Thursday, August 9, 2018

“The Facts of Life”: You Take The Bad...

As The Facts of Life settled into its groove, the show sought to be more than just a mindless sitcom. Like other Norman Lear shows, social issues and controversial topics were frequently covered. Even episode one featured a storyline in which Blair insinuates that one of the other girls was a lesbian; a first for any American network show. Long before sex trafficking was on anyone’s radar, the show featured an episode in which Tootie was in danger of being prostituted.

Girls, girls, girls!

The topic of disabilities was covered with a memorable episode in which Blair’s cousin Geri pays a visit. While other shows depicted those with disabilities as saints who everyone loves, if they even depicted them, The Facts of Life  actually showed a more nuanced, realistic relationship between Cousin Geri and Blair. Blair was obviously embarrassed of Geri and the show depicted her struggle to accept a less than normal relative. Rather than sidestep the obvious, the show addressed it head-on.

As the years went on, however, the show had to come up with a way to keep these high schoolers together as they got older, went to college, etc. Midway through the show’s run, Mrs. Garrett setup her own shop- Edna’s Edibles, which sold various foodstuffs. Her girls helped her run the shop, which they all lived above.

Why, Mrs. Garrett- You sure know how to handle that sausage!

A disastrous fire forced them to rebuild; this time they opened up a shop that literally screamed ‘This is the 1980’s!’

What decade is this? The 1940’s?

A sad event would bring about the show’s biggest cast change since season two. Join us tomorrow as we wrap up our Facts of Life week.