Monday, February 8, 2010


At one point during his overview of the series 'East Side/West Side', my blogging buddy Ivan Shreve said:

Allan Rich plays the lawyer assigned to the boyfriend (and Brock joshingly calls him “E.G.” at one point, which should set off a few alarms at Tubeworld.
First off, my thanks to Ivan for the plug. You'll find the link to his site "Thrilling Days Of Yesteryear" there to the right in my blog-roll.....

As for the mention of "EG", Allan Rich's character was a lawyer named Mellon, but the "EG" had to be an in-joke reference to EG Marshall who was the star of 'The Defenders' at the time.

I know Ivan didn't mean for it to be a challenge, but of course I can't just let it go for the TV in-joke that it was meant to be. No, I have to figure out why Brock would call him that when 'The Defenders' should be sharing the same TV dimension as 'East Side/West Side'. Because of that, we can't just let it go as a TV reference.

'The Defenders' has caused Toobworld Central problems in the past. There's the original pilot, 'The Defender', which was shown on 'Studio One' with a different cast: Ralph Bellamy and William Shatner as the Prestons, who would be portrayed by EG Marshall and Robert Reed in the actual series. Scenes from that pilot would be used in a 2007 episode of 'Boston Legal' to stand in for flashback scenes about Denny Crane (also played by William Shatner) and his father.

With that original pilot, Toobworld Central decided to shuffle it off to an alternate TV dimension and let the series stand as the official version in Earth Prime-Time. So it was okay to use the clips in the main Toobworld as background for Denny Crane's life.

It was use of the clips from the TV series in an episode of 'Mad Men' that caused a bigger Zonk.
Here's what had to say about that episode, "The Benefactor":

The title of this episode ("The Benefactor") is also the title of the controversial episode of 'The Defenders' which Harry tries (unsuccessfully) to get the Belle Jolie cosmetics company to sponsor. The episode of 'The Defenders', which discussed the issue of abortion, aired on CBS on April 28, 1962. It was so controversial at the time that none of the regular sponsors for the series would advertise during its broadcast.
(Collin Wilcox was the guest star of that episode; she passed away last year.....)

I wrote about that Zonky situation already, and I'm still on the fence on how to handle the place of 'Mad Men' in the Great Link of Toobworld. I may have to place it in the same dimension as shows like 'The Larry Sanders Show' and 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' because of all the references to real TV shows. But I'd really hate to lose such an elegant piece of television programming in the main Toobworld. At any rate, 'The Defenders' has reared its head once more as a potential Zonk threat. Only this time, it may be a lot easier to splain our way out of it.

If that's all that was said on the matter - that Brock called Mellon "EG" - then there is no obvious reference to 'The Defenders' within the reality of Toobworld. I have faith in the writers of 'East Side/West Side' that they respected the intelligence of their audience and so wouldn't feel the need to beat them over the head with a splainin of the reference. You hardly get that type of respect from the TV writers of today. They go overboard with the details to make sure the audience gets it.

I've only seen one episode of 'East Side/West Side' and it wasn't this one, "Age Of Consent". So I don't know if we ever learned the full name of the lawyer Mellon. If not, then this splainin is over and done with now - Brock called Mellon "EG" because those were the initials of his first and middle name. Failing that, perhaps it was just some odd nickname. Maybe on paper, Mellon would write out that nickname as "Egie".

Egie Mellon. Has a nice ring to it.....

For the time being, I'm going to stick with that as the splainin, citing Occam's Razor: the simplest explanation tends to be the best one. Or the simplest splainin, when it comes to matters of Toobworld....



IAmATVJunkie said...

Nice new look. Love the banner.

Toby O'B said...

Thanks, Joe!