March 24, 2013
80's Magic: "Punky Brewster"
"I have two different feet, why shouldn’t I wear two different shoes?"
One of the things most endearing and charming about Punky Brewster is her outlook on life. I appreciate the way she is an individual, with individual (and ofttimes highly unique) ideas, and isn't ever made to feel ashamed for being who she is. Actually most of the time her perky, spunky, optimistic, ready-to-try-anything attitude is the focus, rather than being something other characters are trying to rid her of, as is so often true in other cases of a drastically-different main protagonist.
This attitude is strung throughout the show itself too. The episodes always managed to pack both comedy and heartfelt issues into one nice bright package. And talk about bright! I think even for the rainbow-infused 80's Punky Brewster was more multi-chromatic than one would even think possible!
Watching the series on DVD - oh how I love DVD releases of fave shows :D - the jolt of the 80's-ness of this show is quite powerful. The pop culture references, the original score, the fashions and set design, the plots... - I love that about it. Plus it has this very comfortable quality to it, like you're in the company of long-time friends and family. It feels for me (having been only a few years younger than Punky herself in the eighties) exactly like that decade felt when living through it (minus the extreme comedic situations of course). There were plenty of things going on that adults were conscious of during that time, but Punky captures the mood of what was important to a child's mind then. The honest level to the writing and the on-screen bond between the characters/actors are both key elements in this, I think. The emotions so often feel unscripted, like you're just watching a group of friends going about their daily joys and troubles, handled in ways you feel certain you'd handle them if you were there.
Here's the TV guide fall preview mention (thanks to Brandedinthe80's for it), from the now-so-long-ago year of 1984:
Punky is the quintessential little orphan girl, Shirley-Temple-esquely softening the heart of the crusty, old, lonely man - there's something so timeless about that :) And it was great to watch Punky best all the difficulties that having been abandoned by her mother caused, and become part of a new family and grow into a truly happy, exuberant young girl. I've made up my mind that when I'm ready for kids, I'm going to adopt, cos it just isn't right for there to be children who are already in this world who have no stable, loving family of their own.
And just for the fun of it, have a listen to the theme song for the Punky cartoon, "It's Punky Brewster"?