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Life Goes On (ABC 1989-1993, Bill Smitrovich, Patti Lupone)

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Life Goes On was an earnest family drama with an unusual plot hook: it was the first television series to revolve around a mentally handicapped character, Corky (portrayed by Christopher Burke, who had Down’s Syndrome in real life). The show chronicled the lives of Corky and his family as he tried to make the transition from special education classes to become a freshman at a traditional high school.

Corky’s parents were restaurant owner Drew and ad exec/former singer Libby (Broadway star Patti LuPone). Corky also had a sister, 14 year-old Becca, and a stepsister, Paige, who returned home after dropping out of college.

Stories focused on the travails of the family’s daily life such as Corky’s ongoing struggle to be accepted as normal by his new classmates, Becca’s attempts to resolve her desire to popular with her responsibility to look out for Corky, and Libby’s discovering she was pregnant at the age of 41.

Later additions to the show would include Gina, Libby’s younger sister, who arrived to help run the house when Libby became pregnant, and Zoe, Gina’s daughter. Another important addition to the show arrived in the form of Jesse McKenna, an HIV-positive student who became good friends with Becca.

The show was telecast for four seasons on ABC and ended its run in August of 1993 after 83 episodes. It was successful with families and critics alike for its emphasis on positive family values and its responsible handling of social issues like AIDS. It also won several awards, including an Emmy for Christopher Burke’s portrayal of Corky.

The show’s theme song was the classic Beatles tune “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” (whose lyrics lent the show its title) and was performed by Patti LuPone and the cast. Their family singalong over the opening credits was a perfect encapsulation of the show and the lives it portrayed—energetic, free-spirited, imperfect but filled with the joy in knowing that life does, indeed go on.

production details
USA / ABC – Warner Bros. TV – The Toots Company / 83×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 12 September 1989 – 29 August 1993

cast
Bill Smitrovich as Drew Thatcher
Patti LuPone as Elizabeth “Libby” Thatcher
Chris Burke as Charles “Corky” Thatcher
Kellie Martin as Rebecca “Becca” Thatcher
Monique Lanier as Paige Thatcher (1989-90)
Tracey Needham as Paige Thatcher (1990-93)
Chad Lowe as Jesse McKenna (1991-93)
Tommy Puett as Tyler Benchfield (1989-91)
David Byrd as Hans (1990-91)
Tanya Fenmore as Maxie (1989-91)
Mary Page Keller as Gina (1990-91)
Leigh Ann Orsi as Zoe (1990-91)
Kiersten Warren as Goodman (1992-93)
Ray Buktenica as Jerry Berkson

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TV

Clochemerle (BBC-2 1972, Cyril Cusack, Roy Dotrice)

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Clochmerle BBC 1972

Period sitcom, based on a novel by Gabriel Chevallier that was adapted by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, that saw the French villagers of Clochemerle kick up a fuss over plans to install a new toilet.

cast
CYRIL CUSACK as Major Piechut
ROY DOTRICE as Ponosse
KENNETH GRIFFITH as Ernest Tafardel
WENDY HILLER as Justine Putet
HUGH GRIFFITH as Alexandre Bourdillat
BERNARD BRESSLAW as Nicholas the Beadle
MADELINE SMITH as Hortase Girodet
GEORGINA MOON as Rose Biraque
PETER USTINOV as Narrator

crew details
Writers: Ray Galton, Alan Simpson
Novel: Gabriel Chevallier
Producer: Michael Mills

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC Two – Bavaria
Duration: 9×30 minute episodes
Aired From: 18 February – 14 April 1972 Fridays at 10.05pm

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TV

Clairvoyant, The (BBC-2 1986, Roy Kinnear, Sandra Dickinson)

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BBC 2 Logo

In Roy Clarke penned sitcom The Clairvoyant used car salesman Arnold Bristow is knocked down in a car accident and suddenly finds himself with psychic powers – or so he believes. There was a pilot broadcast 27 Nov 1984.

cast
ROY KINNEAR as Arnold Bristow
SANDRA DICKINSON as Lily
HUGH LLOYD as Burma
SHAUN CURRY as Newton
GLYNIS BROOKS as Dawn
CARMEL CRYAN as Carmen

crew details
Writer: Roy Clarke
Producer and Director: Alan J.W. Bell

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC-2
Duration: 6×30 minute episodes
Aired From: Pilot – 27 November 1984 and Series – 15 May – 19 June 1986

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TV

Christmas Princess (UP 2017, Nicole Munoz, Zak Santiago)

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Christmas Princess Nicole Munoz

Christmas Princess is the true story of Donaly Marquez who, through a childhood of neglect and abuse, achieved her dream of becoming a rose bowl princess. An inspirational story of resilience, strength and finding a family to call your own.

cast
Nicole Muñoz as Donaly Marquez
Rosa Blasi as Sara
Zak Santiago as Ignacio Marquez
Olivia Steele Falconer as Emily Marquez
Jaedon Siewert as Abraham Marquez
Lina Renna as Young Donaly
Paloma Kwiatkowski as Chloe
Ty Wood as Trent
Pendo Muema as Monique
Kalyn Miles as Maria
Kaaren de Zilva as Roberta
Garfield Wilson as Dr. Miller
Clay St. Thomas as Judge #1
Patti Allan as Judge #2
Natalie von Rotsburg as Judge #3

crew details
Director: Allan Harmon
Writer: Tracy Andreen

production details
Country: Canada
Network and Production Companies: UP
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 10 December 2017

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