Great Job, Internet!: Small Wonder was a so-bad-it’s-good ’80s syndication pioneer

Weekend television was plenty weird in the ’80s, especially because of sitcoms like Small Wonder, which premiered on September 7, 1985. The show centered around a child robot named Vicki (Tiffany Brissette)—in reality, V.I.C.I., which stood for Voice Input Child Identicant—who was created by Ted Lawson (Dick Christie) and brought home from his work to live with the rest of the family, including his wife, Joan (Marla Pennington), and son Jamie (Jerry Supiran). Brissette was known for her frilly, maid-like dress and for speaking in a creepy monotone voice, which quickly grew grating, and the literal way in which she interpreted everything. (Plus, Vicki lived/slept in a cabinet in Jamie’s room, which was just wrong.)

The show was part of a mid-decade trend toward syndicating original first-run series, which tended to be cheaper to produce and also far less expensive to air than …

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