My 10 Favorite "Very Special Episodes" From My Youth
Growing up in the 80s/early 90s, my life was shaped by television sitcoms. Many of them at the time would have "Very Special Episodes", as they were usually referred to in promos. Here are my 10 favorites, in no particular order. And no, I didn't include the obvious Jessie Spano on caffeine pills!
- •Saved By The Bell: No Hope With DopeWhen movie star Johnny Dakota comes in to town, no one is more excited then Zack Morris. But when he finds out that Johnny smokes pot while preaching a drug-free life on a PSA that is being filmed at Bayside, Zack sees him as he really is. I especially love the PSA at the end, including the cameo by then NBC President Brandon Tartikoff.
- •Punky Brewster: Cherie LifesaverApparently, enough kids were dying in old refrigerators that the producers of Punky Brewster decided to make a special episode about it. As it turns out, all refrigerators made after 1958 have to be able to be opened from the inside. The refrigerator that Cherie get stuck in,however, is from the 1940s. Luckily, Punky had recently learned CPR in school and they caught her just in the nick of time. Punky saved her life and I learned not to play in old refrigerators.
- •Punky Brewster: Accidents HappenThis is a heartbreaking episode. It combines the tragedy of the Challenger explosion with a child losing innocence. Punky wanted to be an astronaut. Especially after she found out that a female teacher would be going into space on the Challenger. On that day, as many school kids attend, punky watched in horror as the Challenger exploded on live TV, killing all the astronauts. Yet Punky does not give into the fear. She announces to the class that she still wants to be an astronaut.
- •Full House: The Last DanceFull house was known to be a cheesy show. But, when uncle Jesse's grandpa, Papouli came to visit and died shortly after making quite the impression on Michelle, the show didn't cheese out. It handled his death in a very realistic way. There was crying, remembering the memories, and coping with it as a family. A lot of younger kids watch full house, and this was a good introduction into what happens when you lose someone you love.
- •Boy Meets World: If You Can't Be With The One You LoveCory breaks up with Topanga. Shawn is tired of hearing him mope about it. So Sean and Cory share a little bottle of whiskey to numb themselves. They then talk a stranger into buying them alcohol. They pee on the cop car. And, they get caught and brought home to Cory's parents. Cory gets in some trouble, but Shawn continues his bad ways for almost another week before "talking to a guy" and becoming sober.
- •Family Ties: Speed TrapAlex has too much schoolwork to do, and not enough waking hours. So, he turns to amphetamines. He gets some diet pills from Mallory, and he uses them to stay awake and do pretty well at school at first. He works the rest of the excess energy off cleaning and being overall crazy in the house. Eventually, his body can't handle it, he passes out, and oversleep's and Mrs. a very important scholarship test. He realizes that methamphetamines, although helpful, Kenneth ruin your life
- •Saved By The Bell: Pipe DreamsWhen oil is inexplicably found under the football field, a company owned by a rich Texan wants to drill and share the money with the school. Nobody wants a bigger and better beside more than Zack, but when there is a drilling accident and oil spills all over the pond right next to the field, problems arise. Becky, the duck that the class cared for before setting her into the wild was killed by the oil. Zack changed his mind and got the rest of the students to say no to drilling. Poor Becky
- •Dinosaurs: Steroids To HeavenRobbie feels like girls won't date him because he's not a jock. So he starts eating A dinosaur form of steroids. He does start to get bigger and stronger, but the steroids affect his behavior and make his life fall apart. Clearly, drugs are not the answer for this puppet
- •Mr. Belvedere: The CounselerIt always creeps me out when kids are used in these very special episodes. Just like on different strokes when there were child molestation episodes, this one is about a camp counselor who does a lot of strange things in order to see his 10-year-old campers inappropriately. The worst part about it, is that The 10-year-old kid doesn't know whether he should tell or not. Luckily, Mr. Belvedere was there to make sure he knew he was safe.
- •The Golden Girls: Sick and TiredThis episode single-handedly opened up a lot of peoples eyes to the fact that sometimes you can have a disease without being able to diagnose it. Dorothy had chronic fatigue syndrome. Most doctors just told her it was that time of the month or something like that, but she's sure that it's something else. She finally finds A doctor who explain to her what chronic fatigue syndrome is.