You know that post I wrote defending The Facts of Life? Well, part of what inspired that was reading the first essay in a book called Tales of the Canned, Canceled, Downsized, and Dismissed, where people (most of whom are now wealthy and successful) recall the first time they got fired. The opening essay is by Andy Borowitz, and it's about his one unhappy season writing for The Facts of Life.
You can read Borowitz's essay here. It's a pretty funny piece, but when I read it, I found that it came off very differently than the author presumably intended. He obviously thinks he's writing a story about how depressing it is to be a funny guy working on a show you despise, and how pathetic the showrunners were for taking this crummy show so seriously and trying to pump it full of moral lessons.
Instead, to me, Borowitz comes off as kind of a jerk (in the story, the way he tells it, I mean; I have no judgment on what he's like in actual life). The way he tells the story, he takes a job on a show and then doesn't bother to learn how to write it, how to differentiate among the characters. While the two middle-aged women running the show (their names were Linda Marsh and Margie Peters, by the way) come off as sympathetic because they clearly care about the show and have a vision for what they want to accomplish, and are dealing with this young writer who doesn't care about fitting his work to the showrunner's vision (even though that's exactly what a TV writer is expected to do).
I'm not saying The Facts of Life was great or that the morals weren't heavy-handed. But it did have a certain integrity and the people running it obviously cared about it. And so, in reading about it, I side with the heavy-handed moralists running the show rather than the snarky young wise-ass who thinks he's above it all.