Saturday, February 17, 2007


It's been my tradition every year to tape the Super Bowl while I'm sleeping/getting ready for work so that I can watch the commercials the next morning. However, I just didn't feel it this year, knowing that I would then have to write something up about them and how they could be integrated into Toobworld.

So instead, I taped the 13 episode marathon of the first season of 'My Boys' on TBS. I had seen the first two episodes and then the last one during its original run; missing the others only because Tuesdays have always been a bad night for me in taping TV shows. Either I already had too many shows lined up from 8 pm until well past 11, or because the next day began my poor excuse of a weekend and I'd be anywhere but in front of a TV.

But I did enjoy the series and wanted to see them all.

Now, having seen the entire run of the series, I can say that I LOVE the show! These were guys I'd like to hang out with. (And I would greatly trade in the friends I have already to make it so. Sorry, guys.) The writing was smart and the dialogue between them didn't feel like set-ups for punchlines. (But boy, did they deliver without forcing it.)

And best of all, no laugh track. I certainly didn't need it to prompt me to laugh out loud on many occasions.

As I watched the show, I kept a list of any possible Zonks, thinking that it had the feel of a show that might make a lot of them. Luckily, most of the pop culture references were to the world of sports instead of to other TV shows. But there were enough attempts in the span of thirteen episodes for me to disable. And save for three of them, I think I was successful in making sure they were reconciled with the rest of Toobworld....

At a nightclub, Mike was so close to Gary Sinise that he could have spit on him.

Luckily there was no mention of the TV show he stars in, 'CSI: NY'. The mention of Sinise was in keeping with the actor's connection to Chicago where he's a major player with the Steppenwolf Theatre group. It may turn out someday that when TV shows want to do shows set in Chicago, they'll seal the illusion by having Gary Sinise appear as himself in much the same way Don Ho is used whenever TV shows visit Hawaii, or Wayne Newton when they go to Las Vegas.

Kenny: Mike always orders from Lindsay-o's.
Yeah because it's good, because we like it, and because it never lets us down.
Kenny: You just described Lassie.

The world's most famous dog began life in a book from 1938 and also appeared in a series of movies before her long-running career on TV. But there is no Zonk in this - the Lassie on TV was a similar collie who was named by Jeff Miller, her original owner, after the dog from the movies.

The guys were watching 'Meerkat Manor' while hanging out at PJ's.

I've noticed several characters in other shows have mentioned this reality series from the Animal Planet network. As a reality show, it's in the same category as game shows, news programs, variety/talk shows, etc. that can exist in both the real world and Toobworld.

Some of them watch 'The O.C.'

'The O.C.' seen by the guys is not the same series we can see on FOX. The real world version exists within Toobworld as part of its "reality". The show within the show could easily be a reality show about the people who live in the area.

"You must think I'm a Clampett." - PJ

Because they were backwoods illiterates who inadvertantly made a fortune in oil and moved to Beverly Hills, the Clampetts had forty years in which the public would become aware of their notoreity. And with human interest stories being so popular in magazines, references to the Clampetts would be widely understood without need for splainin.

In freshman year, PJ had a crush on 'Matlock'.

No problem here. Ben Matlock was a nationally known attorney like F. Lee Bailey, Gerry Spence, Robert Shapiro, or Johnny Cochran. It's hard to believe that PJ would have a crush on him, but at least it's not a Zonk.

Okay, here's where I was pretty much stymied.....

"This has been my favorite episode of 'Gilmore Girls'." - Andy

My only hope for this one would have been to claim that 'Gilmore Girls' is not the same as it is for viewers in the real world. However, other shows have mentioned the speedy mother-daughter chatfest in the past; some of them so specific as to mention Lorelei and Rory by name!


When attempting to get a response from the guys, P.J. did the "Bueller...? Bueller...?"

This is a reference to the 1986 movie, so there's no Zonk. Four years later there was a TV series based on the movie and that could cause some problems. But I figure that in Toobworld, the movie was based on the TV version's life. As to it being made four years before the TV Ferris could have had such experiences (a lifetime for a high schooler), maybe the movie didn't share the same release date as it had in the real world.

Otherwise, I got nothing.


Danni mentioned that she and Mike saw David Schwimmer at a fancy nightclub. Mike added, as if it was even needed, that Schwimmer was in 'Friends'.

If this been real life, the response to that would have been, "No shit, Sherlock."

Had this been a reference to a real person like the one with Gary Sinise, it would have been free and clear of a Zonk. (Schwimmer also has the Chicago theatre connection. For him, it's the Looking Glass company.)

Not that David Schwimmer has had that extensive a movie career, but maybe his televersion has a more exciting movie resume than just 'Six Days, Seven Nights', 'Duane Hapgood', 'The Pallbearer', and a voice role in 'Madagascar'. Then they could have just left it with the mention of his name. But of course, the joke was that he's so famous for 'Friends', there was no need for Mike to mention it.


All in all, it averages out to two out of three Zonks disabled. And two out of three ain't bad, right? I'd have to ask PJ how that stacks up in baseball stats......

Well, 'My Boys' has proven so popular that the first season has been extended to 22 episodes. The remaining nine are being written/filmed now and the show will come back sometime during the summer.

And I'm sure there'll be a new batch of Zonks from 'My Boys' to dither over.


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