Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wisconsin Time Warp

On Monday, TBS announced that it has ordered two additional episodes of its upcoming dramedy Glory Daze, bringing the total number of episodes for this first season to 10. The show, which debuts this coming Tuesday, November 16 at 10 PM Eastern, is described as being about "a group of friends who are trying to navigate college life in 1980s Wisconsin."

The description made me wonder: what is it about nostalgia shows set in the Badger State? First the Fonz is thumping Milwaukee's jukeboxes to life on the '50s-set Happy Days, and then spinoff stars Laverne & Shirley are living in a basement apartment on that city's Knapp Street. Then, starting in the late '90s, the kids of That '70s Show were similarly just hanging out in a basement rec room, in the fictional Wisconsin town of Point Place.

It's as if, once you set foot within Wisconsin's borders, you're obligated to trip back in time. Come to think of it, I can think of only one show ever set in Wisconsin that wasn't a period piece: CBS' '90s show Picket Fences, which was a whole other kind of weird. There must be something psychedelic in the state's ubiquitous, yummy cheese curds.

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