Saturday, September 8, 2007


We got two references to pineapples this week on 'Psych' in "Rob-A-Bye, Baby".

First up, Shaun was eating Jelly Belly-like jelly beans and was disgusted by the combination of pineapple and moviehouse popcorn flavors.

Late in the show, Shaun arrived on Chief Vick's doorstep with a baby gift: a pineapple, of course.

I picked up Season One of the series via Netflix in order to work my way through the episodes for each of the references and eventually I'll post them all here.

It's already been an influence on me, though. I'm still working on proofing my Toobworld novel, full of TV references, and I changed a dessert to make a combination 'Psych' and 'Monty Python's Flying Circus' reference:

Pineapple tart without so much rat in it.

Toby OB

I'm told that there was a THIRD reference to pineapples in this episode! That Sean's logo on his polo shirt was of a pineapple:

Friday, September 7, 2007


While looking for members of Clan Franklin to suggest a Theory of "Relateeveety" with PJ and Andy of 'My Boys', I stumbled across something interesting. Tod Andrews played a Mr. Franklin in a 1968 episode of 'The Andy Griffith Show' dealing with a computerized dating service. A year later, he appeared in 'The FBI' as Ed Franklin in the fifth season premiere "Target Of Interest", which also dealt with dating in a way:

"Erskine poses as a lovelorn diplomat to provide fresh bait for an extortion ring suspected of having blackmailed a diplomat to suicide. Diane Baker looking beautiful as a double agent working for the US is brought out of retirement for "one more" for the country. The good inspector goes undercover as Miss Baker's lover and is blackmailed by the bad guys."

In the very last episode of 'The Andy Griffith Show' ("A Girl For Goober"), Goober's truthful yet misleading answers to the questionaire of a computerized dating service led to Goober getting a date with the woman who ran the computer program. And even though they both realized quickly they were mismatched, the two of them still had fun on their date. As for Mr. Franklin, he was the assistant to Dr. Edith Gibson.

I wish I could find more information... information... information on the episode of 'The FBI' in which Tod Andrews also played Franklin. Perhaps he decided it would be more lucrative if he took his knowledge of computerized dating and applied it towards a blackmailing scheme.

Without finding a proper, more detailed synopsis, I can't jump to conclusions just yet; after all, Ed Franklin in 'The FBI' episode may not have been involved in the blackmail operation. But there's hope yet - they show the series on the American Life network, so I'll just consider "Target Of Interest" to be a target of interest......

Toby OB

Thursday, September 6, 2007


Just back from the showcase of ABC pilots at the Paley Center.

First off, in case you weren't aware, the Museum of Television & Radio is now known as the Paley Center for Media. The new name was launched back in June and probably was instigated to encompass the ever-expanding role online productions will have in Television. (Before MT&R, it was the Museum for Broadcasting, but cable made that term obsolete.)

At any rate, the Paley Center is continuing their yearly tradition to host evening showcases at which its members sample the various pilots for the coming fall season from all of the major networks. I was in luck that the one show I was really keen on seeing fell on the one night I had free - ABC's 'Pushing Daisies'.

This was the lineup for the event, which began at 6:00 pm with a little wine & cheese partay:

'Pushing Daisies'
'Dirty, Sexy Money'
'Samantha Who'
'Big Shots'

Kim Rosenfeld of ABC hosted the event and claimed jet lag as an excuse for any possible faux pas in what he said. I think it was all planned though when he mentioned 'Men In Trees' rather than "Men In Black" for a Sonnenfeld credit.

My only complaint overall had to do with the sound system - very muffled at times and that was a detriment especially to 'Pushing Daisies', as a lot of its dialogue was then lost.

As I said, I went for 'Pushing Daisies' - written by Bryan Fuller ('Dead Like Me', 'Wonderfalls', 'Heroes'), directed by Barry Sonnenfeld ("Addams Family", "Men in Black"), and looking like it should be a Tim Burton production. (But don't tell that to Sonnenfeld; apparently it pisses him off.)

Very good, great visual look to the whole thing. Lee Pace is a find; reminds me of Tom McFadyen. Jim Dale is the narrator. The other two main characters are played by Chi McBride and Anna Friel.

Also with Kristen Chenowith, Swoosie Kurtz, and Ellen Greene, so I expect a musical episode!That show's a watcher.

'Dirty Sexy Money' - it was fun but I don't have time in my life for these scum bag rich people on a regular basis, although I'd watch Donald Sutherland in just about anything. I already know what TV show to hook this with, and maybe you'll guess if this quote means something to you: "You got time to eat, you got time for music!" (The key is the Family name and the resemblance Sutherland bears to a late, great character actor.)

And it had fun cameos from Dan Rather and Peter Bogdanovich.

'Samantha Who' - I was not expecting much so I was pleasantly surprised to find it very interesting. Christina Applegate wakes up after an 8 day coma with amnesia and finds out she was a horrible person in her previous life. It's a sitcom, no laugh track, single-camera show. With Jean Smart as her mom and Kevin Dunn as her father, Jennifer Esposito as a friend from her horrible life and Tim Russ as her philosophical doorman (who treats Tom Waits lyrics like Vulcan aphorisms. Hmmmm, I wonder why......)

Also, this print had historical value, as its title card listed the show as 'Sam I Am', which was changed after complaints from the estate of Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss).

'Big Shots' - Michael Vartan, Dylan McDermott, Joshua Malina, and Christopher Titus as CEOs for various companies who hang out together and have relationship problems. Dylan: "Men - we're the new women." A complete waste of talent, I could sense little enthusiasm for the show among the audience.

My recommendations? Enjoy 'Pushing Daisies', 'Samantha Who' is a pleasant way to spend a half hour, sample 'Dirty Sexy Money', skip 'Big Shots'.

Toby OB


Toobworld has lost another character from a show I remember fondly from when I was a kid: Mrs. Livingston, housekeeper for the Corbetts (widower Tom and his son Eddie) on 'The Courtship of Eddie's Father'.

Mrs. Livingston was played by Miyoshi Umeki, Oscar-winner for "Sayonara", who passed away earlier this week. It is one of those situations where I think it's safe to assume that the character does not outlive the actor.

While working for magazine editor Tom Corbett (whom she called "Mr. Eddie's Father"), Mrs. Livingston attended night school so that she might improve her English. (I'm assuming she found the phrase "Mr. Corbett" to be a challenge.) She always looked to Corbett for advice when the customs of the United States confused her.

I'm assuming that Mrs. Livingston was a young war bride brought back to America, but who must have been widowed in the years prior to her employment by Tom Corbett.

Toby OB


With this week's episode of 'My Boys' ("The Estates Of Hoffman"), we got to meet the parents of PJ and Andy. Frank Franklin lives in Chicago, may have grown up there, but if he's anything like most Telemericans, he's got family elsewhere in the United States.

Specifically, I'm thinking he may have an uncle who is a retired judge in Philadelphia. Judge Walter Franklin is no longer seated on the court there in the City of Brotherly Love, but he might still be teaching law at Fred's Law School.

Can't prove it, but that doesn't mean it can't be......

'My Boys'
'The Tony Randall Show'

Toby OB


Shortly after the tragic events of 9/11, the nations of Toobworld agreed upon a treaty that would ban the uses of invisibility, miniaturization, and teleportation. (We learned about this from Tuesday's episode of 'Eureka' - "Sight Unseen".)

A workable teleportation system - developed by Terrans, that is, - will be over a century from completion. (At some point prior to 2121, Emory Erickson will have had the basics for a transporter worked out, but the first one in operation would be ready prior to 2139. We learned this in the episode "Daedalus" of 'Enterprise'.) However, there have been a few alien-created teleportation devices developed and used only by them (as evidenced by the personal device used by Blon Slitheen in the "Boom Town" episode of 'Doctor Who'.)

Miniaturization, on the other hand, has been around on Earth for over a century. The concept was developed along different paths, beginning with the experiments by Dr. Miguelito Loveless ('The Wild, Wild West' - "The Night Of The Raven"). There is also the work of a mad scientist known by the alias of 'Dr. Shrinker', as well as research done by the British government under the guidance of Professor Rushton ('The Avengers' - "Mission... Highly Improbable"). All of that would have to have been abandoned due to the treaty.

It's because of that treaty the US government would have had to capture such figures as Dr. Peter Brady ('The Invisible Man'), Darien Fawkes ('The Invisible Man'), Sam Casey ("Gemini Man") and Dr. David Westin ('The Invisible Man') in order to prevent other nations from declaring war. Each of them has been rendered invisible by science and so, because of the treaty, the government might have had to take a "Fail-Safe" option - killing them - to prevent their escapes. It's no wonder Claude has taken an alias and gone underground in order to stay alive (as seen during the first season of 'Heroes')!

The brain pool at Global Dynamics in Eureka was able to cure Sheriff Jack Carter of his accidental case of invisibility, but had they failed, there wouldn't have been a need to kill him. The formula used to create his invisibility was highly toxic due to unstable radioactive elements and would have killed him anyway in 24 hours. That would have been satisfactory for the other nations, but luckily it didn't have to come to that.

Toby OB

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


"Advertising is based on one thing, happiness.
And you know what happiness is?
Happiness is the smell of a new car.
It's freedom from fear.
It's a billboard on the side of the road
that screams reassurance that whatever you are doing is okay.
You are okay
Don Draper
'Mad Men'

"Happiness is a warm gun."
John Lennon (Lennon/McCartney)

Just a little something to buttress my earlier argument. Like I said, I could be wrong; I usually am. But looking at the big picture, this scenario, in which Don would kill somebody (not necessarily Peggy or Joan) to protect his secret, would go a long way towards building the buzz to bring the show back for another season!

Toby OB


The finale for this first season of 'Mad Men' (And I hope there will be more!) is coming up fast, and I'm wondering if we've been given some clues as to how it will end. Based on what we've seen so far, I've got a theory as to how 'Mad Men will play out, tying in several of the plotline.

Like bread crumbs forming a trail, these are the facts that led to my theory:

Don Draper is keeping his past as Dick Whitman a secret.

Don was a ranger during the Korean Conflict. He may have trained as a sniper.

(Although I may not be remembering the dialogue Don had on the train with the guy who recognized him as Dick Whitman.)

Don paid his own brother $5,000.00 to go away and not intrude on his new life.

Don's secretary Peggy knows he has a secret - that he has a mistress.

Don hates Pete Campbell. He sees the younger exec as a threat to his job.

Don tried to fire Pete but was over-ruled. He'd still like to find a way to get rid of him.

Pete bought a rifle for $22.00 and is keeping it at the office.

Because Peggy confided in her, Joan knows one of Don's secrets as well.
As I wrote in an earlier post, I think most of the audience expected don to pull a gun out of briefcase and to shoot his half-brother to ensure his silence. We've also seen he has a mean streak - in the way he dismisses his wife's problems and in that trick he pulled on Roger with the "out of service" elevator.

Don Draper is a cold fish, and if his back was against the wall, I have no doubt that he might kill in order to protect his secret past.

So with that in mind, here's a theory I have on how 'Mad Men' will play out:

Don will find out that Peggy knows one of his secrets. She knows about the mistress but not about his real identity. However, Don can't take a chance on what she knows.

So what if, in true 'Columbo' style, Don got Pete's rifle and killed Peggy, and making sure that Pete got the blame for it? That way, Don would be rid of both Peggy and Pete.

Here's another fact to consider:

Matthew Weiner, the show's creator and writer, used to write for 'The Sopranos'.

It's true that his pilot script for 'Mad Men' is the reason he got hired for 'The Sopranos''. So what if his experiences writing for 'The Sopranos' influenced how the rest of the 'Mad Men' scripts developed?

I'm not saying Salvatore will be beaten to death with a pool cue, but Tony Soprano has made it possible for the protagonist to have a very dark side. (Personally, I think it all started with Andy Sipowicz on 'NYPD Blue'.)

Maybe I only have the specifics wrong. Maybe Joan will attempt to blackmail Don just in case she senses her own relationship with Roger Sterling is heading south and she could use the financial cushion. And thus she would be the target and not Peggy.

Remember this is all just speculation on my part. I could be wrong. I usually am. But I can't help thinking that a different interpretation of the title 'Mad Men' could be in the future.

Just don't get me started on my theory about Don's service during the Korean Conflict. There's always a pozz-bility that he was brainwashed by his captors while a prisoner of war. And now that his agency will be working for Nixon's 1960 presidential campaign, perhaps his handlers will take him out of sleeper mode and put him into play.....

But if I ever wrote up that idea, the post would be entitled "Mad Menchurian Candidate"!

Toby OB

Monday, September 3, 2007


If "reality" is going to creep into Toobworld, then it better be worthwhile.

My brother Bill makes the case for one particular example......

Saturday's College Game Day on ESPN. The regulars were back, namely Lee Corso (a quirky old guy) and Kirk Herbstreit (the dashing younger ex-Jock now TV stud) ...

They broadcast this show from a different game venue every Saturday morning during college football season. For this past Saturday's inaugural episode of the year, they were in Blacksburg, Va., for the home opener of Virginia Tech.

They covered the emotional opening ceremonies, which were heart-rending enough, but when they went back to the ESPN trio (including the host), you didn't know how they could top that, but they did. In only a couple of minutes, the two main guys said exactly the right words.

Every week, the climax of the show is Corso donning the headgear of the mascot for the team he thinks will win the game. There was never any doubt he would put on the turkey-looking head of a Virginia Tech Hokie, but before he did it this time, he stood up to show TV land the T-shirt he was wearing, and he read it out loud in case you couldn't see it:

"I don't know what a Hokie is, but God is one of them."

As the host wrapped it up quickly, you could see Lee and Kirk giving each other a high-five. Quietly, simply, and emotionally.

Wow. I have always loved tuning in to see these guys do their thing every week. They are under the radar as far as the big picture is concerned but this show should earn them some well-deserved recognition.

After he did a bit more research, he got back to me.....

Wow... I just did a quick check on the origin of that quote about what a Hokie is, and it was originally from Lee Corso himself, from 7 years ago...

Here's the rest of the story, which makes my previous note to you about this past Saturday's College Game Day even more amazing:

In 2000, ESPN College Football Analyst Lee Corso predicted Virginia Tech would lose the Black Coaches' Association preseason game versus Georgia Tech. Moments after he made that prediction, a lightning bolt struck and damaged his rental car sitting in a sea of nearly 25,000 other vehicles.

The following year, Corso shared that story as he predicted the Hokies would play for that year's national championship title. On the August 23 ESPN College Gameday Preseason Show, Corso said, "Last year when I did not pick Virginia Tech, lightning hit my car. And I said 'I don't know what a Hokie is, but God is one of them.' So I'm going with God. I'm going with Virginia Tech."

Fast forward to 2007. The man who first spoke those words found the appropriate time and place to repeat them.

[My thanks to TV Tan Line - link to the left! - for the screen capture.]

Toby OB