Monday, January 23, 2006

You take the good, you take the bad


This is excruciatingly happy news: "Facts of Life" is reportedly finally coming out on DVD, maybe as early as June. YESSSSS!

If you know me at all, you know that I went to an all-girls school in the 1980s, and was thrilled that a national show was showing life at an all-girls school in the 1980s (my school wasn't boarding, though).

I have strong opinions on this show, by the way, and they're not shared by all fans. Natalie was my favorite character (no, really!). I feel that the show's best seasons were after they cleared out Molly Ringwald and the rest of the extra girls and just concentrated on Blair, Jo, Tootie and Natalie.

I also am about to blaspheme by admitting I liked the Edna's Edibles and the Over Our Heads years better than the Eastland years. (Shut up, I know, shut up!) My favorite episodes of all time are 1) the one where they stock up on food so they can study all night and then Tootie unplugs the alarm clock to plug in the hot plate and they all fall asleep, and 2) the one where they recreate a horror movie where all the girls are being murdered on a rainy night. No, I swear.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree--the horror movie episode is one of the best. "Tootie." And the pig man at the door! Brilliant.

Swerds said...

My personal favorite is the one where they all talk Jo into selling her homemade pizza to the public and she goes on a power trip. That is, until Edna shows her the error of her ways.

mcm said...

You know, interestingly, the Molly Ringwald era lasted only one season. I always felt like there was a long period of time when there were, like, a dozen girls in the cast, but it was actually at the end of the first season that Natalie, Blair, and Tootie got into trouble (I forget what for) and had to live with Mrs. G. as punishment; Jo arrived at the beginning of the second season.

Anyway, all I know is I had a HUGE crush on McKenzie Astin, so I clearly was also a fan of the Edna's Edibles years....

Rebecca said...

This is so exciting!! I guess we'll hang onto our Netflix membership a little longer than we had planned...

Anonymous said...

Oooh, I remember the pizza one. She put one artichoke heart on each pizza as her signature. Jo was my favorite, of course, with Natalie being my second favorite. In the later years, I like Natalie better than Jo. My favorite years were the early Eastland years, though I didn't mind when they moved. It wasn't about where they lived, it was about the group dynamic.

Jay said...

One of my favorites is when Tootie makes the bust of Jermaine Jackson, sneaks in to give it to him and is caught by his security. A good coming-of-age episode. Looking forward to the DVDs. Now I won't have to wait for Comcast OnDemand to come out with their episodes.

Shannon said...

I recently watched the first season of this for free on my Comcast digital. I really like the first season when the cast was numerous and the shorts were very short with terrycloth piping! But you can't beat a good Jo vs. Blair episode, that's for sure!

Erin said...

This is exciting news! I also loved the "shop" years. I even tolerated the Beverly Ann era. One of my favorite episodes is when Andy enters the girls in a singing competition and names their "band" Sexy Lingerie. I can't remember if they won, but I know El Debarge was somehow invovled with the competition.

My other favorite was the made-for-TV movie "Facts of Life: Down Under". Man, my sister and I taped that sad thing and must have watched it 100 times.

Fraulein N said...

That rainy night episode scared the hell out of me when I was a kid. Something about Blair's hair, I think...

Anonymous said...

I remember the Down Under and I especially loved Over Our Heads, when HOT ASS George Clooney was on the show. I liked the girls' adult problems -- wasn't there an episode when Blair got swept off her feet and engaged to a guy who ended up being a con man? And Jo had to break it to her? Am I imagining that?

--Aidan

Kathryn said...

I didn't mind the older years either, until Edna left. Remember when there was all kinds of build-up over which of the girls was going to lose their virginity?? And then it turned out to be.....Natalie? And Blair wasn't in the episode, because the actress was all Christian conservative and didn't want to promote unmarried sex? I learned a lot of good lessons from that show, like don't go outside with your hair wet, because you could damage your hearing, Tootie.

Anonymous said...

You know it's a REALLY old episode when you have not only Molly Ringwald and compny, but when Charlotte Rae sings the theme song.

I personally preferred the Blair/Tootie/Jo/Natalie years at Eastland to the later episodes, though I LOVED the horror episode.

Sweetie Darling said...

See, I loved the first year. Molly Ringwald, Julie Piekarski from Mickey Mouse Club (whose name I only remember because, as a little Polish girl, it was unusual to see a "ski" name in show business) as Sue Ann, sweet-but-dumb tomboy Cindy and Nancy, the dark-haired girl who was Blair's original rival. And Mr. Bradley! Wow, I am suddenly 12 again, watching FOL on a staticky TV and reading Seventeen.

jackie said...

You know, I have the all-nighter episode to thank for always helping me remember the symbol for gold: "Au, gimme back my gold watch!" Don't know if I'll get the first season on DVD as it's decidedly my least favorite, but definitely all later seasons are a must.

Blair said...

Oh my god, ya'll! I used to love watching FOL.

My favorite ep was the horror movie one. "You thought I was Dippity-Doed?"

Coming in second was the one where Natalie's date told everyone they went all the way and she didn't tell them any different. I rolled when she said "Make way for the trash!" and "Hot stuff coming through!"

GoBetty said...

I am going to start a band called Jo vs. Blair.

Heather said...

To answer Erin's post above, yes, "Sexy Lingerie" won the competition because the mean girls who were their big rivals throughout the episode turned out to have performed professionally in the past and the contest was strictly for amateurs. So the mean girls were disqualified and SL got to sing with El DeBarge.

No, I am not ashamed for remembering that episode so clearly, why do you ask?

Adam875 said...

I too am a huge Natalie/Mindy Cohn fan, and fully enjoyed Edna's Edibles! Not so much Over Our Heads though....

Jim said...

I miss that show.

Karenpuppy said...

My favorite ep is when Tootie runs away to the city and almost becomes a hooker. I just re-read that sentence and saw how absurd it is.

Melissa said...

My two favorite episodes were the one where they had to repaint the room above the cafeteria at Eastland and got in a big paint fight and the one where Edna's Edibles burned down and Blair walked around for the whole episode with her faceless frog. God, I miss that show!

Melissa said...

My two favorite episodes were the one where they had to repaint the room above the cafeteria at Eastland and got in a big paint fight and the one where Edna's Edibles burned down and Blair walked around for the whole episode with her faceless frog. God, I miss that show!

Gael said...

Ohhhh, I love so many of these episodes. The Sexy Lingerie one was awesome.

Andy sent in their application written in fluorescent lipstick on an album (remember albums?).

They auditioned with that oh-so-of-the-moment song "My Boyfriend's Back," only 30+ years old in 1980-whatever (remember "My Boyfriend's Back"?

And then the "prize" was to sing with El DeBarge (remember El DeBarge?).

Anonymous said...

Okay hold on now. I loved DeBarge. I don't think I knew exactly who El DeBarge was, but I loved the song "Who's Holding Donna Now" when I was in 5th grade, in 1985. I wonder if El Debarge was launching some sort of ill-fated solo career at the time of that episode? Did they all sing "Dance to the beat of the rhythm of the night dance until the morning light forget about the worries on your mind you can leave 'em all behind". I remember that our heroines sang like a bunch of slumber party girls, or like the Simpsons boys in that boy bander episode. Not good enough to win, but whatever. Tootie was great in Eastland's production of "South Pacific" (even if Natalie tried to sabotage her out of jealousy).