Now, I'll admit I was a fan of his shows back in the day (Happy Days, Joanies Loves Chachi, Charles In Charge) and my first drive-in date was to one of his movies (Zapped) so I had interest in seeing how the man turned out. I had forgotten we were rather close in age. There are women who I graduated high school with (class of '83 is the best!) who were hugely in love with him growing up - and they too were interested to see how this show was going to play out (we were chatting about this subject on our class message board just last week). He always struck me as likable, but he also had a reputation of being seen with so many different women over the years. And why not - he's still good looking. Time has been good to him in that aspect.
Turns out, at 45, he's decided he needs to get a life coach to help him figure out why every relationship of his "hits a wall" and never progresses to something long term. He finds a coach - Dr. Ally - and she pretty much tells him he has to examine his past and resolve things with the women he's been with in order to figure out what his deal is. Holy High Fidelity, Batman! It sounds a bit like that wonderful John Cusack movie - one I enjoy a lot (thanks, Mike, for recommending it to me years ago).
In this first episode, Scott visits a woman he dated 20 years ago - and, deciding showing up empty handed is not cool, brings a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken (gee, Scott, see any symbolism there?). She's happily married with a daughter. Scott asks "how did you know he was the right person?" She tells him that her husband was someone she got along with and felt close to. She then proceeds to tell Scott that his problem is commitment issues and that he was always that he was always looking for the next best thing, which is why he often broke up with her so he could go out with playmates and such. She tells him point blank: there is no next best thing - there is just the next thing. Simple. Brilliant. So true.
Scott next has to visit his first love, the woman he lost his virginity to. That ends up being - Erin Moran. Yes, Joanie Cunningham. The story of that first time is pretty funny, and she pretty much lays the truth on him too (also very funny - I won't spoil it - catch the inevitable reruns). Erin manages to convince him to come to an autograph signing she is going to do. He is reluctant to do so - says he hates them and hates all that stuff with the fans. Oh, and he hates being called Chachi. Gee, dude, what helped you pay for that nice home you've got? Like it or not, it was your first big role so just accept it. That is why you got into acting, right? To be known for your work? Or was it just to get girls? I'm seriously thinking it could be the later.
We get some other cameos as well. Scott runs into Clint Howard when he visits his agent (his agent really thinks this show is a bad idea, but Scott tells him the cow has left the barn and he's committed to doing it - score one for commitment at least). We also get a phone call to Henry Winkler. It is nice to see he and Scott still talk, though not often. Henry pretty much tells Scott that he shouldn't use his being a TV star as an excuse for having failed relationships. Aaaaah, Fonz - you definitely know Scott needs the tough love. Good for you!
Scott likes to hang out with his buddies - golfing, smoking cigars, betting on the ponies. One is Jason Hervey, best known as older brother Wayne on the Wonder Years; Jason's been married for nine years. Another is a guy who just recently got engaged (thus dropping out of the single-party-men set). The last guy is named Johnny V, whom Scott says has been his "wing-man" for years. When the guys find out Scott is doing this and has to avoid seeing his current girlfriend for eight weeks while he goes through this process, they actually bet how long it'll take Scott to break the vow of celibacy. Nice guys. With friends like these, who needs enemies?
Over the season, the show is going to have Scott visiting the rest of his old girlfriends. Some famous: like his co-stars from Charles In Charge. I'm looking forward to it as it will be a nice "where are they now" thing. Also, it'll be fun to see him get smacked around a bit more with the reality stick. His good looks might have got him the women over the years, but clearly this book cannot be judged by its cover. It also reminds me of something else from my single days: there are the kind of folks you date, and there are the kind of folks you marry. Me, personally, I was always more the marrying kind. Scott definitely appears to be the dating kind.
Oh, and back to my title, why is it obvious he is still single after all these years? My take from just the premiere episode is because, in a large part, of Johnny V. Johnny is this nerdy, nebish of a guy. He's like a parasite, a hanger on. He gets Scott to party, to get into situations with these women, and then he feeds off the cast-offs (you know there will be some). He's kind of the Danny Bonaduce to Scott's David Cassidy. Clearly, motivations are his own. He's known because of his affiliation with Scott, and he's willing to be rude or whatever to people in order to keep Scott in the single scene - all so he himself can keep getting laid.
Again, with friends like these...
My hope is that Scott realizes he has to kick this guy to the curb if he wants to find lifelong happiness with one woman. Otherwise, as Scott admits he fears, he will end up dying alone.