lesson” thing because like omg the horror. I’m feeling ill just thinking about it. Nicotine poisoning is REAL, people!

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The horror!
But in the last 5 minutes of the episode, the parents both learn about and resolve the issue. That’s a pretty tight turn around even by very special episode standards. Actually, they only find out because they are self-conscious about sharing their bedroom with the robot child, so they turn on the TV to watch a Bette Davis movie. And by the way, the robot just happened to learn how to SMOKE from a Bette Davis movie. Oh yeah and their kid was also dumb enough to store cigarettes in the robot’s pinafore pocket and not remove them before insisting she hang out with his parents overnight. So she starts smoking a cigarette in her cabinet and the parents start to ask some questions. (Finally.)

This kid is more stupid than I ever thought possible (once again, even by VSE standards.) He tells his parents that he’s never going to smoke again because chewing tobacco is his new thing. His dad tries that parenting tactic where you make your kids do a whole bunch of one thing to make them hate it. But like here’s the thing, forcing your kids to ingest a whole bunch of nicotine (oh yeah the kid swallows it again, smh) is almost definitely child abuse. You don’t get to swoop-in with five minutes to spare and make your kid really sick just because you were too busy dealing with a robot in your bedroom to notice he’d not only gotten into your cigarettes, but also picked up a dipping habit. Try explaining that to the social worker someone’s going to send to your house.

Also, in the last two minutes of the episode, that cool kid who does dip ends up getting cancer. So. Yeah. Bummer.

Very Special Lesson: Don’t leave cigarettes where kids can get them. DON’T DIP/CHEW/WHATEVER BECAUSE IT IS GROSS. Gross is not cool. Also, purchase Alexa or a Roomba or whatever, but don’t have a creepy childlike robot.

Girl Meets Goodbye

Girl Meets World aired their series finale last night. You all know how I feel about this show, so I may as well have called this post Girl Meets Good Riddance. But I am excited to post about it because this is finally the episode with the gigantic Boy Meets World reunion!! (Including both Morgan’s!! Cannot wait to see how they do that!)

BACK ROW: RIDER STRONG, CHERYL TEXIERA, DANNY MCNULTY, WILLIAM RUSS, BETSY RANDLE, LEE NORRIS, WILL FRIEDLE, ANTHONY TYLER QUINN; FRONT ROW: AUGUST MATURO, DANIELLE FISHEL, SABRINA CARPENTER, ROWAN BLANCHARD, WILLIAM DANIELS, BEN SAVAGE, URIAH SHELTON, LILY NICKSAY, LINDSAY RIDGEWAY, MICHAEL JACOBS

The episode starts off with Maya asking Riley if Topanga has made a decision about taking a job in London (meaning the entire family will move away from New York City). Cory teaches some overbearing lesson to the class about “Belgium 1831” and how it’s all like what they’re going through (namely, what HIS kid is going through) right now. UGH these kids better not be Millennials. We don’t need anyone else accusing us of being self-centered like this! When were these children born? They better be in a different generation! (Ugh, crap. Apparently Millennials were born all the way until 2004. We’ll I’d just like to divest the late 80’s/early 90’s babies from that set, PLEASE.)

So Topanga assembles everyone important to her to bounce around some ideas. (This includes former school bully/current school janitor, Harley. And Minkus…who we didn’t even seen for the last several years of Boy Meets World, but I guess he’s kind of a big deal now because he’s Farkle’s dad.)

Morgan_Matthews(s).pngAs far as both Morgan’s are concerned, they address them both as Morgan. Both as “their sisters.” This is horrible. I REALLY REALLY dislike this. Also, Mr. Turner isn’t even here. This episode super sucks. Oh wait, jk. He literally just walked through the door.

The only cool thing is you get to see Feeny and Eric talk. They’re still funny together. Also, Shawn announces he’s going to adopt Maya. Topanga is mad because she wants to talk about the job offer and she feels like they’re stealing her thunder. Uh, sorry Topanga. A kid just gained a dad today, you jerk.

The Morgan’s offer Cory and Topanga’s youngest kid some advice. They tag-team out mid conversation. This is weird. Maya is really sad and she says that Riley won’t leave because they belong together, but then Josh comes over to talk with all of them and Maya decides that life is replacing Riley with Josh (because she’s a self-centered person who gives a bad name to us older Millennials). They all say they hope to get to keep being themselves and blah blah blah.

Oh, whoops, guess what! Topanga decides they won’t move!! (So really they totally ripped off the end of That 70’s Show where they think they’ll sell the house and move but then they actually don’t. Is this a trope? How many other shows have done this?)

Ugh, now we’re back to Corey talking about “Belgium 1831” and how it applies to their small little lives again. Like seriously, there are like 5 kids in this class who ever cared about the move and the other 12 kids must be so pissed. If my kid had a teacher who taught around 5 kids, I would be calling the PTA like crazy. Cory must be really taking advantage of tenure.

Then there’s a flashback to Cory’s last monologue from Boy Meets World (to original Josh, who I think is the show creator’s son). Now, THAT was a good finale. And then we return to Girl Meets World. As they wrap up their chat inside Topanga’s bakery, a patron comes in and I am 99% sure that he is the grown up version of that OG Josh. By the way OG Josh is a lot older than replacement Josh. They like definitely aged that character down. And then that’s the end! This writing is so bad, it’s literally just the nostalgia factor that kept this show going. OMG it HAS to be. So yep, good riddance.

Anyhow, if you made it all the way end to this crappy post about a crappy show, tell me in the comments which Morgan you liked better on Boy Meets World. I’m team OG Morgan, Lily Nicksay.

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Fuller House: Happy New Year Baby

Fuller House was not messing around with the holidays this year! They covered the 4 major Fall/Winter holidays, so this year I bring you a New Year’s episode.

We FINALLY Get to see Kimmy Gibbler wearing her pizza sweater from the promo shots in this episode. (Please, people of the internet, tell me where I can get one of these. If you own an Etsy shop, link me to it in the comments!) She also has a pizza topping scarf and a pizza bow, but I’m not as excited about either of these. Her pizza earrings are pretty sweet though.

DJ is throwing a big New Year’s party. And Steve tells her that he wants to propose to CJ at DJ’s party. (CJ is Steve’s girlfriend this season and she’s eerily similar to DJ not only in name but also in personality.) He also wants her to write his proposal for him…ugh weird.

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Shortly after Steve makes this big announcement, Danny, Jesse, Becky, and Joey and the freaking woodchuck puppet show up. (Insert loud crying emoji here). Beck and Jesse are apparently in town to adopt a new baby. This came up briefly in a previous episode, but I still don’t understand it to be perfectly honest.

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fh_212_unit_01445_r_crop-minWe also get to hear Joey do a very poor Marlon Brando impression when Jesse asks him to be the baby’s godfather. Danny gets pretty touchy about not being offered the godfather-ship. So the three guys start arguing about how much Danny saved them in rent over the years vs. how much they saved him in baby-sitting. (It’s San Francisco real estate dudes, you got the much better deal.) But Danny goes for the jugular when he tells Jesse that Forever is “not [his] favorite song.” Well, we were all thinking it… Joey (who is also upset because Jesse tried to placate Danny by telling him he could be the godfather instead of Joey) agrees with Danny. So Jesse tells Joey that Mr. Woodchuck sucks. THANK GOD WE ARE FINALLY ADDRESSING THIS! Then Joey tells Jesse that the only reason people watch “Wake Up USA” is because they want to watch Becky. Ouch. I mean. Hm. This one feels hurtful where as the others were like things that NEEDED to be said. This is Danny’s whole career! It’s not one dumb song or puppet!

But out of the mouths of babes, DJ’s middle child saves the whole situation when he comes outside looking for advice on how to forgive his older brother for being a jerk to him at the New Year’s party. The three grown men say that nothing is more important than loving your brothers. (But like…they’re not actually brothers…okay fine…ugh Jesse even hugs Mr. Woodchuck…oh wait it’s just a fake out to throw him over the fence. YAHOO!)

As predictable as this show is, I’m sure you could all tell as soon as I mentioned that Steve needed DJ’s help his proposal that CJ would mistakenly think that Steve was involved with DJ. BUT I be you didn’t guess that DJ would ultimately propose to CJ on Steve’s behalf and that a very confused Matt would enter the party in the midst of this.

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The next morning, Jesse and Becky bring their new baby to see everyone. They name her Pamela after the girls’ mother and Jesse’s sister. All of the actors of varying talent seem to genuinely tear up over this. Maybe they felt like Pam was a real character on the original show even though we only saw her for like 2 seconds in a home video in the show’s original run. But honestly, I teared up too because dammit it’s a sweet sentiment.

Also, DJ reveals that she was going to pick Steve before he got involved with CJ, but now she’s happy with Matt. Something tells me we haven’t seen the ends of this love triangle…

Happy Days: Guess Who’s Coming to Christmas

Merry Christmas Eve, Very Special Readers! I will keep things short today with this sweet little episode from Happy Days‘s first season.

Howard Cunningham has some VERY serious Christmas rules. No one can be in the house except for family and no one can start trimming the tree until he is ready. He freaks out when he thinks someone has tried to start decorating without him, but it turns out that it’s just a rogue sock from a laundry basket.

In a rare appearance, we see Chuck Cunningham as the sock’s owner. But it’s like they were already writing him out:

I forgot that Howard Cunningham owned a hardware store. He and Richie are at the store’s holiday party (where an employee is so drunk he literally passes out. Woah, Happy Days!) Sadly, Howard’s car breaks down on the way home. But on the bright side, Fonzie is still at the shop and can fix it for them. Fonzie won’t let him pay for the job since it’s Christmas. As they head home, Richie realizes he forgot to give Fonzie his present (a three-in-one wrench). He heads back to give Fonzie the gift and sees him eating Christmas dinner alone. Richie doesn’t want to embarrass Fonzie, so he turns back to the car without giving him the gift.

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Richie tries to tell his dad when he gets back in the car, but Howard is SOOO excited for family time that he doesn’t tell his dad about Fonzie until the get home. Howard is still reluctant because it’s “family time,” but he realizes what an ass he sounds like as he lectures his family on why they shouldn’t invite someone in to share their Christmas.

So Howard and Richie head over to Fonzie’s to invite him over. He tries to fake them out like he’s going to visit his cousin and is going to miss his bus. The whole thing is so pathetic. Howard ties to help Fonzie with his suitcase only to discover it is empty. And Fonzie dismisses the presumable emptiness of his suitcase by saying, “I travel light.”

Trying not to hurt Fonzie’s pride, Richie tell him that he just wishes he would wait to go to his cousin’s until in the morning because he really wants them to see their great Christmas tree. To which Fonzie replies, “I got a tree.” And it’s like the saddest tree this side of Peanuts.

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They’re so full of shit.
Earlier in the episode, we saw Fonzie give gifts to all of the waitresses at Arnold’s, Richie, Potsie, and Ralph. But no one had anything in return to give to Fonzie. (I guess we can assume that Richie picked something up at the hardware store receiving Fonzie’s gift at the diner.)

They finally get him to spend Christmas with them without insulting him, but telling him that they need him to fix the Santa on their lawn. It has some kind of electrical problem this year and it’s a very important tradition. By the time he has fixed Santa (and their Christmas tree lights), Fonzie has missed the last bus. So they’re all like well, guess you have to stay here. Ever prideful, Fonzie still resists. And then Howard “Family Time” Cunningham is like hey let me drive you!

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I mean Santa is legit broken though.
And then Fonzie (who obviously really wanted to stay) is like oh man, it’s  snowing too hard. It would be wrong for me to make you drive me. And then Marian is just like finally done with all this crap and she tells Fonzie that he is staying and that’s the end of it.

happydays3But the best part is when Howard lets Fonzie take over all of the Christmas traditions. Fonzie wants to do EVERYTHING and Howard gladly passes the baton. He realizes how fortunate he is to have such a lovely family and he’s finally happy to share that with someone outside of it.

And if you’re not in tears when Howard asks Fonzie to say grace and all Fonzie says is, “Hey God,” you’re literally the grinch. I’m like sobbing right now.

Very Special Holiday Lesson: I mean this is the same lesson as Sabrina‘s episode, but this one made me cry. Brb. Crying.

Girl Meets Squirrels

Eric Matthews arrived at John Quincy Adams Middle School last night, and let me just say it was THE BEST EPISODE EVER! I’m qualified to make this assumption because I have now seen five episodes total of this show.

Riley and Maya are having a fight over Riley not defending Maya when someone insulted her but the insult was true. It’s a classic case of truth vs. undying loyalty. Corey is in over his head, so he calls in his big bro, Eric–who shows up at the younger Matthews apartment in a shot-for-shot remake of the original Mr. Squirrels lollipop introduction.

Also, he holds balloons in Corey’s doorway and seems to have stolen the balloons from reunion party in Boy Meets World.

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Eric is currently the mayor of a small town in upstate New York near border of Quebec. He dresses like Mr. Squirrels because that’s how his townspeople dress and it makes them more comfortable, supposedly. At this point in the show, I’m groaning a bit because I’m like ugh they’ve decided to perpetuate the stupid Eric trope of the latter years. 

Stupid Eric is exceedingly funny, but I always loved the charming thoughtful Eric years of his high school to early adult days, personally. I did enjoy his ridiculous behavior in the college years, but it was such a departure from his original character that my brain had trouble reconciling it.

Anyway, Eric does remove his Squirrels outfit and try to help the children work out their friendship issues. (Plays with Squirrels was classically helpful  with friendship, if you recall the original series). He comes to school with Corey the next day and is still full-on goofball, putting scotch tape on his face and forgetting what he’s said seconds before. My heart mourns for the loss of the sensitive, intuitive Eric we once knew.

girl-meets-world-hallwayWhen he orders the class out into the hallway to better discuss the issue of “friendship war,” Corey pulls him to the side and says that they joke around a lot, but he needs to know that Eric has this under control. Then the show gives me everything I’ve ever asked for and assumed as a viewer. It’s like a switch flips and Eric totally drops the act. He’s not stupid at all. It’s all some ridiculous act–the kind you see from people who really are too perceptive and intuitive for their own good–and he actually is the problem-solving thoughtful person we once knew. Sure, Eric is not an intellectual and never has been, but he knows how to be serious when the moment calls for it. The Eric we see at this point reminds me a lot of the Eric who told adorable little sixth grader Topanga that they couldn’t date in the most “let ’em down easy” kind of way I could imagine from a teenage boy.

As it turns out, Maya is constantly insulting cute-boy Lucas, and he finally retaliated by calling her a “short little stack of pancakes.” That to me sounds like bizarro middle school flirting, but she takes it to be the world’s greatest insult, and she’s pissed when Riley doesn’t stand up for her because she actually is short. I actually like the kids at this point because the whole class goes all “Breakfast Club” and Eric actually gives them the chance to work it out themselves. This show seems to have a lot of Corey unloading a lot of life lessons he’s already learned, so it was nice to see Eric let the kids figure it out for themselves…which was kind of the thing Boy Meets World excelled at.

Very Special Lesson: We’re still who we are, even when we seem not like ourselves. Eric is just the best. Also, if Girl Meets World continues on this track, I’ll have to give the writers more credit.

Very Special Question: Will we ever find out what happened to Topanga’s sister Nebula?