Monday, May 22, 2006

What's the Deal With Ann Romano?

I've been exploring the OnDemand feature my cable company offers. I've watched movies I'd never pay to rent, tried my hand at a few karaoke songs (forget about trying to keep up with the lyrics to Sir Mix-A-Lots' Baby Got Back!), discovered new cartoon favorites and have generally killed a lotta time.

So, I started watching one of the "classic" TV shows offered: 1970's/80's One Day at a Time. I vaguely remember watching it off and on when I was younger, but to be honest it never really appealed that much to me. It definitely jumped the shark once Glenn Scarpelli joined the cast, maybe even earlier. He thought he was the Tiger Beat crowd's answer to Adrian Zmed...but he wasn't. God, he was annoying. Personally, my favorite character was only on the show for 1 season: Ginny Wroblicki (played by Mary Louise Wilson). She played the sassy, oversexed neighbor. She was great.

One thing that always wore me out about the show (and annoys the shit out of me now) is Ann's (Bonnie Franklin) neverending "explosive" outbursts. She's forever being outraged by something and stomping around pitching an overactive fit, like some kind of red-headed sprite. Her tirades were hammy enough to have a sandwich named after her. Plus, her name always made me long for spaghetti topped with aged Romano cheese.

So here's the thing I just don't 'get' about the show. Out of the dozen or so episodes I've watched, Ann seems to be the sexual pawn, on multiple occasions, when it comes to her career. She's forever being asked to wear "something sexy" to impress a client, getting assignments because she's "sexy", etc., etc. Um, whu? Was she really that big of a sexpot? Even by 70's standards? Personally, the shitball Joey Lawrence-circa-Gimme a Break-bowl cut she sported was a major yick factor, but then I'm gay, so maybe I'm not the best judge of what straight men find "sexy." And don't even get me started about the first time she started not wearing a bra. Fried eggs anyone?

Personally, I liked Barbi (Valerie Bertinelli) best. She was funny, cute and kinda square. The episode that comes to mind when I think of the show is when the cast performs some kind of charity talent show and she lip syncs Don't Go Breakin' My Heart, dressed as Elton John, complete with piano, signature outrageous glasses, costume, etc. It was my favorite episode. In retrospect, I think maybe Julie (McKenzie Phillips) sang with her, as Kiki Dee. Julie. Whatta weirdo.

Epilogue: My favorite episode just came to OnDemand. As it turns out, I was wrong about 2 things: 1) Barbi and Julie actually sing 'Don't Go Breakin' My Heart,' not lip sync, and 2) It wasn't a charity show, it was a New Year's Eve performance at a retirement home...oh, and Ann did a tap number dressed as Shirley Temple...ACK! My eyes! My eyes!!!


Anonymous Billie said...

Hey, now . . . that fried egg comment's hitting a little close to home. ;-)

But wasn't the point of her "sexiness," that she wasn't about the physical? That she was about independence and intelligence and making it in a "man's world"? That, or she was trying to overcompensate for the fried eggs.....

Monday, May 22, 2006 9:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Valerie Bertinelli was the only attractive woman on that show.

And Schneider was the only interesting character to me.

Also, Valerie Bertinelli is still quite attractive to me.

I'd rather watch "Alice", myself.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 7:10:00 PM  

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