Monday, January 25, 2010

WKRP Episode: "I Do, I Do... For Now"

By request, the season 1 episode that introduced the running gag about Jennifer's doorbell playing "Fly Me To the Moon." (Even this was eliminated on the DVD version -- this may have been the most irritating cut, because the song was changed to "Beautiful Dreamer.") The episode was the first appearance of Jennifer's apartment, as well as the first indication of her Appalachian background (as I said, one of my favorite jokes from the series is in a later episode where she slips into her real accent while talking to her mother on the phone).

The episode itself is a fairly straightforward example of the "pretending to be married to get rid of an old sweetheart" plot, which has been done on many shows before and after. (Frasier had Daphne pretending to be married to Niles to get rid of her fiance from England, and so forth.) It also gives guest star Hoyt Axton a chance to do some singing, but the episode is actually stolen by a non-actor: stage manager Buzz Sapien plays the role of the man in the elevator in the next-to-last scene, and runs away with the scene. MTM shows loved to have some random stranger saying strange things during a climactic scene; when in doubt about how to make the wrapping-up scene funny, put a wisecracking bystander into the mix.

Other than that, I think my favorite bit in the episode is Johnny's stream-of-consciousness repetition of everything Jennifer tells him when she's showing him around her kitchen. Also, Herb's nightmare about being attacked by a bunch of little Johnny/Jennifer children.

For those keeping score, this is the second of at least three episodes with Hare Krishna jokes. Hugh Wilson must have had a thing for that particular joke.


Geoff said...

I always thought it was a rather big plot hole that TJ thought his best chance of getting Jennifer to help him cut a demo was to try to collect on her old promise to marry him?!

Also note that the credit screen for Buzz Sapien is a close-up shot that wasn't in the episode.

David Pretty said...

Hi, Jaime.

I'm a bit late to the dance here, but I just discovered these WKRP episodes and have since plowed through every one on your blog.

You may be done with this cycle, but now I'm dying to see the episode "Up and Down the Dial" where Mama Carlson threatens to switch the station's format to all news.

Do you have that episode? If so can you post it? If not, can you direct me to where I might be able to stream it?

Thanks a million for all the entertainment value!