Monday, October 20, 2008

Ranking The Facts Of Life Characters

The Facts of Life was a staple of my boring Saturday nights watching TV. I also recall this show being in syndication in the afternoon so I caught a lot of this in the summer time as well. In any event, it was a spin off of Different Strokes (how awesome is that) and it featured one of my favorite TV characters of all time...Mrs. Garrett. She was pretty cool for an older lady. Of course the students were pretty neat as well but as a 10 year old, I didn't understand much about weight problems, pregnancy scares, having a period, and even rape (all topics discussed on the show). Anyway, here's my fond memories of the various characters on this show.

5.) Blair

I never really got into Blair since she was sort of the pack leader / bitch of the group. As a kid, I never liked mean people and Blair seemed to be the meanest of them all. Of course she was pretty much the hottest character on the show but to my pre-pubescent eyes, that meant absolutely nothing to me. She still looks pretty good today although the actress that plays her is sort of like Kirk Cameron in that she promotes religion more than anything else today. I never noticed that huge jug of tobasco sauce until just now. She might be moving up the rankings. That's pretty hot...

4.) Natalie

Natalie was the stereotypical "heavy" character on this show. She actually lost weight as the show went on and grew into her face. If I remember right, her character was adopted so that meant several "very special" episodes dealing with that matter. Oddly enough I'll never forget the actresses name, Mindy Cohn, because she was always on the celebrity game show "Hollywood Squares".

3.) Tootie

Tootie pretty much grew up in front of my eyes as she was the youngest actress on the show. She always seemed to have braces or roller skates and was the one who'd get into the most trouble. Kim Fields, the actress who played her, turned into a pretty good looking woman and she was on a Fox show who's name escapes me. Tootie also has to be one of the most random names ever for a TV show character (though "Boner" on Growing Pains is miles ahead number 1).

2.) Jo

Jo was the rebel on the show and who can forget the moment in every opening credits where she removes her motorcycle helmet to reveal her pretty hair. I loved Jo because she was the one who'd crack jokes at Blair's expense and always seemed to dare to cross the line every episode. Sadly, I remember her being in a lot of bad TV movies in the 90's and haven't seen anything from her in years.

1.) Mrs. Garrett

I watched a lot of TV as a kid and the closest thing that I could identify to a TV grandmother was Mrs. Garrett. She was kind, warm hearted, and seemed to know how to have a good time. Of course I had two grandmothers growing up but if I could have a third grandmother, it would have been Mrs. Garrett. Of course Charlotte Rae left the show due to money and as a result, they completely revamped the show bringing in a pre-ER George Clooney, a pre Dancing With The Stars Cloris Leachman, and a pre-nothing MacKenzie Astin (son of Gomez Adams and brother to Frodo).

Honorable Mention:

1.) Geri

Geri was a friend of the girls who I believe had cerebral palsy. She was the first person I had ever seen (in real life or on TV) that had any kind of disability. I'll admit, I thought the slurred speech and jerky mannerisms were an act at first but then realized that the actress playing her actually REALLY had cerebral palsy. Anyway, I'm sure it was good for the actress that played her to have a recurring role on the show (she was a comedian in real life) and I obviously remember her to this day (maybe not for the most ideal reasons).

Anyway, here's the intro from Season 7. I choose this one because its one of the classic, "hey, our show's been on long enough to run a montage of our characters growing up throughout the course of many seasons!", type intros. I hope I don't put this song into your head the rest of today.

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