Great news, at least for me. The Wonder Years is back on television. I caught the last 30 seconds of an episode on a network called ion.
Pardon me for a moment while I silently scream for joy. TWY is in my top-3 tv shows of all time (“M*A*S*H”, “WKRP in Cincinnati” being the other two). Even though the show is set in 1968 and later, and I grew up in the 1970s, this show was practically a look at my own tender years.
The perfect cast (Winnie, Paul, Wayne (the bratty brother), Karen, mom and dad, the science teacher, the french teacher all seemed like real people and not actors. The situations were real (broken hearts, first kiss, fights with your best friend, death). The script writing was exceptional and the soundtrack (Four Tops, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, The Turtles, Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell and Neil Young) set the tone and mood as well as any other tv show in history.
More like a documentary of the 1960s and ’70s, this show perfectly painted a picture of kids in elementary and middle school of the time.
I kept VHS copies of the show for a long time but threw them away during one of my moves, figuring one day I’d just buy the DVD set. As I’ve written here before, the thing that has kept Wonder Years off the air in syndication and out of DVD boxed sets has been the music copyright thing. ABC apparently didn’t get releases to use the music from the late 60s, and early 70’s except for when the show aired on the network. Nickelodeon picked up the show about 10 years ago but I don’t remember whether the original songs were part of the reruns or not.
Lots of folks probably don’t realize this but The Wonder Years was actually based on or at least inspired by the movie “A Christmas Story”.
Now, I’ve got a pile of blank VHS tapes to capture these priceless episodes while I can. My weeknights just got very entertaining.