Saturday, January 20, 2007


The musical episode of 'Scrubs' this past week was due to a medical condition of the guest star. Once the aneurism pressing against her brain was corrected, everybody was back to "normal". This makes the episode similar to an episode of 'Chicago Hope', but it's not a link.

The splainin for the song and dance routines is markedly different from what happened in "Once More With Feeling", the musical episode of 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer'. Those characters were forced into a little song, a little dance (but without the seltzer down their pants) by the demon known as Sweet.

His raison d'etre can be connected to other musical episodes like the one from 'Seventh Heaven', as well as to entire series like 'Cop Rock', 'Hull High', and 'That's Life'. His most recent addition to his Crossover Hall of Fame credentials (inducted in October of 2005) would be the TV movie "High School Musical".


Friday, January 19, 2007


I had never seen an episode of 'The Unit' before; it's been one of those shows I could just as easily follow along by reading episode guides as much as by actually watching it. Even with the participation of David Mamet and Shawn Ryan, I still figured I could afford to give it a miss.

But with the description for this past week's episode ("The Broom Cupboard"), I figured I should check it out for its impact on the overall TV Universe.

I didn't specify Toobworld, as that usually connotes a reference to Earth Prime-Time. Well, because of this past week's episode, 'The Unit' can no longer be considered as part of the main TV dimension. (If it ever could - like I said, I never watched it before.)

The main character of Jonas was summoned to the White House where he met with the President of the United States in a legendary broom cupboard which supposedly has a rich history to it. (I'm surprised mention of it never came up in 'The West Wing' - if it actually exists.)

The President was played by William H. Macy (who has a long history with Mamet) and was never actually named. He is listed only as "The President".

But if this had been Toobworld, Earth Prime-Time, then Jonas should have been getting his marching orders from George W. Bush (perhaps as played by Timothy Bottoms). As I mentioned in yesterday's post about '24', the POTUS of Toobworld must be the same as the POTUS of the real world.

So that shunted 'The Unit' into its own dimension, but it may not have to reside there all by its lonesome for too long.

When 'Prison Break' first began and the character played by Patricia Wettig schemed her way into the Oval Office, I suggested that it might possibly share the same dimension as 'The Agency' and 'The District'. Those CBS shows shared a crossover, and since the President in 'The Agency' was definitely not the same as in the real world, that meant 'The District' had to be shipped out as well.

'Prison Break' had enough of a span between itself and those two series so that it could believably follow them in a timeline.

But now I'm thinking that 'The Unit' would make a much better fit with 'The Agency' and 'The District' than 'Prison Break' does. First off, all three shows are from the same network, CBS. The producers of 'The Unit' would thus have a somewhat easier time of it cutting through the legal red tape to get one of those characters (especially someone from that fictional version of the CIA) "revived" and brought on for at least a guest-starring role, if not a recurring appearance.

Also, all three just have that feel to them that they all came from the same network. It's ineffable; I can't splain it; but it's there. And from that, one might then get the sense that they all belong to the same TV dimension.

Because 'The Unit' airs on Tuesday nights, I always assumed that at some point down the production line, there would be a crossover with the show that precedes it on the sked: 'NCIS'. It may yet happen some November, or February, or May. (It would be definitely a sweeps-worthy stunt.)

If that should ever happen, then the dimension for 'The Unit' would expand by at least three more series. 'NCIS' was a spin-off from 'JAG', and the character of the Secretary of the Navy (as played by Dean Stockwell) was a carry-over from another Bellisarius production, 'First Monday' (about the Supreme Court).

If there were other crossovers or spin-offs, I apologize for overlooking them.

But as it stands right now, 'NCIS' remains in the main Toobworld, where I hope one day it might have a crossover not only with one of the shows in the 'CSI' franchise, but also with 'Without A Trace', 'Close To Home', or even 'Shark'.

One other note about possible connections to 'The Unit'. The character of the President was never named. So if there's ever a show in the near future which just doesn't feel as though it belongs in Earth Prime-Time, and in which the President is mentioned but not named in an episode, then perhaps we might consider that show's President to be the same one played by Macy in 'The Unit'.

For now, the designation of that TV dimension will be "Earth Prime-Time/Unit". And it will have no connection whatsoever to UNIT, the secretive force attached to the United Nations which already has theoretical connections to 'A Man Called Sloane' and 'The Man/Girl From U.N.C.L.E.', as well as actual links to 'Doctor Who', 'Torchwood', and 'The Sarah Jane Adventures'.

Unless of course, one should present itself.....


And now I'm off to learn more about that broom cupboard!

Thursday, January 18, 2007


'Hi Honey, I'm Home' was about a sitcom family that left the world of Television to live in the "real world", passing themselves off as real human beings. Occasionally they were visited by other sitcom characters who actually came from existing old sitcoms, like Gomer Pyle, Alice Kramden, and Grandpa Munster.

It was nightmare headache for the concept of Toobworld.

I finally figured it this way: the sitcom characters of 'Hi Honey, I'm Home' originally came from Toobworld, Earth Prime-Time. But the "real world" characters actually existed in an alternate TV dimension where all of the TV shows we watch in the Trueniverse only exist as TV shows. So that it's like our world, but is still a TV show itself.

The characters who visited this other dimension from Toobworld have no counterparts in that world; they really are just living TV characters. This is unlike Toobworld in which the TV characters can watch the same TV shows we do in the real world, while still co-existing with the characters from that show. (Each example has its own unique splainin, but for the most part there are plenty of TV characters who have had their lives adapted for Toobworld TV.)

This other dimension may be the same one where the "real world" of 'Once A Hero' was located. Possibly it could access some sort of gateway to the fictional universe of comic book heroes as well.

Confoozlin', I know.

At any rate, the idea that TV characters could come out of the TV set and exist in the real world could never actually work (aside from the fact that it would be nothing more than the ravings of a deranged lunatic). But if they could, they would face resistance and resentment from the general populace of actual living, breathing humans.

I think we saw an example of this happen last year when Sascha Baron Cohen was pummeled outside a nightclub by some guys who didn't take kindly to being heckled by the comedian while he was in "Borat" mode.

And I think what could happen to such characters was demonstrated at the TCA press tour a few days ago.
Roger Catlin (TV Eye) of the Hartford Courant wrote about what happened when Alexandra Wentworth tried to conduct her press conference in character from her new Starz show, 'Head Case':

But [Alexandra] Wentworth’s own attempt to extend the improvisation to a lunchtime press conference turned against her.

After attempting to answer questions in character, reporters shouted her down. “Could you stop doing that please, and talk to us,” said one. Another just shouted “You need to stop now.”

She went out of character quite quickly at that point.

“We were just trying to have fun,” she said, trying to explain. “We thought you guys would enjoy a little yuck.”

“Head Case” starts in April on Starz.

I don't think it's off to a very good start. It'll be interesting to see if that hostility translates into the reviews for the first episode....



For those of you who live in Los Angeles and fantasized about being part of the '24' universe, you can kiss your RPG ass goodbye with an EMP smackaroo. Monday night, you got blowed up real good when terrorists detonated a nuclear suitcase in the City of Angels.

But at least you have a few years to either get your avatar's affairs in order or haul ass out of there. The '24' timeline at this point is situated in the year 2012 (based on the timestamp on the computers and cell phones). This date isn't really arbitrary, as it can be approximated by the succession of Presidents and the number of years each served from their terms of office.

And it's because of all these Commanders-in-Chief that the TV dimension of '24' is really of no big whoop for Toobworld. By 2012, the POTUS in Earth Prime-Time will be whoever is the POTUS here on Earth Prime. So unlike the future events of some other shows*, a section of L.A. will not be destroyed by a small nuclear device in the main Toobworld.

At least, not under the watch of Wayne Palmer.

However, Earth Prime-Time has already suffered devastating destruction in a small section of Los Angeles, and perhaps this nuclear explosion was Earth Prime-Time/24's chance to realign itself in some way with the general historical outline laid down in the main TV dimension.

Back in 1964, an entire section of L.A. vanished, leaving behind a gaping crater. At least six blocks of a suburban area had been teleported away by the Luminoids, an alien humanoid race from the planet Luminos.

The Luminoids wanted to conduct "A Feasibility Study" to see if the human race could adapt to their planet's atmosphere and withstand the mutations that afflicted the Luminoid people.

Instead, the humans practically committed suicide by accepting the deadly mutagens rather than be subjected to slavery. ('The Outer Limits')

The Luminoids may be related, but are not the same as, the Luminans of Lumina. One of these aliens, who took the Terran name of Casey Rogers, landed in 'Port Charles', NY, in 1990 in order to search out the shards of a special crystal from his homeworld. Once reunited, the crystal caused a massive blackout throughout the area. ('General Hospital')

(My guess is that Luminos and Lumina were twin planets sharing the same orbit in much the same way as Earth once shared its orbit with the planet Mondas. At the very least they shared the same solar system.)

So the Luminoid abduction of that section of L.A. in 'The Outer Limits' may be the dimensional equivalent to the "Ground Zero" site from the bomb blast in '24'. And only the dimensional vortex - and over forty years - separate the two.

At any rate, life has gone on in the main Toobworld since that massive alien abduction, and the problems facing Agent Bauer in that dimension don't mean Jack to Earth Prime-Time.

But here's one last thought - Has it ever been stated as to what year it is in the TV show 'Jericho'? Because if this pattern of bombing major cities continues, '24' and 'Jericho' may as well be sharing the same dimension!

Just sayin', is all.....


*For example, the events depicted in 'Land Of The Giants' took place in 1986 and those of 'Lost In Space' took place in 1997. Yet both shows aired in the mid-60s. Both have already occurred in Earth Prime-Time's history.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Double the nudges and double the winks......

I received this time-sensitive email from my friend (and fellow Iddiot) Liz York, an artist:

On Thursday morning I will be on the Today Show (with Jesse and my art) between 8 and 8:30 am.

They are covering women and depression. But the segment is positive, and I hope, helpful.

Jesse steals the show.

Jesse is a live-wire bundle of energy that passes itself off as a dog.

I hope you'll catch a friend of Toobworld working her fifteen minutes......

Thursday 1/18
7am - 10 am

[Just playing it safe.....]


Tuesday, January 16, 2007


'American Idol' returns tonight.

I'm not a fan of the show at all, so I know this is probably just me....

But is there anybody else out there who is as sick as I am from the incessant, relentless publicity blitz that's been going on for the show for the last few weeks?


Sunday, January 14, 2007


During the night, my brother sent me this e-mail:

Unless you have Tivo and you were watching the Saints-Eagles game tonight, you missed what makes live TV so fun.

They scanned the crowd at the Superdome in New Orleans, and paused for what seemed like forever on a woman in a group of folks wearing black T-shirts (team colors are black and gold), but written on her T-shirt was this message:


gotta love that.

Doing a quick check of Google News after reading that, I found that
Frank Ahrens of the Washington Post already weighed in on the topic.

Here are a few selections from his piece:

Fox is in court right now challenging the FCC's right to police the airwaves for indecency. Networks have argued that too many FCC fines for indecency have been for fleeting instances of profanity or indecency and on live TV, where the networks have no control over the actions of those they televise.

But this instance was neither fleeting nor live: The profane word was not said, it was WRITTEN on the TV screen on her t-shirt for five seconds. The TiVo evidence is indisputable.

It's equivalent to flipping a vulgar hand sign at the government.

When I first googled "Eagles, shirt" in Google News during the night, there were only two articles. There are now almost 1,000.

I tend to side with most of the commenters to the Washington Post column - that Ahrens, and the FCC, should get lives; that the real obscenity is the war in Iraq, and that it's these little brush-fires of controversy are stoked up into giant maelstroms in order to keep us from focusing on that.

One commenter pointed out that flipping the bird is allowed under the First Amendment. (However, in Toobworld it will cause your middle digit to be digitally pixilated for the duration of the act.)

Another poster pointed out that Reggie Bush uttered the mother of all F bombs, but that is supposedly the crux of the whole argument before the courts. Ahrens says this is different and was intentional; that it could have been prevented, unlike Reggie's "motherbleeper".

There's also some question as to whether or not the shirt actually says the coined word of "fuckda". Some argue that the shirt actually reads:


And actually, this makes more sense. It suggests the original term, and it's a play on words since eagles have feathers; that the Philly team was ripe for the plucking.

Here's a
picture of the t-shirt that is obviously causing riots in the streets.

The security chief at work mentioned that if only she had bigger breasts, we'd know one way or the other as to what the t-shirt actually reads.

If the whole thing was deliberate on the part of FOX, it reminds me of a speech by Willard White, chairman of the Tunney Media Group, which owns the TV network NBS.........

I won't pay a 73 million dollar fine, I won't pay a 73 cent fine, I won't time delay the news, and I won't say, "I'm sorry."

I no longer recognize the authority of the FCC in this matter. I’m going to have to be ordered by a federal judge, and when they come to get my transmitter they better send a group a hell of a lot more scary than the Foundation for Friendly Families or whatever the hell they are.

Let those guys embed themselves with 2nd marine division for a while; they'll rejigger their sense of what’s obscene. Jack, this is the one I have been waiting for my whole life.
- Willard White
'Studio 60'

Speaking of organizations like "The Foundation for Friendly Families", I'm sure we'll hear Brent Bozell of the PTC weigh in on this.....

There was also this anecdote from one of those people responding to the Ahrens article:

Last night, I wore my Fvck the War! tee shirt underneath my Sweater and showed it off a few times in the bars. There was only one woman who got mad at me. I said I would cover up the obscene word, so I put my hand over the word war. Then she really got mad at me!

One guy who saw the tee shirt was a vet from the first gulf oil war and told me that by wearing it I was supporting the troops. He was also very glad that he had been out long enough so the military could no longer call him back involuntarily through their back door draft of indentured servitude for life.

I think this would make for a great scene in an episode of 'Brothers & Sisters'!


Meanwhile, there was this in today's New York Post, part of the Murdoch empire, like FOX:

Fox blamed the shot on the frenzy of televising an NFL playoff game. "The shot was inadvertent and unintentional, we apologize," Fox Sports VP Dan Bell said.

And this from

Fox comments on controversial shot.
Fox spokeswoman Ileana Pena issued an apology for a crowd shot during last night's game that showed a woman who obviously was not an Eagles fan. The woman wore a shirt that said "[Expletive]-da Eagles."

"The shot was inadvertent and unintentional, and we apologize for it," Pena said when reached for comment.

So they're not as brave as I was hoping them to be.

At any rate, in a super-charged atmosphere like this, I think even Froggy the Gremlin better enunciate properly when he plunks his magic twanger.....



I'm a big 'Doctor Who' fan, but not as big a one as some folks I know; I'd have a hard enough time telling a Menoptera from a Bugaloo. As I have to cover the whole of the TV Universe, I can't always focus on the trees rather than the forests of Cheem. Which is why I love the internet so much - for just about every show, there's somebody out there with a worship shrine to it.

One of my buds here in the city, Mark of Team Markhael (one of the "Brokeback Boys" I've mentioned in the past), has cobbled together a charming video salute to the many faces of the Doctor as well as his companions. It uses the music of Oasis.

You can find it on YouTube here.

I hope you like it. Let me know what you think........



My weekend overnight partner at work, William the Jipa, told me about how he spent his Saturday:

He helped his newly married daughter and her husband move her stuff into their new home up in Connecticut by the shore.

Bill's wife is not keen about the move for two reasons. One, her little baby is now too far away. And two, her little baby is now too close to the mother-in-law.

When Bill came home, his wife decided to ask a few inocuous questions about the move, the new house, the location close to the ocean, but he knew what she was really interested in.....

"So," she asked. "How was the beach?"

"She was there cleaning the bathroom," he replied.

Go ahead, somebody. Feel free to stick that in a sitcom!