Televison doesn’t care about us anymore.

If there’s one thing the 1980’s and 90’s were awesome about, it was preachy television. Situational comedies are made to help the masses forget the everyday struggles of life. “Sit-coms,” as we call them in the biz, make light of societies foibles and throw in canned laughter at unfunny stuff for good measure. That’s where it should end. But unfortunately somewhere in late 1982, sit-com writers decided it was “lesson teachin’ time.” From then on, each and every popular television comedy decided to drop knowledge on the viewers in minute bites called “The very special episode.”

“Very Special Episode,” in my house growing up was code for: “Tune in with your kids and repeatedly beat into their subconscious the lessons you learn while watching our usual ha-ha train.” Basically, as I child I had to watch these VSE with my folks, they would ask us questions and lecture about the evils of whatever the subject was (usually drugs) followed by canned laughter.

The one-off VERY SPECIAL shows were usually, glib, over-dramatic, and chased by some TERRIBLE acting.

TV suits would say crap like: “Those particular episodes are made to start a dialogue with our children about _________” (insert sensational cause of the moment.)

In actuality, the very special episode was about 3 things

1. Letting the “talent” showcase their “acting chops.”

2. Letting the writers make a dramatic grab for an EMMY.

3. Drumming up viewers for sweeps through manufactured controversy.

REAL TALK: One particular very special episode of the television show, Punky Brewster, left me nearly scarred for life. It involved Cherry getting locked in an abandoned freezer. I will say no more as I am beginning to tremble at the mere memory.

The good folks at Pleated-Jeans have compiled clips from some of the best VERY SPECIAL EPISODES for your enjoyment. Watch this, you might learn something:

This next clip goes out to Mad Dad, true story: We became friends over our mutual love of “Dudley got diddled,” jokes. (I told you people I was terrible!)

Now that I think of it…I long for the days of the preachy, sensationalized, quippy, very special episode. Today for television America mainly just watches a bunch of nitwits hump on each other and calls it “reality.” Sigh. Situational comedy writers don’t care about the youth of today, they are too busy trying to stay alive relevant.

Now I’m bummed.

Hmmm…a bum-out is no way to celebrate TUES-THE-EXTREME DAY(!) So, instead I will end this on a HOT note…remember how earlier in this post I was talking about Cherry Johnson AKA Punky Brewster’s best friend in the projects? Here’s a pic of her all grown up. Enjoy errbody it’s EXTREMELY SKANKY!


Let this be a lesson to you all: if you accidentally lock yourself in an old freezer/fridge whatever, you will end up passing out from lack of oxygen. The lack of oxygen will cause you to become a SUPER FOXY SKANK several years down the road.


Televison doesn’t care about us anymore. — 6 Comments

  1. Incredibly deft post.

    I felt “Saved by the Bell,” Diff’ent Strokes” and “Punky Brewster” were the biggest “very special” offenders.

    Frankly, “Punky Brewster” is the tensest sitcom of the past 30 years. We had Cherry getting trapped in the fridge, Cherry’s cuz drinking the cleaning fluid out from underneath’s Punky’s sink, I believe Alan moved or was abused, there was the Challenger explosion episode, the one-off character whose dad was an alcoholic and Punky was scared driving home with him, Henry’s perpetual medical problems and Punky’s hokey-pokey dance in and out of running away and in foster care.

  2. So true. I think you need to do an in-depth piece on PB. Lest we not forget the entire premise of the show: Punky was ABANDONED by her mother at a shopping mall and Henry, some kind of slum lord begrudgingly let her crash at his place in a busted flowercart.

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