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Old 05-11-2011, 11:55 PM   #1
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Confused Did Emmanuel Lewis' Lack Of Size Eventually Hurt 'Webster?'

I guess what I am asking is if his lack of height hurt the show in the long run, because you really couldn't have Webster "grow up" so to speak. Agree? Disagree?

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Old 05-12-2011, 01:45 AM   #2
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Default No more than Gary Coleman's size affected him on "DIFF'RENT STROKES"...

...what finally did "WEBSTER" in, was that it simply "wore out its welcome". It was on ABC for four seasons (1983-'87), then a final season in syndication (1988-'89). That was more than enough for Emmanuel Lewis; he knew when to move away from the spotlight. The fact that he's still alive- and Gary Coleman isn't- is proof that Emmanuel has survived better as an "adult" than Gary could.

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Old 03-23-2012, 07:21 PM   #3
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...what finally did "WEBSTER" in, was that it simply "wore out its welcome". It was on ABC for four seasons (1983-'87), then a final season in syndication (1988-'89). That was more than enough for Emmanuel Lewis; he knew when to move away from the spotlight. The fact that he's still alive- and Gary Coleman isn't- is proof that Emmanuel has survived better as an "adult" than Gary could.

The difference between Gary and Emmanuel is that Emmanuel had a mother who cared for his well being. Gary's parents cared for his money.
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Old 02-04-2015, 03:41 PM   #4
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I've heard the argument that Webster in hindsight has sort of become a "forgotten sitcom" (so to speak) when compared to a similar show in the form of Punky Brewster (despite not airing as long as Webster) is because whereas PB was "literally" a kids show, Webster was more or less, a traditional sitcom that despite also starring a cute little kid, had more "adult" stories.

In essence, PB has enjoyed a more enduring appeal in the many years since it went off the air, it was right from the jump, designed for kids. Webster on the other hand, was initially suppose to simply star Alex Karras and his real life wife Susan Clark, until the "powers that be" decided that since Diff'rent Strokes was popular, they should retrofit what would become Webster into something similar.
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Old 02-04-2015, 03:52 PM   #5
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...what finally did "WEBSTER" in, was that it simply "wore out its welcome". It was on ABC for four seasons (1983-'87), then a final season in syndication (1988-'89). That was more than enough for Emmanuel Lewis; he knew when to move away from the spotlight. The fact that he's still alive- and Gary Coleman isn't- is proof that Emmanuel has survived better as an "adult" than Gary could.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Webste...to_syndication

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While the lead character's plots continued to mature somewhat with Webster's onset of pre-teendom, the same "cutesy factor" remained, thanks in part to Lewis' timing and portrayal. However, this was something Lewis was slowly tiring of, despite the fact that he had more creative control over Webster at this point. Now 17 years old and about to complete his high school education (which was followed by his enrollment at Clark Atlanta University in 1989), Lewis did not have the desire to continue portraying a character roughly half his age. Ultimately, due to Lewis' height, the character of Webster Long was only depicted between the ages of 6 and 12 years old over the show's six seasons. Early in the 1988-89 season, with Lewis clearly outgrowing the title role, Karras and Clark also decided that the time was right to move on. Webster's sixth season was announced to be its last, with the finale airing on March 10, 1989.
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Old 02-04-2015, 04:21 PM   #6
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I guess what I am asking is if his lack of height hurt the show in the long run, because you really couldn't have Webster "grow up" so to speak. Agree? Disagree?
In a way I can see what you mean if the producers had their way they could have had Emmanuel age slowly to keep that "cuteness" factor.
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Old 05-02-2018, 12:17 PM   #7
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...what finally did "WEBSTER" in, was that it simply "wore out its welcome". It was on ABC for four seasons (1983-'87), then a final season in syndication (1988-'89). That was more than enough for Emmanuel Lewis; he knew when to move away from the spotlight. The fact that he's still alive- and Gary Coleman isn't- is proof that Emmanuel has survived better as an "adult" than Gary could.

Webster is also pretty hard to sit through in modern eyes. Even when it was originally on, it was a tad bit too saccharine and bland for anybody's taste. Meanwhile, in regards to the similarities with Diff'rent Strokes, Emmanuel Lewis simply lacked a personality and charm unlike Gary Coleman's Arnold Jackson.

Also, Webster was an extremely creepy and depressing show to boot. There was the episode where they're still living in the high-rise and Webster burns it down; the other where the little blonde girl (played by a young Alison Sweeney) in Webster's class is being molested by a teacher.

Or how about that other one where they move into the big house and Webster finds the secret room with the life-size doll in the rocking chair. The doll was put there by the parents of a girl who ran away, who resembled the doll. And there was even an episode where one of Webster's grown-up friends had an epileptic seizure. To top it all, there's the utterly traumatic episode where Katherine has a miscarriage.

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Old 05-03-2018, 05:12 PM   #8
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Webster is also pretty hard to sit through in modern eyes. Even when it was originally one, it was a tad bit too saccharine and bland for anybody's taste. Meanwhile, in regards to the similarities with Diff'rent Strokes, Emmanuel Lewis simply lacked a personality and charm unlike Gary Coleman's Arnold Jackson.

Also, Webster was an extremely creepy and depressing show to boot. There was the episode where they're still living in the high-rise and Webster burns it down; the other where the little blonde girl (played by a young Alison Sweeney) in Webster's class is being molested by a teacher. Or the episode where

Or how about that other one where they move into the big house and Webster finds the secret room with the life-size doll in the rocking chair. The doll was put there by the parents of a girl who ran away, who resembled the doll. And there was even an episode where one of Webster's grown-up friends had an epileptic seizure. To top it all, there's the utterly traumatic episode where Katherine has a miscarriage.
Agreed Webster doesn't hold up at all!
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Old 05-24-2018, 08:26 PM   #9
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Agreed Webster doesn't hold up at all!
i second that i find that while i still enjoy watching different strokes i can no longer even sit through 5 minutes of webster
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Old 06-03-2018, 12:33 AM   #10
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Agreed Webster doesn't hold up at all!
Webster simply doesn't have an endearing quality like say Diff'rent Strokes (which at the very least, had a smidgen of Norman Lear-esque social commentary during its early years) or even Punky Brewster. The biggest problem with Webster is that the main character really had no personality. His main draw just was that he was a "cute" black child and that was it. This isn't meant to be a personal attack against Emmanuel Lewis, it's just that actual character of Webster Long never really warmed up to me. Webster simply wasn't as charismatic or charming as Arnold Jackson on Diff'rent Strokes.

Also as I said before, for a so-called family show like Webster, it certainly exposed poor Webster to a lot of scary and disturbing situations. Between losing his parents, accidentally burning down the apartment, having a classmate nearly get sexually abused, having a bully basically threaten his life (in the McGruff episode), the house nearly getting robbed, Katherine's miscarriage, the episode in which Webster's friend gets kidnapped by his father, the episode where Webster got angry at Katherine and George for not telling him that his parents were dead, etc. I get that the show was trying to teach children about how the world can be a cruel place, but I just think that it tended to really go to extremes.

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Old 06-07-2018, 10:11 PM   #11
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i second that i find that while i still enjoy watching different strokes i can no longer even sit through 5 minutes of webster
I still enjoy popping in a season 2 episode now and then (I used to have season 1, but I only wanted seasons that took place in the old Victorian house with the secret passages). One of the best reasons to watch this show is Alex Karras.

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Old 06-07-2018, 10:16 PM   #12
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I still enjoy popping in a season 2 episode now and then (I used to have season 1, but I only wanted seasons that took place in the old Victorian house with the secret passages). One of the best reasons to watch this show is Alex Karras.
The secret passages in the Victorian house were the best part of Webster. I really remember very little else about the show.
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Old 09-03-2018, 01:21 AM   #13
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'80s family shows like Webster, Punky Brewster, Diff'rent Strokes, Full House (and just about anything produced by Miller-Boyett Productions from that era), Family Ties, Growing Pains, The Cosby Show, etc. don't tend to hold up because they feel the need to go for sentiment as much as laughs. As a result, they more or less, feel hokey to modern eyes. It seemed like just about any and every prime time TV show from that era that was made or designed for kids in mind had a hard time finding a middle ground between pure entertainment and needing to teach the kids a lesson.
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Old 09-03-2018, 03:08 PM   #14
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'80s family shows like Webster, Punky Brewster, Diff'rent Strokes, Full House (and just about anything produced by Miller-Boyett Productions from that era), Family Ties, Growing Pains, The Cosby Show, etc. don't tend to hold up because they feel the need to go for sentiment as much as laughs. As a result, they more or less, feel hokey to modern eyes. It seemed like just about any and every prime time TV show from that era that was made or designed for kids in mind had a hard time finding a middle ground between pure entertainment and needing to teach the kids a lesson.
I actually feel like the late 70s early 80s episodes of Diff'rent Strokes have held up. From 83 to 86 is junk, especially with 'Sam'. Family Ties and The Cosby Show have held up well too. But all the other show's you mentioned have not!
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