Friday, October 08, 2004


So the other night Add. and I worked on *tweaking* a couple of scenes we're going to shoot next month. The scenes are from the sit-com pilot we submitted to Bravo, and have a thing or two to do with the title character's ex-boyfriends (the supply, apparently, is endless). Our plan was to cast the Hex* as himself. Out of the blue (so to speak), earlier this week the Hex and I spoke for the first time since we were both in Mysore. He says he's in. So now almost all is well in my little world, as the list of people to whom I'm not speaking has been halved. But that's not what this entry is about. It's about my personal relationship with televison.

On Tuesday Add was visiting his favorite big box stereo store and picked up on DVD the first two seasons of Dream On, the early 1990's HBO sit-com that spawned every cable TV show that followed (and for which Our Friend Charlie served as prop master).
Upon returning home Add searched for info about its release and could find nothing; apparently the big box put it out on the shelves a week before the official street date. Oops. So we watched the first three episodes -- you know, in the name of sit-com research.

I remember watching the show Back in the Day, when I was a black-haired black-wearing twentysomething waitress/filmmaker's assistant who lived in a basement and hated baby boomers for taking all the good jobs (I was born in '64 and am neither a boomer nor an Xer, although I possess many eXes). I also hated Martin Tupper (lead character, seemed short) and his bracket-faced ex-wife (Wendy Malick, who was 40 at the time) and precocious son (turns out the actor was four years older than his character). I thought the flashbacks were OK but a silly gimmick designed to lure in 40-year-olds of inferior intelligence; after all, *I* had grown up with *color* TV (ie my flashbacks would have been from I Dream of Jeannie and Hogan's Heroes and Julia). This time around, some 14 years later, the show (directed by John Landis) was riveting. We could not stop watching..... until the Daily Show came on. Brian Benben has a certain charisma and is indeed a minor genious at physical comedy. His relationship with the ex is nicely nuanced, and the flasbacks are flawless.

Oh my god, Carey just invoked Michael J. Fox. And "Chris Reeve." He's gone nukular!

Anyway the show this time around was brilliant, and if I had it I'd put it in right now. It all falls into place when you're finally the same age as the characters. I'd almost forgotten about the spirited smart-ass secretary, Toby (Denny Dillon). And there's a certain nostalgic sweetness to stepping into pre-mass cell phone, pre-internet, pre-DVD Manhattan (Tupper doesn't even have a computer in his office). Not only that, but you get to see characters wearing giant Linda Ellerbee glasses and straight-leg jeans that cinch a foot above the navel. So if you get a chance, go out and buy it (I think it's $40). If enough people do, they'll release all 118 episodes. At least that's what Add says. And we'll need some TV meth to replace Rescue Me, which ends Wednesday. Now that we're 40-year-olds of inferior intelligence.

*Not to be confused with the Vexx

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