It’s like the couple in a science fiction romance who find they love each other in every dimension

So I’m watching the two-part opener of the third season of Charles in Charge (yes, Chargeheads, it’s the return of Gwendolyn Pierce, perhaps the only story of impact in the entire series)…

Now wait, let me make it clear that I don’t normally watch old episodes of Charles in Charge (and I’m pretty darned sure that there aren’t new episodes out there, appearing on TV without my knowledge), but I had placed season 3 on my Netflix queue (because of Jennifer Runyon’s return as Gwendolyn Pierce). Even though I oddly connected with the series as a younger man, I don’t have a lot of yearning to revisit it beyond this and perhaps the pilot; probably haven’t watched an episode in at least a decade. I’m sick today, trying to use little energy, and checking the queue for something to watch I notice that this disappears from availability tomorrow, so it would seem such a waste not to watch it today.

Anyway, I’m watching it, and I start checking out its Wikipedia entry and I start following the various actor links (Jennifer Runyon is retired from acting, and thus will always live in my mind with her lovely robust torso and robust hair) and I discover something that may have been obvious to others, but never to me: Ellen Travolta (yes, elder sister of John), who plays Charles’s mother on the show, also played Chachi’s mother on Happy Days and Joanie Loves Chachi. That’s right, she is repeatedly Scott Baio’s mom.

And that set me wondering whether there were other cases where a pair of actors worked well enough in a certain familial relationship that they were repeatedly cast in them. There are the obvious cases – there aren’t a lot of cases where one would see Randi Brough without seeing Candi Brough playing her twin sister (I don’t remember B.J. and the Bear well enough to recall if they had acting talent, but when you’re hot-looking twins, you get cast as hot-looking twins… or, in the case of Cyb and Trish Barnstable, a hot-looking gal and her clone).

But beyond that? The only obvious example that comes to mind is Bill Cosby and Phylicia Rashad, who were a married couple in The Cosby Show and then later in Cosby (and here Mr. Nat’s TV has to hang his head in shame – he actually had to look up the title of Cosby. I could remember the title of the British source for the series – One Foot in the Grave – despite never having watched an episode of it, but not the reasonably-successful American four-season sitcom). But beyond that?

Lymph glands are still swollen. I’m using Netflix and Roku to experience Mystery Science Theater 3000 for the first time in years. Time for some deeply meaningful TV…

Published in: on December 19, 2010 at 12:04 am  Leave a Comment  

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