Friday, April 19, 2013

The Happiest Show on TV

From 1997 through 2002, I had two recurring events around which I structured my schedule: church on Sundays and Dharma and Greg on Wednesday nights. Go ahead: mock and deride, if you will.  I don't care.  D&G was my favorite show back then in those work-full-time-go-to-school-full-time days, and it remains in my top three all-time favorites today. 

On a week that has seen inexplicable horror and unimaginable evil, it is good to revisit things like D&G that are pure happiness and light. The powers that be have only released one season to DVD in the U.S.; however, some very good souls have risked copyright infringement charges and who-knows-what-else to post further seasons on YouTube.  Huzzah!

Dharma Finkelstein and Greg Montgomery: not only the best-looking couple ever assembled in the sit-com labs, but also the most innately sweet.  If you have never seen the show, the premise is this: Dharma is a happy-go-lucky, new-agey chick raised by hippie parents in that part of San Francisco; Greg is a lawyer in the Justice Dept. from an old-money family in that part of San Francisco; they meet on BART and get married on that same day.  Chaos and hilarity ensue. While the two sets of parents and their culture and values clashes are certainly amusing, it is the chemistry and joy that the two stars (Jenna Elfman and Thomas Gibson) bring to their characters that just made this show must-see TV for me from the get-go.  Dharma was created, as was revealed in interviews on the first season's DVD set, to be the antidote for the unhappy, tightly-wound career woman of the 1990's who was miserable in her personal life.  They wanted to make a character who was simply happy with who she was, absolutely in love, and able to spread delightful sunshine to everyone in her day-to-day life.  I think they succeeded.  And Greg was the perfect complement. 

So, when my heart is crying and the world is dying, I hold on to Jesus, yes, and fall to my knees.  But, I also turn my radio to 98.1 KING FM and listen to the soothing, interesting awesomeness of Sean MacLean as he hosts hours of classical music.  Or, I read and read and read. Or, and definitely increasingly this week, I pull up YouTube on the old laptop and watch the Happiest Show on TV.


vermonster said...

Guilty pleasure indeed. I could never get into that show maybe because Dharma was too laid back or maybe it was when I was working night (pre dvr world).
Recently a local network started broadcasting retro shows so I have been indulging in childhood favorites (Family Affair and Emergency). There....I've confessed :)

Justine said...

Hey! I never said "guilty"! :-)

You know, I've never even heard of your two shows. Amazing how TV shows can just pass you by, if you don't hit them at the right moment -- chronological and psychological. D&G isn't for everyone. In the late 1990's, you pretty much had to choose: D&G or "Will and Grace." My friend, Holly, would come into work on Thursdays and say, "Did you see 'Will and Grace' last night?" I'd reply, "No. And I know you didn't catch 'Dharma and Greg,' because they're on at the same time!"

I think I love D&G so much because Dharma was such a goofball (to which I could relate) and Greg is very, very similar personality-wise to Jason. I just found the two very endearing.

I still do the Dharma-serenity chant under stress: "I'm a good teacher . . . she's a big liar . . . Jeremiah was a bullfrog . . . lather, rinse, repeat [clap, clap]." Funny how things just stick with you.

Elisha Gay Hidalgo said...

Now I am encouraged to watch this tv series!thanks for sharing!