The Wonder Years
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Episode 1  31 Jan 88 "The Wonder Years"

w: Neal Marlens and Carol Black
d: Steve Miner
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Click for German Transcript on Kyle's Site

We are first introduced to Kevin and his friends who are just about to start at Robert F. Kennedy Junior High School.. Winnie starts wearing contacts. Wayne keeps saying Winnie is Kevin's girlfriend - he goes off in the cafe and Winnie's brother, Brian, dies in Vietnam. At the end Winnie and Kevin have their first kiss in Harpers Woods (see also Episode 22).

Remark: In the first episode, at the Gym Class sequence, all the boys' uniforms (including Cutlip's shirt), shows a different RFK logo. Instead of the "Kennedy Wildcats" logo, all the guys were wearing "Kennedy Indians" outfits with an Indian picture in the place of the cat. It just appeared in the first episode, in the second one, the "Wildcat" logo appears definitely (by Ayako).

Remark: In the first dinner sequence (when Paul is having a nice plate of white bread), we can see that all the kitchen appliances and furniture, are positioned in the opposite side of where we saw during all the series: The oven, the round edged shelf and even the kitchen sink is located in the opposite side of the kitchen entrance door. The TV set is also different. All the set was "inverted" for the second episode and remained quite the same since then (only the oven was changed in episode 53, "The Ties That Bind") (by Mario Nagano).

Remark: During the homeroom scene when Kevin is talking about the young boy and girl (Gail) that fell in love on the bus...I noticed that you don't have Gail's last name.  Well, it was "Aslanian."  I know that because that's my name -- Gail Aslanian (at least it was before I got married).  I went to school with Neal Marlens in Huntington, L.I.  He used a lot of his fellow school mates names as characters.  Hope that helps (by Gail Compton (a.k.a. Gail Aslanian)).

Remark: Episode 1 was altered several times: On Nick (Oct 1997), at homeroom Kevin is seated between the two lovebirds who met on the bus.  "I was about to have my first sexual experience, and I wasn't one of the participants", quotes older Kevin.  This scene is not on my sydicated version (Boston 1992), but the scene that shows Kevin trying to open his locker next to "Debbie Ackerman"  and then having the tough guy put pot in his locker was not shown on Nick.  While watching the shows last night I noticed a few changes from the episodes I have.  First, Nick at Nite is running the shows with basically only one commercial interuption mid way through the show, where as in syndication, each episode had a commercial break one-third and two-thirds of the way through.  Secondly in a few episodes on Nick I notice some scenes (usually very short 5-10 second ones) not in the syndicated shows.  And if memory serves (I have an excellent one) these scenes were in the original shows.  These were probably cut in syndication to add more commercials. (by RepeteCT1).

Remark: ..after watching the marathon on Nick at Nite, I noticed that something was different about the pilot episode, however.  I remember seeing it after the Super Bowl on Jan 31, 1988. I'm certain the words to the final scene were changed when Daniel Stern replaced the original narration done by Ayre Gross.  To the best of my memory, the first line of the closing narration was something like, "It was the only time Winnie and I ever kissed."  When Stern replaced the narration, it was changed to "It was the first kiss for both of us." If you listen to the rest of the closing narration, which I don't think was altered, you can see that the original line fits much better.  The second line of the closing scene starts out, "We never really talked about it afterwards, but I think about the events of that day again and again and somehow I know that Winnie does too..."  Do you think that a couple that went on to have a relationship like Winnie and Kevin did would really never talk  about their first kiss?  (by rockyrosa)  I don't know if this is true or not, but I heard on a message board that Winnie was only supposed to be on the first episode....and the first episode only.....I doubt it's true, but it does make sense, since Ayre Gross did the original narration.  He said, "It was the only time Winnie and I ever kissed." But then, Daniel Stern started doing the narrations and replaced Ayre Gross' last line with, "It was the first kiss for both of us."  So, what I saw on the message boad made a lot of sense and the writers of The Wonder Years could have done this (by Dennis DCS).

Remark: On 31 January there was the game-day preview which won 30 percent of the audience. Two months later, when the show debuted, 32 percent tuned in (data from TV Guide, January 25, 1997).

The Byrds: "Turn! Turn! Turn!"
Joni Mitchell: "Both Side, Now"
Tommy James & Shondells: "Crystal Blue Persuasion" (plays on radio as Kevin and Paul are looking at the book "Our Bodies, Our Selves")
Fleetwoods: "Come Softly To Me"
Percy Sledge: "When a Man Loves a Woman"

Robert Picardo           Cutlip
Raye Birk                Diperna
Linda Hoy                Mrs. Ritvo
Sean Faro                Greaser
Bentley Mitchum          Brian Cooper
Donnie Jeffcoat          Eric (Antonio)
Jacqueline Square        Gail (Aslanian, the girl who fell in love in the bus)
Dah-ve Chodan            Locker Girl (Debbie Ackerman?)
Episode 2 22 Mar 88 "Swingers"
w: Carol Black and Neal Marlens
d: Neal Marlens and Carol Black

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"After the funeral of Winnie's brother, the forces of love and death tear at Kevin as he dwells on his first kiss with Winnie."

At Brian Cooper's funeral, all Kevin can think about is Winnie. At school the boy's PE class begins sex education. Mr. Cutlip is the teacher and the boys are bored with it all. They decide that they need a better book than the school textbook and they go to buy "Everything you Always Wanted to Know about Sex But Were Afraid to Ask." They chicken out when they see the clerk is a girl, so Paul steals the book. Kevin's mom confiscates it before they could read any of it. Kevin and Winnie go for a walk in the park but Kevin is afraid to try anything.

Remark: Winnie's parents appears just once at Brian's funeral and they don't seem to be H.Richard Greene nor Lynn Milgrim who play them later, see episode 23. Their names do not appear in the credits (by Mario Nagano).

Remark: Neal Marlens went to Walt Whitman High School in South Huntington. The maroon and white "Wildcats" mascot and logo that is used in The Wonder
Years is the same as that of WWHS.

Goof: This episode is supposed to take place in September 1968, the week after Brian Cooper's death. Kevin and Paul steal a copy of EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SEX BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK from a bookstore. That book was not published until November 1969, 14 months later (by Lyle F. Padilla).

Goof: In this episode Kevin states that he knew Paul since Paul was 36 hours old (when they stole the book). But Paul's birthday is March 14 and Kevin's March 18 (by James I. Wong).

Goof: In episode #2 (and some other of the earliest ones), there are photos of the four Beatles on Kevin's wall.  These photos came from the album "The
Beatles" (a.k.a. The White Album), which was not released until November 1968, where as the show played in early 1968 (by weinerdr).

Buffalo Springfield: "For What It's Worth"
Gary Puckett & The Union Gap: "Young Girl"
Aaron Neville: "Tell It Like It Is"
(Judy Collins: "In My Life" ?)

Robert Picardo          Cutlip
Bentley Mitchum         Brian Cooper (Winnie's brother, killed in episode 1)
William Bogert          Preacher
Bobbie Eakes            Bookstore Clerk
Douglas Emerson         Kid #1
Danny McMurphy          Kid #2
Dante Basco             Kid #3
Episode 3 29 Mar 88 "My Father's Office"
w: Carol Black and Neal Marlens

d: Jeffrey Brown

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"Kevin observes the power and authority that seem to come with being male, but he still hasn't a clue as to what his father actually does for a living."

Kevin is curious about what his dad does at work, and why he comes home so grumpy. He interrupts as his dad is watching TV to ask what he does at work. Jack gets upset and Kevin goes to his room. When Jack goes to the kitchen for another drink, Norma tells him that she overheard some of Jack and Kevin's conversation, and he needs to relax. Jack tells Kevin he can go to work with him. Next day at NORCOM, all Jack's co-workers make small-talk with Kevin as he is introduced around. Jack and Kevin go to Jack's office, where Jack immediately gets several phone calls.  Jack has forgotten his briefcase in the car, and goes to get it. While he is gone, Kevin has a little fantasy of doing his father's job, and bosses Karen and Wayne around. When Jack returns, he immediately has more phone calls and crises. Jack needs a break. As they start to go to the cafeteria, Jack's boss calls on the phone for him, and Jack tells his secretary he will call him back later, even though it sounds important. They go to the cafeteria. They talk about about Jack's job. They talk a little more, then start back to Jack's office.

Narrator: But as we walked back to my father's office, I suddenly realized something that made a lot of things make sense. My dad was too good for this place. Sure it was good - we were all lucky he had it and all that... but my dad had something finer in him than S-14's and distribution reports. I'll never forget how I felt at that moment. I felt that my father was a great man.
In the office, Jack's boss is waiting for him, and yells at Jack furiously as Kevin watches. When they return home, Jack is grumpy as usual, and so is Kevin. Later that night, Kevin sees Jack looking though the telescope in the backyard.
Narrator: That night my father stood there, looking up at the sky the way he always did. But suddenly I realized I wasn't afraid of him in quite the same way anymore. The funny thing is, I felt like I lost something.
Kevin steps outside, and Jack sees him.
Jack: Come here, Kevin.
(Jack gestures toward the telepscope. Kevin looks through it, and Jack puts his hand on Kevin's shoulder.)
Jack: That's Polaris, the North Star. That's how the sailors used to find their way home.
Remark: Jack says as a comment to a TV program that "they lost to the Senators." It is likely that he means the baseball team Washington Senators.

The Beatles: "Blackbird"
National Safety Counsel: "Buckle Up For Safety, Buckle Up"

Sandy Helberg            Stan (Wisanski)
Ken Swofford             Al (Keller)
Gregory "Mars" Martin    Steve
Deborah Rose             Phyllis
Cherie Franklin          Marian
Nancy Fish               Betty
Zachary Benjamin         Young Kevin
Episode 4 05 Apr 88 "Angel"
w: Carol Black & Neal Marlens

d: Art Wolff

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Click for German Transcript on Kyle's Site

"Kevin observes the simmering conflict of values between his parents and sister, but it's Karen's boyfriend who brings Kevin to the boiling point."

Karen, the former angel, has turned into a hippie who does not communicate with her parents anymore. When she brings home her boyfriend Louis, a student of politics, Kevin dislikes him immediately, especially after listening to Louis who talks to Marissa, another girlfriend on the phone. When he asks him, he admits it. Kevin tries to get his mom against Louis by telling her that he is disturbing, and she starts to dislike him when he makes sexist remarks about her job as a housewife. Louis joins the family for lunch and turns out to be a vegetarian. All hell breaks loose when Louis and Jack argue about the Vietnam War and the Korean War, which Jack served in. Louis tells him that all America is suppressed and brainwashed. Karen and Louis run off. Later at night Karen breaks up because he has slept with Marissa and comes home.

Remark: In this episode Kevin is watching an old movie on a color TV in his home. However, later in episode 9 Wayne constantly badgers his father to purchase a color TV. Mark Perry, the writer of many episodes said: "It's definitely a goof.  Not only that, in the early episodes (1-6), there are scenes of Kevin watching a color television in the Arnold family living room! We always attributed this to the fact that the adult Kevin's memory wasn't always 100% accurate.  Too many drugs in the 70s??? :)"

Nat King Cole: "Sentimental Reasons"
Jimi Hendrix: "Foxy Lady"
Joan Baez: "Blowing in the Wind"

Wendel Meldrum           Miss White (teacher)
John Corbett             Louis (Karen Arnold's boyfriend)
Michael Bacall           Joey
Dante Basco              Eddie
Melanie Gaffin           Christine (Hanson, classmate)
Episode 5 12 Apr 88 "The Phone Call"
w: A. Scott Frank
d: Jeffrey Brown
Click for Transcript
Click for German Transcript on Kyle's Site

"The courage required by an astronaut to venture into space seems insignificant compared to the courage required by Kevin to phone a flirtatious girl in his class."

Kevin is over with Winnie and discovers Lisa Berlini, his dream girl, while the Apollo 8 launch is shown in class. She looks at him and Kevin gets a crush on her. But he does not have the courage to call or to talk to her. When they bump into each other in the hall though, he doesn't know what to say. In the lunch hall Paul discovers Kevin's emotions and asks Betty if she knows whether Lisa likes Kevin. Betty asks Tommy, who asks an unknown girl, who finally asks Lisa. Lisa looks at Kevin. The next day Kevin feels so embarrassed that he feigns a sore throat to stay home. He asks his mother under which circumstances his father called her the first time. Finally, Kevin calls Paul and then Lisa (see next episode).

Goof: Kevin fakes being sick with the flu and stays home from school before finally getting the nerve to call Lisa Berlini, the same night that Apollo 8 entered its orbit around the moon. Apollo 8 did that on Christmas Eve, 1968. School would have been out and there should have been Christmas decorations all over the place, not to mention some kind of holiday celebration at the Arnold home (by Lyle F. Padilla) . Although school should have been out for Christmas at the time Episode 5
of "The Wonder Years" took place (noted in the Apollo 8 launch), if you look closely during the dinner scene, you will notice a small Santa Claus decoration on a shelf, probably near the kitchen TV.  In addition, during the lunch scene at school, you will notice a poster advertising the school's Book Sale, which they had scheduled for Dec. 16-19, 1968 (by Tim Mottaz).

Goof: At the same time, this brings to mind another major goof.  Early in the episode, Kevin mentions that "Tuesday the 8th" was the day he bumped into Lisa Berlini in the hallway.  In 1968, "Tuesday the 8th" was in October, and if the show did actually take place in December of that year, then Dec. 8, 1968 would have fallen on a Sunday.  Still, this was two weeks before the Apollo 8 mission (by Tim Mottaz.

Goof: In this episode we learn that the first time Jack calls Norma is when she is working at Macy's and he wants to return a tie that she sold him, and this is how they met.  However, in episode 75, Triangle, Kevin's parents tell him that they were at a school dance and Jack fought his best friend for the right to have Norma (by Michael Gold).

The Monkees: "I'm a Believer"
Nino Rota: "Theme from Romeo and Juliet"

Linda Hoy                Mrs. Ritvo
Paul Price               Mr. Katz
Kathy Wagner             Lisa Berlini
Michael Bacall           Kid
Geof Witcher             News Caster #1
Ron Tank                 News Caster #2
Episode 6 19 Apr 88 "Dance With Me"
w: David M. Stern
d: Arlene Sanford
Click for Transcript
Click for German Transcript on Kyle's Site

"Confident after Lisa accepts a date with him to the school dance, Kevin neglects Winnie's feelings and lives to regret it."

Last night Kevin has rung Lisa up and talked to her for four minutes! So he thinks that their relation is very intimate and asks her to the Spring Dance. She says OKAY. But a minute later Brad asks her and she accepts his offer. Kevin meets Winnie at lunch and discovers the special bond between them. But Winnie goes with Kirk to the dance. At home Kevin watches "I dream of Jeannie" and hopes to find a girl like Jeannie. He finally appears at the dance with Paul. He tries to make Winnie jealous, which does not work. So he goes to the outside and thinks of Winnie as Jeannie. Winnie also leaves the party and they go back to dance. But he feels that the Kirk McCrays and Lisa Berlinis have changed their lives forever. In the meantime Paul is allergic to Carla as much as to seafood and pollen, but dances with her and has fun.

Remark: In this episode we learn that Kevin had a cocker spaniel which his mother has put to sleep in 1964 when he was eight years old.

Remark: Smokey Robinson and the Miracles' song, "The Tears of A Clown," was played at the RFK Junior High dance.  The song was recorded in 1966 and released in 1967.  However, oddly enough, it did not become a worldwide hit until three years later. It is probably unlikely that kids would have discovered the song back in 1967 to play at a dance, unless the deejay was a huge Smokey Robinson fan (by Mario Constantino).

Remark: In this episode the mentioning of Carla Healey's name causes Paul to sneeze. This will not happen in the following episodes with her (by Carson Hall).

Joe Cocker: "The Letter"
Steppenwolf: "Magic Carpet Ride"
Astrud Gilberto (with Stan Getz): "The Girl from Ipanema"
Kingsman: "Louie Louie"
Steppenwolf: "Born to Be Wild"
Herman's Hermits: "There's a Kind of Hush" (plays at school dance)
Smokey Robinson and the Miracles: "The Tears of a Clown"
The Association: "Cherish"
Otis Redding: "I've Been Loving You Too Long" (Closing music. Kevin and Winnie's slow dance.)

Linda Hoy                Mrs. Ritvo
Paul Price               Mr. Katz
Kathy Wagner             Lisa Berlini
Mark Paul Gosselaar      Brad Gaines
Krista Murphy            Carla Healy
Erica Gayle              Cute Girl
Robert Picardo           Mr. Cutlip
Michael Landes           Kirk McCray (not listed)

Copyright © 1996-2001 of Peter Reynders.