I spent about three weeks downloading four seasons of Doogie Howser, MD, only to find out that stowed somewhere inside my DVD barrell were 3 discs of all 94 episodes, spanning 1989 to 1993.

Doogie Howser was a craze in the late 80s. I remember watching it after dinner every Friday night on Channel 2, and I always got so excited just hearing the first few bars of the theme song. So in a fit of nostalgia, I “Doogie’d” myself to sleep early this morning, and continued the “Doogie-fying” the rest of the day. In fact, I’m still on it now. I don’t know about you, but I know that didn’t sound right.

It was cute to watch a pubescent Neil Patrick Harris save lives as the kid doctor from Eastman Medical Center. And as annoying as his voice and baggy clothes were, it was especially cuter to watch Vinnie Del Pino (Max Casella) knock Doogie Howser off his high horse. I happen to think that his character is the wisest, most clever, most passionate, and oftentimes, most morally upright.

I enjoyed watching the two best friends grow up, but by the time they got to the second season, the show somehow lost its appeal to me.

  1. They synthesized the theme song;
  2. Doogie & Vinnie moved in together but their co-existence was short-lived;
  3. Wanda’s voice became smaller with each minute she spent in art school. I mean if you’re angry, be ANGRY, not ingenue;
  4. Vinnie grew increasingly grumpy and obsessed with sex, but also quite pretentious since entering film school;
  5. Janine became more obviously dumb;
  6. Nurse Curly Spaulding’s hair got shorter and shorter in an effort to keep up with the turn of the decade;
  7. Paebo Bryson and James Ingram were often artists in an episode’s soundtrack;
  8. Doogie Howser started dating older women and became an obvious manifestation of Barney Stinson; and worst of all
  9. His nightly personal journals were becoming less and less genuine. They seemed to have come straight out of a bad screenplay.

It’s sad because as much as I enjoyed watching the full episodes, nothing was more enjoyable for me than watching Doogie Howser type away in his HP computer, which he switched on by clicking a small button on the right side of his screen. And he used the same computer throughout the four seasons — proof that some things remain the same throughout time.

Of the 90 something episodes of Doogie Howser, M.D., my favorite was when Doogie misconstrued an invitation for insemination to be an invitation for sex. With a much older woman. Who wanted Doogie’s genes. He wrote on his journal:

October 7, 1989… Today I made my first adult decision. I decided to stay a kid a little while longer.

We all develop a certain form of maturity as we age. I use the words develop and form because maturity is not for everyone past the age of 18, and because the word maturity in itself is ambiguous. I’d like to believe that I’ve developed my own form of maturity, especially in the last 5 years. It’s an often cynical but open-minded approach to reality, and as “worldly” as I am, I’m surprised I can still be quite idealistic.

It’s funny how you don’t have to be 10 to be a kid. I turned 28 this year, and I’m feeling the clamor of breaking loose more and more each day. Let’s make this simple. I want to indulge in my version of simple joys. I want to do foolish (not stupid) things in the name of fun. I want to get wasted everyday, from 4pm onwards for as long as I physically can. I want to sit on the sand in my bikini and play playlist wars with my best friends. I want to be carefree and be carefree with someone. And with everything I want to do, I believe everyone has a few delusions. And that it’s a wonderful thing to take these delusions seriously. They make you adult.

So I think I’m going to stay a kid a little while longer…this kid.

Circa 2005


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