Seasons of Small Wonder

06/20/2014 at 2:50 PM (TV) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Does anybody remember this show? Small Wonder had a ridiculous plot. A robotics engineer named Ted Lawson creates a humanoid robot with child-like features, names her VICI (pronounced as Vicki) and pretends it is his adopted daughter. Most of the show revolves around the robot daughter adapting to human life and his family’s attempts to keep her identity a secret from his nosy, pesky neighbours, the Brindles. To add insult to injury, Mr Brindle ends up being his incompetent boss who takes credit for all of Ted’s ideas. Meanwhile Ted’s son, Jamie, is constantly pestered by Harriet Brindle who has a huge crush on him. However keeping Vicki’s true nature a secret turns out to be difficult as her literal interpretation of human speech has interesting ramifications.

I used to watch this in Sri Lanka. Nostalgia led me to research the name of this show as anyone I mentioned it to in Australia was unaware of it. Turns out this sitcom never aired in Australia. Meanwhile guess what I stumbled on? episodes on Youtube.

Here are my favourite episodes from each season:

In this episode from Season 1 of Small Wonder, Ted Lawson programs Vicky to read content and memorise data. Meanwhile Jamie is more interested in soccer than finishing his history report for school. Jamie, who is not a brilliant student, cunningly employs Vicky’s new ability to complete his homework. It has interesting consequences when Jamie gets placed on the honour roll at school and his teachers begin to look at him in a new light.

In this episode from season 2 of Small Wonder, Joan Lawson enters Vicky into the local shopping mall’s beauty pageant. Ted Lawson is initially against the idea but when he learns Brandon Brindle’s daughter, Harriet, is entering the contest, he has a change of heart. Both girls become finalists in the pageant but Vicky’s demonstration of her talent makes it obvious that she is competition. However the final ruling reveals an unexpected surprise.

In this episode from season 3 of Small Wonder, Joan is substitute teaching for Jamie’s class and requires everyone to submit a book report for a reading challenge and tells them they can deliver it any format. She promises to reward the class if everyone submits the report. Jamie is distracted and spends time filming videos of Vicky instead of reading. So when the due date for the report arrives, his attempt to pretend he completed it gets thwarted. Ted describes the detective story he is reading to Jamie to inspire him. This gets Jamie’s creative juices flowing and he submits an ingenious book report.

In this episode from season 4 of Small Wonder, Ted programs Vicky to understand foreign languages and translate them into English. The family sits down to watch the Spanish channel and a pet show comes up. It turns out Vicky not only understands humans but also animals! Jamie’s entrepreneurial spirit sees a potential for making pocket money and has Vicky diagnose the feelings of the pets of the kids at school. Meanwhile Ted’s timid company manager and his snooty, authoritative wife,  who looks down on Ted and Joan, are coming to dinner  as Ted has volunteered Joan to be on the committee for the company ball. When they arrive with their pet dog, the Lawson’s discover with Vicky’s help, despite her put on airs, the wife’s background isn’t all that different theirs leading to her discomfiture.

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