We had a 70s flashback this weekend, watching the Best of Donny & Marie on DVD. The two-disc set includes one episode from each of the show’s four seasons, which ran from 1976-1979. The first three seasons were great fun as the two sang popular songs of the time (they were very into Bee Gees songs), had ice dancing in each show and did their “She’s a Little Bit Country, He’s a Little Bit Rock and Roll” segments. Plus there were some standard variety show-style skits featuring guest starts like Ruth Buzzi, Dick Van Patten, Charo and others. By 1979 though, the show had given into more disco tendencies and the ice dancers were gone and all the songs were disco-based (it seemed like a last ditch effort to save the show at a time when variety shows in general were on the way out). Hopefully another package of episodes will be released because this one was a lot of fun.

Something newer that we’ve gotten into is Johnny and the Sprites on the Disney Channel. It’s part of the Playhouse Disney block, which is for Sesame Street-age kids. We’re watching because it stars John Tartaglia, who we discovered back when he was in the original cast of Avenue Q. The show gives a couple of easy-to-take lessons in 30 minutes with some fun songs and some inside jokes for the adults who might be watching. My favorite lesson so far is the importance of listening. The Sprites only have a certain number of words per day and once they’ve spoken all of them, they can’t speak until the next day. The Sprites have this rule so that they will take the time to listen to the world around them. I bet we all know someone who needs that rule in their life, right?

Speaking of the Disney Channel… Kim Possible is back for a new season starting this Saturday (with a four episode marathon no less)! Kim is a teenage Sidney Bristow who saves the world from evil villains like the blue-faced Dr. Drakken and his evil helper Shego. We’ve been fans for a few years now and it’s exciting that the show is finally back with new episodes. You should check out the adventures of Kim, Ron (her sidekick, and now love interest) and Wade (their techie)! If you get into this show now, you’ll have to make sure to catch the Christmas episode when it cycles up again in December. It is Kim Possible at it’s best.

Ugly Betty came back with new episodes right after the holidays and that made January a more fun time. The show is a unique mix of comedy, drama and mystery. Within the past two weeks, the audience discovered that the woman who has been living under a veil since the show started is not the allegedly murdered magazine editor, but actually the son of the magazine publisher who has had a sex change to become a woman (and she’s back to take over the family’s magazine empire). And that’s just what’s happening at the magazine. Then there’s the story line around Betty’s father having immigration issues; her sister’s attempts to find a job that suits her; and Betty’s efforts to navigate the world of high fashion while remaining true to herself. If you’re not watching this show, you should be.