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  • jtbelangela

Just "Wonder"ing

Can we get real for a moment? Yours truly is so over-the-top angry that the steam is pouring out of my ears. I haven’t been this mad about something I saw on television since Rory let Jess leave town without her! The show that has me hopping mad today, however, is one from my childhood. I shouldn’t be surprised this happened, but at the same time, I’m stunned because the madness never ends. Lately it seems we’ve had to endure torturous reboots/reissues/revivals of various television shows, movies and toys from my beloved childhood.

I looked the other way when they gave my first bestie, Strawberry Shortcake, a “modern makeover.” Truly, it was too much for me to bear. I averted my eyes when they made a live action version of the JEM cartoon, and now I’m switching channels to avoid the reboots of my beloved game shows. Forgive me, but there is NO Family Feud without Richard Dawson, there is no $100,000 pyramid without Dick Clark and there ABSOLUTELY is no Match Game (or even Match Game PM) without Gene Rayburn. And don’t even get me started on the forthcoming reboot of The Gong Show! Seriously? What good is it without the unpredictable and unfiltered Chuck Barris? Why watch if it won’t include Gene Gene the Dancing Machine or the Unknown Comic? Hold on … I need a paper bag to breathe into. That’s better.

Somehow I managed to overlook all these things, but this weekend, a line was crossed. I was casually channel surfing with my daughter when I came upon it on the channel guide. My stomach did a little flip thinking I had come upon some retro channel that was running episodes of a show near and dear to my heart, but it wasn’t. What I saw …. well, I can’t fully explain what it was that unfolded on the screen in front of me, but I lost it. What was this hot mess you ask? A reboot of the children’s show, Wonderama. Unfortunately, no matter what I do, I don’t think there’s any way I can un-see it. It was terrible. It was worse than that … it was heartbreaking.

There are certain things from my childhood that you just don’t mess with--Dynamite magazine, Shaun Cassidy, Bonne Belle Lipsmackers, and Wonderama! As a little girl in the Bronx enjoying her weekends, one of the things I looked forward to was watching Bob McAllister host Wonderama. I mean, what was not to love? Bob was like everyone’s favorite fun uncle, and the prizes and games were drool-worthy, at least they were to me. I could write an entire blog on the snake can game alone! I can’t tell you how I coveted one of those damn bagelette necklaces! Watching Wonderama was like a crazy ride at the amusement park, and I loved every minute of it. Wonderama not only put kids first, it celebrated them. Come on, the show even gave us our own anthem, “Kids are People Too.” (I can practically hear that kazoo playing in the background now.) I know it’s just a show, a show I haven’t seen in a very long time, but some things are better left alone.

I hate to imagine what’s next? A reboot of Sooner or Later?! I …. just …. can’t. Time to distract myself. If anyone needs me, I’m going on Etsy. There’s got to be someone out there making bagelette necklaces and I’m going to buy one.