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The Charmings

posted by B on 10/17/01

Last Tuesday marked Disney's release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves on DVD, the first in a series of classic re-releases pimped to the brim and loaded down with useless special features you will pay 20 extra dollars for to watch once. But nothing has ever been MORE worth it. I can't wait for the extended footage directors commentary cut, where we finally find out what happens to sexy 18 year old Snow White who has been "promissed a *huge* surprise" when the "educated and polite" Dwarfs enter. Now if Disney will tell me whether or not the "XXX TEENAGERS EATING TURDS CAUGHT ON CAMERA" are actually the "HOTTEST I'VE EVER SEEN~@!!1!1." Then all my e-mail spam mysteries will be solved!

Long before Walt Disney's severed head frozen in a block of Nazi ice produced the animated Snow White, and shortly before older brother Ben was bombarded with cosmic rays that turned him into the ever-loving blue-eyed Thing, the Brothers Grimm produced the story itself. It lacked the glossed over cheesiness that made the Gremlins throw a fit watching the Disney version in the theater, but at the same time managed to convey a sense of danger that green reptile puppets picking their nose and flashing Phoebe Cates never could. Snow White features the Queen requesting a hunter bring back a little girl's heart as payment in one scene and the Queen being forced to wear red hot iron shoes and dance until she dropped dead in another. The scariest thing that happens in Gremlins is when the old lady flies out of her window in her Rascal scooter into a tree.

Disney put a preacher with a Richard "Boner" Stabone in "The Little Mermaid" and littered Aladdin with messages for underaged sexual exploration, but even Super Soldier Walt didn't have the ich ben ein balls to include the TRUE message of Snow White:

Necrophelia solves all of life's problems.

Necrophelia is not just Hamlet's psycho drowning girlfriend anymore, oh no...necrophelia is sex with dead people. Picture it as Haley Joel Osment watching a porno. The story features Prince Charming showing up and making out with stiff as a board Snow White, making him a stiff as a board Prince Charming and bringing her back to life. It's always creeped me out. I got the same feeling watching Quills, when Joaquin Phoenix, the evil Roman Emperor, began fondling Kate Winslet's lifeless bosom. The only difference is that Quills didn't employ the use of midgets, which kept it from getting the Best Picture Oscar nod I wager, and also that if Disney made a movie about the Marquis de Sade he would get his inspiration by singing songs with a talking hummingbird.



A dead Snow White being carried by what appears to be the starting line for the New York Rangers.

I really shouldn't be making fun of necropheliacs though...as we know, whatever you make fun of other people will assume you love. People who hate fat people get called "closet chubby chasers," creepy neighbor Ricky Fitts' dad was a huge homophobe because he wanted to pay his crotch forward into Kevin Spacey's butt, etc. So, in the interest of not wanting to be portrayed as a closeted (or is it casketed?) necropheliac, I present to you the first ever


JAY LENO QUALITY NECROPHELIA JOKE THEATER


A man was brought before the judge and charged with necrophelia. The judge told him, "In 20 years on the bench, I've never heard such a disgusting, immoral thing. Just give me one good reason why I shouldn't lock you up and throw away the key!"

The man replied, "I'll give you THREE good reasons;

#1, It's none of your damn business;
#2, She was my wife; and.....
#3, I didn't KNOW she was dead, she ALWAYS acted that way!11"


Ho ho ho, I should write for Readers Digest! But I guess now I'm jealous of Creed, gay (and a fan of Prince, supposedly) for not liking the Lady Marmalade video, and a necropheliac. I can't wait until Scott Stapp dies! I'll hump his legs wide open until doves cry!

But aside from the whole corpse-cocking thing my reason for displeasure towards the Snow White DVD is the complete omission of the two-season run of ABC's "surreal sitcom" The Charmings. The Charmings is a show that few remember. The reason? Because we stored it away in that closed off section in the back of our brain and put a big "JANITOR" sign across the door so that if we ever meandered back around we'd forget what was in there and just assume it was mops and buckets and stuff. Other things in this closet are facts like "who invented Velcro" (George de Mestral) and lyrics to Rick Springfield songs ("You know I feel so dirty when they start talking cute...I want to tell her that I love her but the point is probably moot"). We watched The Charmings with our eyes...and we loved it with our bodies, I just know it.

It's not a show like Growing Pains or Family Ties that one can just casually quip about in conversation and have everyone know what you're talking about. If I was on a date with a foxy broad and I was trying to, you know, ring-a-ding-ding, I could open up with "What would we do, baby, without us? Sha la la la!" She would bet we'd be together for a million years, and I'd bet we'd be together for a million more. But if I try to get in her pants with a line like "hey, remember that Snow White sitcom where the wicked stepmother had a sassy black guy magic mirror?" she'd knee me in the crotch. If I wanted so desperately to get assaulted in the crotch I'd take the direct approach and leap spread eagle into a cactus. At least then I'd get a "WHOOO OOOOW!" from the studio audience instead of an "OOOH!"

The Charmings are, of course, Snow White and Prince Charming. Life in their thousand-year-ago fairy tale word was hard enough, what with Snow's stepmother (the wicked one) trying to poison everyone with fruit and woodsmen randomly debating whether or not to slaughter children. Things are made ever MORE difficult when Lillian White (the aforementioned stepmother) casts a spell on the happy couple that will cause the Charmings and their children to sleep for a thousand years. I've always wondered how one could sleep for a thousand years and not wake up completely decomposed and a mass of skeletal remains (like Molly Sims...you've got to get her look...of death). But then again Rip Van Winkle slept for twenty years and two days, and when he woke up became Vanilla Ice. So I guess if you sleep for a thousand years you get to wake up and be Outkast.

Lillian's plan backfires, though, catching her (with her magic mirror) and a dwarf along with the Charmings. A thousand years pass, and everybody wakes up in the 1980's equivalent of a fairy tale world -- Van Oaks, California, Cheese-ass sitcom world. The Charmings arrived at a very tumultuous time for sitcoms, arriving shortly after "Head Nigga in Charge" Benson could've cleaned their room and years before Steve Urkel could've came crashing through their roof in a jetpack. Thankfully the Charmings were a bunch of whackjobs themselves.


Do you know anybody who actually talks about all their life problems in the kitchen?

The wicked stepmother was the crux of the show, with her interaction with the magic mirror anchoring a lot of the plotlessness and about 70% of the comedy. 70% of sitcom comedy translates roughly to "the people who get to snap their fingers and go 'OH NO YOU DID-ENT!'." The magic mirror did that a lot. In fact, "sassy black mirror" is about the only thing you can say to trigger the Charmings memories in someone's head. It would've been like Dave Coulier coming out with a hatchet in his head...you'd go "WHAT THE FUCK?" or, if you're online, "WTF???///?" and you'd never forget it. Tragic things were always happening to the duo (like an Earthquake knocking the mirror off the wall and cracking it, or when the mirror was put in charge of an unruly high school).


POISON THE APPLE EXPEDITIOUSLY!!11

Sure, the stepmother was supposed to be "wicked," but after a few episode she became wicked in the same way Willy from Family Matters was evil -- living to screw the main characters over, but never doing anything malicious. Lillian could ask the mirror for advice (which usually ended up in her getting insulted, and giving the guy in charge of pushing the "laugh track" button carpal tunnel syndrome) or she could use it to spy on people from her creepy bedroom. She, like the Charmings themselves, was supposed to be out of touch with today, but thanks to a complete lack of continuity on the show she would constantly reference people like Sammy Davis Jr. and use eyelash curlers. Even the wicked stepmother couldn't stay wicked for long with so many WACKY HIJINX and OFFBEAT SHENANIGANS going on, and eventually warms up to the family. And deep down inside you just knew that she and the mirror really appreciated and loved each other, regardless of whether or not they'd admit it. It's like that part in Madonna's SEX book, where she talks about crouching over a mirror and looking at her butthole. Only the relationship on the Charmings was used to add some warmth to the situation, and the relationship in Madonna's SEX book was symbolism for her friendship with Rosie O'Donnell.


Yeah, I was in Terminator, and Wrath of Khan...and now a Snow White sitcom. Christ, try not to do any lines off me, okay?

The reason *I* chose to write about the Charmings was Snow White herself, played by Caitlin O'Heaney during the first season. Seeing Snow White as a real person and not as a drawing makes me realize what a stone fox she was. Of course, if she were a sexy Japanese drawing and had some school girl panties on she'd completely leap the "stone fox" objectification categorization and shoot right into "waiting on AOL for your Internet Girlfriend wank-o-rama." I mean, somewhere on the Internet the art skills of depressed 15 year old girls doodling in English class because they don't want to read "Murder in the Cathedral" are causing grown men to masturbate to a picture of what Pikachu would look like as a naked little girl.


Pikachu you are my best friend! IN THE BUTT. Somewhere some kid has just searched on Yahoo for "naked pre-teen Blastoise."

O'Heaney did a great job playing Snow exactly as she was supposed to be played: completely campy. If men in a penguin submarine showed up and Snow White punched them there would be a huge starburst across the screen reading "POW!" it was so campy. She had to hide her food in a tree so bears wouldn't eat it because she was so campy. She made me pitch a tent because she was so campy. Her big character traits were an everlasting innocence and a fascination with modern technology, like Cyan from Final Fantasy VI, or, if you aren't a complete Ben Gay breathing dork, Leonardo Di Vinci.

Fascination with Modern Technology Includes:


I'm the eighth dwarf, Horny.

- Once she told her husband Prince Charming to go out and buy a yellow car. "One that looks like a lemon!" So, when he goes and asks for a lemon at the car dealership, HULL ARIOUS MISUNDERSTANDINGS OCCUR!11 MISUNDERSTANDINGS THAT MAKE THE STUDIO AUDIENCE GO "OOOOOOOOOW!!!11" MISUNDERSTANDINGS YOU CAN NOT IMAGINE UNLESS YOU ORDER WCW SUPERBRAWL!!11

- In the first episode, Snow sends her kids to school in tights. One of the kids mentions how his dad once dated Cinderella, so he has to go to the school psychologist. The other discovers his love for ballet, and faces many trials and triumphs as he strives to conquer his family's set ways, inner conflict, and standing on his toes! DANCE, BILLY, DANCE!!!! On the last episode of the Charmings, both children are cast on the new season of the Real World, and take turns getting their peanut butter fingered.

- Snow wants to help out charity, so she takes some of her old homemade dresses to her friend. Out of nowhere she becomes a fashion superstar, and gets a high paying job designing clothes. Then, one night when she and the Prince are lying in bed, Prince Charming asks "Why are you never in the mood anymore?" and Snow looks under the covers and quips "SOMEDAY MY PRINCE WILL COME!!" and the studio audience goes "WHOOOOOOOOOOooOOO!" Just kidding about that one. OR AM I?


Prince Porking

I'm fascinated with Snow White's modern technology myself. A stone fox. A stone cold fox. What?

I'm guessing Prince Charming hasn't always been Prince Charming, he had to work his way up to that. Starting off as "Prince Good Personality," he worked his way up through "Prince Presentable" to "Prince He's Got a Nice Ass But He Kissed Me and Didn't Call Me the Next Day What Should I Do?" Eventually he settled into his role as Prince Charming, before putting on some assless pants and becoming the Artist Formerly Known as Prince. Now he spells "for" as "4" and "to" as "2." Hah, I'm such an awesome writer.


What do you use when you get a yeast infection? Messy creams? OR A SWORD OH SNAP

None of those things are true...Prince Charming is just a really naive, honest guy who carries a sword around and used it for everything, including fixing his car, killing flies, slicing oranges, or slaying guidance counselors who suggest that his kids grow up to be philosophy majors. The Prince is the only Charming never to really break character, or fall victim to the writers inability to create a consistent plot. For instance, the children go from being outsiders to snotty little bastards who are embarrassed about their parents by episode two. The wicked stepmother becomes akin to the "wacky grandmother," and even Snow White herself, the stone fox, gets replaced in season two by some lady who looks like the third wheel in the Cagney and Lacy relationship.

Seriously, nobody cares if one episode the Charmings have been asleep for a thousand years and in another were "zapped to the future," that's like quarreling about what the ugly Lubbock Sister from "Just the Ten of Us's" name was (it was Connie). But when you replace Snow White (with hair as black as night, and skin as white as snow, and a body that rocks the party that rocks the body) with somebody who looks like they licked the junk out of the trunk of the ugliest hobo on the ugliest car of the Fugly Train to Ass Town.

Besides the main characters, the supporting cast on the Charmings remains so unmemorable that the cast themselves cannot remember playing the roles. They remember the Spring of 87 and the Fall of 87-88 as a time when they "slept a lot" and "experimented with new and amazing forms of lame." Let's pretend that the children were played by JTT and Zachary Ty Bryan, so that if I can't get their armor-piercing grins out of my mind I can call them a couple of fudgepackers and move on. ARGH ARGH ARGH. How DOES one type the Home Improvement Man Laugh? What a couple of fudgepackers.


"I wear the headband to show I'm a kung-fu midget. I also enjoy Flash Dancing."

When the pranks of the wicked stepmother go awry, who do you think takes the brunt of the attack? Why, dwarf Luther, of course, the only dwarf to get caught in Lillian's thousand-year sleep attack. Luther succeeds in being possibly the most uninteresting midget in the history of television, and resides only in my memory in place of the midget King Kong Bundy dropped a big elbow on during Wrestlemania 3. That always makes me laugh. Luther, of course, is named after Christian Theologian Martin Luther and his great grandchild, R&B sensation Luther Vandross.


You say woo woo woo.

No wacky sitcom would be REALLY wacky without a couple of nerdy neighbors, namely, Steve and Marcy Rhodes, who... no...wait...

The Charmings neighbors and best friends were Don and Sally Miller. Don runs a chain of carpet stores called "Don's Carpet Kingdom," which makes him the "King of Carpets." If I was a better writer I would make a joke about lesbians here, but since I've already mentioned necrophelia, children packing fudge, a Snow White ejaculation play on words, and a WCW Superbrawl joke I won't CROSS THAT LINE. I DO have some respect, you know! The Charmings mistake Don and Sally for royalty (with Don being the king and all) and lots of...yeah, hilarious antics. The guy with the laugh track on the Charmings has now died of carpal tunnel, and has been replaced by a bobbing wooden bird toy that can drink water.


Bow down to the king of carpets, ladies.

So why didn't the Charmings last longer? I'd say it would be the complete lack of breasts in the second season, but that would be chauvinistic. IT WAS BECAUSE THE SHOW APPEALED ONLY TO BROADS AND THOSE DINGY DAMES DON'T KNOW WHAT'S GOOD FOR 'EM! That's more like it.

Supposedly the "HA! Network" has replayed the entire run of The Charmings, which would be great if I'd ever heard of it before. It sounds almost as good as the "WE" network, Women's Entertainment. Does anyone else think it's funny that a channel for women is called "wee?" That's like making a channel for guys and calling it "The Box Network."

Unfortunately The Charmings will be forced back into my mind's janitors closet, beside Saved by the Bell: The College Years episodes and the Donkey Kong Jr. Math Game, where they will rest in a bucket of pink vomit sand for all eternity. Meanwhile, I will watch the Snow White DVD and keep hitting the "right" button on my DVD remote control hoping to one day find the "Easter egg" that will lead me to digitally remastered Charmings episodes, like the time when I hit a bunch of numbers on my Terminator 2 DVD and found the scene where Eddie Furlong and Danny Cooksey piss of Donkeylips by hanging his underwear from the flagpole.


Hasta la vista, baby.

b
swan@whatever-dude.com
AIM NotAGoonie
Information and pictures gathered from, you guessed it: The Official Charmings Webpage




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