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  #101  
Old 05-18-2018, 05:11 PM
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In Friends, it was realistic the amount Ross seemed to see his son, that he didn't live with.

When he and Rachel had a daughter they did make an attempt to integrate the baby into the story, but no baby sleeps that much.

Same for a lot of sitcoms and some dramas. "Shh, the baby's sleeping." Every time? And every time, even at home, you're dressed to the nines when the baby happens to be napping?

Also Rachel moving to France. Well, that might have been a big deal for her relationship with Ross, but when it came to moving their daughter abroad too, it was an obvious no. Rachel would have to be a horrible mother to go "well, I have a fantastic job in NY, which is where her father is and he sees her a lot, and she has a half brother there, and it's where my family live, and it's where my daughter's father's family live, and the extended family and all our friends live, but I could also go to Paris for a slightly better job (even though I don't speak French) and my daughter will see everyone else every few months."

Instead they had her on the plane without the kid or any acknowledgement of the kid.

If you're going to write a kid in, commit to it.
  #102  
Old 05-18-2018, 05:19 PM
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Thank God M3S didn't last long enough for a Dodie's frst bra episode *shudders*
Dodie: "How do you know so much about bras, uncle Ernie?"

Uncle Ernie: "I was in the Marines, wasn't I? Why I've got more venereal diseases than a French nobleman!"
  #103  
Old 05-18-2018, 05:24 PM
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Same for a lot of sitcoms and some dramas. "Shh, the baby's sleeping." Every time? And every time, even at home, you're dressed to the nines when the baby happens to be napping?
I once heard somebody make a comment about the baby never being around in Party of Five, but I never watched the show, so don't know if the statement was correct.
  #104  
Old 05-18-2018, 06:27 PM
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If you're going to write a kid in, commit to it.
Why? Seriously, what does it matter? Do you think the purpose of a sitcom is to depict every minute of the characters’ non-existent lives? Why do you care about secondary or tertiary characters who aren’t currently on screen?
  #105  
Old 05-19-2018, 08:30 AM
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Why? Seriously, what does it matter? Do you think the purpose of a sitcom is to depict every minute of the characters’ non-existent lives? Why do you care about secondary or tertiary characters who aren’t currently on screen?
Because it's poor storytelling. Having a baby changes people's lives and if you're not going to have the character's lives change then why bother writing in a baby?
  #106  
Old 05-19-2018, 09:14 AM
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Because it's poor storytelling. Having a baby changes people's lives and if you're not going to have the character's lives change then why bother writing in a baby?
Who says it's poor storytelling? Go through a script of an episode of Friends and show me how the absence of a minor character makes the storytelling poor.

How do you know the characters' lives are unchanged? The purpose of a sitcom is not to depict those characters' entire lives. It would be poor storytelling to squeeze in a baby in every episode simply because a baby exists.

A sitcom about a man who has a baby has no obligation to show the baby if the baby doesn't serve the story that's right in front of you.

In an episodic series, especially in a sitcom like "Friends," the story is simply the 24 minutes of that episode. If there's no reason for a baby to show up in that episode, then it's poor storytelling to force it in.

Similarly, there's no reason why a baby shouldn't jump from newborn to toddler between seasons, if having an infant for several seasons doesn't serve the actual stories you're telling.

Last edited by Acsenray; 05-19-2018 at 09:15 AM.
  #107  
Old 05-19-2018, 12:13 PM
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Frasier and Lilith's son Frederick Crane was added to Cheers, (The Stork delivers a Crane) and appeared occasionally on Frasier.

But when Jane Leeves got pregnant, Daphne Moon was seen as gaining sixty pounds to explain it (It takes three Cranes to life you).

Last edited by Annie-Xmas; 05-19-2018 at 12:15 PM.
  #108  
Old 05-19-2018, 02:52 PM
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I’m not sure if this was mentioned, but Marshall and Lily have a baby, maybe two, I don’t remember on HIMYM. I seem to recall them having the first one, a boy, in quite a few scenes. I don’t think that messed the show up which seems to be the exception to the rule. I don’t know if Alyson Hannigan was actually pregnant in real life or not. I know both she and Cobie Smulders were both pregnant together but neither pregnancy was written into the show.
  #109  
Old 05-19-2018, 04:32 PM
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Who says it's poor storytelling? Go through a script of an episode of Friends and show me how the absence of a minor character makes the storytelling poor.

How do you know the characters' lives are unchanged? The purpose of a sitcom is not to depict those characters' entire lives. It would be poor storytelling to squeeze in a baby in every episode simply because a baby exists.

A sitcom about a man who has a baby has no obligation to show the baby if the baby doesn't serve the story that's right in front of you.

In an episodic series, especially in a sitcom like "Friends," the story is simply the 24 minutes of that episode. If there's no reason for a baby to show up in that episode, then it's poor storytelling to force it in.

Similarly, there's no reason why a baby shouldn't jump from newborn to toddler between seasons, if having an infant for several seasons doesn't serve the actual stories you're telling.
You want me to go through a script? Uh, no.

Our opinions differ. This appears to anger you and I really don't think there's any point me bothering to explain my opinion any more to you when your own is so VERY strong.
  #110  
Old 05-19-2018, 04:55 PM
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Because it's poor storytelling. Having a baby changes people's lives and if you're not going to have the character's lives change then why bother writing in a baby?
I agree. I mean, if it's the supporting character that has a child or the show is a procedural, that's different, but if it's a main character and the show has anything to with the character's personal life, then yes, there needs to be some change. Not having a baby ever is fine. Introducing a character (or plot device) that should make massive change to what the audience sees, and then doesn't is bad storytelling.

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Similarly, there's no reason why a baby shouldn't jump from newborn to toddler between seasons, if having an infant for several seasons doesn't serve the actual stories you're telling.
Oh, I strongly disagree. I know why it's done (babies are not really all that interesting, since they don't do much) but I dislike bad continuity. One person aging several years while everyone else ages only one is a problem. Likewise disappearing siblings, and changed backstories. And a lot of people don't care about continuity at all - say it gets in the way of the story. I disagree. If a writer can't keep continuity and make a good story, the problem is the writer, not the continuity (unless it was screwed up by a previous writer).

Last edited by Tzigone; 05-19-2018 at 04:58 PM.
  #111  
Old 05-19-2018, 04:55 PM
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My opinion is strong because I hear nitpicks like this all the time and they have zero to do with good or bad writing. It just seems to me part of the nitpicking/trivia culture that has no basis in the actual experience, purpose, or context of a story.

I consider it a kind of stereotypical or lazy thinking to criticize episodic sitcoms on that basis. That’s why I demand that people really think hard and justify this kind of opinion.
  #112  
Old 05-19-2018, 09:38 PM
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At least Dodie seemed like a real kid unlike the Brady's and their Stepford Kids' personas
  #113  
Old 05-19-2018, 10:13 PM
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Frasier and Lilith's son Frederick Crane was added to Cheers, (The Stork delivers a Crane) and appeared occasionally on Frasier.
One of my favorite Cheers episodes was "Home Malone," when Sam agrees to babysit little Frederick.
  #114  
Old 06-07-2018, 07:06 PM
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One of my favorite "My Three Sons" anecdotes is how Dawn Lyn (Dodie) would yank Fred MacMurray's toupee during filming just to see the reaction! One of the best aspects of the 2002 Family Affair revival was the bubbling dark undercurrent they gave to the revival version of Buffy Davis (Buffy: You're beginning to annoy Mrs. Beasley! Jody: Don't want to do that!)
  #115  
Old 06-07-2018, 09:34 PM
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It ticked me off when Kate and Doug Lawrence (Family) adopted Annie and shuffled poor ol’ Buddy to the sidelines. Buddy made that show, dammit!

...don’t get me wrong, I think Quinn Cummings (Annie) was a very talented child actor (she shined in The Goodbye Girl, for example). But, Kristy McNichol (Buddy) was something quite special. She had the acting chops of a seasoned adult actor at the age of ~12. Clara Bow may be the original “it” girl, but Kristy was the definitive “it” kid.
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  #116  
Old 06-08-2018, 01:04 AM
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I'm talking about the 2002 version of Family Affair with Sasha Pieterse as Buffy and Tim Curry as Mr French. That's the version where Mr French is a more typical British butler that does not really like children, and Buffy is more sassy and snarky.
  #117  
Old 06-21-2018, 11:15 PM
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Dodie is handled badly by the producers of My Three Sons. Doesn't help that Season 10 - where she has "hatchet hair" and exposed bloomers under super-short dresses - is the only Dodie season most viewers ever see.
  #118  
Old 06-22-2018, 10:01 AM
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Dodie is handled badly by the producers of My Three Sons. Doesn't help that Season 10 - where she has "hatchet hair" and exposed bloomers under super-short dresses - is the only Dodie season most viewers ever see.
I've been watching the series from the beginning and am now in season 11 - There are 12 seasons. I wasn't going to stick with it once the Dodie years began but glad I did. Poor Dodie still has a terrible hairdo and still is wearing the baby doll dresses even though she's in school - I'm guessing at least 1st grade. Those dresses belong on toddlers! She actually has some funny lines and for such a little kid, she does a pretty good job.
  #119  
Old 06-22-2018, 01:08 PM
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I've been watching the series from the beginning and am now in season 11 - There are 12 seasons. I wasn't going to stick with it once the Dodie years began but glad I did. Poor Dodie still has a terrible hairdo and still is wearing the baby doll dresses even though she's in school - I'm guessing at least 1st grade. Those dresses belong on toddlers! She actually has some funny lines and for such a little kid, she does a pretty good job.
And Barbara's blonde, but Dodie's a brunette! Is Dodie the daughter of the dustman?
  #120  
Old 06-26-2018, 01:44 PM
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And Barbara's blonde, but Dodie's a brunette! Is Dodie the daughter of the dustman?
That and I also always think Steve Douglas is so tall but Mike, Robbie and Chip are all short!
  #121  
Old 06-28-2018, 10:30 PM
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The mismatch between Beverly Garland and Dawn Lyn reminds me how seeing Judith Barsi in her television appearances and commercials where she looks decidedly Eastern European next to people playing her parents or siblings or friends who are decidedly *not* "ethnic" always stands out to me.
  #122  
Old 08-11-2018, 09:45 AM
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I wrote a transgender transformation story where a man gets sold a mysterious cable tv service and finds he can enter the bodies of tv characters. There's no tv cameras or studios, this is a "Pleasantville" type scenario. In this first installment, the protagonist enters the Dick Van Dyke show as Mary Tyler Moore's "Laura Petrie"... and uses the "Character Change/Replace" option on the magical remote control to replace the son, brash, obnoxious Ritchie, with a beautiful little girl.
  #123  
Old 09-26-2019, 04:40 AM
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Sherwood Schwartz's making Susan Olsen look like Anissa Jones for the first three seasons of the Brady Bunch is very off-putting. It's creepy and at least one professional television writer said Schwartz had an unhealthy fascination with Anissa Jones that seemed psycho-sexual.
  #124  
Old 09-26-2019, 06:39 PM
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Sherwood Schwartz's making Susan Olsen look like Anissa Jones for the first three seasons of the Brady Bunch is very off-putting. It's creepy and at least one professional television writer said Schwartz had an unhealthy fascination with Anissa Jones that seemed psycho-sexual.
Huh. Not what I heard. According to Barry "Greg" Williams' memoir, Susan Olsen asked her mom to "fix up her hair like Buffy's" (on Family Affair). Mind you , Schwartz was apparently so enamored of her little pigtail that he wrote it into the theme song. Supposedly, once Olsen has come into audition for the role of Cindy, Schwartz decided he didn't need to see anyone else.
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  #125  
Old 09-27-2019, 05:54 AM
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Would mentioning the flip side violate protocol?

Fox's "Grounded For Life" had three kids (daughter and two younger sons) until their last season when, IRL, the family of the younger boy moved back East. No mention of the missing third kid on the show. Sadly, he was the funniest of the three.
Somewhat similar to Chuck disappearing from Happy Days early in the series. I don't think anyone missed him much.
  #126  
Old 09-27-2019, 05:56 AM
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I wrote a transgender transformation story where a man gets sold a mysterious cable tv service and finds he can enter the bodies of tv characters. There's no tv cameras or studios, this is a "Pleasantville" type scenario. In this first installment, the protagonist enters the Dick Van Dyke show as Mary Tyler Moore's "Laura Petrie"... and uses the "Character Change/Replace" option on the magical remote control to replace the son, brash, obnoxious Ritchie, with a beautiful little girl.
Good call. Richie was incredibly grating.
  #127  
Old 09-27-2019, 06:08 AM
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How old was Scrappy-Doo? I don't think it was clear if he was a great dane puppy, or an adult little yappy chihuahua mix.
He kept saying "puppy power", so he's obviously a child.


I don't think anyone mentioned Naomi Wildman yet.
  #128  
Old 09-27-2019, 07:41 AM
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I read through the thread...
Stephanie on All in the Family was mentioned, but Joey wasn't.
On Criminal Minds, JJ had a son Henry, played by her real life son. But he isn't a main character.
  #129  
Old 09-27-2019, 09:01 AM
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Good call. Richie was incredibly grating.
If you want, I can post that segment that I wrote.
  #130  
Old 09-28-2019, 12:34 PM
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There was a sitcom called Davis Rules in the early 1990s featuring Jonathan Winters that rather inartfully plopped a teenager into the cast in an attempt to retool after a low-rated first season. It didn't work.
  #131  
Old 09-28-2019, 06:40 PM
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I always wondered why My Three Sons never used Dodie to have a Christmas Episode. Red/Green Christmas dress, white stockings, Mary Janes... would have triggered a few Awes in their declining audience...
  #132  
Old 09-28-2019, 06:56 PM
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It's worth mentioning that the baby-turned-toddler on Family Ties is played by the same actor who played Worf's son on TNG (some of the time).

It's like Robby Rist who appeared in the last few episodes of the Brady Bunch and also showed up as the obnoxious Dr. Zee on Galactica 1980
  #133  
Old 09-28-2019, 07:11 PM
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As I mentioned in Post #64.
  #134  
Old 09-28-2019, 07:14 PM
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As I mentioned in Post #64.
My apologies.
  #135  
Old 09-28-2019, 07:50 PM
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"Hey Dad...!" was an interesting mix of Cousin Oliver and the Other Darrin - Jenny went from mid-teen to pre-teen when she was recast. Is it unusual to make an existing kid character substantially younger like that?
  #136  
Old 10-03-2019, 10:49 PM
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Quite a few. The afore mentioned My Three Sons thrived after the addition of Ernie. I Love Lucy did fine, as did The Dick Van Dyke show. Bewitched did well after adding a child, then after adding a second one. There's probably more that I don't remember.
In the case of I Love Lucy and Dick Van Dyke, the kids played a relatively minor part in the series, trotted out only when they were needed for a plot element. Hell, Little Ricky got left behind all the time when his parents went travelling.

On Bewitched, adding kids was done more, well, organically: the couple were newlyweds after all, and the kids came along in reasonable time - and did not do the Family Ties thing of going from newborn to 5 year old over the summer.
  #137  
Old 10-03-2019, 11:49 PM
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Charlene Tilton got pregnant while working on Dallas. She too had to be photographed while standing behind tall chairs, or just from the shoulders up.
Speaking of Dallas, I don't think anyone's mentioned Christopher and John Ross's growth spurts during the night of Pamela's "dream." One morning, Christopher especially was a babe in arms; less than 24 hours later, he was a toddling two-year-old.

Amazing!
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  #138  
Old 10-05-2019, 01:26 PM
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Not sure how old he was, but Scrappy did make an appearance alongside Scooby and the gang on the Scoobynatural episode of Supernatural running through doors and such. Blink and you miss it.
Speaking of Supernatural, in the 12th season they added Jack. Of course, he grew to be a teenager in about 15 minutes, but he's a younger cast member who still acts like a child most of the time.
  #139  
Old 10-05-2019, 01:36 PM
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Movies sometimes have the opposite problem to SORAS. The movie Bridge of Spies took place over several years, but Tom Hanks's kids never aged
  #140  
Old 10-05-2019, 02:16 PM
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It happened on Bones, that weird show (don't ever watch while eating dinner) about the Asperger-y forensic anthropologist and her ex-FBI not-really-my-boyfriend-then-suddenly-my-husband guy. It was a pretty interesting program up until then.

Also on Law & Order:Special Victims Unit, Olivia Benson adopted the baby of a drug addict, and the presence of that kid totally screwed up the dynamics of the program. Especially after Brooke Shields showed up as his borderline grandmother.

Leave the kids out of it and just stick to the formula that has been working.
In Hill Street Blues, Lucy Bates becomes the guardian of a kid of a drug addict, and he's a thing for a few episodes in season 5 or 6, but then he just disappears. I don't think he's mentioned after that.
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Old 10-05-2019, 03:30 PM
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In Hill Street Blues, Lucy Bates becomes the guardian of a kid of a drug addict, and he's a thing for a few episodes in season 5 or 6, but then he just disappears. I don't think he's mentioned after that.
The actor appeared in 14 episodes of HSB. 3 as other characters then 11 as "Fabian". Fabian appeared in the final season in S07E13. And was otherwise mentioned around that time.

(Man I miss Renko and Belker and Phil and Bobby and ...)

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  #142  
Old 10-06-2019, 04:17 AM
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^^That's just good writing then. They maybe knew they were wrapping the series and wanted to tie up a loose end, unlike so many others we've seen in this thread. What a well-produced show.
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Old 10-06-2019, 05:20 AM
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The actor appeared in 14 episodes of HSB. 3 as other characters then 11 as "Fabian". Fabian appeared in the final season in S07E13. And was otherwise mentioned around that time.

(Man I miss Renko and Belker and Phil and Bobby and ...)
Pity you don't get CHCH (Channel 11) on Rogers. They've just started stripping HSB five afternoons a week, along with St Elsewhere. And yes, they're every bit as good as they were 40 years ago. (My God, has it really been that long?!? )
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Old 10-06-2019, 06:16 AM
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Both are on Hulu. In the States anyway.

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  #145  
Old 10-06-2019, 06:54 AM
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Grace Under Fire was interesting. She initially had three kids, played by six different actors (The baby was Dylan and Cole Sprouse, because infants should be played by twins whenever possible. The troubled older son Quentin was played by one kid (Noah Segan) in the pilot, another, Jon Paul Steuer, for most of the run, and a final, much older kid, Sam Horrigan, when Jon Paul Steuer's parents wisely yanked him off the show; and Kaitlin Cullum as Libby). In the second-to-last season, we meet Michael, a much older college-age son introduced as the baby she had as a teenager and had to give up for adoption, played by Tom Everett Scott, the star of That Thing You Do. Interesting late addition to the family, and Scott was/is an amazing actor.

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  #146  
Old 10-06-2019, 08:44 AM
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The actor appeared in 14 episodes of HSB. 3 as other characters then 11 as "Fabian". Fabian appeared in the final season in S07E13. And was otherwise mentioned around that time.

(Man I miss Renko and Belker and Phil and Bobby and ...)
If you get H&I, they run a couple of episodes on weekends. Unfortunately, that's all they show at this time.

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  #147  
Old 10-09-2019, 04:13 PM
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Little House on the Prairie was constantly adding new kids to the show in later seasons. I always wondered if the girl (twins really) who played the youngest Ingalls daughter Carrie was hurt they kept casting new characters rather than give her more to do on the show.
  #148  
Old 10-09-2019, 04:27 PM
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And then there was the time they added Gary Coleman to Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (as kind of a proto Wesly Crusher genius - and yes Gary Coleman playing a Wesly Crusher was as obnoxious as it sounds).

Last edited by squidfood; 10-09-2019 at 04:28 PM. Reason: grammar
  #149  
Old 10-09-2019, 04:51 PM
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And of course, The Opposite--Chuck Cunningham, from "Happy Days".

He went upstairs...and was never seen again !
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  #150  
Old 10-09-2019, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by squidfood View Post
And then there was the time they added Gary Coleman to Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (as kind of a proto Wesly Crusher genius - and yes Gary Coleman playing a Wesly Crusher was as obnoxious as it sounds).
He was in two episodes, as I recall, during those dark days when Gary Coleman guest appearances and TV movies were everywhere ("The Kid with the 200 IQ", the kid who could pick winning teams in baseball (I think), the kid who could get high ratings for the worst script, etc.).
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