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Category:    Home > Reviews > TV Situation Comedy > Small Wonder – The Complete First Season (1985 – 86/Shout! Factory DVD Set)

Small Wonder – The Complete First Season (1985 – 86/Shout! Factory DVD Set)


Picture: C     Sound: C+     Extras: D     Episodes: D



Syndicated television and cable became such a wasteland in the 1980s for many reasons.  Not enough product, not enough money to make good product and an unwillingness to put older shows on and pay what they were worth.  Filling that void were some bad TV shows that would have never made it past a pilot in just about any case and some would be on for years simply as filler that squeaked by making enough money in their desolate time slots.  One such show is Small Wonder, a series about a “happy” family whose father builds a robot daughter.  This was a sitcom.


Not that it was ever funny, but it was meant to appeal to that Reagan-revised family of the 1980s that really recycled the 1950s sitcoms in the worst possible way.  This might have been OK for young girls, but beyond that, I was never a fan and was shocked at how really poor the writing was.  Besides the silliness of the show, it is so stuck on its bad comedy that any ideas about science fiction simply die in the minds of the writers and the actual implications of such a thing happening are badly ignored through this Complete First Season.


Had this arrived ten years before on a major network, this could have been interesting (thing The Electric Grandmother), but this was not meant for an intelligent audience, is anti-intellectual as many tech comedies of the time were and is a bizarre curio at best.  Skip it otherwise.


The 1.33 X 1 image is harsh and soft for it age with aliasing throughout, though color can look good at times for an analog NTSC shoot.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is a little better, but also has its compression issues and other flaws.  Extras (this actually has some) include fan art gallery, original episode promos and select audio commentaries on five of the 24 half-hours included here.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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