Punky Brewster

Punky Brewster

Only the most hardened heart could refuse to soften a little when faced with a little orphaned girl. Just ask Annie, just ask Pippi, just ask Heidi. Now, put a spunky and self-confident little orphan alongside a cantankerous old codger, an odd couple if there ever was one, and you have a recipe for heart-string tugging like no other. Such was the power of Punky Brewster. Continue reading...

Nanny and the Professor

Nanny and the Professor

Magical nannies have been the secret wish of many kids ever since Mary Poppins floated down from the sky dispensing discipline and whisking her charges off to have wonderful adventures. Another offbeat, quirky governess appeared in Nanny and the Professor, a 1970 sitcom starring Juliet Mills and Richard Long in the title roles. Continue reading...

Gilligan's Island

Gilligan’s Island

These lines - known to nearly every man, woman and child in the English-speaking world - opened the infectious story-song that took viewers to the tropical locale of Gilligan's Island every week. The ditty is right up there with the likes of The Beverly Hillbillies and The Brady Bunch in the category of best-known television theme songs, and has been remade in every musical style known to man: rap, polka, reggae, even heavy metal. It is and always will be a part of popular culture. This song, however, is merely one part of Gilligan's Island's universal appeal. Continue reading...

Mr. Belvedere

Mr. Belvedere

One of the more charming sitcoms to air in the 80s, Mr. Belvedere told the story of a proper English gentleman employed as a nanny/housekeeper for a typical American family. Starring Christopher Hewitt in the title role, the series was an overnight success and proved that Hollywood still had the ability to come up with new and original concepts. Continue reading...

Saved by the Bell

Saved by the Bell

On July 11, 1987, a prime-time special entitled Good Morning, Miss Bliss aired on NBC. Soon after, it became a series on the Disney Channel, starring The Parent Trap's Hayley Mills as the teacher, Miss Bliss. Among her students were a young Zack, Screech, and Lisa. Their principal was Mr. Belding, who could switch from best pal to stern disciplinarian at a moment's notice.The show moved to NBC in 1989, soon to become the network's first live-action hit since Land of the Lost in 1977. Playing with the big boys now, the show got rid of its title character as well as its title. Now known as Saved by the Bell, the new show featured Zack (the "preppie" stud), Screech (the nerd) and Lisa (aspiring dress designer), as well as their new friends Slater (the handsome jock), Kelly (the boys' object of desire) and Jessie (the intelligent girl). Continue reading...

Home Improvement

Home Improvement

Tim Allen enjoyed a rapid rise in stardom in the late 80s/early 90s as a stand-up comedian. He owed his success to a hilarious routine that revolved around power tools and the primeval grunting males that covet them in their never-ending quest to be the king of all home repairs. Network execs at ABC thought that made for an interesting premise for a sitcom, and the foundation was laid for Home Improvement. Over the next decade, the series rose in popularity like a mighty skyscraper under swift construction. Continue reading...

Growing Pains

Growing Pains

A family-based sitcom is dangerous territory. If the kids are annoying, if the writing falls flat, if the family doesn’t seem real – all can lead to a quick demise. But every once in a while a show like Growing Pains comes along and proves that when everything clicks, the rewards can be substantial. This 80s series, which would go on to become one of the longest-running and most watched of the decade, seemed to have it all – clever humor that could elicit an unexpected guffaw, a cast of likable characters of all ages, and a family that never seemed too “Hollywood.” Growing Pains captured the trials and tribulations of raising a family, while never easing up on the laughs. Continue reading...

Brady Bunch

The Brady Bunch

If you have been around a television set within the last 30 years, you likely know the rest of the words to this catchy little ditty that started the show each week on one of the most endearing and enduring (at least in syndication) sitcoms to ever grace the airwaves – The Brady Bunch. Join us as we take a look back at this beloved series that greeted many of us after a long day of school - exposing us to a family unlike any we had ever encountered before. Continue reading...