Yesterday evening I was invited to an exclusive virtual premiere event celebrating The Wonder Years, a new version inspired by the original, heading to ABC on September 22nd. I was such a fan of the first show, so it was very nice to chat with Fred Savage (who played Kevin Arnold on the original) who’s a Director & Producer on this one. I can’t wait for it to air because I think that you will really love the show! There was an interesting discussion with the Executive Producers and all the Cast Members from the show and I learned so much!
I have seen commercials for the series but so glad I got the opportunity to check out an advance screening to see what all the buzz was about. Afterwards we chatted with the Executive Producers Lee Daniels, Fred Savage and Saladin K. Patterson on the making of show plus we got to meet the cast, they were such a delight! Check out more inside…
Ten Things I Learned:
- The show is set in 1968, in Montgomery, Alabama. Loosely scripted and based on Executive Producer Saladin K. Patterson life growing up as a middle-class kid.
- Actress Saycon Sengbloh (Lillian Williams) stated that she loves everything that the show is about from the music, the wardrobe etc. It’s about the fight and the struggle, the joy and good times, romance, fun, civil rights.
- Actor Elisha EJ Williams (Dean Williams), says he’s 12 years old and had no clue what was going on in the 60’s or things they had back then. But being on set and around his peers gave him a since of normalcy.
- Main character EJ is such a dreamer, he wears his heart on his sleeve. His heart is in the right place. His favorite thing to do is bring unity. Bring races together, try something new, get along.
- Lee Daniels was very pleased to see so many black faces on The Wonder Years. He along with Saladin really pushed for the cast to be dark-skinned. Making sure it was a “dark tribe”, so that people could see themselves and relate, “power to the people”, he said lol.
- Actress Laura Kariuki (Kim Williams) says Kim wants to see change, she wants to make a difference. She’s still trying to figure it out. Gunning for change. Joining the Black Panthers movement may be in her future.
- Actor Dule Hill (Bill Williams) said the show just works, the lines rolled off his tongue very freely. In the show you will see that life is full of peaks and valleys, emotional rollercoaster.
- The scripts are fresh, they made sure that they were doing the same exact thing as to what’s current.
- Executive Producer Fred Savage(The Wonder Years as Kevin Arnold) was overwhelmed by the contribution to bring this show to life and make it better. It’s so meaningful and not an accident. A nod to the original but it’s something different. It’s more real, more grounded.
- They went to photo albums from a lot of the cast members to see how they lived, dressed when they were all kids. To make the show more real and authentic.
I got a chance to see the first episode called, “Pilot.” As the youngest in the Williams family, Dean is struggling to figure out where he fits in. Between his brother’s athleticism, sister’s popularity, mother’s intelligence and dad’s overall coolness, everyone else seems to have their lane figured out. He decides to pursue his calling as “The Great Uniter” and attempts to organize the first integrated baseball game between his team and his friend Brad’s team.
You guys are in for a treat. It’s a funny show but had some sad and touching moments as well. I loved the dialogue and the characters that are portrayed! Tune in on ABC Wednesday September 22 at 8:30pm est.
Inspired by the beloved award-winning series of the same name, “The Wonder Years” is a new original coming-of-age comedy that tells the story of the Williams family during the late 1960s, all through the point of view of imaginative 12-year-old Dean. With the wisdom of his adult years, Dean’s hopeful and humorous recollections of his past spotlight the ups and downs of growing up in a Black middle-class family in Montgomery, Alabama, and the friendship, laughter and lessons along the way.
Images via ABC