Peanut butter and jelly. Hot summer afternoons and swimming pools. Steven Seagal and ponytails. There are just a few things in life that go really well together. For kids of the ‘80s, nothing quite said an evening well spent like huddling around the television set, microwaved dinner balanced on your lap. We here at the Alamo Drafthouse remember those fond nights spent in the company of Alf, Michael J. Fox and the Fresh Prince of Bell-Air and this summer we’re bringing sexy back – and by sexy we mean a full-night of classic sitcom goodness, curated by Cinefamily.
For two nights only, the Houston Alamo Drafthouses will screen A VERY SPECIAL EPISODE, a two-hour collection of five of the cheesiest, most dated sitcom episodes you could ever hope to see on the big screen.
But what is, exactly, a very special episode?
Sitcoms are by their very nature designed to entertain. Whether through the madcap antics of smart-ass orphans or obnoxiously precocious, bleached-blonde teenagers, we invite sitcoms into our homes on a weekly basis not to teach us about our inner-most desires and the troubled nature of our souls but to make us temporarily forget the world is a scary place full of crime, sexual deviants and societal ills that exist without a cure.
But what happens when sitcom writers get tired of simply acting the clown and get the notion inside their heads that they have a powerful tool at their disposal to educate? When this rare but well-documented occurrence happens, audiences are forced to sit through some of the most awkward, cringe-worthy 30-minute chunks of their lives — trapped in awe and disbelief as beloved fictional characters are molested, killed, given life-altering addictions and then, moments before the end credits roll, all of the problems are swept under the rug making way for the show to return to its usual dumb but silly antis the following week.
From SAVED BY THE BELL’s Jesse Spano getting hooked on caffeine pills and breaking down into a sobbing mess of histrionics and Pointer Sisters lyrics to a two-part episode of MAUDE where Bea Arthur has an abortion, very special episodes are probably responsible for half the traumas and phobias currently experienced by today’s young adults.
What better way to confront those childhood traumas than by watching them on the big screen at the Alamo Drafthouse? From drunk celebrity guest stars to reefer addicted child actors, A VERY SPECIAL EPISODE will have you relearning all those special lessons your family tried to impart on you when they sat you down in front of the TV set for hours on end. You didn’t think they were just trying to keep you distracted and out of their hair, did you? They were leaving you in the care of some of the best teachers the world has ever known: ‘80s sitcoms.
And you don’t even need to break open your piggy bank to relearn why you should always assume friendly bicycle shop owners are secretly pedophiles! Tickets to A VERY SPECIAL EPISODE are only $5 – giving you plenty of cash left over to drown the memories of seeing Alf tackle alcoholism with one of our draft beers. Just remember to drink responsibly — we’re not afraid of pulling out old episodes of GROWING PAINS if it means finally teaching you the effects of drunk driving.