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Small Wonder: The Complete First Season (DVD Review)

9 Feb, 2010 By: John Latchem

Small Wonder Season 1

Street 2/16/10
Shout! Factory
$34.99 four-DVD set
Not rated.
Stars Dick Christie, Marla Pennington, Jerry Supiran, Emily Schulman, Tiffany Brissette.

Some shows are classics. “Small Wonder” is only the most revolutionary television program ever created.

OK, maybe that’s a bit of a hyperbole.

For those not steeped in the finer points of 1980s pop culture, “Small Wonder” is the show about a guy who builds a robot daughter that lives with his family, causing all sorts of hijinks. It’s like “Caprica” but without the multimillion-dollar budget.

Easily derided for its sitcom mentality and general silliness, “Small Wonder” was actually more influential than one would think. One of the first shows to test the first-run syndication market, “Small Wonder” was such a ratings success that it spawned many imitators seeking to duplicate the fusion of situation comedy with sci-fi concepts, such as “Alf” or “Out of This World.”

The 1985-89 show holds up a lot better than one would think, with its infectious charm that still generates genuine laughs. Other jokes are more groan-inducing, but it’s never offensive and rarely unwatchable.

And now that it’s on DVD, just sit back and let the nostalgia run wild. Obviously, those of us who grew up with the show will appreciate it the most.

The centerpiece of the show is young Tiffany Brissette as Vicki the Robot, whose doll-like pinafore and monotone robotic voice make her one of TV’s all-time enduring, and endearing, characters.

While Brissette doesn’t participate in any of the extras, there are a few commentaries from other cast members, whose fondness for the series is clear. The DVDs also include the original episode promos, but there isn’t a retrospective featurette. Maybe we can hope for one with the later seasons.


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