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Author Topic: The Facts of Life
Valley

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"The Facts of Life" spun off of popular tv show "Diff'rent Strokes" and debuted in August of 1979.

School Dietian at Eastland Academy Mrs. Edna Garrett (Charlotte Rae) mentored and guided 4 girls:

The snobby-rich Blair Warner (Lisa Whelchel)

Gossiping 'Tootie' Ramsey (Kim Fields)

Impressionable Natalie Green (Mindy Cohn)

Street-wise Jo Polniaczech (Nancy McKeon)

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After somewhat of a slow start, the show found it's audience and became one of the longest running sitcoms of the 1980's.

As all sitcoms get older, they evolve over time. The girls graduated from Eastland Academy. Mrs. Garrett opened her own gourmet food shop 'Edna's Edibles' which later evolved into the 1950's style malt shop called, 'Over Our Heads.'

In 1986, Charlotte Rae, decided to leave the show feeling that the girls had out grown Mrs. Garrett's advice. Her replacement was Cloris Leachman; who played her energetic and not so wise sister, Beverly Ann Stickle.

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Many other cast additions included: Molly Ringwald, Geri Jewell, Pamela Segall, Sherrie Krenn, George Clooney, and Mackenzie Astin.

In 1988 the show was cancelled. However in November 2001, the cast reunited to star in ABC's two hour The Facts of Life Reunion Movie.

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Logan 5
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I've only seen some bits of this on Youtube, but I liked what I saw. Something very cosy about US sitcoms from the 80's.
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Ronnie
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this is one of my favorite tv shows of all time.

i actually liked the earlier seasons, (except season 1)...i didn't see that until way later because i was born the year it aired hehe.

i loved the show around the time, that they helped run the edna's edibles all the way to when beverly ann & her nephew were there, and they had the other shop, over our heads.

my favorite character was always Jo. loved how her character changed overtime. she started out rough but got more girly as time went on.

i am glad that they FINALLY released season 4 on dvd this fall. now i am waiting on the next season...hope it doesn't take years like it took for season 4!!

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Ronnie
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just remembered...one of my favorite episodes is where the nephew, andy, enters the girls in a singing contest to win a chance to record with el debarge, and gives them the name "sexy lingerie." haha! george clooney was also in that episode. [Smile]

[ 14. December 2010, 07:14: Message edited by: Ronnie ]

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pettyfan
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I actually liked the first season best of all. I didn't watch it after Mrs. Garrett left. I have season one on DVD but that's it. I thought it was a good show, but I didn't like it enough to buy all the seasons of it.
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Valley

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I'm with Ronnie with regard to Jo being my fav character. She had that tough exterior personality, but underneath it all was a really great person.
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Crash
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A dissenting viewpoint: The Facts of Life represents everything terrible in bad 80s sitcoms. You have every stereotype in Teleplay Writing 101: rich b****, tomboy, obese girl, girl of color... Dreadful, hackneyed writing... Spotty acting... I always despised when Charlotte Rae would do that little lip quiver and tear up before saying something really sappy at the end. And don't get me started on those phony "very special" episodes--Jo nearly gets assaulted, Natalie loses her virginity, etc.--attempts to make a witless kids' show profound. It is fun to spot future stars walking through--hi, Clooney--but beyond that, you can keep this show.

Flame away. I have the flame-retardant suit on. :-)

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Ronnie
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sorry to hear you loathe the show, crash.
but you take the good, you take the bad.... [Wink] j/k

valley, i just read that season 5 IS available. i had no idea, so this makes me happy, of course. [Smile]

i know cable used to air re-runs a long time ago, wish they still would. it seems like the same shows are in syndication?

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Crash
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Aggggggghhhh, that Alan Thicke theme!!! It's like cancer for the ears!

Loathe it? Did I come off that strong? :-) C'mon now. There has to be someone with me that The Facts of Life is terrible? Anybody? Anybody?

[ 15. December 2010, 13:47: Message edited by: Crash ]

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Bernie_Lomax

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I used to think that Blair on the show was so hot and then after the show went for a few years all the girls got fat and ugly and started wearing old ladies clothing. A bit weird.
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Bernie_Lomax

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I learnt the facts of life by watching the facts of life
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Crash
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I learned from The Facts of Life that any problem, no matter how complex or difficult can be solved in 22 minutes and overacting from Charlotte Rae. ;-)

[ 23. December 2010, 11:10: Message edited by: Crash ]

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Valley

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quote:
Originally posted by Crash:
I learned from The Facts of Life that any problem, no matter how complex or difficult can be solved in 22 minutes and overracting from Charlotte Rae. ;-)

Actually I learned that problems thing from Mike Brady from "The Brady Bunch".. but I enjoyed that show as a kid too.

Hey Ronnie.. did you know..

During the last season of Facts Of Life, David Spade was in an episode that was supposed to be spun-off into a series called "Big Apple Blues" about college roommates living in New York City, but it never happened.

The original idea for Facts Of Life was that Edna Garrett, (the housekeeper on "Diff'rent Strokes"), would become the headmistress at the school that Kimberly Drummond (Dana Plato) attended. But after the pilot was shot, the producers decided to keep Plato on "Diff'rent Strokes".

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Ronnie
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val dude - i remember charlotte rae being on different strokes and knew about the spin-off. which is why we see young arnold in seasons 1 & 2 of facts of life.

i really don't remember the last season of facts of life. that is why i am waiting for the dvds to be able to see what happened. i hope to finish all of season 5 while my daughter is still on winter break. [Smile]

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kevdugp73
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I didn't really watch this one as a kid, but it's one of my wife's favs. She has season 1-3 on DVD, so I've seen a few episodes here and there, but mostly remain uninterested.....
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Valley

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kev.. tell your wife we'd love to hear her thoughts on why she enjoys "The Facts of Life".. and ask her which season is her fav.
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Bernie_Lomax

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Crash's comment about Charlotte Ray needs some applause. I ****ed myself when I read that cos it's so true.
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Bernie_Lomax

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Oh yeah sorry Crash I am with ya. It was more than terrible and that theme song sucked.
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Crash
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For I am not alone... "The Facts of Life" haters unite!
:-)

Thanks, Bernie. <bowing to you>

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Secret Admirer
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The Facts Of Life is one of my favs and is very entertaining. Sweet and funny characters getting into and out of mischief. I enjoy it.
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cindymancini
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I almost bought Season 5 today. It's one of my FAVORITES. Nuff said [Smile] !
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cindymancini
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No, you know what? You know how much I like this show? So much that I bought the same damn Steinberg print of 9th Avenue that Blair had hanging next to her bed, for pretty much the entire series, for my new house!! Yep, that's right [Smile] !! Love it!!

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Secret Admirer
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You just scored some awesome points with that one, Cindy.
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Crash
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One plus point for set decoration on "The Facts of Life"... I should pick some really bad show that I like and try to defend it against you rabble. And no, it's not going to be "Small Wonder," a show that makes "The Facts of Life" seem like "Twin Peaks."
:-)

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Ronnie
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quote:
Originally posted by cindymancini:
No, you know what? You know how much I like this show? So much that I bought the same damn Steinberg print of 9th Avenue that Blair had hanging next to her bed, for pretty much the entire series, for my new house!! Yep, that's right [Smile] !! Love it!!


that's really cool cindy! great dedication. [Wink]

i can't wait to watch season 5. [Smile]

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