Question: I have a bet with my wife on the stars of the show thirtysomething. She thinks that Sela Ward was married to Ken Olin on the series. I cannot put a name to the actress, but I am certain that Sela Ward was on Sisters, not thirtysomething. I do remember the actress also being on another show with the gentleman that played Kirk on Dear John with Judd Hirsch. What is the actress's name from thirtysomething?

Televisionary: Ah, me. It's getting to the point where nothing works with you people. Not nagging. Not yelling. Not begging. I give and I give and I give. So I'll ask once again before I dive once again into the job I love so: Please tell me what you're betting when you're betting. It makes me happy. And a happy Televisionary is a chock-full-of-facts Televisionary.

That said, the missus is mistaken. Actress and former model Mel Harris played Hope Steadman, wife to ad man Michael (Olin) in the series, which ran on ABC's Tuesday-night lineup from 1987-91. Harris's last series was Something So Right (which launched on NBC before jumping to ABC), in which she did indeed star with Dear John's Jere Burns. You also may have seen her as Jen's mom on Dawson's Creek.

The mix-up is certainly nothing to be ashamed of, since the aforementioned Ward, also an ex-model, is the same physical type and stars in ABC's Once and Again, the latest show from thirtysomething creators Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick.

I sincerely believe thirtysomething got a bad rap. At the time many (myself included) referred to it as whinysomething, since it seemed its main characters did nothing but kvetch and obsess over everyday problems — parenthood, relationship and career stress, etc. In addition, the series is often cited as an emblem of '80s materialism and self-absorption.

In hindsight, however, it was a well-executed show, particularly the religion-centric "mike van dyke show" episode, named by TV Guide as one of The 10 Best Holiday Episodes of All Time.

And those guys did have it pretty tough after all. Nancy (Patricia Wettig) had cancer, Gary (Peter Horton) got killed, everything said or done by Michael brought down the wrath of Hope in the latter years and even little Ethan (Luke Rossi) launched a rocket into his own eye.

As the little kid who lived next door used to say, Ouchie.