Thursday, September 27, 2007


Promos for TV shows are just as much a part of the TV Universe as are commercials. And no network does a better job in integrating their shows in the same world than the USA Network. Small plays have been acted out with characters from their various shows mingling with each other, and for the most part these jibe with the established realm of Earth Prime-Time: Shawn Spencer and Adrian Monk arguing over the benefits and advantages of the numbers 9 and 10. (For the audience, the debate dealt with timeslots for their shows. But within the context of that interstitial, the main characters of 'Psych' and 'Monk' may as well have been arguing over their rankings as police consultants, or even an episode of 'Sesame Street'.)

When it comes to the promos that have united Mr. Monk with John Smith, then we have to accept that this is not the Adrian Monk of Earth Prime-Time, but rather from an alternate dimension where 'The Dead Zone' takes place. The adaptation of the Stephen King novel was chugging along nicely in the main Toobworld until last season, when they decided to create their own President and Vice President of the United States. And then they killed off the Veep so that Greg Stillson could be maneuvered into the office. So now 'The Dead Zone' is out there on its own in its own TV dimension.

But as I said, that show now has an alternate version of 'Monk' to keep it company.

With 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent' moving from NBC to USA, Detectives Goren, Eames, and Logan have been exposed for their own "promoscuity". To trumpet their network change, scenes of the detectives at work have been interrupted by moving men who come in to remove all the props, including a corpse. Although they seem angered and confused by the disruptions, they're not traumatized by it at all. So it's probable that, like many TV characters like David Addison of 'Moonlighting', they have a touch of tele-cognizance. (They understand that they live in a universe based on Television.)

They've also been intercut and super-imposed into scenes with other USA Network characters. Goren and Eames are seen entering Monk's apartment for some reason and remarking on how nice the place looks, much to Adrian's delight. (It reminded me of the scene in "Hadley's Hunters", an episode of 'Maverick' in which Bart tried to hail down 'Cheyenne' Bodie as he rode past.)

But best of all is the shot of Mike Logan being given directions by Jordan Collier of 'The 4400' in the background because they share the same shot.

There's another promo I like a lot for 'Criminal Intent' in which characters from the main Toobworld finally acknowledge the presence of those annoying ID "bugs" in the corner of the screen. This has happened plenty of times in the past with shows like 'Family Guy' and 'The Simpsons', but those take place in the Tooniverse, not on Earth Prime-Time, and they subscribe to the laws of "quantoon phsyics".

Once 'Criminal Intent' has settled into its new home, maybe we'll be seeing a new batch of promos in which Goren and Monk share screen time, or Logan butts heads with Shawn Spencer.

The great thing about Toobworld - always something to look forward to.......

Toby OB

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