Saturday, June 10, 2006


Thanks to my fellow Iddiots Planeteer Fred and Scoper, the Iddwiz himself of the Idiot's Delight Digest, I have another character-driven blog to add to the list there at left.........

Turns out Jean-Luc has his own blog . . . this must be coming in via some sub-space anomaly that phuques with the space-time continuum.

Or maybe he only has (or will have?) Alpha Quadrant dial-up.

This seems like a wide open literary genre - I mean, Aunt Bea's blog about what really is going on down there in Mayberry or "Wally Cleaver's Wild Weekends!" blog (btw, Eddie Haskell *may* be Sawyer's father - you heard it here first!) or the inside scoop from aspiring screenwriter Christopher Moltisanti (blogger name "Little Mikey") or the off-season Jack Bauer blog or - the one I'd really like to see - "Jadzia Blogs From Risa: The Lost Years". Particularly her experimentation with and mastery of those exotic Jamarahon "techniques" and her oft-rumored - but never documented - "reunion" with Arandis ;-)

Makes the Dr Crusher/Deanna Troi tag-team seem almost tame by comparison . . .

boq Jadzia nga'chuq!,

--- Fred <> wrote:

Turns out Jean-Luc has his own blog . . .

This really scares me - I mean it. I enjoy fantasy as much as the next person, but this is *so* extreme that I worry about the sanity of the people involved here.

Besides, it's 2006 and I *still* don't have a jetpack or a flying car that folds into a briefcase! Gotta focus on what's important!

The Wiz - not fantasy, just fact

I'm actually rather surprised there's no blog from Lt. Commander Data. (Then again, there may be one; I have no clue.)

After all, his head was lying around under San Francisco for over 500 years. Surely the synapses of his positronic brain must have been able to uplink into some neural interface once the computer revolution kicked in?

He's probably trolling MySpace right now, looking for some kind of rescue. But everybody who's reading his mental text messages are confused by his references to "head".......



The roster of celebrities caught in the act of being themselves (who are known in the Toobworld lexicon as "televersions") will be greatly expanded by the new season of 'Extras'. Ricky Gervais' sitcom, about a small-time actor trying for his shot at the big time, will have a lot more stars than the first season.

And you should know what that means - more Zonk!s, those annoying discrepancies where TV shows mention other TV shows which should be sharing the same universe.

Here's a list of the stars announced so far, and where applicable, the show (or God forbid, shows) which are most likely Zonk!ed because of that star's appearance.

David Bowie
Chris Martin of Coldplay
Sir Ian McKellan
Orlando Bloom
Daniel Radcliffe
Germaine Greer
Moira Stuart
Diana Rigg ('The Avengers', 'Diana' - a long shot there)
Richard Briers ('Good Neighbors', 'Monarch Of The Glen')
Ronnie Corbett ('Cracker')
Stephen Fry ('Jeeves And Wooster', 'Absolute Power', 'Blackadder')

All in all, it may not be so bad after all; perhaps they'll focus more on just movie mentions. Professor Greer and Ms. Stuart are better known for their appearances in news programs and discussion shows which do not carry much weight in Toobworld, and which definitely would be Zonk!-proof. (Those shows - like "Have I Got News For You" - would exist in Toobworld as well.

In other news for the League of Themselves, 'Entourage' returns for a third season on HBO Sunday night.

Already announced for appearances as themselves are Hugh Hefner and Bob Saget, both making return visits to the TV show. Joining them will be James Woods, whose televersion will be the villain in Vince Chase's "Aquaman" movie. (Black Manta maybe?)

Offhand, I can't think of how he could Zonk! himself unless he puts a plug in for his upcoming CBS series 'Shark'. (And with a title like that, in relation to "Aquaman", that's entirely possible.)

I suppose they could mention the two Hallmark TV movies he made with James Garner, 'Promise' and 'My Name Is Bill W'. Or perhaps it will be his work in the Disney version of "Hercules" which was then adapted to a TV series. But that would be found in the Tooniverse, and I'm pretty lax on the standards for that TV dimension (Earth Prime Toon) and its relation to Earth Prime Time.

Martin Landau will also be seen this year on 'Entourage', but as an actual character - an old-time producer.

Maybe there will be a way to finagle a theory that he's actually Rollin Hand, living a new life out of the spy game. I could then add it to Landau's performance in 'The Twilight Zone' episode "The Jeopardy Room" which I contend is a pre-'Mission: Impossible' appearance by Rollin Hand under another name.


Friday, June 9, 2006


I've done two other posts in this series about TV characters played by Shirley Jordan, an actress and one of my bestest of friends.

In the first, I took all of the nurses and doctors she has played over the years in various shows and combined them so that instead of many different roles, there were only two - twin sisters who both went into medicine; one as a doctor and the other as a nurse.

In the other one, Shirley came close to being the link for a Crossover of the Week when she appeared as the jury foreman in an episode of 'Boston Legal'. (I can't remember what trumped her moment in the spotlight right now, but I know it had to be a biggie among crossovers.)

It was my contention that the jury foreperson's name was Nancy Sosha, a real estate agent Shirley had played on an episode of 'Ally McBeal', another David E. Kelley production that was set in Boston.

There are plenty of actors and actresses out there for whom I could do this same sort of combination work to unify the TV Universe. One good example is Jack Perkins, the master at playing drunks in TV shows. Through him I can link 'The Odd Couple', 'The Love Boat', and 'All In The Family' among others.

For Shirley, I thought "third time's the charm" and with her appearance this past Wednesday on 'Commander In Chief', I might be able to not only combine two more of her characters, but also bring another series into the same universe as 'Commander In Chief'.

Shirley appeared in the final moments of this week's show and her one line of dialogue was the episode's title: "Happy birthday, Madam President".

There was some physical comedy to the scene, as Shirley is about five foot four. This forced Geena Davis to bend way over to accept a buss on the cheek from Shirley's character of Brandi.

(The part was originally to be for a man, and as such, the character's name would have been "Bradley". Shirley lobbied to keep that name, but they switched it to "Brandi". In the end, it didn't matter as it never came up in the dialogue.

My take? Bradley was nicknamed Brandi or she's Brandi Bradley. There. Shirley gets to keep both.)

'Commander In Chief' takes place in an alternate Toobworld. It has to be since the POTUS of the TV Universe is always the same as that in the Real World. Otherwise them gol-durned liberal elitist Hollywood writers wouldn't be able to get their political potshots in.

(The official Toobworld tongue was planted in cheek, by the way.)

So shows like '24', 'The West Wing', 'Prison Break', 'The Agency', 'Mr. President', and 'Hail To The Chief' all must be shunted off to their own dimensions. ('Hail To The Chief' and 'Mr. President' share a common dimension, as do 'Prison Break' and 'The Agency' and 'The District'.)

By the way, even though 'That's My Bush!' is about the big Dubya, it is also relegated to another dimension; a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind - a very feeble mind. In this dimension, the Presidents are the same as in the Real World, but they're really stupid.

'The Secret Files of Desmond Pfeiiffer' falls into that same dimesnion, thanks to its crude portrayal of Abraham Lincoln.

Anyway, getting back to crossing Shirley Jordan......

I was hoping I could blend Shirley's character of Brandi with some other character that she played; someone who was nameless and who appeared in a series that couldn't fit into the fabric of the main Toobworld.

Having already dealt with Shirley's twin medicos and her "DEK-share", I still had a few roles to consider. However, she appeared on several shows that I would never want to see dislodged from Earth Prime-Time: 'Angel', 'CSI', and 'Strong Medicine'. But that leaves them out of consideration.

Her FBI receptionist on 'The West Wing' is already located in another dimension; one that would be at odd with 'Commander In Chief' when it comes to its Toobworld timeline; so there's no way they could share the same dimension.

But Shirley did play another role that had to be parked in another dimension - as a traffic cop on an episode of 'Lois & Clark'.

'The Adventures Of Superman' from the 1950s is teh official Superman entry for Toobworld, being the first. So 'Lois & Clark' needed a new dimension to call home.

But as enticing as it would be to have the Chief Executive share the same dimension as the Man of Steel, i had to dismiss the idea almost immediately. I had the same problem when I considered 'The West Wing' as a shared-universe companion with 'Lois & Clark'.

It can't work, simple as that. If there was a Superman whose existence was known to the world at large, then how come Presdients Bartlet and Allen never called for his help in their most dire situations.

Jed Bartlet could have saved that ship from being sunk by the hurricane; Mackenzie Allen could have had that truck full of dynomite removed from beneath the wings of Air Force One before the home-grown terrorist could detonate it.

However, I still think 'Smallville' takes place in the same TV dimension as 'The West Wing'. While 'The West Wing' was on the air, Clark Kent never assumed the standard issue blue tights and red cape. He never even flew under his own powers yet. So there was no way the Bartlet White House would be aware of him as an option, and thus, 'Smallville' can share the same universe as 'The West Wing'.

Sorry 'C In C', they got to it first.

And so 'Lois & Clark' will just have to stay where it's currently housed - the TV dimension of remakes.

As for Shirley - Remember Shirley? This is a blog post about Shirley. - she'll just have to get used to the idea that her characters are spread out over at least four TV dimensions:

Earth Prime Time (Jed)
'The West Wing'

Earth Prime Time (Mac Allen)
'Commander In Chief'

Earth Prime Time Delayed
'Lois & Clark'

Earth Prime Time
'General Hospital'
'Judging Amy'
'Malcolm & Eddie'
'Strong Medicine'
'Boston Legal' & 'Ally McBeal'

'Passions'/'ER'/'Two Of A Kind'/'Diagnosis Murder'/'Friends'/'Desperate Housewives'/'Yes, Dear'/'City Of Angels' (excised footage)/'Andy Richter Controls The Universe' (but only in a dream sequence)

Not a bad way to go through life as seen on TV....


What's the point of writing about a friend if you can't do this:

Hey, Casting Directors!

Check out Shirley Jordan's page at the and see what else she's done over the years.....

And then see if you can get her even more work!

Shonda Rimes! How about casting Shirley as a sister of Dr. Bailey on 'Grey's Anatomy'?

Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse! Shirley would be great in another flashback for Rose and Bernard on 'Lost'.

And besides, she'd love a Hawaiian vacation!

Thursday, June 8, 2006


A thousand pardons, effendi!

It just occurred to me that I never posted this week's big crossover salute on Monday. I guess I was too caught up in the Birthday Honors list for the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.

Last week, I mentioned that the entry for this week would be a crossover between a TV show and online content, in much the same way as had an added finale for an episode of 'CSI: Miami'.

This time, it was more of a bridge between seasons; a little something online to whet the audience's appetite for the new batch of broadcast shows.

The show is 'Rescue Me'.

Denis Leary and Peter Tolan really delved into the Dark Side last year for Season Two, making the dramedy (dramady?) about NYC firefighters almost unrelentingly painful to watch. In just two season, Tommy Gavin suffered almost as much as Andy Sipowicz did in eleven seasons of 'NYPD Blue'.

But if you're going to entice viewers to come back for Season Three, that won't play in any bonus come-on to be shown online. It's a mood-killer.

So they came up with a fantastic fifteen-minute mini-episode about the guys in the firehouse being spooked by some kind of feral beast roaming through the place. Before it was over, all of their darkest fears were revealed and acted upon, culminating in one big gross-out sympathy puke. It was milk-up-the-nose, laugh-out-loud funny.

And I think making that short may have liberated the writers from spiralling farther down into the abyss for Season Three, as the humor has returned in a big way in the two episodes shown so far.

Here's what I wrote to about this week's episode, "Discovery":

Remembering last season, I think the series had become relentlessly grim. Tommy Gavin was the FDNY's counterpart to Andy Sipowicz of the NYPD - a modern day Job.

The bleep is still piling up on Tommy, but I think the writers have finally found the right balance between the drama and the humor.

Best example from last night - I found myself laughing out loud during Charles Durning's b'day speech and then tense with anticipation as Tommy got more coiled over his discovery about Johnny and Janet; and then gasping with shock to see Tommy thrust his brother's hed through the car window.

Earlier in the day, before seeing the episode, I had been thinking of a scene from the 'Columbo' 25th anniversary episode in which he noticed that the forensics investigator helped the suspect into the back seat because she got easily car-sick - a fact that the CSI guy should not have known, having never met her before supposedly.

And that same type of set-up came into play in 'Rescue Me' when Tommy saw Sean take the cherry out of Mae's Manhattan. I'm sure if his attention wasn't immediately diverted by seeing his wife and his brother holding hands under the table, Tommy would have been leaping over the table to pounce on Sean instead.

Can't wait to see where that leads.

And I have great fears for "Lou". The only reason I don't think the worst of his storyline is because of Scurti's blog-work over in the TV Guide blogs - I don't get the sense from the way he writes that his role may have a planned finality.

all in all, a great show!

Posted at 7:23PM on Jun 7th 2006 by Toby OB

Now, that's not to say that it was only the online short film that has brought back some levity to the program. In plotting out the show's overall storyline arc, perhaps this is what Tolan and Leary had in mind. In much the same way as the original "Star Wars" trilogy had to plunge into the bleakness "The Empire Strikes Back" before bursting forth with a renewed optimism in "The Return Of Jedi", perhaps they always meant for Season Two to be as dark as it came to be.

Or maybe I'm just blowing smoke out of my ass. Which, come to think of it, is kind of appropriate for this show.

At any rate, the mini-episode is available only online. (It's accessed through AOL's In2TV, but I'm not sure if anybody else, like, has it.) And as far as I'm concerned, it's a vital component in the makeup of the series. (Hopefully the DVD boxed set for Season Three will include it.)

So as we'll probably see happen more often in the new millennium, the Crossover of the Week was between a TV show broadcast over the airwaves, and that same TV show only available for download on the Internet.

The prime times they are a-changing.



Unlike the residents of the Tooniverse, puppets don't get their own alternate dimension of Toobworld. They can be found in Earth Prime Time, as alive as the human beings with whom they live alongside. To splain them away, I drew upon the writings of Lucien of Samosata from the 2nd Centuray AD.

"True History" describes the Island Of The Blessed, situated near where Nova Scotia would be, whose inhabitants are invisible and they have to wear spiderwebs dyed purple to give them visible form. Over the centuries since, human explorers, colonists, and missionaries - with legendary names like Tillstrom, Baird, Ritts, Allegretti, Krofft, and Henson, - have visited this island and provided full bodies of all shapes and sizes for these beings.

And thus the puppet people came into existence.

They haven't remained behind in their homeland, which is known today by various names - Puppetland, Yazoo, Gortch, and the Living Island. Many of them are known to live in the United States, but they also can be found in countries all over the world.

And that would include Puerto Rico, where one of these puppet people is stirring up a lot of anger among viewers here in the Real World.

The San Juan TV show, 'SuperXclusivo', features La Comay, a puppet who co-stars with a human named Hector Travieso. La Comay is kind of like Don Rickles when it comes to insulting celebrities.

But instead of just insulting them, La Comay offers up rumors about them, safely delivered with the words "allegedly" and "apparently" attached so that he's legally protected.

Or at least he is in Toobworld. Here in the Real World, the show has been sued six times and just recently lost a slander suit filed by the former husband of Puerto Rico's governor after La Comay accused him of cheating on his ex-wife.

Gay activist Pedro Julio Serrano is another one who has sought legal action against La Comay. He has filed three complaints so far against 'SuperXclusivo' with the Federal Communications Commission.

"It's not funny. It's hate speech and penalized by the FCC and federal hate crime laws", Serrano told the Miami Herald. "I just want him out of TV. There's nothing positive about his program."

But if 'SuperXclusivo' was taken off the air, the damage would already be done as far as Toobworld was concerned. Just because a show is cancelled, that doesn't mean the characters on that show don't continue to exist and continue living their lives in the TV Universe.

'Star Trek' is the best example of that: ten years after it was beamed up by the NBC honchos, it came back as a theatrical motion picture which eventually led to almost a dozen movies and four more TV series. (Not to mention an earlier animated version to be found in the Tooniverse.)

So the televersions of all those celebrities and notables who risk being skewered by La Comay would still be vulnerable to attack, but the audience viewing at home in Real World: San Juan (Now THERE'S an idea for the show's next location!) wouldn't be able to see him on the attack.

I've never seen the show, so for alls I know they've already tried this, but the people who put 'SuperXclusivo' together should play into the controversy. They should broadcast an episode in which La Comay is attacked by some unknown assailant, and then claim that several well-known celebrities (as well as those who have sued the show) are "allegedly and apparently" under suspicion for having done the dirty deed.

And that would include Pedro Julio Serrano. If he wants the puppet out of Television entirely, he would have had reason to kill him.

Dun dun DUNH!

They could use that as a big season-ending cliffhanger a la "Who Shot JR?" on 'Dallas', or even as a way to end the series when it finally comes time to bid the puppet adios.



When posted their review of the season finale for 'The Sopranos', I added my two quatloos to the sound and the fury. So I thought I'd re-post what I had to say here.

Because I'm just that lazy......
David Chase and the writers ran out of ideas years ago. Remember the plotline about the two guys who thought they would get in Tony's good graces by killing Christopher? That plotline was already used in an episode of 'The Rockford Files' - and David Chase wrote it!

The first season was the only perfect season, and that's because Chase had about seventeen years to let it percolate in his mind; getting it polished and ready for its eventual green-light on HBO.

As for each season afterwards, there were moments, there were particular storylines, that stood out, but no season that was perfect straight through to keep the show right up there as the all-time best. Instead it's been dwindling down for at least the last four seasons, dulling the lustre of the legend.

The absolutely perfect 'Sopranos' would have ended with that first season by having Tony actually kill his mother in the nursing home. Instead, it was thrown off-kilter when Nancy Marchand got too sick to work and the show lost that fascinating central premise.

In trying to realign the focus of the show, I don't think they ever found a new way to look at the genre of organized crime that wasn't already being covered in all of the Scorsese films. Instead, it devolved to just being a "whack of the week" show - that's good enough for viewers like my friend Boomer, but it could have been so much better.

Just my 2 quatloos....

What becomes a Legend most? Knowing when to call it quits.


Wednesday, June 7, 2006


For her VH1 sitcom about her own televersion, Tori Spelling asked Shannon Doherty, who worked with "Toto" on 'Beverly Hills 90210', to appear as herself on 'So NoTORIous'. And in hopes of sweetening the deal, Tori promised that they wouldn't make fun of her during the show.

"(Tori) sent me a tape of the pilot and a very, very, very small note asking me to do the show, promising that she would never say a bad word about me ever, and we used to be best friends, and still care about each other."

At least that's what Doherty told "Entertainment Weekly".

But when the show started appearing on the air, Shannon quickly found out from friends that Tori was dissing her every so often in the episodes.

But knowing the power of taking the high road in the press, Doherty claimed that she was above the possible fray.

"I don't know if it was something taken personally, or maybe it was 'If we make fun of her, it will bring in the ratings and the publicity.'

"It did hurt. I hope it helped her. If mentioning my name made people write about it, then great. Good for you. I get it. It's a business."

Cat fight!

Shannon Doherty has spoofed her image as "difficult" when she hosted 'Saturday Night Live'. (Remember the "Salem Bitch Trials" sketch?)

But all of that would be housed in Skitlandia, the alternate dimension also known as Earth Not Ready For Prime Time.

As for Earth Prime Time, maybe Shannon Doherty should fight back like in the old days of those "answer songs". Maybe she should appear as herself in some other sitcom and dish it out to Tori; let's see if she can take it.

I enjoyed the episodes I've seen of 'So NoTORIous'. But if you make a promise not to disparage a former friend in Toobworld, you should be held to that vow.

My suggestion? Shannon should appear on 'The New Adventures Of Old Christine' as herself. I'm sure there must be some plotline which would give her the forum to trash Tori for her back-stabbing.

Now if only some show would do the same to that jerk Brandon Davis for trashing Lindsay Lohan.....


Tuesday, June 6, 2006


Musician Billy Preston has passed away. He was 59 and had been in a coma since November due to kidney failure.

When I was commuting during my first year of college, I couldn't travel in either direction without hearing "Nothing From Nothing" and "Will It Go Round In Circles".

He worked with the Beatles and could be seen playing keyboards in the documentary of the super-group's recording of "Let It Be". Legend has it that MacCartney wanted him to become an actual member of the group. (Years later, he played Sgt. Pepper in that god-awful movie starring the Bee Gees and Peter Frampton.)

In Toobworld, Preston made his mark as himself when his televersion visited two sitcoms, 'Good News' (about a church and its new pastor) and 'Sparks' (dealing with a family-owned law firm).

These were the episodes in which he appeared:

'Sparks' - "Palimony"

The Sparks try to defend a client who is being sued for palimony by his former live-in mate of 12 years. Their case begins to fall apart when Maxey has one of his "bright ideas", and tries to lay a trap for the lyrically endowed woman. (1996)

'Good News' - "The Dinner Party"

A health center asks Pastor Randolph to distribute free condoms, but he refuses, planning to preach abstinence instead. (1997)

I never saw these episodes; okay, I've never even seen these shows. But I have to wonder how Billy Preston was worked into the plotlines.

At any rate, his music always made the trip go faster up I-84 and he will always hold a special place in Beatle lore.



After posting my desire to see Detective Faith Yokas of 'Third Watch' appear in one of the 'Law & Order' shows, and my disappointment she wasn't picked to be Detective Green's new partner, this showed up online:

Now what I’m hearing is that actress Annabella Sciorra, one of my personal favorites, is out at “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.” Sciorra appears in about half the season’s episodes with Chris Noth, while the other half of the season is guided by Vincent D’Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe.
Roger Friedman
FOX News

Well, there's an option for Faith! She would prove to be as tough as Detective Mike Logan should she become his partner; and she would be a complete break from the type of character Sciorra had been playing.

It ain't gonna happen; I know that. But it would still be an interesting combination.



Thanks to Dr. TV of TrivialTV (the blog's link can found over to the left), here's what happened on this date - my birthday! - in the TV Universe:


Celia Quartermaine and Dr. Grant Putnam are married on ''General Hospital''.

I'm not sure if I was still watching 'GH' back then. I got re-hooked on it while working overnights at Westhampton Beach in the summer of 1980 and from there worked my way up to include 'One Life To Live' and 'The Edge Of Night'.

I used to watch it as a teen-ager when I got home from high school, only because Mom watched it.

I think I did see this wedding take place. But didn't Celia find out she had married a Russian spy who looked like Grant?

Otherwise, my birthday also counts as a Toobworld timeline date as I'm a character in Toobworld thanks to 'The Hap Richards Show', 'The Ranger Station', and the TV movie "The Deadliest Season".



In all the years it was on NBC, 'Third Watch' never had a crossover with 'Law & Order', nor with either of its spinoffs ('Special Victims Unit' & 'Criminal Intent'). This is especially odd as both shows had so much in common, being about law enforcement in Manhattan. (Well, at least 1/3 of the cast for 'Third Watch' were cops. Having firefighters and EMT paramedics make up the balance of the cast, they had other areas of focus as well.)

I get the feeling it was all Dick Wolf's decision as to whether or not there should have been a crossover. I'm sure NBC must have pushed the idea, and 'Third Watch' could certainly have used the resulting publicity.

The 'L&O' team had no problem stretching credulity with four crossovers with 'Homicide: Life On The Street', which was set in Baltimore. And yet there was no love left for the first responders of 'Third Watch', who were just uptown.

And it's not like it had to be any major crossover jumping from one show to the other. The first crossover between 'L&O' and 'H:LOTS' was just a quick scene on 'Homicide' with Frank Pembleton and a small cameo by Mike Logan.

The same could have worked with 'Law & Order' and 'Third Watch'.

You know those opening scenes on 'Law & Order', just before the credits, where the two detectives arrive on the scene and get briefed by a uniformed cop? Why couldn't that have been Sully or Bosco just once? So what if they were in a different precinct; the Dynamic Duos of the 2-7 apparently work the whole island.

And just for variety, what if a fire had been started to cover up a murder? Then it could have been Jimmy Doherty who would have consulted with Briscoe and Green. And if there was one survivor in a massacre, maybe Doc Parker could have urged the cops to leave off the questioning until they could get the vic to the hospital (preferably Manhattan General for a 'Kay O'Brien, Surgeon' & 'Naked City' link).

Of course, that would have to be before Doc's breakdown and incarceration.. Otherwise, Carlos Nieto would work just as well.

But nooooo, there was to be no spreading the love when it came to Dick Wolf's warhorse.

Even so, 'Third Watch' did manage a couple of full-blown crossovers with two other NBC series, and even then the connection was made to shows in two other metropolises (metropolii?) - Chicago for 'ER' and Atlanta for 'Medical Investigations'. (Although 'MI' always went to wherever the outbreak occurred.)

And it was one character from 'Third Watch' who proved to be the common factor for all three shows' crossovers - Officer Faith Yokas.

With the 'ER' crossover, Faith and her partner Bosco helped Dr. Susan Lewis track down her drug-addicted sister in NYC in order to get help for her and her son.

And when there was the threat of a virulent blood contagion transmitted from animals smuggled in from Africa (which infected paramedic Nieto), Dr. and his 'Medical Investigations' team had Yokas work as their liaison with the NYPD in tracking down the carriers.

Usually with the birthday honors list, we induct a character who just misses the requirements for inclusion. But Faith Yokas meets the criteria fully:

'Third Watch'
'Medical Investigations'

But this time, the Birthday Honors is being used to tweak our year-long salute to 'Law & Order' for not showing the love to 'Third Watch'.

Here's an open message to Dick Wolf: it's still not too late for that 'Third Watch' crossover. Just as you resurrected Detective John Munch from the cancellation of 'Homicide' to come to NYC and work on the 'Special Victims Unit', you could have done the same thing with Faith Yokas.

And yet you missed a golden opportunity! With Detective Joe Fontana leaving the 2-7, there was the perfect moment in which to introduce Detective Faith Yokas as the new partner for Detective Ed Green. Instead, you're pulling in an actress from the recently cancelled 'Conviction' who is fresh off of playing a young ADA.

Must be a twin sister?

Oh well. At least I can make up for the sleight in my own small way. Even though they never allowed a Third Watcher into their midst on their show, the 'Law & Order' gang will now have one in their ranks forever in the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.

Here's to you, Yokas. Keep the Faith!



Since it's my birthday today on this omenesque day, I decided to splurge a bit at FYE since they give a 20% discount to Backstage Pass members on their big day.

Here's the loot:

'Jim Henson's The Storyteller' (The complete collection)

'Mr. Peepers' (The first 26 episodes)

'The Kindred: The Embraced' (the complete collection)

'Grounded For Life' (Season 2)

'Columbo' (The complete fourth season)
I bought my first TV for the episode featuring Dick Van Dyke. I couldn't risk that I'd have access to the dorm's TV that night so I could watch it. And then to have Patrick McGoohan make his first appearance as a murderer on 'Columbo'? Sweet!

'Sgt. Bilko' ('The Phil Silvers Show' 50th Anniversary Edition)

'The Wild, Wild West' (The complete first season)
Just came out today. Now that's what I call a birthday present!

'Till Death Us Do Part'
This is the movie version of the British TV series which inspired 'All In The Family'.

And finally,
'The Gunsmoke Movie Trilogy'

"Gunsmoke: Return To Dodge"
"Gunsmoke: The Last Apache"
"Gunsmoke: To The Last Man"

I thought they made a nice coda to the series.

So not a bad haul for the day; a little bit of everything from all corners of the TV Universe....



Shirley Jordan, that is.

And as she is such a Hollywood playa now, my "twin" has turned her birthday greetings into a press release:

My 'Commander in Chief' episode will probably be seen on 6/7, unless 'PrimeTime' intervenes again. It's titled "Happy Birthday Madame President".

I play a friend of hers at her b'day party named Brandy. At the last minute they changed it from Bradley, which I preferred. The role was obviously written for a guy. I have one line, "Happy Birthday, Madame President!"

Happy Birthday, Toby!


I'll have to see the episode first, but if all goes according to plan, I may have a unique link based on Shirley's participation; something to give 'Commander In Chief' another TV series for its own TV dimension, so that CInC won't be so lonely......

Happy Birthday to Me!

Monday, June 5, 2006


As the second season of 'Lost' dwindled down to a handful of episodes, the show's creators began to address the biggest question of all about the series: What does it all mean?

They debunked several of the Internet fan theories using a process known as Elimination by Scoffing.

Throughout all their references to these theories there was a tinge of ridicule and I don't blame them. They've been saying for awhile that many of these theories are just not among the possibilities, but even that didn't stop the theorists out there from pursuing their pet ideas.

Then again, the producers have lied in the past about what was going to happen on the show......

First up, in "Dave", they pretty much scotched the idea that everything was happening in the mind of one character, a la Tommy Westphall of 'St. Elsewhere'. Dave may have just been a figment of Hurley's imagination, but the show's resident Dude realized everything else around him was the real deal, thanks to Libby's intervention.

During the finale, "Live Together, Die Alone", the creators tossed aside a few more theories:

1) They're all trapped in Purgatory.

The fact that the "writer" of "Bad Twin", who was a passenger on Oceanic 815 named Gary Troup (an anagram of purgatory), helped fuel that fire. But with the final moments of the episode, we got to see that there are others in the outside world.

And besides, the story was getting way too complicated to be this metaphysical journey through Danteland.
Pushing the button every 108 minutes (or not) might have had some kind of metaphorical symbolism attached to it, but it's hardly a Sysephean task.

2) The outside world no longer exists.

Again, the last few minutes of the finale refuted this theory. We saw not only two Portuegese researchers in the Antarctic barrens, but also Penelope Widmore in her own home... wherever that might be (probably England).

I think the researchers were Brazilian and they were in the Antarctic, rather than the Arctic because the establishing shot of that scene was of frozen mountains in the distance. Antarctica is a land base unlike the North Pole. But they could just have been glaciers, what do I know?

3) The Others are aliens.

This is where the scoffing really came up in earnest. While on their trek to confront the Others, Sawyer shared his idea that the Others were from outer space and that's why they had to wear the masks.

Maybe in the fervor of blogging such a theory sounds somewhat plausible to an Internet geek, but once you hear this idea espoused in Sawyer's voice it just sounds so ridiculous.

4) Back to Boston, Brothah.

Finally, they returned to the idea that it was all happening in one character's mind by invoking the 'St. Elsewhere' scenario:

"There's nothing out there, pal. This is it. This is all there is left. This ocean and this place here. We are stuck in a bloody snow globe. There's no outside world. There's no escape."

If anything, this sounds more like Desmond was aware of what happened in the finale of 'St. Elsewhere'.

In that last episode, after an impromptu memorial for Dr. Auschlander in the cafeteria, Tommy Westphall stared out a window of the hospital. The camera was now outside looking back at him and suddenly the whole scene shook.

Then the camera pulled back to reveal the St. Eligius building inside a snowglobe, held by Tommy in a different setting altogether. In this reality, he was still autistic, but his father (Donald Westphall) was not a doctor but instead was a construction worker. And Dr. Auschlander was still alive as his grandfather.

The inference was that everything we had seen in the past on the show had been nothing more than a fantasy dreamed up in the imagination of an autistic boy.

I call this the Westphallian World-view of the TV Universe, and it's championed by a couple of great guys with their Tommy Westphall websites which you can find linked to the left.

But it's not the world-view I share, as it's too restrictive. Each show in their "Great Link" has to have a definitive link which eventually leads back to 'St. Eligius'. For me, the TV Universe is much like ours - big and sloppy and everything's already included; it's just a matter of time and pretzel logic before every show can be officially linked.

For me, the Tommy Westphall staring out the window of the hospital was imagining a life in which he could still have Dr. Auschlander around, and in which his father had more time for him because of a different profession.

I think that Desmond was just using the image of a snowglobe to describe how he perceived the island's unique qualities. He probably envisioned it as having some kind of force field generated around it which kept it hidden from radar, satellite surveillance, and other means of discovering it. After all, it had that electro-magnetic power buildup that needed dispersal every 108 minutes; what else was the Dharma Initiative capable of?

Desmond also invoked the idea that the outside world no longer existed, but that's his right to hold the opinion. Just so long as we in the Real World know that the producers have discounted it.

So even though 'St. Elsewhere' wasn't named outright, this could have devolved into a Zonk! if we gave any more weight to Desmond's description of the island as a snowglobe. But it was just that a description summoned by a despondent Desmond.


Sunday, June 4, 2006


Thanks to a handful of commercials running in Oregon for the Suburban Auto Group, cars there can be equipped with a "Trunk Monkey" button. It's like having OnStar, but an actual chimp pops out of your car's trunk to come to your aid.

In one commercial, the chimp is armed with a shotgun to protect a young lady's honor from a very aggressive date in the front seat. In another, the chimp gives Zach Braff competition in scrubs as he helps deliver a baby by the side of the road.

It doesn't matter that in the Real World, the supposed product being advertised “lives in the trunk of any vehicle and helps to automate weight transfer at the rear wheels during spirited driving maneuvers.” (I can't figure out what that means. I at first thought that the Suburban Auto Group was a car insurance umbrella organization.) All that matters is that in the TV Universe, you can get a chimpanzee installed in your trunk for any kind of emergency.

(A few bugs are still in the sytem, however. There has to be some way found to prevent the Trunk Monkey from bribing a cop with doughnuts.)

Right now, the commercials' concept is localized to Oregon, but it's still enough to apply to all of "Telemerica".

Offhand, I can't think of any power car out there in any current shows - It's not like the old days of KITT and the General Lee. - in which the Trunk Monkey might take up residence. But if anybody should get one installed, it should be Lieutenant Columbo in his old Peugeot. Sooner or later, that Trunk Monkey will come in handy.

And then they can team up to fight crime!

You can see all the Trunk Monkey blipverts here.

[Thanks to Tim Nudd at]



Paul Gleason passed away last week from mysasthelioma, a lung cancer connected to asbestos. Most people would automatically think of him as the principal in 'The Breakfast Club' or from 'Trading Places'. And it's probably from those two movies that he was able to build upon for better roles over the next twenty years.

Of all his roles in Television, my personal favorite was in an episode of 'NewsRadio' in which he had very few lines, three at the most, I'd say. His main duty was to serve as corporate muscle and intimidate the staffers of WNYX. But after getting socked in the nose, his aura of menace crumpled like a fender.

While working to group his TV appearances into their appropriate categories, I found one role of particular interest for the Toobworld conecpt. "Women At West Point" was a fictionalized look at the induction of women into the military academy in 1976, and he played Major James Kirk. The has the middle initial of "T" added in, but it's missing from the book "Movies Made For Television (The Telefeature and the Mini-series) 1964-1986". Could that "T" have stood for "Tiberius"?

Even if its addition was just wishful thinking or a hoax on the part of an IMDb contributor, the possibility still exists that Major James Kirk could have been an ancestor to the captain of the starship Enterprise some 400 years later in 'Star Trek'.

Whether playing villains or enjoying a humorous guest spot, sometimes at the same time, Paul Gleason was a great supporting player and his presence will be missed in Toobworld.

"Lost on Earth" (1997) TV Series .... George Greckin
"Superior Court" (1986) TV Series .... Attorney
"Another Life" (1981) TV Series .... Lee Carothers #1 (1982-83)
"All My Children" (1970) TV Series .... Dr. David Thornton (1976-1978)

Sun Gods (2002) (TV)
Majority Rule (1992) (TV)
Fourth Story (1991) (TV) .... Lt. Petkavich
Starting Now (1989) (TV) .... Harold
Spooner (1989) (TV) .... Roland Hyde
Supercarrier (1988) (TV)
Challenge of a Lifetime (1985) (TV) .... John Schoonover
Doubletake (1985) (TV) .... Howie Henley
Women at West Point (1979) (TV) .... Major James T. Kirk

"Ike" (1979) (mini) TV Series .... Capt. Ernest 'Tex' Lee

Revenge of the Nerds IV: Nerds in Love (1994) (TV)
Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (1985) (TV) .... Jeremitt

"George Lopez"
- George to the Third Power (2005) TV Episode .... Lou Powers
"Cold Case"
- Blank Generation (2005) TV Episode .... Stewart Adams
"Malcolm in the Middle"
- Reese Joins the Army: Part 2 (2004) TV Episode .... Mystery Man
- Reese Joins the Army: Part 1 (2004) TV Episode .... Mystery Man
"Dawson's Creek"
- Sex and Violence (2003) TV Episode .... Larry Newman
- Day Out of Days (2003) TV Episode .... Studio Producer
- Sticks and Stones (2003) TV Episode .... Matt Margolis
"The Guardian"
- The Dark (2002) TV Episode .... Scott Kollbrenner
- Pilot (2002) TV Episode .... Detective Lannigan
"Dead Last"
- The Mulravian Candidate (2001) TV Episode .... Johnson the CIA Agent
- ...And Then Jack Became the Voice of the Cougars (2001) TV Episode .... Principal Squires
"The District"
- Rage Against the Machine (2001) TV Episode .... Peter Wendt
"Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction"
- Creepy Comics (2000) TV Episode .... Kip Sherman
- The One That Could Have Been: Part 1 (2000) TV Episode .... Jack
- The One That Could Have Been: Part 2 (2000) TV Episode .... Jack
"Diagnosis Murder"
- Seven Deadly Sins (1999) TV Episode
"The Drew Carey Show"
- Drew and the Gang Law (1999) TV Episode .... Judge #1
"Veronica's Closet"
- Veronica's June Swoon (1999) TV Episode .... Hank
"Chicago Hope"
- Home Is Where the Heartache Is (1999) TV Episode .... Tom McNeil
"Melrose Place"
- The Usual Santas (1998) TV Episode .... Judge Nicholas
"Nash Bridges"
- Hardball (1998) TV Episode .... Mickey Tripp
"Grace Under Fire"
- Finders Keepers (1997) TV Episode .... Stuart Wallace
"Walker, Texas Ranger"
- Brainchild (1997) TV Episode .... Dr. Harold Payton
- The Public Domain (1997) TV Episode .... Steve Johnson
"Boy Meets World"
- Fraternity Row (1997) TV Episode .... Dean Borak
- It's Not You... It's Me (1997) TV Episode .... Dean Borak
"Dark Skies"
- The Awakening (1996) TV Episode .... Nelson Rockefeller
"One West Waikiki" (1994) TV Series .... Captain Dave Herzog
- The Opposite (1994) TV Episode .... Cushman
"Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman"
- The Ides of Metropolis (1994) TV Episode .... Henry Harrison
"The Wonder Years"
- Scenes from a Wedding (1992) TV Episode .... Arthur Jensen
"Murder, She Wrote"
- Murder in Milan (1992) TV Episode .... Steve Morrison
- Thursday's Child (1991) TV Episode .... Lt. Barney Claymore
- The Error of Her Ways (1989) TV Episode .... Sterling Rose
"Tales from the Crypt"
- The Reluctant Vampire (1991) TV Episode
"L.A. Law"
- Speak, Lawyers, for Me (1991) TV Episode .... Coach John Laughton
- The Cool Katt (1990) TV Episode
"Father Dowling Mysteries"
- The Stone Killer Mystery (1990) TV Episode
"B.L. Stryker"
- Winner Takes All (1990) TV Episode
"21 Jump Street"
- Parental Guidance Suggested (1989) TV Episode
"Life Goes On"
- The Baby-Sitter (1989) TV Episode .... Stan Graber
"Beauty and the Beast"
- Song of Orpheus (1987) TV Episode .... Henry Dutton
"Falcon Crest"
- Cold Hands (1987) TV Episode .... Andy Stryker
"The Equalizer"
- Tip on a Sure Thing (1986) TV Episode .... Greenleaf
"Miami Vice"
- When Irish Eyes Are Crying (1986) TV Episode .... Bunny Berrigan
"The A-Team"
- The Trouble with Harry (1986) TV Episode .... Harry
- Fire (1984) TV Episode .... Roy Kelsey
"Kate & Allie"
- High Anxiety (1986) TV Episode .... Tom Fitzgerald
- Terms of Estrangement (1985) TV Episode .... Lt. Lee Spaulding
"Magnum, P.I."
- Kiss of the Sabre (1984) TV Episode .... Ronnie Meeder/'Jacques Arnot'
"Hill Street Blues"
- Low Blow (1984) TV Episode .... Biff Lowe
- Fuched Again (1984) TV Episode .... Biff Lowe
- Father's Day (1984) TV Episode .... Commander Phillip Everitt
- The Hardcase (1984) TV Episode .... Detective Hallins
"Hardcastle and McCormick"
- You Would Cry Too, If It Happened to You (1984) TV Episode .... Jack Fish
"Call to Glory"
- Paper Tiger (1984) TV Episode .... Marty Colby
"Cagney & Lacey"
- A Killer's Dozen (1984) TV Episode .... Detective Crespi
"Remington Steele"
- Small Town Steele (1984) TV Episode .... Sheriff Jeff 'Jed' Nebbins
"Scarecrow and Mrs. King"
- Savior (1984) TV Episode .... Edson Ballon
Columbo: Identity Crisis (1975) (TV) .... Parsons
- Excessive Force (1974) TV Episode (as Paul Xavier Gleason) .... John Suntor
- Training Wheels (1972) TV Episode .... Instructor Chuck Williams
- Backup 1-L20 (1972) TV Episode .... Patrolman Arnold
- The Grandmothers (1971) TV Episode .... Smitty
- No Sign of the Cross (1972) TV Episode .... Border Guard
"Mission: Impossible"
- The Deal (1972) TV Episode .... Blair