Square Pegs is a show you want to like more than it probably deserves. The 1982 single-camera sitcom about life at Weemawee High School isn’t particularly humorous — perhaps that’s why it lasted only 19 episodes — but it still does manage to be kinda cool. It goes beyond the street cred that comes from having an entire episode dedicated to Devo playing Muffy Tepperman’s (Jami Gertz) bat mitzvah. The comedy also featured a theme song by the Waitresses, as well as liberal name-dropping of bands like Plasmatics and the Stimulators.
The entire show — like My So-Called Life and Freaks and Geeks after it — was all about outcasts and misfits trying to fit in. Who can’t relate to four-eyed Patty (Sarah Jessica Parker) and brace-face Lauren (Amy Linker) in their quest for popularity? ”Carrie Bradshaw is in many ways a destination point for Patty Greene,” says Parker, in one of the interview segments with the cast (which, unfortunately, make up the entirety of the extras). There’s things about them that are striking.” Best of all, however, was Johnny Slash (the late Merritt Butrick), a new-wave version of Jeff Spicoli who fretted about selling out during his band’s first gig at a deli counter. (Okay, that is kind of funny.) Much like these characters, Square Pegs was never quite able to break through to the mainstream. And that just makes it (and them) all the more lovable. B