I know, I know - it's Saturday... I had a hard time coming up with a topic for this week's Flashback Friday and come Thursday night, I just didn't have the time type one up and I was busy all day yesturday as I learned late Friday night we were having guests over yesturday.
Anyways, better late than never, right?
Have you ever come across a TV show in syndication that you somehow missed during it's original run? Watching TBS and Nick@Nite as much as I do, shows like these are common - so let's take a look at some of the shows we (I) never saw during their original run.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Shocking, I know, that it wasn't until Nick@Nite started airing this one late at night while I was in college. I'm not entirely sure why I never watched this one during it's original run in the early-mid 90s... I watched other sitcoms such as Full House, Thunder Alley, Home Improvement, The Cosby Show and others that were on back in this era, but for some reason, I never saw this one!
For those like myself who missed out on the early days of Will Smith's career, the show follows teenage Will as he is sent to live with his rich aunt and uncle in Bel-Air after he gets in a fight with some guys back in Brooklyn. In the beginning of the series, we see Will struggle to fit in with the "stuffy" lifestyle his aunt, uncle and cousins live - while his aunt Vivian tries to be an understanding mother-figure and does her best to understand his adjustment, his uncle Carl gets frustrated with him easily for his failure to fit in and adopt their ways. His older cousin Hilary is at first a typical rich heiress, spending money on lavish clothes and other things. His cousin Carlton struggles to be cool at school, mostly because he carries a bit of an elite snobby attitude. His younger cousin, Ashley is just a kid who wants to do kid things, but is pressured to act more mature and high society. Over the series, Will touches and changes their lives - he bonds with Hilary when she starts to butt heads with her parents and wants to do teenage things, he's closest with Carlton as they go to school together and Will teaches him how to talk around girls and not be such a elitest, and he becomes a big brother type to Ashley, in addition to trying to protect her and look after her as she grows up.
Among the family dynamic and them all adjusting to Will and vice versa, like most sitcoms, it sometimes brings up important issues, such as teen drinking and sex, among other more humorous topics like the time Will accidentally burns down the kitchen the night the family is having an important guest over for dinner!
While I often can't stand Lopez's stand up on his new late night show, I do enjoy watching this sitcom that aired in the early-late 2000s with Sandra Bullock as one of the executive producers.
The show follows the Lopez family - George, his wife Angie, and their 2 kids Carmen and Max as they are a latino family in California. George works as a manager for a local factory that manufacturers airplane parts, Angie is at first a stay at home mom who at one point tries to be a cosmetics sales lady and eventually starts her own wedding planning business. They struggle a bit with their teenage daughter Carmen, as they have to pull her out of public school and send her to private school after the girls at her school start spreading rumors that she is a slut; as the series progresses, Carmen becomes a bit of a rebellious teenager with her head in the clouds as she's too eager to grow up and marry whatever boy she's dating that season. Their young son Max struggles with school, as they learn he has dyslexia and gets frustrated easily, feeling he'll never succeed in life. Him and Carmen also have a bit of sibling rivalry too. Also part of their lives is George's mother Benny, who raised him on her own as his father walked out on them when George was just a baby, however George often resents her as she seems to show any love towards him or appears to show any appreciation for the things he does. Rounding out the cast of regulars is Angie's rich father who for the longest time feels that George isn't good enough for his daughter, and George's good friend and employee Ernie.
Like other sitcoms, they struggle with issues many families do such as living on a tight income and trying to raise their kids right.
While show was only on for a few seasons as part of ABC's TGIF lineup, upon cancellation, it was quickly picked up by Nick@Nite where most people ended up watching the series in full.
The King of Queens
Airing from 1998-2007, this is one I've gotten in the habit of watching on TBS during the weekdays.
The series follows newlyweds Doug and Carrie (Kevin James and Leah Remini) as they are past the "honeymoon phase" in their marriage. Doug works as a driver for the parcel delivery company IPS (which appears to be a direct take on UPS, only they couldn't use the name) while Carrie works in an office setting. Throughout the show they face issues that many couples eventually do in their marriage - while some are a bit outrageous and to the extreme, others are pretty relatable. Also, Carrie's elderly widowed father Arthur (Jerry Stiller) moves in with them, living in their basement, and he sometimes causes them stress or creates problems for them.
As a married couple, my husband and I enjoy this one and often the humor in it. While Doug and Carrie may have their differences, they also make it clear by the end of the episode that they still love each other and are willing to work through their struggles together.
This one ran from 2000-2006 and has been in regular rotation on TBS for the at least the last 3 years.
In the beginning of the series, Greg and Kim Warner are a couple with a new baby Sam when Kim's sister Christine and her husband Jimmy and their 2 young sons move into the Warner's guest house. While Kim is more uptight when it comes to pretty much everything, Christine is the opposite, as she's more laidback and carefree, as his her husband Jimmy. Greg, wanting to do right by Kim, is often stuck in the middle as you can tell he wishes he could be laidback like Jimmy at times, much to the disapproval of his wife who wants him to be her idea of the perfect husband. As the 2 families live together, they often clash due to their different approaches to things, including parenting tactics, but they often ban together in other cases and help each other when needed.
Saved By the Bell
As most know, the series followed high school students Zack, Screech, Lisa, Jessie, Kelly and Slater. Throughout much of the series Zack yearns to date the sweet girl-next-door cheerleader Kelly and win her love, but early in the series he butt heads with the muscled jock newcomer Slater who also has his eyes set on Kelly. Screech is Zack's geeky awkward best friend who has an undying crush on super girly Lisa who is into fashion and makeup, loves shopping and hot guys. Jessie is Zack's childhood best friend and neighbor who is a super smart feminist and her main concern is getting good grades in school so that she can go to a prestigious college. Eventually Zack gets Kelly, him and Slater bury the hatchet and Slater and Jessie have a bit of a love/hate relationship. While Lisa still loathes Screech and his attempts to make her his girlfriend, she does eventually come to accept him as a friend.
The gang faces many typical things high schoolers do - getting asked to dances, having to face a tough final, partaking in various school activities among other adventures. Thrown into the mix is their aloof principal Mr. Belding who has a bit of a bond with this set of kids in particular.
Originally the show started out in Jr. High, as reruns show, with history teacher Miss Bliss (Hayley Mills) playing a large role in her students lives, and in this younger version of the show, Zack, Screech and Lisa were the only characters to transition over into the high school version, while their fellow friends and student Nikki and Mikey were no longer in the series. Later on in the high school version, in the middle of the senior year episodes, Kelly was replaced by biker girl Tori whom Zack dates briefly and Jessie is mysteriously gone as well... but they are both back for the final few episodes and no mention of Tori is ever made.
In addition to a few summer episodes that take place outside the show, there was also the spin-off college years that lasted for only 1 season, where Zack, Screech and Slater all go off to California University where they share a co-ed suite with 3 other girls, however after the first episode, one of the girls leaves and Kelly returns to the series in her place. Eventually her and Zack decide to get married near the end of their first year there and the series ended with a block of 4 episodes titled "Wedding in Las Vegas" where after neither of their parents will support their choice to get married, Zack, Kelly and the gang (plus Lisa) head off to Vegas for a cheaper wedding.
This "show about nothing" though is pretty funny with some of the situations the characters get themselves into!
Taking place in New York City, the show follows Jerry Seinfeld and his friends. Jerry is a comedian, trying to rise to national fame. Across the hall from Jerry lives his eccentric and somewhat crazy neighbor Krammer who is always coming up with and trying execute his wacky ideas, often barging into Jerry's place for one thing or another. There is also Jerry's friend George and his ex-girlfriend Elaine, in which they decided they work better as friends than lovers. Throughout the series we see the characters experience different relationships and some even go through career changes. While it claims to be a show about nothing, the characters get themselves into some oddball situations - some that you can identify with, others that are just downright funny and out there!
Married with Children
I know I've mentioned this one before, but hubby and I have really enjoyed watching a few episodes of this one a night when he gets off work. Neither of us were allowed to watch it when we were kids during its original run, which is quite obvious for the way women are often depicted as sex objects and Peggy and Al's take on marriage, as well as various sexual innuendo. Again, it probably would have gone over my head as a kid, but still.
This one follows the Bundy clan - Al is the man of the house who hates his job as a shoe salesman, can't stand his wife Peggy most of the time and dreads having sex with her, and often relives his glory days of high school football and wonders what life would have been like had he not knocked up Peggy and they got married. Peggy is a housewife but instead of cooking and cleaning she prefers to sit on the couch watching talk shows like Oprah and eating bonbons as well as spending all the money Al makes. Kelly is the oldest child in the family and while she's just a typical teen in the early episodes, she suddenly becomes quite the ditz, barely passing school and dressing to catch the attention of all the boys - she never has problems getting a date. Young son Bud is often the voice of reason as he seems to be the only smart one in the family, graduating high school on time and eventually going off to college and graduating, however early in the series he has a hard time getting girls to notice him, which becomes a bit of a running joke even after he eventually gets some girls. Rounding out the cast are the next door neighbors - Marcie and her 1st husband Steve, who both work at a bank and later on her 2nd husband Jefferson, whom she meets and marries after Steve runs off to live in the wild. While Steve and Al had their male bonding moments, Al gets along best with Jefferson as he is quite the slacker always coming up with crazy schemes to get our of working and often joining Al at the local nudie bar. While Peggy and Marcie get a long quite a bit, Al can't stand her and she often becomes the butt of his jokes.
Throughout the series the family deals with often relatable issues as well as some outrageous ones always with humorous results.
While I wasn't allowed to watch this one growing up, I did eventually watch the last few seasons as they aired while I was in college, catching up with the early episodes that were already running in syndication.
Taking place in New York City, the series begins with Rachel showing up at her old best friend Monica's apartment after having just ran out on her wedding. While Rachel is a bit of a ditz, having come from a rich family, she is now cut off and learning to live on her own for the first time. She moves in with Monica who is a crazy neat freak and a bit OCD about cleaning. Across the hall from Monica lives Joey and Chandler. Joey is an actor who eventually lands a role on General Hospital, while Chandler is his easy going, yet a bit neurotic roommate. Rounding out the cast is Monica's brother geeky Ross who has had a crush on Rachel since they were kids, and their friend Phoebe who is a bit of a hippy at times.
Throughout the series the characters go through various relationships - some with others, some with each other, different career paths, and just dealing with life in general in New York City.
Anyone who watched this whole series find the pairing of the cast in the promos for the early seasons to be a bit amusing? Rachel with Ross and Monica with Chandler? I mean okay, while the Rachel and Ross storyline spanned the entire series, until it happened about halfway through the series, not many saw Monica and Chandler ending up together!