How 'Good Luck, Charlie' Smacks of the Past

They say the more things change, the more they stay the same. This has never been more true than in the case of Good Luck, Charlie, The Disney Channel's new monster hit about a nine-month-old kid and her colorful middle-class family.

One of this show's major differences from other Disney "hit-coms" is that both Mom and Dad are present (as opposed to the family dynamic in Hannah Montana, Cory in the House, or Sonny with a Chance). Disney executives said they wanted a show as much about parents as kids to appeal to a family audience, as well as one in which the parents are not "dumber than the kids."

These narrative tweaks are ironically retro. When we were kids, sitcoms almost always featured intact nuclear families (Think: Family, Family Ties and Family Matters). In these families, the parents were almost always smarter than the kids (Think: Howard Cunningham, Heathcliff Huxtable, Mike Brady and Jason Seaver).

And then there's Full House, the 1987-95 sit-com that's even more like Good Luck, Charlie than you might first think. Consider:

Good Luck's Charlie and Full House's Michelle are both nine months old as their shows starts. (Given the Olsens' Hollywood habits, someone please keep an eye on one-year-old Mia Talerico -- she's not even not a twin!)  

Some more TV family math:

Good Luck's not-so-smart PJ = Full House's not-so-smart Jesse
Good Luck's tender man Bob = Full House's tender man Joey
Good Luck's moral leader Amy = Full House's moral leader Danny
Good Luck's oldest child Teddy = Full House's oldest daughter DJ
Good Luck's sarcastic Gabe = Full House's sarcastic Stephanie

Let's not even get into the PJ/DJ thing.

Keep an eye out for Nickelodeon to make the next move, a sitcom focusing on a suburban family of four, including a generally well-behaved, cap-wearing seven-year-old boy nicknamed after a semi-aquatic rodent.

Will this family-focused strategy get you to watch kids TV channels with your children? Chime in below!

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