What Happens To A DVD Deferred?: A Tale Of Curiosity And Frustration : Monkey See A very sad story about DVD purchases, old television, and Richard Lewis' hair.
NPR logo What Happens To A DVD Deferred?: A Tale Of Curiosity And Frustration

What Happens To A DVD Deferred?: A Tale Of Curiosity And Frustration

Remember this show? Yeah, I didn't think so. hide caption

toggle caption

Here's my advice digging up old shows you used to like that have been released on DVD: it's very important to make sure the entire run is available. To support my advice, I have a little holiday story. (Hey, news is still slow.)

You know how you have a list of things you liked that nobody else cared about at all? One of mine was the romantic comedy sitcom Anything But Love, which starred Jamie Lee Curtis (!) and Richard Lewis (!!!) (wait: actually, "!!!!!") as magazine writers and best friends who blah blah blah maybe dating blah blah flirting and so forth. Perhaps you remember it. Oh, wait — you probably don't. (I'll have you know it received an Emmy nomination for Best Hairstyling, and if you know what Richard Lewis looked like in those days, you will not be surprised.)

I wish I could tell you that this show was a secret gem; an obscure early effort from someone who went on to greatness. It really wasn't. I just ... liked it 20 years ago, and out of pure nostalgia, I popped the first volume of it on DVD onto a wish list at some point, and this Christmas, I finally got it.

Things go horribly awry, after the jump.

Our first source of amusement was that there are actually 28 episodes in the first volume — six from an abbreviated run in the spring of 1989, and then a full 1989-90 season. As soon as we started watching it, I found myself baffled by the fact that so little of it seemed familiar. "Who's the blonde lady?" I asked my sister. "I don't remember this boss at all. Wait, she lives with her dad?"

And then, after six episodes: the incredibly obvious network revamp. New boss. No more blonde lady. No more living with Dad. New best friend. New apartment. They still revamp shows now, but it's been a long time since I've seen most of the supporting cast jettisoned after several episodes have already aired, with new main characters appearing out of absolutely nowhere. (It's basically as if, after the first six episodes of The Office, Michael, Jim and Pam had all left and gone to a different company with all new co-workers, and Jim had suddenly had a wacky best friend, and Pam suddenly was living with her sister, and oh yes, Michael was a now priest.)

So we sat and watched the first season (what? we're on vacation), which ends with a sort of relationship-based cliffhanger. And then — nothing. And you can't buy more seasons, naturally, because no one cares about this silly show except for me, quite rightly, and so I will never see how it is resolved. Never. I am hanging ... from the cliff ... for all eternity.

I mean, I know what happened, because I saw it 20 years ago, but now it's going to drive me crazy.

So I'm just saying, be cautious about allowing your nostalgia to overtake you. And, as a special bonus, please enjoy this ABC promo from the fall of 1989.