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Episode Notes




Episode 1 - "Pilot"

This episode won a "Humanitas Award"

Dennis McLain won thirty-one games...

Dennis Dale McLain was the last Major League pitcher to win 30 games in a season. He was 31-6 in 1968. He started Game One against Bob Gibson in the World Series, but lost. He was the MVP and Cy Young winner in 1968, and Cy Young co-winner in 1969. He was suspended for half the 1970 season for betting on baseball. In 1971, he went 10-22, and 1972 was his last year in the league.
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I couldn't believe my good fortune. Two lockers down from mine was Debbie Ackerman...

Actually, it is four lockers down (three between them), but who's counting?
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There was only one problem. Charles Manson had the locker between us.

manson Charles Manson was a petty thief while growing up. After serving time in prison, he moved to San Francisco in 1967, and gathered a cult following, to be known as "The Family", of about two dozen runaways and petty criminals. They relocated to a movie stunt ranch in Simi Valley, near Los Angeles, where they took hallucinogenic drugs, stored stolen goods, and prepared for "Helter Skelter", which was a nuclear and race war predicted by Manson. Manson targeted enemies he felt had hindered his quest for fame as a musician. In July, 1969, Manson and others killed a record producer and stole his car. Later, hoping to induce "Helter Skelter", some Family went to film director Roman Polanski's home, where they murdered actress Sharon Tate and four others, and the next night they killed 2 others. He is now serving life in prison, and has repeatedly been denied parole.


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Episode 2 - "Swingers"

This episode has my favorite TWY Quote - "Life's two greatest forces, love and death, were tearing me apart - at the waist." Later, two kids call Kevin "horny" at the beginning of the classic scene of Kevin and Winnie meeting in the street "Hi." "Hi." "Hi." "Whatcha doing?" (But that part of the scene is not shown in that "clip" in other episodes.)

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Episode 3 - "My Father's Office"

Great opening scene - Norma, Kevin and Wayne are in the kitchen, waiting for Jack to get home. There is a nature program on the TV about gorillas, and how they all nervously react to the leader's presence. Norma and the kids' behavior mimics the TV narration, and when Jack enters, the kids scatter.

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Episode 4 - "Angel"


Excellent portrayal of both sides of the Vietnam war issue, in the argument between Jack and Louis. Karen dumps Louis after finding out he has been spreading his "free love" around too much.
The final narration "But at some point, late at night, near sleep, the ideas and the disagreements sort of dissolve, and you're just left with the people. And people were no different then as they've always been. And always will be. Young girls get their hearts broken. Men and women suffer alone, over the choices they've made. And young boys, full of confusion...full of fear...full of love and courage...grow up stealthily in their sleep" (and the shot of Kevin asleep in bed) is very similar to the ending of Ep 94 - "Homecoming"...."1972 was a crazy time. Kids played football...drove cars...went to school...celebrated life. While soldiers - heroes...their brothers, struggled to find their way home from war. While young boys watched, and grew wiser...in their dreams."
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(Norma says she was a history major. She met Jack in her freshman year and never finished college. In Ep 5, Norma says they met at Macy's when Norma sold Jack a tie - still possible if she had a part-time job while in college. But...in Ep 75, she says she met Jack at a dance.)

("Something's happening" is painted on the door of Louis' VW bus.)

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Episode 7 - "Heart of Darkness"


raquel KEVIN: Yeah, well Carla Healey's no Raquel Welch, Paul.
PAUL: She's got a handful!
KEVIN: Yeah, like you'll ever know.

Raquel Welch (born Jo Raquel Tejada in 1940) won many beauty contests as a teen, and made a series of forgettable movies and this unforgettable poster, showing off her 37-22-35 figure in a fur bikini.
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Episode may be deemed as unsuitable for younger children (3 "farts" as in "Mrs. Ritvo can't even hear herself fart", a 6-pack of beer and carton of smokes, plus a "you're a jackass", and joking about Winnie being "flat", for good-measure). There is a built-in disclaimer for the drinking and smoking.


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Episode 8 - "Our Miss White"


Kevin's impersonation of RFK includes one of RFK's most notable lines:
Some men see things as they are...and ask "why?" I see things as they might be...and ask "why not?"

This is actually based on a quote by the 1925 Nobel-prize winning (Literature) George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950):
"You see things and say 'Why?'; but I dream things that never were and I say 'Why not?'"

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Episode 9 - "Christmas"


PAUL: Why don't we just pick up the phone, and ask Winnie what it's called?
KEVIN: We can't.
PAUL: Why not? We can disguise our voices. We could be Avon calling.

"It's Avon calling" was part of various commercials for the women's-product company that relied heavily on telephone-based and door-to-door sales.

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Episode 10 - "Steady As She Goes"


MR. FRACE: What's the wrong with you kids? You forget how to sing since yesterday? Alright, we'll try something more contemporary. Page six, West Side Story.
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Hold the phone. What have we here? That was no "I'm-glad we're-still-friends" look. That was "Tony, Tony! Take me, I'm yours!"
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WINNIE (Singing, with V/O of Maria from West Side Story): Hold my hand, and I'll take you there!
KEVIN (Singing, with V/O of Tony): Somehow!
WINNIE (As Maria): Someday!
KEVIN (As Tony): Somewhere!
WINNIE and KEVIN (As Maria and Tony) Somewhere!

"West Side Story" is the name of a Broadway musical, later filmed as the Academy Award winning best picture from 1961. Starring Richard Beymer as "Tony", and Natalie Wood as "Maria", it is a contemporary version of the "Romeo and Juliet" story set in New York City. Maria's brother and his friends are gang rivals of Tony and his friends. Tony and Maria find love despite the obstacles between them.

Because it is a musical, it is necessarily heavy on dance and song. Even for the non-musical inclined, it is visually stunning and emotionally moving, and several of the songs are classics, including "Tonight", which is interwoven between several characters, and "Somewhere", between Tony and Maria.

From "Tonight", Tony sings about hooking up later with Maria:
Tonight, tonight, won't be just any night
Tonight there will be no morning star
Tonight, tonight, I'll see my love tonight
And for us, stars will stop where they are
Today, the minutes seem like hours
The hours go so slowly, and still the sky is light
Oh moon, grow bright, and make this endless day endless night!

And later, Tony and Maria ponder their uncertain future in
"Somewhere"

The American Film Institute poll in June 2002 voted "West Side Story" as the third best romantic movie, behind "Gone With the Wind" and "Casablanca". You can visit the "WSS" web page here.

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Episode 12 - "Pottery Will get You Nowhere"


This episode won a "Humanitas Award"

This is kind of a painful episode to watch, because Jack and Norma are arguing most of the time - and about nothing, really. Some excellent acting from Dan and Alley. It is also Mr. Cantwell's first appearance.

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Episode 13 - "Coda"


During the first scene at the kitchen table, the TV shows Hal Fishman, a current newscaster for KTLA Channel 5 in Los Angeles and airplane enthusiast.
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A little blooper (?) - When Kevin is looking toward Mrs. Carples' house as he sits on his bike, the address (from the lamp-post) seems to be in the 700 block, yet in the scene where he rides to practice after the football game, he rides in the downhill direction, which is toward the 400 block.

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Episode 15 - "Loosiers"


Nice effect during the opening narration, of adult hands flipping through old photographs of Kevin and Paul, and then a folded baseball card. The scene fades to Kevin holding the same fresh baseball card. In the ending scene, Kevin and Paul as adults (in silhouette near sunset) play basketball.

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Episode 16 - "Walk Out"


This is one of my least-favorite episodes. However, the Korean/German/Irish actress, Lindsay Price, credited as "Lori", has had quite a career, before and after TWY. For a fan page about her
Click here. For an 8-page interview with lots of nice pix from 1996, go Here. She does not mention TWY, which was pretty insignificant in her rather extensive career.
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Sure - we didn't really know Ho Chi Minh from Captain Kangaroo, but we knew that a lot of people were getting hurt.

Ho Chi Minh (1890?-1969) was the president of North Vietnam from 1954-1969. The former capital of South Vietnam, Saigon, was renamed Ho Chi Minh City after the North won the war.

"Captain Kangaroo" was a very successful children's TV show, in fact the longest running children's/character show on TV, from the mid-50's to the mid-90's. Bob Keeshan developed the show and was "Captain Kangaroo" for most of its run.

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Episode 17 - "Nemesis"


In a little neighborhood-geography goof, in two different scenes, the lamp-post with the address number "731" is prominently displayed. In one scene, Winnie hands her books to Kevin, then runs to her nearby house. In another scene, Kevin runs over to Winnie's house hoping to head off Becky. He passes the "731" sign, then slows up and sees Becky coming from Winnie's house. As we know, Winnie's house is diagonally across the street from the Arnold house at "516". It would seem a block and a half of houses are missing from the street.
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After Kevin runs over to Winnie's house, believing Becky has told her what he said about everyone, the narrator is out of breath, himself.
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Laura Mooney, who plays "Donna Holton", the girl who sings like a bullfrog, grows up to be Winnie's bodyguard in Ep 93, "Broken Hearts and Burgers".
As I approached my nemesis, a million thoughts raced through my mind. Who was Becky Slater? What did she want? Why did she have to have such a good memory? I felt sorta like Clint Eastwood confronting my mortal enemy.
KEVIN: Becky.
BECKY: Kevin.
Well, that was about the extent of my Clint Eastwood. Let's face it, if you're not gonna shoot somebody in a situation like this, all you can really do is - complain.

This scene is an imitation of the movie "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly", which was the third and most accomplished of the "Dollars" trilogy. Director Leone's camerawork is very striking, most notably with the tension built up when Blondie is struggling to load his gun before Tuco's assassins burst in; also the final shootout scene, where the wide shots of all three protagonists gives way to extreme close ups of eyes and hands moving towards guns. The cross-cutting is made all the more effective by the difference between the three lead actors' eyes: Eastwood's are narrowed in a squint, Van Cleef's are also narrow but older, and Eli Wallach's are wide-open and shifty. The superb pictures are perfectly complemented by one of the finest and most memorable film scores ever.

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Episode 18 - "Fate"


One of Eddie's friends plays Mark Kovinsky in Ep 50 - "Cost of Living"

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Episode 19 - "Birthday Boy"


Some of the Arnold family tree is revealed in this episode, leading Kevin to realize he is "a mutt". The ending had a great effect as the action freezes into a series of still photographs, with Simon & Garfunkel's "Bookends Theme" playing.

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Episode 20 - "Brightwing"


Nothing really special in this episode, but the ending is very good, as Jack and Norma try to find out where Karen is, and Donovan's - "Try And Catch The Wind" plays.

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Episode 21 - "Square Dance"


MARGARET: Are we going to do-si-do?
MR. CUTLIP: We'll get to that. (Nods.)
(Margaret raises her hand.)
MR. CUTLIP: Yes?!
MARGARET: Why is it called do-si-do? (Smiles.)
MR. CUTLIP: Because that's what it's called.

Actually, it is correctly "dos--dos" ("back-to-back"), and is a movement in various dances in which two dancers approach each other, pass back-to-back, and return to their original position. *
"That was Margaret. She could get on the nerves of any teacher. Including Gandhi."

Mohandas K. Gandhi (10/2/1869-1/30/1948) was an East Indian spiritual leader who advocated non-violence in social reform. He was assasinated on the way to evening prayer.
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The ending is great - after Margaret yells at Kevin for being a jerk, they have their last square dance together, but Kevin "danced alone".

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Episode 22 - "Whose Woods Are These?"


MR. DIPERNA: I've seen people like you...come and go...every single year. Hundreds of 'em. Maybe thousands. You walk the halls...you go to class...and then you're gone...just like that! (Snaps his fingers.) Gone with the wind. I'm gonna leave you...to think about what I've said. And when you think you understand...you can go. I'll be outside. (Exits).
Amazing. Was this guy joking? "Gone with the wind". That's a movie, right?

It certainly is, based on the book of the same name. Oscar-winner from 1939, it is a sweeping Civil War epic starring Clark Gable as "Rhett Butler" and Vivien Leigh as "Scarlett O'Hara". Famous line by Rhett Butler - "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn", was controversial in its day.

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Episode 23 - "How I'm Spending My Summer Vacation"


Nominated for an Emmy. The music was outstanding for the "atmosphere" of a summer party, soft and warm.
There are really only a handful of episodes which focus on truly unpleasant circumstances, and this is one of them (plus 1 & 2, 43, and 66, for example). Lynn Milgram was particularly good as "Mrs. Cooper". Definite frost warning!
When somebody says "Winnie" to me, I get a few instant images - two of which are when she says "What's that smell?", and "Smells like...a saddle!"
Images of "smell" and "summer breeze", "Japanese lanterns" etc., were directly or indirectly referred to a few times in this episode, to set the tone of Kevin's expected summer fun, in contrast to Winnie's bleak future of "wearing a groove between her parents.".

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Season 3 Episodes (24-46)
Episode Info
Wonder Years Menu

11/12/14 17:55