I realize at forty-something years of age (ahem) that I have subconsciously modeled my life and relationships after that zany fun threesome of Jack, Janet, and Chrissy. Pile on that physical comedy, the politically incorrect humor, the feathered hair, and those patchy bell-bottom jeans. Oh, and who can forget those iconic 1970s staples of rust orange and macrame plant hangers. All hail one sweet Santa Monica, California, apartment circa 1977.
Premiering on TV sets in March 1977, “Three’s Company” is like a dream to me. I was alive for all eight seasons, and while I remember nearly all the episodes by heart after having watched them as a little girl, I was still so young when I first saw them. Therefore, those memories glide in and out of my consciousness like a beloved little slumber, like lounging around on my blow-up raft, in my family’s inground pool that I enjoyed many a summer day in childhood.
I remember that Jack Tripper (actor John Ritter) was my first crush. And I remember wanting to look like Chrissy Snow (actress Suzanne Somers) when I grew up. Her vibrant pony-tailed blonde hair and curvaceous figure were definitely the stuff of my nighttime prayers. Cut to me as a four-year-old, “Please let me grow up to look like Chrissy.”
And as for Janet Wood (actress Joyce DeWitt)? Her warmth, kindness, and intelligence were true welcome must-haves for any properly kooky friendship apartment. Oh, and I always loved that she worked at a flower shop. Like a beautiful green plant, Janet always gave off such solid, healthy vibes. Ahhhhhh. I admired Janet immensely.
But back to the whole dream thing. This past winter I was all homebody-ing it up, staying inside devoted to my new job, and venturing out for only the bare essentials. So, imagine how nice it was to cozy on up to Antenna TV as they began airing all the “Three’s Company” episodes from start to finish. How spectacular. I was beyond excited to reacquaint myself with my long-lost friends who I hadn’t see much of since my Barbie and Strawberry Shortcake days.
And on that delicious dessert note, that’s exactly what these past few months have been like. My modern 2023 experience of “Three’s Company” has been so delightfully tasty and dreamy. It’s like mouthing the words to a much-loved song that I haven’t heard on the radio in years. Yes, and that radio is a little pink boom box, next to that aforementioned raft, that I’m gliding blissfully around in in my childhood pool.
Now sure, the ongoing plot-lines surrounding two girls and a guy living platonically much to the bewilderment of the outside world feels hokey and outdated for 2023. And sure, the stereotypically “vapid beach blonde bombshell” characters who pepper the seasons as love interests for Jack feel well – no need to even comment. Yikes right?
Still, there is a charming, good-natured innocence to “Three’s Company” where all is forgiven. I can also report from my binge-watching front lines that while “Three’s Company” did play into some unsavory cultural tropes of its 1970s and 1980s day, I have however seen some progressive episodes regarding female and overall gender equality. And here’s hoping I see more.
So, thank you, “Three’s Company” for providing me with my nightly dose of fun this 2023 winter. Little did I know that after all these years your fun-loving hijinks still resonate so deeply within me. (I have outright guffawed with tears running down my face in some episodes!) This little forty-something girl still loves you.
Oh, and I’m happy to say that I did grow up to look like Chrissy. Yes indeed. Well, at least I did in my twenties and thirties, before I turned “over the hill” forty. Ugh. Childhood dreams do come true. From TV set to real life, long live “Three’s Company.” You are my bona fide comedic treasure.