69. Life Goes On

Creator: Michael Braverman
Years: 1989-1993

I honestly can’t remember how much I watched this show because I really wanted to or because my parents watched it and I had nothing else better to do. Either way, I think I saw nearly every episode.

The show starts out intriguing, as this suburban family explores what it’s like to enroll their kid Corky, who has Down’s Syndrome, into regular high school classes. Chris Burke, who has Down’s Syndrome, plays the character pretty damn well and evokes a ton of pathos. As an aside, I met Chris Burke in 2000 when he came to my college. Really cool dude. Socially awkward, but also bright and charming. Not to mention fearless.

The show kind of went off the rails about halfway through. The focus shifted off of Corky, the interesting character, and went to his younger sister played by Kellie Martin. I like Martin just fine, but her character Becca was never not obnoxious and unsympathetic. I appreciate that the writers had her date a kid with HIV, as society needed some real people portrayed with that illness at the time. But the scripts were very soapy and whatever interest I had in the show collapsed.

Another aside: I hated the theme song so much. Fifteen years later, I began to get into The Beatles when I heard Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da. It’s not my favorite McCartney song, but man it’s miles better than the version for this show. I found that a lot as I started listening to The Beatles. There were so many commercial jingle covers of their songs that were obnoxious. As I went through each album, I’d be like, “Hey! I know that one. And I actually like it now!”


2 thoughts on “69. Life Goes On”

  1. I honestly can’t remember how much I watched this show because I really wanted to or because my parents watched it and I had nothing else better to do.

    This was my experience, exactly. This one and (very, very weirdly) The People’s Choice got a fair bit of viewing in the late 80’s and early 90’s. I think my parents gave up on it once the show became about Kellie Martin.

  2. I hate “Ob-La-Di” by any artist. And now I wish I wasn’t thinking about it.

    I felt a lot like you while watching this…man, they were quick to embrace Kellie Martin out of nowhere.

    I do remember a particularly powerful episode as an on-again, off-again boyfriend of hers dies driving Corky home from a (Halloween?) party and Corky finally breaks his silence at the end, revealing that the driver swerved to avoid a boy on a bike.

    Chris Burke, later in life, became the lead singer of a strange screaming metal band. Of course, he did Ob-La-Di. It was as weird as it sounds.

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