Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Today Is the First OK of the Rest of Your Life

If you watched "Gilmore Girls" last night, you watched a fresh ep entitled, I'm OK, You're OK.

Yes, that is the same title as the 1969 Thomas Harris book that slowly climbed the best seller lists. It was the #4 best-selling non-fiction book of 1971, according to this Cader Books resource.

Here's a short list of shows that paid homage to Harris' self-helper:
  • Laura Fay, You're Okay! (''Room 222,'' 3/31/1971)
  • I'm Okay, You're Okay, So What's Wrong? (''The Bob Newhart Show,'' 11/17/1973)
  • I'm Okay, But You're Not (''Welcome Back, Kotter,'' 6/1/1979)
  • I'm OK, You're Catatonic (''Night Court,'' 1/21/1988)
  • I'm OK, You Need Work (''21 Jump Street,'' 2/21/1988)
  • I'm Okay, You're All Crazy (''She's the Sheriff,'' 1989)
  • Slime OK, You're OK (''Darkwing Duck,'' 11/26/1991)
  • I'm Okay, You're Defective (''Cheers,'' 12/5/1991)
  • I'm O-tay, You're O-tay (''The Parent 'Hood,'' 2/21/1996)
  • I'm OK, You're Hilton (''Cosby,'' 3/10/1997)
  • Y2K, You're Okay (''The Drew Carey Show,'' 9/22/1999)
  • I'm Okay, You're Crazy (''Fighting Fitzgeralds,'' 4/3/2001)
  • I'm OK, You're Not OK (''Gastineau Girls,'' 12/6/2005)
Of course, ''The Bob Newhart Show'' was perfectly positioned to riff on the title of this self-help book. Right time. Right character.

At first I was surprised by the cluster of shows from 1988-1991 that referenced the book, but then I remembered that the self-help craze really started in the late '80s. I confirmed my suspicion about this late '80s trend when I found Wendy Kaminer's 1992 book, I'm Dysfunctional, You're Dysfunctional: The Recovery Movement and Other Self-Help Fashions.

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