Thursday, May 5, 2011

Throwback: Sitcom Scandals

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

I was flipping through the channels one day a couple months ago, and came across Truth Behind the Sitcom Scandals on the Biography Channel. It was about Gilligan's Island and Diff'rent Strokes and I was intrigued. Of course, I knew a lot about some of the background stories about Dana Plato and Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges, but there were tons of interesting bits that were new to me.

I ended up setting my DVR to record the series. As I was watching the sixth episode (having deleted the fifth after just a few minutes, realizing that the entire hour would be about Lost In Space, a show that I don't care about), I decided to look up the series and figure out how many other episodes I could look forward to, and what other shows it might feature. Well, imagine my disappointment when I discovered that there were only six made... I was watching the final installment right then and there. So, I heard fascinating things about The Facts of Life, Welcome Back Kotter, Roseanne, Laverne & Shirley, Cheers, One Day at a Time, The Jeffersons, Happy Days, and M*A*S*H, in addition to Diff'rent Strokes and Gilligan's Island. It was fun to hear the different actors talking about the ways that things went down and the issues that they dealt with earlier in their careers.

I would have enjoyed seeing more old shows covered. And it's not like there weren't any other shows that had issues. I'm not sure what happened to The Truth Behind the Sitcom Scandals, but maybe another show can try something similar... after all, in the days of reality television being king, there is certainly a lot more shady stuff going on!
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