Monday, May 26, 2014

Blast from the Past: This Has Been a Miller-Milkis-Boyett Production!

This past weekend, I watched The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas on DVD, on a whim. I was surprised to see that it was a "Miller-Milkis-Boyett Production." This is curious to a pop-culture geek like me, because, they're not known for movies. No, MMB (or some combination of the three) were responsible for several huge (and not so huge) sitcoms of the seventies, eighties and nineties. So, in this late edition of Blast from the Past, I thought I'd revisit some of them. See how many you remember.

1. Happy Days (1974-1984) - Fonzie, Richie, Potsie and Ralph were a huge part of 70s pop culture, and their show put Garry Marshall (and his family) on the map, and spun off a few more shows.
2. Laverne & Shirley (1976-1983) - By far Happy Days' most successful spin-off, Garry's sister Penny and Cindy Williams actually eclipsed the parent show for a couple of years.

3. Mork & Mindy (1978-1982) - Robin Williams broke out, and shot into the stratosphere with this Happy Days spin-off, and then sputtered out after inexplicable executive meddling.
4. Angie (1979-1980) - Rather short-lived for a show with a lot of promise. Robert Hays (Airplane!) and Donna Pescow (Saturday Night Fever) starred with Doris Roberts (Everybody Loves Raymond). Also a death by executive meddling.

5. Bosom Buddies (1980-1982) - Can you believe a show starring Tom Hanks would only last two seasons? Or that co-star Peter Scolari often out-shined him in the talent department? It's true!
6. Joanie Loves Chachi (1982-1983) - One of television's punch lines, this spin-off of Happy Days was actually (briefly) a hit. And then collapsed.

7. Perfect Strangers (1986-1993) - Balki wore thin after several seasons, but for the first few, this was a really fun sitcom, mostly due to Bronson Pinchot.
8. Family Matters (1980-1998) - Spun off of Perfect Strangers, this show was--to me--horrific. But to kids of the time, it's kind of their Happy Days, and apparently Steve Urkel is their Fonzie. Whatever. . .

9. Valerie/Valerie's Family: The Hogans/The Hogan Family (1986-1991) - Originally a starring vehicle for Valerie Harper--whose character was ultimately killed off in an awful contract dispute--ultimately it became The Jason Bateman show despite its various other titles, and new star, Sandy Duncan.
10. Step By Step (1991-1998) - Suzanne Somers and Patrick Duffy in a pointless, rice-cake of a sitcom. Just bland as hell, but again, if you were a kid at the time. . .maybe. . .it was just okay?

And with that bit of fluff, we'll call it a day. But since Monday's over, I'll wish you all a happy short work week, with a faster weekend!
PS. I'm well aware that I skipped Full House. Horrid show.

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