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The Wonder Years: The Complete Series is now available on DVD for the first time ever. To celebrate the gloriousness that is 26 discs of Winnie Cooper and Kevin Arnold, Starvista Entertainment recently reassembled members from the original cast to talk about some of the key moments and behind-the-scenes stories that occurred on the set over the years. During the conference, Danica McKellar, who played Winnie Cooper for the duration of the show’s run, spoke out about how her character paralleled her real-life growing up experience.
McKellar tells Collider that the dialogue the writers created for herself and Fred Savage was inspired by their real-life friendship, with the writers on the show literally taking their catchphrases and mannerisms and recreating them for the small screen.
“Kevin and Winnie’s relationship was, in some ways, defined by my friendship with Fred and some of the things that we would say. The writers would actually take lines from things that we were saying to each other, off camera, and put it into the script. “
She also brings up an example from her friendship with Savage where the two would chat about some boy she totally wanted to date.
“There was this whole episode dedicated to, “Do you like him, or do you like him, like him?” That was an expression that he and I used when we were talking about some guy that I had a crush on, in real life. And then, it showed up in a script, a few weeks later. There were a lot of blurred lines. The other interesting thing was that I broke up with my first boyfriend, in real life, about a week before we shot the episode where I had to break up with Kevin on the show. It was fascinating how many parallels there were.”
I think I would personally feel a little violated if writers began picking up my catchphrases and throwing them into the script of a wildly popular TV show, but McKellar actually seems really flattered that this happened, calling the parallels “fascinating.” Honestly, it is details like listening to the two young leads that probably helped The Wonders Years to feel fresh and astute for all of the years it was on the air.
The Wonder Years was groundbreaking when it aired in the 1980s, changing the landscape of TV storytelling by introducing us to Kevin Arnold, a young boy dealing with the pains, trials and beauty of growing up. It took a frustrating amount of time for The Wonder Years to begin streaming on Netflix, and even longer for The Complete Series to head onto DVD. Now that the release is finally here, it’s nice to take a nostalgic look back at the drama.
If you would like to order The Wonder Years: The Complete Series, you can head over to the Time Life site.