Friday, June 9, 2006


I've done two other posts in this series about TV characters played by Shirley Jordan, an actress and one of my bestest of friends.

In the first, I took all of the nurses and doctors she has played over the years in various shows and combined them so that instead of many different roles, there were only two - twin sisters who both went into medicine; one as a doctor and the other as a nurse.

In the other one, Shirley came close to being the link for a Crossover of the Week when she appeared as the jury foreman in an episode of 'Boston Legal'. (I can't remember what trumped her moment in the spotlight right now, but I know it had to be a biggie among crossovers.)

It was my contention that the jury foreperson's name was Nancy Sosha, a real estate agent Shirley had played on an episode of 'Ally McBeal', another David E. Kelley production that was set in Boston.

There are plenty of actors and actresses out there for whom I could do this same sort of combination work to unify the TV Universe. One good example is Jack Perkins, the master at playing drunks in TV shows. Through him I can link 'The Odd Couple', 'The Love Boat', and 'All In The Family' among others.

For Shirley, I thought "third time's the charm" and with her appearance this past Wednesday on 'Commander In Chief', I might be able to not only combine two more of her characters, but also bring another series into the same universe as 'Commander In Chief'.

Shirley appeared in the final moments of this week's show and her one line of dialogue was the episode's title: "Happy birthday, Madam President".

There was some physical comedy to the scene, as Shirley is about five foot four. This forced Geena Davis to bend way over to accept a buss on the cheek from Shirley's character of Brandi.

(The part was originally to be for a man, and as such, the character's name would have been "Bradley". Shirley lobbied to keep that name, but they switched it to "Brandi". In the end, it didn't matter as it never came up in the dialogue.

My take? Bradley was nicknamed Brandi or she's Brandi Bradley. There. Shirley gets to keep both.)

'Commander In Chief' takes place in an alternate Toobworld. It has to be since the POTUS of the TV Universe is always the same as that in the Real World. Otherwise them gol-durned liberal elitist Hollywood writers wouldn't be able to get their political potshots in.

(The official Toobworld tongue was planted in cheek, by the way.)

So shows like '24', 'The West Wing', 'Prison Break', 'The Agency', 'Mr. President', and 'Hail To The Chief' all must be shunted off to their own dimensions. ('Hail To The Chief' and 'Mr. President' share a common dimension, as do 'Prison Break' and 'The Agency' and 'The District'.)

By the way, even though 'That's My Bush!' is about the big Dubya, it is also relegated to another dimension; a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind - a very feeble mind. In this dimension, the Presidents are the same as in the Real World, but they're really stupid.

'The Secret Files of Desmond Pfeiiffer' falls into that same dimesnion, thanks to its crude portrayal of Abraham Lincoln.

Anyway, getting back to crossing Shirley Jordan......

I was hoping I could blend Shirley's character of Brandi with some other character that she played; someone who was nameless and who appeared in a series that couldn't fit into the fabric of the main Toobworld.

Having already dealt with Shirley's twin medicos and her "DEK-share", I still had a few roles to consider. However, she appeared on several shows that I would never want to see dislodged from Earth Prime-Time: 'Angel', 'CSI', and 'Strong Medicine'. But that leaves them out of consideration.

Her FBI receptionist on 'The West Wing' is already located in another dimension; one that would be at odd with 'Commander In Chief' when it comes to its Toobworld timeline; so there's no way they could share the same dimension.

But Shirley did play another role that had to be parked in another dimension - as a traffic cop on an episode of 'Lois & Clark'.

'The Adventures Of Superman' from the 1950s is teh official Superman entry for Toobworld, being the first. So 'Lois & Clark' needed a new dimension to call home.

But as enticing as it would be to have the Chief Executive share the same dimension as the Man of Steel, i had to dismiss the idea almost immediately. I had the same problem when I considered 'The West Wing' as a shared-universe companion with 'Lois & Clark'.

It can't work, simple as that. If there was a Superman whose existence was known to the world at large, then how come Presdients Bartlet and Allen never called for his help in their most dire situations.

Jed Bartlet could have saved that ship from being sunk by the hurricane; Mackenzie Allen could have had that truck full of dynomite removed from beneath the wings of Air Force One before the home-grown terrorist could detonate it.

However, I still think 'Smallville' takes place in the same TV dimension as 'The West Wing'. While 'The West Wing' was on the air, Clark Kent never assumed the standard issue blue tights and red cape. He never even flew under his own powers yet. So there was no way the Bartlet White House would be aware of him as an option, and thus, 'Smallville' can share the same universe as 'The West Wing'.

Sorry 'C In C', they got to it first.

And so 'Lois & Clark' will just have to stay where it's currently housed - the TV dimension of remakes.

As for Shirley - Remember Shirley? This is a blog post about Shirley. - she'll just have to get used to the idea that her characters are spread out over at least four TV dimensions:

Earth Prime Time (Jed)
'The West Wing'

Earth Prime Time (Mac Allen)
'Commander In Chief'

Earth Prime Time Delayed
'Lois & Clark'

Earth Prime Time
'General Hospital'
'Judging Amy'
'Malcolm & Eddie'
'Strong Medicine'
'Boston Legal' & 'Ally McBeal'

'Passions'/'ER'/'Two Of A Kind'/'Diagnosis Murder'/'Friends'/'Desperate Housewives'/'Yes, Dear'/'City Of Angels' (excised footage)/'Andy Richter Controls The Universe' (but only in a dream sequence)

Not a bad way to go through life as seen on TV....


What's the point of writing about a friend if you can't do this:

Hey, Casting Directors!

Check out Shirley Jordan's page at the and see what else she's done over the years.....

And then see if you can get her even more work!

Shonda Rimes! How about casting Shirley as a sister of Dr. Bailey on 'Grey's Anatomy'?

Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse! Shirley would be great in another flashback for Rose and Bernard on 'Lost'.

And besides, she'd love a Hawaiian vacation!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Toby, you are too much!  I love it! 

What fun it is to have someone like you in  my life.  

I'll letcha know if it works!