Monday, February 20, 2012

What I Learned from The Wonder Years

I’ve already officially put it out there. You know, that I watched a herculean amount of TV as a kid. (Always putting a positive spin on things, aren’t I?) So, what of it? I’m now looking back to figure out if anything good came of all those hours my eyes stayed glued to the TV.

And after a spell, drifting in and out of reverie I do believe I did learn a thing or two.

Remember Kevin Arnold from The Wonder Years? I do. Not only do I remember him, I was born with the same reflective gene he apparently had. He felt the need to revisit certain scenes of his life and evaluate their lasting impact. Uh, sound like anyone you know?

Seriously though, it was during this show when I breathed my first sigh of relief. The message getting through: I’m not the only one who treks down memory lane in hopes to glean something of value.

Another takeaway: You can come from the same two parents but be remarkably different. Karen, the hippie. Wayne, the older bully brother butthead. And Kevin, the over thinker. Boy, did I relate to Kevin.
In our family we had our own breakfast club. If my three sisters and I had to slap labels on, we’d have been the brain, the rebel, the athlete, and the comedian (yes, I’m the baby and yes, my family found me quite funny…good thing someone did). Another sigh of relief. Message received: I’m not the only one with family members starkly different than me.

One particular episode of The Wonder Years conjures up a powerful lesson. Kevin’s neighbor is killed in the war (if memory serves, I believe Winnie’s older brother is the one who dies). His death shakes up the neighborhood, bringing the reality of war from their black and white TVs into their personal lives. Message communicated: Neighbors matter. (More on this at a later time. We’ve been going through our own share of neighborhood upheaval lately.)

Finally, The Wonder Years taught me not to give up. Hey, it happened for Kevin & Winnie, didn’t it?

Remember this show? Did you watch it? Why do you think it became so well-liked?

*All “I”s on a dear friend on my FB writer page today!


  1. I totally watched this show! We watched it as a family. This post is making me all nostalgic!

    I'm an overthinker right with you and Kevin, Wendy. :)

  2. I loved Wonder Years. I remember my mom talking about how much it reminded her of growing up and I think we all can relate to the show because it dealt with family life, even back that far! Same issues, different times.

    I miss that show!

  3. The Wonder Years had such a relatability factor. You watch that opening and it can be your own home movies. For me, that's what I like in stories too, that sense of reality.

  4. I didn't watch The Wonder Years, but now I'm tempted to find a dvd set! :)

  5. I remember watching it, and have vague memories of it, but I think it was when I was pretty young. I can definitely relate to the idea that kids from the same family can be starkly different. My brother and I are complete opposites!

    Loved the creativity in this post (and all your posts, for that matter!).

  6. I didn't watch the Wonder Years, either. I was a Brady Bunch fanatic. TV shows can offer great life lessons. I'm now curious to hear about your neighborhood happenings...

  7. I vaguely remember watching this so I don't remember any life lessons. But you can find a good lesson in just about anything if you look hard enough :)

  8. I did watch this show with my kids. It touched a lot of generations all at once.

  9. The Wonder Years? Yes! Loved it.

    I love that you're a deep thinker, Wendy. You challenge me to look at the world in new ways, which is way cool. Keep on thinking deeply, my friend.

  10. I remember the Wonder Years, but apparently you paid more attention to it than I did! lol...Maybe I can find some episodes to watch with my kids and listen for lessons and ispiration :)

    Happy Monday!

  11. There were years of my childhood when I avoided most tv shows. My family watched it though! I always thought Winnie was so pretty. :)

  12. I remember watching a few episodes of the wonder years and thinking how funny it was that all his thoughts were out loud. {at least I think that's the}

  13. I don't remember watching this show much, BUT I have a really fun related story. :)

    My hubby and I were visiting friends in L.A. several years ago, and they took us out to this famous diner in Beverly Hills. I ordered a cheese sandwich and tomato soup, thinking comfort food sounded perfect. My friend did the same.

    The waitress brought out our plates and lo and behold, a cheese sandwich really is a cheese sandwich (i.e., not a grilled cheese). Think nine (yes, we counted them) slices of cold cheese stacked on top of each other between two untoasted pieces of bread. So what did we do? We started giggling. Like, out of control, pee-your-pants giggling.

    And then we heard this voice that sounded familiar in the booth behind us. Who was it? None other than Fred Savage himself...No kidding! He was laughing along with us.

    So needless to say, I'll never view The Wonder Years the same again. :)

  14. I loved Winnie! That was a great show.

  15. We watched TWY when I was a kid- I had the hugest crush on Fred Savage. No NKOTB for me!

  16. Katie, It's a fun club. And we watched it as a family too. Memories!

    Jessica, I remember that they always had the news on their TV. My dad loved keeping the news on 24/7 when he was here.

    Joanne, That's what I think--it's so relatable. And Kevin was refreshingly vulnerable.

    Melissa, I liked the dynamics of the show and its characters. Worth watching the repeats somewhere, somehow.

    Lindsay, Thank you! Yep, siblings--aren't we such a conundrum? The whole lot of us? ;)

    Oh Donna, It's been a time. I wish I were at a place to share more, but I'm still absorbing and working through my feelings about the chaos. Someday.

    Cindy, Truth!

    Loree, Yep, it was good like that. Had that span ability.

    Keli, Thanks & I'm afraid even if I tried to chill out those deeper thoughts they'd find a way to haunt me in my dreams. ;)

    Happy Monday to you, Shelly! And yeah, I kind of dig until I hit water.

    Jill, I remember wanting to be admired like Winnie was. I wanted some boy to feel that strongly about me.

    Melanie, Yes! Sometimes I make the altogether awkward mistake of expressing some of my thoughts *out loud*.

    Sarah, Did you tell me this? Yes, on the phone. Now I remember. I swear I'm getting to know you pretty well! Loved seeing you around the net today! Fun interviews!

    Julie, She was rather likable.

    Kelly, Oh that's too good. A crush on Kevin. Classic.

    Thanks for skipping down memory lane with me. It's nice not to skip alone sometimes.

    I enjoy this blogging gig and it always seems to go better...

    with a little help from my friends!

    ~ Wendy

  17. I didn't watch The Wonder Years, but I totally get the concept of family members having assigned roles ... and knowing what mine was, whether I wanted it or not.

    The question is: Who assigns those roles, anyways?

  18. I didn't watch it on a regular basis, but I loved the family dynamics of it. We really need to celebrate everyone's uniqueness.

  19. I watched it and loved Fred Savage! (He was a little young for me to have a crush...) I remember such poignant moments in that show--and that's rare for me because I didn't watch that much TV when I was young.

    Enjoyed our talk today!


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