Saturday, July 18, 2009

Online Pick of the Week (7/17): The Facts of Life

The pick this week goes to an episode of one of my favorite shows, The Facts of Life, which is the type of program that I’ve mentioned before. The type of show that I grew up watching in some form, in this case, reruns, that is as still as enjoyable today as it was when I saw it back then. And honestly, I’ve noticed something. Now as most sitcom fans know, The Facts of Life is a spin-off of the show Diff’rent Strokes. And after having the opportunity to see that show in reruns again after so many years I’ve come to the conclusion that this is a case I prefer the spin off much more than the parent show.

Over the years, both shows moved on into the decade of the 1980’s and both shows had their share of cheese and questionable hairstyles. But I think Facts aged much better. I’ve grown to dread a lot of the later episodes of Strokes, due to the overabundance of very special episodes and characters like Sam. Now, Facts of Life had their share of “episodes to remember” too and unlikable characters; for instance, I’m not really a fan of Roy. But looking at things, I really thought that this show in particular did a much better job overall at introducing new characters and starting new eras. Andy is one of the few young characters that are added to shows in later years that I actually liked. There were a few episodes where Andy was the focus, but he never really took over the show like Sam did. And I know it was a lot to take when Charlotte Rae left, but I think Cloris Leachman’s character Beverly Ann was very likable and I think it helped that a relationship was not forced on with her and the girls at the beginning. Also Facts wasn’t really much of a “lesson” show anymore by the later years. It was more about the girls living their lives.

The episode chosen is “Grand Opening,” the episode where the shop Over Our Heads is first open for business. I would have selected the first two parts to start season 7, but the first half is no longer online. It’s my online pick of the week!

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