There isn’t much that I am obsessed with in life except for getting some classic TV shows and films from my younger days on DVD. One that I thought I would never see is finally out. Square Pegs was a TV show about high school life that was broadcast on CBS for one season in 1982. The show hit a chord with me and I have nothing but fond memories of it. Until recently memories was all I’ve had. Of course I hate it that I found out seven months AFTER it was released.
It was created by Anne Beatts, who had worked on Saturday Night Live in its early days and the plots centered on Patty Greene (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Lauren Hutchinson (Amy Linker), two awkward teenage girls desperate to fit in at Weemawee High School. Their lives interacted with their friends Marshall Blechtman (John Femia) and Johnny “Slash” Ulasewicz (Merritt Butrick) and with the cool kids Jennifer DiNuccio (Tracy Nelson), the quintessential buxom Valley Girl, her boyfriend Vinnie Pasetta (Jon Caliri), a handsome greaser hood, and LaDonna Fredericks (Claudette Wells) and preppy Muffy B. Tepperman (Jami Gertz).
The show spoke to me because I was in the social place that Patty and Lauren are in. I wanted to be popular and although I didn’t try to be one at all costs like they did, I sympathized with their plight. Cliques in school were not a good thing because for some it causes too much stress at such a young age but this show had a funny take on the topic.
The DVD finally came out when Sarah Jessica Parker’s movie version of “Sex in the City” was released. Except for Parker, Tracy Nelson, and Jami Gertz none of the rest of the cast have done much more than this series. In the Wikipedia entry it even says that the actor who played Vinnie has disappeared off the face of the earth and his current whereabouts are unknown.
Merritt Butrick, who played Johnny, died in 1989 from AIDS. He was also known for playing Capt. Kirk’s son, Dr. David Marcus, in the Star Trek II and III films.
The other note on the DVD issue that is an issue with a lot of the old shows is they stripped out a lot of the pop music due to licence issues. It seems that sometimes the cost of using the music costs more than putting out the DVD so the show owners replace the music with something generic.
All the episodes can also be viewed on the HULU website. “Muffy’s Bat Mitzvah” is one of my favorites, mainly because DEVO makes a guest appearance as the band at the party.