Diff'rent Strokes: NBC-TV/ The Kobal Collection
March 14, 2005 at 05:00 AM EST

Diff'rent Strokes

type
TV Show
Current Status
In Season
performer
Conrad Bain, Todd Bridges, Gary Coleman, Dana Plato, Dixie Carter, Janet Jackson, Charlotte Rae
broadcaster
ABC, NBC

Which comedies pulled a downer stunt that hurt the show?

I thought the series finale of Roseanne and the father’s death on Good Times killed the spirit of what had been strong sitcoms. Are there any comedies that you felt pulled a downer stunt that hurt the show? — Matt T.
One prime offender: the jarring Diff’rent Strokes episode in which Arnold’s best friend, Dudley, was molested by a pedophile. This kicked off a trend of ”very special” episodes (remember Alex’s amphetamine addiction on Family Ties? Or the death of downstairs neighbor Mr. Heckles on an odd, Hallmark-esque Friends?) that always slow down a show’s comic momentum.

(Got a TV-related question for Gillian? Post it here.)

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