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This page contains miscellaneous comments about the show that didn't seem to fit into any other category.
The picture of Nickelodeon Studios at the end was pretty cool, tho.
>Sam's hair is TOO normal, and her room's all different.
Did you notice that Sam grew during break, didn't he used to be the same size as Clarissa; or maybe he just looks older now, and they wanted to give him a new style. You know, I kinda miss the Don King ``look'' on him, but I bet they stopped because he was going through so much gel.
I bet you didn't notice that they show credit during the opening of the show, when Clarissa starts talking. Just the usual ones, like producer, writter, director, exec. producer.
This episode may contain the first time that Sam talks directly to the camera. (Can anyone verify this?)
Nope, not the first time Sam speaks to the camera. He also does it in ``No TV'', when he says, ``I think it was a case of plant suicide,'' for example. (Referring to the demise of his bean sprouts.) I loved those little bells they played when she came in through her own window. :)
Tonight's episode was pretty cool. Didn't know Clarissa was raised by wolves, either. ^_^
And Clarissa did the voice-over at the end! (``CEIA was taped at...'')
The 18:30 show, however, looked suspiciously like a New Episode! Janet worries she doesn't know the Real Clarissa, and Clarissa suspects it's really better that way. Sam scrounges up Nirvana tickets for the same night that Janet planned to spend Quality Time with Clarissa, and Ferguson scrounges cash from some underage customers in an underhanded scheme. Also,
o Real outdoor scenes, the first time I've seen them go outside the soundstage
o The Clarissa graphic on her computer finally looks like Clarissa
o And if Ferguson isn't as tall as Clarissa now, he's getting pretty close.
The 18:30 show was another new episode: ``Montel's Theorem'' -- err, I mean, ``Normal Families''. Clarissa's unconventional ways come under the close scrutiny of Mrs. Cheesebrow, school guidance councilor.
(I hope it was just Jones Inter(rupt)cable, but I lost 8 seconds when the channel blacked out just before Clarissa's ``street lady'' scene.)
It was not just your local cable company. I had the same problem, with Southwestern Cable here in San Diego.
I don't know about any of the rest of you, but here in SB there was a glitch for about 5 seconds right in the middle. Total lameness. I'll have to tape it all over again next week.
I just thought I might get some opinions from out there in Netland about the potential for a Sam-Clarissa thing happening ever? I'd LOVE to see that happen, even if just for one episode. I don't know if they would ever have that plot tho.. any predictions? Also, is anybody else out there for it?
P.S. BTW, ain't Clarissa a little young to be talkin' about trig?!?
(Did anyone else's heart skip a beat when Sam's ladder hit the windowsill and Clarissa did _not_ say, ``Hi Sam!''?)
>potential for a Sam-Clarissa thing happening ever?
I have thought this would be cool for some time now. It does seem pretty clear, that Clarissa and Sam are ``buds''... But who knows. In the meantime, we'll have to dream I guess.
>P.S. BTW, ain't Clarissa a little young to be talkin' about trig?!?
You're NEVER too young for trig. ^_^
> >potential for a Sam-Clarissa thing happening ever?
Well, maybe for one episode. I think there'd be some practical difficulties working up a good script; Ms. Hart may be shorter than Mr. O'Neill, but she's head-and-shoulders the better actor! I doubt Sam could carry the load.
18:30 was the ``Ferguson for Class Prez'' episode, in which Ferguson's quest for power runs afoul of his bedtime habits. (Though I don't remember the laugh track being so loud the first time through.)
Sounds much like my impressions. Have the Clarissa credits always prominently shown the actors names during the first credit roll? And the character actors show and actor names during the ending crawl?
Does anyone know who the artist is for the T shirt that she was wearing at the beginning. Where can I get that shirt? It isn't Keith Haring, which is the artist for her other t shirts. It kind of looks Nicolle Hollander, the person who does Sylvia.
There was an article for Snick in Saturday's San Jose Mercury News. In part of the article it talks about ratings for CEIA. It says, `The A.C Nielsen ratings research firm reports that nearly one-third of the audience for ``Clarissa Explains It All'' is 18 or older. The show, which is built around a teen-age girl, appeals to more boys, proportionately, than TV's hottest teen show, Fox's ``Beverly Hills 90210.'' '
I've got all the CEIA episodes on tape in pretty much the original airing order on Nick because I've been recording CEIA since it first came on in April 1991.
I'm not sure about the original airing of the first Clifford Spleenhurfer episode because in July 1991 an article in the New York Times said that it was a rerun being shown on Nick at Nick in addition to the new episode, Brain Drain, but I've never seen the Clifford Spleenhurfer episode before.
Anyway, here's an attempt to list the episodes.
If anyone has the ``right'' titles, let me know.
Intro (Clarissa introduces everyone and tries to get back at Fergus)
No TV (Mom declares no tv for a week)
Clarissa Darling News Network (Clarissa wants to be Jane Pauley)
Aunt Malfalda (Aunt Malfalda visits the Darling Family)
New Addition (Clarissa thinks her parents are going to have a new kid)
School Picture (Clarissa despises having her school picture taken)
The Drive to Drive (Clarissa wants a car and tries to sell Christmas cards)
180s (Clifford Spleenhurfer bullies Fergus but falls for Clarissa)
Brain Drain (Clarissa and Fergus show up on the tv game show Brain Drain)
Family Rituals (Clarissa bakes a cake for her parents' anniversary)
Clarissa Gets Sick (Clarissa gets sick to miss Ancient Greece Day)
Career Night (Clarissa's dad speaks at career night)
Baxter Beach (Clarissa wants a job at Baxter beach carnival)
Clarissa in love (Clarissa gets a crush on weatherman Flip Fontana)
She Drives Me Crazy (Clarissa wins a car in a Cheeky Magazine contest)
Sam Darling (Sam becomes a polterguest when he moves in with the Darlings)
President Fergus (Fergus runs for class president)
ME 101 (Clarissa suffers teenage mom trauma when her mom wants to know her)
Mrs Cheesebrow (Clarissa has problems with Ms Cheesebrow the guidance counselor)
Spring Fever (Sam falls in love with Elise Quakenbush)
POV (Clarissa's POV changes when she thinks she likes Clifford Spleenhurfer)
Total TV (Clarissa watches television for 24 hours)
SNICK week two -- and ``Stage Fright Night'', a stronger script for CEIA (IMHO) than week one. And an older script, too, I suspect -- I don't think the line about Princess Di (``A job with major fringe benefits and no downsides'') was penned recently! And with more references to past episodes than usual -- the Still Bogus gift from Aunt Dornie (sp?) (``Cooperate for a Car''), ``Embarrassment is my least favorite emotion'' (the opening line from ``Career Nightmare''), the ``Can't we just play charades?'' (a la ``No TV for the Weak''). One very likable aspect of the show is their willingness to spoof things close to home -- television itself (twice), modeling (everyone on the cast must have oodles of glossies) and now theater (Ms. Hart, at least, has been on stage).
So we've had Ferg for Class Prez and Sam gets a Girlfriend and now Marshall and Janet get in a Huff.
I wondered when they'd try a Cathy Darling/Patty Darling shot. Rummaging through the TV memories of my Wasted Youth, the closest match to Ms. Hart _would_ be Patty Duke. (Wonder how Ms. Hart's Helen Keller is?)
Aunt Mafalda returns, and in a better episode than I expected. Sam's father got a (first) name, too (is that a first? I don't recall hearing it, but there are a number of first year eps I haven't seen...).
Janet Russo -- err, Darling -- meets her old flame Joey and discovers the spark is gone. So is Chuck Vinson as director, apparently; this and the last several episodes have had a rather different look-and-feel to them.
On an aside, what audience are they appealing to with CEIA? It seems like the commercials are still suggesting a younger group, while I feel many older people watch the show. Also, why does she wear such a sleazy outfit in the introduction? She looks kind of strange wearing those megaheels! The old intro was a little tamer. I keep wondering to whom Nick is trying to sell this show...
Aha! In the first set of messages I get from the mailing list other than from myself, someone asks a question that I too have been wondering about. What is Sam's last name? Has it ever been spoken on the show? Under what name would we find the sports columns his father writes in the _Dispatch_?...
As for the poem, I actually thought it was plausable that it could have been generated by a computer. However, some elements may have been contrived to suggest the _concept_ that it was written by a computer, such as the use of the words ``cube'' and ``square.'' ``Cantilevered rainbows'' also sounds like someone's idea of just the sort of absurdity a computer might produce. However, I'm sure that computers have in fact produced phrases that sound like that. Where have I heard the phrase ``cantilevered rainbows'' before?...
It wasn't encouraging that they slapped the new intro on last week's ``Spring Fever'' rerun.
The _Globe_ called 10/3's rerun ``Sam in Love.'' I wasn't impressed. My title: ``Spring Fever Entanglement.''
>She Drives Me Crazy (Clarissa wins a car in a Cheeky Magazine contest)
``A Wonderful Relationship''
Refering, of course, to that incomparable sibling pair. That's _Chici_, Phillip!
I am kinda pissed that they stopped showing the show on Sunday's now. I like watching it during the late morning (11am) and about 6pm, same day, two different episodes. I have pretty much stopped watching Nick on Sunday now, except for Doug, Rugrats and R&S.
Now it's only on on Saturday's as far as I can tell, and it's on at night! Ugh! Also, that new beginning and end (beginning in reverse) and BAD, and totally over-exposed!
> The _Globe_ called 10/3's rerun ``Sam in Love.'' I wasn't impressed. My
>title: ``Spring Fever Entanglement.''
The _Globe_ probably got the tv log information from Nick.
I've also seen the title ``Sam In Love'' in the Sacramento Bee's tv listing also applied to that episode, so we might infer that Nick considers that episode to be called ``Sam In Love''.
The list of episode names that I sent out months ago is a combination of the names from that I've gathered from the tv listings and names that I thought up when I couldn't find them.
Anyway, here's the list of names that I've seen in the tv listings:
No TV (Mom declares no tv for a week)
School Picture (Clarissa despises having her school picture taken)
Career Night (Clarissa's dad speaks at career night)
She Drives Me Crazy (Clarissa wins a car in a Cheeky Magazine contest)
BTW: I checked the video tape this morning and near the start after ``Famous Sibling Relationships'', Clarissa is reading an issue of Cheeky and the spelling is ``Cheeky''
Sam Darling (Sam becomes a polterguest when he moves in with the Darlings)
President Fergus (Fergus runs for class president)
ME 101 (Clarissa suffers teenage mom trauma when her mom wants to know her)
Misguidance Counselor (Clarissa has problems with Ms Cheesebrow the guidance couselor)
Sam In Love (Sam falls in love with Elise Quakenbush)
Total TV (Clarissa watches television for 24 hours)
The Understudy (Clarissa under studies as the understudy at the school musical)
Can't Buy Love (Clarissa has a secret admirer who tries to buy her love)
The Great Debate (Clarissa's parents are on different sides of wanting to build a mini-mall)
Return of Aunt Malfalda (Clarissa worries that Aunt Malfalda will spoil her slumber party)
Well, now that I'm established on the clarissa mailing list, and I know something about what you've already covered, I'm ready to present some of my questions. Here's the first wave:
What is the last name of: Sam, Jody, Hillary?
What is Ferguson W. Darling's middle name? Not Jefferson, surely! (``President Fergus''/``Power Struggle'')
Do Marshall or Janet have middle names? (I think if Marshall had a middle name we would have already heard it.)
Where do the people who make CEIA get their ideas from (supposedly from a young, teen-aged perspective)? How old are the writers, anyway? How much input does MJH have? Is Clarissa named after Melissa?
That _was_ good... and the Punk Clarissa bit backfiring was pretty clever, too. (Trivia question -- what's written on her hands in that scene?)
This episode, identified in the Boston Globe as ``Darling Wars'' ... I've only actually seen three SNICK CEIA episodes so far, but I've never seen the basement before; is this the first time it's been shown?
I thought N.P.P was a great episode -- certainly my favorite SNICK-er so far. I don't think there's been a chase scene since the 'School Picture Day' first-year episode, and personally I didn't miss Sam (or the parents) very much. CEIA really boils down to putting the omni-talented Ms. Hart in front of the camera and letting her go, and that's just what they did!
Saturday's show seemed to contain a bunch of movie references. MJH states the words ``Home Alone'' twice during the show and the plot had parallels to the movie. Kid(s) stuck at home and come up with the wackiest inventions to stop a burglar. One of the parents is really worried and heads back home early , but gets stuck in strange situations and only arrives briefly before the other parent.
I also caught a reference to the movie ``The Toxic Avenger''.
Here is a list, without explanations, of jobs Clarissa has considered taking in the past:
First female rapper in space
Gas station & convenience store owner
Rerun selection service operator
Formula One racecar driver
Tahitian pearl farmer
Can we infer from Clarissa's assesment of the $5 bill her brother showed her that she got her money back from him for that little self-improvement book she bought in episode 2.6?
It looks like they've made a bunch of changes to the show. Clarissa also has a new desk, and there is now a parking meter in her room. The kitchen got wallpapered. The beige wall near the stairs in the living room got painted wine/purple. They introduced new break for commercial sequences and Clarissa pushing away credits at the end. The MJH voiceover at the end, ``CEIA is recorded in Nickelodeon Studios, Universal Studios in Orlando FLA'' is different.
The Silent Treatment felt more like a first-year plot. Somehow the younger Clarissa seems more convincing FergFighting than the older model... particularly since she started out so much taller than Ferg. But it was neat they finally got Jason Zimbler's growth spurt into a script.
What will happen to the first-year shows now that even the CEIA commercial tags are being redone with the Older Clarissa?
I liked the script and episode; did anyone else notice it was sort of like the 'Career Night' first-year episode? Then she spent a lot of time plotting how to get out of hearing Marshall speak at her school; now she spends a lot of time plotting (with Ferguson, even!) to get out of working in the Children's Museum... and there are parallels with the Ferguson ``literature'' subplot in both episodes, and the T-square reappears! Oh yeah, and Sam's comment about going down the ladder... has she ever?
She most certainly has. How do you think she attempted her escape in ``Sick of School''?
Let me state the only explanation for it all that comes to mind, at least when one takes the point of view that the characters have wills of their own: every girl, including Clarissa, got emotionally involved with Ferguson's weaknesses.
Of course, what this is supposed to explain is, first, why all the girls fell for Ferguson, and second, what made Clarissa suddenly decide to treat her brother like a human being.
The obvious answers are that, first, it's the inevitable plot device, and no one should expect such results in real life, and second, Clarissa felt guilty at having potentially devastated someone else's life.
I'm going to take issue with the first answer only because their lives seem more real than mine at the moment (i.e., I'd much rather e-chat than study, and complaining about the troubles of TV-land enables me to repress my own). In an August 25, 1991 New York Times article, Melissa Joan Hart is quoted as saying of CEIA, ``I always say its main point is 'don't give in to peer pressure. Live your own life.' '' In order for this to be a possibility, there has to be more compelling the feelings and actions of the characters than the mere requirements of the plots. ...
As for that other matter, the only thing Clarissa had to feel guilty about at the point where she started to feel guilty was admitting the truth under pressure. Of course, devastating Ferguson's life is exactly what she's been trying to do ever since the first day of the rest of hers.
But it does take us closer to an idea I thought of after having only seen a few episodes of CEIA, that in the last episode, Clarissa would reconcile herself to her brother (who turns out to be a human being after all), and willingly take that sign down from the inside of her door.
But that would be the last episode, and we don't want to think of that.
For all their fighting, there have been several times (180s, Ferg for Prez, Cheeky, N.P.P, Secret Admirer, Family Vol. Day(sort of)) when they've helped each other out. Rather reluctantly, perhaps...
And some nods to past episodes: Mom's 'birds and bees' speech (Career Night), Dad's memory lane meanderings (Ferg for Prez), the imfamous blankie (Cheeky, among others), and Janet's magnolia allergy (Total TV).
Usually when the Darling siblings work together there's a reason why it would serve both of their interests to do so. What I find more interesting is the more spontaneous moments, such as rejoicing over Mom's permission for them to eat the school lunch in ``The Latest on Mom'' (CDNN episode), and the way being unable to continue to *pretend* to like each other actually draws them together against Jill of Cheeky (watch Clarissa turn to smile at her brother just as the scene fades out--it's a beautiful moment). And when Sam and Clarissa observe him enjoying Aunt Mafalda getting physical with him in ``Relative Terror'' (not the sequel, which I haven't seen), she says gravely, ``she preys on the young and the unsuspecting.'' There is evidence that Clarissa is telling the truth when she presents herself as Fergie's ``loving older sister.'' However, I find it hard to picture what they *did* on their night out together that convinced everyone that they were for real. (It still seems like the most difficult thing in the world for them to do. And that may be because they're *afraid* to admit their affection for each other.)
Incredible! Is this still the same season, or the start of the 1993 season? Note that in the past, seasons did not cross year boundaries. Also, while the first season began in March, the second began in February (of course we could say that the third began in August, making the second season consist of only eight episodes, i.e. the 1992 episodes before SNICK started).
For the second season, they significantly altered the set, and started placing some credits over the opening scenes.
For the SNICK episodes, they changed the title sequence. This sends the strong message ``This is a new season,'' which may be false.
Short of changing the title sequence yet again, I don't know what they COULD do to indicate the start of a new season.
The strange thing is that they had new episodes up to the last time slot in 1992, then started doing reruns.
Here Ferguson has exactly the same problem that Sam had in the very first episode of CEIA. His father bet someone else's father that he could get onto the football team. Now he has to deal with Wally Butterman, which he has no way of doing.
The difference, of course, is in his attitude. Ferguson is willing to go through with it, for the right price. And Wally must be considerably bigger now than he was when Sam had to deal with him! (Sam, in contrast, was prepared to run away. Sam was probably saner.)
Thomas Tupper Junior High has somehow morphed into a high school. Clarissa never graduated, nor did Ferguson; instead they just stayed there while the school graduated into a high school.
The Parental Memory Zone returned in this episode. I trust that I haven't missed any episodes of *that* (the only other one I saw was in episode 2.4). Clarissa used the same formula to get out of it, only more slowly, as if she expected results before her incantation was complete. Now, her world doesn't work *that* way, does it?
But I think I noticed connections to other episodes that I haven't mentioned. Remember how Janet, in ``Life without Television'' characterized TV as ``an endless stream of sitcoms, game shows, and commercials''? That's exactly what Ferguson claims to have missed along with his fame.
I just moved to Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. There's lots of nice stuff up here, but one thing that is =not= readily available is Nickelodeon.
Hence, I'm suffering Clarissa withdrawal. :-}
Anyway, does anyone know if Clarissa is shown on any Canadian cable network? They have a Nick clone of sorts up here called YTV -- and the MTV clone (called MuchMusic) carries Ren and Stimpy -- but a careful scan through the local edition of TV Guide a couple of weeks ago failed to turn up Clarissa anywhere.
On the East Coast Nickelodeon feed, they've been running a :30 promo featuring Ferg-face dressed as an ``Old West''-style marshall. He holds up a very sexy piece of lingerie (possibly a ``merry widow'') and accuses Clarissa of being an ``underwear rustler''. Has Clarissa taken to shoplifting from Victoria's Secret? And, if so, *WHO* is she planning on wearing it for??? More importantly, will we get to see her model it? :-)
Do try to catch this! Clarissa (``Clarissa the Kid'', Ferg calls her) sneaks behind him while he's speaking an snatches the uh, whatever it is (hey, I was a math major, I don't know about these things) and dashes off with a GREAT (almost leering) expression...
Principle: If you want something badly enough, it is not wrong to do whatever you have to do to get it-- even if this involves fraud, as in ``A Wonderful Relationship'' (episode 2.4), or stealing one's parents' car, (which Clarissa indicated in tonight's episode is something one would normally not feel guilty about).
Can you believe that in this episode she ended up actually telling her mom to buy her underwear for her birthday?! This is something that in ``Career Night Nightmare'' she definitely indicated was undesireable.
As for the principle above, Clarissa is able to follow it and feel morally upright, in contrast with her brother. Actually, the principle probably needs to be modified, although I'm not sure how.
Meanwhile, even when she can't talk to *anybody*, she can talk to *you*, the viewer (although I still wonder about what she has written in her diary). And she's afraid to be associated with sexy underwear.
Jody was mentioned in this episode. She and Clarissa still do things together. In particular, they went shopping together.
Has she been mentioned before now since 1991?
Clarissa is supposed to have had a birthday one month before this episode.
Would that be her sixteenth? (MJH turns 17 in April.)
It reminded me more of the First Episode than ``Ferg vs. Football'', going back to those First Themes of Clarissa's, um, development and sibling rivalry.
And I think it's the best _produced_ episode so far: I don't recall a longer or more complicated 'short' than ``The Bustier Kid'', and several of the scenes -- cutting quickly to Clarissa in mug-shot mode, and cutting very quickly to her locking herself into her room with Ferg on her heels -- were really well done! (Chuck Vinson reappeared in the credits; that may not be a coincidence.)
(The mug shot scene suggested Ms. Hart is around 5', but I suspect that's with heels on...)
Subject: Teenage Granddaughter Trauma
A bit of recycling here; the Teenage Mom Trauma plot centered on Clarissa getting out of Janet's plans in favor of seeing Nirvana, and here Clarissa hurrys through Quentin and Amelia Darling's party to see Perl -- err, Pearl Jam. (Even the Sam-getting-progressively-better tickets subplot is the same.) But TMT was a pretty good episode, and they did come up with some clever twists, like the Bourne -- err, born again grandparents, the rubber-duck sound effect when Ferg zapped Clarissa, and Clarissa's dance steps!
(I've seen every Patty Duke episode, and I still can't figure out how Clarissa took the ticket from Clarissa -- even after frame-by-framing that bit...)
Subject: Blind Date
The first CEIA in the ``New, improved SNICK'' (yeah, but they're still showing ``Roundhouse''), the first CEIA with a '93 copyright, and Clarissa's first blind date. And the first time I can recall Ms. Hart with curls, and the first time they've dubbed her screaming! But some continuity along with the innovations: the seamonkies reference (from the Christmas Cards for Cash episode), the guidance councillor reference (Mrs. Cheesebrow?), another computer game, and even the flip-flop plot: pretty similar to P.O.V...
> I saw the Nick News thing on Melissa and Clarissa
> today. Did you know that Melissa has freckles and
> Clarissa doesn't? They just white them out.
A dubious second-season innovation. She looked a lot more natural in the first-year episodes, and as far as I can tell she doesn't have acne, so the coverup isn't really necessary.
OBTW, is it my imagination or was Ferg's mention of ``sugar coated chocolate bombs'' tonight a Calvin and Hobbes reference??
What do you think of a Clarissa who has a big peace sign on her wall and prepares to deal with her potential dates by knocking them out
BTW, have you noticed that Clarissa is not consistent about whether she considers herself to be normal or not? (Of course there's no such thing.) In this episode, she acceded that she and Sam are ``pretty normal.'' And was it MJH or Linda Ellerbee who said in the Nick News W/5 presentation that Clarissa is a ``typical teenager''? Of course, they also pointed out how typically atypical of her it was to fall in love with a weatherman. When Clarissa presented herself to the children in the Family Volunteer Day episode as a typical teenager, I had the impression that she was not being quite honest.
What is the new, improved SNICK?
> What do you think of a Clarissa who has a big peace sign on her wall and
> prepares to deal with her potential dates by knocking them out
She was ready to fight Clifford Spleenhurfer, and she's tussled with Ferg, so it wasn't completely out of character. Anyway the computer game 'dates' were more worst-case stereotypes than real people.
> BTW, have you noticed that Clarissa is not consistent about whether
> she considers herself to be normal or not?
She's definitely unconventional, as the ``Mrs. Cheesebrow'' episode emphasized, but she _is_ concerned about being Too Far Out...
> What is the new, improved SNICK?
Hype, it would seem. Same shows, but they did come up with new bits to start SNICK with, and put between the shows. So now, instead of seeing kids on that BOC, we see people staring at projections on the sides of buildings. (The Clarissa one was from the Sam-going-to-Seattle episode, I think.)
Clarissa definitely has violent tendencies when her interests are at stake. But to what extent is she committed to peace/ peacefulness?
Subject: ``How do you explain Clarissa?''
Nick's running a new spot for CEIA; the announcer asks some kids (who get goofy video eyebrows drawn on them -- no I'm NOT making this up) how _they'd_ explain Clarissa, and they rattle off various synopsis (es?) of the show. One of them says she's in highschool, so I guess the transition is official.
The appearance of the archived past correspondence of this mailing list gives me the opportunity to see what you (or your ancestors who were present at the time) said about issues that interest me about how CEIA has unfolded. I have just read the first month's messages.
I confess that the changes to the house did disturb me. [...]
On the other hand, the changes to the set indicated that they were actually spending more money on the show.
In addition to those that were discussed, another change I noticed was one of lifestyle. In the 1991 episodes, it was clear that the Darling children were generally required to bring their own lunches to school. In the first 1992 episode, Clarissa confronts the school lunch. The change is confirmed in the fourth.
One contradiction I doubt anyone else notcied: in the Valentine's Day episode Clarissa installs a weathervane because the house had previously been lacking one. But in ``Life without Television,'' Sam had related how he had gotten caught on the weathervane the last time he'd gone up onto the roof.
Other comments on that February's mail:
Expectations of a romantic involvement between Clarissa and Sam. I too thought that that might happen when Sam was finished ``waiting for his hormones to kick in.'' Of course, what ended up happening was that Sam fell in love with someone else, and Clarissa told her, ``I guess I can only see Sam through Best-Friend-Vision.''
Jamie Park (izumi) remarks that Clarissa has no zits. Of course, that didn't stop Ferg-Face from calling her a ``pimple-faced squealer.''
I trekked through a blizzard to get to a building where I could watch tonight's episode of CEIA. It was worth it.
Interestingly enough, I noted that they still have a 1992 calendar hanging on the kitchen wall. So apparently, the 1993 shows being shown now are still supposed to have taken place in 1992. Now if anyone here knows how to decode stardates, I would very much like to know exactly when 519217.2 is. It would also help if anyone could identify the issue of TV Guide Marshall had on his bed-- assuming it's a real issue.
Clarissa now has a green version of the antsy pajamas she wore in the original title sequence.
In this episode, the actor who plays Dr. Festerspoon finally got a credit. Could someone with the necessary video equipment tell me who he is? (It was cool to see the roles of Clarissa and her parents reversed from Dr. Festerspoon's original housecall in ``Sick of School.'' Of course in the first year, I don't think they even had a set for the Darling parents' bedroom. [...] )
Star Trek has been mentioned a number of times in CEIA, but tonight's scene was unprecedented. Long ago, in ``The Lasting Image'' (better known to some as ``School Picture Day''), Clarissa talked about a look that was a cross between Lady Di and Lieutenant Uhura. Well tonight Clarissa got to be Lt. Uhura.
The Trek in CEIA has always been from the original series rather than from TNG. Case in point-- in ``Filling the Empty Pockets'' Clarissa wore a shirt saying ``Klingons Must Die.'' In TNG times, that would be, to put it mildly, not politically correct.
Writer Douglas Petrie covered pretty similar ground last October in ``N.P.P'', but it's a can't-miss formula: take Mom and Dad out of the picture and let the kids try to cope -- without inflicting lifethreatening injuries on each other.
The Trek skit had to be the highlight. Joe O'Connor did an unimpeachable James Tiberius Kirk, down to the ``Good Lord!'' closeup, and that set had to set them back a bit. 1993's special effects on a (nominally) kids show aren't much worse than they were on TOS!
Is this the first CEIA where Ms. Hart appeared only in long dresses? (In the ``normal'' show scenes, that is, and excepting the Antsy PJs.)
Either my tape machine was haunted Saturday night, or NICK's was -- there was one bit that ran twice (deja vu?), during the scene where Marshall tries the Phillipine Face Goo (look closely, and see Ms. Hart walk through the boom mike shadow), a video skip during the 'Whirling Dervishes', and an audio burp when she gets Janet to buy the lottery ticket.
CEIA's never really found a steady girl friend for Clarissa -- first Jody, then Hillary, and now Olivia. Maybe she'll show up more than once every blue moon; they did find an interesting actress for the occasion.
And some bits from past lives, err, episodes:
- Mimsy Dimsdale and her fuzzy unicorns (``Mrs. Cheesebrow'')
- Mom using the Three Name Call (``Clarissa Marie Darling!''), the first (?) time in a SNICK episode
- The Ace Delivery man from ``Secret Admirer'', now working for the Post Office
- And I think the guy pondering the Mothra-Hulk showdown was the dumb jock potential crush from the Valentine's Day episode.
In this episode, Clarissa investigates whether E.S.P. is a cure for E.P.S.
In ``The Crushing Sport,'' when Marshall gambled with his son's life, did he say anything about being ``against gambling''? He seems to be a hypocrite...
Now, about those socks... In ``The Latest on Mom,'' Clarissa, in a CDNN editorial, listed ``Where do socks go when they don't come out of the dryer?'' as one of the profound questions that Americans have been asking. But in ``Spring Fever Entanglement,'' Janet found all the family's missing socks in the couch, and perhaps other furniture, while looking for Ferguson's birth certificate. So it looked as if their problem had been solved. But in this episode, (which I would rather not call ``ESP R US''), Clarissa tells us about Olivia's theory that the Darling's dryer is a gateway to another dimension. In that case, does that dimension have an outlet into the living room?
I renew my observation that Ferguson's behavior resembles that of the Ferengi (Ferengis?) on Star Trek: TNG/DS9. This matches well with Clarissa's frequent remarks that Ferguson is evidently not human.
Now they made Janet out to be somewhat occult-ular in '180s', but here she didn't seem to be interested in Olivia's belief in ESP. Marshall knew about Olivia's interest, so presumably Janet would know too...
> I renew my observation that Ferguson's behavior resembles that of the
That sounds to me like a shrewd observation -- though I'm not really into Star Trek, particularly the later stuff where the Ferengi have appeared. [...] From what I've seen of Ferengi behavior, though, that's a pretty good analogy.
I've wondered if the CEIA powers-that-be weren't thinking a bit of Michael J. Fox's character in ``Family Ties'' when they 'designed' Ferg. Though the twist is Ferg's sister is older and sharper (maybe not in raw IQ), unlike Mallory Keaton.
I had a feeling that Clarissa hadn't been consistently sceptical about paranormal matters. In that episode, Clarissa seemed to be convinced that her father was suffering the consequences of the curse of the broken chain letter. Of course, she may not have truly been serious, but she definitely took notice. In other episodes, what she said may not have had any bearing on her actual beliefs, such as in ``Relative Terror,'' where she wanted to scare away Aunt Mafalda. But in general, Clarissa's observations have not been so down-to-earth:
CLARISSA: Maybe I don't exist. Maybe I'm an atom on the thumbnail of a giant...
Did anyone notice that in the automated poetry episode shown tonight, Sam refers to the teacher as ``Mrs. Winchenny,'' while Clarissa calls her ``Miss Winchpenny'' and that is how she is introduced at the reception? What does it say in the credits?
'Ms. Winchpenny', played by Virginia Light. (Hillary was played by Sara Burkhardt.) I didn't notice Sam skipping the 'p' when I reviewed the tape, but I did notice:
- Clarissa first calls her 'Miss Winchpenny', but she's 'Mrs. Winchpenny' later in the show
- Ms. Hart's hair was unusually long, about mid-back length
- Cool little blue airplane earrings during the ``I'm baked -- make that fried -- deep fried!'' scene, and black spider ones to go with her ``all artsy, all creative, all black'' outfit.
Here's one thing Clarissa hasn't explained:
What does she see in him?
I didn't find anything matching the description of the promo in this episode. Did I miss something (other than the promo itself), or was that promo made from separate material? (I don't mean it didn't describe the episode accurately-- I mean that from the description it seems that what was shown in the promo didn't appear in the episode.)
It's been a while since I've seen it, but do the children who showed up at the door to exchange rubber bands for book reports look like Nick and Becky from ``Power Struggle''?
They still have the 1992 calendar hanging in the kitchen. This means that either the events portrayed are still supposed to have taken place in 1992, or no one in the Darling household has bothered to replace it.
And 4 hours later, the Continuing Saga of Clarissa and Clifford. (Whoever thought of paring the talkative and literate Clarissa with the Neanderthal-ish Clifford Spleenhurfer deservers a Pulitzer!) It's a great thread, and a good episode. David Eck had about as many lines in this episode as he's had in all his previous episodes, and Ms. Hart did a fine job (as usual) with her role. (Exhibit A: The ``Mrs. Spleenhurfer'' skit.) CEIA's concentration on Clarissa's family has left a rather unbalanced view of Clarissa -- we really haven't seen much of her friends at school, or her social life -- and at a time in life when those are likely to be a highschooler's main concern.
(Weren't the kids helping Ferg gather rubber bands his campaign helpers in 'Ferg for Prez'?)
> What does she see in him?
Whatever the attraction is, it isn't a shared interest in wrestling (``Watching two guys in skin-tight underwear sweating on each other?''), and in P.O.V Clarissa makes a point of Clifford being unathletic. But 'sitcom' and 'internal consistency' don't often go together...
I think Mitchell Kriegman (as in, series creator Mitchell Kriegman) wrote ``180's'', and he has a partial writing credit in ``P.O.V'', so it probably is a thread we'll see again.
> I didn't find anything matching the description of the promo in this
Yes, this promo wasn't as close to the show as the others have been -- though I can't think of any promos that were just excerpts from the shows. The SNICK ads, like this last one, usually just pull out bits and pieces (and I thought they could've used a better snippet than Ferg's piece), as do the 'This Week On' ads, but those seem to have dropped away.
I don't know what you saw, but the announcements of upcomming episodes I've seen (I've hardly seen any recently) say ``THIS WEEK...,'' ``CLARISSA EXPLAINS...,'' and have an announcer give some description of what ``Clarissa explains'' in the episode, then switch to a clip from the episode, and usually show a short portion of video from some other scene while the announcer speaks again-- as far as I can remember. I don't think any of them had footage that wasn't shown in the episode (I'm not referring to the Valentine's Day episode special promos, most of which I haven't seen). But where does Clarissa say ``Normally I can explain everything, but my friend Clifford...''?
BTW, in ``The Lasting Image,'' I pieced together the fact that the school picture was to be taken on Friday, April 7, 1991. Unfortunately, there's no such date!
The same episode gave Ferguson's birthday as February 13. I wonder if we can trust it.
For the recent new episodes they've made separate promos with something sort of, but not quite like, what is in the show. So for the Bustier Kid, they used one of the sets and similar dialog to what ended up in the show, but it wasn't identical. Same for the Star Trek promo: same Enterprise set, but slightly different dialog and action. ESP 'R US, too: Clarissa and Olivia have several scenes pretty close to what went into the promo, but it wasn't a clip from the show. And the announcer voiceover's been restricted to the end; Clarissa (or Ferg, for the Bustier Kid) starts out talking to the camera.
Now the Commitment promo was further away from the show than those were -- I don't think she even wore that outfit (or hairstyle, come to think of it), and the little Clifford paintbox insert wasn't in the show. It looked like she was on a Generic Kitchen set, too, instead of something specifically tied to the episode, and the promo dialog (``Normally...'') was further away from the show dialog than the other promos.
I suspect the new spot style is another sign of success: they can afford fancier promoting now. Sort of like the general trend towards fancier sets, more extras, and more people on staff (or at least in the credits). In fact I don't recall any promos for specific first-year shows, other than for the Valentine's Day episode; just the general ``my show's on at'' weathermap-thing, and later the general Red-sports-car(-and-Red-lipstick) spot.
But the new episode didn't disappoint! Clarissa and clan try to plan a family vacation, and I could relate to the troubles (particularly as a former carsick child). While the plot resolution was a little predictable, I thought the Mom-Clarissa foodfight (mild as it was) was clever, and the graphics production folks outdid themselves with the 'postcards' -- particularly the one about Janet's health food. And the Fractous Family Robinson skit was great (Clarissa cleaning a fish?!): I just hope Ms. Hart _wasn't_ trying for a noncheesy accent.
I thought the trip planning might pin down where Shadow Lane is, but they left that ambiguous. 18 hours to the Grand Canyon and travelling through Iowa and Nebraska might place them in Illinois or perhaps Wisconsin, and Marshall did say something about being mentioned in a Midwest architects newsletter once.
Other little things I liked: the picture on the refrigerator -- a rare Clarissa-without-bangs shot. In fact a lot of the background photos look real -- including one of Marshall's parents from several eps ago. One little thing I _didn't_ like: the saying on Sam's teeshirt in his last scene!
Last month during a vacation to Orlando, we got to visit Nickelodeon Studios. Because of a serious illness I had, it was arranged to get a special ``VIP'' tour of the studios, including watching them tape CEIA. The taping of CEIA is not open to the public, so this was a special deal that required pulling some strings.
We saw parts of two show being filmed on two different days. The first day only Melissa was filming a part where she plays the flute in Carnage Hall. The other day we saw the whole cast (including Sam's Roller Derby mother) filming in the front room. (After each of these shows air, I'll post more on what went on behind the scenes, with lots of trivia about the cast)
I got to go visit with Melissa is her dressing room (it was small), and sit in her chair in the make-up room. Melissa also came over to us between takes and talked to us. I got pictures taken of me with Melissa and Sean O'neal. Both Melissa and Sean are real nice people.
I have lots more for you all, but I'll save it for when each of the shows air. So watch for the show where she plays the Flute, and when Sam's Roller Derby mom comes back.
The twist of Mom and Dad using Clarissa's driving destiny to tone down the sibling rivalry was new, but there were nods to episodes past, too:
- Clarissa's gum chain ('Christmas Cards in May')
- Marshall's ``If I knew where they were...'' bit with the lost keys (a la Clarissa's Walkman in '180s')
- A Clifford Spleenhurfer cameo in the movie theater! (If you're really into trivia -- hey, stop pointing at me -- then the girl from the 'E.P.S' case studies was in the pizzeria scene, too.)
- Ferg's Rockbounder 4000 from ummm... well I forget. Might've been the First Episode.
>Marshall's ``If I knew where they were...'' bit with the lost keys (a la
>Clarissa's Walkman in '180s')
In that episode, Clarissa says ``If I knew where I was when I lost it, then I'd know where it is, and it wouldn't be lost.'' She was wrong.
This quote comes from memory, and there is a possibility that it is not completely accurate. I beieve she says it once to Sam, and later begins to say it to her father, or maybe her mother, but aborts the effort. If this is correct Marshall would never have actually heard the statement.
>Ferg's Rockbounder 4000 from ummm... well I forget. Might've been the
All right, here's a history of bikes on CEIA.
In the first episode, Ferguson, his birthday coming in five weeks, is expecting a Boron 10-speed racer.
In the third episode of the second season (in which Sam stays as a guest) Clifford Spleenhurfer has wrapped Fergfeet's bike around a tree, and Ferg requests, and ultimately receives, a Rockbounder 4000. I belive this is the first time Clifford's name resuraces after his original appearance in ``I Want My Walkman.''
In last Saturday's episode, Ferguson takes, and loses, Clarissa's bike, and Clarissa gets, and fixes, Ferguson's old bike.
If Ferguson got his original request, this means that Clarissa now has a refufurbished Spleenhurfed Boron ten-speed racer. Not having been invited to Ferguson's birthday party, howver, I don't really know.
Subject: Shows shown since SNICK started.
Nick has broadcast 23 new CEIAs since SNICK started last August 15th, as listed below. The number in parens is the number of times that episode has been broadcast (the Total TV tally isn't a typo), and I've included the first air date of the new episodes. Nick's also run 5 later pre-SNICK episodes and 1 first year episode since August 15th. I think this is a comprehensive list of CEIA episodes shown since SNICK started, including ones shown as part of specials like SNICK Mania and the Valentine Day's Mushfest, but please let me know if you spot any errors or omissions:Total TV (5) 08-15-92 The Understudy (3) 08-22-92 Secret Admirer (2) 08-29-92 The Debate (2) 09-05-92 Aunt Mafalda Returns (1) 09-12-92 Seattle Sam (2) 09-19-92 Joey Russo (2) 09-26-92 PC Poem (2) 10-10-92 No Parents Please (2) 10-24-92 Empty Pockets Syndrome (2) 11-21-92 The Silent Treatment (2) 11-28-92 Family Volunteer Day (1) 12-12-92 Ferg in Love (2) 12-19-92 Midlife Crisis (1) 12-26-92 Ferg Tackles Football (1) 01-23-93 The Bustier Kid (1) 01-30-93 Grandparents (1) 02-13-93 Blind Date (1) 02-27-93 The Flu (1) 03-13-93 ESP R US (1) 03-27-93 Commitment (1) 04-17-93 Family Vacation (1) 05-08-93 Clarissa Darling, P.I. (1) 05-22-93Pre-SNICK episodes:Point Of View (3) Flip Fontana (1) Spring Fever (1) Normal Families (1) Teenage Mom Trauma (1)First year episode:Aunt Mafalda (1)
>The writeup in TV Guide for this episode says ``Also on Nick, _Clarissa
>Explains It All_ on a prime-time Saturday outing. The 15-year-old learns
>a lesson in responsibility when, through her own carelessness, her bike is
>stolen''. It makes sense they'd bump her up to 15 if she's supposed to be
>in High School now -- I think the show still had her in Jr. High when the
>NNW5 interview first ran.
I thought she was fifteen a long time ago. I wonder if we kept track of all the times specific seasons were indicated, whether it would make any sense. Anyway, Clarissa was supposed to have had a birthday a month before ``The Underwear Underworld'' (which you seem to refer to as ``The Bustier Kid'').
As for seasons, she recently had her summer vacation, many episodes after ``Spring Fever Entanglement.'' Has a year passed between them, or just a few months? How slowly does time pass on Shadow Lane, anyway?
In theory you can watch a taping of CEIA during the Nick tour, but you won't get to see much of it because unlike their game shows, CEIA does not film in front of a studio audience. You only get to see it during the Nick studios tour from an observation booth over the soundstage, and only long enough for the tour guide to play a tape about CEIA.
I was in Florida last month and decided to visit Nick studios. CEIA is/was in production on Soundstage 18. The tour guide said something about Double Dare taking over the soundstage in July. CEIA rehersals are Mon-Tue. Taping Wed-Friday. Camera blocking is on Saturday.
As far as Adam's question about visitors to Universal Studios watching the taping of ``Shows like'' CEIA, well I guess that is kind of true. If you go on the Nick Studio tour, you get to look down through big glass window into several sound stages. The tour is up on the second story behind thick sound proof glass. So, if CEIA is taping when your tour goes by, and they are using one of the sets that are facing the windows, you might get to see Melissa, for about 3 minutes, then its off you go to the next stop.
I ask Melissa about the small pad lock she has on her left shoe. (look real close next episode, if she is wearing her Doc Martins, you'll see it on her left boot in the laces) She said a friend put it on when she was at a party, and she liked it so she left it on. She would change it to whatever boots she was wearing for the show. (she has all the colors of Doc Martins). Well, she told me that she lost the key, and so she couldn't change the lock. So the studio bought a bunch of them, and now she has them on all her boots.
Newer viewers watching last night's show might not know that Clifford Spleenhurfer has been on CEIA for a while, or how his relationship with Clarissa has evolved. And they haven't alluded to his history recently. So, in a nutshell, he first appeared in the first-year episode '180s' as the bully picking on Ferg; when Clarissa stood up to him he suddenly fell for her, though he could only express himself by singing love songs... In 'P.O.V' (second-season, pre-SNICK) Clarissa discovers that she missed him after he eventually stopped singing on her doorstep, but things return to their old state before long. Somewhere between then and 'E.P.S' (into SNICK now) there must have been a thaw; Clifford is at home in the Darling kitchen (to Marshall's regret) and for the first time Clarissa seems comfortable having him around. Then 'Commitment', where Clarissa ponders their relationship and the perils of going st-st-steady, a Clifford cameo in 'Clarissa Darling, P.I', where they meet for a movie, and now 'Boy Thoughts'; whatever her misgivings about the species as a whole, she does get jealous at the thought of Clifford meeting other girls through Ferg's TV show. Each time out David Eck has had more lines to say (I doubt he had a dozen between 180s and P.O.V combined), and they've filled in his character a bit -- Clifford's apparently a senior, for instance. Which makes dating Clarissa a bit unconventional: she's a freshman, unless they've given up on plausible timelines for her altogether.
> Final query: what does Clarissa mean when she says, ``Don't look at me,
> Mom. When it comes to the TV, I'm glad to be off the air''?
Ms. Hart tiring of life under the lights? Then how about Clarissa's closing bit in Hero Worship. One of the print interviews mentioned girls coming to Nick auditions with mismatched earrings after Clarissa started the trend; her 'get-a-life' speech seemed more pointed (and personal?) than the plot required.
The New York Times, August 25, 1991; ``The Melissa Inside Clarissa Explains It All for Us'':
``She says that girls who come to audition at Nickelodeon now all dress like Clarissa. Doesn't that miss the point about individuality? She shrugs. 'You just shouldn't worrry about what other peolple think,' she repeats.''
This episode could be sending a very deliberate message. The ending consists of Clarissa telling people not to try to be just like her. (She also says that she doesn't want to be idolized...)
Valerie Here, the the promised trivia on this Saturday's CEA episode. I got to watch them tape the part were Clarissa is playing her flute in the concert hall recital.
The black formal dress she wears during the recital is the same dress Melissa wore to her High School prom in NY (The studio let her borrow it) I got pictures with Melissa in that dress. She looked very elegant with the long white gloves.
Malissa really does know how to play the flute, and would play between takes. During taping they used a recording.
The heads in the crowd (extras) that you can see while Clarissa is on stage include Melissa's father, mother, and boyfriend who were down from NY visiting. (It was Easter Vacation week)
It took about an hour to film the recital sceen. They practiced the part were the guy in the audience stands up and gives her flowers over and over.
The big question about ``A Little Romance'' was how writer Suzanne Collins would get Clarissa and Sam back to the status quo ante. Unless CEIA was going to break one of the Laws of Sitcoms, than is, and make a fundamental change in the character's relationship, and that didn't happen. And while she chose the plausible path -- both Sam and Clarissa vowing to put The Date behind them and go back to being best friends -- wouldn't it have been more interesting if Collins had followed up on Clarissa wondering after The Date if she did have ``feelings'' for Sam?
Sean O'Neil wins this week's expression-of-the-episode award for the look on Sam's face as he left after The Kiss, and there's something charmingly quaint about Clarissa considering a good night kiss going ``so far, so fast''!
If ``A Little Romance'' is not an official title, I would be somewhat inclined to call this CEIA episode ``A Friendly Relationship.'' They certainly made a point of not having the relationship work out for an instant; the writers may have been uncomfortable with the concept. Important question: is this the only episode where anypne ennunciates the words ``All right, all right!''? Note that, as usual with this phrase, it's tone is largely opposite that in which it is presented in the theme song.
Valerie hear, with notes and quotes about Saturday's CEIA. Me and my father saw part of this being filmed this past April. The part we saw filmed stared when Clarissa comes into the front room with the tray of pudding, sits on the couch and talks to the camera, and ended when Sam walks his mother home , and Clarissa looks into the camera and wonders if this house is big enough for everyone. This took over an hour.
Melissa had to say the off camera lines (where they show Sam's mother bringing all her roller derby friends over to the house) over and over to get it just right. The director didn't like the way she was saying ``Deddies got a lot of Friends''. Melissa's must have said it 10 times, 10 different ways. Then, they didn't know how to pronounce ``Antipasto'' Several people offered opinions, and they decided to have her say it with a long ``o'' at the end.
Melissa did not like the chocolate pudding that she had to eat. After several takes she ended up eating quite a lot. Notice in the scene they used, while her dad is talking to Debbie, with Clarissa in between, that she is just playing with her pudding, not eating.
Jason (Ferg) was having a bad day. He kept blowing his lines. He feels self conscious about playing a nerd, and would like to do more (this info from the lady that arranged the tour for us.) When he and Melissa said ``Gross'' together as their dad talked about the Limburger sandwich, he was totally out of it, and would just mumble his lines. Malissa coached him on how to say Gross properly.
Sean (Sam) has a pierced ear, but the producers won't let him wear an earring in it, although he told us they are thinking about writing a story about him getting one. ( This came up when Sean commented how he like my ``peace'' earrings I was wearing at the time)
The producer didn't like the way ``Debbie'' skated and crashed. They took a break, and she practiced it over and over, then the director and producer coaching her. During this break, I got to take pictures with Melissa and Sean.
For Everyone's Information:
As of September First, Nickelodeon, an American channel devoted to daily children's programming and nightly family programming, is going to be broadcasted to the United Kingdom for the first time.
See Alternate episode titles for help with an unofficial title or other episode reference you don't recognize.
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