i remember when i was in grade school, i’d come home and fox would show gumby, old popeye cartoons, and small wonder. i know you remember small wonder. it was about a little girl robot living with her inventor father and his family

to me the show was a minor diversion. frankly so was gumby and popeye. they were all awful shows i watched at a very specific epoch in my development as a human being

in college, the show small wonder came up in trivial conversation and i googled — well, altavista-ed — the show to see if i could find more info

i came upon this fan site which still exists today. there is (1) an incredible wealth of info about the show, and (2) an even more incredible wealth of absolutely crazy people for whom small wonder was definitive sci-fi

seriously you need to check it out. there are fanfics that retcon the science of the voice input child identicant (vicki) and fill all her holes with extremely legit-sounding technobabble i found fascinating. this was a level of detail the show never committed to, incredible detail that the show does not deserve

as far as i could tell the actual writers thought the sun revolved around the earth. vicki would magnetize aluminum cans on the regular. she had the “technological” ability to shrink to the size of a doll.

basically vicki had the ability to mimic any conceivable trick you can do with objects on a string or a really crappy greenscreen. and when you asked her to do something, she would repeat what you said, not do it, and then comically lift something a little girl should not be able to lift. commence eyeroll

one heated exchange on the small wonder forums concerned the use of the word “sexy” to describe little vicki. the actress who played vicki was probably 10 years old. some got upset at this, but the proponents of the adjective said “no, wait — i mean she is sexy technology in the same way a car is sexy”

i bet

say, why did the parents keep an anatomically correct girl robot, who followed your every command, in their 12-year-old son’s bedroom?

that is a recipe for disastrous explorations