Ready or Not

"What's normal for one person isn't normal for another. You know, some people are fat, some thin, some are black, some white, it takes all kinds to fill the world and make it... well... interesting. And no one is normal or not normal. We're all just people." - Neil

Ready or Not was a show that originally aired in the 90's about two best friends, Amanda Zimm and Busy Ramone, making it through their pre-teen and teen years. Although it was probably geared more towards young girls, it was so well written and had such realistic storylines that I think it would be enjoyable for many different audiences. We liked it a lot when we were younger and feel that it still holds up just as well when we rewatch today. In the early episodes, insecure Amanda struggled to fit in with her peers who viewed her as a nerd, while tomboy Busy knew exactly who she was but still had trouble navigating the tough times. Together, Busy and Amanda had to go through many of life's confusing and difficult situations in order to make it through the transition from childhood to adulthood.

The dialogue, storylines, and acting were so realistic and the show came across as really authentic. Busy and her brothers acted like real siblings and both girls were just part of normal families with faults and all. The characters were full and often made mistakes, some of which they learned and grew from and some that they did not. There was no drama for drama's sake, and any issues that were brought up were not dumbed down for the audience, but were displayed in a genuine, truthful, way that came across as pretty mature for what was presented as a children's show. In fact, one of my main complaints about the show, which is of no fault of it's own, was that when it aired in the US some of the episodes that were important for a younger audience to see were either edited or simply not shown. It was unfortunate because these episodes being included as a part of a whole series, without being singled out as a 'very special episode' is exactly what younger kids should have been able to see, with the issues being shown in an honest way.

One thing this show did amazingly well was show little details. The characters would take off their shoes when they entered their homes, their families would be in the background of scenes even if they didn't have any dialogue, there was consistent continuity and sometimes they would make the same mistakes over and over again, even spanning seasons. Problems weren't always solved in a single episode, if at all, and it was interesting how they would show that even when one of the characters had an undesirable trait or opinion, that it didn't define them as a person.

My favorite episodes of the show were before the girls reached junior high, because it just seemed that their personalities changed so quickly. Amanda didn't write anymore and became more superficial, and Busy suddenly stopped playing sports and started wearing dresses all the time. It makes sense that the girls would change as they got older, but in some ways the whole atmosphere of the show just felt different. Maybe the change in the girls was in fact realistic though, because many teens go through many phases before finding themselves, and Amanda even told Busy when they started junior high that it was a chance to reinvent themselves. Although the later episodes were not my favorites, I really enjoyed the addition of Stephen, Gregory, Phoebe, and Sheila as regular members of the cast.

Ready or Not is really memorable and I really enjoyed most of the episodes. I loved Amanda accidentally spray painting 'Smell' on the side of her mother's boyfriend car ("Don't worry - it's indelible!"), the girls skating with Kurt Browning after Busy's failed audition for the commercial, Busy dealing with her first period ("I sat on something sharp!"), Amanda spending the night in the mall, Busy's first date with Troy when his dad went bowling with them, Amanda working in the pizza place, and many other scenes. The show was just so relatable and fun and it will always be special to me.

Manny, Dom, Gregory, Phoebe, Sam
Dom Ramone, Manny Ramone, Sam Ramone, Gregory Bennett
He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, Family Therapy, Under One Roof, Thin Ice
He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, Family Therapy, Under One Roof, Coming Home
Busy and Amanda, Manny/Sheila, the Ramones
The Ramone Family, Manny/Sheila, Amanda and Busy