Looking back, adolescence is the defining era in our lives. It the stage that starts us on the path, for better or for worse, to adulthood.
The Wonder Years, premiered 30 years ago today. In the late 1960’s, Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage) is on the verge of his teenage years. Layered into the narrative is the memories of Kevin as adult (Daniel Stern) told via voice over. As Kevin grows up and the late 1960’s turns into early 1970’s, he experiences the joys and heartaches of young adulthood with his best friends Paul (Josh Saviano) and Winnie (Danica McKellar), who is his first crush/first kiss/first romantic everything.
What makes The Wonder Years stand out and still holds a place in the hearts of the television audience thirty years later is that Kevin’s experience is incredibly universal. Everything he went through, we all have gone through or will through. That is why we are still talking about this show 30 years later.
There is something universal about being 12 years old. It is an age where we start to grow up, but we are still very much children.
The Wonder Years (1988-1993) is the story of Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage), a boy growing up in the 1960’s and 70’s. Narrated by the adult Kevin (Daniel Stern) remembering his preteen and teen years, The Wonder Years stands out in the landscape of television.
Kevin’s family consists of his parents, Jack and Norma ( Dan Laura and Alley Mills), his hippie older sister Karen (Olivia d’Abo) and his tormentor/older brother, Wayne (Jason Hervey). His best friend Paul Pfeiffer (Josh Saviano) and his on and off girlfriend, Winnie Cooper (Danica McKellar) were regulars in Kevin’s life during those very interesting and life altering years.
With the release of the series on DVD and the cast reunion, this show harkens back to a simpler time when the biggest dilemma was if the boy or girl next door knew you had a crush on them or the thrill of victory when you earned the A on the very difficult math quiz.
I recommend this show.