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After School Specials

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Rob Lowe, After School Specials 1979-1980
Schoolboy Father: ABC Photo Archives

After School Specials 1978-1979

Current Status:
In Season

We gave it a C+

Rob Lowe makes a living appearing in shows with goofy titles like The Lyon’s Den and dr. vegas. But remember that time back in high school when he wanted to hit on Nancy McKeon but couldn’t because he had knocked up poor Dana Plato and was trying to raise their child — a child he wanted to name Wolf? Man, was that a bummer.

We can now relive this Lowe point in the don’t-try-this-at-home-kids teenage paternity tale Schoolboy Father, one of eight After School Specials to be released in two new feature-free DVD sets. These 45-minute dramas were supposed to teach life lessons about overcoming obstacles, or generally just not acting like a jerk. Lowe learned that not only is it bad to have unprotected sex, but also that raising a baby involves, like, changing diapers and stuff. Ewww!

Other installments are similarly sappy. In It’s a Mile From Here to Glory, a self-centered track star needs to get run over by a car to learn humility, while A Special Gift teaches us that it actually is cool for a boy to do ballet, even if some creep at school named Dalton calls you a ”sissy” and a ”pansy.” (No relation, by the way.) And then there’s the bizarre What Are Friends For?, which answers the question that plagues all young girls: what to do when your buddy paints her face and starts performing black magic in the bathtub. The only thing you’re likely to learn from these simplistic stories is that you’ll watch anything as a kid — and then, as an adult, you’ll watch it all over again on DVD.