Punky Brewster was a precocious orphan, style icon, and bringer of nightmares during the four seasons of her 1984 NBC sitcom. Now, Deadline is reporting that star Soleil Moon Frye will, in the vein of Girl Meets World and Fuller House, reprise the role for a multi-camera, family-friendly sequel to the series.
Per Deadline, the series will revisit Punky as a single mother of three “trying to get her life back on track when she meets a young girl who reminds her a lot of her younger self.” Questions: Does Punky still go by “Punky,” or, knowing that there always comes a time to put away childish things, does she now answer to her birth name of Penelope? Are her three children jealous of this special young girl who so revitalizes their weary mother? Does she own a refrigerator? And, if so, why?
While Punky Brewster was a delight we remember fondly, it’s also notable for perfecting the “very special episode” trope so pervasive in the 1980s. This resulted not only in that bit of refrigerator danger, but also in an episode about Punky’s fear of a serial killer and that time she watched the Challenger explode. And then there were the not-so-special episodes, including the one where she spars with a Native American spirit and sees her tiny friend’s decapitated head wedged in stone. It’s okay, though. It was just a dream. Still, for some (including this writer), it was an early brush with horror that traumatized as much as it compelled.
Do Steve and Jim Armogida, the writers and executive producers behind the project, have the stones to scar a new generation? “Punky Power” shall guide them.