Saturday. The perfect time to go to the Farmers Market. Maybe have a late morning cup of coffee on the porch. Have a picnic. If you're in Idaho, take a trip to the Western Idaho Fair. Perhaps meet up with friends for a drink. Or, if you select the smart option, you can settle in for a night of t.v. and watch Lifetime's The Unauthorized Full House Story.
That's right. After the success of The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story, Lifetime is bringing us a behind-the-scenes look at another television staple from the 1990's. This promises to be a television event that can finally bring closure to all the questions posed to us over the years. Questions like: Why did Bob Saget settle into this family sitcom after such a racy stand-up comedy career? Did Dave Coulier really piss off Alanis Morissette that badly in which she had to write songs about him? Should members of the Beach Boys been given "Special Guest Star" status on every episode, much like Heather Locklear was for Melrose Place?
This movie arrives just as most of the cast has reunited for the Netflix launch of Fuller House. That's right. The gang is back (sans the Olsen Twins). I don't really know why both of them would need to come back. The two of them played one character. Bring one of them back and call it good. It's not like they are off filming New York Minute Two: Electric Boogaloo.
Lifetime has shown a propensity to focus on the late 80's/early 90's so I have a pitch for their next project. It may seem a little out of the box but it fits the era perfectly. The drama is built right into this comedy that featured the perfect family that had three kids (later a fourth and eventually a fifth. Adoption!), a picket fence, and a character named Boner. That's right, I'm talking about Growing Pains.
There is enough material with Kirk Cameron, who played Mike Seaver, to probably take care of 1/2 of the movie. He went from teen heartthrob to deeply religious man, allegedly getting his character's girlfriend, a real life Playboy model (Julie McCullough) written out of story lines because of her prior work.
Drama behind the scenes is inherently built in when the star of the show is the teenager, not the two actors playing the parents who had worked their entire life to achieve steady work in sitcoms. The show was probably steeped in jealousy and plays for power when popularity of the show increased. In Lifetime's "Unauthorized" movies, that's simply how it goes.
Sure, much of the drama surrounding this cast took place long after the series ended. Cameron is a maker of Christian films and other religious propaganda. Tracey Gold, who played his sister Carol, has battled various health issues and run-ins with the law. Andrew Koenig, the actor who played Boner, unfortunately ended his life in 2010. At least Sam Anderson (Principal DeWitt) went on to appear on many television shows, including LOST.
Let's take it one step further. It is time to reboot Growing Pains. Let's see what those crazy Seaver kids are up to these days. Maybe they can all once again be living in the same house, with Mike Seaver living with his own family in the apartment above the garage. Or even better, the Seavers have now moved to California and are next door neighbors with Tanners of Fuller House.
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Jason, the Seavers wrapped up everything nicely in the 2004 movie Growing Pains: Return of the Seavers. There is no need to bring them back."
That was 11 years ago! It's time to see if the Seavers succeeded in everything they set out to accomplish. Nostalgia is at an all-time high and the time to bring back Growing Pains is now. Hop on the train before audiences give up on the past and start demanding new content.
Let's get Joanna Kerns, who played matriarch Maggie Seaver, back on the small screen. Jeremy Miller, younger brother Ben, could probably use the work. I know Ashley Johnson, youngest sister Chrissy, is a Joss Whedon player now but I'm sure she'd hop right back in the fold. I haven't seen this Leonardo DiCaprio fella, who played runaway/adopted son Luke, in ages so I'm sure he's available. The one trouble spot might be Alan Thicke, who played patriarch Jason Seaver, who is currently on a very successful reality show on the TV Guide Network (TVGN to the hip crowd) called Unusually Thicke.
Time to make this happen, world.
I will start working on the pilot episode of Still Growing: Pains immediately after this blog post is finished. After that, I will work on the script for The Unauthorized Growing Pains Story. Lifetime (or other network executives in case of the pilot) can contact me via my website: haskoy2j.wix.com/jason-haskins. I should have those scripts finished shortly, though I will be taking a break to watch The Unauthorized Full House Story later this evening.
Time to get writing. Until next time, world.