Not Just a One-Season Wonder
Square Pegs was a popular television show in the 1980s that followed the lives of two high school girls, Patty and Lauren, as they navigated the ups and downs of adolescence. The show debuted on CBS in September 1982 and ran for just one season, ending in March 1983.
Square Pegs was unique in its portrayal of teenage life, as it tackled issues such as peer pressure, popularity, and identity in a relatable and humorous way. The show was created by Anne Beatts, a writer for Saturday Night Live, and was one of the first shows to focus on the lives of teenagers.
Despite its short run, Square Pegs has remained a cult favorite among fans, who appreciate its quirky characters, catchy theme song, and witty writing. The show’s influence can be seen in later teen comedies such as Clueless and Mean Girls, which also explored the complexities of high school life.
Square Pegs Plot Summary
In the show, Patty and Lauren try to fit in with the popular crowd at Weemawee High School. They are often rejected by their peers and feel like outcasts. They create their own social circle and start their own club called “The Square Pegs.”
The show follows the girls as they navigate high school life and deal with issues such as peer pressure, fitting in, crushes, dating, and social status. Patty and Lauren are often seen trying to impress the popular girls, Jennifer and Muffy, but their efforts are usually in vain. Despite this, they remain determined to make a name for themselves and become popular.
Their club, The Square Pegs, attracts other students who feel like outcasts, and together, they go on various adventures and misadventures.
Square Pegs falls under (and maybe created?) the genre of teen comedy. It was a unique show for its time, as it focused on the perspectives of teenage girls, which was not a common theme in television at the time.
Square Pegs Cast and Characters
Square Pegs had a great cast of characters, each with unique personalities and quirks. The show primarily focused on Patty and Lauren as they navigated high school and tried to fit in with the popular crowd.
Patty Greene was played by Sarah Jessica Parker and was the more outgoing of the two friends. She was passionate about music and often dreamed of becoming a famous singer. Patty was also known for her quirky fashion sense (already channeling Carrie Bradshaw?) and her tendency to speak her mind, even if it got her into trouble.
Lauren Hutchinson, played by Amy Linker, was the more reserved of the two friends. She was bookish and intelligent, often seen carrying around a stack of books. Lauren was also known for her dry wit and sarcastic sense of humor.
Other notable characters include:
- Marshall Blechtman (John Femia), a nerdy and socially awkward classmate of Patty and Lauren
- Johnny Slash (Merritt Butrick), a new wave enthusiast and friend of Patty and Lauren, always had his Walkman headphones on
- Jennifer DiNuccio (Tracy Nelson), a popular cheerleader who becomes friends with Patty and Lauren
- Muffy Tepperman (Jami Gertz), a snobbish and popular girl who often clashes with Patty and Lauren
- Vinnie Pasetta (Jon Caliri), a jock who is secretly in love with Lauren
Each character brought their own unique perspective to the show and helped to make Square Pegs a beloved cult classic.
Square Pegs Theme Song
The theme song of Square Pegs was written and performed by The Waitresses. The song was titled “Square Pegs” and was released as a single in 1982. The song became popular and reached #45 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song lyrics are about being different and not fitting in, which is a central theme of the show.
The theme song was so popular that it was later included on The Waitresses’ album “Bruiseology” and on the soundtrack of the 1995 film “Clueless.” The song has been covered by several artists over the years and has been used in various TV shows and movies.
Despite its popularity, Square Pegs only lasted one season. However, the show’s influence can be seen in several other television series that followed. One of the most notable spin-offs was Girls Just Want to Have Fun, a movie released in 1985 that starred Sarah Jessica Parker and Helen Hunt. The movie shared many similarities with Square Pegs, including its focus on teenage girls and their struggles to fit in.
Another spin-off of Square Pegs was the short-lived television series Fast Times, which aired for one season in 1986. The show was based on the 1982 movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High and featured several actors from Square Pegs, including Vincent Schiavelli and Claudia Wells.
While its spin-off history was less than impressive, Square Pegs did have some famous quotes such as “I’m a square peg and I don’t fit in” and “It’s like we’re living in a John Hughes movie.”
Square Pegs may not have had a long run, but its impact on popular culture is undeniable. The show’s focus on teenage angst and the struggles of fitting in resonated with audiences and paved the way for other shows and movies that explored similar themes.
Square Pegs may have only lasted for one season, but its impact on pop culture and television cannot be denied. The show was one of the first to focus on the lives of teenagers and their struggles, paving the way for future teen-focused shows like Beverly Hills 90210, Dawson’s Creek, Mean Girls, My So-Called Life, Saved By the Bell, Euphoria, Riverdale, PEN15, Freaks and Geeks, and more.