Second Look: The Facts of Life

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So, you may have seen that I once did a post where I re-visited something from my childhood and see how it measures up now. The first time, I re-read one of the books in my favorite series. Now? I’m taking on a TV show….

For the uninitiated, The Facts of Life centered on the lives of four boarding school students: Jo, Blair, Natalie, and Tootie. The girls, looked after by Mrs. Garrett, would get into all kinds of crazy situations that Mrs. Garrett would have to solve.

One of the more recent episodes I saw (thanks to Logo TV) was one in which Blair dreams about the girls all gathering together in the year 2000 to catch up on their lives. This dream is prompted by Blair getting a marriage proposal from her boyfriend and I don’t even know  where to start with it.

First off: I never realized how…. advanced the show was. Blair was only in her first year of college by that point and it was a family show with two characters still in High School.

Secondly: The acting. Again, I barely know where to start. To be fair, most sitcom fantasy sequences at the time were filled with overacting and ridiculous dialogue. Still, Blair’s constant “I’m very, very happy” whenever anyone asks her how she is makes me want to smack her. Hard. The others were only marginally better than her.

Third: The oh-so-hilarious idea of life in the year 2000. Mrs. Garrett has a special machine that yells at shoplifters and gives her advice about her business, while she has also started an advice-giving branch to her business that sometimes requires her to go into some translation machine. Yes, she has a machine that translates other languages. Where, may I ask, is this bit of genius? #ScienceYoureSlacking

Finally: I have to give a special shout-out to awesome badness that is Blair not knowing Jo is now president of Warner Industries, a position she got because Blair was out shopping. Seriously? Even Blair can’t shop for that long.

Overall, it was not the strongest of episodes and I am glad that these fantasy episodes were few and far between. On the “Killing My Memories” scale, I will give this one an 8/10. Lucky for the show, there were better episodes. I know, cause I have been obsessively watching the repeats. Don’t judge. :)

So, were you a fan of this show? What was your favorite era of the show? I’d love to hear about it. I leave you today with a video of Mrs. Garret and three of her girls at the Paley Center reunion in 2014. Enjoy!

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