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SnarkySheep

Joanna "Jo" Polniaczek: Bringing the Bronx to Boarding School

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As a kid, Jo was always my favorite of the four main girls (bonus points, as my name is also Joanna!)

Jo seemed like the perfect embodiment of all the important things in life. She was smart, pretty but not fussy, brave and not afraid to stand up for what she believed in. 

As Jo rarely allowed herself to be vulnerable, it was always particularly poignant when she did. I can vividly recall her breaking down in Mrs. Garrett's arms on several occasions, such as when she learned her teenage on-again-off-again boyfriend Eddie from the Bronx had gotten married without telling her.

What were your favorite (or least favorite) things about Jo?

 

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I loved her witty comments towards Blair, especially in the earlier seasons but those two had a great connection throughout the entire series.

One of my favorites was in season 4 when Blair opened their window and recited some long poem by Emily Dickinson and then Jo walked over and slammed the window and said "It's freezing. Jo Polniaczek."

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I love Jo for all the reasons SnarkySheep mentioned. I felt like Jo was a cooler, prettier, tougher version of myself, which was really nice to see on TV. I didn't like how they softened her character in the later years.

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I thought she was tough on Blair regarding getting a scholarship from the Warner foundation.  Honey all the laundry in the world is not going to pay for Eastland.

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As a kid I loved Facts of Life, and especially Jo.  Now that I'm rewatching the eps on Logo, I just can't get over  how insufferable and bitchy Jo is.  Every comment is spoken through an eye roll and clenched teeth.  What exactly did this teenager have to be such a bitch about?  You can have a character who is cynical but hilarious and generally nice (like Dorothy on Golden Girls) - it doesn't work when the person just miserable.

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 What exactly did this teenager have to be such a bitch about? 

*cough*UST*cough*

"I have this problem... Her name is Blair." - Dear Apple

 

Edited by sev
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I agree. As an adult, I'm also struck by now nasty Jo was. And it seemed like whenever there was a "sisterly moment" between Blair and Jo, it was always Blair who reached out and Jo who eventually, begrudgingly accepted the olive branch.

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 I just say the episodes where Jo was introduced the other day and even back at the beginning it was Blair making a genuine effort to help and trying to take Mrs. G's advice to put aside her preconceived notions and try to make nice with someone so different from her.

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Watching Nancy McKeon during the spring break episodes with Flyman. She is wearing over sized workman jumpers. I guess she felt she was heavy then and was covering up but I think it made her look heavier. She tended to wear the romper clothes often in the later years. Not a good look for her in the 80's. Who knew? LOL!!! That said, I really don't remember the girls wearing them in the 80's. I graduated high school in 1983 and don't recall the girls wearing them.

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Actor Alex Rocco who played Jo's father died today. He was. 79. What's crazy was I was just watching him today on FOL & wondering whatever happened to him. The episode today was about Jo's Dad & Blair's mother ( Marj Dusay) Monica becoming friendly. He was really great on this show & in the Godfather.

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I have to agree about Jo's attitude.

 

I've been watching some of the reruns lately and caught the watch episode.  It reeks of classism.  Blair is rich so it's okay to take her things without asking and blow off accidentally damaging them?   It showed a huge lack of respect for Blair.  How much someone does or doesn't have isn't important.  Taking things without asking is wrong.  Breaking them, even accidentally, without an offer to replace or repair is also wrong.  Blair was unhappy, but was willing to let it go until Jo started acting like it wasn't a big deal anyway.

 

If Mrs. Garrett hadn't been studying, I'm sure she would have said the same thing.

 

The computer episode rubbed me the wrong way, too, for that reason.  Blair can be overbearing sometimes, but Jo is at this stage of her life and hasn't yet recognized that Blair is a friend?  If these episodes had been earlier in the series, I might have accepted it.  The girls had little in common and were forced to live together.

 

By this episode, they were in college and living together by choice.  I guess, looking back, Jo should have matured.

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I just recently saw the watch episode and I totally agree! It doesn't matter if you're friends with someone like Bill Gates or Donald Trump; just because they have money doesn't mean that they need to give it to you, if you follow me. And if for whatever reason they did, then they deserve a polite thank you, respect for what they've given or lent you, etc., the same as anyone else. I was pretty surprised that Jo of all people wouldn't know this.

 

It also seemed a bit contrived that Jo would have worn the expensive watch while playing a rough game of basketball. That almost seemed like she was trying to break it! They might have simply gone with a storyline where it was accidentally broken or lost or something instead.

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