Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Last Starfighter's Life Goes On

I know that you know that I have an addictive personality.. But did you know that it started in my teen years with the television show "Life Goes On"? You remember it. The one about the boy with downsyndrome. Corky. And the girls (as I like to call them) nerdy sister becca and beautiful sister Paige?

I was obsessed with this TV show. Every sunday night, like clockwork, I made my family watch it...because I needed to see Patti Lupone singing in the voice of Evita and Corky's cute attempts at "sleeping" with his first DS girlfriend and of course the endless string of lame love interests for the girls including Tyler the kind gentle popular football hero who just would. not. go. away.

But the extent of my delusional obsession came to a head when the girls finally got boyfriends that I could really rally behind...I mean, Tyler was nice to Corky and all that, but that hair...BLECH. Enter moody, HIV positive Jesse McKenna played to fever pitch, earring-ed rebel perfection by Chad Lowe (brother of Rob).

He was a loner. Life dealt him a bum hand and he was angry at the world. It seemed that only the love of a smart, bespecled teenage girl could help him feel safe again.

And then there was Michael Romanov. Tortured artist. Scraggly bearded secret lover of betrothed but unhappy Paige played by none other than The Last Starfighter, Lance Guest. Here he is a bit younger, but the picture captures his hair...his glorious tangly tangly hair. Hi.

I think I can nail my current love of curly brown haired men down to my first encounter with a V. C. Andrews series (Heaven? I don't remember, I sadly devoured them all at a debaucherously young age) in which the protagonist was a thin, tall, long tapered fingered tortured musician. A melancholy pianist who was wealthy and tortured by his art. Tortured, with curly brown hair and artistic fingers and probably even a little bit on the pale side, like he needed more vitamin D. Did I mention the tortured artist part? And of course, only the love of a secretely adopted, bespecled, smart, damaged beauty could save him.

But I Lance Guest as Michael Romanov stole my heart away along with Paige's and I couldn't bear to miss an episode. What if this was the one? The one where Becca kisses Jesse, AIDS be damned! What if this is the one where Paige and Michael run off in their dangerously tortured artistic overalls clasping artistic hands?

Well, it's been over 15 years since the last episode aired. And the times they have-a-changed. Jesse married and divorced Hilary Swank, worked through a drug problem and didn't die of AIDS. Becca did a bunch of made for TV movies and changed her name to Christy (starring opposite ANOTHER teenage movie crush, Stan Bobrucz, FOR KEEPS?). And Michael Romanov...well....I think we all know what he needs now, don't we...


D'Arcy said...

I went and saw Patti in Gypsy in NY last month and I was with someone who DID NOT know who she was! DID NOT know Life Goes ON!?!!!!!

I was addicted to it as well, and the catchy Ob-la-di beginning, it got me excited everytime.

Seeing your 8th grade photo ALMOST makes me want brave enough to post MINE, but I still have you beat. Imagine me with your glasses, but instead of your hip 90s hair, imagine me with a short, cropped, permed, raggedy Andy haircut...and there you have it folks.

I love that I can follow all your pop culture. And I was obsessed with For Keeps because it was the first time I had seen a movie where a GIRL actually had my name, even if it was Molly.

And I kept track of Becca, watched her little Christy series and then even tuned into ER when she was on it and got brutally murdered...and I don't think we have seen her in anything since.

But Patty is a live and kicking and just won the Tony. she deserved it, that lady is AMAZING!

Marianne & Clayton said...

Patti Lupone? (I love her the most in Candide) The Last Starfighter? What happy happy memories! I love that we had basically the exact same upbringing complete with awesome eighties shows and crushes. Reading your memory posts is like reading the diary I never kept. Tell me, did you watch Star Man with Jeff Bridges too? Flight of the Navigator?

carrie said...

heehee - i. got. no. words. just. smiles. Ü

Saule Cogneur said...

My mom and sisters were religious viewers of Life Goes On too. In my mind the show is split into the "Tyler" era and the "Jesse" era. I always liked Jesse more too. For your part, I'd say you turned out better than everyone.

Marie said...

Well, if he doesn't need it, I do. Come back for Halloween! I'm tired of being your internet girlfriend, and I want to DTR. (And while you're here, you can dream up a really funny costume for me...)