Small Wonder: Vicki and The Pusher

Seriously, who greenlit this show? The number of times this robot becomes involved with controlled substances is truly astounding. Only slightly more astounding than the fact that I grown man built a little girl robot slave to serve his family. And yet, this was American family television thirty years ago.

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Anyway, this episode involves everyone’s favorite 1980’s topic: drug pushers.

This episode starts with Vicki’s creator trying to teach her to eat solid food. Lord knows why, she’s a freaking robot so this makes no sense. Also, I’m probably taking this too far but now I am wondering what happens to all of the food clogging her gears and frankly, it sounds like a public health crisis.

But let’s go ahead and skip ahead to the drugs. A full-grown adult man appears at a chain link fence encircling the cafeteria’s outdoor eating are. He says, “hey kid, you ever get high?”

So let me stop you right there. I know it was *the 80’s* and *stranger danger* wasn’t so much of a thing and maybe I can’t understand that as a child of the 90’s. But something tells me a real-life 80s drug dealer would have been a little more stealthy.

Okay, so today’s drug is Speed. Does anyone do speed anymore? Is Adderall like the Speed of today? I honestly wouldn’t know. I can barely handle coffee.

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Alright, so now I know why they introduced the fact that Vicki can eat now. She’s come into possession of these pills and we had to setup the backstory that would allow her to be able to ingest them.

Vicki goes home and hides the drugs in a flower pot, which her creator’s wife promptly finds. She tells her husband they have “a drug problem” and he makes a joke about getting her “into the Betty Ford Center” because of course he does. This is a creep-ass man who made a little girl robot-slave and of course he’s going to make a joke about rehab when he thinks his wife is confessing to an addiction.

(Sidebar: I’m not sure why his wife was digging through a flower pot. I’ve been skipping through this episode because honestly this show is so bad. However, I am so intrigued bythe fact that a robot main character is somehow going to teach me not to do Speed, so I’m gonna keep watching.)

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They confront their child, who seriously must be eleven years old AT THE MOST. And he’s kind of just like confused and probably not at the prime age for doing Speed anyway, right? I don’t know! Were the 80’s this bizarre or is this just Nancy Regan lying to me???

Anyway, Vicki the robot starts behaving very strangely, so the parents realize their robot is high as a kite. (Once again, I can’t figure out how she’s metabolized these pills in order to get high in the first place, but she is literally flapping her arms and flying in the air, which is pretty cool.)

Okay, sincerely I think this creepy man needs to have his child taken away from him. He has volunteered his son to go undercover and purchase drugs from the drug pusher. He’s going to program Vicki the robot to protect him.

I ACTUALLY DON’T UNDERSTAND THIS THOUGH BECAUSE WHY NOT JUST LET THE ROBOT DO ALL OF THIS??? WHY INVOLVE AN ACTUAL CHILD??? I think we have all the evidence we need here. This family is toxic and should be banned from television.

(Oh by the way, for reasons I cannot explain, this show ran for four full seasons.)

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Okay, so this is actually a teenaged drug dealer not an adult. I couldn’t tell because this YouTube video is grainy. But either way, I don’t think it’s a best practice to send children in as plants on a drug deal.

Luckily, this dealer is very stupid. He doesn’t pick up on the fact that this is a setup, not even when the little boy tells him to “speak into my shoulder” a.k.a. where the microphone is. Once the cops descend upon him, the dealer tries to flee, so the little robot picks him up and holds him in the air over her head.

This gives us an opportunity for an excellent one liner: “Hey pal, from now on, that’s as high as you’re gonna get.”

Very Special Lesson: You know actually, I don’t think they got their point across. If I knew nothing else about Speed, I would think that it could literally make me fly, which sounds awesome. But I’m pretty sure is not the case.

P.S. I have no idea who this is but this person put together a pretty awesome Small Wonder Halloween costume. Since this show is the scariest thing I’ve ever seen, I’d say it’s a pretty appropriate look for any spooky parties you may be attending this Fall.

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Saved by the Bell: Fake IDs

Hello, thank you for reading my dissertation. 

To be honest, I was very confident that I had already covered this episode a long time ago. I mean, MY GOD, the title is SO very special. But it appears that any commentary on this one only happened in my head, so here ya go!

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A beautiful woman walks into The Max. Zack rushes up to her and starts taking photos of her. Because this is a young male fever dream sitcom, she doesn’t find this incredibly creepy. She’s wearing a USC sweatshirt. Zack pretends he is also a freshman at USC. (I’m not sure of the timing of this episode but he’s probably about sixteen). She needs a phone. The payphone is occupied. Zack hands her his obscenely large first-generation 1984 cell-phone.

The woman calls roadside assistance but balks when they tell her she has to wait an hour. So Zack offers to change her tire for her. (Never in my life do I believe this boy has done manual labor of any kind. Zack Morris changing a tire would SHOCK me to my core, but sadly this happens off-screen so it’s kind of a let down.)

Anyway, Zack’s obviously not a USC student and this lady has clearly driven away. So you’re probably like seems like a dead end, what could possibly happen next??

idsWell, I’m so glad you asked. It turns out, Zack had that camera because he and the other kids are taking a photography class. They decide to use the class to make fake-IDs. (Seems like a bit of a stretch but whateverrr.) The plan is to then meet the USC woman at an “over eighteen club.”

Okay, so…now I have some questions. Who is going to an “over eighteen club” in college? Are you not trying to sneak into the real clubs when you’re in college but not yet twenty-one? I always felt like everyone in an over eighteen club was probably a minor and anyone who wasn’t a teenager at an over eighteen club was a creep. But seeing as how this USC freshman is still a teen, I’m actually just starting to think she’s kind of lame and doesn’t know where to hang out.

My other question is why is Zack bringing Screech with him to the club? Is it because he owed him for making the ID? Is this a quid-pro-quo kind of situation? Now Slater, I get. You need a wing man and Slater looks even older than Zack, so it lends credibility to the “old enough to be in this club” thing. (Oh and by the way, if you’re looking for hot tips to sneak into clubs you’re actually in the very much wrong place for that and please don’t let my Zack/Slater club theory influence any of your decisions in life. Now, that I’ve satisfied the assurance needs of my self-diagnosed Responsibility OCD, let’s move on.)

saved_by_the_bell_s3e9_sony_smc70Zack’s mom is suspicious that he is having a sleepover with Slater and Screech, so she brings them brownies and then checks the room for girls. (I mean I fucking love this woman. This is GOOD parenting.) Slater also addresses her at “mom” which I find simultaneously adorable and off-putting.

In order to not look like a thirteen year old, Screech wears a fake mustache. It does make him look older, but it’s so obviously fake that it just shouldn’t work. Also, I don’t think anyone at an over eighteen bar is really growing a lot of facial hair (see above). So this should automatically be a red flag.

Zack and the tire woman kiss almost immediately, so I guess he got what he was looking for. Slater agrees to dance with her friend, but he says he has a girlfriend and he won’t do anything more than dance. Further proving that he is the MORAL COMPASS of this show.

So here’s the big thing though. Everything, I just wrote is UNIMPORTANT compared to this. Zack, Screech, and Slater see Kelly’s new, older boyfriend making out with SOMEONE ELSE. But see, Jeff’s existence at this club further proves my point because I feel like Jeff is about seventy-five years old (ugh okay maybe it’s more like he’s a college sophomore). But Kelly is a BABY. All these kids are BABIES. They learned to drive in a GOLF CART. They’re not ready for any kind of interaction outside of the safe, safe walls of Bayside.

attic-1Screech lets this info slip to Jessie and Lisa. They convince Zack that he has to be the one to tell Kelly the truth. (Bad move.) She yells at him and calls him jealous, of course. So Jessie and Lisa decide to sneak into the club too, so they can take a photo and prove the truth to Kelly. But all of this is frankly unnecessary because Kelly speaks to Screech and asks him what happened. He cries and she believes he really did see Jeff kiss someone else.

No one has to take a photo because Kelly shows up at the club and sees him making out with someone else with her own two eyes. Oh and then Zack’s mom shows up to tell him she knows he’s been sneaking out! (He left that giant cell-phone in his room and his mom answered it when the college woman called to say she was running late to the club.)

Very Special Lesson: Ugh, girl I know you’re barely in college but can’t you spot a high school boy when you see one? Kelly, Jeff is trash. Zack is trash. Sorry, girl, you should probably talk to other people at your high school. Slater, Zack, and Screech CANNOT be the only dudes you know. Don’t do that to yourself.

Oh and happy Mean Girls Day by the way!
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I Am Fully Aware that None of You Google Milli Vanilli

At least not as much as I do. (But that’s okay. I’m doing the work so you don’t have to.)

In the interest of historical accuracy, I would like to point out that I am a little too young for Milli Vanilli. Although I was alive when they returned their Grammy, I didn’t know who they were or anything. Alas, I think my first actual memory of these guys was from this commercial:

But I didn’t even realize who they were or what their whole controversy was. In my teen years, my Spanish teacher who is the same age as the real Zach Morris, would make jokes about Milli Vanilli and I would laugh along because HELLO I GET CULTURAL REFERENCES. But as it turns out, I didn’t get the reference. I just thought they were a silly washed up early 90’s music group. She might as well have been making a joke about C&C Music Factory (who also had a different lead singer on vocals than the lead singer in their “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” video, by the way).

The actual story of Milli Vanilli is quite tragic and more than likely contributed to Rob Pilatus’s early death from an overdose.

I didn’t know the entirety of this story when I started binge listening to “Girl You Know It’s True” during a very dark period in my own life. And I don’t know if you’ve noticed…but when I find a piece of pop culture I think is interesting, I like to obsessively find out all of the information I can about it and then write a personal essay about it.

It’s been well documented that they were taken advantage of, but I think their arrogance pre-controversy made it difficult for people to want to listen to their side of the story once the truth came out. The dynamics of power in this situation were clearly not in their favor. But if you know you’re faking it, you probably shouldn’t compare yourself to The Beatles.

And now you may be thinking, “why have you wasted my time with a really old story that is sad and we already all know about? And why the heck are you Googling, Milli Vanilli on a semi-regular basis??” Excellent question. The reason is that I find the second-half of this story to be very up-lifting.

So I like to check-in on Fab.

Here he is explaining the fallout from his perspective:

And if I hadn’t Googled Fab recently, I wouldn’t have found this excellent “Blame It on the Rain” performance. And I just want to say that he sounds fucking amazing and you should all listen to it immediately. I think I like it better than the studio recording. And you can quote me on that.

Big News from Bayside – DREAMS COME TRUE

It felt like a long-shot. But here we are. And dare I say it? The reboot craze has come for Saved by the Bell! (Oh please please please don’t let this be weird like BH90210.)

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For those of you who weren’t already planning to follow The Office over to NBC’s new streaming platform, now that you’ll get new episodes of Saved by the Bell, what more reason could you need??? The plot sounds weird as hell and I am HERE FOR IT.

Basically, Zack Morris becomes Governor of California. I can totally buy him as a charming, sociopathic politician so def. good character development there. And then here’s where things get a little weird..we get to see Zack Morris handle school integration!! Yeahhhhh idk what we’re going to get, but I promise to report back to you on that.

We’ve had a lot of good times with Saved by the Bell here at The VSB and I’m excited for new adventures! This reboot has me all nostalgic for some of my favorite posts from years past:

But new episodes have also reminded me that maybeeee, just maybeeee, I haven’t given the original series quite enough attention. Stay tuned for new posts on:

  • The Malibu Sands Episodes
  • Zack and Kelly’s Wedding in Vegas!
  • All of the latent (and not so latent) misogyny

Okay, bye for now!!

So Here’s How George Clooney Left The Facts of Life

I know, I know. You’re gonna hate me. I don’t post for months and months and then I give you TWO BACK TO BACK EPISODES OF THE FACTS OF LIFE.

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Thank God, George has aged like a fine wine cause this mullet is not good.

First of all, let me introduce you to this episode with absolutely no context. (Yeah, I’m just being a jerk now).

So I’d like to go ahead and jump in here and say WHAT THE FUDGE IS GOING ON? Tootie is forlornly watching a pop star through a window and then Cloris Leachman just appears over her shoulder???

[And look, I don’t want this blog to turn into me shitting on Cloris Leachman. I think she’s a wonderful actress. I just don’t understand her role in this series and it feels like a big career misstep. She was on The Mary Tyler Moore Show for God’s sake! And I loved her as the grandmother in Now and Then).

But I digress, the reason I’ve called you all here today is I realized why George Clooney is in so few episodes of The Facts of Life. Or rather, why his character “George” is in so few episodes. (I imagine George Clooney the actor was like woah yikes the premise of this show doesn’t work anymore and I better get out of here as soon as I get literally any other decent opportunity.)

You see, here we are in the fifteenth episode of the season and George the Handyman leaves to become a roadie for pop singer, Stacey Q — who is playing the fiction character “Cinnamon.” She apparently played the same role in a previous episode where she won a role in a Broadway musical over Tootie. (Hence the forlorn look through the window, I believe.)

Anyway, Cinnamon is hanging out in Peekskill because she is afraid of going on her first national tour. She and George meet while they both work retail in the store that Cloris Leachman owns with Blair, Natalie, and Tootie.

Tootie is jealous that Cinnamon is running away from an opportunity that Tootie would kill to have so she’s kind of a jerk to her until she finally apologizes to her live on the college radio station. Cinnamon and George overhear this in the studio because they have come to the station to tell Tootie that Cinnamon has decided to go on the tour with George as her roadie.

Tootie invites Cinnamon to sing on the air and Cinnamon is all reluctant to do so, but George conveniently has her backing track on-hand. So she sings this song:

And we never see George Clooney on The Facts of Life again.

The Facts of Life: The Greek Connection

I was watching a trailer for Lifetime’s College Admission’s scandal earlier today and wondered why the name Penelope Ann Miller was familiar to me. It’s probably not because she guest starred in this episode of The Facts of Life (I think as a character with a really cartoonish voice), but I decided to watch it anyway.

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First of all, I don’t understand the premise of this show in its final season. Why are these grown women living with Cloris Leachman? Why was anyone watching the episodes where George Clooney wasn’t present?

[No George sighting as of yet.]

Also, I would like to go on record here — there is no way that Jo and Blair weren’t closeted lesbians. I know Jo marries that man next season or whatever but the sexual tension between her and Blair is palpable. I know the writers want me to think that they’re frenemies, but that is NOT THE VIBE THEY ARE THROWING AND I WILL DIE ON THIS HILL.

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Idk. They don’t seem that excited about it to me.

Anyhow, the major controversy of this episode appears to be that Tootie is rushing a sorority and Natalie wants to write a story about it for The Peekskill Press. Oh and she’s undercover so she’s wearing this insane and not at all low-key outfit and wig:

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The B-Plot of this episode is Jo convincing Blair to play filed hockey. Blair getting injured. And then Jo helping her around constantly because they are in L-O-V-E. I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Obviously, Tootie can easily see through Natalie’s disguise. And they get into a big argument because they each feel that their goals are being undervalued in the relationship. (Once again, I think it may be a good time to point out that it is not always good to live with your best friend for twenty-seven years or however long it has been at this point unless you’re in a Golden Girls situation, which I wholeheartedly support).

Tootie wants Natalie to stop jeopardizing her chances of getting into this sorority by not-so-subtly writing an article on it in a poor disguise. And Natalie wants Tootie to support her first article in the newspaper–

Oh and I should point out that Natalie was not given this assignment. She got some weird vague opportunity to write “an article” for the newspaper and seemed to be able to pick whatever she wanted to write. This includes and idea she floated to the group (including Cloris Leachman’s young teenage son) called “Illicit Sex in Peekskill.” (Once again, I’d like to point out that these living arrangements feel really weird and rapidly leaning towards creepy. I’ve never big a big commune person but this is starting to feel like one and a bad one. I would advise Jo to run if anyone pulls out the kool aid packets because she’s the only character I feel at this point could function in society.)

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We regret to inform you that George Clooney still is not in this episode.

Anyway, Blair convinces Tootie and Natalie to support one another in following their dreams or whatever. This involves Natalie writing her article and Blair proofing it and Tootie not trying to stop her. However, when a sorority sister comes over to pick up Tootie (who has her own car) for the rush party (for entirely plot-contrived reasons), the sorority sister steals Natalie’s article. And this is 1987 SO THERE ARE NO DIGITAL BACKUPS.  Natalie then heads over to the party and accuses Tootie of stealing the article.

While Natalie is home re-writing her article, Tootie finds out that the sorority sister is a thief when she literally hands Tootie the article. And she’s all like “your sorority sisters are the most important things in your life now I STOLE THIS FOR YOU!!!” Please note, this is not an accurate quote and I fully made it up but it is still 100% true to the spirit of the text.

Tootie decides not to pledge the sorority. Natalie admits her jealously about Tootie having new friends (omggggggg). And Natalie and Tootie pledge their undying loyalty to one another.

Very Special Lesson: I would suggest group therapy for this crowd but I’m legitimately frightened by the thought of them spending any additional time together.

 

Oh Lord, I Am Not Churning Out Content Like I Used To

Dear Very Special Readers,

You probably (may have) noticed that I don’t post quite as much as I used to. It’s not that I don’t love you it’s just that:

  1. I don’t know if you noticed, but people don’t make very special episodes anymore and I blew threw a lot of them real fast, right out of the gate.
  2. People don’t blog as much anymore and there just aren’t as many fun conversations in the comments!
  3. I’m working on a novel. (I know I’m a cliche. Maybe I won’t even finish it. BUT NO I HAVE TO FINISH IT FOR MY OWN PRIDE! Ugh, I don’t want to talk about it, leave me alone!!)
  4. Some combination of all of the above.

Let me bring you a bit of origin story: I started this blog many years after discovering Kim Hutt’s now defunct What Claudia Wore. (Seriously, check out her archives. It’s good stuff). This was the first blog I read with a tone that I would describe as “celebratory snark.” That’s the vibe I always tried to cultivate over here, and I hope that I was successful. (Gonna pat myself on the back and say that the stats on my old posts tell me that I was.)

Now that I have successfully buried the lead, let me tell you why I’ve gathered you all here today: I may not be posting as much as I used to, but I would like you to meet a couple of blogs that are.

Please meet, Baby-Sitters Club: The Very Last Super Special. Recent highlights include #389: Kristy and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Back and #388: Mary Anne and the FODMAPs. Relatable, ugh.

I would also like to introduce you to The Golden Girls Fashion Corner, which I have to read very sparingly because I almost spent money because of her review of a very cute magnet set that I most definitely do not need. But there are also really thoughtful posts like this one on the “72 Hours” episode and its cultural relevance to the AIDS crisis.

Okay, that’s all for now! See ya around the internet!

The VSB