Jump to content

The Facts of Life


  • Please log in to reply

1697 replies to this topic

#901

bitey

bitey

    Couch Potato

Posted Feb 26, 2008 @ 2:18 PM

I always favored Natalie. She did the comedy easily, but also thought she handled the few dramatic scenes well.


And the thing with Mindy Cohn is that she went into the show with absolutely no acting experience. She was "discovered" at her school when some people from the show paid a visit to do research or something, and they decided she would be perfect for the show and created the role for her. You could tell she was pretty new at it in the first season, but she picked things up quickly. She was a natural and I was always kind of disappointed that she didn't have a bigger career after FoL.
  • 0

#902

msrayrudd

msrayrudd

    Fanatic

Posted Feb 26, 2008 @ 2:19 PM

For me, it was the third season when Tootie crossed over. I still liked her in the early Jo episodes, though she could certainly be annoying, but by the third season she was consistently overacting. I think one of my fave Tootie episodes is the one where Jo arrives, she's still cute and funny.

I can agree with this. Most of the really annoying Tootie episodes were from the third season on. The season two episode I had in mind was the dance contest one where she is questioning her identity. Kim had some really hammy overacting moments in that one. But I agree I thought she still fell on the side of cuteness in the S2 opener. I liked her playing off Arnold's advances.

Natalie, or Mindy I should say, handled the drama well, but more so after the first few seasons. She was painfully bad after she got attacked in Season 3, but that was the only really cringeworthy moment I remember from her over the years. I agree she played the stuff with her dad dying rather well and was especially impressive considering she came into the show with no experience. The other 3 were seasoned veterans compared to her.

Edited by msrayrudd, Feb 26, 2008 @ 2:21 PM.

  • 0

#903

GeoBQn

GeoBQn

    Fanatic

Posted Feb 26, 2008 @ 2:23 PM

Tootie was particularly obnoxious in Growing Pains, when she whines, "Mrs. Garrett, tell the others to stop treating me like a baby!" I love it when Jo tells her to quit whining and Tootie whines, "I'm not whining!" There should be a word (probably German) for when someone denies doing something even as they are still doing it.
  • 0

#904

Triptik

Triptik

    Video Archivist

Posted Feb 26, 2008 @ 2:29 PM

And the thing with Mindy Cohn is that she went into the show with absolutely no acting experience. She was "discovered" at her school when some people from the show paid a visit to do research or something, and they decided she would be perfect for the show and created the role for her.


I think I remember now hearing this way back, but had completely forgotten it.

Natalie, or Mindy I should say, handled the drama well, but more so after the first few seasons.


I think all three of the ones from the first season who went on to become regulars improved tremendously. To me, that first season always felt more like they were performing a play. And not a very good one.
  • 0

#905

samizdat5

samizdat5

    Couch Potato

Posted Feb 27, 2008 @ 7:46 AM

Wasn't it Charlotte Rae herself who discovered Mindy? I thought I read that somewhere.
  • 0

#906

msrayrudd

msrayrudd

    Fanatic

Posted Feb 27, 2008 @ 8:21 AM

I never know how much of the "discovered" stories are true, but yes, Charlotte claims she found Mindy. She was supposedly on the scouting trip at the prep school along with producers.

Nancy was supposedly discovered for the show by Brandon Tartikoff based on this Hallmark commercial, but I'm not sure how true that story is either. Granted she had already been on several tv shows at that point, so not quite the same thing.

Though I find that commercial oddly creepy.
  • 0

#907

txhorns79

txhorns79

    Stalker

Posted Feb 27, 2008 @ 9:21 AM

I agree she played the stuff with her dad dying rather well and was especially impressive considering she came into the show with no experience. The other 3 were seasoned veterans compared to her.

I swear I remember her doing an interview where she talks about how when she first started Kim Fields explained a lot of how things worked to her (i.e. standing on her mark, not looking at the camera), and that she felt very out of sorts because she had no idea what she was doing.

To me, that first season always felt more like they were performing a play. And not a very good one.

Isn't that the truth? Every episode was like a badly written mini-morality tale where the girls learned the dangers of various issues (Sue Ann and over-dieting, Blair having a mom who sleeps around, Cindy and lesbianism, etc.). Though I will always be amused by Mrs. Garrett citing to Billie Jean King as an example of how a woman could be an athlete and not be "strange" in Blair's parlance.
  • 0

#908

bitey

bitey

    Couch Potato

Posted Feb 27, 2008 @ 5:49 PM

I swear I remember her doing an interview where she talks about how when she first started Kim Fields explained a lot of how things worked to her (i.e. standing on her mark, not looking at the camera), and that she felt very out of sorts because she had no idea what she was doing.


I remember that too- she said Kim took her under her wing and showed her what she needed to do. I remember Lisa saying that Mindy used to laugh after all of her lines and they'd have to keep asking her to stop doing it. Poor Mindy! I can't imagine being 13 or 14 years old and being thrown into that kind of job without prior experience with a bunch of other girls who are all used to it already.
  • 0

#909

Charlotte

Charlotte

    Fanatic

Posted Feb 27, 2008 @ 6:59 PM

I swear I remember her doing an interview where she talks about how when she first started Kim Fields explained a lot of how things worked to her (i.e. standing on her mark, not looking at the camera), and that she felt very out of sorts because she had no idea what she was doing.

I could be misremembering this, but isn't that interview on the Season 1 DVD?
  • 0

#910

SnarkySheep

SnarkySheep

    Fanatic

Posted Mar 2, 2008 @ 7:57 PM

Yes, I remember hearing when the Season 1/2 box set came out that the writers and producers had taken a tour of various girls' boarding schools across the country, trying to get a more realistic feel for what the environment was really like. Mindy was a student at one of them, whose duty it was to show them around, and they were charmed by her.

I can't speak for anyone else, but IMO, the first season is just plain unwatchable. There were just too many characters to get a distinct feel for any one in particular, and as another poster said, it did just have the feel of a script. No wonder the show almost got axed after that first season -- but thank goodness, it didn't (AND, that they changed the format to the four main girls...)
  • 0

#911

Charlotte

Charlotte

    Fanatic

Posted Mar 9, 2008 @ 12:36 PM

I'm watching the Season 9 episodes now, and I find it odd that Jo and Blair are in their 20s and still sniping at each other like they're in high school. It's not even cute/funny/gay anymore, just bizarre.
  • 0

#912

isiscloud

isiscloud

    Stalker

Posted Mar 9, 2008 @ 3:34 PM

I guess they gave Kim more leeway because she was playing the baby of the group. Jo and Blair were in the same "grade", then Natalie, and then Tootie. And I'm glad they got rid of the skates!!
  • 0

#913

Pepsi Princess

Pepsi Princess

    Couch Potato

Posted Mar 26, 2008 @ 12:43 AM

The "Tootie goes BSC over Jermaine Jackson" ep is on On Demand now, for anyone interested.

I too, am watching the Season 9 eps and am about to watch the first Pippa episode. Let the MAJOR suckage begin!
  • 0

#914

txhorns79

txhorns79

    Stalker

Posted Mar 26, 2008 @ 8:00 AM

I was watching the paint fight episode where the girls end up moving back in over the kitchen after they pay off their debt for trashing the school van. It was a very fun episode, in that it appeared that the girls could barely stay in character during the paint fight. Though I wasn't sure why the floors would have needed to be refinished as there were tarps covering everything, so any excess paint would have just gotten on the tarp.

I will also say the opening scene with all the girls getting ready at the sink was just bizarre. I get that they couldn't actually have a mirror behind the sink as it would block the shot, but the camera pulled back too far, so you could see there was nothing (i.e. no wall/no mirror) behind the sink. So then you have the four girls and Mrs. G. standing at a sink in what appears to be the middle of the bathroom all staring into nothing, pretending there is a mirror there.
  • 0

#915

LIamsmom617

LIamsmom617

    Video Archivist

Posted Mar 26, 2008 @ 9:50 AM

GOTTA love the Jermaine Jackson episode. And may I say, he was HOT back then! Not to get too nasty here, but you can get a hint of his...package in that outfit. Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice.
From what I have read about him back in the Jackson 5 heyday, though, he would never have wasted time with such a G-rated backstage visit from a fan!
My sibs and I always used to laugh at Jermaine's horrible acting, and at the part when the bodyguard, having confiscated Tootie's bust of Jermaine, comes back into the room w/the box, soaking wet and torn up, and when someone asks if everything's OK, the bodyguard says, "Yep. There's nothing gonna blow up in there," and nods at Tootie as if she shoudl be relieved that it wasn't a bomb. Like, DUH, she BROUGHT the gift, numbskull!

Oops! Forgot a line in the bodyguard's "speech". He actually says, "Yep. Been soaking this thing in the shower. There's nothing gonna blow up in there." (Hey, I know my FOL dialogue!)
  • 0

#916

SnarkySheep

SnarkySheep

    Fanatic

Posted Mar 26, 2008 @ 6:54 PM

Because I often ponder random things that normal people don't, I have to wonder at the very premise of this show...

Yes, the girls were living in a converted attic as punishment; however, I doubt that would fly with parents who are shelling out big money to have their daughters going to a posh school. Even if the girls later bonded and claimed they wanted to stay there, would the school administrators be ABLE to let them? Did they get a board cut or something?

*back to your regularly scheduled programming*
  • 0

#917

Cypher21

Cypher21

    Fanatic

Posted Mar 26, 2008 @ 7:06 PM

IDK, they did cover that aspect and say the parents agreed w/Mrs. Garret's idea for the girls to remain in school which included the attic living, but after that initial timeframe was over, they would have to give them a cut on boarding at least. They were still living on campus, but not in the normal adequate rooming. I forget, were they to be punished for their stunt for their entire Eastland days, or was it just for that year?
  • 0

#918

Gharlane

Gharlane

    Fanatic

Posted Mar 27, 2008 @ 5:12 AM

I'm pretty sure it was for the latter, but then they created something else (the paint fight?) to extend their stay.
  • 0

#919

txhorns79

txhorns79

    Stalker

Posted Mar 27, 2008 @ 7:23 AM

I'm pretty sure it was for the latter, but then they created something else (the paint fight?) to extend their stay.

They did use the paint fight for that purpose. Mrs. Garrett said the girls would have to pay to have the floors redone and for the paint they wasted. Though what I never understood is how that house Mrs. G. moved into with Edna's Edibles had only one real bedroom, and a conveniently huge storage space that looked remarkably similar to the room at Eastland.
  • 0

#920

PRgal

PRgal

    Fanatic

Posted Mar 27, 2008 @ 8:28 AM

The girls' "attic" room looked almost as good as a normal boarding school dorm room though. I actually found their first season housing a little alternative. The set looked more like a regular home than a dorm.

Speaking of boarding fees: I wonder if Nathalie and Tootie's family ended up paying day tuition when they moved out of the dorms and stayed with her instead. Mrs. G probably got some money from the Greens and Ramseys too, I'd think.....was this ever addressed?
  • 0

#921

bitey

bitey

    Couch Potato

Posted Mar 27, 2008 @ 4:44 PM

Though what I never understood is how that house Mrs. G. moved into with Edna's Edibles had only one real bedroom, and a conveniently huge storage space that looked remarkably similar to the room at Eastland.


Wait, so the room the girls were living in at the Edna's Edibles house was originally a storage space and not an actual bedroom? I thought it was a real bedroom- it had a bathroom in the corner and everything. Then of course they had that attic space that they converted to another bedroom so that Natalie and Tootie could move into it, so that everyone would have more space. And then of course there was Mrs. G's room (later Beverly Ann's room), which I don't think we ever saw.

I always found the Edna's Edibles/Over Our Heads house pretty confusing, and not just because all these girls were living under the same roof with no apparent desire to go out and get their own apartments. Granted, I've never been to upstate New York, but the buildings I've seen where residential and business uses occupy the same building usually have the residential over the business, with completely separate entrances. The EE/OoH sales floor opened directly into the living room of the house, with nothing but a swinging door to separate them, if I recall correctly. Peekskill must have the most lax zoning ordinance in the country. Then in the last season, didn't they no longer have OoH? What happened to that space? I know they had a kitchen, but wasn't that always toward the back of the house? And it didn't look very big in the last season, so I don't think they expanded it into the retail area...

Where the hell did Andy and Pippa sleep?

I'm spending way too much time thinking about this.
  • 0

#922

txhorns79

txhorns79

    Stalker

Posted Mar 27, 2008 @ 6:36 PM

Wait, so the room the girls were living in at the Edna's Edibles house was originally a storage space and not an actual bedroom? I thought it was a real bedroom- it had a bathroom in the corner and everything.

I should rephrase. I think it was a bedroom, but it was ridiculously huge for one person, and it wans't as if Mrs. G. was going to use it had the girls not moved in. Basically, I just thought it was convenient that Mrs. Garrett had a room that matched the one at Eastland almost exactly.

I do think they had episodes during the later years where one or two of the girls would get sick of the arrangement, and move out, but they would always be back before the end of the episode.
  • 0

#923

bitey

bitey

    Couch Potato

Posted Mar 27, 2008 @ 9:29 PM

Oh, okay. I see what you're saying.

Yeah, there were a few episodes where someone would leave and then come back. Blair and Jo were living in the dorms when they started college but ended up moving back to the house. Natalie and Tootie rented a crappy studio apartment and ended up moving back. Jo went out to Los Angeles for some reason that I can't even remember right now and ended up moving back. I think they really did split up somewhat by the finale, though.
  • 0

#924

Pepsi Princess

Pepsi Princess

    Couch Potato

Posted Mar 27, 2008 @ 9:44 PM

Then in the last season, didn't they no longer have OoH? What happened to that space? I know they had a kitchen, but wasn't that always toward the back of the house? And it didn't look very big in the last season, so I don't think they expanded it into the retail area...

Where the hell did Andy and Pippa sleep?

I just finished watching the crappy last season (most painful and horrible finale EVER!) and I can answer:

I think we only saw the store once in the final season. Beverly Ann said the store wasn't making a profit and suggested they close it and remodel for rooms for Andy and Pippa. We never saw that area again. A few episodes later Andy came out from that direction with a blanket wrapped around him. Previously Andy was sleeping in the basement next to the boiler and Pippa was sleeping on the couch. By the horrendous series finale she had moved into the dorm.

I do think they had episodes during the later years where one or two of the girls would get sick of the arrangement, and move out, but they would always be back before the end of the episode.

Natalie and Tootie moved out at the end of Season 7 and came back. Jo said she was going to move out for more privacy in Season 8, but they remodeled the attic space into another room. At the end of Season 8 Jo got a job offer in CA and at the beginning of Season 9 it had fallen through, so she housesat for Richard Moll (Bull on Nightcourt) and then came back.

[snip]

Natalie moved out without taking her stuff (she and Tootie were supposed to be visiting a friend and Natalie wanted to stay) in Season 9, then came back to tie up loose ends and moved out for good. We only saw her in a phone call saying she had met someone who was going to turn her into a writer. Tootie got accepted into an acting school. Jo got married and her husband had to leave for a month, but came back in the last episode. Blair bought the school, turned it coed and became the headmistress. Natalie wasn't even in the final picture at the end.

They should have ended on the last episode of Season 8. That would have made a much better finale.

Edited by TWoP Barnes, Mar 28, 2008 @ 10:06 PM.
Removed unnecessary spoiler tags: please see FAQ

  • 0

#925

txhorns79

txhorns79

    Stalker

Posted Mar 28, 2008 @ 7:34 AM

I just finished watching the crappy last season (most painful and horrible finale EVER!)

I didn't think it was that bad. I would agree they were too focused on trying to do a spin off for Blair, but there was kind of a nice full circle feeling to it, and they had pretty much wrapped up the other characters in the previous episodes. Though I will agree that 23/24 year old Blair as headmistress of a school is fairly ridiculous now that I think about it.
  • 0

#926

msrayrudd

msrayrudd

    Fanatic

Posted Mar 28, 2008 @ 8:00 AM

The real finale is ridiculous. The Season 8 ender always felt much more like a real finale to me and I kind of wished it just ended there. At that point they were all going off in seperate directions. Jo to California, Blair to law school, Nat to go back to college and Tootie to her drama stuff. It seemed like an ending, but kind of what should have been the start to the next chapters in their lives. Then come the fall, they are back together again.

The only kick I get out of the actual ending is seeing Seth Green, Juliette Lewis and Mayim Bialik as Eastland kids.

But yeah, it always seemed one of them moved out only to have the others reel them back in by the end of the episode. Like the whole episode where they finally decide to turn the attic space into a room for Natalie and Tootie. The other three get so offended when Jo decides she wants to move out to get some privacy. Hell, I'm surprised Jo didn't pull an Uncle Jesse and continue to live there with her husband.

The house layout was weird. I was always taken aback by the fact that the shop/store opened up directly into their living room. Especially since as usual for television, there didn't seem to be any locks on that door and considering the store was pretty much all glass windows, breaking in wouldn't be all that difficult. It particularly hit me in that stupid Howieland episode where Blair poses as Sore Throat. The supposed informant is supposed to meet Natalie in the store at night. Yet nobody seems all that concerned that if a stranger has broken into the store then they are also in their house.
  • 0

#927

canuckgirl7

canuckgirl7

    Channel Surfer

Posted Mar 28, 2008 @ 8:54 AM

I am watching the episode where Jo and Rick get married and I am wondering how long the two of the dated before he proposed? The channel I am watching them on airs them out of order.
  • 0

#928

msrayrudd

msrayrudd

    Fanatic

Posted Mar 28, 2008 @ 9:10 AM

They never really say, though it couldn't have been long. I think the wedding episode was only the third time Scott Bryce appeared on the show and I believe the first time he was on they weren't even dating yet.
  • 0

#929

isiscloud

isiscloud

    Stalker

Posted Mar 28, 2008 @ 10:17 AM

The channel I am watching them on airs them out of order.

Where are you watching? I've watched in few on Tube Time OnDemand, but that's all.
  • 0

#930

stace25

stace25

    Loyal Viewer

Posted Mar 28, 2008 @ 11:15 AM

I just watched the one with Jo getting married too. I was confused though, because her mom was there. I thought her mom died when she was little, did she just leave her husband and daughter? Or was it a hallucination?
  • 0