The show I was thinking of writing about appears to have been banished from YouTube (that happens), so here’s something else I found today, the pilot of a show I loved as a callow, or at least callow-ish youth. Though oddly enough, despite being a geek, I didn’t identify with the geeky kids; I identified with Howard Hesseman’s teacher, Charlie Moore. (This was the first thing I had ever seen Hesseman in, and even now I instinctively think of him as a career teacher who happened to play a bunch of hippie types on the side.) And as I said in an earlier Weekend Viewing post, the name “Arvid” is just fun to say. But to this day, I don’t know if Charlie Moore is named after the mediocre Milwaukee Brewers player. The creators of the show, Rich Eustis and Michael Elias, were veteran comedy writers; you may recognize Eustis’s name from the credits of Scrubs, where he was a consultant for a while and scripted one episode.
For the ’80s nostalgia factor, I love the fact that the first person he meets in the entire series is a woman with big hair, a slit skirt and shoulder pads. 20+ years ago, this was thought of as the look of a serious professional.
And on a technical note, it seems like a lot of videotaped shows used to have their main titles shot on film, to create a classy look that might rub off on the cheaply-shot episode, or to use techniques (in this case, outdoor shooting) that work better on film. The British practice of doing hybrid shows, with the indoor scenes on tape and outdoor scenes on film, never really caught on in America — except in main title sequences.
Looking for more?
Get the best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.