The series depicts the social and family life of a boy in a typical American suburban middle-class family from 1968 to 1973, covering the ages of 12 through 17. Each year in the series takes place exactly 20 years before airing (1988 to 1993). The show's plot centers on Kevin Arnold, son of Jack and Norma Arnold. Kevin's father holds a management job at NORCOM, a defense contractor, while his mother is a housewife. Kevin also has an older brother, Wayne, and an older sister, Karen. Two of Kevin's friends and neighbors are prominently featured throughout the series: his best friend, Paul Pfeiffer, and his crush-turned-girlfriend Gwendolyn "Winnie" Cooper. Storylines are told through Kevin's reflections as an adult in his mid-30s..
Owing to its time period, the Vietnam War served as a recurring backdrop to the series, and Jack was a Korean War (1950-53) Veteran, serving as a US Marine Corps officer. In real life Dan Lauria is a Vietnam Veteran, also serving as a US Marine Corps officer at the same point in his own life (1970-73) as his character. See more »
In the Christmas episode in season 2, Kevin and Wayne try to convince Jack to buy a color television for Christmas. In an episode in season one (Angel #1.4), Kevin is seen watching a color TV in his living room. See more »
[Wayne's friend Wart has returned shell-shocked from Vietnam and is sitting on a bench in just boxers and dog tags]
What's wrong, buddy?
Nothing seems to fit any more.
[Wayne takes his shirt off and offers it to his friend]
Here you go. Wear mine.
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In some cable TV reruns outside North America, the original Joe Cocker rendition of the theme song ('With A Little Help From My Friends') has been replaced by a cover version. In the end credits, the instrumental version of this song that was originally broadcast has been replaced by the instrumental 'Winnie Cooper Theme' which is heard sometimes throughout the show. The Netflix/Amazon streaming versions use this replaced opening theme and other music replacements, but include the original closing instrumental. See more »
This show has an engaging cast with stories set in the 1960s that involved down-to-earth, realistic plots. That's the real wonder of THE WONDER YEARS. It is far superior to most sitcoms because it isn't really a sitcom -- in other words it isn't based on silly situations and lame-brained characters.
The show is about growing up and the discovery of human nature. The writing has a depth unlike that of most TV shows. The humor is genuine, not based on typical TV contrived situations and shallow clowning. This is destined to be one of the classics of TV series.
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