In the series finale, Becca, now about 27, tells her son a story about what happened after graduating from high school. Corky doesn't graduate, but says, "I'll be back" while Jesse leaves for Europe,...
One of the first shows to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic and its social implications. In its later seasons the show depicted a relationship between Kellie Martin's character Becca Thacher and Chad Lowe's character Jesse McKenna. Becca and Jesse dated, and were often shown kissing. Jesse had HIV/AIDS and Becca did not. The show used this relationship and the character of Jesse to address issues of bigotry and unwarranted hysteria regarding the disease. Moreover, the show helped to inform its audience about the facts and myths surrounding HIV/AIDS (for example: the various ways one could or could not contract HIV/AIDS) and urged people to practice safe sex, avoid drug use involving needles, and to get tested. See more »
Despite its flaws, one of the best family shows ever
This show debuted when I was in the 6th grade, and it quickly became one of my favorite TV shows. I remember feeling bowled-over when seeing the opening credits and theme song for the first time - it was one of the funniest, most realistic portrayals of a regular family I had ever seen. The same can be said for the rest of the show. Being only a few years younger than Becca, and nerdy like her, I completely related to her trials and tribulations. At the time I didn't think the inclusion of a Down Syndrome character was that big of a deal, but looking back I realize how groundbreaking it was for a family show to portray a main character with a mental disability. I enjoyed Corky just as much as Becca.
The first three seasons were great, and it stayed on track as a unique family show that focused on Corky and his challenges going to a regular school and trying to live a regular life. However, the fourth season took a sharp turn as it focused 90% of its time on Becca's boyfriend Jesse, who had AIDS. At the time, AIDS was just starting to become a mainstream cause, though there were still many misconceptions about the disease. I'm glad the show, never afraid of being edgy, portrayed a character with AIDS, but I wish he wasn't the focus. I actually grew tired of Becca and Jesse's constant dramas every week, and wasn't surprised when the show ended. It was kind of depressing for me to see Becca's life constantly consumed by Jesse and his AIDS status, and I wish the writers let her have a bit more fun during the last days of her high school years. The final episode, which wrapped up the Becca/Jesse storyline, was particularly strange and I wish they had went full circle and focused on Corky instead.
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