• Small Wonder - Season Two



    Released by: Shout! Factory
    Released on: N/A
    Director: Various
    Cast: Dick Christie, Marla Pennington, Leslie H. Martinson
    Year: 1985
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    The Series:

    Vicki and the gang are back for Small Wonder – The Complete Second Season with more far fetched morals, corny robot humor and dated computer graphics than you’d think possible for only twenty-four half-hour episodes! The show’s sophomore season tackles such kid-related issues as smoking, first dates, and shoplifting amidst the day-to-day hilarity in each episode making for enjoyable thirty-minute bursts of fun. Small Wonder screams 80s with its afterschool special-style messages at the end of each episode, fascination with technology and focus on family humor. Thankfully, though stereotypes, they’re all good ones!

    For those of you new to the series, Vicki is a secret experimental girl robot invented by Ted Lawson. The laughs revolve around Ted, his wife Joan and their son Jamie… and, of course, Vicki. Add to the cast of characters, Harriet Brindle, the Lawsons’ nosey next door neighbor, and her parents Bonnie and Brandon Brindle. This show was also full of a lot of “Hey! I remember that kid!” actors.

    Episodes include:

    Chewed Out- Jamie and Reggie try smoking to fit in.

    Money, Money, Money- Jamie tries to impress Jessica with money. The money isn’t his though!

    My Mother The Teacher- Joan becomes a substitute teacher at Jamie’s school and Vicki joins the class!

    Here Comes The Judge- Jamie’s class learns about the legal system by putting the students on trial.

    Home Sweet Homeless- Jamie and Vicki invite a homeless man to stay with them.

    Crazy Like a Fox- Jamie is tricked into a bad deal and learns the value of a dollar.

    The Older Woman- Jamie pretends to be interested in Harriet to get to her older, prettier, cousin.

    Who’s the Boss?-Jamie imagines what it would be like if Ted, Joan and Vicki were all his robots!

    P-P-P Paula- Vicki tutors one of Jamie’s classmates struggling with a speech impediment.

    You Gotta Have Heart- After watching The Wizard of Oz, Vicki longs for a heart.

    The Shoplifter- Vicki gets caught up in shoplifting.

    Thanksgiving Story- Jamie learns the value of family after trying to lie his way onto a trip for latchkey kids.

    Neighborhood Watch- After the Lawsons are robbed, they start up a Neighborhood Watch.

    Movin’ Up- Ted is offered a promotion, which means moving, much to Jamie and Joan’s dismay.

    Top Secret- Ted makes his job out to be more exciting than it is when Jamie’s friends tell him his dad is just a “button pusher.”

    The Personality Kid- The kids at Jamie’s school decide Vicki has no “personality” so Jamie programs her one.

    Matchmaker, Matchmaker- Jamie starts a computer dating service to make money. Look out match.com!

    Little Miss Shopping Mall- Joan enters Vicki in a mall beauty contest, competing with… Harriet.

    Victor/Vicki-toria- With the start of little league season, Jamie must find a way to make use of Vicki’s pitching skills!

    Look Into My Eyes- After watching a hypnotist on television, Vicki learns how to control people’s minds.

    Wally the Wimp- GUEST STAR JESSE “THE BODY” VENTURA. Nuff said.

    The Cat’s Meow- Ted brings home a robot cat for Vicki to play with, but Vicki seems to feel one robot in the house is enough. Vicki displays her first human emotion… jealousy!

    Vicki Goodwrench- Instead of getting a summer job for himself, he gets a job for himself and Vicki so she can do all the work and he can get all the money.

    Double Wedding- Ted and Joan decided to renew their wedding vows.

    Highlight episodes include Chewed Out for “cheese-value”… I mean… Jamie starts smoking to fit in, but Peter, one of the older kids at school tells him smoking isn’t “in” anymore and all the cool kids now use chewing tobacco. By the end of the episode (only days later…) Peter is diagnosed with mouth cancer. Who’s The Boss? is a lot of goofy fun seeing Ted and Joan dressed as Vicki and acting like robots for the majority of the episode. Look Into My Eyes is a wonderful showcase of the awesomely horrid computer effects Small Wonder overflows with. Throughout the series, look for lasers shooting from Vicki’s eyes, tears like a waterfall shooting across the screen, and of course, with Vicki’s super strength, lots of feats of impossible strength. Wally the Wimp is, of course, the best of the season, simply for Jesse Ventura’s role which is a guest starring role, playing himself, not just a cameo appearance. This was his first acting job outside of the realm of wrestling, shortly before his noteworthy role in Predator. For Small Wonder, a show which mostly appealed to girls under the age of twelve, a wrestler was a strange choice as a guest star. Still… wrestling was huge at the time and wrestlers were popping up everywhere. Small Wonder was definitely a product of its time.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Small Wonder is presented in its original 1:33:1 full frame format. Picture quality is okay with occasional fluttering (justified by a message at the beginning of the discs, stating that the transfers were taken from the best source available) and the effects are as cheesy now as they weren’t back then!

    English language track only, no subtitles. No noticeable hissing or sound distortion. Dolby Digital 2.0. Pretty much what you’d expect.

    Extras on this four-disc set are pretty non-existent with only a fan-created coloring sheet that you can load onto your computer and print out. Somehow it would have been more respectable to be bare bones.

    The Final Word:

    Small Wonder – The Complete Second Season brings us more laughs and lessons with the Lawson Family. The show continues with the originality and humor we enjoyed in the first season without a feeling of having run its course…. that usually sets in season three or four. For now though, all good.