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Jennifer DiNuccio, Square Pegs and Valley Girls

Square Pegs was one of many teen sitcoms created during the 1980s for the Generation X demographic. It aired during the 1982-83 season and starred Sarah Jessica Parker.  I was a sophomore when the show came out, and although I only caught a few episodes, I found it mildly entertaining. It was about a group of freshman making their way through Weemawee High School. The location was presumably New York City. The show, however, was filmed at the abandoned Excelsior High School in Norwalk, California. My mom graduated from Excelsior in 1952.
I love the signs in the background of the above scene:
Cheerleader Tryouts
Join A Club
Don’t Miss the Pep Rally
Drill Team Auditions. 
Drugs the Culture

The main characters in Square Pegs were Patty Green (Parker) and Lauren Hutchinson played by Amy Linker. Linker is now a 2nd-grade teacher. Tracy Nelson, daughter of the late Ricky Nelson, played Jennifer Dinuccio, a quintessential Valley Girl.

From Wikipedia:

Valley girl is a stereotype depicting a socio-economic and ethnic class of white women characterized by the colloquial California English dialect Valleyspeak and vapid materialism. The term originally referred to an ever increasing swell of semi-affluent and affluent middle-class and upper-middle class girls living in the early 1980s Los Angeles bedroom communities of San Fernando Valley. The Valley’s proximity to Hollywood and prevalence of Jewish American women among both the demographic and the Los Angeles media machine helped give the stereotype large exposure to the rest of the world.

In time the traits and behaviors spread across the United States and abroad, metamorphosizing into a caricature of unapologetically spoiled ditzes and airheads more interested in shopping, personal appearance, and social status than intellectual development or personal accomplishment.

Here’s an episode featuring Jennifer DiNuccio using Valleyspeak and saying the word “like” about like, 25 times.

I don’t know, ya know. I mean, I know Vinnie likes me, 
but ya know. I don’t know. 
Ya know who I like, ya know?  
Jennifer DiNuccio, Square Pegs

Other teen shows popular with Generation X included The Facts of Life, Silver Spoons, Family Ties, Growing Pains, The New Leave It To Beaver, My Two Dads and Saved By The Bell.

Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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