Small Wonder (TV Series 1985–1989) Poster

(1985–1989)

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A superlative artistic and philosophical achievement
kinskimonkey27 September 2002
What is the nature of the self? What does it truly mean to be human? Can man ever transcend the limitations of his physical being and come to understand what is meant by the words "ultimate reality"? Does God exist? 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".
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Unfairly criticized
app35416 October 2002
"Small Wonder" was a show I enjoyed watching when I was a little kid, and I 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 to those unjust criticisms, I say this: it's a light sitcom about a robot girl! A 10-year-old robot girl! This isn't groundbreaking television (though the special effects were decent for a low budget TV series from the 1980s), it's "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 talented Brissette did not have any other major TV or film roles during her acting career.

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.
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Classic 80's comedy
Smooth B17 November 1999
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.
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I want this show back on the air ASAP!
mfloyd-312 November 2004
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.
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Wonderful, Wonderful Show!
Mastaclocksetta1 December 2004
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.
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One of the best sitcoms ever!
Eric N.16 November 2000
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!
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Nick at Nite.. where are you??
Jasoco22 May 2003
I never saw the show when it was originally on. I seemed to catch most 80's shows when 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.
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great show!
MySplitPersonality19 October 2001
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!
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8/10
I Want This Back on TV
saurabh_208711 March 2009
How can u guys criticize this show ... it was meant for kids .. i used to watch it when i was a kid .... and i want it back cause it reminds me of my childhood ..... how i used to enjoy it .... i have watched all the episodes many times and still wouldn't mind watching it again for fun .... I know this show has flaws .... bad acting, direction, writing but who cares about these things at the age of 5 - 12. Who knows about these things at that age .... common people i don't think this show deserves such a low rating ... it did what it was meant to do ... to make kids laugh and enjoy half hour of television .... besides thi my favorite shows were I dream of Jeanie, Bewitched, Silver Spoons, Different Strokes, The Duck tales cartoon .... these shows were not meant to be "good" in every way ... but they made me laugh at that age and i was hooked up .... thats all that matters ...
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1/10
Unmitigated horror.
neutrino684 December 2006
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.
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Good show . . . except for a few small details.
Bryanthemadposter24 July 2003
It's always the small details that make or break a production. I once asked my dad how Sean Connery could be in Highlander 2 as he died in the first one. "Small details," said my dad.

I asked him how the students in "Head of the Class" could be in high school for *five* years when high school is *four* years and they're supposed to be the geniuses. "Small details," said my dad.

He asked me how my grades could be so low, how I couldn't memorize a list of twenty-five vocabulary words when i could remember every little nuance of every stupid show or movie ever made. "Small details," I said.

While I was recovering, I discovered this show. It was apparently about a robot who looked just like a young girl, who could memorize the copyright page of a history textbook in two and a half seconds (Dr. Soong would be proud), but couldn't remember the lesson she had learned on being more human in the previous episode. Small detail.

Also her identity as a robot was supposedly a secret, but her voice makes Steven Hawking's sound smooth and natural. Small detail.

And nobody noticed that she wore the same *$@#% dress for God knows how many years? Small detail.

And what about the fact that she actually grew up as the show went on? Small . . .

Wait a minute, this wasn't a good show. This show sucked! I've had major dental procedures that I liked more than this show! In the end, "Small Wonder" is just one big small detail (big . . . small . . . ummmm . . . well, you get the point). Something to be swept under the rug and forgotten.
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The greatest show ever
Herbert Cuntwinkle15 April 2006
Small Wonder is the greatest TV show EVER!!!!! (except for Cop Rock of course).

For the love of God, will someone release this on DVD? Then I can finally die a happy man.

And Emily Schulman, if you are out there. I am single... shoot me an email babe. I think I am the man for you. I have many 'Jamie-like' qualities.

And what about a Small Wonder video game? How cool would that be? You can build your own VIKI.

I freakin love this show. Ted Lawson is my hero.
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1/10
How could anybody like this show?
latherzap27 January 2002
Unfunny comedy about a family and their robot daughter "Vicki". I watched this show on a UHF channel frequently when it first came out (I was ten years old, bored at that time of day, and it helped pass the time). Horrible as it was, I kept watching it- fascinated that apparently some people actually liked it. There's really nothing positive to say about Small Wonder.

EVERY episode features a scene where Vicki is asked to help clean the house or move some furniture. Sample: A family member says "Vicki, could you lift the couch so I can vacuum underneath it?"- Vicki uses one hand to grab one end of the couch and lifts the ENTIRE piece of furniture over her head (with bad special effects). This causes the laugh track to explode with guffaws and chuckles. I mean, it's just so zany ya know? Why,this stunt gets funnier with each episode!

Ten years old, and even then I knew it was one of the worst TV shows ever. That pretty much says it all.
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1/10
A contender, by USA Today, as one of the worst shows in history
momohund4 September 2006
I remember this show back in the eighties. It was 30 minutes of pure hell. Poor acting, below average story lines, terrible effects, and nothing more than mindless waste. This show is why people talk about the vast wasteland of television and how it rots peoples minds. to make it worse i had this neighbor that watched this show religiously and he would always tell me about each episode after he watched it. I hated 80s TV.

Fortunately, not many of these people are acting anymore. i particularly hated the father he reminded me of every below average white man and his crappy job and his stupid home in strip mall America
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Man this show scared the crap out of me when I was a kid.
al_thebastard17 May 2001
This show was so horrifyingly creepy. The little robot girl gave me nightmares all throughout my childhood and yet, in some sick and twisted perversion, I couldn't stop watching it. It was the lamest plot for a show, but it could have been better had they not made Vickie so spooky. She had no expression in her face, no life in her eyes, no soul. She scared me.
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A HORRIBLE throw-back to the worst 1960s US TV-formulas
Mimi-1625 October 2002
My wife and I were joking about this bad show last night and how American pop culture has so diminished the expectations of it's audience, some of the worst ideas are praised, simply because some greedy (and barely creative) decision-maker had the audacity to air such rubbish in the first place.

I decided to look it up here, this morning.

When I first saw this excuse for a regular series, I had just tuned in on the opening pilot and credits, and presumed it was a send-up of any 50s or 60s sitcom, contained within some new comedy or variety show. With its terrible acting, annoying characters, sloppy writing, inept direction, annoying theme-song, annoying incidental music, and unnaturally timed canned laugh-track. This show was one of those serious sci-fi depictions of bad entertainment in the "future". Occasionally, over several seasons, in sick perversion, I watched a few more, to see if it would get any better. It got worse and even more predictable than the pilot I stumbled upon.

It just had to be a cosmic-joke, right? It was, wasn't it????

I was incredibly shocked that this garbage-dump made it to TV. But even at the time, I realized FOX was still looking for an identity for itself. Too bad they tried to find one in this show. Because none of these supposedly human characters had barely more personality than the android Vicki. They only thing any of them had up on the android's personality deficiencies, they were all snide, conniving, shallow and manipulative.

All of the actors had that annoying 30-second appeal people have in television commercials. No surprise, since I remember all of these "actors" from previous annoying and intelligence-mocking TV ads.

Anyone that liked this show was definitely a casualty of American media manipulation, dumbing down of their expectations and fooling themselves. If anyone can say, deep down, honestly, this was good, they needed to get out more in the 1980s.

Or at least turn off the TV for a few weeks.
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The very worst sitcom ever!
cynthia_h_4950921 January 2005
I was forced to watch this in the 80's because my oldest son, now age 26, for some bizarre reason loved it-Of course he was only 7. The scripts were poorly written, the plots were pathetic, the acting was way below par-and the actor who played the boy made me want to cringe every time I watched it. I was trying to explain to my youngest son that it was the worst television sit com I have ever seen, but without seeing it,I don't think you can truly grasp how really badly done it was.It is not the premise or the simplicity I despise,its the poor production values,writing,acting etc.I have seen a lot of really bad sitcoms-syndication only shows-for instance the show with the blond from Threes Company as a Sheriff or a complete duplicate of Gilligans Island with some of the same actors but on a Wagon Train-but none were as bad as this one.
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Small Blunder
cyclone25931 August 2004
I remember this horrid, horrid show that was as unfunny as an 'Evening at the Improv' with ALF after a botched vasectomy.

What made this show a cauldron of studpidity was the inane writing and dim-witted cast (I hope it was just the writing) that couldn't tell Vicki was a robot. So, an inventor could replicate an adolescent girl perfectly, except that she had that same stereotypical monotone voice that has plagued low-budget shows since time in memorial. I also could never get over the boy who played the son. He reminded me a lot of kids that used to get beat-up at school or went on to have pent-up rage and confusion due to a hormone inbalance and questionable sexual-identity.
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8/10
Bring back the 80's!
heelsgirl17 August 2007
This is truly a piece of nostalgia, I used to watch the show everyday, along with Punky Brewster. When I was a little girl, I wished that I could meet Tiffany Brissette, she was so cute back then. Of course girls can relate to the show, but it also has a target male audience, I wouldn't be surprised if when the show gets released on DVD, there aren't little boys asking their mom's for a copy. Hopefully, the syndicated market will be smart and bring this hidden jewel back to television, most recently I've only seen reruns on You Tube.

The show deserves credit where credit is due, critics and audiences have mixed feelings to say the least; but you can't help falling in love with the Lawson family and their adorable little robot VICI. Every episode she always had something funny to say, she always took everything so literally. Like when VICI's father told her to go pick up the mail, she actually picked the mailbox up from the ground. I especially liked the character of Harriet playing the nosy girl next door, she always had a thing for Jaime. Every episode was like a mini sci-fi fantasy movie, it was never too scary for the little ones. In my opinion, Small Wonder was one of the better sitcoms of it's time.
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Small wonder...remember
Princessoftales3 July 2005
The funniest thing about remembering this show, is how so many people diss it looking back. I was a small child when this was on the air, but I still loved it. I guess those of us that watched when we were too young to know better, loved it. The people that were teens or older back then, trash this show like it was the worst piece of garbage ever on the air. Maybe it will seem like that to me if I watch it now since i've grown up.

The one scene I remember the most was when this valley girl said to Vicky "Like jig me with a spoon." And Vicky said "Ok" in her robotic voice, and she was about to stab the girl with the spoon. LOL I only have good memories of this show. 80's TV shows give me the warm and fuzzies, maybe because that's the last time everything seemed so innocent.

She's a smaaaaall wonder.....
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I loved it!!
zandee20013 April 2004
Hi I am a 2o year old girl that is a tv and film major student. But anyways I read an awful comment about this show. I totally disagree with that person. I wish the show would still be on. I was born in the 83 and I calculate I was about 5 or 6 when I would watch the show, because I totally remember it still. I have been reaserching on Howard Leeds, the creator and producer of the show. But unfortunately I havent found any more information about what happend to him and why the show was canceled. So if anyone knows anything about it please feel free to email me. And one last thing... People shouldnt criticize any show because you have no idea how hard it is to produce a show and for it actually to air for years, even months. Apperently "Small Wonder" made it and like it or not it was successful!!
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Everything that was wrong with 80's comedy.
daryn9 March 2000
This is easily the worst television series I ever saw.

The premise was corny and pointless, the humour was lame and repetitive, the characters were annoying and one-dimensional: this series is like a showcase of everything that was wrong with 80's comedy.
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dope show
jaybart25 November 2000
Man what a dope show, Vicki was such a cute robot...this show is classic 80s. It had it all, action/adventure, romance, comedy, drama...it made me laugh, it made me cry, but most of all..it made me think. I would recommend this program to anyone who is interested in watching quality programming that the whole family can enjoy. In this day and age of violence and sexuality on TV, a show like Small Wonder makes one long for the sitcoms of the 80s, a time when life was much simpler.
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Ah! those were the 80's.
insomniac_rod23 February 2007
To be honest, I haven't seen "Small Wonder" in probably 10 years. But I can remember that it was a naive, tender sitcom. When I think about this show I remember the scene where Vicky vacuums under the rug in extremely fast speed. Also, I remember that Vicky never laughed and barely smiled; she was cute on her own way...

The situations were not that funny but had something likable at least. In fact, most of the situations dealt with Vicky solving the typical sitcom situations with a one liner.

There were some cheap f/x that added "that" 80's feeling to the show. Also, most of the episodes had a morale behind them. I miss these kind of sitcoms but I have to admit that "Small Wonder" is dated for today's standards.

Still, this is stuff for cult t.v. "Small Wonder" was a good option for a family watching. Oh, and the song was catchy and kitschy as hell.
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