Thursday, October 6, 2022

11 Facts About “The Wonder Years” That Made Us Long to See Kevin and Winnie Again

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Traveling back in time and remembering the moments that Kevin, Winnie, and Paul made us live through their childhood and part of their adolescence makes us smile. The Wonder Years made many generations relate to what these endearing characters allowed us to live by their side, as they took us through an emotional roller coaster full of joy, sadness, love, and nostalgia.

In Bright Side, we wanted to know more about this series and all the details that were necessary for us to follow the lives of these great little ones and, especially, of the Arnold family.

1. The same screenwriters wrote Growing Pains.

Before working on The Wonder Years, its screenwriters, Neal Marlens and Carol Black, had already made some television series, including Growing Pains, so they had experience in this type of family shows. In 2016, Rolling Stone placed The Wonder Years at number 63 on the list of the 100 best TV shows of all time.

2. It was considered one of the best pilots released after a Super Bowl.

Courtesy Everett Collection/Everett Collection/East News

The show premiered in 1988 and aired for the first time after the Super Bowl. It was a success from the start, and after only 6 episodes, it won an Emmy for best comedy series. This episode has been considered one of the best ever aired after a Super Bowl, as it “did something that very few pilots did: it had a kind of template of what the series would give us.”

3. Daniel Stern, from Home Alone, was not always Kevin Arnold’s voice as an adult narrator.

Michael Ferguson/PHOTOlink.net/Everett Collection/East News, Courtesy Everett Collection/Everett Collection/East News

Daniel Stern, one of the evildoers lurking in the movie Home Alone, was the narrating voice of Kevin Arnold as an adult, as he recalled the experiences of his youth. However, it wasn’t always him. In the pilot, actor Arye Gross, who has appeared on shows like Better Call Saul and How to Get Away with Murder, was the first voice of the older Kevin Arnold. Later, Daniel came in and became the narrator. Not only that, but he also directed some episodes of the series.

4. Fans were disappointed that Kevin and Winnie didn’t end up together, but there was a reason for it.

Series producer Bob Brush knew fans would not be happy to learn that Kevin and Winnie were not happily ever after. “Some viewers will be surprised to learn that nothing ever works out the way you want it to. The message I wanted to get across is that that’s also part of the beauty of life. It’s fine to say, ’I wish everything was like it was when I was 15 and happy,’ but I found it more enriching to say that we should leave these things behind and forge a new life for ourselves.”

5. Josh Saviano, who played Paul Pfiffer, really did become a lawyer.

In the last episode of the series, Kevin says that Paul had enrolled at Harvard and became a lawyer. Josh Saviano, the actor who played Paul Pfiffer, actually did end up studying law and is currently president and co-founder of his own firm, where he serves as a transactional corporate and intellectual property lawyer.

6. The natural aging of the actors was also a reason for the production to come to an end.

Perhaps nobody really knows how long “the wonder years” last, but at least for this series, it couldn’t be that long because that implied telling other kinds of stories. Its producer, Bob Brush, said, “As the children grew and developed, there were new stories to tell, but the tension and limitations of what you have as a concept of the Wonder Years started to weigh on us.”

7. Some of Kevin and Winnie’s dialogues were inspired by real events.

Courtesy Everett Collection/Everett Collection/East News

Of course, the show had a script, but the writers didn’t want to lose some of the dialogues that the actors had on the show’s set. Thus, as Danica McKellar said, “there was this whole episode dedicated to, ‘Do you like him, or do you like him-like him?’ That was an expression that he and I used when we were talking about some guy that I had a crush on, in real life. And then, it showed up in a script, a few weeks later. There were a lot of blurred lines. The other interesting thing was that I broke up with my first boyfriend, in real life, about a week before we shot the episode where I had to break up with Kevin on the show. It was fascinating how many parallels there were.”

8. Danica McKellar’s biggest rival for Winnie Cooper’s role was her sister.

To play Winnie Cooper, sisters Danica and Crystal became “rivals” as the casting people said they really liked Crystal. Danica said that a part was written so that Crystal could appear in the series, so she became Becky Slater, Kevin’s girlfriend, when Winnie was in love with someone else.

9. Kevin and Winnie’s first kiss was also Fred and Danica’s first kiss.

In the series premiere, Kevin and Winnie kiss for the first time, something neither had experienced in real life. “The one good thing about having your first kiss in front of the cameras is that you know for sure what’s going to happen,” Danica joked. Fred said they both felt nervous and scared and didn’t know if they would get it right.

10. Several actors made guest appearances in the series before they became big stars.

Before they became well-known figures in show business, a few actors appeared in the series. Some of them are Juliette Lewis, Robin Thicke, Alicia Silverstone, Seth Green, Ben Savage, Fred’s younger brother, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Breckin Meyer, David Schwimmer, Dustin Diamond and John Corbett.

11. Fred Savage will always be Kevin Arnold.

Even though Fred Savage went from actor to producer and director of different shows, he is aware that he will always be remembered as Kevin Arnold. “I will never be embarrassed by that, and it makes me feel great that people still remember him and speak so fondly of him. It would be very foolish to believe that every opportunity that came after The Wonder Years wasn’t because of it. I owe a lot to that show.”

What do you think The Wonder Years would be like if it was shot today?

Bright Side/Art/11 Facts About “The Wonder Years” That Made Us Long to See Kevin and Winnie Again

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