For this second week in the first month of the last “teen” year of the 21st Century, the Friday Hall of Famer will celebrate the second duo of the month, perhaps the first doubles to come to mind when thinking about lookalikes in the TV Universe.
PATTY & CATHY LANE
Usually I go to Wikipedia to provide the description of the honorees, but in this case they had their own identities listed in their theme song:
Meet Cathy, who's lived most everywhere, From Zanzibar to Berkeley Square But Patty's only seen the sights A girl can see from Brooklyn Heights - What a crazy pair!
But they're cousins, Identical cousins all the way. One pair of matching bookends, Different as night and day.
Where Cathy adores a minuet, The Ballets Russes, and crepe suzette, Our Patty loves to rock and roll, A hot dog makes her lose control - What a wild duet!
Still, they're cousins, Identical cousins and you'll find, They laugh alike, they walk alike, At times they even talk alike -
You can lose your mind, When cousins are two of a kind. What the heck. Let’s go wiki!
Patty Lane (Duke) is a normal, chatty, rambunctious teenager living in the Brooklyn Heights section of New York City, although the setting and characters resemble more simple Middle America (United States). Her father, Martin Lane (William Schallert), is the managing editor of the New York Daily Chronicle; Patty affectionately addresses him as "Poppo."
Her "identical paternal cousin," Cathy Lane (also played by Duke), is sophisticated, brainy and demure and her father, Kenneth (also played by Schallert), Martin's identical twin brother, also works for the Chronicle as a foreign correspondent. Cathy moves to the United States from Scotland to live with Patty's family and attend Brooklyn Heights High School. While both girls are identical in physical appearance, their style, tastes and attitudes are nearly opposite, which is responsible for some of the comedic situations on the show.
Though the character of "Cathy" received first billing over the character of "Patty" in the show's opening credits, virtually all episodes centered around Patty's misadventures, with Cathy often only playing a minor supporting role. The remarkable physical resemblance that Patty and Cathy share is explained by the fact that their fathers are identical twins. While Patty speaks with a typical American accent, Cathy speaks with what is supposed to be a slight Scottish accent (though in fact it has little resemblance to one); not surprisingly, however, both cousins are able to mimic each other's voice. Patty and Cathy also have an additional identical cousin, the Southern belle Betsy (also played by Duke), featured in the season two episode "The Perfect Hostess."
The show's theme song, "Cousins," which has since been parodied many times over in pop culture, illustrates the two girls' differences: "...where Cathy adores the minuet, the Ballet Russe and crêpes Suzette, our Patty loves to rock 'n' roll, a hot dog makes her lose control..." The song was performed by a five-voice vocal ensemble called "The Skip-Jacks," which featured actress and Playboy model Stella Stevens and also performed The Flintstones' theme song.
A few celebrities appeared as themselves during the course of the series’ run, most notably an early entrant in the Television Crossover Hall of Fame, Sammy Davis, Jr. But there weren’t any real crossovers save for this tie-in commercial:
However, from the show itself I was able to find plenty of theoretical crossovers thanks to the newspaper being the New York Chronicle. That broadsheet (and sometimes tabloid) has appeared in a lot of other TV shows. (I also made a theoretical claim that the paper was owned by a Ray Milland character from a ‘Columbo’ episode.)
So that Breck blipvert was the second qualifier for the Lane girls’ induction into the Hall. Their next qualification came 33 years after the show was cancelled.
THE REUNION MOVIE
On April 27, 1999, the 33rd anniversary of the ABC cancellation of The Patty Duke Show, rival network CBS aired the TV movie The Patty Duke Show: Still Rockin' In Brooklyn Heights, which reunited Duke, Schallert, Byron (in her final on-screen role, as she died in February 2006 of complications following hip replacement surgery), O'Keefe and Applegate. In Still Rockin', Patty and Richard married after high school, had a son, Michael (Alain Goulem), who in turn married (his wife Nancy is mentioned but is not seen as she is out of town on business), and had a daughter, Molly (Jane McGregor).
Patty and Richard were amicably divorced after nearly 27 years of marriage, but towards the end of the movie, they reconcile. Cathy is a widow living in Scotland and has a teenage son, Liam McAllister (Kent Riley). Martin and Natalie moved to Florida after Martin retired from The New York Daily Chronicle. Most of the plot revolves around Patty's old rival, Sue Ellen Caldwell (portrayed by Cindy Williams [since] Kitty Sullivan, who played Sue Ellen Turner in 14 episodes over the first two seasons, was unavailable to reprise her role for the movie, yet Sullivan does appear as Sue Ellen in one of the segments from the TV series), who is planning on buying Brooklyn Heights High School (where Patty works as a drama teacher), razing it and replacing it with a mall, which is opposed by Patty, Cathy and the rest of the Lane family.
Only three separate shows, movies, and commercials are needed to qualify for membership in the Hall. But they weren’t done yet.
SOCIAL SECURITY PSAs
In 2009, Duke reprised her dual roles from the show in a public service announcement (PSA) for the Social Security Administration, in which Patty asked Cathy about where she got her information about how to get Social Security benefits and other questions, such as how to apply online. The PSA was targeted toward baby boomers who were born or who grew up in the 1960s.
In 2010, the main cast of The Patty Duke Show (except Byron, who, as stated above, died in February 2006 from complications from hip replacement surgery) reprised their respective roles in a series of PSAs, again for the Social Security Administration.
I suppose this counts as well, marking Patty and Cathy as serlinguists:
And then there are the ancillary qualifications in which references to Patty and Cathy Lane in other shows could verify their existence in Toobworld. And even if it is O’Bvious that these citations are about the TV show, that’s still not a Zonk. It has become a Warhol-like mantra that everybody in Toobworld could eventually have a TV show made about them. In this case, how could any TV producer resist the possibility of a TV show about identical cousins, one of whom is from Scotland?
If those references in other shows mention the title as “The Patty Duke Show” then my splainin would be that the televersion of Patty Duke was the star of that show in much the same way as it was established that Peter Falk’s televersion was the star of the Toobworld version of ‘Columbo’. But if the show was never named, then I’d like to think that the show was actually a reality documentary series that was pretty popular back in the day.
It would be a stretch, but even that documentary series could have had the theme song which has been the most cited source of pop culture references over the years.
Patty Duke died two years ago. Normally, that means TV characters indelibly identified with a certain actor should be considered as having died as well. That’s to hopefully discourage anybody from thinking about rebooting the show with a new actor.
But should both Patty and Cathy be considered as having passed away? I could see Patty having passed away – all those hot dogs over the years couldn’t have been good for her. (They sure as bleep haven’t been for me!) Cathy could be living back in Scotland and so we wouldn’t expect to see her in New York based TV shows as a cameo crossover. (I can’t speak for Scottish-based TV series.)
At any rate, Cathy and Patty Lane are now members of the TV Crossover Hall of Fame. They even get inducted alike.
“Many comedies are powered by anxiety, but I Love Lucy transforms anxiety into antic terror: Ball's manic desire for attention and fulfillment, coupled with her submissive need to please, is a recipe for soul-destroying unhappiness. Her frustration is constant, her mix of rebellion and fear is the product of conditions the show can't quite paper over. "It's like The Good Place, only the show doesn't know it's The Good Place," my partner said of their marriage as we watched Lucy and Ricky "reunite" time and time again.”
AMATEUR Looking at her as a person I can feel a degree of pity for Roseanne. She self admittedly has mental issues and she just self destructed in front of the world. That said, anyone saying they support her... No. We're talking about an already insanely rich woman who was given a second shot at TV success. Going into the new show her comments had people against her. ABC gave her a shot anyway. Her castmates put their faith in her. She got to be back on TV, having an impact on the national narrative. All she had to do was not say anything insanely offensive. She knew that. She chose to compare a prominent black woman to talking apes and religious radicals. "But it was a joke!" The entire crux of the "joke" was to trot out the oldest hate speech for blacks in the world and pair that with "here's why else she's horrible". "She has freedom of speech!" And anyone's boss has the freedom to fire them for making the company look bad. As a nothing level employee at E! if I publically presented myself as an E! employee and went crazy racist in front of cameras, I would be fired. Roseanne is at all times a report for her show and by extension ABC. Unavoidable. The show's name is HER NAME. So she chose to say dumbass racist shit that barely if at all qualifies as a joke and she lost her show. Because that's how the damn world works. Feel bad for her? No. She's already richer than I will likely ever be. She can literally afford to do what she did and still live comfortably. The behind the scenes crew for her show cannot say the same. They're all out of jobs they actually need. Because their boss chose to be a horse's ass with no thought to what her actions would mean. And while the actors and network folks can take the financial hit, they are all now taking hits to their reputation for having given Roseanne a chance. Stand with Roseanne? When she couldn't be bothered to do right by her own cast and crew? No way.
WORST TV EXPERIENCE The Kavanaugh Hearings BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT IN A SHOW ‘800 Words’ In one of the plotlines, Shay Turner almost got in trouble for art forgery and even though she and her employer, Katie, were able to extricate themselves without getting arrested for fraud, Shay took all the blame and everybody who knew believed that she was responsible. But it was Katie who first brought her into the scheme (which technically was legal the way they were doing it). In a way, it does show that characters do have gray sides, but Katie had to know that she was in the wrong and that she should never have allowed a teenager to shoulder the blame. WORST PRODUCT PLACEMENT ‘This Is Us’ – “That’ll Be The Day” The Crock-Pot After a faulty Crock-Pot caused the death of popular character Jack, the Crock-Pot company had to put out a statement: "For nearly 50 years with over 100 million Crock-Pots sold, we have never received any consumer complaints similar to the fictional events portrayed in last night’s episode. In fact, the safety and design of our product renders this type of event nearly impossible.” Sucks to be the Crock-Pot company…..
HONORARY MENTIONS THE DOCTOR RECASTAWAY This began at the end of the Christmas Special, but we had to wait most of the year to see how well the new fit worked out. To go from the wonderful and powerful Twelfth Incarnation personified by Peter Capaldi, to be replaced by Jodie Whitaker who made History as her Thirteenth Incarnation is the first female Doctor… in the Canon. (Joanna Lumley did it years earlier in Skitlandia.) Had this happened in 2018, it would have won Best Overall Recastaway hands down…..
FICTIONAL COUNTRY Normay – As with last year’s Nambia, this comes from Trump. Well, at least from the White House Communications office. And it got plenty of coverage on the news.
AMERICAN LOCATIONS Havenport, Ohio & Feud on the Mason-Dixon Line – ‘The Librarians’ Havenport - Thanks to an imprisoned fairy, the town had been accident free since the early 1980s. Once the fairy escaped, all hell broke loose. Feud – The ghosts of two brothers who fought on opposite sides of the Civil War were resurrected so that they could set right the Truth and put aside the legend of their deaths.
HISTORICAL QUOTE “Don’t you remember your Whitman? ‘I am large; I contain multitudes.’” – Karen Boyd, ‘Private Eyes’
BEST LINE REALITY TV “’No’ is not a boundary. I can reach the skies.” – Sawyer Stewart, ‘CBS Evening News’
SKITLANDIA "Look, you read it, right? And you liked it; you had fun? Then what's the problem? You got the gist, so shut up. Even the stuff that's not true: It's true." – “Michael Wolff”, ‘Saturday Night Live’
BEST USE OF AN HISTORICAL QUOTE: “He who controls the past controls the future.” – George Orwell, as quoted by Reggie Something in ‘The X-Files’ BEST SPEECH Comedy “Why the fuck do we need two Dakotas? Are they really that different? I don't think so! Combine these two states with a total population of 1.6 million get four senators. California, with a total population of 'Have you seen the 405?', gets two. There are more people in California named Dakota than there are in the Dakotas!” – Bill Maher, ‘Real Time with Bill Maher’
Drama Cigarette Smoking Man: My name is Carl Gerhard Busch. But I've been known by many aliases during my long career with the U.S. government. It's been a humbling job, though I'm hardly known as a humble man. I've been a witness to history, much of it violent, much of it an abomination of the values Americans hold dear. I've had a privileged seat at the centers of power, held the reins of that power, making sacrifices few are capable of, of which even fewer are willing. If people knew the truth, they'd riot in the streets. Too much is made of the will to power, as if our will is free, our choices our own. Our destinies are forged in our bones, made real by a raging impulse to self-destruct. I'm not a bad man, more a practical man. I've taken certain gifts I was given and made good men great. It is my greatness. I'm a father to two men who have figured more in the future than they might ever know. Both would end up working for the FBI, both complex but dedicated men who sacrificed dearly, and in their dogged pursuits would end up paying a terrible price, searching for truths as I parceled them out, truths held only by the few who knew the levers of power and the invisible hand controlling them. Is there life out there? Good heavens. To doubt it is a failure of more than the imagination. It is a failure to recognize the limits of our own stupidity, the nascency of our science, the rudiment of our tools. We listen, we search. We hope for a sign, as if our eyes and ears are good enough, our brains large enough, our egos small enough. I'm an old man now. I will leave my own mark upon history, more than presidents or tyrants. I don't ask for loyalty and trust, the fleeting bonds of men. I ask only for the years to show my sons and their sons I was right. What their father did, had to be done. BEST ZONK LINE: “Confuse The Twilight Zone with The Outer Limits?! Do you even KNOW ME?!?!” – Fox Mulder, ‘The X-Files’ BEST NEW COINED WORD “COLUMNI” – meaning those actors who appeared in ‘Columbo’ episodes. This was coined by Jennifer Robinson in the excellent FB page Columbo-TV. TV COMMERCIAL MUSIC: “Good Morning!” by Max Frost used for Bubly soft drink Quite an infectious song from a genre I’m not a fan of. But still I find myself playing the video by Max Frost whenever I need a pick-me-up. BEST MUSICAL MOMENT Sophia and her Stuffed Animals – ‘Life In Pieces’ This was a break from the show’s near-reality in which Sophia and her stuffed animals sang for their survival to keep her mother giving them away to Goodwill. The music was engaging and the lyrics very engaging. The highlight was the reason as to why One-Eyed Bear lost his other eye. As I write this back in May, you can find the video on YouTube. (Just checked again in January and it’s only part of the song now.)
BEST COMMERCIAL MUSICAL MOMENT Eli Manning and Odell Beckham, Jr. “dirty dancing” for the NFL Super Bowl commercial.
BEST DREAM SEQUENCE ‘Happy!’ Straight off from the series opening, Nick Sax had a daydream In which he shot himself in the head and his spewing fountain of blood became the center of attention at a disco. BEST NEW FICTIONAL LOCATION IN THE WORLD Weld, New Zealand – ‘800 Words’ What a great name for the town – it shows that the creators of the series rooted much of the show in a real world believability. The town got its name from the Premier of New Zealand in the 19th Century, Frederich Aloysius Weld (who was seen in the show as a cosplay character and the town’s sometimes headless statue.
BEST NEW FICTIONAL LOCATION IN THE USA Eastwood, Connecticut – ‘The X-Files’ Can’t deny my bias. You set a TV show in my home state, you’ve already done most of the heavy lifting in winning me over. BEST NEW ALIEN LOCATION Since we already celebrated Solitract as a character, we’ll spread the love to another location from ‘Doctor Who’ - The Planet Desolation, used as a testing place for the Stenza’s scientific experiments meant for war and death. BEST FIGHT SCENE ‘Happy!’ Sax vs. Chinatown triads
It escalated from there.
BEST NEW FICTIONAL BOOK “Grimoire of the Eastwood Witch” – ‘The X-Files’ The source of all the trouble in the episode “Familiar” BEST NEW FICTIONAL TV SHOW ‘The Dusky Realm’ from ‘The X-Files’ This TV show was a cheap rip-off of ‘The Twilight Zone’. The episode “The Lost Martian” was misremembered as being an episode of ‘The Twilight Zone’.
BEST ADAPTATIONS FROM ANOTHER UNIVERSE (aka MEDIUM)
THEATER TO TV “Jesus Christ Superstar”
MOVIE TO TV “The Karate Kid” to ‘Cobra Kai’ One of the first forays by YouTube Red into becoming a premium platform.
TV TO MOVIE “The Equalizer 2” Big reason I chose this? I’m a big fan of Orson Bean, ever since I was a little kid. BOOK TO TV ‘The Alienist’ Being big on the Victorian Age because of my interest in Sherlockiana. So when the novel by Caleb Carr came out in paperback, I picked it up and read it voraciously – despite the really disturbing passages. And the show has not shied away from those grisly aspects. The best part is that the three main characters who are not readily recognizable to the general public, perhaps at best by name they are known (with regards to Luke Evans and Dakota Fanning.) And filming in Hungary helped to evoke the period with the locations.
2018 TOOBITS AWARDS We're now giving out the Toobits Awards for the people who populate Toobworld.....
BEST RECASTAWAY OVERALL The Red M&M
Making a wish on a lucky penny, Red was transformed into a human free of other people trying to eat him. The human M&M? Danny Devito! FEMALE ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ – “Dancing Queen” Punk Charlie, a magical being In 1977, lost her shape-shifting ability because of Constantine’s interference; that left her locked into the form of Amaya, a former team-member. BEST NEW MALE RECASTAWAY - TIE! Avery Brown of 'Murphy Brown'
Tam of 'Young Sheldon' as seen on 'The Big Bang Theory'
Toobworld Central always makes allowances for aging. BEST NEW MALE CHARACTER Harley Carter, 'Carter'
I have no delusions that 'Carter' is going to come back. But I found the comedic murder mystery to an engaging diversion for the early summer. (It was about an actor in a hit TV detective show who had a public meltdown and so returned to his hometown in Canada where he worked as an advisor to the local police. A lot of the people in Bishop, Ontario confused Harley Carter with his character of Charlie Carter. Jerry O'Donnell put his usual likeable, eager puppy persona to good use here.
MOST DISAPPOINTING NEW MALE CHARACTER Professor Dylan Reinhart, ‘Instinct’ Why couldn't it have been just that he was a gay professor and author whose specialty was studying these "freaks"? I would have accepted that he had friends in shadow ops because of earlier research. I'd even go so far as to accept he had worked for them but in a desk-bound research position. But Patterson and the show-runners took it one step too far with Reinhart's Neesonish skills. (But fear not, fans of Alan Cumming! Keep reading and you’ll see he acquits himself well with another character.)
My blogging buddy Rob Buckley described this type of character best:
"The defining feature of ‘competence porn’ is a character who’s just good at everything. They’re rich, they dress well, they’re good at their job, they don’t make mistakes, they don’t trip over cracks in the pavement. Whatever life throws at them, they use their top-notch brain, balletic grace, and wealth of experience to overcome the odds and beat their adversaries." BEST NEW FEMALE CHARACTER The Doctor, ‘Doctor Who’
Jodie Whitaker got the Best Recastaway award last year for her introduction in the Christmas special. But now we got the chance to see her fully in action and I for one can say that she does not disappoint. The fact that she’s now a female was beside the point. Just as with the other Doctors, she made this incarnation truly her own with a new set of quirks. (As she is the first female Doctor – in the main Toobworld – this award is a one-time thing. From now on, any new female Doctor would get the same treatment as all the other Doctors – an honorarium.)
BTW - This is my favorite of her expressions.
BEST NEW MALE SUPPORTING CHARACTER Graham O’Brien, ‘Doctor Who’ I’ve liked Bradley Walsh from ‘Law & Order: UK’ (never seen ‘The Chase’) and he’s an old hand at handling the mix of comedy and drama. Plus he’s an O’Brien. BEST NEW SUPPORTING FEMALE CHARACTER Katie, ‘800 Words’
Katie is a resident of Weld, mother of Billy by Zac. She is an artist and an art gallery entrepreneur who represents other artists of the area, working as their agent to sell their works to the outside world. Okay, I’ll admit it. I find her beautiful. But there are a lot of new characters in Toobworld every year who are beautiful. For me, what places her above all the other new femaie characters this past year is her ethereal whimsy and joi de vivre. I’m not blind to her faults, but she is still a boon to the populace of my personal shared universe – if I was a TV character, I’d be happy just to be her friend. I might even refer to one of her works of art in my Toobworld adventures; I think one of her paintings would look lovely in Toob Cooper’s home. BEST NEW CHARACTER ADAPTED FROM ANOTHER MEDIUMNick Sax, ‘Happy!’
I don’t think Meloni has been more free with his acting, not even in ‘Oz’, than he puts on display here. BEST NEW COMMERCIAL CHARACTERS The Worry Monsters, POM
I hope this series of blipverts has a long life. There are so many variations for worries and possibilities for monster designs that it should run for quite some time. BEST CROSSOVER CHARACTER OVERALL John Constantine, ‘Legends of Tomorrow’
The black magic warder was first seen in the comics of course, but had his own one-season series on NBC. He then turned up in an episode of ‘Arrow’ and now has qualified for membership in the TV Crossover Hall of Fame with his guest role in an episode of this CW time-traveling superhero show. (He will be inducted into the TVXOHOF in October.)
BEST CROSSOVER CHARACTER IN COMMERCIALS Captain Obvious, Capital One
Captain Obvious of the Hotels.com commercial met Jennifer Garner, the spokeswoman for Capital One.
BEST CROSSOVER CHARACTER FROM ANOTHER MEDIUM Kevin McCallister (“Home Alone”), Google Assistant
Now grown up (and still played by Macauley Culkin), Kevin used Google Assistant to protect his family home from possible burglary. BEST NEW CAST ENSEMBLE Drama ‘The Alienist’
I read the book ages ago and I had firm ideas as to how the characters looked. The casting choices failed to disappoint me. (Well, except maybe for Teddy Roosevelt. I really was keen on seeing Sean Astin in the role, but it might have been for the best,) Comedy Team TARDIS AKA the Fam – ‘Doctor Who’
I am including this in comedy even though there were a lot of scary episodes as well as some quite sad and moving moments. At least there was some cohesion in the formation of the Doctor’s team with previous relationships between Graham, Ryan, and Yazmin.
BEST INTRODUCTION OF A CHARACTER Izzy Bowen, ‘The Flash’ She was one of the Bus Meta-Humans created by the Thinker. She was a hopeful country-western singer/violinist whose new power was to manipulate sound, usually music, to become a weapon.
She was “Subject 9”, “created” by Devoe as a meta-human by being on that ill-fated bus. Trapped behind a force-field, she was captured and destroyed by the Thinker when he absorbed her body, life-force, and her powers. Ralph Dibney and the Flash were powerless to save her and Ralph could only lock eyes with her, to symbolically be with her as she disappeared from the shell of her body.
Ralph Dibney had fallen hard for her, which probably triggered what I call the “Bonanza” Bane. BEST ADDITION TO AN EXISTING CAST MALE Peter Stone in ‘Law & Order’ – “The Undiscovered Country” He came in from the now cancelled ‘Chicago Law’ for his father’s funeral and will now be staying. His father was Ben Stone of the original ‘Law & Order’.
FEMALE Nora Allen aka XS, ‘The Flash’
The daughter of Barry Allen and Iris West-Allen who came back from the Future and is now stuck in the Present. Her presence in the Present has caused alterations to the timeline. Time will tell whether she’ll last or cause her own extinction from existence, but in the meantime, she’s a welcome breath of fresh air.
BEST NEW GUEST APPEARANCE COMEDY Reggie “Something” Murgatroyd, ‘The X-Files’ – “The Lost Art Of Forehead Sweat”
DRAMA Lois Lane, The “Elseworlds” trilogy Lois Lane is not a new character; in fact, she is a multiversal. And in the greater TV Universe, she is a multidimensional. She may not be new in TV shows, but she is new in this TV dimension. And Bitsy Tulloch did a good job in playing her as well as in shedding the memories of her previous character from ‘Grimm’. I’m sure we’ll be seeing her again since she’s pregnant by Kal El. (They’ll be retiring to Argo City until at least the baby is born because the super powers of Kal El and the super fetus are muted there.)
BEST HISTORICAL CHARACTER King James I (or V), ‘Doctor Who’ (“The Witchfinders”)
It was the performance of Alan Cumming in the role that made this so wonderfully arch, and the script ticked off all of the appropriate touchstones for the King. (Adaptation of the Bible, obsession with witches, sense of abandonment by his parents.) Cumming let slip that he was playing the role before the season even began but also that it was to be a recurring role. (As I write this, that episode only just aired a few days ago. There are only two episodes left and I’m not sure there will be some sort of big season ender plot that might bring him back in. Not that it was a season ender but I’m thinking of “A Good Man Goes To War” which brought back the historical Captain Avery and his son Toby among other characters.) At any rate, I hope he does come back for another episode someday.
WORST HISTORICAL CHARACTER Elvis Presley, ‘Legends of Tomorrow’
It always depends on the casting of an historical character to maintain the illusion, followed by the writing and the performance. The actor playing The King is probably talented and he did the best he could, but he was hobbled by the fact that there is so much video, and movies, and photographs of Elvis. It was a lost cause. BEST HISTORICAL CHARACTER REVISION Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt, ‘The Alienist’ The revision was all off-camera, as originally the role was to be played by Sean Astin. But the schlep from the USA to Hungary and back again (because he was also filming ‘Stranger Things 2’) proved to be too much. And perhaps it might have been too hard to shake off the knowledge of the actor’s identity. The role is now played by Brian Geraghty, future TV Crossover Hall of Famer (for the Dick Wolf ‘Chicago’ franchise.) As always, discrepancies between his physical appearance and those of other actors who have played Teddy in the past can be attributed to the points of view of other characters.
BEST UNSEEN HISTORICAL CHARACTER REVISION Alexander Hamilton, ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ – “No Country For Old Dads” In the timeline in which the episode was taking place, the Director of the Time Commission was on his way to stop Alexander Hamilton from seeing “Hamilton: The Musical”. But he was murdered by Gorilla Grodd before he could prevent the temporal aberration. So there you go, Fanficcers! A chance to imagine what happened after Hamilton saw “Hamilton”….
BEST CHARACTER ADAPTATION Happy, ‘Happy!’
Happy is an alien creature, not just a figment of Hailey’s imagination. Imaginary friends have now been seen as being actually alive, thanks to their appearance in other shows like ‘Supernatural’ and ‘Moone Boy’. At least three people in the series could actually see the Unicorn Donkey.
BEST NEW ALIEN CHARACTER Solitract, ‘Doctor Who’
The Doctor always believed Solitract was a bedtime story concoction by her favorite of her seven grannies, Number 5. But it was real, a living, intelligent, and sadly lonely universe that wanted to be part of the main universe. This was so novel for TV sci-fi. It’s a concept that would be usually found in pulp fiction of the 30s, in the novels of Heinlein, Asimov, and Arthur C. Clarke. (Also in the “Adam Warlock” comic books.) BEST NEW CHILD CHARACTER Hailey Hansen, ‘Happy!’ Faced with a nightmare situation, even if it was all pretend from the perspective of Bryce Lorenzo and the rest of the crew, she made Hailey’s terror real for us
BEST NEW PUPPET CHARACTER Bobo, ‘Saturday Night Live’
I’m probably a bad man, a very bad man, for choosing Bobo over the new uplifting Muppet who is autistic. But what can I say? It was funny! BEST LEAGUE OF THEMSELVES APPEARANCE John Noble seen in ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ The Legends needed a voice that sounded like the demon Mallus and actor John Noble’s was deemed as close to possible. So the team visited him back when he was acting in the third “Lord Of The Rings” movie. (Outside the Box, Noble should sound like Mallus – he was providing the voice for the demon!) BEST LEAGUE OF THEMSELVES APPEARANCE IN SKITLANDIA Natalie Portman, ‘Saturday Night Live’ When she returned to host the show, she was able to revive her rap video persona with “Natalie’s Rap 2”. She proved to be one bad mother-# SHUT YO’ MOUTH! Hey, I’m just talking ‘bout Natalie! BEST LEAGUE OF THEMSELVES APPEARANCE IN A COMMERCIAL Dennis Quaid, ‘eSurance’
This could have been like any celebrity spokesman role, but the writing and Quaid’s meta-sardonic delivery made it so much more. In fact, the way he is able to phase into people’s lives is reminiscent of Rod Serling’s various narrations for ‘The Twilight Zone’. I think the televersion of Dennis Quaid could be a powerful telecognizant serlinguist. BEST CHARACTER RETURN SPECIAL AWARD Caprice Caputowitz Feldman Morton, ‘Murphy Brown’
Bette Midler returned as the worst secretary Murphy ever had. Only now, she returned as the major stockholder in the cable company Murphy now works for. BEST CHARACTER RETURN Drama: DA Jack McCoy of ‘Law & Order’ to ‘Law & Order: SVU’
He had not been seen on either the mothership of the franchise or in ‘SVU’ since 2010. He’s still serving as the District Attorney of New York City. He was seen here to deliver the eulogy for Ben Stone’s funeral. (McCoy is seen here with future Hall of Famers Detective Olivia Benson and Peter Stone. Stone also won a 2018 Toobits Award today.)
Sitcom: Jim Dial, ‘Murphy Brown’
When the show returned, there were some cast members I knew would never return and that’s because the actors who played them had died – Pat Corley, Garry Marshall, the guy who played the cameraman. But I was sorry that Charles Kimbrough opted out of returning full-time to the show as the FYI senior anchorman. However, his three appearances have been most welcome and probably for the best by being sporadic since the format of their TV show within the TV show had changed. Jim is seen here with fellow Toobits 2018 winner Katie Couric.
BEST CHARACTER RETURN IN A COMMERCIAL The Spirit of Mayhem, All-State Insurance
As his New Year resolution, Mayhem decided to be a force for good. In three commercials I saw on New Year’s Day during the Syfy ‘Twilight Zone’ marathon, Mayhem served as a tennis ball hanging in the garage so that you didn’t pull in too far; as a lightning rod on top of the house; and as a road flare to help you avoid a traffic accident. (As I write this on January 1st, I think we all know it won’t be long before Mayhem reverts to his destructive ways. You can tell he misses his former life. UPDATE – I was right! By January 12th, 2018, he had gone back to his old ways.) BEST CHARACTER RETURN ONLINE Frank Underwood (‘House of Cards’) "Let Me Be Frank"
At least it gave us something to talk about at the year’s end. (See the video in a previous post.) BEST LEAGUE OF THEMSELVES RETURN: Katie Couric, ‘Murphy Brown’ The newswoman was at Jim Dial’s award ceremony in “A Lifetime of Achievement” this year. Couric last appeared on the show in 1992’s “A Chance of Shower” when she attended Murphy’s baby shower. BEST NEW ALIENS The Vajarians, ‘Doctor Who’ Even though there were echoes of the Weeping Angels in being some of the oldest assassins in the universe, the Vajarians were made more interesting by changing their ways to become witnesses to the deaths of those who were alone.
WORST NEW ALIEN The Pting, ‘Doctor Who’
Blerg. Cross Matter Eater Lad with a troll doll and make it look cute. BEST NEW ALIEN VILLAIN “Tim Shaw” (Real name: Tzim-Sha) of the war-like Stenza.
They were mentioned several other times in later episodes and I think we’ll be seeing them again before the season is over. What made him memorable was his habit of removing the teeth of those he had killed and embedding them into his face. BEST NEW MALE VILLAIN Dr. Donovan Benanti, ‘Bull’
Full disclosure – I know the actor. When I lived in New York City, CJ Wilson was my upstairs neighbor. So that is definitely clouding my appraisal. But it’s only January as I write this so somebody could come along and overwhelm my prejudices. (Update – guess not.)
BEST HISTORICAL VILLAIN Blackbeard the Pirate, ‘Legends of Tomorrow’
They made the dread pirate a coward and still didn’t violate how History played out in the real world. (Most of what we know of the character of Edward Teach is probably based on hearsay anyway.) BEST NEW FEMALE VILLAIN Barbara Beaumont, ‘The X-Files’
She was a sitcom star of 1967 with her own show, ‘The Barbara Beaumont Show’. Born in 1933, she still looked young because of her ingestion of human organs in smoothie form. BEST EXIT FOR A CHARACTER TOOBWORLD ADA Raphael Barba, ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’ Despite the risks he knew he would be taking with his career and his personal freedom, Barba pulled the plug himself on a baby who was just a lump of living flesh. Dick Wolf promises that Barba may yet come back to the series at some point in the future, but probably not as a regular. BEST DEATH SCENE Philip Stroh, ‘Major Crimes’ How great was it to see Rusty blow away his tormenter after it looked like he was surrendering to Lt. Louie Provenza? Stroh was definitely not a character you wanted to be still alive in the greater Toobworld realm.
SADDEST DEATH SCENE Dilton Dilbert, ‘Murdoch Mysteries’
The efficiency expert of Toronto was crushed by a car against a trolley and only the continued pinning by the vehicles kept Mr. Dilbert alive. This gave him time to make his goodbyes, give instructions for affairs at the office, and to declare his love to his assistant. We had seen Dilbert in an earlier episode in which Inspector Brackenreid had to work for him in soul-crushing bureaucracy, (in which the administrator thrived.) He was a bit of a tool when we first met him, but in death he showed us that every man has worth.
WORST (GRISLIEST) DEATH SCENE Sheila Barrone, 'Midnight, Texas'
Sheila was a stranger to Midnight and came there just in time to "give birth" to her daughter Mary. If that's what you'd want to call it. The baby was a were-tiger and it burst right out of her mother's stomach.
MOST SURPRISING DEATH SCENE Captain Sharon Raydor, ‘Major Crimes’ Mary McDonnell’s character died of heart failure surprisingly with about a handful of episodes left in the series’ run. The showrunner didn’t want her to be tied to the sinking of the series to enforced cancellation. But she was sorely missed and her absence was felt by all in the squad. (It was at the end of 2017 but I’m including it here because her presence was still felt in the final episode.
FIRST MAJOR TV CHARACTER TO DIE January 5 – On ‘Coronation Street’, Luke Britton died in a car explosion which was caused by Pat Phelan. (I’m surprised they didn’t have a death on New Year’s Day. The Brit soaps are good for that.)
BEST NEW CHARACTER NAME Dr. Dylan Reinhart, Instinct’
I wrote earlier about my disappointment in Alan Cummings’ character, but I have to say he has an incredible name. I would even say it borders on brilliance in summing up the essence of the character.
BEST NEW CHARACTER NAME ORIGIN THEORY Dr. Adam Louden played by Timothy Busfield in ‘Designated Survivor’ I have to wonder if the Doctor’s name was an in-joke? Adam Louden – “Adam” could be a reference to the actor who played another psychiatrist who had to counsel the President in another TV dimension, Adam Arkin. As for “Louden”, it could be a tip of the hat to the dream character Dick Louden, the stand-in for psychologist Dr. Bob Hartley. Both were played by Bob Newhart in the extended dream sequence that was ‘Newhart’. BEST NEW ALIAS “Reggie Something” from ‘The X-Files’ – “The Lost Art Of Forehead Sweat”
When Reggie only knew that his name was “Reggie…. Something”, Mulder started calling him that. It even got incorporated in the “fake” show credits. I wish “Reggie Something” could have been integrated into the episode title.
As the Trickster once said, "Reality is boring, that's why I change it whenever I can."
I'm just "The Man Who Viewed Too Much", and "Inner Toob" is a blog exploring and celebrating the 'reality' of an alternate universe in which everything that ever happened on TV actually takes place.
Most of my theories about the TV Universe come from thinking inside the box and thus can't be proven. But I've never been one to shy away from a tall tale.....
Remember: "The more you watch, the more you've seen!"