Monday, March 20, 2017


From the Associated Press:
Robert James Waller, whose bestselling, bittersweet 1992 novel "The Bridges of Madison County" was turned into a movie starring Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood and a Broadway musical, has died in Texas, according to a longtime friend. He was 77.

Waller died early Friday at his home in Fredericksburg, Texas, said his friend Scott Cawelti of Cedar Falls, Iowa. He had been fighting multiple myeloma, a form of cancer.

In "Bridges," which Waller famously wrote in 11 days, the roving National Geographic photographer Robert Kincaid spends four days romancing Francesca Johnson, a war bride from Italy married to a no-nonsense Iowa farmer.

Waller's novel reached No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list and stayed on it for over three years; the Eastwood-directed 1995 movie grossed $182 million worldwide.

I never expected Waller to play his own televersion in some TV show.  Writers like Mailer, Vidal, Anne Rice, sure.  But I was surprised that the IMDb doesn't even list any talk show appearances by him.

But still we have to accept that his televersion definitely exists in Toobworld and several of its alternate dimensions.  And that's because there have been so many mentions of the book and/or the movie.

And in the case of one particular TV dimension, the events of the book actually took place......

I'm thinking that for the most part, whenever a character mentions "The Bridges of Madison County", they're talking about the movie.  (Having been broadcast just after the release of the movie, it could be that the 'Northern Exposure' episode was more about the book.  But then again, with a film fanatic like Ed Chigliak living in Cicely, it could be about the movie.)

The following information... information... information comes from the IMDb.  I'll start off with those shows which only mention that the movie/book was mentioned, and then move on to more specific references.

Here are just the simple mentions about Waller's best-seller (per the IMDb):
  • Northern Exposure: Tranquility Base (1995)
  • Hang Time: Trouble in Paradise (1995)
  • Friends: The One with the Two Parties (1996)
  • Flash Forward: Flossed in the Woods (1997)
  • Tatort: Hexentanz (2003)
  • The Office: The Fire (2005)
  • Eureka: Pilot (2006) 
  • Grey's Anatomy: New History (2009)
  • Californication: The Apartment (2009) 
  • House: Unplanned Parenthood (2010)
  • Workaholics: TAC in the Day (2015)
  • Modern Family: Crying Out Loud (2015)
The Simpsons: Bart on the Road (1996)

Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist: Undercover (1997)
Mark Pitta admits to crying during this movie.

Spin City: All the Wrong Moves (2000) 
[It's part of Robert's breakup plan.]

And here is a list of more detailed references to the movie version (and a couple dealing with the book as well):

The Red Green Show: 
Men's Night on the Mountain (1995)
Edgar mentions that he waited for one of the bridges in this movie to blow up, but to his disappointment, they don't

Caroline in the City: 
Caroline and the Gay Art Show (1995)
Del tells Annie that they didn't have "The Bridges of Madison County" at the video store, so he got "Dumb & Dumber" instead.

Married with Children: 
The Weaker Sex (1995)
Kelly: "Look, Dad, why don't you take Mom to go see 'The Bridges of Madison County'? I heard, there's a new director's cut with 11 extra minutes of Clint Eastwood sponge-bathing Meryl Streep."

Led Zeppelin (1996)
Joe says Dave's letter is like ...

Seger och sorg (1996)
Swedish movie poster visible in Felix's cabin (seen in several episodes)

Caroline in the City: 
Caroline and the Getaway (1997)
Annie asks Hayward about it, he says he hated it.

Caroline in the City: 
Caroline and the Free Cable (1997)
When Caroline doesn't want to wax Del's shoulder, he says he sat through "The Bridges Of Madison County" for her.

Sabrina, the Teenage Witch: 
Good Will Haunting (1998)
Harvey says he rented the film.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: 
Wanderlust (1999)
Cassidy mentions this movie and the book it was based on is mentioned by Jefferies.

Sex and the City: 
All or Nothing (2000)
Carrie says the film/book is like her affair with Big

Gilmore Girls: 
Friday Night's Alright for Fighting (2006)
Lorelai equates Rory to Meryl Streep and her grandparents to "The Bridges of Madison County".

Two and a Half Men: 
My Son's Enormous Head (2009)
Charlie and Alan watch it.

Doctor Mateo: 
De cómo los hombres tienen lo que tienen y valen para lo que valen y punto (2010)
Referenced in dialogue and the DVD is shown

Being Erica: Born This Way (2011)
Brent mentions that he saw the movie.

Last Man Standing: 
Eve's Band (2016)
Mike says he likes all the Eastwood movies except the one with the bridges

The Ranch: 
There Goes My Life (2016)
Beau Bennett first mentions the novel and later on claims he has seen the film.
There is a TV dimension in which the same events are played out over and over again and where the DNA of the residents of that dimension changes with each replay.  It is called "ToobStage" and is a world of artifice, usually played out on stages.  

In that world the events of the book played out:

Sur la route de Madison (2007)
The leads were played by Alain Delon and Mireille Darc.

And I would not be surprised if they taped the Broadway musical adaptation (which starred Kelli O'Hara and Steven Pasquale).  It could already have been shown on TV for alls I know....

So good night and may God bless, Mr. Waller.  No matter what you might think of the book and movie, he will at least be immortal in Toobworld.


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