Yesterday's paper had an article on Neil Patrik Harris. He has announced that he is gay. His lover is a fellow actor of name David Burtka. Seems they have acted together in the sitcom that Harris is currently starring in, How I Met Your Mother. It was strange - the emotions that coursed through me when assimilating the news on Harris. It has been well over 12 years since all ties between him and me were severed. I am talking about Doogie Howser M.D. It used to be one of my favourite serials when I was in school and Harris played the young doctor who juggles work and adolescence. It had things that are the worries of any teenager - peer pressure, girls, best friends, sports, unravelling life. Was easy putting myself in his shoes (although he was a practising doctor and I was struggling with high school). Then I went to college, Doogie Howser dropped off my radar. Now suddenly Doogie is back and he's back to say that he's gay. I was certainly surprised. Doogie had a steady and sweet girlfriend called Wanda! I also haven't met anyone who is gay so my impression is only that which is stereotyped and somehow Doogie doesn't confirm to that. It all just goes to show how much one tends to associate the actors to the roles they portray on screen.
The article also made me look up on what Fred Savage is doing nowadays. This dude played Kevin Arnold in Wonder Years. I liked this serial more than Doogie Howser M.D. Kevin was the more realistic sort - has a hard time in school, gets bullied, doesn't score wonderful grades, not great at sports. As with Doogie I lost all contact via the TV with Kevin once I moved to college and I missed the last few seasons. In real life, it turns out that Fred later graduated from Stanford, is married to a Jennifer Stone, became a father in Aug 2006, is working on a serial called Crumbs. His girlfriend in Wonder Years Winne Cooper was played by Danica McKellar who has majored in Mathematics and has a theorem to her name now! She has also written and directed two short films.
The place that these serials held was what Friends replaced once I grew up. I can't help wishing that Harris and Savage hadn't grown up with me - Doogie Howser and Kevin Arnold just aren't the same people anymore.
On a different note, the last lines of the final Wonder Years episode pretty much sums up the feelings that most of us have about the time gone by...
Growing up happens in a heartbeat. One day you're in diapers, the next day you're gone. But the memories of childhood stay with you for the long haul. I remember a place, a town, a house like a lot of other houses, a yard like a lot of other yards, on a street like a lot of other streets. And the thing is, after all these years, I still look back, with wonder.