Norman Lear and Jimmy Kimmel produce a series called Live in Front of a Studio Audience that restages classic sitcom episodes from the 70s in real time. Their latest, a double header, will air on ABC on December 7 – Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life.
If you’re of my generation, you know these two shows and, like me, you probably loved them. These shows may be part of the reason you fell in love with television. So I’m definitely watching, I can’t f-cking wait. In the Diff’rent Strokes episode, John Lithgow will play Mr Drummond and Kevin Hart will be Arnold. It’s perfect casting. All of it is.
Because this is what we’re getting with The Facts of Life: Jennifer Aniston is Blair, Allison Tolman is Natalie, Kathryn Hahn is Jo (!!!), Ann Dowd is Mrs Garrett (OMG YES), and Jon Stewart will be popping in for a “surprise role”. Imagine if he ends up playing George Clooney’s character, George Burnett, the handyman?
And what about Tootie?
This is what I’m doing next Tuesday. I just messaged Duana about this, because these shows are 100% where she lives and it’s been a busy week so she missed this news. And her reaction was, “!!! Excuse me what?” And then when I told her the cast she’s like, “STOP. IT.”
Well yes, exactly. It’s f-cking amazing. Stop it, as in every plan I have for Tuesday because this is it.
In addition to Norman and Jimmy, the special is being produced by Kerry Washington, Justin Theroux, and Will Ferrell, among others. So you can see all the Hollywood connections here. All of them would have been of the same generation of the original episodes and also, they’re getting together with their friends, maybe doing their friends a solid. And probably… it just sounds like a great time, no stakes.
As for our Tootie, Gabrielle – I featured her fashion earlier this week from London and she’s bringing it home at the end of the week with her look at the Fashion Awards. Is Grinch green having a moment? We saw it on Gemma Chan last week and now Gabrielle, although in this case, that’s a bold colour and it’s a LOT of dress. But it works because she’s selling it with the spectacularly dramatic hair and the accessories, but going nude with the makeup so that it all doesn’t actually feel too much, just exactly the right amount of extra and restraint.
To go back to Gab as Tootie though…
Will there be braces? Rollerskates? “We’re in trouuuuu-ble”?
Also, for those of you who are old enough to remember, but do you remember? The storylines on that show! Specifically where Tootie is concerned, there was one time she thought she was going to be a model and instead almost got lured into a child porn situation but Mrs Garrett saved her just in time… Like, it’s coming back to me in flashes, but back then, they were not afraid to go there with that kind of scared straight messaging. And there were so many provocative episodes that seem shocking that they were approved to air back then considering how conversative network television became after that era. I can’t wait to see what episode they choose for this special.