Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Year in the What?

My post about favorite short-lived television series has garnered a bunch of great feedback -- I love it when my endless nostalgia pays dividends. Several people suggested "Jennifer Slept Here" (yay!), "Parker Lewis Can't Lose" (my brother Bill's fave), later to lose its "Can't Lose" and "Better Off Ted" got A LOT of votes -- all of which I'm very familiar with -- but the show that completely threw me off was "A Year in the Life," something I've never even heard of in passing. Reader Shae tells me it was like "Thirtysomething" with a "great cast" including Sarah Jessica Parker. (Huh?) Wikipedia says it was a 1986 Emmy Award–winning miniseries and (later) a one-hour dramatic series that ran on NBC during the 1987–88 TV season, created by Joshua Brand and John Falsey (whose partnership also produced the television shows "St. Elsewhere," "Northern Exposure" and "I'll Fly Away").

Having never heard of a show probably isn't that unusual, but that Sarah Jessica Parker was on it -- post-"Girls Just Want to Have Fun" -- is what shocked me as I thought I'd followed her career pretty closely since "Square Pegs." (Did I mention that I saw "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" in the theater and had the poster?)

Equally surprising is that at a cursory glance, SJP is the only actor (in a rather large cast) that I've even heard of, although David Oliver (hubba hubba) -- who played the conservative youngest son Sam, who was married to SJP's "free-spirited Kay" -- definitely seems like someone I'd have stalked loved. (I'd fly off the handle that someone as hot as him would NEVER date, let alone marry, someone like Sarah Jessica Parker -- Maxim's Unsexiest Woman Alive for 2007 -- but then I remind myself that she dated John F. Kennedy Jr., and I file it away with other great unsolved mysteries.) Sad to read that Oliver died of AIDS complications on Nov. 12, 1992. (Did I mention this is the first time I'm hearing about any of this?!) I don't see "A Year in the Life" on Netflix, but I'm guessing it's out there on ioffer.com just waiting for my bid!

18 comments:

Anonymous AND Accusatory said...

SJP is the only one you've heard of? I guess the late Richard Kiley and Adam Arkin don't rate with you.

Kenneth Walsh said...

@AA: I'm not sure having never heard of someone and "not rating" are the same thing, but OK.

I'm guessing Adam Arkin is related to Alan Arkin, who does "rate" with me.

Anonymous Confession said...

The original miniseries of "A Year in the Life" was great! I remember vividly the great chemistry between SJP and David Oliver (sadly, he died very young); they "meet cute" when he is trying to pick out some jewelry for his controlling financee and salesclerk SJP switches his uninspired choice for her own more provacative one, which the financee loves, natch. He goes back to thank SJP and things start to sizzle. He later has a great, emotional break-up scene with the fiancee.

I don't remember the TV series as well, although some plot elements (the family owned business, etc.) were re-used in "Brothers & Sisters" (I wonder if the creators of that had seen "A Year In the Life"?)

Full confession: I also saw "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" in the theatre! I did not, however, have a poster. And I really can't stand Helen Hunt.

Topaz said...

It was a great show. I remember it well -- especially a sex scene SJP and David Oliver had on some wet grass. David had a gorgeous hairy chest.

There were other good storylines, too. The father had been recently widowed and was pursuing a relationship with Diana Muldaur, there was a slacker older son and then a young married couple with screaming baby, the husband being Adam Arkin, who was in his hunky prime. Adam Arkin has gone on to be quite the prolific television director.

Beelee said...

I'm a bit late... but from 1990 Sharon Gless in The Trials of Rosie O'Neill... short lived, excellent show post Cagney and Lacey with theme song written by Carole King and sung by Mellisa Manchester...

Anonymous said...

david was on the soap as the world turns. also did a movie that i cant recall the name but had the word defense in it i think.

Anonymous said...

AMANDA PETERSON!! Can't Buy Me Love, anyone?!

Daniel said...

Wow - I loved this show and always wondered what happened to it. I remember putting my "ghetto blaster" next to the tv to record the intro music. I had no idea about the actor David Oliver.
Thanks for taking me waaaaaaay back :D

Dean said...

When you posted your original post earlier this week, this was the show that came to mind for me, too. I fell hard for David Oliver and remember being crushed when I heard of his passing and then seeing him listed as someone we lost to AIDS back when Entertainment Weekly used to list those in intertainment that had succumbed to the disease every year.

Greg Hernandez said...

I loved A Year in the Life and especially David Oliver. I believe Richard Kiley won the Emmy for it. Thanks for all these great memories of short-lived shows - most which I remember well. I think Debbie REynolds played Ann Jillian's mom in "Jennifer Slept Here."

Anonymous said...

I had a crush on David Oliver when he was on "Another World" in the 80s. I have a semi-bad memory, but I seem to recall he also appeared in Playgirl sometime back then - I could swear he was in one of those "digest" compilations the mag used to put out 25 years ago.

dfwteddy1955@yahoo.com said...

Put me in the column with those that fondly remember this show - although I have to admit I didn't remember that SLP was in it. Kiley did win the Emmy for his role as the father and slammed NBC for cancelling the show in his acceptance speech. Oliver was cute to be sure (and I also seem to recall his being in Playgirl, but that could just be wishful thinking), but Morgan Stevens was the one who got my engine running. WOOF! BROTHERS AND SISTERS is a knock-off of this show in many ways. Can't figure out how someone with so much TV trivia doesn't know hunky Adam Arkin - that cute little speech impediment is so endearing! His character on WEST WING (psychiatrist Josh sees after the assassination attempt) was excellent. These post of bygone shows have been a sweet reminder of days long gone!

Kevin said...

I watched this show. I had a crush on Trey Ames. I wonder what he looks like now? But I remember it being a good show. I must have been 14 when it came out.

Greg said...

I've been searching for AYITL for years and have had very little success in finding it even on iOffer. I have the miniseries on video somewhere, but like all video it's degraded and isn't worth copying. If YOU (with all your connections) should come across the miniseries and series, could you let us all know? Thanks! David was in a movie called Defense Play where he plays a teenager with his shirt off in some very nice scenes. Not only was the man hot, hot, hot, but thankfully he shunned the razor and plays the the scenes in all his hirsute glory. I talked with David's former lover after he died and before the advent of the internet and he said David's family was very private and would probably never be interested in sharing any more of David than he did with us on the screen. Besides information, pictures are also very hard to come by. (Also in Defense Play was an actor who is equally as furry (can you tell what attracts me to a screen?) named Jamie Murray. He later went on to become a landscaper.) Thanks for bringing up David. It's always nice to be reminded of him.

Anonymous said...

OK- I was lucky to know David Oliver in Junior High and in High school- Very talented young man, whether he was acting in or directing the school plays, and yes ALL of the girls had a big crush on him . . . He was always kind to me, even with my status of being his friends little sis. People were strangely drawn toward him, he had star power! Even in Jr. High he had crowds of girls following him everywhere he went! I still don't really understand this, but I literally witnessed crowds of girls following him around hoping that he would notice them!

Anonymous said...

Same here! I read it in Entertainment Weekly too and was bummed . He was a hottie.

Terry Houlihan said...

David Oliver was my partner. Like so many of you. I fell in love with David on the series AYITL. I was so fortunate to meet him a few years later in an acting class and he pursued me. It was surreal. What I thought of him as an actor didn't even come close to who he was as a person. YES he was physically beautiful. But the experience of loving him as a man truly surpassed any idea I had of him before we met. He was fascinated by EVERYTHING he was a tech geek. LOVED Star Trek, Acting, travel, classical music, playing the piano and me. It's 20 years since he passed and he's still very much a part of my life. David lives in the hearts and souls of all those he touched! I know I'm one of them.

Anonymous said...

Diana Muldaur was a regular late in the season plus Amanda Peterson + Adam Arkin....love the cast!!

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