Saturday, August 3, 2013

"Small Wonder" Season 4, Episode 20. My Take


Whoa! Technology in the 80's, right!?! As a kid I was a big fan of "ALF" and "Small Wonder" and so wanted two things: an alien best friend and a robot best friend (the universe gave me Kendall). I wanted a robot like Vicki, the walking-talking example of artificial intelligence that usually wore a maid's uniform. 


From the back, Vicki looked like Teddy Ruxpin when you were changing his batteries. The fun begins in this episode when Dad gives Vicki some kind of upgrade. And if you thought Vicki would be useful before . . .


Now she can converse with animals! And converse she does! But that's not all . . . 



The animals start flooding in: starting with Harriet, the red-headed neighbor girl, who is easily one of the best neighbors of all time. She's nosy and clueless like the idiots who lived near "Bewitched" and "I Dream of Jeannie." She brings over her brand new parrot. Vicki translates that "sqwaauuk" actually means, "Shut the fuck up, Harriet!" 


Freeze-frame on the robot and her flesh and blood Cliff-and-Kendall-looking brother. Cut to commercial. 


Cue more animals! The mullet kid (right) is holding a GIANT DEATH FROG that doesn't know how to hop. Mullet is there to see Vicki, because they've seized the opportunity and turned Vicki's animal-telepathy abilities into a pet-therapy business. 


Vicki demonstrates how to hop for a confused GIANT DEATH FROG. 


After treating a few of the neighborhood's mentally unstable vermin, the Boss, his horrible wife, and her dog arrive on the scene. Did I mention that the boss fired Dad because Mom stood up to the horrible wife? Well yeah, that's also been happening. The boss and his wife are back and ready to see Mom and Dad eat some crow- but another animal steals the show!


Yep, this character named Foofoo starts to spill the old beans on the horrible wife! Seems she was a cocktail waitress at a bowling alley and not the heiress she pretended (or something like that). 


Whatever secrets the dog barked to Vicki and then Vicki communicated to the humans were bad enough to cause her to run from the room- and presumably from the boss' life forever. We can only hope. Oh and Dad got his job back. 


Then just as everyone is celebrating another dilemma solved, Mom spies a mouse!! She reacts like I would by screaming and jumping on shit. Before anyone can find a rat-squishing bat, Vicki translates its tiny squeaks. He was just there for some of Vicki's therapy! Sadly, the show left us wondering what the mouse's problem was. He hated his mother probably. 

Final Fun Fact: There were only 4 more "Small Wonder" episodes ever filmed after this one. (Sad fact) Watch this 1989 episode HERE!

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