Archive for the ‘Wings’ Category

by Judi

Oh, the CROSSOVER. Jack Doneghy, I’m sure, loves the concept of the TV crossover being such a fan of things like “synergy” and “product integration”, “pro-menz” (that’s “positive mention” to you, little buddy) and “making lots of money.” After all, what better way to get your TV loving public to excitedly clap their hands and buy even more bags of Baked Lays than an episode of their favorite TV show starring people from their OTHER favorite TV shows. FUN FOR ALL, I dare say.

5. Dana from Step By Step helps Corey on Boy Meets World via dolphin in “The Happiest Show on Earth” (1996)

TGIF loved and I mean loved the crossover episodes. There was Urkel on Full House, Salem the cat from Sabrina running through all of the TGIF programs wreaking havoc on the sitcom space-time-continuum, and my favorite- Dana from Step by Step on Boy Meets World. True, she’s on for one scene and doesn’t say much but what she does say is enough to convince Corey that he’s still in love with Topanga. And she does this all through dolphins. Next to a dolphin tank. By telling him a story about dolphins. While they pet and feed dolphins. Dana sure is convincing. I hope she went into sales and is now so rich, she can by and sell JT. (And yes, I also hope she’s married to Cody. Shut up.)

4. Frasier Crane ruins Helen’s life again on Wings in “Planes, Trains and Visiting Cranes” (1992)

There were actually two Cheers and Wings overlaps, the other one being Cliff and Norm visiting Nantucket to go on a fishing trip but then they just go to the Sidecar and drink for two days. On “Planes, Trains and Visiting Cranes”, Cheers regulars Dr. Frasier Crane and his wife Lilith appear to do a seminar that Frasier’s devised about enriching your life (called amusingly The Crane Train to Mental Well-Being). The only problem is that Helen Chapel, recently back from a disastrous stint in New York City where she tried to become a cellist and ended up as a waitress as a strip club, took that same seminar in New York and blames it and Crane for all of her problems since then. The episode ends in a typical sitcommy way with all the Wings characters screaming at each other at the seminar and one of Frasier’s signature raspy “You people!” rants that we all so love. I enjoyed this episode so much when I caught the repeat last year, mostly because it reminded me of my sincere love for Lilith and her deadpan delivery.

3. George and Noah and Monica and Rachel on Friends in “The One With Two Parts” (1995)

It’s funny. I just realized a pattern here- the shows that used the crossover once more often than not used it several times. Friends is a solid example. We all remember (naturally- why would you be here if this were all new information?) that Mad About You‘s ditsy waitress Ursula is Phoebe Buffay’s twin sister, forcing a confused M.A.Y. Jamie and her friend Fran to mistakenly come to Central Perk and hassle Phoebe about getting them coffee.

Ok, so technically I’m cheating here. George and Noah weren’t playing their ER counterparts but really, come on. It’s a great episode, they’re CLEARLY playing off their ER characters and it includes one of my most favorite, rarely used sitcom gimmicks ever- Monica and Rachel have swapped identities because Rachel has sprained her ankle and lacks insurance so the cute doctors think each is the other. And then they get into a fight. (How did they pick who got George, btw? I mean, I love me some Librarian and all but being the one who gets George is cause enough for a fight to the death itself)

2. Lara Flynn Boyle tells Ally McBeal to eat a cookie in “Making Spirits Bright” (1998)

Usually, crossover happen because of a shared network but they tend to happen more frequently when they also share a creator. And no, I don’t mean the sweet baby Jesus. I mean David E. Kelley. Ok, to some of you, that IS the sweet baby Jesus, but around here he’s the guy who just really likes quirky urban lawyers and piano bars.

This nifty little cameo featuring Lara Flynn Boyle as her Practice attorney Helen Gamble sizing up bobble-headed Ally McBeal was inevitable, considering the media broohaha at the time regarding the fact that both actresses were in desperate need of a few trips to Arby’s and the aforementioned bags of Baked Lays. Oh yeah, and that whole thing about Ally’s skirts being too short. All wrapped up neatly in a thirty-second shot that really makes me want to get a cookie of my own.

1. Buffy drops in on Angel in “I Will Remember You” (1999)

It was a natural enough occurrence that the regulars on Joss Whedon’s Buffy would make an appearance on spin-off Angel. Angel would, after all, be nothing more than a glimmer in his big daddy’s eye if it weren’t for our favorite pint-sized slayer. In this episode, Buffy shows up for a reason I can’t remember off the top of my head and almost immediately helps Angel slay a big baddie, whose green slime accidentally turns Angel human.

The former couple agree that they won’t let this affect them, this sudden turn of events that they’ve both been wishing for since they met when Buffy was sixteen and Angel a spry 300 years old.  That naturally lasts about ten minutes and they end up going at it on Angel’s kitchen table. The ensuing scenes are pretty much everything we, the loyal Buffy audience (at least, those of us with girlie parts) have ever wanted- Angel discovering the joys of peanut butter and chocolate TOGETHER, ice cream, sunlight and being able to be with Buffy without turning into, you know, a total, murderous monster who likes killing her friends. Sadly, it doesn’t last. He’s a weak human now and can’t protect himself or her (not that she needs it but I guess after 300+ years, a sudden identity crisis would be pretty hard to overcome) so he goes to the Powers That Be and asks to be made vampire again. They agree to turn back the clocks, with the worst after-effect being that Buffy won’t remember their time together at all. And sure enough, even though she tearfully promises to remember everything, she doesn’t and soon stalks off the show back to Sunnydale.

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Why NBC, you’ve done it again! I had lost all hope in you when your Thursday night lineup slummed to Joey, Will & Grace, The Apprentice and ER. It was like, just because Friends and Seinfeld had played out, you didn’t have to give up completely, but you did. I believe it was your shit Thursday that singlehandedly took your network to #4 in the ratings. Up to that point, I had always flipped to NBC when I had nothing in particular to watch during prime time, because your programming was generally better than any other network.

But then, you put Law & Order “spin-offs” [read: exactly the same show with a new tagline] (and what the hell was that one with Bebe Neuwirth?) on every single night, in every single time slot, and I had to let you go. It was a sad era for television, and I, along with the masses, said to hell with network and began obsessions with HBO and cable programming. 

Which brings me to last night. NBC, you’ve won me back!!

You have created a “Must See TV” lineup like no other, and I thank you for it. I submit that it’s better than its last heyday(s)The Cosby Show, Family Ties, Cheers, Hill Street Blues—Wings, Seinfeld, Frasier, L.A. Law—and later—Friends, Seinfeld, ER.  [Yes, I intentionally didn’t mention the shitty shows that appeared amongst these gems: Boston Common, Mad About You, etc.


Last night, I laughed OUT LOUD, alone, during each of the situation comedies you featured. Parks & Recreation was as funny as I could have hoped for, which obviously means it’s going to be cancelled, but I say please, please give this one a fair chance. Amy Poehler was the only reason I continued to watch SNL once it turned terrible, so I thank you for putting her in prime time. Her character is hilarious. When she rolled in in the duck taped travel pillow, pretending it was a neck brace from a fall she had endured into a pit, I peed a little. So so funny. And The Office can be totally hit or miss, but it’s funny more often than it’s not, and Michael Scott only forces me to change the channel sometimes. 30 Rock, hilarious, hilarious, hilarious. I won’t say any more. 


As for Southland, I plan on giving it a fair chance and reporting back. My Name is Earl is a throw away show that’s essentially a bad skit gone on far too long. But that I can accept. Your new lineup with it’s new name COMEDY NIGHT DONE RIGHT, is no longer a lie. You win.

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On Saturday I helped my friends move. All day. There was talking and human interaction and a lot of physical activity involved. Therefore, I felt justified in wasting all of Sunday. So yesterday I did something I haven’t done in a very long time. I watched TV all day. Literally. And just in case you don’t believe me, here is solid proof.


10-1pm “Million Dollar Baby” on AMC. I had never seen this movie. I want you to note the running time- 3 hours long. That’s because far from being the AMC of my childhood, the one that played glorious old movies commercial free, AMC has become a mainstream bitch and now runs decent-to-mediocre fare and plugs in about 7,000 commercials between movies like The Postman and Apollo 13.


1-1:30pm- TiVoed “Wings” episode. Lowell’s mentor died and in tribute he finishes the plane they were working on together. I get slightly choked up. I get horrified that I’m choked up and then I check the calendar. I breath a sigh of relief. Not deranged, just hormonal. I once cried during a “Brady Bunch” episode. Sniffling at “Wings” is nothing, trust me.


1:30 to 3:30pm- Season 1 of “Alias” on DVD, courtesy of Netflix. I think it’s kind of hilarious that “Alias” is really “Lost” meets “Felicity.” JJ Abrams is just right there in the middle with this one. Poor Jennifer Garner gets to kick ass like Buffy but then has to sit in her tub with candles lit all around her while some middling pop ballad plays in the background. It’s distracting and weird. Also, for a spy, she cries a LOT. Like, I get it- your fiance was brutally murdered but you’re a SPY. Victor Garber is your DAD and he’s Beyond Awesome. He’s also clearly unsettled that you’re so emotional and so am I.

3:30pm to 4:00- Break. Walk the dog. I would’ve ignored him but I really didn’t want to clean up his urine on the hallway floor. Would’ve been much more inconvenient for my schedule.

4-5:30pm- More “Alias.” I think Michael Vartan is kind of pathetic, all puppy-dog eyed over Sidney. Maybe he doesn’t know how hot he is. Is that possible?

1011974600__will_lAlso, Bradley Cooper, I know you’re in EVERY movie now but I can’t wait to meet you and embarrass you over your bleached blonde hair on this show.

5:30- 6:30pm- Two TiVoed episodes of “Barefoot Contessa.” Sadly, none of her gays are in attendance. I really, really want them to rename this show “Ina and Her Hampton Dandies.”

6:30-6:35pm- I die laughing at the fact that TiVo taped “Time Life Music” for me. It literally taped me a 30 minute commercial for Time Life Music of the ’70s. Then I stop laughing and realize that this is just how well TiVo knows me. I’m disturbed. I readjust myself on the couch and try not to think about it anymore. I then do a little stretching because I remember how Hillary Swank got all those bed sores from not moving enough on her hospital bed.

This is the expression I have when I see your movie is on, Elle. The beginning anyway.

This is the expression I have when I see your movie is on, Elle. The beginning anyway.

6:35- 7:30pm- A little “Legally Blonde.” I love the beginning of “Legally Blonde.” Everything until she takes the internship is top-notch. I could watch the beginning of “Legally Blonde” every time and not get over it, especially the whole section where she tries to get into Harvard. Well done all. (Another point for Victor Garber)

7:30-10pm- “The Incredibles” / Jim Gaffigan’s new stand-up special “King Baby.” Short text-fight with Beal, who refuses to watch the new Sandlot movie this week even though Luke Perry is in it. I don’t even know who she is anymore. I ate dinner somewhere here too but I don’t remember what it was.


10-12pm- A few episodes of the “X-Men” cartoon because I could watch Cyclops yell at people for no reason for HOURS.  Interspersed with “Charlie Angels: Full Throttle” and I can’t even explain the appeal of this one. It’s so COLORFUL. The fight scenes are so hilarious and the air-brushing. My GOD, the AIR-BRUSHING. Why don’t they just peel Drew’s skin off altogether? And SHIA. And that crazy Irish dude who I am scarily attracted to. He walks through FIRE. This movie is amazing. I’m so happy it’s on but I can’t bring myself to watch the whole thing, not even for the chance to watch Joey Tribiana act in a scene with John Cleese or give Demi Moore the usual standing ovation for her truly SPECTACULAR plastic surgery.

Collapse in bed. Am exhausted. Check TV schedule for the week on my iPhone. Go to sleep, dreaming of good Gilmore Girls reruns expected this week. I hope “Heroes” is as middling-good as it was last week. Excited for new “Bones.” Angered that every new episode of Bones only comes every two weeks. Hate stupid American Idol. Wish “30 Rock” was slightly better this…year…snooze.

The End

– Judi

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– Lost: Love that Desmond named his kid Charlie. That kid Faraday (Maggie Gyllenhaal’s fiance from Secretary, aka the the twitchiest actor EVER) is really starting to get on my nerves. I get it, brainy people are very nervous and stutter a lot but do you see how infuriating it is to watch this for a full hour? Also, I swear to God, Lost execs, if you do anything to Desmond and Penny I will, um, say something really nasty about you on the Interweb.


– Roseanne on Nickelodeon: God, I love the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” episode, even if Mariel Hemingway dances like a retarded chicken at the gay club. Also, was it really necessary to name the club Lips? It’s filled with lesbians, we get it. Why don’t you just name it “Vagina?”

– Wings: That episode where Brian almost marries that random, crazy lady in the airplane? Were you people on coke while writing that episode? First Antonio sighting, however, that was exciting. Also, this is the best Myspace profile EVER.

– I forgot to watch Fringe AGAIN. I guess that’s over.


– High School Musical is filled with so many gay kids and why am I the only person disturbed that Ashley Tisdale wants to play the romantic lead in the school musical opposite her super gay brother? Also, thank you Netflix for not delivering my DVDs in clear plastic otherwise I would’ve been super embarrassed about putting HSM on the old queue. I think someone over there used to work for the porn mag industry…

– Burn Notice: Thanks for the new episode especially since FOX is trying to ruin my life by spacing new Bones episodes about three weeks apart (ARGH). You might want to retool a few things though. This show is not as good as it used to be (still way better than Psych though, sorry Dad.)

The one on Brett's right- her crotch is totally itching up a storm right now.

The one on Brett's right- her crotch is totally itching up a storm right now.

– It’s been three years and I still want Beal to audition for Rock of Love: Chlamydia Tour of Love.


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First Thoughts

Whenever my TiVo tapes Wings, it catches the end credits for Becker. Begging the question, who is getting up at 6 in the morning and watching Becker? Is there someone out there, other than Ted Danson, who’s itching to spend the first minutes of morning with a grumpy bastard who is just a reminder that Sam Malone is no longer front and center on the TV Guide?

And yes, to answer your question, if I was a morning person I would totally watch Wings fresh at 6:30 am as the USA Gods intended.

It just occurred to me that someone might be TiVoing Becker and watching it later. Someone might have a whole collection of Becker episodes saved on their TiVo, gleefully waiting for a free weekend day when they can watch the whole kit and kaboodle. I don’t know which scenario is worse. Becker.

– Judi


Seriously, Becker? Did ANYONE watch that? I’ll admit, I’ve seen it a time or two. But I couldn’t tell you a single plot line, other character’s name or set detail. I’m too focused on his melon. Is that a flat top toupee? Plugs? Ted Danson, just take your Cheers royalties and stay at home. Your guest spots on Curb Your Enthusiasm provide my screen with more than plenty of your winning personality.


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On “Wings”

This morning I was enjoying a bowl of cereal and watching my TiVoed episode of “Wings” when I thought, “There’s a reason why USA doesn’t do day-long Wings marathons. Because they know major cities would shut down.”
God, I love “Wings.”

– Judi

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