Here we go again. Punky Brewster (Soleil Moon Frye) is pretty comfortably ensconced in the home of Henry Warnimont (George Gaynes) now. The season follows Punky through the usual round of problems at school, with friends, with boys, and so on. Will she do her homework and get to a rock concert? We await the answer on the edge of our seats. Frye is a few years older now, and so is moving from precocious youngster to tiresome tween. Lessons are learned in the most painfully didactic and mundan… fashion. The laugh track kicks in mechanically everytime Punky moves. This is sitcomus moronicus at its most depressing.
The audio is passable, limited perhaps by the sound quality of the original material. It is in stereo, but the rear speakers are limited to mildly echoing the laugh track. The dialogue is clear, but prone to some sibilance. Nothing particularly awful, then, but hardly a standout performance.
The age of the series is as apparent as ever. The colours are decent, but a bit plastic, and the flesh tones are a little on the pale side. The image is fine in close-up, but quite soft otherwise. Aliasing is a problem, too. This is a picture that doesn’t look any better, really, than a VHS version, and is arguably worse.
The extras are limited to 10 episodes of the Punky Brewster cartoon. Joy. The trailers for other Shout Factory releases (That Girl and The Electric Company) are rather more intriguing.
If you make it through all 22 episodes without lapsing into diabetic shock and losing several IQ points, you’re made of sterner stuff than I.
Special Features List