The family comedies of the eighties had very similar characteristics that have aged fatally both in terms of plots and in setting and costumes. One of the best examples of this genre was ‘My two parents’, a comedy with a rather bizarre premise that was used to justify a pre-adolescent coexistence in a loft with her two possible parents by court order.
In perspective, many names are discovered quite popular today such as a young Paul Reiser or a newcomer screenwriter Chuck Lorre (Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory) who got his first permanent job as a writer in this pleasant and sympathetic series for that strange family dynamic that would now have many other interpretations if it were the subject of an in-depth study with a current perspective.
File: Mis dos padres ( My Two Dads) 60 ep ( 3T) 20 m Sep 1987-may 1990 Chain: NBC (USA) / Autonomous (E)
Synopsis: Nicole Bradford is a twelve-year-old girl who has been orphaned after the death of her mother Marcy, who died without knowing who the girl’s father was. The mother had two possible candidates after a crazy summer in Key West, stipulating that double possibility in her will.
The judge in charge of custody, decides that both possible parents, old friends now estranged, have joint custody of the girl, getting both to agree to move to a spacious loft in a building owned by the judge, so that the three can form a new family.
Nicole’s adaptation to her two new parents and her new life in New York is compounded by the continuing bickering between two old friends, Michael, a successful financial advisor, and Joey, a failed aspiring artist with their conflicting visions of how to raise that one. daughter who has fallen from the sky.
The beggining: Michael Jacobs was a screenwriter who began to have some success in the early eighties with modest comedies like ‘Charles in Charge’ or ‘Together we Stand’ that lasted two or three seasons on the air. When looking for a new project, he fell into an idea from Danielle Alexandra, an aspiring screenwriter who outlined that idea of the girl who is suddenly forced to live with two potential parents.
Jacobs took the idea and developed it for a pilot with the help of a young screenwriter Chuck Lorre who just wanted to escape from the series of dolls and cartoons where he had been stuck for several years.
He did not have much trouble getting the pilot commission where they hired two actors with a certain popularity, Paul Reiser and Greg Evigan, to act as parents. The choice of the girl was much more complicated but they finally decided on a young Stacy Keanan for the pilot, of which you can see the following cut.
NBC bought the series, but decided to survey the market to see if they could find a better young actress for the best of Nicole, leaving Stacy Keanan in legal limbo for several months, while they looked for other possibilities. They finally decided to stay with her and began filming Q1 for its fall premiere.
The catchy header of the series with the song ‘You can count on me’ sung by its protagonist Greg Evigan was ideal to get into the subject.
Michael Jacobs continued to create quite a few series with hits like ‘Dinosaurs’, ‘Boy Meets World’ or its sequel ‘Girl Meets World’, almost always in the field of series with young protagonists.
The plot: ‘My two parents’ was a classic family sitcom and designed to please all members of the family, both young and old with that alluvial family formed on the basis of court order.
It is difficult to start a comedy with a family drama such as the death of the protagonist’s mother, but the truth is that they used it only as a starting point without getting too involved with the possible grief of the girl, who is also forced to live with two strangers, right from the start.
After accepting the skunk as a pet, ‘My two parents’ focused on all the possible mistakes in the relationship between those two supervening parents and that pre-adolescent who begins to say goodbye to her childhood with the beginning of her interest in boys that leads to in acts like their first date that have parents as turned on as Nicole.
The stories were of three kinds, in the first place the intergenerational between the two parents and Nicole, which went from greater to lesser importance as the seasons passed, to the detriment of Nicole’s youth with her group of friends who left. becoming the center of the last seasons, especially when replicating the story of his mother with two possible suitors who struggle to be able to date her.
The male stories between the two parents were always in the middle, although the tendency was to fight to see which was the more macho of the two in all aspects and of course in flirting with women as in this cut in which both bet on get a date with an attractive woman played by the tigress Morgan Fairchild.
It is never easy to raise and educate a daughter, but in this case the difficulties are greater, so on many occasions they see characters outside the family dynamics, such as the nosy judge and the owner of the nearest bar interfere in certain aspects of life. the girl’s education as you can see in the next cut.
‘My two parents’ worked thanks to the chemistry between the three protagonists and especially because of the naughty and savvy Nicole, who on many occasions seemed to educate her parents and not the other way around, looking for comical situations that ended up being resolved at the end of each episode without the blood reaching or leaving the wound.
Each episode presented some family mini-crisis with Nicole as the center of the problem but of a trifle that it was not difficult to guess where the resolution of the problem would come from, especially if there were boys in the middle.
Curiously, they never made known the true identity of Nicole’s father and despite doing DNA tests, they always found some excuse to destroy them or that only the judge knew without revealing the real parent to anyone, preferring the three protagonists to live in that limbo .
I have already commented on the evolution of Nicole’s teenage personal plots in ‘My Two Parents’ and the best example is in the header of its third season, where the cast has been expanded to include all of Nicole’s colleagues, where they go to recognize a beardless Giovanni Ribisi in his first important role.
Personally I remember it as a nice and sympathetic series but I have to admit that the eighties look has aged disastrously and both the sweaters and the hairstyles they wore produce more hilarity than the desire to imitate them today.
In my case, they broadcast it on TV3 at a time when they even dubbed the songs on the headlines, so to finish this section I invite you to see the ‘Pots comptar amb mi’, the Catalan version of the introduction of ‘Tinc dos pares ‘.
Actors: Paul Reiser was quite an amazing choice, mostly because he had started to have a good film career in super-blockbuster movies like ‘Super Detective in Hollywood’ or as the mega-villain of ‘Aliens’, so moving to a sitcom seemed like a step backwards in his career, but his quality as an actor defends any character and this time he was ideal as a financial advisor who does not know what to do with that possible daughter who has fallen from the sky.
Shortly after finishing ‘My Two Parents’, he landed the lead role in the comedy ‘Mad About You’ which was to earn him great popularity for eight seasons with several Emmy nominations and which has recently been the subject of a rather forgettable remake. He has continued working tirelessly until today where we have seen him recently in ‘Stranger Things’ or ‘The Kominsky method’.
Greg Evigan was one of the official hotties of the USA during the eighties with series like ‘BJ and the bear’ and ‘Masquerade’ designed so that he could wear the palm heart on many occasions.
Something more controlled was his character of Joey in ‘My two parents’ as a failed artist who tries to redeem himself by raising that girl the best he can, Evigan fulfilled his character but he was the worst actor of the trio and that was noticeable at all times.
Like many hotties, his star faded over the years and has ended up starring in numerous television series D and fantasy films.
The big reveal of the series was the young Staci Keanan, Anastasia Sagorsky’s stage name much less salable. She got the role after many auditions and on top of that she had to wait a few months to be hired beyond the pilot, but her patience paid off and the truth is that she was magnificent as that young pre-adolescent willing to play with the new cards that she has given her. life beyond the death of his mother, becoming an idol for many young women of the time.
After finishing, she linked this role with another great teenager for seven seasons as the eldest daughter of the large family of ‘Step by Step’, after which she decided to change course, study law and is currently serving as an assistant county prosecutor. from Los Angeles, a great career change.
Finally we have Florence Stanley who plays Judge Wilbur who caused all the mess and who, being the landlady of the main trio, had the perfect excuse to keep appearing and giving the tab whenever she wants.
Florence Stanley has always been an applied secondary all her career both before this character in ‘Barney Miller’ and later in ‘Nurses’ but she will always be remembered by this somewhat foul and quite peculiar judge.
The end : ‘My two parents’ had a good acceptance in its first season with quite respectable audiences who gave it a quick renovation, later on when the adolescent plots were first bled in favor of the more adult public and in the middle of the 3T they already decided to prepare a more or less worthy ending.
Although Michael Jacobs has always had a certain fondness for making explosive endings like the one he did in ‘Dinosaurs’ this time around, he controlled himself a lot, but I don’t hesitate to break up the family by sending a parent with an old love to San Francisco and leaving Nicole with the other parent and the judge, but always happy to have two parents, in a rather sweetened ending.
‘My two parents’ was a series that they surely had forgotten after seeing it on their regional television on duty, but as soon as they saw the characters or listened to the little song on the headboard, surely a little light has lit up in some remote part of the city. memory, so we are going to end this corner of the memory of each Friday with the trailer of its later compilation on DVD.
We await your opinions and comments, here or on our twitter account (@lmejino). Until next time