The Wonder Years (season 2)
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The Wonder Years (1988–93) was American television series that was aired on ABC. The series depicts the social and family life of an adolescent boy growing up in a suburban middle-class family, and takes place from 1968–1973.
Heart of Darkness [2.1]
- Narrator: As seventh grade wore on, I began to have nightmares. I'm walking into a sort of a - a cave. A long dark tunnel. I think Paul and Winnie are with me. But then - then - they're not. I'm all alone. I don't even want to go into the cave - I'm, I'm terrified. But I just know that I have to keep going - deeper, and deeper. So deep, it's like I can't even remember what the daylight is like anymore, and suddenly - I'm in second period math class. In pajamas. With feet! I guess I was under a lot of stress. There are a lot of things about junior high life that might seem simple to an outsider... but they're not. Take the fifteen minutes before homeroom every morning. What you do with those fifteen minutes says pretty much everything there is to say about you as a human being.
- Narrator: When I look back on it now, I feel sorry for Gary. When all was said and done, he was just a little kid, and I guess he needed friends. But all Paul and I knew that night was - that we wanted to go home.
- Norma: Kevin! What are you doing here? Did something happen? Are you OK?
- Kevin: Yeah, we're fine. We just felt like coming home.
- Narrator: It was the truth. But not the whole truth. And looking at my mom and my dad - standing there in their bathrobes, worried about me - I felt a little sick about that. I don't know why, but that night - for the first time in a long time - I didn't have a single nightmare.
Our Miss White [2.2]
- Narrator: Nineteen sixty-eight was a strange and passionate time. Things that had seemed impossible were happening all around us. The events of those days brought every emotion to the surface. We felt things strongly then. And we felt them together. I guess we all got caught up in it. Even me. And Miss White. What was it about her that affected me so profoundly? Her sensitivity? Her warmth? Her intelligence? Maybe all of those. [The camera slowly pans down her white blouse and pauses.] Maybe more. Maybe much more.
- Narrator: It was a strange and passionate time. Some of our dreams dissolved into thin air. They almost seem comical now. But some of our dreams are lasting and real.
- Narrator: That Christmas of nineteen-sixty eight, my brother, Wayne, and I fell in love. With color-TV. It was more than love. We were witnessing a modern miracle. And we worshipped it like aborigines from the black-and-white stone-age. It was the first thing we ever agreed on. Even Mom and Karen tended to mist up in the presence of that almost-living color.
- Narrator: I don't even remember what I got for Christmas that year. But Dad gave Mom a bracelet that knocked her socks off. Oh, yeah... and he did get us that color-TV... two years later. For me, that year Christmas stopped being about tinsel and wrapping paper, and started being about memory. At first I was disappointed. Until I learned that memory is a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, the things you wish to never lose. And I learned from Winnie, that in a world that changes too fast, the best we can do is wish each other Merry Christmas. [Kevin opens Winnie's present, which is a four-leaf clover] And good luck.
Steady As She Goes [2.4]
- Narrator: Once upon a time... a boy's popularity was based on kickball abilities... pea-shooting range... and how much of the alphabet he could squeeze off with one burp. For the same boy to acquire a comparable level of popularity in junior high school... he's gonna need a girl. The ceremony rarely strays from tradition. Fully unprepared for his certain someone to be surrounded by three giggling friends... boy grows thirsty... and proceeds to drink. He will continue to drink until the gaggle disperses... or his stomach explodes - whichever comes first. Girl... acutely aware of boy's presence... warns her friends that she will, in fact, die... if they abandon her. To no avail. She is forsaken, left to yell a meaningless...
- Girl: Uh, you guys!
- Narrator: After them... and tend to the business of rearranging her locker. Seeing his opportunity... boy prepares for final approach. He takes one last breath and lunges forward. Girl feigns surprise. And they engage in small talk. Feeling the full weight of the moment... boy realizes that those three gallons of fountain water have just funneled directly to his palms, armpits, and feet. Down to his final wisps of saliva... boy decides that the time has come to quote-unquote... "pop the big one."
- Boy: You wanna go steady? [Frowns]
- Girl: Sure! [Smiles]
- Narrator: And just like that, the ceremony is complete... leaving the newly-formed couple with... absolutely nothing left to say to each other.
- Narrator: [after seeing Winnie and Kirk kiss] And so it finally happened. My poor twelve-year-old heart finally crumbled into a little pile of dust, and blew away. It was over. I was never gonna to get her back. It was time for a little self-respect. It was time to let go. Time to move on. After all, who needed women? Who needed friends? I'd just walk alone from now on. Yep, that was me, Kevin Arnold - lone wolf.
Just Between Me and You and Kirk and Paul and Carla and Becky [2.5]
- Kevin: [to Kirk, about Winnie] She's not mad at you. She likes you. She's not sure if she likes you likes you, but she likes you. When she first liked you, she liked you liked you...unless she just thought she liked you when she really just liked you. But she likes you.
- Kirk: I knew it...I'm a dead man.
- Kevin: I just have to know if you like me or not. And don't give any of that... "like me" like me stuff.
- Narrator: Well, that was it. A straightforward, face-to-face, yes-or-no question. And I was going to stand there until I got my answer.
- Winnie: I don't know.
- Kevin: "I don't know"?! What do you mean you don't know? [Frowns]
- Winnie: I mean I don't know. I really don't know! I wish everyone would just leave me alone! I don't know what I'm doing.
- Narrator: This was something new. I mean, I always figured girls knew exactly what they wanted. They knew - they had a plan. Or maybe they didn't. Maybe they were just as confused as we were. Isn't that great? It - it's horrible. They don't know either. That means nobody knows. As I stood there that cold night, I realized for the first time in a long time that Winnie and I were feeling the same thing. We were both completely... miserable.
Pottery Will Get You Nowhere [2.6]
- Narrator: In all the years I spent growing up at my parents' house, I don't think I ever heard them use the word "relationship". Not once. "Indigestion"... "taxes"... "damn" - these were words you heard a lot. I guess my mom just expected my dad to be a good man - honest, loyal, a good provider... hopefully possessed of good table manners. And my dad expected my mom to be a good woman - honest, loyal, a good mother. And hopefully a good cook. And that was about it. But if my parents didn't know much about relationships, they knew a lot about marriage. Like how to make a joint-decision. Mom would choose what she liked... Dad would choose what he liked...then they'd settle on something no one of our species could like. They could completely disagree about something, without directly contradicting each other. One thing my parents would never, ever do... is yell at each other in front of the kids.
- Jack: Kevin! Wayne! I told you to knock it off!
- Norma: Boys! That's enough!
- Narrator: Course, they had no problem yelling at the kids in front of each other. I guess I never really thought of my parents as being in love. But maybe that's the best thing for a kid - to never have to think about it. It's just always there. Like the ground you walk on.
- Jack: Don't bother. I'll get it.
- Norma: No, that's okay, Jack! I'll get it.
- Jack: I said: "I'll get it".
- Norma: [she touches her pottery vase] Don't break it!
- Jack: I'm not gonna break it, Norma!
- Norma: Well, just because you hate my pottery, there's no reason to smash it into pieces!
- Jack: I don't hate your pottery!
- Narrator: Noticed he didn't say "He liked it".
- Norma: Well, you certainly act like you hate it!
- Jack: Now, what's that supposed to mean?!
- Norma: It means that from the moment I started doing this, you haven't had one nice thing to say!
- Jack: Well, maybe I not big on pottery! So, sue me!
- Norma: Well, you certainly seem fond of your stupid little fish cup! I've never seen anyone so attached to anything since Kevin had to give up his blankie!
- Jack: I don't wanna talk about this!
- Norma: Well, maybe I do, Jack! It's not fair! You're making me feel like I'm doing something wrong!
- Jack: You're crazy! I'm not making you feel anything!
- Norma: [sarcastically] Oh, sure! You've been a regular Mr. Sunshine! [Karen, Wayne & Kevin get annoyed by this argument] You know, Jack, the kids all say: "That's nice, mom!", my friends say: "The nice, Norma!", my teacher says "Very good, Mrs. Arnold!", and you say "Where's the Pepsi?!"
- Jack: I really don't have time for this!
- Norma: [grabs Jack's arm] I spent my time trying to make something nice for the family! And you don't even have the common courtesy to say you like it!
- Jack: Don't give me that, Norma! This family doesn't need an ashtray for 200 people! This family needs Pepsi!
- Norma: That is the stupidest thing I've ever heard in my life, Jack! You should listen to yourself! "I want my Pepsi! I want my cup!" You sound like an infant!
- Jack: Don't you ever, EVER speak to me in that tone of voice!
- Norma: I'll speak the way I want to.
- Jack: Fine! Don't expect me to listen to it!
- Narrator: The silence that filled our house that night - was like ice. My dad didn't come home till after midnight.
- [Next morning, Norma burns her hand on the iron and starts to cry. Jack gently puts his hands on her shoulders. She turns around and they hug]
- Jack: Did you just burn yourself?
- Narrator: I know it sounds strange - but that was the first time... I'd ever seen my parents alone together. I guess sometimes the ground can shift beneath your feet. Sometimes your footing slips - you stumble. And sometimes, you grab what's closest to you, and hold on... as tight as you can.
- Narrator: When you are a little kid, you are a bit of everything - artist, scientist, athlete, scholar. Sometimes, it seems life is like a process of giving those things up, one by one. I guess we all have one thing we regret giving up. One thing we really miss. And we gave up because we were too lazy. We couldn't stick it out. Or because we were afraid.
- Narrator: I never did forget that night. I remember the light glowing from Mrs. Carples' window. And I remember the darkness falling as I sat out there on the street looking in. And now... more than twenty years later... I still remember every note of the music that wandered out into the still night air. The only thing is... I can't remember how to play it anymore.
Hiroshima, Mon Frere [2.8]
- Narrator: Sometimes... when you're a kid... you lie awake at night and ponder the kinds of questions that grownups have long since stopped asking. Questions like - What did it feel like to be dead? Are time and space really infinite? What was there before the universe began? Why are there people like Wayne?
- [Wayne snorts and tosses in his sleep]
- Wayne: Butthead!
- Narrator: I could never figure it out. Even in his sleep, my brother seemed to hate my guts. I guess he'd just never forgiven me for something I did to him very early in life. I'd been born. Then, to make things worse, I stayed.
- Narrator: As my brother and I walked home that day, I guess we both knew that things would never be quite the same between us. Everything would be more complicated now. Now, we both knew... that I could hurt him. The funny thing was, I'm not sure I was glad about that.
- Narrator: It's hard to imagine being twelve years old... and going without certain things. Like three months off in the summertime. Or a good bicycle to cruise the neighborhood on. More than anything though, it's hard to imagine being twelve years old...and not having a best-friend like Paul Pfeiffer. Paul was the nicest kid I ever knew. He would have done anything for me - I know it. And I would have done anything for him. At least, I always thought I would.
- Narrator: [Playing basketball] And then it happened. It was the miracle. It was the impossible. It was the dream come true. [Paul shoots a wild hook-shot, hitting Mr. Cutlip on the head] In that instant... that brief ping of rubber against steel... basketball... became fun again. Well, we still got slaughtered. But for the first time in a long time, it just didn't seem to matter. And Paul and I got back to the way things used to be. The way they would stay... for many years to come.
Walk Out [2.10]
- Narrator: In nineteen-sixty-nine, we had the Vietnam war for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I guess it was inevitable that we stopped paying attention. You had to stop paying attention.
- Narrator: And that's how I started the great Kennedy junior high peace walk out of nineteen-sixty-nine. As I said... some men pursue greatness... and some men have greatness thrust upon them... while they're in the bathroom. I'm not sure we really changed anything that day. I suppose the war would have gone pretty much the same if we'd stayed in home room. But one thing would be different. We wouldn't have the memory to carry with us today, of eight-hundred children on a football field, singing. And... it wouldn't all be on our permanent record.
- Narrator: I guess that's when it hit me, Winnie wasn't going to forgive me for the things I said. It could only mean one thing: she wanted me bad.
- Narrator: In junior high school there were days when you felt like nothing was worth getting out of bed for. But then, you remembered... you were going to see her... Your day was gonna have all these moments... moments that were full of... possibility. When you were sure that something - something... was going to happen. And then, there were the moments that made you really, really... nervous. I don't know why, but ever since I'd broken up with Becky Slater, I felt uneasy whenever I saw her and Winnie together. I started to think... a dumpee could really do a lot of damage to a dumpster.
- Narrator: Eddie Pinetti. The scourge of RFK junior high. He gave new meaning to the word "mean". Not that Eddie had any particular reason for being rude, insensitive and sadistic. It was just kinda... who he was... a bully. Eddie was a force of nature. Like tornados... or flash electrical fires. Or fate! That was it. Fate. Maybe I knew even before it happened... that I... had an appointment with destiny.
- Narrator: But then... something inside me... snapped. From deep inside, I felt rage! Not just for me, but for every kid who had ever been picked on, humiliated, bullied. For every kid who'd gone home ashamed. I put every shred of dignity and self-respect I had into that punch. Unfortunately... my aim was bad. Even more unfortunately, Eddie's wasn't. Those next ten minutes were... kinda a blur. Still, as Eddie worked out his deep-seated feelings of inadequacy, I began to realize something. Sooner or later this would be over. And I... would survive.
Birthday Boy [2.13]
- Narrator: When Paul and I were little kids... we had our birthdays only four days apart. Come to think of it, we still have our birthdays only four days apart. But I guess birthdays aren't as big a part of life as they used to be. Man - we has some classic parties. Year after year we reached for manhood together. When we fell short... we fell short together. God - we couldn't wait to get older.
- Narrator: And so it turned out to be a great birthday after all. I slow danced with Paul's Aunt Selma. I ate more than Mrs. Pfeiffer could have dreamed possible. And in a funny way... when I look back on it... I sorta feel like it was my bar mitzvah, too.
- Karen: I hate to pop your bubble, Little One, but Mom and Dad are not the sun and the moon. They are people like you and me.
- Narrator: Wrong-o, they were Mom and Dad.
- Narrator: I didn't sleep. I laid there... thinking about what had happened to Karen... to me... to all of us. About how big the world is, and how full of strangers. And how I might never see my sister again. In nineteen-sixty nine, people tried so hard to find themselves. Sometimes they got lost. Sometimes they found their way home again.
Square Dance [2.15]
- Narrator: Some people pass through your life and you never think about them again. Some you think about and wonder what ever happened to them. Some you wonder if they and wonder what happened to you. And then there are some you wish you never had to think about again. But you do.
- Narrator: In 7th grade, who you are is what other 7th graders say you are. The funny thing is it’s hard to remember the names of kids you spent so much time trying to impress. But you don't forget people like Margaret Farquios. Professor of Biology. Mother of six. Friend to bats.
Whose Woods Are These? [2.16]
- Narrator: Every kid needs a place to go to be a kid. For Paul and Winnie and me, that place was Harper's Woods. It was ten minutes from home if you walked it. But to us, it was a world all its own. We'd grown up there together. Playing games... catching fireflies on long summer evenings. Sure, they called it Harper's Woods, but we knew better. Those woods... belonged to us.
- Narrator: Maybe every human soul deals with loss and grief in its own way. Some curse the darkness. Some play hide and seek. That night Paul and Winnie and I found something we almost lost. We found our spirit. The spirit of children. The bond of memory. And the next day they tore down Harper’s Woods.
How I'm Spending My Summer Vacation [2.17]
- Narrator: Ever since I could remember, the Coopers' annual barbecue had been the first event of summer. It was a neighborhood tradition, the herald of good times. Japanese lanterns glowed in the dusk. And warm breezes carried the smell of burgers sizzling on the grill, and the sounds of kids having the time of their lives. But maybe the best thing about it was that it happened the first week of summer vacation, one day after the last day of school. It was kind of a solemn moment. Eight months of relentless education were finally erupting in a blast of summer madness.
- Narrator: That summer kids everywhere swam, waterskied and sailed.. While Winnie Cooper struggled to keep her head above water. In a family torn apart by anger and grief. I pretty much stayed close to home. I mowed Mr. Erman's lawn. I went fishing with my dad. I watched a man walk on the moon. I considered myself pretty lucky.