Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Murphy Brown’ Category

by Beal

Be it a diner, restaurant, coffee shop or bar, the haunts and hangouts of TV characters can become as legendary as the characters that patronize them. These fictional hangouts are places we wish existed, where we could spend our leisure time chatting wittily with our friend group, which may or may not be comprised of six different but zany archetypes. The following amazing make-believe haunts are celebrated not only for their prominent position in pop culture but also because having just ONE place for the gang to hang out, saves a bundle on sets.

5. Paddy’s Pub – Always Sunny in Philadelphia

img_4318So Paddy’s might have been voted the “worst bar in Philadelphia” but that won’t prevent it from making my list, in fact it’s only a boon to it’s greatness as far as I’m concerned. This place is a real dive, if I’m going to be nice about it, dump if I’m not. Somehow Mac, Dennis, Charlie and Frank manage to run this joint, of course with the help of bartender/waitress/drunk girl Sweet D. Seriously, I’m dying to hang out here. The clientele is a mixed bag–shady Asian gambling addicts, mildly retarded white rappers, minors, hobos, dead people, theater enthusiasts, you name it, at some point, each and every kind of person has thrown back a couple at Paddy’s and/or  been fucked over by some scheme that began inside its walls . Plus, they’ve got a pool table.

4. Monk’s “The Coffee Shop” – Seinfeld

6a00d83451be5969e200e54f4bb3c68834-640wiYou will find no patrons so loyal to an unremarkable diner as Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer are to Monk’s aka “The Coffee Shop.” This allegiant foursome has arguably the world’s largest selection of restaurants to patronize, yet time and time again you’ll find them eating the same boring sandwiches and sipping coffee in their usual booth. Sure, sometimes they venture out for “fat free” yogurt or some Nazi-made soup, or occasionally to Monk’s “bizarro” competitor Reggie’s, but not very often because “they don’t have the big salad.” And they’ve had their fair share of issues at Monk’s, from the big-breasted waitress fiasco to George’s ongoing hate relationship with the cranky cashier. Mostly I just liked the dialogue.

3. Central Perk – Friends

central_perk

How could I not mention Central Perk? First and foremost, it’s a terrific pun, and who doesn’t love a pun? I’m pretty sure this place is partially responsible for the over saturation of coffee houses throughout America. Everyone loves the idea of sipping lattes from brightly colored jumbo mugs while relaxing on a plush davenport and enjoying an intellectual conversation or some light reading or perhaps one of Phoebe’s latest songs. And we all imagine ourselves doing this in a lovely Mom and Pop shop, just like Central Perk, located conveniently on the ground level of our insanely spacious apartment building. Unfortunately, all we have are Starbucks, and if at any time I noticed a six-pack of really attractive friends exchanging hilarious one-liners inside the Starbucks, I would have to assume my coffee had been laced with a mind altering substance.

And a tip of the hat to barista Gunther, who, with the smallest part ever, still manages to have the largest “supporting” role on Friends.

2. Phil’s – Murphy Brown

Phil's Bar - Murphy BrownEven though the show begins with Murphy’s release from the Betty Ford Clinic, it’s no reason to stop going to the bar. Or is it? Phil’s, which is located directly across the street from the FYI studio, provides a perfect respite for the news team. Whether it be for some pub food or a mid-afternoon highball, Phil’s is your place. And Phil is your man! Played by Pat Corley, Phil was always dispensing sound advice for Murphy and the gang. Phil’s was sort of like the last refuge for olden time stereotype journalists–a dark bar where trench coat/fedora hat clad investigative reporters could sip whiskey and crank cigarettes, hoping to overhear some political gossip, which actually was somewhat likely in Phil’s, being that it was (I think) located on K Street in downtown Washington. Midway through the series Phil dies and when his wife, Phyllis and children (who are also named some version of Phil) decide they must sell the bar, the news team bands together and buys it. All of them have ideas about how to improve it (personalize it) but in the end decide to keep it the same including the running gag “CLOSE THE DOOR” when even an ounce of sunlight pours in, which makes sense. No one wants to be reminded that they’re shitcanned in the middle of the afternoon.

1. Arnold’s – Happy Days

Arnold's Drive In - Happy DaysNo 70’s show about the 50’s would be complete without a Drive-In for the hip teens, with their Rock & Roll, and, and poodle skirts and their issues with authority to hang in out at. Enter Arnold’s, the number one TV hangout, according to me. Arnold’s was run by Al Delvecchio and was frequented by Richie, Joanie, Chachi, Ralph Malph, Potsie and the Fonz,. Seriously, it’s the only public place they ever went. I love it though, because without it, we may have never have seen the Fonz rip his leather jacket off and punch out a couple of rabble rousers and we DEFINITELY wouldn’t have seen him single-handedly (athankyou) “fix” the jukebox. Arnold’s was further ingrained into pop culture when Weezer used it as the setting for their 1994 music video, Buddy Holly. Roll clips. . .

Read Full Post »

by Beal

5.  ER – Chloe gives birth to Baby Susie in “Motherhood” (May 11, 1995)

A lesser TV authority would never have included this on their list. A main character’s sister gives birth and it makes a Top Five list? Who does that? Well, I do, and here’s why. First of all, we’re talking ER season 1, when this show was the greatest program I had ever watched, and not just Law & Order‘s fiercest competition for longest running show and most frequent cast changer. I was OBSESSED with the Chloe/Susan plot line. Check it, Susan is an ER doctor, her sister Chloe, is a junkie. When she turns up pregnant, Susan takes her in but despite her best efforts, Chloe just can’t stay clean. Obviously she gives birth in Susan’s emergency room, in a memorable scene in which she yells for The Beatles “Blackbird” to play as her daughter is being born. Following the birth of Baby Susie, Chloe and Susan’s mother, COOKIE, arrives at the hospital since the plan all along was for Cookie to raise the baby. At the last minute though, bitchy/flaky Cookie (seriously, you can’t trust anyone called Cookie) decides she’s taken care of Chloe long enough and by default, Susan is now the mother of the possible crack baby that was named after her. Important to note: Quentin Tarantino directed this episode.

4. Roseanne – Jackie has Andy out of wedlock in “Labor Day” (March 8, 1994)

Coming in at number four, Roseanne manages to eliminate the sappy emotional swill of the Very Special Birth Episode in exchange for madcap hilarity, sitcom style. I believe Jackie’s surprise pregnancy was written into the show, on account of actress Laurie Metcalf’s real life pregnancy, which explains how her terrifying pregnant belly in the hilarious bathroom scene with Roseanne looks so damn real (and terrifying). Expecting for Jackie to remain in labor for several hours, Roseanne and Jackie hesitate to call Fred, who barely makes it to the hospital in time to see the birth of his child. Remember though, it is a sitcom, and he is required to be in the room, in order to faint at the first sign of anything grotesque. In the final moments, they forgo the usual eight month old baby covered in goo scheme and use the camera instead, giving the audience the newborn’s P.O.V. Just watch:

3. Weeds – Nancy forces doctor to remove baby ASAP in “Where the Sidewalk Ends” (July 20, 2009)

Things start to get a little creepy when Nancy discovers a “birthing room” in her Mexican drug kingpin boyfriend’s house. She’s pregnant, and because she narked out Esteban’s trafficking operation, it’s the only reason she’s still alive. When she realizes that this powerful man is going to force her to have this baby at home OFF THE GRID, and then probably murder her, it’s time to take action. She needs a birth certificate, and witnesses. It’s a matter of life and death. Fortunately, ol’ Andy Botwin is there to save the day (in the General Lee) and rushes Nancy to none other than Dr. Alanis Morissette, who induces labor immediately, after hearing the story of the whackjob drug kingpin baby daddy. When Esteban arrives at the hospital he insists that Nancy leave immediately, it’s too late though, and the nurse presents his son, Stevie Ray Botwin.

2. Murphy Brown – Single working mom, Murphy has a baby boy in “Birth 101” (May 18, 1992)

Much to Vice President Dan Quayle’s chagrin, a fictional unmarried career woman gave birth to a beautiful baby boy on May 18, 1992. In an episode that was both heartwarming and hilarious, the entire news team works together to get this baby born. From Jim’s awkward attempts to take Murphy’s mind off the pain and his total discomfort with the mere thought of her lady parts, to Frank’s idiotic antics and attempts to empathize, Miles inability to focus on anyone but himself (granted, he was shot at while trying to locate Eldin) to Corky’s rush to the pharmacy to refill her prescription to birth control pills, this episode is comedy gold, and a major watercooler moment in television history. Eldin shows up at the last minute (after a jaunt to Maryland for some crabcakes) and the baby is born. The news team comes in for a final congratulations, with Phil in tow (let’s just say this, if I ever have a baby, I hope my favorite bartender is among the first visitors, too) before Murphy holds her son for the first time. “Hi. I see you got a little hat,” she says, before Frank re-enters to tape their first moment together and Murphy begins to sing Carole King’s “Natural Woman” and I start crying.

1.  Dallas – Drunk Sue Ellen gives birth to John Ross Ewing III in “John Ewing III Pt.” (April 6, 1979)

It’s a wonder little John Ross isn’t retarded. For the entirety of Sue Ellen’s pregnancy she not only drank, but drank to total blackout most, if not all evenings. She was reeling from the breakup of her most recent affair with Cliff Barnes (the Ewing’s arch-nemisis) and wasn’t even sure if the baby was Cliff’s or her husband J.R.’s (we find out later it is, in fact, J.R.’s). Weeks before the baby was born, J.R. checks Sue Ellen into a sanitarium (rehab would be used today, but hey, it was the 70’s) where she bribes an orderly for booze. Once she’s good and liquored up, she escapes lockdown, steals a car and smashes it right into a telephone pole. She is rushed to the hospital and gives birth to a baby whose life is clearly in danger. Sue Ellen isn’t doing so hot herself, either. Eventually the baby is deemed in good health, but then is kidnapped, before he makes it home to Southfork. Sue Ellen continues drinking and neglects her child until midway through the following season.

Read Full Post »

With the unseasonably warm weather drawing me outdoors this week, I’ve missed out on a great deal of fabulous television, however anything important that I missed over the past week, was picked up by the miracle that is DVR. Still, not even DVR can bring back the shows I really miss. In no particular order, here are my top ten favorite shows I can’t find anywhere (cable, Internet, DVD:

1. Just the Ten of Us

2. The Jetsons

3. thirtysomething

4. Small Wonder

5. The Wonder Years

6. I’m Telling

7. Salute Your Shorts

8. Duckman

9. Murphy Brown (only season 1 was ever released on DVD)

10. Mr. Belvedere

I’m sure there are many many more that both time and I have forgotten, but for now, I’d love nothing more than a one day marathon of each of the above shows to appear on TNT or the USA network, or for the love of god on Hulu or DVD.

–BEAL

Ok, first of all- I REALLY miss Just the Ten of Us too and seeing this old commercial my brother sent me just makes me miss it more…


Second of all, I cannot believe thirtysomething nor Murphy Brown are not on DVD. I’m reeling in shock and dismay over here. Remember when the TV Gods bowed down to Murphy Brown? (Wow, I really regret that sentence).

My List could be on DVD but really needs to go back to syndication (aka Free)

1. Boy Meets World

2. Hey Dude

3. Taxi

4. California Dreams

5. Fifteen

6. Welcome Freshmen

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to do a little more panicked research on the possibility of a Moonlighting movie…

– Judi

Read Full Post »