Punky Brewster: Season Three (1984) Review

Punky Brewster: Season Three (1984)
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Over a year has passed since the second season of "Punky Brewster" was brought to DVD in February 2005. Now, after much anxious anticipation, Season 3 of this beloved show gets a summer release for everyone to enjoy!
The third season introduced a lot of changes to the Punky character. She was still just as sweet and energetic as always, but now that she's a fast-growing fifth grader, she traded in her pigtails for more of a 1980's pre-teen look and went from never wanting a boyfriend (remember that endearing Valentine's episode from Season 1?) to developing a few crushes. Season 3 zooms in a lot on Punky's friends, school, boys, and the craziness of growing up, but through it all she remains a kid: the same old kind, loving, "Spunky Punky" who adores her dad Henry, is loyal to her friends, and decorates everyone's life with a youthful spirit.
That classic "Punky" touch is sprinkled over the entire season and is truly charming for fans. But just as there are many quirky and colorful episodes (our beloved Punky becomes the school's nosiest gossip columnist, imagines life as a dog, and gets into an R-rated movie by disguising herself as the world's feistiest old lady), there are also some dramatic and heartwarming moments--perhaps more than either of the first two seasons. The beauty and closeness of the Punky/Henry relationship is fearlessly shown in many episodes, including "Metamorphosis," where Punky fears that Henry will stop loving her now that she is growing up; "So Long, Studio," where Henry is encouraged by his spirited daughter to open up a brand-new business that he could have never fathomed before; and most notably, "Un-Hooking Henry," which finds Punky sacrificing her own sleep to help the most precious person in her life overcome a sleeping pill addiction. Be sure to watch also for a knockout performance from young actress Cherie Johnson in "The Anniversary," a genuine tearjerker where we finally learn what happened to Cherie's parents. The heaviness of the episode is considerably out of character for this series, but 10-year-old Johnson blows it right out of the water with a phenomenol portrayal that will make you wonder why her acting career wasn't more extensive. Soleil Moon Frye was wonderful as Punky, but I have to say that Cherie Johnson was the one who dominated the stage with her adorable presence and remarkably expressive acting skills.
Those who grew up watching this show will love watching the episodes all over again, and it is upbeat and cheery enough to reel in all kinds of new fans, as well. This Season 3 set will contain more of the "It's Punky Brewster" cartoons that spiced up the first two season sets, but no interviews are included. It was great to see Ami Foster and Cherie Johnson on Season 1 and George Gaynes on Season 2, and hopefully they can get Soleil Moon Frye to top off the final 4th season DVD with her insights on the show. I would also love to see Alan (played by the adorable Casey Ellison) all grown up, or TK Carter (who played Mike Fulton), but we'll see what they can get.
A bit cheesy much of the time ("80's kids" who are revisiting the show should be aware that watching this as an adult is a completely different experience), but never anything short of endearing, "Punky Brewster" is a memorable mirror of innocence that now has just one season to go until the entire series is on DVD! Bring on Season 4 as soon as possible!! :)

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Punky is back and growing up fast! Soleil Moon Frye (Punky Brewster) and George Gaynes (Henry Warnimont) star in another season of the unforgettable hit show.Punky is faced with a new set of dilemmas, including boy problems and all that goes with them. It is in this classic collection that Punky becomes a gossip columnist, skips school, steals a pig and imagines life as a dog!With best friends Cheri and Margaux, and her ever-present dog buddy, Brandon - who has a personality all his own - Punky will once again charm everyone she meets.Special features include 2 1/2 hours of the popular Saturday morning cartoon It's Punky Brewster, featuring many of the voices from the original show.

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