1982, Not Rated
Square Pegs: The Complete Series
Shortly after starring in Annie on Broadway, former Cincinnati resident Sarah Jessica Parker was cast as the co-lead in this CBS sitcom.
The show centered on inelegant classmates Lauren Hutchinson (Amy Linker) and Patty Greene (Parker). The girls were determined to "click with the right clique" and become popular, but more often found themselves spending time with budding class clown Marshall (John Femia) and his pal, oddball new waver Johnny Slash (Merritt Butrick). Pre-dating such John Hughes films as Sixteen Candles
and The Breakfast Club,
as well as the TV series Freaks & Geeks, Pegs
was among the first to explore the theme of simply fitting in. The uneven jokes in the pilot soon gave way to clever quips and punch lines. Created by former Saturday Night Live
writer Anne Beatts, the show had connections (Bill Murray and Don "Father Guido Sarducci" Novello guest starred), and musical guests included hip New Wave acts Devo and The Waitresses (who did the theme song). In one episode, Parker even gets to belt out a tune! The show was cancelled after only 20 episodes but, of course, has cult following to this day. The DVD set includes insightful new interviews with cast and crew, including Parker. (P.F. Wilson) Grade: A