As a huge fan of "Small Wonder", '80s TV and just silly family sitcoms in general I can't tell you how excited I am to have the Season 1 DVD set of this classic series
"Small Wonder" revolved around the Lawson Family and Vicki; a Voice Input Child Identicant that was raised as a child. Vicki could get into mischief every once in a while which ended up being very funny only because it was so foolish. Also the series included lots of talented special effects which rarely (if ever) have been seen in a sitcom of this type. And, although Vicki had superhuman powers (she could lift a grown man off the ground with 1 hand), she was also very relatable because somehow she was always able to do something sentient in every ep.
The star of the show was Tiffany Brissette, in the title-role. Tiffany played the robot-child perfectly because she was so real, or should I say unreal in each and every ep. Dick Christie and Marla Pennington were the parents, and Jerry Supiran was their son, Jamie. Rounding out the cast is Harriet (Emily Schulman), the Lawson's annoying neighbor and William Bogert and Eddie McClurg played her parents, Bonnie and Brandon Brindle.
After watching this entire season I have some very important questions:
Why does Joan's hair change from bob to cotton candy in every other ep?
Why doesn't anyone ever notice that Vicki speaks in monotone?
Why didn't Ted ever tell Brandon and Bonnie to bug off?
Why does their house have 2 fireplaces yet only 2 bedrooms?
Didn't Jamie ever get creeped out by having Vicki sleep in his cabinet?
Did Reggie grow up to be the first black president?
Did Harriet and Chrissy Snow share the same hairdresser?
How happy was Edie McClurg when she left this show and got the "Valerie" gig?
Why does Jamie always put his hands on his hips?
If Ted invented Vicki to help children with special needs, then why did he adopt her and lie to everyone and decide to raise her as his daughter?
Why was Joan required to get her teaching credential if she was just going to home-school Vicki?
Why did Joan wear so many oversized outfits, sweaters and bulky belts?
Why does Jamie have a rainbow colored gym bag?
What was up with all of those microwave-sized things in Ted's makeshift closet/office?
When Edie McClurg resurfaced on "Melrose Place" was her character, Hilda, really a long lost relative of Bonnie's?
How exactly was Vicki able to shed tears?
Who told Ken Berry that he could dance?
Why does Jamie's "clubhouse" look like a mini shed (or an overzied doghouse) on stilts?
Is Harriet the reason behind Cartman's aversion to gingers?
Has there ever been another show that was more over-the-top and corny than "Small Wonder"?
As a child I used to watch "Small Wonder" every Saturday evening in first-run syndication on WNEW-5 (now it's known as Fox-5). The series used to come on in between "What's Happening Now" and "Too Close For Comfort." Gosh, can you get more 80's than that! Incidentally, "Small Wonder" became the #1 family sitcom in syndication during its initial run.
This is a 4 disc collection (6 eps per disc) and it's packaged in slim plastic cases that fit into the bookcase-type cardboard container. Be sure to check out the pictures of everything (the discs, packaging and the covers of the 2 plastic cases) that I took the time to scan, label and post.
The Season 1 set includes all 24 eps, complete and unedited for broadcast. Also, included on each disc are original episode promos for each show (these run just over 3 minutes total per disc).
The main menu includes a picture of Vicki with the "Small Wonder" logo superimposed over the background (incidentally, the backgrounds on each disc are color coded) with a loop of the theme song. Each ep is exactly 22 minutes and 18 seconds long (from opening credits to closing credits)
Vicki's Homecoming (original airdate: 9-7-85)
In the premiere of this classic sitcom we meet the entire Lawson family, including Ted's latest creation; Vicki. One of my favorite parts is in the very beginning when Jamie slams the door in Harriet's face and says that she's "a pill" and a "waste of womanhood."
- w/ commentary with Howard Leeds (the creator/producer), Dick Christie, Marla Pennington & Jerry Supiran
The Neighbors (original airdate: 9-14-85)
The Brindles barge their way into the Lawsons, inviting themselves over for dinner. As Dick Christie said in one of the commentaries, they were very food motivated. Get a load of Harriet's "robot" Rodney. And notice how Vicki mentions Google a quarter of a century before it becomes a household word, "the word gargle is not in my memory bank, but I do have a google."
The Sitter (original airdate: 9-21-85)
When Jamie's babysitter flakes out, Ted programs Vicki to take up the slack. And as usual Vicki causes more harm than help.
The Suitor (original airdate: 9-28-85)
The show opens with Jamie telling Vicki, "you're faster than a tongue in an ice-cream factory" to uproarious laughter. Gosh, they just don't write stuff like that anymore. When Warren falls in love with Vicki it's up to the Lawsons to reprogram her. And what was up with Warren's blubbering?
- w/ commentary with Dick Christie, Marla Pennington, Jerry Supiran & Daryl Bartley (Warren)
Sibling Rivalry (original airdate: 10-5-85)
Jamie hits the road when Vicki gets all of his parents' attention. After Ted and Joan figure out where he's hiding they decide to let him come home on his own accord.
Spielberg Jr. (original airdate: 10-12-85)
Jamie becomes a little too demanding when he makes a home movie, prompting his parents and Reggie to teach him a lesson in friendship.
The Lie (original airdate: 10-19-85)
When Harriet and her cousin surface Jamie learns that honesty is the best policy after he pulls the wool over his parents' eyes once too many times. Take special notice of Vicki's basketball moves.
The Bully (original airdate: 10-26-85)
A neighborhood bully scares Jamie and his friends into giving him money. So it's Vicki to the rescue once again.
Slightly Dishonorable (original airdate: 11-2-85)
Jamie uses Vicki to cheat on his homework. Incidentally, what was up with his teacher coming by his home to talk to his parents? Didn't they have telephones in the '80s?
The Adoption (original airdate: 11-9-85)
After busy-body Bonnie reports Joan and Ted to child protective services they're forced take action in perhaps the first time in world history that a robot was ever legally adopted. By the way, what was up with Joanie's pink pants suit? It looked like something out of Star Wars.
Child Genius (original airdate: 11-16-85)
Mrs. Fernwald takes it upon herself to get Vicki a private tutor when the Lawsons make up another outlandish fib. This time Joan is forced to get her teaching credential to keep the lie rolling along smoothly.
Ted's New Boss (original airdate: 11-23-85)
The Brindles take habitat in the Lawsons when they have a house fire. By the way, did anyone notice that stupid bird? The thing was obviously half dead, yet it managed to run its mouth more than Joan Rivers.
- w/ commentary with Dick Christie, Marla Pennington, Jerry Supiran & Eddie McClurg (Bonnie Brindle)
Brainwashed (original airdate: 11-30-85)
This is one of my personal favorite eps. Unbeknownst to Ted, Vicki takes off to Harriet's and gets a lesson in how to be a spoiled little monster. I love it when Harriet says, "that's all I need, braces on top of freckles, I'll never get married." So funny.
The Burrito Story (original airdate: 1-4-86)
With the help of Reggie and Vicki, Jamie turns his mother's kitchen into a Del Taco.
The Camping Trip (original airdate: 1-11-86)
The gang all go camping and wind up getting lost.
Love Story (original airdate: 1-18-86)
Jamie falls in love with super-snob Jessica and throws her a special party. When the school tomboy shows up in a dress Jamie realizes that there's more than 1 fish in the sea.
Substitute Father (original airdate: 1-25-86)
Ted decides that golf is more important than spending time with his son, so Jamie uses "surrogate-father" Brindle as a proxy.
The Robot Nappers (original airdate: 2-8-86)
A misunderstanding develops when a couple of corporate spies think that Harriet is the android they're after. Suffice it to say, the Lawsons are more than happy to play along with this little game.
- w/ commentary with Dick Christie, Marla Pennington, Jerry Supiran & Eddie McClurg
The Company Takeover (original airdate: 2-15-86)
The family all pulls together when they think that Ted's job is in jeopardy. Danny Wells (otherwise known as Charlie the bartender) has a part in this ep as Discount Dale.
Good Ol' Lou (original airdate: 2-22-86)
At Ted's insistence, the Lawsons all get on an exercise kick after one of Ted's associates goes on a diet with drastic (and dramatic) results.
Like Father, Like Son (original airdate: 3-1-86)
Jamie doesn't know how to tell his father that he doesn't make the football team.
Vaudeville Vicki (original airdate: 5-3-86)
With the help of Ken Berry, this ep has more bad acting, singing and dramatics than a Suzanne Somers special.
The Real Facts of Life (original airdate: 5-10-86)
This ep really dates this show because it's an entire program about s-e-x, yet nothing is ever discussed. Instead there are whispers and rumors because everyone is too bashful to tell it like it is. Sorry there's no Mrs. G on this ep! Read more ›