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Diff'rent Strokes

This started from episode 1, season 1 on Antenna TV tonight.

Was it always this maudlin and sappy or did I just miss this sappiness as a kid?

Mr. Drummond comes across like a creeper through 2014 eyes....adopting two young boys and walking around in a robe all the time.

And OMG, I forgot that Alan Thicke wrote the theme song. Now we know where his son got the repetitive, shitty jingle music gene from.....

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 8101/27/2017

It was awful to start with and it got worse as it went along. Yet it ran for years. Go figure.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 101/01/2014

I don't think it "started"; Antenna was just showing the first and/or pilot episodes of all of their shows today as a New Year's Day gimmick.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 201/01/2014

Gotcha, R2. I thought that meant they were starting the runs of their shows fresh today from episode one, so people would start to follow them or something.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 301/01/2014

[all posts by tedious, racist idiot removed.]

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 401/01/2014

Why was the title corrupted as "DIFF'RENT" STROKES? Why not "DIFFERENT" STROKES? The pronunciation is still the same. It just irks me when words are needlessly misspelled.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 501/01/2014

[quote]Why not "DIFFERENT" STROKES? The pronunciation is still the same.

Oh, dear.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 601/01/2014

Maybe 'Diff'rent' Strokes because the network nixed the original pilot title : The Drummonds and Two Jive Talkin' Black Adoptees.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 701/01/2014

Yes it was always cheesy beyond belief. I can't imagine being young enough that would've escaped my notice. And it wasn't fun/campy cheesy like Facts of Life. Gary Coleman was legitimately funny but that was about it.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 801/01/2014

But "Diff'rent Strokes" was one of the few, if only shows where a single father raised this family without the help of an uncle or grandfather. True they had the housekeeper, but unlike other shows, the "Diff'rent Strokes" housekeepers were clearly employees, loved employees but not family members.

"Hello Larry" was another show which showed a male competent to raise a child without help, unlike "My Two Dads," or "Full House," which needed THREE dads.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 901/02/2014

Note to self: pen quickie book on the single dad shows as cultural backlash against feminism

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 1001/02/2014

[quote]But "Diff'rent Strokes" was one of the few, if only shows where a single father raised this family without the help of an uncle or grandfather

Bachelor Father where John Forsythe raised his niece with only a Japanese "houseboy" and The Courtship of Eddie's Father in which Bill Bixby raised his son with the help of a Japanese housekeeper are two other examples.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 1101/02/2014

But Mrs Livingston was a surrogate mother to Eddie and Eddie loved her as a mother as he said.

Same with Bachelor Father, the Jap guy or was he Chinese was the other father.

Different Strokes housekeepers were much different.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 1201/02/2014

I can't watch WKRP in Cincinnati anymore because you can see how much Dudley and Travis enjoyed the horsie scene.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 1301/02/2014

This was a fine show.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 1401/02/2014

Painfully obvious that it was written only by white people. Even then, Arnold and Willis were portrayed not as inner city black kids, but how white suburban people wanted to think inner city black kids were.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 1501/02/2014

Right r14, if you have rock bottom standards.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 1601/02/2014

R16 it was warm and lacking in cynicism and cast wonderful actors.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 1701/02/2014

Dana Plato was awful.

I also read that a spin-off for Rae was always in the works from the get go. That she was guaranteed a pilot after the first season, which she got. Even though she left midway through the second season, I always associated Mrs. Garrett as their main housekeeper.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 1801/02/2014

Remember how Gary Coleman didn't like Dixie Carter and had her fired?

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 1901/02/2014

It was an awful show. I remember the big deal Gary Coleman was at one time, and I find it incredible. Even at his "cutest" he was repulsive and obnoxious. The audience must have been given free beer before the show, because everytime he said "Wha'choo talkin'bout, Willis?" they would collapse in fits of laughter.

It was just a dumb, mediocre sitcom that was unfathomably popular for a while.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 2001/02/2014

The level of hate for this show shows a general derangement present on the DL.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 2101/02/2014

[quote]Bachelor Father where John Forsythe raised his niece with only a Japanese "houseboy"

I was CHINESE, dumbass!

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 2201/02/2014

Does anyone recall the TV movie about the making of the show? It was an incredible low budget campfest and I which it was available somewhere.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 2301/02/2014

[quote] It's crazy that Todd Bridges and Mrs. Garrett are the only ones left.

OMG, R4. I just said this last night.

I would not have put money on Bridges being the last standing. And Charlotte Rae may just kick his ass yet.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 2401/02/2014

[quote]Remember how Gary Coleman didn't like Dixie Carter and had her fired?

Her son Sam was one of the most annoying tv characters of all time. I blame him for my lifelong bias against gingers.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 2501/02/2014

Can't believe no one has mentioned the "very special episode" about child molestation yet. did a great article about it.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 2601/02/2014

R21 is an idiot. I don't see anything approaching "hate" on this thread. It's just that a lot of people thought this show sucked. And it did. It was a shitty sitcom.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 2701/02/2014

In the first season, they talked about Harlem like it was a different, scary country. true, Harlem in the 70s wasn't the best but they beat us over the head with that.

Bain did this immediately after "Maude." In the first season, he's still wearing neckerchiefs like Arthur.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 2801/02/2014

Gotta admit, that was one hell of an apartment set.

Just disappointed that nobody was ever shown coming down the spiral staircase in the kitchen.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 2901/02/2014

Janet Jackson and her flipped pageboy was the best things about it

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 3001/02/2014

Not only did Alan Thicke write the theme song, he sang it too.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 3101/02/2014

Remember the Nancy Reagan episode?

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 3201/02/2014

You people need to get lives!

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 3301/02/2014

[quote]The Courtship of Eddie's Father in which Bill Bixby raised his son with the help of a Japanese housekeeper

Brandon Cruz (Eddie) went on fame and glory as lead singer for Dr Know. Here's one of their classics, 'Fist Fuck".

Fist fuck, right up your ass

Fist fuck baby, take it like a man

A greasy hand, thrust in your ass

Fist fuck, oooooooh, you know you love it

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 3401/02/2014

R26 meet R13. Although R13 most of never watched WKRP if he thinks it was Andy Travis who wanted Dudley.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 3501/02/2014

[all posts by tedious, racist idiot removed.]

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 3601/02/2014

[quote] That way we could've had Bea Arthur as Maude barge in every once in a while and read everyone to shit.

That sounds glorious, R37.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 3701/02/2014

I can see it now:

Arnold: Whatchu talkin 'bout Miz Findlay?

Maude: God will get you for that, Willis.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 3801/02/2014

[all posts by tedious, racist idiot removed.]

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 3901/02/2014

Bea as Maude could have sung "Hard-Hearted Hannah" while vamping and sashaying her way down the spiral staircase in Arthur's penthouse.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 4001/02/2014

I agree with R30.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 4101/02/2014

I love me some JANBOT!

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 4201/02/2014

R45, I'm the you-know-who-bot.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 4301/02/2014

[quote]I love me some JANBOT!

And Janbot loves you right back!

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 4401/02/2014

[quote]The audience must have been given free beer before the show, because everytime he said "Wha'choo talkin'bout, Willis?" they would collapse in fits of laughter.

I can't stand the show either, but clearly, it was canned laughter. All the sitcoms in the 80s used it to punch up the scenes where the live audience didn't laugh.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 4501/02/2014

This show is beloved by many who grew up in the early 80s.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 4601/02/2014

There was also a freakish two-part episode in which Sam is kidnapped by a man whose own young son had recently died. He and his wife and other son take Sam in as a "replacement" for the boy. All behave in a very disturbing manner. What was most disturbing though was the attempts at lightheartedness interjected among this lunacy.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 4701/02/2014

Yes, [R23], I believe that was a one-hour tv movie (?!), in which the full-grown man who played Gary Coleman had to sit in large pieces of furniture in order to appear small. A classic!

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 4801/02/2014

[all posts by tedious, racist idiot removed.]

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 4901/02/2014

Water seeks its own level, and so does Janbot in this shitcom thread.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 5001/03/2014

[quote]All of those 80s family sitcoms are unwatchable shit now. I was a child back then and watched them all religiously - Diff'rent Strokes, Webster, Family Ties, Mr. Belvedere, the execrable Growing Pains, etc. If I happen to catch a rerun now I can't watch one for more than three minutes. They were all such treacly, sugary garbage. Kids will just watch anything, I guess.

Not just kids. FAMILY TIES inexplicably was nominated for and won several Emmys during its 7-year run. Michael J. Fox won 3 times. I was a babe during that time and so never watched it during its original run, but 10 years ago I caught a couple episodes on nick@nite and it was horrible! Treacly and sugary, as you said, and that theme song is just vomit-inducing: I mean, I bet we've been together for a million years / And I bet we'll be together for a million more? *retch*

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 5101/03/2014



by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 5201/03/2014

Yeah, Family Ties is so bad!!

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 5301/03/2014

[quote] Sha-na-na-nahhhhh

They should have had Bea singing Hard Hearted Hannah.

(see 7:00)

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 5401/03/2014

I agree that most of the "family" sitcoms from the 80s and 90s do NOT hold up, except as camp.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 5501/03/2014

^ Chad Allen was on Webster?! Don't remember that.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 5601/03/2014

[quote] Maybe 'Diff'rent' Strokes because the network nixed the original pilot title : The Drummonds and Two Jive Talkin' Black Adoptees.

Wasn't the original title No Daddy, Bad Touch?

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 5701/04/2014

Bain was funnier on Maude.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 5801/04/2014

[all posts by tedious, racist idiot removed.]

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 5901/13/2014

Both DS and FOL still hold up pretty well

I actually own both shows on DVD

The early seasons of both shows were pretty good and topical

Let's not forget that Norman Lear produced the both series through his production company and was part owner as well

Now those mid to late 80s family shitcoms like Cosby, Growing Pains, Family Ties, Mr. Belvedere etc. Are just plain HORRIBLE and unwatchable

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 6012/14/2014

People forget how in bad shape NBC was until the Cobsy Show. In the late 70s they were dismal, with failure after failure. Yes, I'm talking at you Joe "Waverly Wonders" Namath, and "Supertrain".

It was during that time that Gary Coleman came along and "Diff'rent Strokes" along with Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show" were responsible for 39% of all NBC's revenue.

Yet Coleman never got properly thanked the way Carson did.

Even shows like "Cheers," "Night Court" and "Family Ties" were dismal and only prospered till Bill Cosby single highhandedly revived NBC.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 6112/14/2014

Family Ties did not become a hit till it was moved to Thursday Night.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 6212/14/2014

R62 true, but both TCS and FT sucked big time

I loved them when I was a kid though

It's funny how all the mid to late 80s family sitcoms don't hold up well today, but sitcoms from the late 70s/ early 80s like DS, FOL, Laverne and Shirley, Happy Days even All in the Family all hold up and are still funny

It's even more funny since I wasn't born until 1982 and I caught all those shows in reruns

The Brady Bunch too, it's such cheesy and campy fun

The mid 80s shitcoms didn't have that

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 6312/17/2014

Some favorites were when Kimberly & Arnold were kidnapped, Drummond chases Maggies to Hollywood to ask him to marry her and Kimberly's bulimia episode.

Oh and when Charlene shoves a pizza in Willis' face

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 6412/17/2014

That little girl in the wheelchair was the creepiest thing on TV. We were such rotten kids we only laughed when she was on. I remember watching this as a little kid. We used to have to beg and plead to my dad for us to watch this.

I watched it recently on one of those did your son take Risperdal and grow tits stations. It was fucking tragic. However, it was an episode where Kimberly was all dressed up in a classic gown for a night out. She was fucking stunningly beautiful. Sad how it turned out.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 6512/17/2014

R63 that's kind of nuts because FT of all shows doesn't deserved to be lumped in with that another crap. Even though (like Cheers) it wasn't a hit until TCS, FT (like Cheers) was always a critical darling - that's why Tartikoff kept those two shows on and gave them as chance. If FT was dreck it would have lasted maybe a season.

Yes, they did a lot of "issue" shows, but there are only a few ("A My Name is Alex") that I find unwatchable. Even if they leaned toward the preachy, they were intelligently thought out and, most importantly, well acted enough (what always made this show a standout from other family sitcoms), that they could get away with it. Because if the "drama" is acted out well...why not?

Happy Days and L & S - especially after the first couple of seasons (for both) really haven't aged well, and I grew up watching them in reruns alllll the time. I think the worst part of those shows for me was, that in almost every episode, they had to crudely shove down some "meaningful moment," complete with some "sad version" of the theme song. It must have been some kind of Marshallism. How Garry went from The Odd Couple (IMO the best sitcom of the 70s) - and Dick Van Dyke before that - to becoming the king of dreck is beyond me. Because it's not like he's untalented or not very bright - on the contrary.

Of that late 70s era of "non-acclaimed" shows, I think it's pretty clear Three's Company has aged the best - and healthy reruns and DVD sales would seem to indicate that too. Because - especially from I would say season 3 on - it's just classic farce, even if it's dumb as shit farce, with a mostly very talented cast, and unlike those other two shows, there was rarely any sentiment shoved in your face, and the few times there were, they worked because: a) there were mercifully few of those moments and b) Ritter just made them work, period. Everyone knows what a great physical comedian he was but he was also somehow perfect for "dramedy" (before that term was used) , in that he super gracefully was always able to transition from comedic to poignant moment. Same goes for a lot of his TV movie work.

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 6612/20/2014

Family Ties holds up better than a lot of shows from its era. I think it also got better with time (say after Michael Gross had his beard, and the show focused less on the parents).

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 6712/20/2014

When an entire underage cast has trouble growing up, one has to wonder if behind the scenes abuse may have been a factor.


"I've just been robbed by the girl who played Kimberly on Diff'rent Strokes!"

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 6812/22/2014

Family Ties is still trash

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 6912/23/2014

Remember when Sam got kidnapped and Julia said, "Ah keep him and we'll think about it. How about we get back to you later in the decade?"

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 7009/08/2016

Gary Coldmen was never a happy person

by Edna Fucking Garrettreply 7101/27/2017
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