Saturday, July 28, 2007


"In your virgin mind, women are like these mythical creatures - like unicorns with breasts. That's a myth. Women are just normal people with breasts." - Cappie, 'Greek'

"I like to think of girls as round men." - Carter Nash, 'Captain Nice'

Friday, July 27, 2007


One day during her second week as a secretary at the Sterling-Cooper advertising agency, Peggy was given the "grand tour" of the offices. When Paul started doing his impression of Rod Serling hosting 'The Twilight Zone' ("Submitted for your approval..."), Peggy didn't pick up on the reference. As she explained, she didn't like science fiction.

Her attitude worried Paul because there were rumors that CBS might cancel the show. (Whether his fears stemmed from just being a fan or because the agency was buying ad time for its clients on the show is unclear.) But luckily for him, Peggy proved to be in the minority. As time went on, 'The Twilight Zone' became one of the most enduring classics of Television, perhaps the culmination of the medium's "Golden Age". It's become so ingrained in our psyche that the phrase "The Twilight Zone" has moved beyond just being a pop culture reference to actually refer to those surreal, bizarre moments in our lives.

(An interesting bit of trivia in this episode, which may have been deliberate on the part of Matthew Weiner, the writer: even though the agency's clients might have been sponsoring 'The Twilight Zone', ad exec Don Draper's mistress and even his own children were ignoring it in favor of its competition on NBC, 'People Are Funny'. When 'The Twilight Zone' debuted, 'People Are Funny' was already a ratings powerhouse on Friday nights.)

Along with 'Star Trek', 'The Twilight Zone' is one of the biggest sources of Zonks in Toobworld. (For the uninitiated, Zonks are references to other TV shows as TV shows, when they should be sharing the same universe as the show making the reference.)

For the most part, the show should be be considered part of the main TV Universe, but there are certain episodes which must be located on other planets ("Eye Of The Beholder" and "The Invaders", for example) or in a parallel dimension (like "Number Twelve Looks Just Like You").

As for Rod Serling's participation as the on-screen narrator, he is the inspiration for the term "serlinguist", those TV characters who can talk to the viewers at home in the Trueniverse. Yet at the same time, he is the creative force behind the show in Toobworld as well. ('Perry Mason' mentions that he and Serling are old friends in one of the episodes of his courtroom drama.)

So even though most of the episodes have taken place on Earth Prime-Time ("Where Is Everybody?", "Nick Of Time", "Long Distance Call", "Nightmare At 20,000 Feet" etc), other TV characters have made references to the show when they've found themselves in freaky situations.

Here are a few examples:

"Next stop - 'The Twilight Zone'." - Detective Christine Cagney, 'Cagney And Lacey'

"I think I've seen this on 'The Twilight Zone'." - Mary, 'Night Court'

"It's like 'The Twilight Zone' around here, Wolf." - Jack Cafferty, 'The Situation Room'

JERRY: You know, this is like that Twilight Zone where the guy wakes up, and he's the same - but everyone else is different!
KRAMER: Which one?
JERRY: They were all like that!
- 'Seinfeld'

"I just had the weirdest experience. It was like something out of 'The Twilight Zone'!" - Larry Dallas, 'Three's Company'

"It was weird! It was like 'The Twilight Zone'! Only it wasn't in black and white." - Richard Addison, 'Moonlighting'

"This is weird! It's like 'The Twilight Zone'! I kind of half-expect Rod Steiger to just walk out here...." Jackie Thomas, 'The Jackie Thomas Show'

(Trust me, his use of "Steiger" was not a transcription error on my part!)

One good thing about the reference in the second episode of 'Mad Men' is that we can now use it to narrow down the date of the show to be more precise than just saying it takes place in 1960.

CBS announced that 'The Twilight Zone' would run the full complement of episodes for the first season on February 10th, 1960. But it would not be until May 11th of that year before CBS confirmed that the show would be renewed for a second season.

Although General Foods and Kimberly-Clark were the sponsors of the first season, the sponsors for Year Two would be General Foods and Colgate-Palmolive. Colgate-Palmolive is definitely a client of Sterling Cooper. (They manufacture Right Guard, the product in the ad campaign spotlight this week.) So it could be that Paul was worried about the show's cancellation because he was involved in putting the deal together to bring in Colgate-Palmolive as a sponsor the following year.

Therefore, I'm thinking that at least with the second episode of 'Mad Men', it's taking place at some point in April of 1960. The weather seems pleasant enough for people to be outside without coats (as we see with the divorcee who's moving in down the street from the Drapers). And the lawns are a deep green, which probably means they've had time to flourish for at least a few weeks in warmer weather.

[My thanks to Marc Scott Zicree's excellent book, "The Twilight Zone Companion" for the information... informatin... information.... And I'm glad he corrected a chronological error with the second edition!]

Toby OB

"I must be dreaming!
Either that, or I'm in the Twilo Zone
Rob Petrie
'The Dick Van Dyke Show'


Now that the "death march with cocktails" (as Tim Goodman calls it) officially known as the TCA press tour is over, I'd like to take a look at some of those shows returning in the fall as well. I thought I'd use my wish-craft to put together a list of classic TV characters whom I think would make for a nice guest appearance in one of those "very special episodes" that usually crop up during Sweeps.

Gloria Bunker Stivic ('All In The Family', 'Gloria')
In the years since her spin-off 'Gloria', Sally Struthers' most famous character may have moved back to her home borough in New York City. We know that her son Joey Stivic visited his grandparents' former home in the pilot episode of '704 Houser', and since the Cumberbatches were now living there, Gloria would have to find a new residence. She could even become a recurring character in Betty's neighborhood, perhaps even a romantic interest for Ignacio.

'30 ROCK'
Mary Richards Cronin ('The Mary Tyler Moore Show')
Lemon and Mayr... what a combo that would be! We know from the TV movie "Mary And Rhoda" that Mary lives in Manhattan now and is back in the TV news business. Perhaps she could produce a news profile on Liz or Tracy or better yet, on Jack! And maybe she could have a meltdown when meeting with Mr. Geis, one of the network's head honchos. "Oh, Mr. Geis!!!!"

Maurice Minnifield ('Northern Exposure')
A trip to Elmo from Cicely on business could bring the ex-astronaut into town where his somewhat neanderthalish, chauvinistic attitudes would lead to him butting heads with Marin.

Richard Fish & John Cage ('Ally McBeal')
We've seen representatives from other law firms visit the offices of Crane, Poole, & Schmidt in the past. And since Fish & Cage are alumni of another David E. Kelley series, it would seem like a natural for them to make an appearance here. It's not like DEK would be afraid of making a cross-network crossover.... After all, he's had a lot of experience with that in the past.

Fox Mulder ('The X-Files')
David Duchovny's recent announcement at the TCA press tour that plans are in the works for a new movie based on his former show would probably negate any chance for Spooky's appearance on this show. Of course, once the movie was finished, an appearance on 'Supernatural' might make for a nice transistion/set-up for the movie, advance publicity. The fact that Sam and Dean travel all over the country investigating the types of cases that Mulder lived for makes it an ideal showcase for his return. But the rival network stigma might also be a factor in keeping this from happening. (Would've been cool though!)

Finally, here are two suggestions that would have to wait until next summer....

John Doe ('John Doe')
Both John and Kyle were introduced in the same manner - naked in the woods of the Pacific Northwest, with no memory of who they are or were. Since 'John Doe' ended with no real resolution, perhaps they could use the recent news about the 'Vanished' wrap-up coming to 'Bones' as inspiration. Perhaps we could learn that the origins of 'John Doe' can be found at Madacorp.

Lt. Columbo ('Columbo')
The Lieutenant must be considered a legend by everybody in the High Priority Homicide division. And he may have had assistance from Flynn and Provenza earlier in their careers when they were just starting out as detectives on the force. It might be fun to see how Columbo, known for working alone and with his old-fashioned sense of crime-solving style, would mesh with Deputy Chief Johnson's team. And we KNOW his bumbling demeanor would probably drive the hyper-tense Brenda straight up the wall.

So those are just a few suggestions I had for "mash-ups", all for the greater glory of Toobworld!

Do you have any you'd like to share?

Toby OB


My friend Michael tells me that with the production of the 'Dead Like Me' movie soon to be underway, the creators are looking to recast the role of Daisy Adair. Daisy was a member of the team of Reapers on the series who was played by Laura Harris.

I'm sure most of the speculation about this revival has been centering on whether or not Mandy Patinkin might return as Rube Sofer now that he's severed his ties to 'Criminal Minds'. It doesn't look likely based on this synopsis of the movie from

“When Calvin Kane, a slick businessman who couldn't care less about helping the newly dead, takes over Rube's [the character played by Patinkin] Head Reaper duties, all hell breaks loose, bringing out the worst in Daisy, Roxy, and Mason. George, however, is determined to set her latest, botched reap right, especially because the boy who was supposed to die, Hudson Hart, is her little sister Reggie's secret boyfriend. In the process, George and Reggie re-connect for real, for the first time.”

But from a Toobworld perspective, it's the rumor about Daisy that concerns me more.

I'd rather see them start fresh rather than recast the role. Daisy was already an addition to the cast; Laura Harris replaced Rebecca Gayheart, whose character of Betty decided to let her soul leap into the Unknown. The same could be used as a splainin as to why Daisy is no longer a member of Rube's team. And a new Reaper could be introduced either as a sub-plot or with just a quick line tossed off to note the change in the line-up.

As Ellen Muth said in her MySpace page, "We all hate change but it has been two years since season 2 so there has to be evolution.” So part of that evolution should have been the exit of Daisy entirely from the scene and a new character brought in.

However, after reading more about the upcoming movie at Wikipedia, my complaints would have fallen on deaf ears; the script seems to be locked in with Daisy's acting background playing a pivotal part.

And so it goes.....

The concept of these Reapers leading dull afterlives with celestial civil servant occupations already demands the willing suspension of disbelief. (And gets it easily, I'd say.) But recasting a previously existing character just reminds the audience that it's just another TV show.

Or, in this case, movie.....

I'm just sayin', is all.

Toby OB

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


This is from E! Online:

"Do you remember that 'Vanished' show with Gale Harold from last season that vanished from the airwaves? I hear that the mystery from that show is going to be resolved on 'Bones' this season. Fabulous, yes?"

I have yet to find any other verification of this story, but I'll be watching it with great interest!

Anybody ever hear of something like this happening before? Where the resolution of one show is taken care of on another series after the first one is cancelled? I'm thinking it must have happened with some show that was a spin-off of another, like one of the 'Star Trek' or 'Law & Order' franchise shows. But I think this might be a first for two series unrelated to each other.

The closest thing that comes to mind is an episode of 'Diagnosis Murder' which updated a case from 'Mannix'. In that instance, it was more a case of filling in a few loopholes caused by the original script which caused the original case to make more sense. There was also an episode of 'Murder, She Wrote' which brought closure to a film noir classic.

This is something I always hoped for with a show like 'Coronet Blue', and as long as Frank Converse is still alive, the hope is alive. Resolution for that long-ago summer series could be easily wrapped up on a show like 'CSI: NY' or 'Without A Trace'.

Think of all those shows that either ended on a cliff-hanger, or were cancelled before their time. There must be a show out there for each of them! ('Doctor Who' quickly comes to mind as the deus ex machina to resolve many of them set in the past.)

Toby OB

[Thanks to Rob of "The Medium Is Not Enough" for the tip.]


Seven episodes of 'John From Cincinnatti' have aired; there are only three to go. And as much as I'm digging this series, I'll be surprised if it gets the green light for a sophomore season.

So I'm thinking it's crunch time in the home stretch and David Milch & Co. will have to buckle down to bring the story to the stunning conclusion I'm expecting in those final three eps. And that means that there probably won't be any leeway to ramble off on topics that don't relate to the main storylines... like, say, who the parents of motel owner Barry Cunningham are/were.

If the subject never comes up, here's my suggestion - he's the son of Richard and Lori Beth Cunningham, as seen in 'Happy Days'.

Imperial Beach, California, is a long way from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but here's my splainin: After serving his hitch in the Army stationed in Greenland, and after a lifetime of Wisconsin winters, Richie and his wife decided to move to a warmer clime. And so the Cunninghams found themselves either in "IB" or in the surrounding environs where they raised a family, including their troubled son Barry.

As usual with my theories of relateeveety, none of that can be proved. But like Vincent Van Gopher would say, it's pozz'ble; it's pozz'ble.

Toby OB

Monday, July 23, 2007


I got a kick out of the first episode of 'Mad Men' which premiered on AMC last Thursday night. I think it fed right into my enjoyment of the time period as seen in "Good Night And Good Luck", the movie about Edward R. Murrow's clash with Senator Joe McCarthy.

And that first episode presented a very good example of why Toobworld should never be confused with the real world; that it's not supposed to be an exact copy of what happens in our world (when it comes to the small details, anyway).

Star-Ledger TV columnist Alan Sepinwall (link to the left, folks!) caught this example of the differences between the "Viewniverse" and the "Trueniverse":

"It's Toasted" was an actual Lucky Strikes slogan, but one that dates back to 1917. Over the run of the series, [Matthew] Weiner's going to be playing a little loose with this area, using actual brands but either inventing new campaigns or giving Don credit for other men's work.

So it may turn out that the 'Mad Men' at the Sterling Cooper Agency will take credit for such slogans as "Good To The Last Drop" and "It's grrrrrrrrRRRREAT!"

Toby OB


While looking into more information about Larry David's vocal impression of George Steinbrenner on 'Seinfeld', I found this item at WikiSein:

In one episode, "The Wink", Steinbrenner mentions all of the people he fired, with him saying Billy Martin four times. He also mentions then-current manager Buck Showalter, then quickly clams up about it.

Though the show meant it as a joke, it turned out to be prophetic: just weeks after the episode aired, the real life Steinbrenner did not bring back Showalter as Yankees manager and replaced him with Joe Torre.

It wasn't the first time that Toobworld proved to be prophetic. The most famous example might be found in the 'Star Trek' episode of "Tomorrow Is Yesterday". Uhura tunes into a radio news summary which reports that the first manned Moon shot from Cape Kennedy with three astronauts is scheduled for Wednesday - the real Apollo 11 carrying three astronauts was launched from Cape Kennedy on 16 July 1969, a Wednesday.

At the time this episode aired, some conservative estimates by NASA held that it would be well after 1970 before man landed on the moon.

Sadly, on the day after this episode was aired, Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee tragically lost their lives in the Apollo 1 capsule.

Toby OB


The BET network will be presenting an animated sketch comedy series this fall called 'BUFU'. Not sure if it's an acronym, but it sounds dirty.

The show will be providing cartoon versions of such black notables as Tyra Banks and Gayle King, and Senator Barack Obama - who will have a politically incorrect puppet sidekick named Bam.

The producers of 'BUFU' claim they won't have a toon Oprah on the show, however. "We do not have a bit on Oprah," co-creator Ali LeRoi said. "Because we are afraid of Oprah."

Toby OB


When Oma Desala (aka Mother Nature) tried for a second time to "ascend" Daniel Jackson after death, she brought him to a plane of existence situated between Life, Death, and Ascension. For Daniel's mind to grasp his surroundings, that dimensional plane resembled a waffle house.

In fact, it was the same waffle house Daniel had visited as a child with his grandfather. And this would be the same waffle house where Rube and his team of Reapers gathered to get their daily assignments. So that means that at some point after the deaths of his parents in NYC, Daniel's grandfather Nick Ballard took him to Seattle.

The gathered higher beings must have been amused by the coincidence being so tied into Life and Death....

'Stargate SG1' - "Threads"
'Dead Like Me' - entire series

Toby OB

[Thanks to the Westphallians for the tip!]


The oldest son of Sean and Claudia Finnerty of Staten Island, New York, is Jimmy Finnerty (but he's their second child, after Lily). Jimmy is something of a black sheep in the Finnerty family, (although it's usually no more than that he wanted to become a vegetarian, much to his parents' horror.) and he fancies himself a ladies' man in the schoolyard.

Jimmy Finnerty may have been named after a cousin of his father's. If so, that Jimmy Finnerty is probably the one who refers to himself in the third person (as in "Jimmy couldn't jump at all before he got these. Jimmy was like you."). "The Jimmy" sold odd-sized training shoes that forced the leg muscles to either adapt or die.

It seems like it's a pretty annoying habit, that referring to oneself in the third person. And that could be a very good reason why Sean and Claudia never invited him over to their house during any of the times when we were watching them.

'Grounded For Life' - entire series
'Seinfeld' - "The Jimmy"

Toby OB

Sunday, July 22, 2007


Romulan Commander: We are much alike, you and I. In another reality, I could have called you friend.
'Star Trek'

Patrick McCann: We could be friends in another life.
Tom Quinn: We'll just have to wait until then.