In March of 1988 the members of the Writer's Guild of America put down their pencils, their typewriters and their dot-matrix printers and refused to start again unless their demands were met! Production on all new shows came to an immediate halt!

Or at least on Cosby.

I'm sure it got more press elsewhere, but this is the only mention of the '88 writer's strike in TV Guide. The 2007/2008 strike disrupted a lot more work than the 1988 one did, because it happened midseason. As it says up there, this one began at the tail end of the season, so the effects weren't as noticable. Yet still, everyone wondered: strike or not, was TV getting better or worse?

Was TV getting better in 1988? You be the judge.

"Hamburger, the Motion Picture....not to be confused with Hot Dog, the Movie."

EEEEEEEE-WWWWW!!! Magically aging yourself 16 years does not make this any less creepy! In fact, turning yourself into Alan Thicke in the process makes it even creepier! Don't stand so! Don't stand so! Don't stand so close to me!

Was 14 Going On 30 anything like 13 Going On 30? I hope not, because I hated that movie. If you liked it, though, I have good news for you: ABC's "Samantha Who?" is basically 13 Going On 30: The Series. Samantha isn't literally a child in a woman's body, but the setup, situations and characters are all the same.

Supercarrier was one of the few series to be directly torpedoed by the strike. Not every episode in its order had been completely written by walkout time, and it never got those extra episodes back.

There were other unusual circumstances that hampered Supercarrier. The main characters weren't allowed to fall in love because they were filming this on one of the Navy's real battleships, and the Navy forbade public displays of affection (this is true). 1988 was the first year I was old enough to take an interest in the Olympics, and I had tapes of the Calgary Winter Games that I watched for several years afterward. Promos for Supercarrier are all over those tapes:

I always wondered, what's the deal with the pilot in the Reagan mask?

The strike not only meant more reruns and the airing of the two remaining Max Headroom episodes that otherwise would have been shelved, but the appearance of a lot more TV movies.
1988's big trend? Homeless people!

"You must not look away. For your own sake."
Is that a threat?

What was up with all these? Was it some kind of backlash from all those rich-person TV shows just a few years ago?

By the way, they really kicked the snot out of Mare Winningham; she was domestically abused, beaten by her parents, and run over by a car in several TV movies in just the previous months. No wonder she turned into an evil Playmobil figure.

Portland readers know why this ad is so ironic. Let's just say Neil Goldschmidt really meant it when he talked about giving teens special attention.

This was the splash that introduced The Wonder Years, one of my favorite shows of all time. I loved it so much that when it got cancelled, I went through a painful mourning process. It's too bad all the music licensing makes it impossible to release on DVD. I had to make do by DVR-ing the series when it appeared on the Ion Network--I hope you did this as well, because it's getting hard to find.

Speaking of "splashes".....

I'm very disappointed to see a sequel for "Splash" existing, even if it was just a TV movie that had neither Daryl Hannah or Tom Hanks. "Splash" is a stand-alone movie; there was nothing more to say. It ended with the main character escaping with Madison into the water, where they presumably lived out their days in an underwater paradise. Or maybe that didn't happen, if you consider this a continuation.

Despite Madison's remark that "you can't ever come back" to New York, here they are coming back. I guess that was only a suggestion. They shouldn't be able to set one foot in this area anymore; everyone knows mermaids exist now, and everyone's seen them on the news. Not only can they not hide, there's not much point in doing so.

Anyway, she has to save a dolphin from an evil mad scientist, or something stupid like that.

It's true: my mother's current boyfriend at the time thought this show was called "Beverly Hills Butts," and was disappointed when he finally saw it.

It sure was. Now Double Dare has joined the list of "Things You'll Never See Again Outside of YouTube." Real pity, that.

The fact alone that it's a cheesy 1980's afterschool special makes this ad good enough for a scan, but putting little handcuffs on the book for "dramatic effect"? That's priceless!

There are some things money can't buy. For everything else, there's crazy 80's advertising.

This was the byproduct of an era wherein Disney was trying to repackage Minnie Mouse as a hip, flourescent 1980's girl product. And yes, THAT'S Elton John. Words alone can't do it justice, so I brought a clip.

There was another art theft in the news recently, and like the scriptwriter of this ad, I don't get how such things can be profitable. Especially when the art stolen is superfamous like "Edward Munch's The Scream." How can you sell it? Whoever's got it is going to get caught. Who'd pay for that "privilege"?

This movie looks pretty funny. I'm sorry I missed it.


Atreyu looks....different from what I remember.

Wait, this is someone else. It's one of the guys who briefly appeared at the beginning of the movie for only a couple shots and then never again! Why is he and his Dr. Seuss reject thing getting the star treatment here??

MTV hadn't tasted the power of the Dark Side yet, but they were beginning to nibble. Some of the earliest non-music-videos they ran included a game show called "Remote Control" and apparently several British imports. I don't remember MTV running PBS material at all. Talk about an odd couple...

If this ferocious-looking man somehow rings a bell with you, there's a reason: it's the same tough guy who starred in the 80's Energizer ads before they came up with the Bunny. Note the use of "Energized" to describe this episode; they didn't pick Jacko at random. There better have been at least one scene where he threw a giant battery at people.

If you don't remind reliving those memories, click here for a Christmas Jacko moment preserved forever by X-E.

That's right: The Bourne Identity was first a TV movie in 1988. Everything's a remake these days.

So the question is, which do you prefer: Matt Damon, or him? I think it's a toss-up.

You darn right, you guys....you darn right.