Thursday, February 3, 2011

Catching up on bad 80's TV

Never Done: Watched Punky Brewster

I missed out on a lot of pop culture from my earnest college (and a bit beyond) years. If it happened between 1983 and 1988, and it wasn't either feminist, whole wheat, or anti-racist, I probably didn't notice it. The me I am now respects the me I was then, but also sort of wishes I had a little more fun. Thank god I found my way to Railroad Square Cinema, which truly saved me from sinking under the weight of my own gravity.

The me I am now has a lot of catching up to do, so every now and then I conjure up the ghost of pop culture's past, and take a little trip. And because I'm obsessed with adoption and fostering in pop culture right now, I thought it only fitting to finally watch Punky Brewster, which aired from 1984 til 1988, and which I never saw. (As you might imagine, I pronouncedly didn't even own a TV during those years.) The thing I found interesting about Punky is that under that terrible acting and laugh track, the show is actually emotionally accurate when it comes to depicting the inner life of an abandoned child. She is afraid (because her mother left her) that she is essentially unlovable, and many plots center around the way she tests her grouchy foster dad George to make sure he really wants her.

Despite the emotional verisimilitude, the show is still pretty much unwatchable, so if you're reading the blog for tips on cool ways to spend your time, I would say YES on the Russian baths, and PASS on the laugh tracks.


  1. I wish you would you would get a hold of the TV show Family. It was an American television drama series that aired on ABC from 1976 to 1980. Creative control of the show was split between executive producers Leonard Goldberg, Aaron Spelling and Mike Nichols. A total of 86 episodes were produced.

  2. Cool! Wikipedia tells me that the first season is on DVD.