Written and Conceived by Raphael Saray
Hey Yo, I’m the only dude writing for this whoopteedoo. I was asked to contribute and thought about waxing poetic about bosoms and football, but that would probably be better served for footballandbosoms.blogspot.com. So, I’ll start with a solid top 5 examination of my favorite TV moments. In no particular order as that would be like picking my flat screen Sanyo’d children.
Jim tells Pam he loves her – The Office
I’ve lost touch with The Office. I don’t know who the new boss is or if Cece is being played by Abigail Breslin or Skyler Lavigne-Kroeger. The first five or six seasons were very enjoyable. What should’ve been the series finale was Jim declaring his undying love for Pam, but I can see how keeping such a plot device in one’s back pocket would be difficult. It was unexpected and I was floored. Full fledged shaking, knowing that this was what TV can be. As Jim goes through his “I want more than that” spiel and Pam nervously mutters – “don’t…please don’t do this” My mouth was agape. It was well written and very well acted to the point where I had a solid adrenaline rush. The kiss afterward in the actual office was a bit much for me but those two in the parking lot is still for me some of the best TV…ever. I kept up with The Office well passed the point I enjoyed it because I felt I owed it something for giving me that. I can’t watch that scene when it comes on again in syndication. It only works if you don’t see it coming.
HHH-Stephanie McMahon Wedding – Raw is War
I have to do a wrestling one. Yep, I’m “that guy”. I have three separate John Cena shirts. This moment can be appreciated for any fan of TV. One of the best storyline executions and may not have been topped to this day. Stephanie McMahon was a bit player in 1999 wrestling. She was the boss’ daughter and would sometimes get kidnapped by the Undertaker, but that was about it. On the show – she took a liking to a horse faced big muscled lug named Test (She would sometimes call him Andrew, to try and impose some realism) Test fought to date Steph by battling her brother Shane and his henchmen the Mean Street Posse, and ended up proposing. Vince McMahon, Steph’s dad and WWF chairman decided to throw the nuptials on live TV during a wrestling show. Married, in the ring during sweeps week for a special segment called “RAW is Love”. Just to make sure that there would no shenanigans Vince said that only family members and those in the wedding party were allowed at ring/altar side. All others would be FIRED!!!
Enter Triple H, at the time a greasy, sleazy bad guy. The kind you would boo, but not necessarily throw pennies at. Or in Puerto Rico, purchase a jar of urine to throw at (Puerto Rican wrestling is awesome, they had a guy in real life on trial for murder be their champion in 1987, as a good guy!) Anyhow, surely HHH would be fired be crashing the wedding? Well Triple H revealed that he had drugged Steph at her bachelorette party, drove her to a drive through wedding chapel and that she was HIS bride. All revealed in a video montage on the massive “titan” -tron. It was implausible, over the top, but classic wrestling. The best shtick done since twin brother referees were used in a scheme that had the Million Dollar Man buy the world championship from Andre the Giant in a situation that also involved Robin Leach and Vanna White. The wedding has now become a staple of wrestling but HHH-Steph is the standard. In real life the two actually got married years later and have two youngsters. Steph is the head writer for WWE, while HHH is head of talent relations.
Bunk and Omar – The Wire
I was late to The Wire party, just finishing the DVD’s last year. I sat down and plowed through them all; with enough time spaced around each episode so I could recover. Everything has already been said about it. If you don’t like it… you’re a bad person. Like 3 g-n-t hot girl at a Canad Inn bar bad person. “Excuse me…what I said was….” Oyoyoy. Anyhow my favorite character is Lester. The brightest guy, but never is haughty about it. He is quintessential “good police”. In his spare time he makes dollhouse furniture and bangs an ex stripper. But my favorite scene involves Bunk and Omar. Where Bunk tries to convince Omar to stop killing people. Omar is the unofficial law of the streets. He’s a vigilante who takes people out with his big gun and long badass coat. Bunk is the detective who has to balance solving crimes and covering for his boozy best bud Det. McNulty, who for some reason gets constant tail. Bunk and Omar each think they are right, but see the other person’s side. They have their own set of values that are not racially or metaphorically black and white. The scene is quiet and leisurely paced. I was literally oohing and ahhing at this scene. Covering my mouth like Stefon, and when it was done just grumbled “5 stars” under my breath. It also does a great job of summing up the whole show. The duopoly of the struggle between the law and the streets.
Dungeons and Dragons Episode of Community
Big Community fan. I think Joel McHale should replace Letterman in three years. Right after a Community movie titled, “Six Seasons and a Movie!” It does the “we’re a TV show about TV” better than anyone trying such a genre. Yes, even 30 Rock. Even Larry Sanders or SCTV. Going with the Wings /Cheers ensemble route, rather than the “Made in Canada” show about a show route. This particular episode I was spellbound by. I know nothing about Dungeons and Dragons, but could quickly pick up the basics. Chevy Chase goes full boar as the bad guy….as he thinks the group has not truly accepted him. So he lashes at tertiary character “Fat Neil”. And it’s up to the group to rescue their chubby buddy. Chevy must beat the group at literally their own game. No matter how trite it may seem. Community is all based on selfish people in a group and how that dynamic works. Here they work together. Chevy is usually seen as the bumbling, old man, but here he has an evil wisdom and cunning. . The framework of the episode is just a group of people sitting around a table. It could be a play. The dialogue is zippy; the game doesn’t detract from the comedy or vice versa.
I suppose “Fat Neil” is bullying. We wouldn’t have a character on network TV called Puerto Rican Neil…but it sort of has been accepted that chubby people and people from the American South can be targets. Cletus the slack Jawed Yokel could not be on teevee if Cletus were black. Still, the episode is about Neil. He’s the hero. Everybody pulls for him. And it is my favorite in the line of “gimmick” episodes, which seem to outnumber the amount of normal Communities. I also like TV in general where the beat down character for one episode kind of wins a little. The 1-2-3 Kid pins Razor Ramon. Les Nessman helps WKRP win the softball game over WPIG, Alex Reiger beats Loiue Deparma in the cab contest, and Fat Neil gets a thumbs up and a high five.
The Gay Episode of The Simpsons
The glory days of The Simpsons were a big deal in my family. It was the one show we’d watch as a family. My spot was on the floor of the living room, in the thicket of the beige shag carpet – which could absorb any liquid and have it not seen as stain. Ma was a little nervous at this one. She did to a lot to keep homo – or for that matter heterosexual – mentions out of the house. But this was the Simpsons, so it was okay. She was in no position to teach the birds and the birds, so it was up to special guest voice John Waters. The big crescendo is the line where Homer complains about gay culture stealing all of the great hetero names like Bruce, Lance and Julian. My brother is named Julian. Well the whole house just lost it. We erupted. I believe we woke up Grandma who had a big Sunday of sitting through all three church services. It wasn’t just the gay stuff, but Homer said the name of somebody in our family. And we have rare names! It’s also a gorgeous episode, as every joke hits. Mom then told us there was a gay boy in high school she remembered. So she was hip to the scene.
Raphael Saray is writer/broadcast journalist. He has interviewed separate members of the New Age Outlaws, Ronald McDonald, and executive produced an interview with former NHL tough guy Dave Manson. Follow him on twitter @miracleviolence and listen to his radio show at flinflononline.com