1 9 8 2 – 1 9 8 3 (USA)
20 x 30 minute episodes
Square Pegs was created by Anne Beatts, one of the original writers for Saturday Night Live, who modelled the show on her own high school experiences.
The storylines focused on the lives of Patty (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Lauren (Amy Linker), two best friends struggling to make the difficult transition to high school life as freshmen at Weemawee High.
The two girls yearned to become members of the popular crowd but discovered how tricky this is when you’re not rich, never up on the latest fashion, and don’t look cool – Patty wore glasses and was skinny, Lauren had braces and was slightly overweight.
The coveted in-crowd included vicious preppie pep squad captain Muffy Tepperman (Jami Gertz), valley-girl Jennifer DiNuccio (Tracy Nelson), big man on campus Vinnie Pasetta (Jon Caliri), and the bigoted black best friend of Jennifer, LaDonna Fredericks (Claudette Wells).
The School staff included Principal Dingleman (Basil Hoffman), health teacher Ms Loomis (Catlin Adams), and former radical-turned-Political Science teacher Rob Donovan (Steven Peterman).
Patty and Lauren schemed to become cool in the eyes of the popular crowd, often going through elaborate plans dreamt up by Lauren to achieve ‘cool’ status.
These plans usually backfired, and they ended up taking comfort in the company of their fellow outcasts, new wave enthusiast John ‘Johnny Slash’ Ulasewicz (Merritt Butrick) and aspiring comedian Marshall Blechtman (John Femia).
The show earned a devoted cult following, winning over viewers with its unfailing accuracy in detailing the behaviour and habits of high school students circa the early 80s.
Sadly, the show did not perform to expectations for CBS and was cancelled after one season of 20 episodes. Despite its short run, Square Pegs left its mark on many a young viewer and paved the way for more realistic teen-oriented programming.
The show is also notable for giving a start to a lot of memorable talent: Sarah Jessica Parker, Jami Gertz and Tracy Nelson all went on to long-lived careers in film and television.
Sarah Jessica Parker
John “Johnny Slash” Ulasewicz
Mr Rob Donovan