Nov 122008
 

Today as I perused the headlines on Boing Boing I was reminded of what was one of my absolutely favorite T.V. shows when I was a youngster: Small Wonder. If you don’t remember the show, I’m not surprised. It wasn’t exactly a mega-hit of the era, it had a crummy timeslot, and it was competing against A.L.F. Despite this adversity, it did manage to captivate my young imagination with stories of a young girl robot, trying to live a normal life with her suburban scientist creator and his family.Tiffany Brisette played Vicki (her official robot name was “VICI”, which stood for Voice Input Child Identicant), the robot who tried (unsuccessfully) to be a girl. Nobody in Vicki’s life really seemed to notice anything was unique about the girl, despite the fact that she spoke in a monotone, was unable to display emotions, and had other features like superhuman strength and a telescopic neck. Vicki even went to school, and managed to stay under the radar of her teachers and schoolmates.While doing some light research for this entry, I discovered there have been several journalists and critics felt this show should be considered the worst television series of all time. I couldn’t help but be appalled by that notion, mainly since the articles filled with this slander are dated as late as the year 2000. It seems obvious to me that a television critic from 2000 would find a 1980’s sci-fi family sitcom to be substandard. Both technology for special effects and writing techniques have evolved substantially, and I think it shows poor judgement to judge Small Wonder by those standards. This is also why I don’t think I’ll be rewatching it anytime soon — I’m sure my 2008 self would wonder why I ever enjoyed such a cheaply made show, and that’s not something I’d like to see happen.

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