It’s that time again, Tuesday’s top ten. You remember that “Very special episode” of your favorite show where the kid tried drinking or drugs, or had a friend that was getting his head stomped in every day by his dad. The episode where instead of closing credits the actors on the show appear out of character with an 800 number and advice on what to do if you encounter that issue. 80s sitcoms were great for that. The one where Webster burned down the house, or the one where Wesley told Mr. Belvadere the guy was touching kids. When Shawn joined the cult on Boy Meets World, or the son on Dinosaurs was on “The Juice”. Or the time the Enforcer stuck the joint in Theo’s book and it fell out at home. The very special episode is a lost art in an age where stuff happens in the news on Monday and it’s in an episode of SVU on Wednesday. It’s in the spirit of the VSE (Very Special Episode)I present to you the top 10 Very Special Episodes.
10. Full House “Silence is Not Golden” – This episode is where the quote comes from for the title of today’s blog. Full house dealt with a lot of serious issues, from Kimmy drinking, to DJ’s bulimia they dealt with some pretty heavy stuff. But todays quote was funny enough (I know it’s not supposed to be funny but hey…) to stand out in my mind. A kid in Stephanie’s class was coming to school bruised up all the time. One day while studying he confessed to lying about his injuries, thus the quote.
9. Home Improvement “The Longest Day” – One of the most serious VSEs it dealt with JTT possibly having cancer. Not the best episode but I never saw pediatric cancer dealt with in a major character. A better episode, but a over done topic, was when Tim and Jill found Brad’s ganja.
8. Punky Brewster “Cherie Lifesaver” – Punky, Henry and Brandon dealt with some big issues in their time as well. I seem to recall even a serial killer episode once. But this one is one I’ll never forget watching. Punky and friends learned CPR in a backyard that day. Later on while playing Hide and go seek, Cherie decided to hide in an empty fridge in a junk heap. Bad move home girl, bad move, you aint Indiana Jones. They ended up finding her KTFO’d in a refrigerator, not breathing. They gave he mouth to mouth and everything was fine before the half hour was up.
7. Growing Pains “Second Chances” – this was the most messed up special episode EVER!!! So Carol Seaver’s boyfriend Sandy (one of the dudes from friends) gets in an accident (not the messed up part). He’s injured but alive, but a bigger issue is he has a DUI. Her parents give her the old what for on the dangers of drinking. When they get home big bro Mike (this is the messed up part) tells them Sand died of internal bleeding. How evil were these writers.
6. Saved By The Bell “Jessie’s song” – Good ol’ Jessie “Showgirls” Spano was a tall, pushy regular everyday feminist, who did well in school and had a very active social life including a relationship with A.C. Slater. She ends up joining a singing group, Hot Sundae. She finds herself stretched too thin between the group and school, and the regular stuff she needs to do like eat and sleep. So she starts poppin these caffeine pills, which worked until both ends of the candle burned all the way down and Zack Morris caught her buggin in her room…she started singing I’m So Excited…which turned to I’m so…scared, great TV.
5. Whats Happenin’ “Doobie or Not Doobie” – This episode is two sitcom clichés, the very special episode and the two parter. Part one shows Raj, Dewayne aka Mr. Hey hey hey and Rerun aka Fat Freddy Stubbs talking about wanting to go to a Doobie Brother’s show to check out some blue eyed soul. But low and behold the show at their school is sold out. Enter Sweet Daddy from Good times, Al Dunbar. He has tickets front and center with a small catch, he needs them to record the show on tape from the front row. They end up finding out that ish is illegal but Sweet Daddy and the hired muscle won’t take no for an answer. While Rerun is getting his bootleg on, the tape recorder falls out of his coat…smooth move rerun. They get taken back stage and the Doobies listen to their story. They tell them to take the tape back to Sweet daddy, he’s done this before but now they have the evidence to put him away, which they do. Win one for the RIAA.
4. A Different World “No means no” – Another show where I had multiple episodes, the Kris Kross Gang Episode, the adoption episode, and most importantly the joint where Ron and Dewayne got in the fight with the white boys trying to spray paint “Nigger” on the car. But none of these hit hard like when my main man Bruce Leroy came to Hillman. Star baseball Garth Parks is a big hit on…err I mean with the ladies, and he tells the boys on the team that sometimes you gotta “let them off the hook”…”they’re trained to say no”. Freddy Brooks fall for this jive cooley (Last Dragon refrence) and end up going to look out point where Freddy is expecting some romance and Bruce Leroy wants to straighten out that kinky hair. She says no, he also is not taking no for an answer but luckily my main man D Wayne gets wind of it and saves the day., when he pulls homie through the sunroof.
3. Good Times “The Big Move” – I’m going to start this with, there is another episode that should be on this list but I decided to have one episode per show. The episode where Penny’s mom was whoopin on her and tried to starch her shirt while it was still on her is a great VSE, but this one hit harder. James gets a job in Mississippi and the Evans’ are moving on down, south that is, but its gotta be a party first. At the party a telegram comes informing them of James’ death. Florida walks around like she’s fine and it’s worrying everybody. Much to the dismay of a punch bowl Florida finally breaks down. “Damn damn damn…that was rough on everybody.
2. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air “Papa’s Got a Brand New Excuse” – This episode right here, right here son…whoa…they was trying to win a prime time Emmy, and should have. I still get a little choked up off this one. Will’s pops, the mayor of Zooblie zoo, comes to town after not seeing his son for 14 years. Lou Smith shows up with a truck and line of BS a mile long. He tells Will he’s going to take him on the road with him. Uncle Phil tries to talk Will out of going and Will tells him he isn’t his father. Right before they are set to bounce Lou shows up and tells the voice of shredder he’s gotta leave without Will, and unc has to break the news to his nephew. Yo the following scene…wow…Will’s monolog…he didn’t match that as an actor until the scene where he’s in the bathroom of that subway in Pursuit of Happiness. You tell me how you feel after just reading this: Hey, you know what, you ain’t got to do nothing, uncle Phil. You know, ain’t like I’m still five years old, you know? Ain’t like I’ll be sitting every night asking my mom “when’s daddy coming home”, you know? Who needs him? Hey, he wasn’t there to teach me how to shoot my first basket, but I learned it, didn’t I? And I got pretty damn good at it too, didn’t I, uncle Phil? Got through my first date without him, right? I learned how to ride, I learned how to shave, I learned how to fight without him. I had *fourteen* great birthdays without him; he never even sent me a damn card. TO HELL WITH HIM!!! I didn’t need him then I won’t need him now. No, you know what, uncle Phil? I’ll get through college without him, I’ll get a great job without him, I’ll marry me a beautiful honey and I’m having a whole bunch of kids. I’ll be a better father than he ever was. And I sure as hell don’t need him for that, ’cause there ain’t a DAMN THING HE CAN TEACH ME ABOUT HOW TO LOVE MY KIDS…Why he don’t want me man (the deal breaker).
AND THE WINNER FOR BEST VERY SPECIAL EPISODE IS……………..
Diff’rent Strokes “The Bicycle Man” – Ayo…this is my joint right here…the first VSE I can remember. creepy and intriguing at the same time. Arnold and the homie Dudley make friend with Mr. Carlson from WKRP by going to his bike shop. He invites the kids back to the bike shop later to have some banana splits in the back. They agree, they go from those, to nasty books to xrated cartoons to wine. Arnold starts to get creeped out and dips. Main man in there talking Dudley dunk @ss into taking clothes off, playing Tarzan and taking pictures. Luckily Arnold comes home with a kilo of gum in his face to cover up the wine smell and the fam gets suspicious, and goes to rescue Dudley.
Well there you have it…dumb late but quality…I’m at about a month to the Dominican, my passport came early and if you dont think Will shoulda punched Ben Vareen in the face…Your Opinion is Wrong. Peace