A great TV show, especially for elementary school girls. Although it didn't talk about things like sex, drugs, etc. very much (though there was an episode where Punky and Cherrie are offered drugs, and they are actually at a loss for what to do, they don't just say "drugs are bad!" and make it a non-issue) it is more "real" than some other shows similar to it. While the premise is a little unrealistic (Punky's mom leaves her in the car at a shopping mall and never returns, and Henry, a slightly "old" man finds her in an empty apartment in his building and adopts her) at least Punky didn't wear designer clothing and her life was not all "peaches and cream." Punky's best friend Cherrie has been living with her grandmother ever since her parents died, and there was one episode where the loss of her parents was actually a big deal. Punky is played by Soleil Moon-Frye, and Mark Paul Gosselaar guest stars as Punky's tutor in one episode, which is kind of ironic considering he also played Zack Morris, the star of Saved By The Bell, who said "I love school. Too bad classes get in the way." And speaking of Saved By The Bell, Heather Hopper (who played Nikki from the "early" days of SBTB) also guest starred on Punky Brewster, in one of the more serious episodes. PB was similar to SBTB in that each episode was its own entity; except for the few "to be continued" ones, you could watch a random episode without having seen the one the week before, and not be at all confused, because they had NOTHING to do with each other.
"I've got.... Punky Power!" - cheesy line from Punky Brewster