Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Replacements

Recently, as part of my apparent ongoing quest to waste time, I discovered that there are a ton of episodes of Sabrina the Teenage Witch on youtube. Do you guys remember that show? I loved it back in the day, although I really only liked the high school years. The college years, with no aunts or Harvey just didn't do anything for me.

Something I've noticed while re-watching these old episodes is that there was a replacement of best friends made every couple years that I find, frankly, unacceptable. First, Sabrina was best friends with Jenny, then with no notice, Jenny was out, and Valerie was in. Valerie was great, and definitely my favorite of the best friends. Then suddenly Valerie was out and Dreama was in! Dreama was no Valerie, people!

This got me thinking about other replacements that have been made in some of my favorite shows over the years. I think I need to talk this one out, so here are some of the replacements that stand out most in my memory, along with brief discussions about who I think was the better choice.

Jenny Kelly vs. Valerie Birkhead (Sabrina, TTW)
So, Jenny was fine I guess. She had really big hair which I can relate to, and she was open minded to the weirdness surrounding Sabrina. But I still think Valerie was a much better best friend. She was funnier and less annoying than Jenny. She was also much more like-able. I'm not even going to discuss Dreama, who was an awful replacement for Valerie. Boo!

Rudy vs. Olivia (The Cosby Show)
As if kids aren't self conscious enough when they hit puberty, the Cosby show sent a not-so-discreet message to poor Rudy that since she was no longer adorable, she'd need to be replaced. Cue Olivia. Based on the way I started this rant, you probably think I prefer Rudy. That's where you're wrong - I just feel bad for her. But who can deny the over-the-top cuteness of Olivia!? I approve of this replacement.

Sharona vs. Natalie (Monk)
For Monk fans, this is a sensitive subject. At the beginning of the show, Sharona played Monk's assistant, but due to some sort of contract negotiations gone bad, she was replaced with Natalie. This one was hard for me to get used to. Jason Evans, who always watches Monk with Katherine and me, claims that Natalie is way better and feels very passionately about this subject (and anyone who knows him knows how passionate he gets when arguing his point). I always thought that Sharona was a good fit for Mr. Monk, but I also like Natalie. This one's a toss up.

DJ's boyfriends: Stevarino vs. Viper and Nelson (Full House, duh)
Guys, I still miss Steve-a-rino. Remember him? He'd eat all of Mr. T (Tanner)'s food, he was on the wrestling team, and one time Michelle wanted to marry him. Why did he and DJ have to break up that one day when they went rock climbing? After Steve, DJ went through a series of bad boyfriend choices. Viper!? Come on, DJ. And Nelson!? Booooorring!! No one can compare to Steve. Sigh.

Now that I've revealed my embarrassing knowledge of Full House plot lines, I should probably move on. If there are any important replacements that I've forgotten to include, feel free to vent. Personally, I feel better having gotten that off my chest. And yes, I do feel a little bit embarrassed about watching so much tv.


Kathy said...

What was DJ thinking that day up on the mountain top? I mean, come on! Didn't she see Aladdin? Ugh....I think this subject has released some deeply stored emotions.

And don't forget about how Charles started with this family:

Then BAM! This new family moves in:

D said...

I think Natalie is better for Monk- she pushes him more in just the way he needs. When Sharona left I didn't think they could replace her. I was pleasantly surprised and now Sharona annoys me!

emily said...

But remember how Steve came back on the series finale or near the series finale to take DJ to prom. That made it all better.

I love Sabrina the Teenage Witch. The high school years were definitely the best, but I didn't mind the college years too much because her new boyfriend was none other then Vinnie (Blossom's boyfriend). Well, it wasn't techically Vinnie, of course, but the same guy. You know what I mean.

And speaking of, I just checked and Blossom starts coming out on DVD in January. Yay!

Sarah said...

The weirdest replacements are when the new person is supposed to be playing the same character. In Friends (of course), Ross' first ex-wife is played by someone else totally different in the first season, then the woman who plays that role enters somewhere along the way to replace her, and she's it for the next 8-9 years. Still, did they think we didn't notice? :)

Katherine said...

Man, I forgot about Charles in Charge's replacement family! That is one huge change there, folks! I agree with you, E, on your opinions about those replacements. I was T.O.ed at DJ when she broke up with Steve-a-rino. (I always pictured it as Steverino, but I'll go with your way.) I also agree with Emily about Sabrina's college years. I liked Josh and didn't even mind that dude she was engaged to, but was so happy that Harvey came back in the end! He HAD to! The Archie comics wouldn't let it be any other way.

Linda said...

I had also forgotten about "Charles in Charge". The new family was not nearly as funny or charming as the original. Natalie is much better for Monk because she genuinely seems to like him and doesn't roll her eyes and scoff the way Sharona did. And we won't even get into the two Darrens on "Bewitched"!

opticwalrus said...

Near the end of the "Ghostwriter" run they switched the actress who played Gabby, and the new Gabby drove me crazy! They even changed her age to make her younger. Also towards the end of the show they started phasing out Lenni, Tina, and Alejandro, the classic characters that were around from the beginning and started introducing dumb characters like Casey (Jamal's bratty little cousin) and Hector (the kid from Puerto Rico who was into jai alai). Plus, in the early mystery when Mr. Brinker (the dad from Alf) burned his store down, they added the kid who played Ben Seaver to the cast, but then we never saw him again and there was no explanation for his disappearance. At least they told us when Rob moved because his dad got transferred to Australia.

Any other Ghostwriter fans out there? RALLY B, Y'ALL!

Elizabeth Downie said...

Brian, I love your passion! I never saw that show, but it sounds incredibly frustrating.

Also, I'm glad you all reminded me about Charles in Charge. I think I blocked that one out.

Lisa said...

I was laughing pretty hard reading both this post and the comments (spying again), but I have to say you shouldn't be embarrassed at all by how much tv you watch, just by the shows you choose. : )

Sara said...

This is hilarious. I like Natalie better since she's a little more kind, but Sharona was good too. That's tough on the Cosby's. Rudy is way cuter, but Olivia was obviously better for laughs.

Liz said...

I hate when a show starts out with the kids in high school and then they send them to college. It's just never the same or as good.