Good concept, poorly executed.
The performances transcend the film's tropes, grounding it in characters that feel more complete than this subgenre often produces.
To all those who have watched it: I hope you enjoyed it as much as I do.
The film never slows down or bores, plunging from one harrowing sequence to the next.
I hate everything about this show. From it's insipid theme, written by Alan Thicke and featuring Thicke yelling; to it's tiresome premise and chump change scripts. Rich white guy adopts two ghetto kids., oh the possibilities! Typically the teleplays were weak and the humor banal. I remember one where the old man touts the importance of Affirmative Action after the older boy doesn't make the basketball team because they needed a white kid. Yeah, that happened all the time. Enough to gag a liberal maggot. The cast was maybe the worst in TV history. Gary Coleman was an insufferable, unfunny brat; onscreen and off. The others were basically window dummies, with the other boy and girl having real life drug problems. Just say NO.
It's hard to believe Diff'rent Strokes debuted nearly 40 years ago, and it's tragic to think that Dana Plato and Gary Coleman have passed away too soon (and horribly Dana's son died soon after her untimely death). Whilst there is much racial subtext to this series, it was still fun to watch and Gary Coleman became an overnight sensation big time.I'm not sure if a reboot of Diff'rent Strokes would work now with the election of Trump.
Different Strokes (1978-1986): Starring Gary Coleman, Todd Bridges, Conrad Bain, Charlotte Rae, Dana Plato, Mary Jo Catlett, Danny Cooksey, Mary Ann Mobley, Dixie Carter I first saw Different Strokes sometime in the 80's. Being ages 1-9 in the 80's, I don't recall what year it must have been but if the show ended in 86, it must have been either 85 or 86 when the show was wrapping up. I had no idea it was on as far back as 1978. I recall enjoying the opening song, with its thought-provoking theme: "Now the World don't move with the beat of just one drum....it takes different strokes to move the world, yes it does..it takes different strokes to the move the world." During the opening credits, we see Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges looking out of a limo to the vast New York City vista of high-rise buildings.... Nolstalgia! The premise: A wealthy businessman who resides in Manhattan has adopted the children of his late maid. The mixture of black children and white parents must have been new and innovative at the time, like an interracial Brady Bunch. But it seems pretty absurd now, as so many families are interracial. The kids were cute and hilarious. Gary Coleman became a celebrity through this and all subsequent successes was due to his role as Arnold. "What you talking' bout Willis ?"... The show dared to tackle issues that had never been tackled on TV before like unprotected sex, drugs, gangs and racism. The 80's was full of shows which tackled issues like these and often contained inspirational and educational messages to parents and kids after the show was over. I think it was because the 80's was Reagan's reign and he was a strictly conservative President who launched a lot of anti-drug and celibacy programs at a time when AIDS and drugs were a huge problem. This show was well-written and often moving. Actress Charlotte Rae who played Edna Garrett the maid would later move on to "The Facts of Life" yet another popular 80's show.
this show premiered the same year i was born so i mostly started watching it in the later years. i have now seen the earlier ones thru reruns its a great show gary coleman is good but the performer i really enjoyed was danny cookesky the kid who played sam.