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All Episodes Talk: You Take Them Both and There You Have

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 I wasn't complaining about the fact Jo gets kicked out of the dorm.  I agree it's something they had to do to move the plot along.  What bothers me is that Jo acted entitled to not only move into Blair's room but didn't give a second thought she was risking Blair's expulsion and had the nerve to act pissed when Blair didn't accommodate her schedule.   For all her bitching about rich people, she could act just as entitled and demanding as they did.

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32 minutes ago, Maverick said:

 I wasn't complaining about the fact Jo gets kicked out of the dorm.  I agree it's something they had to do to move the plot along.  What bothers me is that Jo acted entitled to not only move into Blair's room but didn't give a second thought she was risking Blair's expulsion and had the nerve to act pissed when Blair didn't accommodate her schedule.   For all her bitching about rich people, she could act just as entitled and demanding as they did.

This is true and I do agree that Jo had her own sense of entitlement.

And have any of y'all noticed that stupid Sponsored Content at the bottom of this site, which is just click-bait, and NONE of the "information" is shocking or surprising. Point is, for every other celebrity, they use the celebrity's real name! But apparently, whoever put the blurb for "what [insert actor/actress name] looks like now will blow you away/shock you, " etc. doesn't know that Jo Polniaczek was Nancy's character's name!? All I see when I see Nancy McKeon's FACE, is the blurb identifying her as Jo.

I didn't know where else to put this and figured I'd do it here since we were talking about Jo. ?

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16 hours ago, GHScorpiosRule said:

And have any of y'all noticed that stupid Sponsored Content at the bottom of this site, which is just click-bait, and NONE of the "information" is shocking or surprising.

Lol I know! Nancy McKeon is no longer sixteen years old! *SHOCKED*

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I just caught a few episodes on Logo- I haven't watched it since the original run.  I just cannot believe how bad some of the acting is!  It isn't Disney-channel mugging, but still bad.

I know the weight issue was brought up before, but it's crazy to think of how teens on shows look like now.  Each girl would have been a knock-out with Blair being inanely gorgeous.  It's interesting to see regular cute girls with fuller figures.

I'm watching the episode where Natalie's dad dies and somehow, Tootie is making it all about her.  Was Tootie always so self centered?

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On 2/15/2017 at 3:10 AM, CeeBeeGee said:

But another Tootie-flops-at-drama ep was the Tootie-runs-away-to-the-big-city-and-meets-a-teen-prostitute episode in...Season 3? She is terrible, and what makes it worse is that the girl playing the hooker, Tammy Lauren, acts circles around her. Lauren "Kristy" has to carry the episode as it is--she has all the beat changes, she has subtext to play, she has the conflicting emotions, girl has ALL the heavy lifting to do, Tootie just has to react but she's pretty awful.

It's kind of amazing when you consider that Tammy Lauren was like 14 when she did that episode, and she was absolutely fantastic. You almost forget that she's a kid there. (I keep thinking that she was the girl from Avenging Angel, but she's not- just a very similar look and plotline.)

I do think the arrival of Jo/Nancy made Blair/Lisa up her game. It might have just been writing, but Blair's drama in season 1 was okay enough, but I don't think she had become nuanced enough yet. Her dramatic stories improved by leaps and bounds when Jo came on the scene.

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Today they aired the "Jo's mother's pizza recipe is a hit on campus" episode and it explained a long-running imponderable for me: why does a girl named Jo Polniaczek, a girl of Polish ancestry, looks so...non-Polish? The Polish tend to have a very specific look--blonde hair, fair skin, roundish features (which, of course, Jo's father--played by Alex Rocco who "made his bones while you were going out with cheerleaders!" as Moe Greene in The Godfather--noticeably does NOT have!).

Anyway, as it turns out Jo's mom is Sicilian. And that recipe honestly sounds yummy!

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The Polish tend to have a very specific look--blonde hair, fair skin, roundish features 

Huh? Where did you get that idea? I'm 100% Polish and I'm pretty dark - as is my dad, and many other Polish people I know. I do have the round face, but I also know quite a few people who have very narrow features. In a nutshell, Poles run the gamut of looks, so Jo could definitely fit, even if she weren't supposedly half Italian.

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I wasn't complaining about the fact Jo gets kicked out of the dorm.  I agree it's something they had to do to move the plot along. 

I can see how they had to do that, too, but only where the college-aged girls are involved. I could never quite understand how/why Tootie and Natalie also moved in over the shop. Why would their parents want them living off campus when there are perfectly nice dorms available at Eastland? Would the folks at Eastland even be ok with such an arrangement? (It wasn't as though they were living at home and just coming over for classes; they were living with a third-party, one who wasn't even a current employee of the school. Would Mrs. Garrett have had to sign en loco parentis forms to be considered a guardian? etc.) The whole matter was conveniently glossed over and never really addressed, of course.

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 They did address it, albeit briefly.  Natalie and Tootie mention that another girl lives off campus with her grandmother.  Mrs. Garrett says she'll talk to the headmaster but their parents will have to approve.   

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They did address it, albeit briefly.  Natalie and Tootie mention that another girl lives off campus with her grandmother.  Mrs. Garrett says she'll talk to the headmaster but their parents will have to approve.   

I recall that.  I think after a few seasons, it becomes just Jo and Blair in one room and Natalie and Tootie in another (maybe by the time Over Our Heads starts up?).  Though I agree that putting them all back together after Jo and Blair graduated is more about contrivance than anything else. 

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But another Tootie-flops-at-drama ep was the Tootie-runs-away-to-the-big-city-and-meets-a-teen-prostitute episode in...Season 3? She is terrible, and what makes it worse is that the girl playing the hooker, Tammy Lauren, acts circles around her. Lauren "Kristy" has to carry the episode as it is--she has all the beat changes, she has subtext to play, she has the conflicting emotions, girl has ALL the heavy lifting to do, Tootie just has to react but she's pretty awful.

I just love that Tootie runs away to New York, and almost immediately is nearly tricked into becoming a teen prostitute.  How she wasn't immediately murdered after stepping foot off the train, I will never know. 

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On 4/10/2017 at 11:02 PM, SnarkySheep said:

Huh? Where did you get that idea? I'm 100% Polish and I'm pretty dark - as is my dad, and many other Polish people I know. I do have the round face, but I also know quite a few people who have very narrow features. In a nutshell, Poles run the gamut of looks, so Jo could definitely fit, even if she weren't supposedly half Italian.

Interesting! Okay, good to know. I have known several people of Polish descent who have made jokes about (or embodied) the "Polish look" and it's all been along those lines--fair skin, blonde hair, round face, "potato nose" (their words, not mine), etc. 

I still want that pizza recipe!

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I am watching a Season 1 episode.  It is the one about Molly's parents getting divorced.  During the episode, Natalie talks about her parents previously being separated and they got back together because she was sick and they started talking again.  Several seasons later, Dr Green is caught cheating and Natalie never mentions the previous separation.  

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I was watching an rerun of the 70's sitcom Alice and guess who guest starred? Nancy McKeon, which isn't a surprise since her brother played Alice's son.

What made me laugh is the plot which was a Halloween episode. Alice took her boyfriend's four children trick-or-treating. When they came home and took the mask off one of the kids, it was a strange kid; they lost the boyfriend's son! Sound familiar? That happened with Blair's little sister on TFOL, complete with the punch line of finally finding the proper child, but then another one of the gang comes in with yet another child in the same costume saying "we found him/her!"

Edited by Snow Apple

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I saw that episode and thought it must gave been just before she started doing FOL but based on the dates I think she had already been playing Jo for a year.  it seems odd they just dropped her in as a random character.  I would have expected them to bring her in as Tommy's cousin or friend from back East.

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Oh boy! Logo is re-showing the Jermaine Jackson episode. I'm with the other girls -- why are you letting Tootie get away with this? And if this concert was such a big deal, why didn't everyone know about it already (because surely a superfan like Tootie wouldn't have shut up about it), and why didn't she bring up the time/date conflict earlier? 

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And if this concert was such a big deal, why didn't everyone know about it already (because surely a superfan like Tootie wouldn't have shut up about it), and why didn't she bring up the time/date conflict earlier? 

It is one of those times when you want Mrs. Garrett to just smack the crap out of Tootie.  She was such a brat. 

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Kim could be quite shrill on FOL, which is an amazing contrast, to her slyly subversive tour de force turn on Living Single.

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6 hours ago, ivygirl said:

Oh boy! Logo is re-showing the Jermaine Jackson episode. I'm with the other girls -- why are you letting Tootie get away with this? And if this concert was such a big deal, why didn't everyone know about it already (because surely a superfan like Tootie wouldn't have shut up about it), and why didn't she bring up the time/date conflict earlier? 

For reals! Even when I watched this in real time when it first aired, I was like, Jermaine?!?I don't think so! What about Michael? He was the MUCH BIGGER STAR, not to mention more popular since he'd gone solo and there was no more Jackson Five! PUH-LEAZE with how much more popular Jermaine was over Michael as Tootie and her friends who preferred him over Michael. I might have bought it had Michael not been more popular and on everyone's lips. And I would have bought Tootie's overwrought overreacting had it been about Michael.

That said, yeah, Mrs. Garrett shouldn't have caved and instead someone should have slapped her down. I LAUGHED when her cake got smashed and ruined! Howled!???????????

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And Jermaine was never mentioned again, but I remember in a later episode when Tootie told some guest star that Michael was one of her favorites. I remember because I thought "what about Jermaine?" It was like they thought fans forgot about this episode and her crazy.

Like the poster above, I saw this in first run and also thought "Jermaine?!" I was actually embarrassed for Kim being forced to do this storyline.  I wouldn't have been embarrassed for her if they had managed to get Michael. That would have been understandable.

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I'm pretty sure they couldn't afford to say Michael's name at that point :) .

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On 4/23/2017 at 0:09 PM, Snow Apple said:

I was watching an rerun of the 70's sitcom Alice and guess who guest starred? Nancy McKeon, which isn't a surprise since her brother played Alice's son.

What made me laugh is the plot which was a Halloween episode. Alice took her boyfriend's four children trick-or-treating. When they came home and took the mask off one of the kids, it was a strange kid; they lost the boyfriend's son! Sound familiar? That happened with Blair's little sister on TFOL, complete with the punch line of finally finding the proper child, but then another one of the gang comes in with yet another child in the same costume saying "we found him/her!"

I caught an Alice rerun the other day that had Nancy McKeon as an orphan at Thanksgiving dinner at Mel's Diner.

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17 hours ago, MarkHB said:

I'm pretty sure they couldn't afford to say Michael's name at that point :) .

Really? I could have sworn that someone asked why Michael wasn't her favorite and she handwaved Michael away and said she wuuuved Jermaine.

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5 hours ago, GHScorpiosRule said:

Really? I could have sworn that someone asked why Michael wasn't her favorite and she handwaved Michael away and said she wuuuved Jermaine.

I was being sarcastic, but I checked the air date and it was only early 1982 after all, so Thriller hadn't dropped yet.

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15 hours ago, MarkHB said:

I was being sarcastic, but I checked the air date and it was only early 1982 after all, so Thriller hadn't dropped yet.

???

Well, either way, Michael was always the favorite and stand out star when part of the Jackson Five (to my recollection), and when he went solo, it was Michael Jackson EVERYWHERE!

I'd forgotten about Jermaine, and didn't even know he'd had a career outside of Jackson Five until that one song that was the love song for Cass and Kathleen on Another World in...1984!! Something about how beautiful her eyes were.

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Jermaine was a pretty big star from about 76 to 84, so I can believe Tootie would be excited to meet him; but excited enough to trigger a meltdown like the one she had in the episode? Nope.

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I remember Jermaine well enough to have known who he was. But... What about Rebbie??? :)

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On 5/5/2017 at 3:00 PM, Maherjunkie said:

Along with Let's Get Serious!

I really didn't know that song but then it appeared on Everybody Wants Some, which is set in 1980. Richard Linklater basically admitted they got it because they couldn't afford the rights to "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough." I'm assuming the same thing was in play with that episode. LOL.

I finally got around to watching The Americanization of Miko. I'm surprised she wasn't more recurring- the only other episode she appeared in was The Runaway. Miko was dropped pretty fast as a character, I think. Probably not a bad thing- something about her annoyed me.

Edited by methodwriter85

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I liked Lauren Tom in the movie The Joy Luck Club and when she guest starred as over-the-top characters on various sitcoms (my favorite was her on My Wife and Kids), but yeah, I didn't like her on FOL or Friends.

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On Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at 10:33 AM, CurlyATX said:

I just caught a few episodes on Logo- I haven't watched it since the original run.  I just cannot believe how bad some of the acting is!  It isn't Disney-channel mugging, but still bad.

I know the weight issue was brought up before, but it's crazy to think of how teens on shows look like now.  Each girl would have been a knock-out with Blair being inanely gorgeous.  It's interesting to see regular cute girls with fuller figures.

I'm watching the episode where Natalie's dad dies and somehow, Tootie is making it all about her.  Was Tootie always so self centered?

It must of been particularly hard on Lisa, since Blair was supposed to be so perfect.  I remembet the creator saying he cast Lisa because "she was the mostbeautiful teenager he had ever seen.

I am so glad the girls did not give onto the pressure to be super skinny.  They were all cute girls and I hated it when this show was called The Fats of Life.

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On 10/3/2017 at 2:34 PM, qtpye said:

 I remembet the creator saying he cast Lisa because "she was the mostbeautiful teenager he had ever seen.

See, and to me, Blair never looked like a teenager, especially around the other girls...with her looks and the style of dressing, she always looked about 35.

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4 minutes ago, Ubiquitous said:

I noticed they played the Jermaine Jackson ep on MEtv this past weekend. I always forget how over-the-top Tootie gets!

Oh LAWD, Yes! I was just about to come in here and post about it. Too bad they edited out the part where Tootie and her fellow swooning groupies told Jo that they much preferred Jermaine over Michael. Riiiiight. And I remember being the age she was supposed to be, and even I wasn't that stupid--that I thought that any member of Duran Duran (they were my JAM!) would know me personally, or invite me to their concert. And I was a very sheltered child, with strict parents and upbringing.

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13 hours ago, GHScorpiosRule said:

Oh LAWD, Yes! I was just about to come in here and post about it. Too bad they edited out the part where Tootie and her fellow swooning groupies told Jo that they much preferred Jermaine over Michael. Riiiiight. And I remember being the age she was supposed to be, and even I wasn't that stupid--that I thought that any member of Duran Duran (they were my JAM!) would know me personally, or invite me to their concert. And I was a very sheltered child, with strict parents and upbringing.

Wait, what? Simon le Bon TOTALLY wanted to hang out with my eight-year-old self!

If anyone reading this hasn't yet seen this infamous ep, FIND IT. It's fully worth the price of admission.

On another note... anyone else notice that they sometimes doubled up on actors? The same guy who played the mentally challenged young man Blair dates in S4 later shows up as a drug user/dealer in S6. And Tootie's boyfriend Jeff first turned up in S3 as Zack. I don't get it. Were there that few actors?

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Shows of the 70s and 80s reused actors all that time.   It was especially noticeable on The Golden Girls, maybe because they had a smaller pool of age appropriate actors to pick from, but actors who ended up playing recurring characters like Miles, Enrique Mas, or Sophia's husband Sal had already guested as waiters or one-off dates at least a couple of times.  I always chalk that up, as well as sometimes glaring continuity issues with characters and storylines, to the reality that when the shows were made you might only catch an episode again in summer reruns or syndication years later and they probably didn't think anyone would notice.  Or they just liked certain actors and wanted to throw extra work their way.

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Oh yeah, watch Three's Company some time. I think they used the same five guest actors over and over again. I lost count of how many times Jeffrey Tambor showed up in a different role.

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1 hour ago, kariyaki said:

Oh yeah, watch Three's Company some time. I think they used the same five guest actors over and over again. I lost count of how many times Jeffrey Tambor showed up in a different role.

IMBDb lists him as three different named characters who appeared on multiple episodes on that show and then an entirely separate fourth primary character on the spinoff The Ropers.  Nothing to do with this show, but for some reason that amuses me.

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With shows like Perry Mason, it makes more sense to me for some reason--maybe because those have a different feel, more like self-contained plays. But by the 70s and 80s it just seems odd. Anyway, I didn't really think it was *new* to this show, just a funny observation, especially because the Leo character was so different from the druggie boyfriend. 

Edited by ivygirl

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11 hours ago, ivygirl said:

With shows like Perry Mason, it makes more sense to me for some reason--maybe because those have a different feel, more like self-contained plays. But by the 70s and 80s it just seems odd. Anyway, I didn't really think it was *new* to this show, just a funny observation, especially because the Leo character was so different from the druggie boyfriend. 

I was just saying it wasn't unheard of even in the 80s.  Law & Order and the rest of its franchise did the same thing. I mean, we had Jerry Orbach  appear as a defense attorney in season two, only to return in season three as the beloved Lennie Brisco!

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So, as we're rounding down to the end of season three, I have to ask, just how many backdoor pilots were inserted in this show???

First we had that stupid episode at the Boys Academy or whatever, where Jo set Blair up with her buddy "Buzz" and all of them ended up going. The asshole Corporal or whatever was played by Peter Frechette, who I associate more with as being an alum on Law & Order and its spin-offs; the guy originally chosen to be Jo's date was cute. David Ackroyd played the teacher, or rather, Major? Sgt. Major? I forget.

Then we have "Jo's Cousin," another episode not related to the girls at all, except that Jo's tomboy cousin, reaching her 14th birthday, is becoming a "girl" and wants to dress like one. She was played by Anne of Green Gables, Megan Followes. Jo's uncle Sal I remember from Double Trouble-he played the dad to the Doublemint Twins. Bud and Pauly couldn't have been more stereotypical. Just how old were they? And Pauly's friend, Tony? If they were trying for him to be 16, utterly failed. And Terry (Megan) had the hots for him. Just ewww. Because of the age discrepancy, because he suddenly noticed her as a girl. Uncle Sal should have been Jo's father's brother, because both actors look more like brothers. I think her aunt was Jo's father's sister. But it was never made clear. I hate when they do shit like that. I'm anal retentive enough that I want to know how they're related, dammit!

I don't know how I missed these two episodes when they originally aired--because I don't remember them at all. Then there's backdoor pilot number three, close to the series finale, when they rehash the plot of season two, with Juliet Lewis and a few others, and Blair ending up becoming head mistress? of Eastland. I think they thought to spin it off with her, but it didn't take, for whatever reason.

Now I'm going to have to sit down and make notes of how many attempts or back door pilots are thrown in.

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Wasn't there also one about some relatives of Tootie? I vaguely remember an episode that involved an awful lot of screentime for her relative that was married to a white person, that I figured it was another potential spin-off.

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That was Brian & Sylvia, which would have starred the future MacGyver, Richard Dean Anderson.

According to this site, there were six attempted spinoffs, including two separate tries to make the all-boys Stone Academy happen.  I never realized until just now that Blair and Jo going off to college at Langley was originally intended to also be a spinoff instead of a continuation of the show that just moved location.

Edited to add that I do see the irony that the show could not get any of these off the ground when it itself is one more successful spinoffs in TV history from Diff'rent Strokes (And yes, I always have to look to make sure that apostrophe right.)

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Googling this is bringing up all kinds of fun stuff.  I'm seeing several '70s series that had at least three successful spinoffs like Happy Days and All in the Family but I'm not getting a definitive answer on shows that had most failed attempts at it, although Facts of Life does pop up again there.  The advent of reality shows and all their bastard offspring have certainly skewed the numbers.

Holy hell, I had completely forgotten there was a Happy Days spinoff cartoon that ran two seasons when I would have been 8 or 9.

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