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Punky Brewster - A Hero to 80s Kids

Updated on July 22, 2016
TJHousel profile image

Tawnya is a freelance writer and mom of a tiny gymnast. When it comes to buying gymnastics-related gear, I'm an industry pro.


Own Punky Brewster on DVD

Punky Brewster - Season One
Punky Brewster - Season One

Finding episodes of Punky Brewster online is okay, but nothing beats having it on DVD.


Punky Brewster is an Example of Classic 80s TV

As a child in the 1980s, I loved Punky Brewster. This sitcom first ran from 1984 to 1986 and then ran in re-syndication from 1987 to 1988. The star of the sitcom is Penelope "Punky" Brewster (Soleil Moon Frye). When the audience was first introduced to Punky, she had just been abandoned by her mother and had been abandoned by her father years ago. When Punky's mom left her at a Chicago grocery store she wasn't alone because she had her best friend, Brandon, better known as the wonder dog, with her.

Why I Loved Punky Brewster

Unwilling to feel sorry for herself or ask others for help, the young, independent Punky decides she is ready to be on her own, and quickly finds an abandoned apartment to call home. After Punky is found living all alone, social services become involved and Punky finds herself an orphan living in a children's shelter.

Then much like Daddy Warbucks saves "little orphan" Annie, Punky is placed in foster care with Henry Warnimont (George Gaynes). Despite their differences, Henry is a bit grouchy and not sure if he is cut out to be a parent and Punky is unsure of whether she wants another parent who may walk out on her at some point, the unlikely duo bond.

Punky was a Great Role Model

While I surely didn't want to live Punky's life, I did admire the fact that she didn't worry about what people thought of her. She was always herself and people accepted her or they didn't. Her independence was apparent in her sometimes outrageous outfits, her ability to say exactly what she was thinking, and the uncanny fact that she was always happy no matter what was going on in her life.

While Punky Brewster the sitcom only lasted for three seasons, the character Punky is forever engrained in my heart for being spunky, independent, and extremely happy.

Get ready for it...Punky Power!

Interesting Factoids about Punky Brewster

If you were an 80's baby like me, you probably lived and breathed Punky Brewster. However, you might not have been aware of the Punky Brewster trivia listed below.

  • Although many of us think we grew up watching Punky, it only aired original episodes from September 1984 to May 1988.
  • Punky's pooch was named Brandon.
  • To ensure Knight Rider would air on time and viewers wouldn't have to join a show already in progress thanks to overtime football games, some Punky Brewster episodes were only 15 minutes long.
  • Writers immediately developed a script based on the tragic events of the Challenger shuttle explosion. The script showed Punky coming to grips with the tragedy, which enabled many children the character's age to do as well.
  • An orphanage-based spin-off, Fenster Hall, was created but never made it to air.
  • Melissa Joan Hart auditioned and was a contender for the role before Soleil Moon Frye was chosen.

Were you a fan of Punky Brewster the sitcom or animated series?

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Thanks for stopping by, I'd love to hear what you thought about my review of Punky Brewster.

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    • Spirality profile image


      5 years ago

      I loved Punky Brewster and used to wear the mismatched colors as my signature fashion style. Great lens. It brought back fun memories.

    • TJHousel profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from NE Ohio

      @SusanDeppner: Thanks, Susan! I'm glad you liked it.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      5 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Pinned this review to my Susan's Picks Squidoo board on Pinterest!

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 

      5 years ago from New Zealand

      Never heard of it. But I would like to see it now I have read your review. Thanks.

    • ChickenKrazy profile image


      5 years ago

      I like this show also! Nice lens!

    • TJHousel profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from NE Ohio

      @tonyleather: Me too. I had forgot about it, but I'm going to look for it on Netflix

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Loved this show!

    • sousababy profile image


      5 years ago

      Heard about it, but never saw it. What an interesting character.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Your review makes me get interested.


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