This past weekend, TV Land was showing an eccentric mix of old (and somewhat new) TV shows, in honor of Warner Brothers’ anniversary. One of those shows was the ever-delightful Perfect Strangers. Another was The Hogan Family. Er, wait. No. It was actually Valerie. That later became Valerie’s Family. Then, briefly, Valerie’s Family – The Hogans. Finally, The Hogan Family.
The episode was your typical 80s drek, but it was still amusing to watch. Jason Bateman’s character was confronted with the possibility of having sex. But he strongly advocates condom use and eventually doesn’t do it, thanks to a long talk from his mom. Ironically, you don’t hear much about condoms on network sitcoms anymore. (At least, I don’t.)
That all said, I couldn’t help but feel angry at the show for the way they handled the myriad name changes. The whole deal was, of course, that Valerie Harper wanted more cash after two years of the show. NBC wouldn’t budge, so they killed her character – off-screen and off-season! It was pretty jarring to have an event referenced in the third season and not be able to see it. Kind of, uh, lame.
The most wonderful thing, though, is that there’s a pretty good resource on the show that includes all the intros from all four revisions of the show – including the oft-forgotten move to CBS. Any sitcom that includes a theme song performed by Roberta Flack can’t be long for this world.
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