Saturday, February 19, 2011


Attention Toobworld followers in Chicago!

For this next week only - from today until the 24th - "Certifiably Jonathan" will be playing at the Gene Siskel Film Center. It's a "mockumentary" about one of my comedy heroes, Jonathan Winters, and it was directed by former 'Saturday Night Live' cast member Nora Dunn.

If you're in the Chicago area and want to see it, tickets are $10/General Admission, $7/students, and $5/Film Center members. All tickets levels can be purchased at the Gene Siskel Film Center box office. But you can also purchase tickets through TicketMaster.

If you do go see it, let me know how it is!



A contest was held to create a Super Bowl ad for Doritos and Pepsi. This was one of the entries, but it proved a bit too edgy......



It's time once again for our weekly 'Doctor Who' video and today we have a salute to the all-time favorite snack from this long-running series:



Bob Cook was seen on TV a lot in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl this year as one of the four men who were part of the "Never Miss A Super Bowl" Club.

That commercial for Visa was taped back in June. But when it was time for the Super Bowl, Mr. Cook had to watch it from his hospital bed while his daughters used his tickets.

Mr. Cook passed away last week. As Red Skelton used to say, Good night and may God bless.



And in other news....



Last Sunday night after the Grammy Awards telecast, Serene Branson, a reporter for the L.A. CBS affiliate, tried to give a report from the red carpet outside the auditorium:

And suddenly, she became the news herself:

Many people thought it was a stroke, and Ms. Branson quickly left the air and sought medical attention. But by the end of the week, doctors were able to announce that she had suffered the effects of a "complex migraine".

From CBS News:
Migraines can cause more than pain. Just ask TV reporter Serene Branson, the TV reporter whose recent on-air speaking difficulty is now believed to have been caused by a so-called "complex" migraine.

What's a complex migraine? It's an unusual "presentation" of the neurological disorder - one that can cause vision disturbances, vertigo, and numbness as well as the sort of speech difficulty that Branson experienced.

For More:

Ms. Branson appeared on the 'CBS Early Show' with the network's doctor to talk about the situation and hopefully with proper medical care she's now going to be okay......




'Clone High, USA'

Donald Faison

From Wikipedia:
George Washington Carver (January 1864 – January 5, 1943), was an American scientist, botanist, educator, and inventor. The exact day and year of his birth are unknown; he is believed to have been born in January of 1864, before slavery was abolished in Missouri.

Much of Carver's fame is based on his research into and promotion of crops as alternatives to cotton, such as peanuts and sweet potatoes. He wanted poor farmers to grow alternative crops both as a source of their own food and as a source of other products to improve their quality of life. The most popular of his 44 practical bulletins for farmers contained 105 food recipes that used peanuts. He also created or disseminated about 100 products made from peanuts that were useful for the house and farm, including cosmetics, dyes, paints, plastics, gasoline, and nitroglycerin.

In the Reconstruction South, an agricultural monoculture of cotton depleted the soil, and in the early 20th century the boll weevil destroyed much of the cotton crop. Carver's work on peanuts was intended to provide an alternative crop.

In addition to his work on agricultural extension education for purposes of advocacy of sustainable agriculture and appreciation of plants and nature, Carver's important accomplishments also included improvement of racial relations, mentoring children, poetry, painting, and religion. He served as an example of the importance of hard work, a positive attitude, and a good education. His humility, humanitarianism, good nature, frugality, and rejection of economic materialism also have been admired widely.

One of his most important roles was in undermining, through the fame of his achievements and many talents, the widespread stereotype of the time that the black race was intellectually inferior to the white race. In 1941, Time magazine dubbed him a "Black Leonardo", a reference to the Renaissance Italian polymath Leonardo da Vinci. To commemorate his life and inventions, George Washington Carver Recognition Day is celebrated on January 5, the anniversary of Carver's death.

O'Bviously, that wasn't very respectful for a video clip, especially during Black History Month. So here's the first of five parts of a biography on Carver which was shown on the History Channel:


Friday, February 18, 2011


My friend Mark and I have seen the first two episodes of the BBC's new sci-fi series 'Outcasts'. (It's unknown when or if BBC-A or Syfy will pick it up for American viewing.) We liked it a lot - morally challenged characters, heftier topics than just plasma breaches and temporal rifts, plus the scenery for the planet Carpathia is stunning. (The series was filmed in South Africa.) And there are lots of great actors - a personal favorite in Hermione Norris ('MI-5', 'Kingdom'), Daniel Mays ('Ashes To Ashes'), Amy Manson as Fleur (a lot tougher than her name!) and Erik Mabius of 'Ugly Betty' - who looks to be a cross between Dr. Zachary Smith and Kodos the Executioner. Also, Jamie Bamber ('Battlestar Galactica', 'Law & Order: UK') did a great job in the time-honored tradition of being the Big Name appearing only in the pilot to help launch the series.

But - yeah, there's usually a "but" - I do have one complaint for something I see as a major flaw - apparently the series is set in the year 2040, less than thirty years from now.

Add to this that it was about fifteen years earlier when they left Earth to come to Carpathia.... There's just not enough time - if Toobworld is following the same path as the real world - to discover Carpathia and learn enough about whether or not it can sustain human life, and then build about nine huge space arks that can make the voyage in just five years. (They'd been on Carpathia in FortHaven for about ten years. So that means an incredible leap in the development of rocket power!) And by the second episode we learned that they had mastered at least the basics in cloning humans.

(I'm not worried about the technology that allowed the security forces to read the minds of suspects and see their memories actually visualized. This could have been developed from the technology that was seen in 'The Prisoner' episode "A, B, or C?")

Had they made it 2140, I'd be okay with that. I'm not going to be around to know for certain anyhoo (as if I'll be here for 2040!), but just think of all the scientific advances we've had in the last century......

I don't think I've heard the actual year mentioned yet in the show, but if the press pack says it's 2040, then there must be a reason for it.

And the only reason I can see for it so far has been that this is written by somebody who needs the crutch of pop culture references. And the pop culture references used so far could be understood by somebody thirty years into the future, but would probably be incomprehensible even a century later.

'Outcasts' plays hob with the established timeline for Toobworld. This takes place just five years after the manned exploration of Mars, as seen in the finale of 'Life On Mars' (the American remake).

Something has to be done about the 'Outcasts' timeline to keep the series in the dimension of Earth Prime-Time. Otherwise, off it goes to some backwater TV dimension.

So here's my splainin, one that doesn't have to worry about being later Zonked by something mentioned in the series... hopefully.

The people of Forthaven are working with a new timeline.

It would be much later in the Toobworld timeline, perhaps even thousands of years. (I could see this tying in nicely to the events that led up to the 'Doctor Who' episode "The Beast Below".)

But there must have been some kind of major event that made everybody decide to reboot the Earth's timeline, something like the demarcation point chosen to be that for the birth of Christ, to separate the B.C. timeline from the A.D. timeline.

It could have been apocalyptic, something that nearly wiped Mankind out on a global scale; or cosmic - like the first major encounter with an alien civilization. But whatever and whenever it was in the future, (and I think it has to be at least far enough into the future to avoid clashing with events established by shows like 'Star Trek' and 'Babylon 5'), the world decided to start fresh in their chronology. I don't know what they might have used to identify this new timeline, on the order of "B.C." or "A.D.", but it would now be 2,040 years since that event occurred.

We don't go around saying it's 2011 A.D., so why would they bother saying it's 2040 P.Q. (Post Quarantine?) or whatever?

There are only eight episodes for this series (so far, but with the ratings falling - from what I've heard - there might not be any more.) I've got a feeling, though, that my theory will be shot down over the course of the show....... BCnU!


I picked up a few bootlegs at my midtown source last week.....

'N.Y.P.D.' #1 - the first 25 episodes
This is the series that put the kibosh on 'Coronet Blue' continuing. The producers should have tied up Frank Converse for a possible second season, but instead he moved on to be Jack Warden's right hand man in this cop show.

'Suspicion' - Eight uncut episodes from this anthology series with stars like Joseph Cotton, Michael Landon, Sebastian Cabot, George Peppard, Rod Steiger, Rory Calhoun, Claudette Colbert, Paul Douglas, Dan Duryea, Rod Taylor, Ruta Lee, and Ronald Howard.

And I've got four more DVD collections coming from Amazon......



Have you seen that commercial for Olive Garden in which Grandma comes to visit and her daughter and grand-daughter take her to that restaurant - just a girls' night out. Of the three, the grand-daughter should be recognizable - especially to fans of 'Modern Family'. It's the same actress who plays Haley on 'Modern Family'. (I can't think of her name off-hand but I'm resisting the urge to look it up. After all, we're dealing with Toobworld. She's Haley and the Olive Garden Girl - OG Girl - and that's all that matters. Anything else is outside the TV Universe and not of importance.) When dealing with TV characters who look so much alike, and when you're trying to keep it grounded in "reality", the only two options that could be used are identical cousins or Mom or Dad was cheating in one of the two marriages. And if we went that route, I think it would have to be Mom in the Olive Garden blipvert. After all, there's no sign there even was a Dad in that family. He probably took off once he found out that she got pregnant by Phil.

But who wants to think of Phil Dunphy as a philanderer? (And who would believe that he could carry it off?)

So we're ruling out clones, holographic impersonations, disguises, alien replacements, etc. to splain away why both of these girls look similar.

But I'm going to use these two sources to road-test a new pozz'bility for a theory of relateeveety:

Phil and Claire Dunphy donated fertilized eggs to some other couple. For some reason the other wife couldn't produce her own eggs; the husband has a low sperm count.... They asked their old friends the Dunphys to supply both for them.

And that's why the OG Girl looks so much like Haley Dunphy. BCnU!


As today is the birthday of my "pseudo-nephew" Eli Cleary, I've added another "As Seen On TV" showcase to highlight this date in the life of someone from his mother's homeland.....


"Pope John Paul II"

James Cromwell

From Wikipedia:
Prince Adam Stefan Stanislaw Bonfatiusz Józef Sapieha (14 May 1867 – 23 July 1951) was a Polish cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Archbishop of Kraków. Between 1922–1923 he was a senator of the Second Rzeczpospolita. In 1946, Pope Pius XII created him Cardinal.

He was created Cardinal Priest, of the title of Santa Maria Nuova, on 18 February 1946. On 1 November 1946 he conferred priestly ordination on Karol Wojtyla in the chapel of his episcopal residence.

Sapieha knew Karol Wojtyla (later John Paul II) was destined to become a priest when a young Karol delivered a welcoming speech during the archbishop's visit to his school. Some people consider him a mentor of Pope John Paul II. In 1950, he inspired and took part in writing the letters of protest of Poland's episcopacy to president Boleslaw Bierut, that condemned repression and persecution of the church in Poland. In 1949, he proposed that Stefan Wyszynski, Metropolitan Archbishop of Gniezno and Warsaw since 12 November 1948, should be termed Primate of Poland. Sapieha died on 23 July 1951, and his funeral on 28 July turned into a demonstration. He was buried in the Wawel Cathedral, in a crypt under the confession of St. Stanislas.

Happity happity, Eli!





Terrence Howard

From Wikipedia:
Ralph David Abernathy, Sr. (March 11, 1926 – April 17, 1990) was a leader of the American Civil Rights Movement, a minister, and a close associate of Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Following King's assassination, Dr. Abernathy took up the leadership of the SCLC Poor People's Campaign and led the March on Washington, D.C. that had been planned for May 1968.

On December 2, 1955, in response to the arrest of his NAACP co-worker, Rosa Parks, Abernathy and his dearest friend, Dr. Martin Luther King, organized the Montgomery Bus Boycott and co-founded the American Civil Rights Movement. The Montgomery Improvement Association led the successful 381 days transit boycott challenging “Jim Crow” Segregation laws, and ended Alabama’s bus segregation.

While actively involved in the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement, he completed his Master’s Degree in Sociology at Atlanta University. His master’s thesis, “The Natural History of A Social Movement: The Montgomery Improvement Association,” was published by Carlson Publishing in David Garrow’s book entitled, “The Walking City – The Montgomery Bus Boycott, 1955-1956.”

For More:


Thursday, February 17, 2011


Here's a frame grab from the 'Burke's Law' episode "Who Killed April?" in which the detectives are asking for the location of the manager for the fast food restaurant. This was the only scene for that car-hop waitress and she was played by Rue MacClanahan of 'The Golden Girls' fame.

She only had the one line but never identified herself. So I'm going to make the claim that one day she would become the powerful gossip columnist Verity Chandler, as seen in the 'Columbo' episode "Ashes To Ashes". Just about everybody in show business had to start somewhere, and for Verity Chandler the job of a car-hop waitress would have been as good as any to keep the bills paid. Who knows? Maybe somebody of importance - a movie producer or a studio executive (May they be nibbled to death by ducks!) - might have pulled up for a burger and shake. If she played her cards right, (and Verity Chandler did seem like a real operator in that 'Columbo' episode), she might have then finagled a job for herself... one way or t'other. Nudge nudge, wink wink......

Eventually, after years at the top in her exalted position of knowing the secrets of everybody in Tinseltown, Verity Chandler ran afoul of the "funeral director to the stars", Erik Prince, for the graveyard dirt she had on him.

I suppose someone with a high-def method of checking the details in her 'Burke's Law' moment of glory could figure out what her name was on her uniform. But it wouldn't matter if it was different from Verity Chandler. Once she was on her way up the ladder of success, she could have changed her name like so many do in show business.

And if even "Chandler" wasn't her real name, where did she get it? I think we can look within 'Columbo' for that answer - from Nora Chandler, who would have been a big star back in the late 40's into the 1960's. She could have been a major influence and a favorite star of Verity's. (Nora Chandler had a secret that not even Verity Chandler was able to figure out.....) And as for "Verity", maybe there was a televersion of the producer Verity Lambert, best known in the real world for shepherding 'Doctor Who' in the beginning. Or maybe Verity was a character in some fictional bodice-ripper novel found only in Toobworld. Perhaps in some classic murder mystery novel by Dame Margot Woodhouse who would go on to write "Death Rinses Out A Few Things" near the end of her career (from 'Dream On'), or "The Rooster Crowed at Midnight" by Abigail Porterfield* (as seen in 'M*A*S*H').

Or better yet, Verity could have even been a movie character played by Nora Chandler, keeping that riff going a bit longer.....

At any rate, this "Game Of The Name" theory would place 'Columbo' and 'Burke's Law' into each other's orbit - which they should be since both of them are attached to the Los Angeles Homicide Division in Toobworld......

'Burke's Law'
'Murder, She Wrote'
'Dream On'


* Abigail Porterfield would also go on to inspire Jessica Fletcher (of 'Murder, She Wrote') in her literary career, but under her proper title of Lady Abigail Austin (seen in the episode "The Grand Old Lady".....) And there's a theoretical link in itself!


'Lost' may be gone from the airwaves, but "The Numbers" sequence lives on. Here are some recent additions to my collection of "The Numbers" to be found in other TV shows and commercials, past and present:

From an Allstate blipvert featuring one of the best new TV characters, and a winner of a 2010 Toobits Award, Mayhem:

This was stock footage used in the 'Burke's Law' episode "Who Killed April?".......

It's not a clean frame grab, I got it from a YouTube copy of an advertisement, so it wasn't on screen long, but here's Dr. Temperance 'Bones' Brennan on the sixteenth floor of a building.

Also, it was used in a commercial for a Canon camera in which a young couple were given the chance to go back to Italy and recreate a photo that didn't come out right on their old camera:

That was the number of the building owned by Marsha Deakin in which Daisy Steiner and Tim Bisley lived, as seen in 'Spaced'......




'Edward The King'

Sir Michael Hordern

From Wikipedia:
William Ewart Gladstone (29 December 1809 – 19 May 1898) was a British Liberal statesman. In a career lasting over sixty years, he served as Prime Minister four times (1868–1874, 1880–1885, February–July 1886 and 1892–1894), more than any other person. Gladstone was 84 years old - still physically vigorous albeit with failing hearing and eyesight - when he resigned for the last time, making him Britain's oldest Prime Minister. He also served as Chancellor of the Exchequer four times (1853–1855, 1859–1866, 1873–1874, and 1880–1882).

For More:


Wednesday, February 16, 2011


On a fairly regular basis, I hang out with two of my best buddies, Mark & Michael, for all night viewing marathons. We are the Bit Torrent Rebel Alliance.

This past week we watched the first two episodes of 'Outcasts', one of the Oscar nominees for B-B-B-Best P-P-P-Picture, an episode of 'Chopped', three episodes of 'Hot In Cleveland', and one of the later 'Columbo' mysteries, from the ABC years.
In "Uneasy Lies The Crown", Lt. Columbo questioned the poker players who supplied the alibi for his main suspect in the murder. Three of them were members of the League of Themselves - Ron Cey, Nancy Walker, and Dick Sargent. (John Roarke should have played himself as he was portrayed as an impressionist, but his character's name was Ted Slate.)

It was Dick Sargent who caused the biggest Zonk, as probably expected because of 'Bewitched'. The show got named when Columbo was having difficulty remembering who he was.

Had this been the only reference ever to the TV show, we'd be okay for Zonks, because no other details were provided about the show. A TV series called 'Bewitched' in Toobworld could have been a "Love At First Sight" rom-com about a woman's effect on the men around her - sort of a sitcom version of "There's Something About Mary".

But 'Bewitched' has been mentioned before in Toobworld - going all the way back to at least 1965! - and Mark, Michael, and I saw a much more detailed Zonk about it earlier in the night during one of those 'Hot In Cleveland' episodes.

Melanie (Valerie Bertinelli) was meeting her boyfriend's mother for the first time (played by Bonnie Franklin who played Bertinelli's "Mom" on 'One Day At A Time'). Franklin's character was a fierce battle-axe from Poland, and when Melanie learned that her name was Agnes, she pointed out that the witch mother-in-law on 'Bewitched' was played by Agnes Moorehead. A sudden outbreak of foot-in-mouth disease! I think we have to rely on that shadowy organization that allows certain TV characters to hide in plain sight by making TV shows and movies about them.

This organization (which I always refer to as "UNReel"), created TV shows and movies in the past about U.N.C.L.E., James Bond, The Munster Family, the threat of the Skynet Terminators, and a Time Lord from Gallifrey, both for hiding their identities and to cover up potential threats that might cause panic.

The existence of witches living in the midst of the general populace would fall into that latter category.

Surprisingly, - compared to the Trueniverse - the US government must have learned something from the history of the Salem trials - that it was wiser to take a hands-off policy when it came to the treatment of witches rather than try to eradicate them. Just like the Commie witch-hunt in the 1950's, where the only ones who suffered were those with no real ties to the threat, the real witches would have been free to seek revenge if the government tried to get rid of them. And you don't want to make someone like Endora angry!

But somebody had to be sacrificed to exposure, so a fictionalized version of the married life of Samantha Stevens on Morning Glory Circle in Westport, Ct., was created to cover up all the misdeeds of witches, so that the general public wouldn't know whether it actually happened or if it was just something they saw on that TV show. (It's a concept I freely admit that I stole from Win Scott Eckert's site about the Wold Newton Universe. You'll find the link to the left.) As for Ron Cey and Nancy Walker......

The former Dodger baseball player also appeared in episodes of 'Hardcastle & McCormick' and 'Simon & Simon'. The Toobworld Dynamic is one of the few places in crossover research which accepts fictionalized appearances by League of Themselves members as being legitimate, so we have connections between these three crime dramas thanks to Ron Cey.

With Nancy Walker, so many of her characters could have been Zonked - Ida Morgenstern of 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' and 'Rhoda', Nancy Blansky of 'Blansky's Beauties' and 'Happy Days', and Nancy Kittredge of 'The Nancy Walker Show'... not to mention Rosie of the Bounty commercials! One of her TV roles was mentioned, but in a vague, generic way - "that Rock Hudson show".

Columbo meant 'McMillan & Wife', as far as we're concerned in the Trueniverse audience, but the San Francisco police commissioner shared the same TV dimension as the L.A. detective.

So it has to be a TV show starring Rock Hudson which only exists in Toobworld. Maybe - to keep it "all in the family" as it were - maybe it was a TV adaptation of Alan Mallory's movie script, the last thing he ever wrote - as seen in the 'Columbo' episode "Publish Or Perish". If some TV producer decided to continue that movie's storyline with a TV series, we know Rock Hudson's character survived - because as they stated in the episode, you don't kill off Rock Hudson in the movies or on TV.

Only in real life.......

Thanks to Mark & Michael for reminding me of this episode and a happy 9th anniversary to them both!



On this date in TV history.....

From Wikipedia:

1957 – The "Toddlers' Truce", a controversial television close-down between 6.00pm and 7.00pm is abolished in the United Kingdom.

The Toddlers' Truce was a piece of early British television scheduling policy that required transmissions to terminate for an hour each weekday between 6pm and 7pm. This was from the end of Children's TV to the start of the evening schedule, so that young children could be put to bed.

It may have originated when the BBC resumed television after the end of the war in 1946. The policy remained fairly uncontroversial until ITV began transmission in 1955. At that time the Truce was accepted as policy by the Postmaster General, Earl De La Warr, in the interests of smoothing relations between ITV and the fledgling ITA.

The problem became apparent in 1956 when the ITV franchise-holders under the ITA's jurisdiction were struggling to stay in business. As the BBC was (and still is) funded by a TV licence fee, its budget was not related to the number of hours of transmission. Indeed the Truce saved them money. ITV, on the other hand, was funded entirely by advertising and the Truce caused a loss of revenue in the hour's closedown. Supporters of ITV, which had faced strong political opposition, argued that the Truce had little to do with social responsibility and was simply a way to give the BBC an unfair advantage.

The ITA had encouraged the ITV companies (Granada, ABC Television, ATV and Associated-Rediffusion) to seek abolition of the Truce. Action was taken finally in July 1956, probably the result of a lack of effective cooperation between the companies rather than political objection. The Postmaster General, Charles Hill, had disliked the policy as an example of the BBC's paternalism toward its audience:

This restriction seemed to me absurd and I said so. It was the responsibility of parents, not the state, to put their children to bed at the right time... I invited the BBC and the ITA to agree to its abolition[...]

The BBC could not, however, be persuaded to accept the abolition or even to a compromise of reducing the period to 30 minutes. Hill tired of the disagreement and asked Parliament for the abolition which was agreed on 31 October 1956. However, the BBC and ITA could not even agree a date for the abolition to take place. Hill decided on Saturday, 16 February 1957.



Hugh Beaumont was born on this date in 1909, so he would have been 102 today.....



Joe Flaherty
From Wikipedia:
Eugene Hugh Beaumont (February 16, 1909 – May 14, 1982) was an American actor and television director. He was also licensed to preach by the Methodist church. Beaumont is best known for his portrayal of Ward Cleaver, the husband of June Cleaver (Barbara Billingsley) and the father of Wally (Tony Dow) and Beaver (Jerry Mathers) on the television series, Leave It to Beaver (1957–1963).

For More:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


For watching on my break at work last night, I chose the 'Burke's Law' episode "Who Killed The Paper Dragon?" I only knew that Howard Duff and Dan Duryea were in the cast.

But in a small role, Tura Satana played the dancer Peach Petal who somehow knew Amos Burke previously. (And I think we all know how she knew him....) Tura Satana, better known as a cult movie actress in films like "Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!", recently passed away. Most of the obituaries focused on her film career, but she made her mark in Toobworld as well....

Good night and may God bless.



It was upsetting enough to find yet another O'Brien gone bad, this time in 'Downton Abbey'. Now another family name - Rowley, my maternal grandmother's maiden name - was used for a bad cop in an episode of 'The Mentalist'. As for the Griffins (maternal grandfather's family), I'm sure there have been plenty of villains with that name, starting with Hawley Griffin, the Invisible Man. I'm just surprised Fontanella (paternal grandmother's family) was never used for a mobster in 'The Sopranos'......
Thanks to my blogmates at "The Flaming Nose", I've got a theory of relateeveety which I'll save for our annual Wild Wild West salute in August. (Not that 'The Wild, Wild West' is involved.) Actually it's more of a "Game Of The Name" post - same gypsy woman, different name. (You just can't trust gypsies.)
I'm sure somebody else has brought this up already, but when Elle Bartowski Woodcombe stared into the Intersect trigger device designed by her late father, nothing seemed to happen. But when her brother 'Chuck' did so later, it rebooted the system locked within his mind.

Elle was pregnant at the time. So could it be that her unborn daughter Claire was affected by the device?

There's no way the show will be around long enough for us to ever find out once Claire reaches puberty (which is what I would think to be a genetic trigger for the dormant program). But who knows? Maybe with one of the show's last episodes (hopefully not for awhile!) they can flash-forward to the future and let us see Claire in action.

"Mommy! I know kung fu!"
First off, I'm not happy that the first season of 'Burke's Law' was split into two volumes. But why was the first sixteen episodes divvied up into four jewel cases, four episodes each, while the second volume is one DVD jewel case carrying four DVDs? Way to go on wasting my shelf space, guys!
Speaking of 'Burke's Law'.....

Years ago, I read that a couple of guys fed the scripts to hundreds - maybe even thousands - of TV shows and movies into a computer and programmed it to find the most repeated line of dialogue. They had a preconceived notion that it would be "I love you."

Instead, it turned out to be "Let's get out of here!"

On my break at work, I've been watching episodes of 'Burke's Law' and last night it was "Who Killed The Paper Dragon?" And at the very end of the episode, Captain Burke escaped a very messy romantic entanglement by running out to the Rolls Royce and waking up his chauffeur with "Henry! Let's get out of here!"
'Hot In Cleveland' tossed off a bit o' trivia that may be yet another difference between the TV Universe and the Trueniverse - apparently there are fifteen ways to say "whore" in Polish. I could only find five, my favorite being "zdzira".....
And on that note, I hope you had a great Valentine's Day, with no need to shout "Let's get out of here!" because of some zdzira....



I was watching the "Confessions" episode of 'Law & Order: UK' and found one aspect of it to be not very believable.

If that priest, Father Nugent, had been a pedophile (and the evidence against him was so overwhelming), then why didn't he put the moves on the 13 year old Matt Devlin when he was doing so to all of Matt's friends? The Crown prosecutors were able to track down 44 other young men willing to testify against the priest, that he had molested them. So why would he single out Matt to be spared?

It's hard to believe that Nugent could have passed up the 13 year old version of this: But maybe that's the point. Maybe the 13 year old Matt Devlin looked nothing like his older version.

I've never seen pictures of actor Jamie Bamber as a young lad, but those wouldn't necessarily have to be the way Matt Devlin looked. First off, this is Toobworld we're talking about. Child actors have to be found to play the younger selves of older actors, and the track record for finding perfect matches is spotty. (I think 'Psych' has tried three times now to find a younger version of Shawn Spencer, and they still haven't nailed it.)

But in this case, what if Matt Devlin was an obese kid at 13? What if "Fatty Matty" also had blotched, pimply skin? His looks could have turned Nugent off his lunch rather than turn him on.

On the left, that is basically what Matt Devlin looks like in Toobworld.
But if his life had taken a different path, that could easily have been him on the right.

We've got a good example of this in the real world - Jerry O'Connell. Action hero/leading man of 'Sliders', 'The Defenders', and 'Crossing Jordan'. Nowadays he gets to boink Rebecca Romijn, - he fathered twins by her! - but we'll always have proof of what he looked like as a kid, thanks to "Stand By Me".
I also saw the episode of the 'L&O' mothership
on which this was based - "Bad Faith". Now with that, I had no problem with the idea that Father Krolinsky would pass up the chance to bleep around with Detective Mike Logan when he was a boy. Krolinsky looked like he would have been kind of frail even when he was a younger man; and Mike Logan looked like he could beat the bleep out of anybody even back when he was 13.

One last thing to add about Matt Devlin's relationship with Nugent - near the end of "Confessions", Matt admitted that it could have happened after all. He said that Father Nugent talked to him in private back then and so adamantly insisted that nothing had happened, that Matt may have blocked it all out of his memory.

But if not, at least Toobworld Central has a good splainin as to why not.... BCnU!


Had we mounted a production of "Antony And Cleopatra" at UConn, this is the part I would have liked to play......


Ronan Vibert

From Wikipedia:
Marcus Aemilius Lepidus (born c. 89 or 88 BC, died late 13 or early 12 BC) was a Roman patrician who rose to become a member of the Second Triumvirate and Pontifex Maximus. His father, Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, had been involved in a rebellion against the Roman Republic.

Lepidus was among Julius Caesar's greatest supporters. He started his cursus honorum as a praetor in 49 BC, was placed in charge of Rome while Caesar defeated Pompey in Greece, and was rewarded with the consulship in 46 BC after the defeat of the Pompeians in the East. When in February 44 BC Caesar was elected dictator for life by the senate, he made Lepidus "Master of the Horse", effectively deputy in the dictatorship. Their brief alliance in power came to a sudden end, however, when Caesar was assassinated on March 15 44 BC (the Ides of March). One of the ringleaders of the conspiracy, Cassius Longinus, had argued for the killing of Lepidus and Mark Antony as well, but Marcus Junius Brutus had overruled him, saying the action was an execution and not a political coup.

After Caesar's murder, Lepidus, despite assuring the senate of his loyalty, allied himself with Mark Antony in a joint bid for power. But Caesar had left an heir: Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, his great nephew and adopted son in Caesar's will. Octavian, Antony and Lepidus met on an island in a river near Mutina (modern Modena), their armies lined along opposite banks, and formed the Second Triumvirate, legalized with the name of Triumvirs for the Organization of the People by the Lex Titia of 43 BC. Unlike the First Triumvirate of Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus, this one was formally constituted. In effect, it sidelined the consuls and the senate and signalled the death of the republic. The triumvirate's legal life span of five years was renewed in 37 BC by the treaty of Tarentum for an equal period of time.

After the pacification of the east and the defeat of the assassins' faction in the Battle of Philippi, during which he remained in Rome, Lepidus assumed rule of the western provinces of Hispania and Africa. For a while he managed to distance himself from the frequent quarrels between his colleagues Antony and Octavian; however, in 36 BC an ill-judged political move gave Octavian the excuse he needed: Lepidus was accused of usurping power in Sicily and of attempted rebellion and was forced into exile in Circeii. He was stripped of all his offices except that of Pontifex Maximus. Spending the rest of his life in obscurity, he died peacefully in late 13 BC or early 12 BC.


"Antony And Cleopatra"

Earl Boen

Act II, Scene VII:
You've strange serpents there.
Ay, Lepidus.
Your serpent of Egypt is bred now of your mud by the operation of your sun:
so is your crocodile.
They are so.
Sit,—and some wine! A health to Lepidus!
I am not so well as I should be, but I'll ne'er out.

Not till you have slept; I fear me you'll be in till then.
Nay, certainly, I have heard the Ptolemies' pyramises are very goodly things;
without contradiction, I have heard that.
This wine for Lepidus!
What manner o' thing is your crocodile ?
It is shaped, sir, like itself; and it is as broad as it hath breadth: it is just so high as it is,
and moves with its own organs: it lives by that which nourisheth it;
and the elements once out of it, it transmigrates.
What color is it of?
Of its own color too.
'Tis a strange serpent.
'Tis so. And the tears of it are wet.
Will this description satisfy him?
With the health that Pompey gives him, else he is a very epicure.

Of course, I'd probably over-play Lepidus to be more like Otis Campbell.....


Monday, February 14, 2011


With its storyline about two different TV dimensions - Earth Prime-Time and "Over There" - 'Fringe' has introduced us to a couple of characters who (so far) don't have counterparts in the other dimension.

One of those is Lincoln Lee, the new tactical leader of Fringe Division "Over There".

When Frank didn't know if he should tell Lincoln that he was going to propose to Olive Dunham that weekend, Lincoln promised he could keep a secret:

"I have my own cone of silence when it comes to secrets."

Of course, he immediately spilled the beans to Liv.....
So, based on what he said, there must have been an "Over There" version of CONTROL, the spy agency. (Here at Toobworld Central, we just won't entertain the idea that Lincoln was talking about the TV show 'Get Smart'.)

It's unknown if CONTROL still exists "Over There", but it may have been absorbed into Fringe Division - much like many of the intelligence communities in the United States of the Trueniverse were combined under the leadership of Homeland Security.

At the very least, the technology used by CONTROL - specifically the cone of silence - was functional "Over There." (And considering the advanced stage fo their development, it was also quite practical unlike in Earth Prime-Time.)

We could extrapolate from that reference point to consider the existence of other 'Get Smart' fixtures - like the existence of KAOS, the country Caronia, shoe phones. But I think that - as it is in Earth Prime-Time - CONTROL Agent #86 (Maxwell Smart) most likely passed away......



Bonnie Franklin recently appeared in an episode of 'Hot In Cleveland', playing opposite Valerie Bertinelli - who played her daughter on 'One Day At A Time'. It was an in-joke, not a Zonk, and did no damage to the cohesive integrity of the TV Universe. (No, that would come later in the episode with an over-elaborate reference to Agnes Moorehead on 'Bewitched'.)

But it was another case in which the doppelgangers of other TV characters who were connected in the past will also eventually connect with each other.

What I did find interesting about it was that it was basically under the radar, publicity-wise. I found mentions of it at David Bianculli's blog and in Mark Dawidziak's column. (Of course, I didn't try very hard to find other examples. Just too lazy.)

But even so, there was a big difference between this and the publicity blitz over the reunion in that same series between Betty White and Mary Tyler Moore. It was being trumpeted in the press months before it happened! Still, I hope the 'Hot In Cleveland' producers continue this trend, and it looks like we'll only need ¼ of the team to be matched up soon. That's because Peri Gilpin is supposedly booked to appear in an episode of the show and that will be the 'Frasier' reunion for Jane Leeves.

As for Wendie Malick, how about Brian Benben from 'Dream On' or Laura San Giacomo from 'Just Shoot Me'? If they want to keep it an estrogen-fest, then perhaps Dennie Dillon from 'Dream On' instead of Benben - her caustic sense of humor would be a good match against that of Betty White's Elka......

A big thanks to my dear friend, Michael Cleary, for insisting I watch the Bonnie Franklin episode. (I have to confess I'm not a fan of the show.)