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"perpetual childhood" in old situation comedies

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1096084.  Mon Sep 29, 2014 7:04 am Reply with quote

Anyone remember this old trope?

for example: the Jay North "Dennis the Menace" tv show:

In the final season, Jeannie Russell was twelve years old, yet in those last episodes, her character of Margaret was still pushing her doll carriage up to the Wilson home and asking if Dennis can play "house" with her.

You have to wonder what the creators were planning to do had the show not been cancelled, as Russell's developing boobs would have become obvious within a year or two.

1096090.  Mon Sep 29, 2014 9:00 am Reply with quote

Beverly Hills, 90210 was quite popular in the 1990s, although very few of its high schoolers were even teenagers. Towards the end, some of the actors were hitting around 30, with one being 35.

I'm not sure whether it's more or less funny to see it happening on animated shows such as The Simpsons, which has generally done well to maintain continuity in its backstories, but has had to occasionally retell the story of Homer and Marge sharing their youth together in those crazy '̶7̶0̶s̶ ̶' 8̶0̶s̶ '90s.

1096105.  Mon Sep 29, 2014 10:37 am Reply with quote

I guess it's a problem with a long-running series, and probably a reason why they tend to finish after a few seasons.

Soap operas are different of course, and people can get old or whatever in real time.

1096109.  Mon Sep 29, 2014 11:13 am Reply with quote

natalie.salat wrote:
You have to wonder what the creators were planning to do had the show not been cancelled, as Russell's developing boobs would have become obvious within a year or two.

They'd have her tape them down. There are plenty of instances of adult actors playing schoolgirls attempting to conceal their boobs so as to appear younger.

Whoopi Goldberg may provide the extreme example. Ms Goldberg was 29 when she filmed The Color Purple, and those who claim to know about these things reckon that she's a D cup. But in the movie she played a girl of 14, and some kind of strapping will have been used.

1096112.  Mon Sep 29, 2014 11:33 am Reply with quote

Wasn't the same true for Judy Garland The Wizard of Oz?

1096114.  Mon Sep 29, 2014 11:38 am Reply with quote

I believe so. She was 17 at the time, and competing for the role with the 11 year-old Shirley Temple.

Gory details of behind the scenes shenanigans here.

1096119.  Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:11 pm Reply with quote

The cast of "Grease" were famously not very convining as 17 year old high school students. John Travolta was 23, Olivia Newton-John was 28 and Stockard Channing was 33,

However, the biggest age difference I can think of is Moaning Myrtle in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" (2006). In case anyone doesn't know, the Myrtle in the film was a ghost and the real Myrtle was supposed to have been 14 when she died. Shirley Henderson who played her was born in 1965. Well,. being dead and living, so to speak, in a toilet is bound to take its toll.

1096125.  Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:44 pm Reply with quote

She was also in the Chamber of Secrets, where it would make sense she'd been born in 1965 and died 14 years later, timewise in the story it would make sense.

1096136.  Mon Sep 29, 2014 3:32 pm Reply with quote

According to this

Myrtle was supposed to have been born in 1921 and died in 1943.

1096137.  Mon Sep 29, 2014 3:37 pm Reply with quote

....which just confirms I'm bloody useless with numbers and timelines.


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