I was a child of the ’80s (and part of the ’90s), which means I had plenty of exposure to what parenthood would really be like from iconic greats like Diane Keaton, Tom Selleck, Michael Keaton, Kirstie Alley, and Goldie Hawn. When I had kids, I was fully expecting to be a Manhattan exec turned baby food inventor just like J.C. Wiatt in “Baby Boom.” It didn’t quite go down like that when I had my daughter a couple of decades later. My husband and I were both work-at-home, stay-at-home parents who knew nothing about making baby food.
Movies from the ’80s made parenting seem like a terrifying, identity-erasing abyss full of diapers and bottles. The reality is a lot less dramatic, really. Sure, there are diapers and bottles and plenty of really difficult times, but I’ve learned parenting is an endurance test. It’s about blending elements of your pre and post-parent life together. But still, I learned some valuable lessons from my favorite 80′s movies. Here are a few of my favorites and what they taught me…
Jem, the larger, cooler Barbie. At least to me she was. That’s why I’m so excited for this news. Hasbro has made a deal with Integrity Toys for a modern day line of Jem and the Hologram dolls. “Inspired by the TRULY OUTRAGEOUS characters created by Hasbro over two decades ago and cherished by fans and collectors alike ever since, this nostalgic retro doll line is designed to pay homage to both the animated series and its original companion doll line, which was originally marketed from 1985 to 1987,” writes Integrity. Each doll will set you back $125 and they’ll start shipping next month. Take a look at Jerrica Benton, her alter-ego Jem, Synergy, and good ol’ purple-haired Rio (more to come down the road). Read more…
Everywhere you look, there’s a face of somebody who needs you. Well, they don’t need you, more like we needed them back in the ’80s. Those were the days.Watching “Full House” on TGIF, eating Burger King french fries, thinking there was a future for me on primetime television because D.J. Tanner was also chubby with big bangs.
The Tanners and crew got together with the “Full House” creators for a 25 year reunion of the show. (Holy shit … that means I’m old!) As you can see, the Olsen twins were missing, due to being too famous or something. Not that they were that important on the show anyway. They didn’t speak for like the first three seasons or something. Keep reading »
Something most people don’t know about me: I grew up in an aerobics household. No, it wasn’t my mom who was into it, although, I occasionally joined her as she danced along to the “Jazzercise” video tape. It was my dad who was the aerobics star. He spent most of the ’80s as the only man at the gym who regularly attended aerobics classes. This is particularly comical considering my dad is a 6’3″ ex-college basketball player. But he loved aerobics and he used to take me to classes with him. He was a celebrity at the gym; all the teachers knew him by name. He even considered becoming a certified aerobics instructor at one point. Hence, my deep appreciation for aerobics. Now to my point: I just stumbled upon this video from the 1988 Crystal Light National Aerobics Championship hosted by Alan Thicke and it made me very, very happy . As a side note, I should mention that my dad never wore unitards or made those ridiculous faces. But these aerobics competitors really went there. The theatrics of it all! Amazing. [Buzzfeed]
I have just heard the news that my very favorite obscure ’80s television show, “Rags to Riches,” is going to be released on DVD in June. This is like a major event in my world. The two seasons that it ran on NBC (from 1986-1987) were some of the happiest TV moments of my childhood. (Embarrassing confession: I recorded every episode on VHS and learned them by heart. More embarrassing confession: I still have those tapes.) I imagined that, if the show continued on for a few seasons, the older orphans would grow up, move out and need to be replaced with younger orphans. And that, being the double threat (actress/singer) that I was, I would land a part on that show. Keep reading »
I may be over 30, but that doesn’t make me too old to hold out hope for a Daddy Warbucks style adoption, right? So what if I own the “Annie” commemorative plate series or can still quote dialogue from the film? “First the windows, then the floors … in case I drip.” Even I knew she wasn’t there to clean, but it was so endearing that she wanted to earn her keep. Though she was a poor orphan living in the depression, it seemed only natural to wish I were her. Especially after she becomes rich and gets to live in a mansion with an indoor pool and a turbaned body guard. “A child without courage is like a night without stars.” Words of wisdom from Punjab. I’ve been waiting for Aileen Quinn aka Annie to resurface. See what she looks like now after the jump. Keep reading »
“Just because the show was for kids, I would never write down. I would write the kind of deep, rich story that I would like to watch – just trusting it would communicate to the viewers, and it did. The characters were rich, and deep, and had a lot of life to them, a lot of threads… It was like a big, grand soap opera for kids. Also, I’ve found that the basic sense of someone who has two identities… That resonated with a lot of the viewers. There was just something about that fundamental essence of figuring out who you are, and being torn between two identities – particularly, I would have to say for a lot of gay viewers. I think it struck a very, very strong note for a lot of young gay people who were struggling with their own identity at the time.”
– Christy Marx, the creator of “Jem and the Holograms,” talks about the lasting power of the show. I totally missed the deeper level of Jem at the time. I mean, I was in the single digits. I loved Jem because I was already performing at the time. I related to the idea of being able to take on a different identity on stage. Also, her clothes were amazing. [MTV]
“Jem and the Holograms” was my favorite television show as a kid. The show tells the story of Jerrica, a rich girl whose dad leaves her a record company when he dies. He also leaves her a pair of earrings that allow her to communicate with Synergy, a holographic computer. Synergy allows Jerrica to create an alter ego, Jem, to front a band to save her father’s record company. Goofy, yes. But I loved the over-the-top ’80s costumes and the fact that the show featured two kick-butt female bands, Jem and the Holograms in addition to The Misfits. So I am totally thrilled that on October 11th, the entire series comes out on DVD. To get you excited, behold. The first 10 minutes of the iconic show. Enjoy.
I have a very soft spot in heart for ABC, the ultimate ’80s band in my mind. As a kid, I remember absolutely loving their video for the song “Poison Arrow.” It shows frontman Martin Fry lusting after a beautiful big-haired brunette, dripping in diamonds and fur, who eventually shrinks him and traps him under a martini glass. Well, apparently—the girl in the video is none other than restauranteur Lisa Vanderpump of “The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills.” Oh, how worlds collide. [Limelife] Keep reading »
For the past few years, ’70s TV shows like “Charlie’s Angels” and “Hawaii Five-O” have been the thing to reboot for TV shows. But now it feels like ’80s movies are having their moment. Remember “Romancing the Stone,” the 1984 flick starring Kathleen Turner as a romance novelist who heads to South America to bring home her kidnapped sister and ends up getting into all sorts of shenanigans with Michael Douglas? Well, NBC is developing the concept into a series. Only, this time around, said woman will be looking for her missing brother while teaming up with a hot dude for weekly adventures.
And it appears that “The Blues Brothers” will be getting a small-screen treatment, too. Keep reading »