If you grew up in the 80's, you know what I am talking about - lame, tacky, droll family sitcoms with a laugh track that seemed to cycle every 2 minutes. As a result, I grew up a coveting, envious child - wanting the bodacious gadgets that could be seen weekly on ABC's TGIF.
It seemed as though every TV sitcom family in the 80's was rich. (Rosanne wasn't, but I didn't watch that show, and anything I didn't watch didn't technically count as a show) I suppose writing a show about poor folk wouldn't exactly reel in the big sponsors like Wheaties or Oldsmobile. Thus, on every channel, in every hour, we were subject to watching rich people and their rich stuff. I present to you my top five things I wanted from 80's sitcoms:
5. My dad to work in our basement. (The Cosby Show)
Sure, it's a little absurd to think that a gynecologist would be working out of his basement. I mean, after all, is a little creepy. Even creepier was the fact that he had no receptionists, nurses or even janitors roaming around to keep an eye on things. Just Dr. Huxtable, some stirrups and a dark, clammy basement. Amazing he had so much time to spend with his kids and he didn't have more patients.
Nevertheless, the idea that dad could come up at any time to goof around and make you pudding was enthralling to a ten year old.
4. A live-in maid, or butler (Who's The Boss, Mr. Belvadere, just about every show on in the 80's)
I think I have blogged about the male maid thing quite enough. Nevertheless, if you watched TV in the 80's you would think every household was cleaned by outside help. And the maids in these shows always provided the BEST advice. I remember in one episode of Different Strokes, Edna the maid was giving Kimberly Drummund the best advice on her changing body and her need to buy a bra. My body was changing too! Did I need a bra too? We didn't have a butler, so I wasn't sure.
3. A snarky, sarcastic hand puppet from outer space to liven things up around the house. (Alf)
Also, Alf ate cats. I've always hated cats. Actually, we could use more Alfs around our neighborhood.
This boy liked Alf too.
2. Hidden passageways. (Webster)
I'm not sure where the hidden passageway in Webster's clock took him. I believe that he also had one in his kitchen and bedroom. Maybe they were all connected, but this was the coolest thing a kid could ever have in his house. Of course, the passageways had to be small enough that only kids could go in them.
1. A train that takes you from one room of your mansion to the next. (Silver Spoons)
I don't doubt now that the train on the Silver Spoons set went all of 40 feet. However, just the idea of it in my house still makes me pee my pants a little bit. I swear, if it weren't for Ricky Schroder (which my wife admits to having a huge crush on), the only reason anyone watched that show is because they loved the idea of having a train take them from one room to the next in their house. I guess I also watched the show for Erin Grey (which I will admit I had a huge crush on). But I'll tell you one thing - no one watched because for Alphonso.
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go change my pants.