'80s Syndication Smackdown: Evie Vs. Vicki - Macleans.ca

’80s Syndication Smackdown: Evie Vs. Vicki


Based on an earlier post, this is a showdown: which long-running ’80s syndicated sitcom is worse, Small Wonder or Out of This World?

I used to say it was Out of This World, but I just think I was being fashionable (insofar as even thinking about these shows is fashionable). I hated Small Wonder way more as a kid, and I think I was right. The kids on Small Wonder really make it something special in terms of pure evil; just when you think nobody could be a worse actor than Vicki, the “human” kid comes along.

Whereas on Out Of This World, Evie was reasonably tolerable, and as I said, it was far easier for a kid to identify with her than Vicki. Stopping time by touching your fingers together? Somewhat creepy in its implications if you think too much about what could be done with such a power, but far less creepy than any given scene involving a man who builds a little-girl robot.


And yes, this is really what we kids watched at strange times (whenever the broadcasters had a hole to plug with syndication-only programming) in the ancient 1980s. That’s why we’re all so well adjusted now.


’80s Syndication Smackdown: Evie Vs. Vicki

  1. I totally have to go with Out of This World over Small Wonder. As a kid, you can related to Evie and her feeling that she's different from everyone else (and her particular situation seems to play into both the female princess fantasy and the male superhero fantasy). Yeah, the show was flawed, but I don't see how it's any more egregious than any other kid's show. Of course, that's just based off of twenty year old memories and a ten minute clip…

    Small Wonder on the other hand… I couldn't even make it a quarter of the way through that clip.

  2. Just to clarify, you're saying you now think _Small Wonder_ is worse, right? Because I found that show terrifying even as a child. This was compounded by the fact that my parents found it "cute" and therefore would keep it on if they ran across it. _Out of This World_ is bland in a way a whole bunch of Nick and Disney shows are now. And wasn't it ahead of the curve on the teenage girl lead? _Clarissa Explains_ and _Sabrina_ were years later, right?

    • Small Wonder is much worse, I now admit that freely.

      • There was seriously a movement among critics to say that Out of this World was worse, though? That's kinda crazy.

  3. Wow, I was starting to wonder if I had imagined this show.
    And it is creepy–but it made perfect sense at the time.