Missing Francesca McDowell

These days she avoids television like the plague, but in the late 1980’s, Stick Chick enjoyed night-time TV, mostly after v2.0 had fallen asleep.

One favorite was the Tracy Ullman Show, a sketch comedy featuring a variety of characters played by Ullman, her cast of regulars and a variety of guests.  Stick Chick especially loved one character known as Francesca McDowell, a New York City teen being raised by her father Dave and his partner William, the first (fictional) gay couple shown on TV.

Francesca had a simple joie de vivre that kept her parents hopping.  Especially hilarious and ultimately endearing were scenes in her room, reading her diary aloud.  Ullman’s show remained Stick Chick’s fascination, drawn to the vignettes punctuated by cartoon shorts featuring the Simpsons, who later went on to their own fame.

There’s only one word that adequately describes 1987: WEIRD.  For those who remember, I ask, “How else would you have characterized a year in which all of these happened?”

  • Reagan told Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall
  • Black Monday the U.S. stock market dropped 508 points
  • Baby Jessica in the well
  • The “Baby M” case on surrogacy
  • The Kidnapping of Terry Waite
  • Max Headroom was a guest on Letterman
  • Jim Bakker televangelist scandal
  • Talking Teddy Ruxpin – as creepy as it gets for kids

1987 was also the year that Prozac was first introduced in the United States.  Judging from the list, maybe we needed it.

There was good news, Prince Charming, having arrived in a cab over Peterbilt, made things official with Stick Chick and so it was she and v2.0 began a new journey.  Her days were spent “living the dream,” of working, parenting and keeping house.

Prince Charming’s Arrival Circa 1987

What could possibly happen next?

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