'Thirtysomething' arrives twentysomething years later on DVD
Thirtysomething, the TV series that essentially drove a stake through the heart of '80s teen angst, has finally arrived on DVD. (Retail price for Season 1 is $59.99, but sales are out there.)
Why does it sooo long for the DVD industry to crank out these collections? Seriously? We thought we'd be sixtysomething before this Peter Horton/Timothy Busfield/Tim Olin star vehicle hit store racks.
Still, I've never been really sure who the audience is for this particular show. For teens coming of age in the '80s, the show gave us nothing. We were still enjoying the bright shiny storylines of John Hughes: some heartbreak mixed in with short-lived confusion over the future and powered by a killer soundtrack. Thirtysomething was adult TV at a time when my generation wanted a realistic prom story.
The idea of being sympathetic to Yuppies coping with bratty kids, lousy jobs and -- seriously I never watched it ... I have no idea what it was about -- is completely foreign to us. Give us this same series in the '90s and we would have eaten it up. In the '80s, we don't want "real life" mixed in with our TV and movies.
My best guess: Thirtysomething was a show for creepy Uncle Stu, who had contemplating a hunger strike ever since Love Boat went off the air. (Alas, poor Stu was hypoglycemic, so Gopher and Doc were out of luck.)
Thirtysomething lasted four seasons and won a slew of Emmy Awards during its run. Busfield ("Poindexter" in Revenge of the Nerds) would go to do movies and take a supporting role in The West Wing. Olin is more behind the camera these days as a director (Alias, Judging Amy, Freaks and Geeks) than as an actor. And Horton ... well, we loved him in Singles and Side Out.
"In this market there are so many choices to have something to stand out," Horton told the AP this week, "like, 'I'm a mother, but I sell pot,' or 'I'm a father but I'm a meth dealer.' There's always a 'but' attached to a plot. Thirtysomething was just about people in their 30s."
TOP 5 WHINIEST LINES FROM THIRTYSOMETHING:
5. "I think I Love Lucy's overrated."
4. "I didn't know there was a Hallmark card for this kind of thing."
3. "Michael's cute and all, but how much fun can it be sitting at home watching him sulk night after night?"
2. "Even Hemingway wasn't good at being Hemingway."
1. "I think I'm missing the relationship chromosome."