Nostalgia rears its multi-splintered head yet again with another show from my childhood. I loved that it took place exactly twenty years before each season was filmed in real time, from 1968-1973 on the show and 1988- 1993, respectively. That was kind of fun, to see the past so joyfully spelled out for us every week.
The show centered on the young life of Kevin Arnold, played by Fred Savage and his quest to win the heart of Winnie Cooper, all the while fighting with his older brother and finding new ways to annoy his parents. He was the typical teenager everyman, appealing to kids and adults, as all of us can relate to unrequited love and hard times at school or family squabbles.
I like the show overall. It was fun and cute but the narration, voiced by an adult Arnold, got irritating after a while. So did the constant gibber jabbering about Winnie. Get over her already, buddy! There are plenty of fish in the sea and she treats him like crap most of the time anyway so what is the big deal? Move on and let’s have a different plotline once in a while, yeah? Ugh.
And I didn’t like his friend Paul all that much either because of the constant whining. Kevin was a good character and when he yelled at Paul to man up, I was right there with him. I know they are kids but give it a rest for a bit. Tomorrow is another day.
It hit a lot of the right notes about what it’s like to grow up during those times, at least from what older people have told. My mom said once that the 60’s and early 70’s were very well represented there. It was not just about that, though. It was about the characters and their lives and how they related to each other and that is the real strength of the show. Their trials and tribulations made people tune in week after week.
With 6 seasons and 115 episodes, The Wonder Years had a respectable run and enjoys popularity to this day.