Monday, July 23, 2012

Memories of My Youth

Lately I've been thinking a lot about when I was little. Specifically, the prominent role that TV played in my life growing up. I attended a preschool that prescribed an hour (or three) of TV time every afternoon, a practice that would be completely unheard of in these days of interactive play. No wonder my memories are clouded with nonsensical theme songs and visions of lumbering puppets. One such show that left a particularly deep impression was Today's Special, a program on Nickelodeon about a mannequin named Jeff who came to life (waaay before Mannequin the movie ever thought about doing it), his dresser/display designer Jodie, an old security guard named Sam, a rhyming mouse they called Muffy (who lived in an AMAZING dollhouse with an elevator!!), and it all took place in the children's section of a department store after hours. My, the hijinks that did ensue! Here's a clip: 

Today's Special "Ice Cream" Part 1
[Part 2 can be found here, and Part 3 here.]

Another real gem was Pinwheel, which was like the Canadian version of Sesame Street. It took place in and around a Victorian house on a quiet leafy street instead of in and around an apartment building on a busy city street. But there were still plenty of puppets and friendly neighbors galore. The opening credits introduce you to all of the characters with a sketchy/drawn effect that I rather liked. They had a fortune teller, a blind mole named Molly, and—just like Today's Special—there was even a mime in the mix! (I guess mimes were really big in the 80s?)

They also featured an international cartoon segment every episode. 
Anyone remember The Rabbit with Checkered Ears?

I wish I could get both series in their entirety on DVD so that I could park my future children in front of their glowing magic for hours on end. 

- Cathleen 

1 comment:

  1. I totally forgot about Today's Special, that just brought back some memories and yes I remember The Rabbit with Checkered Ears.....awesome.
    I must confess though, I hated Pinwheel with a passion. It made me ill, even as a child, to watch it.


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