At least two people, braver than I am, have written reviews of the new season 1 DVD of Small Wonder:
Noel Murray focuses on the incredible creepiness of the premise: “Imagine if That’s So Raven featured frequent interjections from a creepy, non-human construct whose very existence raised disturbing questions about what constitutes a soul. If there weren’t copious evidence to the contrary, it would almost seem that Small Wonder was cooked up by a staff of sitcom geniuses, committed enough to spend four seasons revealing the bankruptcy of the form by showing how easy it is to couch the inappropriate in the innocuous.”
And the blog FourFour has a memorable rant against the human characters, who in many ways were far more disturbing than the robot. Features lots of scary moving screencaps, particularly of Harriet, who is what you’d get if you crossed Gladys Kravitz with Dennis the Menace’s Margaret with every possible incarnation of the Evil One. “They are freeloading liars without a shred of self-awareness who regularly contact the authorities when their collective disorder that disallows them from minding their own business flares up. This is manifested, for example, when they call child-protective services multiple times on their fucking next-door neighbors, who in turn tolerate all of this without so much as a raised voice because at the end of the day, everyone’s an asshole — what separates these people is whether they’re passive or aggressive about their assholishness.”
What really bummed me out about this show, since I was a kid and it was in first-run syndication, is that the son (who, as I’ve said, was the worst actor on the show, though the Dad was pretty bad too) was named “Jamie.” It’s spelled differently from my name, but still, it sounds the same, and it’s depressing to go through life with a name that sounds like his. It’s like when Homer Simpson found out that the TV character who shared his name had been re-tooled as a bumbling idiot.