Last night my wife was watching television. Thank you and good night. Just kidding – there’s more to the story. Anyway, she was watching a rerun of “30 Rock.”
In the “30 Rock” episode, Jack (Alec Baldwin) has hooked up with Liz’s (Tina Fey) former friend from Chicago, Claire (Jennifer Anniston). While I enjoyed this part of the episode, the segment that really caught my attention featured Kenneth (Jack McBrayer) and Tracy (Tracy Morgan).
Kenneth is depressed because he has to wear a different jacket as part of the pages’ new wardrobe. To cheer Kenneth up, Tracy brings together some of the cast members of “Night Court.” Kenneth always wanted to see the wedding of the characters Judge Harry Stone and Christine Sullivan, but the show was canceled by the network. Anyway, Kenneth and Tracy come up with a script which of course will end with the two getting married.
This got me to thinking – if I could arrange to have another episode/scene for a favorite show, which would it be?
First, let me tell you what it wouldn’t be. I loved “Seinfeld.” However, the last 2-3 years were uneven. Some great episodes were mixed with mediocrity. It was time to say goodbye. I could not take any more “ER” drama and was ready for that show to end. I enjoyed “Friends” but how many years can Ross and Rachel go between a couple and something else. Ditto on “Moonlighting” and “Northern Exposure.”
I loved the final season of “West Wing” and could have seen it go on, but the show would have been very different from the original due to a new president. Nah – no need for it go ala “AfterMash.”
I have it down to two shows.
I watched the show “thirtysomething” regularly. As a college age male, I was miles away from the demographic. There weren’t even beer or car commercials while the show ran. Yet, I was hooked on the show. Besides the Philadelphia connection (my hometown), I identified with Michael (Ken Olin). We looked a bit alike, but I empathized with his internal struggles. What can I tell you – I was a sensitive guy. Now, I wished it would have helped with the women, but that’s a sad story that I’ll stay away from for now.
The second show is the “Wonder Years.” I was hooked from the very first episode. I loved the voice over of the adult Kevin (Daniel Stern) talking to/at his childhood Kevin (Fred Savage). I was much closer in age to the young Kevin, yet I found myself talking to him as well. I advised, goaded, and smiled when Kevin did the right thing. It made me wish I had done the right thing when I was that age. I particularly liked the episodes that had the 60’s overtones. Then, of course, you have the great theme song.
Both “thirtysomething” and “Wonder Years” ended too soon for me. During the last episode of “thirtysomething,” Michael and Hope are again having problems and seem to be on the verge of breaking up. Hope has a job offer and Michael has a career opportunity as well, but they are in different cities. At the end of the show Michael seems to choose his wife and family and is putting his career on the back burner for the time being.
The Wonder Years tracked Kevin (and Winnie) from middle school till 11th grade. How can it end in 11th grade? Let them graduate. During the last episode, Kevin and Winnie (Danica McKellar) break up and then get back together again. Sort of. Anyway, in the last few minutes of the final episode, the adult Kevin peers into the future and discusses everyone’s fate. It felt rushed and too neat.
Any show you would reunite for that one final scene/episode