Yeah, I tend to think of the 1980s as a time for neon nights, poodle perms and penny loafers. How could they be anything but totally awesome? Still, we had our moments, such as the release of the sobering made for television movie Something About Amelia in 1984. I stumbled across an article that said Amelia was the second highest rated TVM for the season, after The Day After.
Now that's a couple of doozeys!
And that's what I love about made for television films. I mean, how can you show up in our living room and totally disturb us with tales of nuclear war and incest while also giving us such goofy escapism as High School, USA and First Affair in the very same season?
Cuz you were awesome 1983 TV season! It's true!
I watched Amelia the night it premiered on January 9th, 1984 and I'm not sure what beckoned me, except that incest and rape seemed so removed from my own life (and yes, I'm thankful for that), that I had to see how Ted Danson was going to pull it off (no pun intended). And that's what I remember most about the movie. Danson really walked a fine line in the film. How could you not hate him, but he made you want to watch him, maybe understand him and while you would never forgive him, you hoped maybe the film would have some answers.
Danson was nominated for an Emmy and took home a Golden Globe for his complicated performance as the most human monster you are likely to meet. What's so weird, and only a little funny, is that I probably watched something like Simon and Simon or Riptide the next night, or maybe even Cheers, which I'm sure would have blown my mind! Sam Malone as a child rapist? What would Diane think? Despite all the years that have passed, I never forgot Amelia. It remains in no-release-hell and that's simply unjust. If any movie deserves a shot at a second audience, it's this one.