Heading onto shelves to catch the attention of "Sex and the City" fans looking for an early peek into "Sex" star Sarah Jessica Parker's career, "Square Pegs" ran on CBS from 1982-1983 and focused on Patty Greene (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Lauren Hutchinson (Amy Linker), two teens who have to navigate the trials and tribulations of their high school with pals Marshall Blechtman (John Femia), Muffy (Jamie Gertz) and Johnny "Slash" Ulasewicz (Merritt Butrick).
The series didn't last past one season, but grabbed a devoted following during its brief run due to terrific dialogue (while some of the writers on the series were working on their first show, others - including creator Anne Beatts) had experience writing for shows like "Saturday Night Live") great characters and very good performances. While Parker and Gertz were highlights, Claudette Wells and Tracy Nelson are also terrific as the popular girls Patty and Lauren envy.
While the fashions are as dated as one might expect, the series still stands out as a fun throwback and the clever writing combined with solid performances does allow the series to still stand up fairly well after all these years.
1. 1- 1 27 Sep 82 Pilot
- At Weemawee High, freshmen Patty Greene and Lauren Hutchinson vow to click with a popular clique.
2. 1- 2 4 Oct 82 A Cafeteria Line
- When Patty gets the romantic lead in the school's homage to "A Chorus Line", she starts to believe that leading man Vinny may actually like her.
3. 1- 3 11 Oct 82 Pac Man Fever
- Marshall becomes obsessed with a video game, while Johnny Slash plans an intervention from Marshall's favorite comedian.
4. 1- 4 18 Oct 82 Square Pigskins
- Patty and Lauren get roped into playing an all-girl football game.
5. 1- 5 1 Nov 82 Halloween XII
- When pep committee leader Muffy convinces their teacher Mrs. Loomis to host a slumber party on Halloween, the girls are targeted by a stalker.
6. 1- 6 8 Nov 82 A Simple Attachment
- Marshall sends for a love detector and plans to use it on Lauren.
7. 1- 7 15 Nov 82 Weemaweegate
- Inspired by Watergate, school reporters Patty and Lauren try to uncover who may be trying to sabotage Vinnie's campaign for school mascot.
8. 1- 8 22 Nov 82 Open 24 Hours
- Johnny Slash gets songwriter's block after Marshall books his band their first gig.
9. 1- 9 29 Nov 82 Muffy's Bat Mitzvah
- Muffy's new-wave celebration is Weemawee's hottest ticket, but when Devo cancels, Johnny's band is asked to fill in - until plans change again.
10. 1-10 13 Dec 82 Hardly Working
- Jennifer is forced to get an "uncool" job due to the recession, but Muffy tries to make it into a cause and plans a telethon for Jennifer.
11. 1-11 20 Dec 82 A Child's Christmas in Weemawee (1)
12. 1-12 20 Dec 82 A Child's Christmas in Weemawee (2)
- Lauren makes plans for them to crash the holiday parties, but Patty finds out that she has to spend time with her estranged dad.
13. 1-13 27 Dec 82 It's All How You See Things
- Lauren convinces Patty to remove her glasses to attract guys, but things don't go as planned.
14. 1-14 10 Jan 83 Merry Pranksters - Patty and Lauren think pulling pranks will increase their popularity.
15. 1-15 24 Jan 83 It's Academical
- While competing on a local TV quiz show, Patty and Muffy also compete for the attention of their teammate.
16. 1-16 31 Jan 83 The Stepanowicz Papers
- With the janitor out sick, his attractive son fills in and attracts the attention of the girls in school, including Mrs. Loomis and Lauren.
17. 1-17 5 Feb 83 To Serve Weemawee All My Days
- Popular teacher Mr. Donovan may be fired from his job due to his "unconventional" teaching methods. The students stage a sit-in in order to try and save his job.
18. 1-18 14 Feb 83 No Substitutions
- The hip new sub teacher is popular with everyone, but jealousy comes up when the teacher favors Patty over Lauren.
19. 1-19 21 Feb 83 No Joy in Weemawee
- Johnny Slash reveals a hidden talent for baseball and even gets scouted by LA Dodgers star Steve Sax.
20. 1-20 7 Mar 83 The Arrangement
- Jennifer and LaDonna mysteriously invite Patty and Lauren to Vinnie's party. While they think popularity may be finally getting close, they find the invitation comes with a price.
VIDEO: "Square Pegs" is presented by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment in the show's original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio. Quite frankly, I was rather shocked - in a good way - by the presentation. Considering the low-budget and age of the series, it actually looked terrific - the point where I have to wonder if there was work done on restoring the series.
Sharpness and detail impress, as the picture looked surprisingly crisp and well-defined, with small object detail actually looking rather decent (again, considering the source material) in many scenes. Some mild grain is seen at times, but print flaws (specks, marks and other wear & tear) are limited, with only the occasional instances of dirt and marks. No edge enhancement or pixelation is spotted. Colors actually had some pep, looking nicely saturated and never smeary. Fans of the show will be quite pleased.
SOUND: The show's mono audio seemed just fine, with dialogue that sounded clean and clear, if slightly thin.
EXTRAS: Sarah Jessica Parker, Jamie Gertz, Tracy Nelson & Claudette Wells offer their thoughts in surprisingly lengthy (as these sort of retrospective interviews go) interview segments. All three segments (Nelson and Wells are together) run a little over an hour and provide some wonderfully fun and entertaining stories about the experiences the actresses had during their time on the show. We also get "minisodes" (essentially, preview-sized versions) of an episode from "The Facts of Life" and another from "Silver Spoons".
Final Thoughts: While the look of the series can seem dated, the writing and performances make this a fun trip back to the '80's. The DVD set offers surprisingly good video quality, fine audio and a few more extras than one would expect. Recommended for fans.