The new must-see TV

Let’s start with a little background. You all remember your first crush, right?

Mine was Fred Savage, circa 1988. Every week, I stalked the TV listings for new episodes of The Wonder Years. I became obsessed with the movie Little Monsters and found a new appreciation for The Princess Bride. I daydreamed and schemed, concocting fantasies in which the object of my affection would move to Washington state, enroll at my school, and profess his love for me in front of my third grade locker.

A pipe dream, obviously.

Twenty-three years later, armed with a  DVR, I can relive those formative years every single night.

I’ve known for a while that one of our odd little cable stations airs vintage sitcoms, often at weird hours of the day. (They also show Family Ties, which I also enjoyed…however, Alex P. Keaton was no Kevin Arnold. And by the time Leo DiCap came on there, I was over it.)

For some reason, it only recently occurred to me to unleash the DVR on this station, a veritable goldmine of quality eighties programming. The machine went to work, stockpiling episodes in its memory bank. And now, instead of spending my Monday night with that Bachelor crap (or whatever you kids are watching these days), I get to have my own little mini-marathon of this:

Eight-year-old me is extremely jealous.

Childhood crushes aside, though, The Wonder Years was fantastic television. It’s funny how elements of the show that I never noticed or paid attention to when I was a kid – like the relationship between Kevin’s parents, Norma and Jack – are now interesting and relatable.

And Winnie Cooper? Well, I pretty much wanted to be her.

It’s humiliating to admit this, but I insisted on wearing my brown hair long and straight, with bangs, because I seriously thought that if anything happened to Danica McKellar, maybe they would call me in as an understudy.

(Uh, yeah…not quite.)

When I was little, she could do no wrong. But watching now, I’m realizing: girlfriend could be a real bitch sometimes. And she was kind of (understandably, I guess, given her family drama) messed up in the head.

I’m still working my way through the episodes on my DVR, but I already know that they don’t wind up together in the end. I remember feeling outrage at the series finale when I watched it the first time around. I’m guessing I’ll probably feel a little differently today.

Anyway. That’s how I’ve been spending my free time lately.

How about a beer?

Peak Organic’s Maple Collaboration is an American Red/Amber Ale made with locally-sourced Maine oats and Vermont maple syrup.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this one. Would it be a pancake in a bottle? (And would that be a good thing?)

As it turns out, the maple flavor is understated, presenting itself briefly and pleasantly on the finish of each sip. And there’s not much bitterness here, for a red – perhaps another byproduct of the syrup. The oatmeal goes completely unnoticed. Some BA reviewers griped about noticing the alcohol, but I really didn’t. Overall, it’s an amiable beer with a little hint of something sweet. 6.7% ABV.

Bottom line: Nothing earth-shattering, but enjoyable. (Purchased at Tasty Beverage, $6.50/big bottle)

Ok, back to my DVR stash….

20 responses to “The new must-see TV

  1. OMG. I love me some Kevin Arnold! The Wonder Years is on Instant Netflix, so I’ve also been enjoying mini marathons!

  2. Wonder Years is on Netflix! I had bangs to be like Winnie too. Haha!

  3. Heh. I never thought about browsing Netflix for old-school TV shows… Hmmmm… I may not have to start watchign Downton Abbey after all.

  4. I sometimes find myself watching a random TGIF show like Boy Meets World on Saturday mornings (yay!) and it seriously takes me back. That and I realize how poor the acting was…

  5. God I loved the Wonder Years. I think that will forever be one of those shows where if one person starts singing the theme song (which is a great song anyways) in a crowded room, I predict within under 20 seconds, 90% of the room would start singing with you. And Winnie was SUCH a bitch!! Poor Kevin Amold. (ID bracelet episode was one of my faves)

    And I still get a little misty eyed when I think about the finale and that his dad died. *sniffle*

  6. Girl, Leo was on Growing Pains. Get it right or pay the price (and yes, that was a little Salute Your Shorts reference).
    Never seen that Peak Maple here, but will keep my eyes peeled. And if you do find a pancake in a bottle, please alert the masses to that as well.

    • Salute Your Shorts…awesome. I wanted to go to camp so bad because of that show. Followed up with a little Hey Dude, you got yourself a nice little hour.

    • Crap, you’re right. I’m an idiot. Honestly, I never watched either one faithfully…would have been like cheating on Kevin. :)

  7. Too funny! DH & I have been on a Wonder Years DVR-ing kick too!! We were so excited when we found this show being replayed on TV.

  8. That is my all time #1 favorite show – and the best day of 2011 was when I found out its on instant download on Netflix. One bad thing is that they changed the theme song? Whatever. I maintain you can answer all of life’s questions with quotes from the genius that was that writing.

  9. The Husband found The Wonder Years on Netflix a few months ago and I think he may have peed a little…he was crazy excited! I grew up without a TV so I didn’t get it. Still don’t really. But give me an old school Archie comic book and I’ll jump and squeal like a small child!

  10. Wonder Years is on Netflix streaming and I have been watching it for the last month or two. I am currently on ep 104 out of 114! Almost done with the entire series… should I be bragging about that? 😉

  11. I have a threefold comment:

    1. Peak is good- I’ll have to search that one out, I could go for some maple in my life.
    2. I have to be a dick and point out that Leo was on Growing Pains, not Family Ties. These distinctions are very important to me as I was mostly a Growing Pains girl (that Alan Thicke slays me).
    3. The Savage’s lived down the street from me when he was a kid. Don’t hate me?

  12. I watched the pilot and a few episodes on Netflix recently. It didn’t hold up like I remember, but maybe it’s because I enjoyed the show more when Kevin, Winnie and Paul were a little older.

  13. Id need a couple of beers to jump into that time machine. I do love princess bride though, ohh farm boy!

  14. Omg the wonder years. I just watched several seasons during my trial month of amazon prime. I’m not even exaggerating when I say I bawled at the finale!! That was the last time Gian watched that show with me. I always knew winnie was a bitch, even when I watched it years ago. Down with her!!!

  15. I LOVE THE WONDER YEARS!! I waited so long for the shows to come back after not be available for so long. And now they stream on Netflix! YES YES YES!!

  16. I recently re-watched My So-Called Life and was surprised to find that 15 years later, I relate to the parents much more than the kids. When did that happen??

  17. Oh, I LOVED me some Kevin Arnold. And I had a huge crush on a guy in my class named Kevin at the same time. I was surrounded by lovable Kevins! And I think any girl who watched that show wanted to BE Winnie. She was pretty! And smart! And absolutely loved by adorable Kevin Arnold! Who wouldn’t want to be loved by Kevin Arnold, I ask you?

    I need to see if this is on Hulu or similar, because now all I want to do it watch this show.

  18. I apparently looked exactly like Winnie Cooper when I was young. I don’t know if it was the hair or what, but strangers would tell me how much I looked like her. And, because I thought she was average looking/kind of ugly (I KNOW – don’t ask me why now), I had a complex about it for years. All of the entries in my 8th grade yearbook began “Dear Winnie…” I cried about that. Yeah.