Friday, August 08, 2008

WKRP Episode: "Jennifer Moves"

The second episode of season 3 was written by series creator Hugh Wilson; Jennifer buys a new $125,000 home -- expensive at the time -- in a suburb where she encounters every horrible thing associated with suburban life: a philandering husband; his alcoholic wife (in a matching outfit) on the lookout for potential rivals; city-council corruption; and lots of male pattern baldness. Meanwhile Herb tries to move a piano, Bailey circulates petitions against nuclear power, and Les thinks the house is haunted.

This is a rather weird episode, an appropriate kick-off to a very good but rather weird season (where the show's tone changed radically with every episode, and many of the humor became a little offbeat at times). From Les literally trying to stab Herb to some of the stuff that happens in Jennifer's new neighborhood, it's fun but in a bleak way, like some of Wilson's stranger episodes of Frank's Place and The Famous Teddy Z.

The only music in the episode is one line that Bailey sings at the beginning of the show.








6 comments:

Ben said...

One of the things that really strikes me about early season 3 is that most of the early episodes have a lot of outside-the-station scenes. I wonder if that was a conscious decision by Wilson and company. The season seems to be divided into three groupings: the middle shows are more station bound character exploration and the last 8 are the run of downbeat episodes.

Geoff said...

Ha! I forgot all about Johnny's "This is a new kind of shovel" line. Classic!

Stacia said...

"It's a new kind of shovel."

Always funny to me, but I never quite got it. The piano getting away always made me laugh, but otherwise this was so much more cynical than other episodes I could never really get into it.

Tom said...

It's been awhile since I saw this episode, but I've always wondered why Jennifer would give up her classy apartment to take up residence in the burbs. I just hope she took her killer doorbell with her.

J Lee said...

There was a certain amount of unfocusedness to Season 3, as if the writers and Wilson were looking for a way to keep the show fresh but couldn't decide which way to take things. As it turned out, the changes (including the time slot change by CBS) cost the show a good chunk of its viewers that the far-more-focused Season 4 (with its greater use of Mrs. Carlson and her butler as recurring characters) couldn't salvage.

steve austin said...

Wasn't she back in her ritzy apartment by the last season?