So a friend sent me a link today, letting me know that Kim Kardashian is going to be starring in Tyler Perry’s new movie. While I wish Kim all the luck in the world on this endeavour- I must admit that I have my doubts whether it will work out any better than her ill-fated attempt at a music career. Sigh. sometimes there’s more to life than just being really, really, ridiculously good looking.
The more interesting part about all of this, though, is the fact that the movie also stars Jurnee Smollet: Also known as Michelle Tanner’s friend Denise from Full House: the spicy little spitfire who replaced Teddy when he moved to Texas, and who’s uncle also happened to be Little Richard. According to Jurnee’s wikipedia page, not only was she on Full House- she also appeared in other 90’s gems like “On Our Own“; “Hangin with Mr. Cooper“, and “Martin“. That’s a pretty impressive resume. It must be because her parents gave her such a bad-ass name like “Jurnee”.
My friend gets mad BFF points for pointing out the amazingness of these two worlds colliding to me, but also for encouraging me to reflect a little bit more on the sitcoms of a bygone era.
Like most of my vintage, I was a sucker for TGIF as a kid. Every Friday night, we would order a pizza, get some treats at the store, and sit down to watch a good 4 episodes of family-friendly programming. The rotation of shows changed a lot throughout my childhood, but I always remained faithful- from Full House & Family Matters; to Boy Meets World & Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better- IT DID.
As I thought back to all of these shows, I was struck by how different 90’s era sitcoms, particularly the TGIF lineup, were to those of today. Those shows had innocent and uncomplicated premises, such as “Midwestern American Larry Appleton meets his distant cousin Balki Bartokomous from the greek island of Mypos, and though they struggle with their differences, they also become unlikely friends “ ; with even more unsophisticated plotlines.. like “DJ learns about the dangers of eating disorders when she passes out on the stairmaster after only eating ice pops for a week“.
Plus there was the fact that every episode was basically one big, long, extension of an After School Special. Every show involved a parable- usually with a musical interlude signalling that it was coming. “Michelle…. Martin has gone to goldfish heaven… and just for future reference: don’t ever try to give your goldfish a bath again”.
Somewhere, however- all that went out the window. It started with groundbreaking emo shows targeted at adolescents, telling us that “not everything is going to be ok all of the time” – like My So Called Life, and Party of 5. Then the late 90’s ushered in the era of the WB, most notably, Dawson’s Creek, and instead of mistakenly stealing royal blue sweaters, teens were having sex with their teachers and engaging in complicated love triangles. Sitcoms at the same time were getting racier, more sarcastic- Jerry Seinfeld and his neuroses were replacing Steve Urkel’s annoying but also slightly endearing: “Did I do thatt??”
Fast forward to 2010- and the #1 show on television is starring a drug-induced warlock with a harem of “Godesses”.
Can we just take a step back and ask- whatever happened to the Danny Tanners of TV? The loveable widowers who just “loved the smell of Clorox in the morning”? I mean sure, we were all surprised to find out that Bob Saget was actually a very dirty boy with a penchant for blue comedy in the end, but at least he hid that shit until WELL after Full House was done.
With all this racy business and sexual innuendo in the liberal media, I can’t help but think – eff cell phones and the interwebs.. the REAL problem with kids these days is a lack of TGIF in their lives.