It Looks Like Your Sweater’s Attacking You.
Last year I visited my parents and after much encouraging from my mother, I brought back my childhood Casio keyboard they got for me as a present years and years ago. I’ve been playing my beloved keyboard off and on these past few months, and it’s amazing what songs pop back up in my fingers after only a little tinkering. I took 8 years of a piano lessons and hated most of it, because I wasn’t so great at classical music; but I am a decent keyboardist in terms of playing chords and accompanying pop songs, occasionally busting out a solo riff or picking out a melody by ear. One of the first times this happened was when I figured out that the “flute” sound on the Casio was exactly like the flute sound in the theme song to the sitcom I Married Dora, and after some Sunday morning inspiration hit in 1987, I plucked out the tune excitedly, playing it over and over again. My mother, in the midst of getting ready for church, busted into my room and asked me to bring it down a notch. She said something about it being “too early in the morning” for such shenanigans, which I thought was weird at the time since everyone was already awake for aforementioned churchgoing. Now as an adult, I realize probably the shrieking electronic piano tones were a just bit much to handle before coffee and hymns.
What was that? You don’t remember the I Married Dora theme? Oh, well here you go.
Yep, that’s Juliette Lewis as a teen. And starring the great Elizabeth Pena. The premise of the show was something terrible, like a widower needs a maid and she doesn’t clean houses but she needs a green card, so they get fake-married, or real-married but occasionally they have to act married, but mostly it’s a bumbling Who’s the Boss, attempting to flip it and add class and race issues. It probably did this badly, I cannot vouch for the quality of the episodes, because I only remember two things about the show. Well, ok, three if you count the theme song first. I remember an episode when the Dad is going out on a date, and he comes down in an outfit that was quite popular among preppies at the time: khakis, a white button down shirt, a sweater tied around your shoulders and some boat shoes. He turns to Dora (Pena) and asks, “how do I look?” and she answers, “it looks like your sweater’s attacking you.” And it did! And I never wore my sweater again that way and whenever I saw anyone else with it, I thought about when sweaters attack.
The other thing I remember is the final scene of the final episode. Given recent discussions at Fry Butter about tv show cancellations, it seemed appropriate to unearth it:
(I really love youtube for confirming all these things in my brain as real and not dream memories.)
Elizabeth Pena was the reason I watched that sitcom, I was in love with her after seeing La Bamba, and though she popped up all over the place for awhile, I wouldn’t see her in a role that did her justice again until John Sayles’s movie Lone Star in 1996. Then in 2000 she reunited with my other favorite La Bamba actor Esai Morales when she popped up in a Showtime drama series, Resurrection Boulevard, which focused on an Angeleno family comprised of three generations of boxers. The show wasn’t exceptional, it was solidly good nighttime soap drama with cable freedom to show sex and swearing, but after 3 seasons it petered out. Now my beloved Pena is floating around, doing the round of guest spots (NCIS, Numb3rs, Without a Trace, Ghost Whisperer) in between small movies. Where is her star vehicle?? I’m still waiting. Esai Morales has landed on the show Caprica and his presence has convinced me to keep half-caught up with the series — it’s decent, but it’s no BSG. Then again, there’s also Polly Walker, so I might start get it together to focus my attention. However, Polly Walker also headed up the television show Rome, which despite being critically-acclaimed got canned, so perhaps I shouldn’t get too attached to that series either.