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What is the nature of the self? What does it truly mean to be human?
man ever transcend the limitations of his physical being and come to
understand what is meant by the words "ultimate reality"? Does God
Are we alone in the universe?
Throughout the course of human history, great minds have attempted to tackle such questions. Minds of men like Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates. Minds of men like Sartre, Nietzsche, and Freud. While few have had the courage to address the implications of these central existential dilemmas, even fewer have been able to offer any worthwhile insight on such matters, or do any more than merely scratch the surface with repetitive supposition and conjecture.
How rare it is when a work of art can at once synthesize, and then surpass the work of all that has come before it.
"Small Wonder" is just such an achievement.
If the Sistine Chapel were a sitcom, it would be "Small Wonder". If William Shakespeare had been writing sitcoms in the 1980s, he would have written "Small Wonder". If Leonardo da Vinci were alive today he would have painted the Mona Lisa with a pony tail and a red and white dress, and simply called his subject 'Vicki'.
The husband, the father, the inventor. All one man. Ted Lawson. In his workshop he creates a robot daughter who sleeps in his son's closet. Rather than cash in on his invention, which could have totally revolutionized the communications industry, the Lawsons vow to keep Vicki a secret, for some reason.
That one suburban schlub of a man can create life --does create life, in his basement, signifies, validates the presence of the divine in the banal. Man is divine, as he is created in God's image. Yet man can create man. Therefore...
Mrs. Poole, the neighbor, or was it Mrs. Brindle? I'm getting my shows confused I think. Anyway, Mrs. Brindle the neighbor who sits by idly, and had born of her womb a daughter with fiery red hair and marks of the devil all about her skin. Is Harriet Satan? Is Vicki Christ?
A theological treatment of "Small Wonder", in itself, would likely fill multiple volumes. I'm surprised more hasn't been written about the show.
In addition to such a captivating and intellectually challenging premise, the show also featured some of the most remarkable special effects ever to be put on film. Before or since. When Vicki would lift the couch, for instance, it was almost impossible to see the thick blue line around the couch's edges. Special effects which later influenced the likes of "Jurassic Park" and "Independence Day", no doubt.
I could go on and on about this show, but I won't. If you haven't seen every episode at least five times, consider yourself incomplete. I would be both enticed and excited by the proposal of opening up a school, (an Academy, if you will) where the curriculum consisted solely of screenings and discussions of episodes of "Small Wonder".
"Small Wonder" was a show I enjoyed watching when I was a little kid, and
would probably enjoy it today; unfortunately, I haven't seen it in reruns
since 1995 or so. Over the years, I have heard and read quite a few
negative comments about SW, both here at IMDB and elsewhere. In response
those unjust criticisms, I say this: it's a light sitcom about a robot
A 10-year-old robot girl! This isn't groundbreaking television (though
special effects were decent for a low budget TV series from the 1980s),
"Small Wonder"! One of the main reasons why I enjoyed this series was
Tiffany Brissette; as Vicki, she did not express much emotion (because of
her role as a robot, of course), but she still displayed enough charm and
good comic timing to keep you watching. It is unfortunate that the
Brissette did not have any other major TV or film roles during her acting
Some other comments about SW:
-My favorite supporting character was easily Reggie (Paul C. Scott), Jamie's best friend and the show's token black character. He was always able to score with the girls through his smooth and confident demeanor, while Jamie always ended up looking like a dork.
-Speaking of Jamie, whatever happened to Jerry Supiran? Like Brissette, he showed a lot of promise, but apparently dropped off the face of the Earth when the show was canceled.
-I do agree with SW haters about at least one thing: Harriet Brindle (Emily Schulman). She wasn't just annoying, she was ***ANNOYING***. "Hi-yeee!!! Bye-yeee!!!" Oh, the humanity!
-As if Harriet wasn't bad enough, there was Mrs. Brindle (Edie McClurg). "No-no-no-no-no-no!!" Again, one word: ***ANNOYING***.
Overall, I enjoyed SW for what it was: an entertaining sitcom with a silly premise. I would definitely love to see it in reruns again someday. And to that previous reviewer who suggested the idea of a school based on teaching "Small Wonder", I would sign up immediately.
I remember this show it was terrific my favorite character was the robot girl she really made me laugh. Everyone else was okay. But to me the real star was the robot girl. I only saw this show once after it went off the air. I haven't seen it since I've written to several networks requesting this show be brought back on the air. I've written to the Hallmark Channel, KSMO WB 62, KCWE 29, and Disney. I really want this show back on the air. It was a terrific show and it deserves to be back on the air again. Other viewers want the show back too. If only these networks would consider some of the feelings for their viewers then they would remember how great shows like Gimme A Break!, Out of This World, The Hogan Family, Just The Ten of Us, Webster, Kids Incorporated, and Small Wonder were, to some viewers like myself.
I had a crush on Vicki.....when I was 7 years old! Small Wonder, whenever I see it, reminds me of my childhood glory years from 1985-1989. It has the same formula plots that "Full House" would use later, only there's two kids (if you can call Vicki a kid) instead of 3. Vicki is a robot Ted Lawson created (this was back in the early computer boom of the mid 80's, so the show fit in with its pop culture surroundings) since Ted and his wife always wanted a little girl. The problem is each week they go through stunt after stunt to keep Vicki's robot identity a secret and to make their neighbors believe she's a real little girl. It didn't help that Ted dressed her up in the same Raggedy Ann-type dress with the high socks for the first couple of seasons, or that she spoke in a monotonic robot voice. Throw in a wisecracking son and a boy-crazy girl next door (Harriet) and you have yourself a classic sitcom! In season 3 they "humanized" her more, as Ted put a chip in Vicki so she could talk like "normal" people do, and they bought her actual clothes so she wouldn't look like a doll anymore (it was typical 80's garb mind you). When I watch reruns nowadays, I laugh at myself for actually loving this show back in the day. I put it up there with ALF and Charles In Charge when I talk about my favorite 80's sitcoms.
I remember on a Saturday afternoon about 12 years ago I walked in on my
mom watching this show in her bedroom, then I started watching it with
her. That's how my little "Small Wonder craze," if you will, began. I
remember that in 1992 and '93 KTTV Channel 11 (my local Fox affiliate)
aired two episodes Saturday and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 and 2:30.
Then in about '94, they started showing it Monday through Friday
afternoons at 1:30, then started airing it at 1:00 AND 1:30 all year
round. In '95 and '96 they only showed it in the summer at 1:00 and
1:30 PM. Then after that, they yanked (stopped showing) it :'(, and I
have been mad at them ever since. But I saw in another message board
that this winter KDOC Channel 56 (another station in my area) would
pick up the show. I'm keeping my fingers crossed :D.
Anyway, I liked this show because of only one thing: Vicki the Robot! I had a ***HUGE*** crush on her/it. I would (and still sometimes do) dream about her/it. My mom told me today that that was just part of being a little kid.
I guess it is no Small Wonder that said Fox affiliate stopped showing this wonderful, wonderful show. I guess maybe they figured that people were just plain tired of seeing the same 96 episodes over and over.
Even though I was only in elementary school, I still remember watching "Small Wonder" every day, watching each of the 96 episodes several times! The premise is so fantastic: how can a robot that's virtually identical to a 10 year old girl fit into a family and society? This show had such a wide audience in its four years of existence, ranging from young kids to grandparents - it appealed to everyone!
I never saw the show when it was originally on. I seemed to catch most 80's
they would go into reruns in the early 90's.
I absolutely got hooked on this show every day after school in reruns.
I am a computer geek and I got a kick out of the "Technology" behind it.
The neighbors were your typical annoying neighbors which made them great. The daughter with the crush on Jamie, the annoying parents always coming over. At least they knocked... or did they?
I haven't seen this on TV in a while, I keep hoping Nick would pick it up along with Alf and Punky Brewster. But alas, not yet. Maybe some day they'll get the point.
DVD would be better, but I would never get the time to sit down and watch all 96 episodes (So close to the milestone 100!) so I'd settle for Re-Syndication.
I just remembered this show today and forgot who acted in it..so here i am! I just had to read the other comments which cracked me up...especially those who thought Viki was so scary, Jamie's cheeks were too shiny, and were left emotionally scarred by Harriet. I mean, come on! Its just a show, not a physics test, no need to analyze!...yes--it has its flaws but just sit back with an open mind and you might find yourself smiling once in awhile.. And I always loved it...I remember when my sibs and cousins would sing the theme sing "she's a small wonder, lovely and bright with soft curls" something like that. Really, people just watch it for some clean fun. Maybe it doesn't have the drama people love nowadays, but it's good to think back on the simple life. So watch and relax!
An atrocious affair all around. The high concept almost guarantees complete awfulness. In the face of such overwhelming odds most t.v. shows give up, and this stinker is no exception. The robot 'daughter', VICI (Virtual Idiot, Cringe Inducing) is played with prescription-grade annoyance by a monotoned mutant child. This child actor has the dead, robot eyes down pat. Downright bonechilling. The parents are creepy and not-to-be-trusted, as they treat this machine as if she were human, except when things go wrong with her circuits in front of strangers. Then they lock her in the closet like some lesbian stepchild. One episode has a strange, ultra-right-wing twist when VICI is entered into an international trivia or spelling contest. Dad finds out that VICI's Soviet competitor, Yuri Something-Or-Other, is using a cheat sheet. Dad gives the kid a lecture about how in America we are independent minded and how communism is really bad and how the communists have proved they are bad by having a little boy cheat just to make the Soviet educational system look good. This rah-rah pro-America, Soviets-Are-Cheaters lecture FROM A MAN WHO ENTERED A ROBOT INTO A CHILDREN'S SPELLING CONTEST! What's the message here? Americans are superior because our computers can spell better than real Soviet children? Americans have a moral right to cheat because we're cheatin' in the name of democracy? Twisted trash that will rot your mind. Don't give it the chance.
I remember this when it was originally on the air. I was living in a basement apartment using a small TV with rabbit ears and whatever channel this was on was the only channel I got, which was the only reason I ever even knew this show existed. Typical of many high-concept shows, it starts with the shred of an idea someone came up with after probably one too many cocktails, and voila, we have a stinker of a series. The writing was atrocious and all the actors were terrible, with special mention to Dick Christie as the father who was one step below everyone else at "abominable". Out of morbid curiosity I Netflixed a few episodes a year or two ago just to check and see if it was as bad as I had remembered. It was. I'll never check back again; I've learned my lesson.
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