17. The Wonder Years

Creator: Neal Marlens, Carol Black
Years: 1988-1993

One of the few shows we tried to watch as an entire family. Just hearing the opening lyric by Joe Cocker brings me back to childhood. The Wonder Years was my introduction to my parents generation and I could identify quite well with Kevin Arnold, played excellently by Fred Savage. There was an earnestness to the story lines without being sappy. Every character is flawed and every character is likable. It’s like Stand By Me, only about every day stuff. The only time I really didn’t like the show was the final season. Savage had his growth spurt and his character went from adorable to a whiny dick.

Some of the more memorable moments for me:

–The pilot, where Kevin is about to get into big trouble with parents when they find out Winnie’s brother died in Vietnam
–The boys desperately try to get into an all-girl party so they get their hands on a six-pack and make a difficult trek across town, only to be laughed at by the girls once they get there
–Kevin throws a party when the parents are away and the the house gets wrecked; his brother Wayne the troublemaker takes the blame to spare Kevin, a heartbreaking moment
–Kevin and his dad build a treehouse together, inspired by the neighbor who sunbathes every day. That is until mom catches them.
–Kevin tries out for the baseball team and keeps getting past the initial cuts because his dad saved the coach’s life in Korea. Eventually he is cut by the team, much to his relief.
–Take your child to work day, where Kevin gains an understanding of why is dad is often in a bad mood.

I could go on forever. Lots of warm fuzzies.


One thought on “17. The Wonder Years”

  1. Oh my. I had forgotten all about that six-pack, but that was great.

    Now that this is out there again, I want to see it again. Not as much as I did several years ago, though, before great TV started happening. Not sure how I’ll shoehorn this in.

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