Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Proof Of STEP BY STEP Sleaziness

I asserted in an earlier post that Step By Step was the sleaziest "family" show ever. (By "family" show I mean shows that qualify as "family entertainment," not necessarily shows about families; there are shows like Roseanne that are about families but aren't supposed to be kid-friendly.) What I remember about that show is that while nobody ever got laid except the parents, and it always came down on the side of purity and virtue, every episode was filled with leering, sex jokes, anatomy jokes and assorted creepiness (Sasha Mitchell constantly hitting on his step-cousin). I'm told that late-period TGIF entry The Hughleys, which I never saw, was sleazier, but in the "golden age" of TGIF, Step trounces its competition for greatest number of moments that the parents'-group watchdogs inexplicably missed.

I couldn't find the examples I remember most on YouTube, but here's one fairly representative example: the youngest girl (Christine Lakin, The Hottie and the Nottie) decides to become an actress, so her brother signs her up for a commercial where girls pose in bathing suits for a sleazy director. Then it turns out it's a commercial for a sex hotline. I guess there's a pro-social message in there somewhere about not signing up for things without reading the fine print.



Or this fantasy sequence, helpfully subtitled in Norwegian Danish. Credit where it's due, though: "Take me upstairs and ravish me in a way that's romantic, yet appropriate for children during a family viewing hour" is more meta than I would have expected from this show. (Though no TGIF show can compare to Boy Meets World for meta jokes: when the hero's sister reappeared -- as a different actress -- after being forgotten for over a year, she said that she'd been sent to her room for "the longest time-out ever.")



Update: This isn't worth a separate post (and I'd probably be hunted down if I did a third Step By Step post ), but I was sent this other Christine Lakin clip, which seems to sum up the weird kiddie-porn vibe that this show so frequently gave off:



10 comments:

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

Okay, I know that I'm guilty of having watched television shows that undoubtedly define the concept of "vast wasteland"--but this odious piece of fromage lasted seven seasons? Oy and vey...

Chris L. said...

the youngest girl (Christine Lakin, The Hottie and the Nottie)

What does it say about an actress when her career arc includes "Step By Step" and a Paris Hilton movie? And was the movie a step up or a step down for her?

Anonymous said...

This is Danish, not Norwegian. (Sorry, language Nazi.)

Jaime J. Weinman said...

And was the movie a step up or a step down for her?

Oh, down, for sure. Being on a Miller-Boyett show doesn't hurt your career or your reputation as Tom Hanks, John Stamos, Jason Bateman et al can attest. With a Paris Hilton movie, on the other hand, you're that person who was in a Paris Hilton movie.

Thad said...

Oh my god if you ever post about the wasps on STEP BY STEP ever again, I will fucking keell you.

Your friend,
Thad

Jaime J. Weinman said...

Oh my god if you ever post about the wasps on STEP BY STEP ever again, I will fucking keell you.

Point taken. From now on it'll be nonstop Webster posts for all!

Thad said...

Well, let's not do things we'll regret... You post about a lot of stuff I hate, and that's fine... but that STEP BY STEP "I'm so excited" video was the first time I ever vomited in my mouth visiting this blog.

Jaime J. Weinman said...

That STEP BY STEP "I'm so excited" video was the first time I ever vomited in my mouth visiting this blog.

Well, I would hope so. It was, after all, a post about which was the worst "I'm So Excited" rendition in TV history. So I'll put you down as a vote for SBS.

So... no Webster posts, then? Fine. This is now the nonstop Punky Brewster blog, examining all aspects of the PB phenomenon, animated and live-action.

Thad said...

YOU JUST SPOILED MY WHOLE EVENING!!!!

Albert Giesbrecht said...

I actually enjoyed the Christine Lakin clip.

Hard to believe she just turned 30. My my!