Friday, October 12, 2007


I believe in Television without borders. Not only should TV shows from different networks cross over with each other, but they should cross over with shows of different genres. We've seen it happen in the past - Professor Kingsfield of 'The Paper Chase' appeared on the sitcom 'The Associates'; Joe 'Mannix' was tied up with Lucille Carmichael on 'Here's Lucy'; Kwai Chang Caine of the martial arts procedural 'Kung Fu: The Legend Continues' took the place of his grandfather in the Old West and met 'Cheyenne' Bodie to boot.

But I will admit a lot of times such blendings could lead to disaster. I can't think of any TV show I would force into a match with the current 'Pushing Daisies', for example. (Commercials on the other hand.... wherever 'Pushing Daisies' takes place, I bet the people in those Target ads live there!)

That's why if we are to suggest a connection between shows of widely different genres, the theoretical link should be as minimal as possible. And I think last night's 'Mad Men' had another one besides the pozz'bility that the flashback took place on the same site where 'M*A*S*H' happened.

When Dick Whitman was recovering in the hospital, he received the Purple Heart which was meant for his superior officer. But Lt. Don Draper died back in Korea and Dick switched dog tags so that he was now Draper. After the little ceremony at his bedside, the officers moved on to the next bed to make yet another presentation - this time to a Lieutenant Nelson.

That's all we know of that guy in the next bed, and that's great. Any more detail and it would have been overkill, destroying the chance to make an outrageous link.

Here's what I'm thinking.....

Lt. Nelson's full name was Anthony Nelson, and he was a member of the Air Force. Although wounded, he chose to make the military his career and moved up in the service until he became a Captain and then a Major attached to NASA. He lived most of his adult life in Cocoa Beach and his life was changed forever when he washed up on a desert island after his space capsule made a splash landing. There he discovered a genie's bottle which contained a beautiful "young" woman who had been transformed into a genie back in 64 BC.
See? If we knew all of that about the Lt. Nelson in the bed next to "Don Draper", it would have completely destroyed the feel of the show. (And it wouldn't have been much fun for the sitcom either!) This way, 'Mad Men' and 'I Dream Of Jeannie' can slightly bump against each other in the mosaic of the TV cosmos and continue on their way unsullied by laugh tracks or adult themes, respectively.

Toby OB

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This stuff makes my brain leak.