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Parker Lewis Can't Lose: The Complete First Season
Sometimes you have to say not a problem
Referring to the numerous ‘80s pop culture references in the amusing 1990-91 first season of the early Foxcom “Parker Lewis Can’t Lose” as being as dated as prime-time soap “Dynasty” star Joan Collins is appropriate.
The almost countless references in the first several episodes include rocker Tom Petty, the rock groups Depeche Mode and Wham, Roseanne Barr, Madonna, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and numerous ones to the film “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” that inspired this show about teen-age con-man and prankster Lewis and his best buds.
The general white bread charm of series star Corin “Corky” Nemec as Lewis adds a goofy charm to this show. It could easily have been called “Parker: A Boy and his Dream” in reference to child star Nemec’s “Gee, Dad; I know that you can build that car” role in the film “Tucker: A Man and his Dream.”
One of the nicest things about the DVD set, which will be released on June 30, of this show is that it is better than I remembered. The show, which seemed to be the child of “Saved by the Bell” of the same era and the earlier “After-School Specials,” depicted typical high school plots with interesting twists. The pilot had Lewis falling in love with the girl that BFF Mikey the rocker was pursuing.
Other plots included Mikey dropping out of school to become a rock star, Lewis and his posse finding the school’s pirate-radio station, the popular Lewis running for junior class president against a better qualified candidate, Mikey dating a girl who he thought was his secret admirer, and Lewis getting authoritarian wannabe-cougar principal Musso replaced by someone worse.
The well-cast show also has the benefit of having actors who generally look like teens playing teens. This show also employs the techniques of internal monologues and cartoonesque elements, such as fast-motion and comic sound effects, that succeeded in the more recent comedy “Scrubs.” Unfortunately, a nice soundtrack of alternative music was an early casualty.
The extras consist of audio commentaries on some episodes and a feature about the show that include interviews with its creators and cast members.
I would not go as far to say that the show achieved the “coolness” that Lewis and the boys sought. However, the show brought back memories of other fun high school sitcoms of the same general era. “Square Pegs” and the TV series “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” come to mind.
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Review by John Stahl
John Stahl is a freelance legal writer who is also a fan of classic and cult television programs. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parker Lewis Can’t Lose - Season One
With smart writing, a unique style, an amazing supporting cast including Abraham Benrubi (ER) and Timothy Stack (Son Of The Beach)the first season of Parker Lewis Cant Lose ushered in the coolness of the 90s: brightly colored shirts and all!
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