Saturday, November 8, 2008


Channel 21 of New York shows the British "cold case" procedural 'New Tricks' each Friday. Last night's episode, "Buried Treasure", served up a classic Zonk from each member of the squad, save for Brian "Memory" Lane.

So let's run them down and then back up over them to make sure they're totally disabled!

When Gerry Standing couldn't believe what he was hearing as a criminal's widow confessed to a murder nearly a decade before, he exclaimed, "What is this? 'Candid Camera'?"

Back in the 1960s, when 'Candid Camera' was at the height of its popularity, questions like this were fairly common on many sitcoms. In fact, back in September I wrote about those other instances in my
daily Tiddlywinkydink.

Like reality shows, news programs, televised sporting events, and game shows, 'Candid Camera' is watched by the Toobworld audience as well as by the real world audience.

Jack Halford was exasperated by Brian's suggestion that his dog Scampi could probably locate a buried body in a large wooded site. "He's not bloody Lassie!" sputtered Jack.

For Toobworld's purposes, there are several incarnations of Lassie. There's the book version and the many film adaptations that derived from it; there's the dog we know from the first, long-running TV series, which was named after the famous movie canine; and then there's the sequel from the 1990s, in which that Lassie was descended from that first TV Lassie.

Any mention of 'Lassie' as a fictional character in other TV shows would be references to the movie versions of 'Lassie'. And in Toobworld, there could be plenty of fictional films about Lassie, just in case specific plot points from the TV series - like Lassie able to understand what a C clamp is! - are mentioned in other shows.

We go to the dogs for the last one as well......

I think of all the cartoon TV series out there, the 'Scooby-Doo' franchise has to be the most often mentioned, and therefore, the most often Zonked. Among the shows that mentioned it are 'Doctor Who', 'Bosom Buddies', 'Undeclared', 'Spaced', 'House', 'CSI', 'Veronica Mars', 'The Big Bang Theory', 'Welcome Back, Kotter', and 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer'.

'New Tricks' joined their ranks when squad leader Sandra Pullman groused, "Scooby Bloody Doo!" But there's no need to worry about that being a Zonk. For the majority of the people in Toobworld, the residents of the Tooniverse are just cartoons, which is how we regard them in the real world. Only a handful of live-action characters know that they actually exist and sometimes even cross over into the main Toobworld.

So that should take care of de-Zonking this particular episode......

Toby O'B

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