Starting in the second season of Growing Pains, we were introduced to Graham Lubbock, a coach and gym teacher at Mike and Carol Seaver’s Long Island high school. Played by Bill Kirchenbauer, Coach Lubbock was a jovial character whose passive disdain for Mike Seaver was an enjoyable-enough running joke.
In Growing Pains’s fifth season, Lubbock is laid off from his coaching job, despite Mike Seaver’s organized protest against the layoffs. Desperate, Lubbock takes a new job at a Catholic boys school in California. Graham and his wife, Elizabeth, have eight children (including a pre-Melrose Place Jamie Luner): Hence the title of their 1988 Growing Pains spinoff series, Just the Ten of Us, which ran for three seasons on ABC.
This has all been summarized because a) not many people have given much thought to Just the Ten of Us over the last 20 years and b) someone is running a Twitter account in which everything from new movie trailers to controversial Pepsi commercials are set to the opening theme song from Just the Ten of Us.
I don’t understand either, but I’ve become addicted. Somehow everything is fun to watch set to the theme of Just the Ten of Us. I’ve been watching trailers I’ve never seen before just because it’s set to this addicting theme song.
Sung by Bill Medley — one half of The Righteous Brothers who was then coming off his huge hit, “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” from Dirty Dancing — the theme to Just the Ten of Us seems so “80s sitcom-ish” it almost sounds fake. Littered with sports references, the song appears to be about a person (in this case, we can assume it’s Graham Lubbock), our narrator tells us that life is a race, but he knows he can win it – speculating that if he can keep his eye on the ball, he just might make the hall of fame. But eventually conceding that’s he’s “Doin’ it the best I can” – basically, yes, he may be a failure, but this is all he has to give and that nothing comes easy. If Ryan Adams did a slowed-down acoustic cover of this song, it would probably make people cry.
What I find insane about the Just the Ten of Us Twitter account (and what makes me obsessed with it) is that this person has been diligently tweeting altered materials set to the theme song of Just the Ten of Us since early December. The first one was for Fifty Shades Darker. Over the course of that day, eight separate videos were posted, including There Will Be Blood and Logan, all “Doin’ it the best they can.”
I don’t understand this account and I don’t understand why I like it so much.
(Also, full disclosure: there is a contingent of people who think I am responsible for this account because it sounds like something I would do. They are correct in the fact that it does sound like something I’d do — so much that I find myself questioning if this is me, too. Like, is there a chance after I go to sleep, I subconsciously take every new trailer from the day and set it to the theme of Just the Ten of Us? It is not the craziest thing I have ever heard and I’m open to an investigation.)
I don’t know why this account exists, but it does and I hope the person or people behind it never stop. I hope they stay on the ball and take it minute by minute, just maybe making the hall of faaaaaaaame. (I have full confidence they’re doin’ it the best they can.)
You can contact Mike Ryan directly on Twitter.