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The Facts of Life - The Complete First and Second Seasons

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Old 09-16-2018, 12:57 AM   #1
RetroGuy2000
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Default About the "Diff'rent Strokes" Curse: Why didn't it affect "The Facts of Life"?

We've all heard of the Diff'rent Strokes Curse: Todd Bridges, Dana Plato, and Gary Coleman wreaked havoc on the set: they held up productions with tantrums (Gary), got pregnant (Dana), were on trial for manslaughter (Todd), posed for Playboy (Dana), sued parents (Gary and Dana), didn't get along with Dixie Carter (Gary and Dana), did drugs (Dana and Todd), dyed their hair (Dana), robbed a 7-11 (Dana), punched a fan (Gary), may have molested a girl (Todd), did porn (Dana), spoke poorly of the show (Gary), and generally made headlines for bad behavior. Not all of this was their fault, and some of this was total BS, but clearly, some of it was their fault.

The Facts of Life was spun off from DS; it had much of the same cast, many of the characters crossed over, and like DS, FOL was taped at Metromedia Square for the first four seasons: the two shows must have been taped within feet of each other. Kim Fields still speaks fondly of Todd, although she relates several problems on the set with Gary and Dana.

So, what stopped FOL from becoming the total cast trainwreck that DS endured?
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Old 09-16-2018, 02:46 AM   #2
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I guess they just hired less rebellious actors. I wonder if Felice Schacter got the part of Dana (I believe she tried out for it) if she would've been a more positive influence, or if the others would have made her more rebellious as well.
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Old 09-16-2018, 11:09 AM   #3
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I guess they just hired less rebellious actors. I wonder if Felice Schacter got the part of Dana (I believe she tried out for it) if she would've been a more positive influence, or if the others would have made her more rebellious as well.
Good question: would good behavior have rubbed off, or would bad behavior have rubbed off?
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Old 09-17-2018, 10:38 PM   #4
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Seems like the FOL girls had better parents at home and more stability off set.
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Old 09-18-2018, 12:54 AM   #5
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Seems like the FOL girls had better parents at home and more stability off set.
I definitely think that's part of it. According to Kim's book, Kim's Aunt Pat was on the set every day, guiding her and keeping her in line. Having Gary's mother on set seemed to make things worse, by some accounts.

I also suspect there was a drug pusher (or more than one) on the set of DS. But whoever it was didn't manage to hook in any of the FOL cast, on a neighboring set.

Geri has talked about some unhealthy groupies and hangers-on, but no one who pushed drugs on her. Just assistants and boot-lickers who caused trouble on the set.
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Old 09-19-2018, 01:37 PM   #6
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We've all heard of the Diff'rent Strokes Curse: Todd Bridges, Dana Plato, and Gary Coleman wreaked havoc on the set: they held up productions with tantrums (Gary), got pregnant (Dana), were on trial for manslaughter (Todd), posed for Playboy (Dana), sued parents (Gary and Dana), didn't get along with Dixie Carter (Gary and Dana), did drugs (Dana and Todd), dyed their hair (Dana), robbed a 7-11 (Dana), punched a fan (Gary), may have molested a girl (Todd), did porn (Dana), spoke poorly of the show (Gary), and generally made headlines for bad behavior. Not all of this was their fault, and some of this was total BS, but clearly, some of it was their fault.

The Facts of Life was spun off from DS; it had much of the same cast, many of the characters crossed over, and like DS, FOL was taped at Metromedia Square for the first four seasons: the two shows must have been taped within feet of each other. Kim Fields still speaks fondly of Todd, although she relates several problems on the set with Gary and Dana.

So, what stopped FOL from becoming the total cast trainwreck that DS endured?
I heard that Todd was the molested victim as a kid but I've never heard about him being the perpetrator.

What did Kim say about Gary and Dana?
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