Question: Seeing the commericals for the TV movie Moms on Strike got me thinking (no small feat). Wasn't there an Afterschool Special back in the '80s that dealt with the same subject? If memory serves, Yeardley Smith played the daughter. And while I'm on the subject (figure me for the second question) what happened to all those great Afterschool Specials? Are they just sitting in a vault somewhere? I'd love to see them again! Thanks! Rhonda, California, Md.
Televisionary: Memory does indeed serve, Rhonda. Matter of fact, that 1984 Afterschool Special was called... Mom's on Strike.
Based on Stephanie S. Tolan's book The Great Skinner Strike, it starred Mary Kay Place (folk singer Loretta on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman) as a put-upon housewife whose husband and kids refused to help out around the house. When pitching a fit didn't get any results, she pitched a tent in the front yard and began picketing for more respect. After dad (Stephen Keep) made the mistake of dumping the chores on his two daughters (Ms. Smith, who would later become an animation legend voicing Simpsons daughter Lisa, and Jenny Rebecca Dweir), they too joined the picket line. Of course, the media got in on the game, bringing in various women's group, but lessons were learned and all was well in the end.Unfortunately, all is not well with your second question. Though you can find some of the later Afterschool Special installments on VHS and DVD, a spokeswoman from Scholastic, the company that owns the rights to the older programs, told me those classics are not available on video.