TV Draft Round 6 – Pick 6 – John Selects – The Unicorn

Welcome to the Hanspostcard TV Draft. I hope you will enjoy it! Today’s post was written by John from https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com

    A short-lived but very enjoyable show was The Unicorn, which aired 31 episodes over two seasons on CBS. Walton Goggins played Wade Felton, a widower with two daughters, 14-year-old Grace (played by Ruby Jay) and 12-year-old Natalie (played by Makenzie Moss). As the pilot opens, Wade is digging through a chest freezer, looking for an approprite dinner among the many that were prepared for them during his wife Jill’s hospitalization and death a year earlier. The house is a mess, dogs are sleeping on the counter, and the girls are sitting in the living room, watching TV and playing with their phones, saying “yes” or “no” toi whatever their father digs out of the freezer. Two of Wade’s friends, Forrest (played by Rob Corddry) and Delia (played by Michaela watkins) are watching the disorder in the Felton home and are worried about their friend, who seems to be living life on autopilot.

    They discuss this with another couple, Ben (played by Omar Miller) and Michelle (played by Maya Lynne Robinson) and come to the conclusion that Wade needs to get back out into the world and start building a social life, specifically that he needs to dating again. A fortyish widower with an established career (he’s a landscape designer), a home, and two daughters make him a “unicorn,” considered a prime catch on the dating scene, a rare established and stable man.

    Wade is reluctant at first, then on the evening he pulls the last prepared meal out of the freezer, the enormity of his situation catches up with him and leaves him practically catatonic. He agrees to complete a profile on a dating site, and when he submits it he’s bombarded with messages from women. When he tells his daughters that he intends on starting to date again, Natalie freaks out, thinking that he’s going to replace their mother. Grace calms her down, saying that their father deserves a life.

    Thus begins Wade’s saga of trying to balance being home for his girls and finding love in a dating scene that has changed significantly in the twenty years he’s been out of it, all while carrying the grief that losing his wife has brought about. At times poignant, at times hilarious, we see him deal with trouble at home, disastrous dates, his struggles with introducing himself to women he sees and would like to date, breakups, being fixed up, navigating the bar scene, and so on.

    One thing I appreciate is that, unlike a lot of sitcoms, Wade isn’t treated like an idiot by his daughters. He’s believable as their father, and they’re believable as sisters. In one episode, Grace is giefvn the lead role in her school play, Little Shop of Horrors, by a director who was simply trying to be nice because her mother had died. Wade at first tells her that if she wants to quit the play, it’s all right, not wanting to see his little girl look like a fool, but then reminds her that her mother would make her see it through. Naturally, she does a fantastic job as the female lead.

    You can find the show on the Paramount+ application and website; I purcheased it on the Amazon Prime website. That might be the only way to see it, at least until one of the classic TV stations picks the show up, if in fact they do that. Perhaps one weekend it’ll air on the “Decades Binge.” We can only hope…

TV Draft Round 5 – Pick 7 – John Selects – CSI: Miami

Welcome to the Hanspostcard TV Draft. I hope you will enjoy it! Today’s post was written by John from https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com

  • Show: CSI: Miami
  • Network: CBS
  • Seasons: 10, 2002-2012

When CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (also known as CSI: Las Vegas) turned out to be such a hit when it debuted at the start of the new millennium, its producers said, “Hey! Let’s do a whole lot of them! Same thing, just in different cities!” Or perhaps it was the suits at CBS who said it. Anyway, no doubt they got together and decided that the second show should be set somewhere with a lot of violent crime and a lot of good-looking people (primarily women) running around scantily clad. So, they chose Miami, associated (rightly or wrongly) with illegal trade in both drugs and firearms and with lots of good-looking people running around in swimwear. As an added bonus, Miami is a city with a large Caribbean population, thus bringing that demographic into play.

The result was a show that played heavily on stereotypes and featured much more blood and carnage than its predecessor. Unlike its predecessor, which relied heavily on quirky crimes and equally quirky CSI’s solving them, CSI: Miami relied primarily on stories of gang wars waged by opposing drug kingpins who spent most of their time lounging by their swimming pools, surrounded by pneumatically-gifted and surgically-enhanced women in skimpy swimwear, while their footsoldiers went out and wreaked havoc on each other, and often innocent bystanders. Okay, that’s a bit of an oversimplification, but the longer the show was on the air, the more one-dimensional it became.

The Miami-Dade CSI’s were led by Lt. Horatio Caine, played by NYPD Blue alum David Caruso. David obviously prepared for the part by watching all of the “Dirty Harry” movies and episodes of (the original) Hawaii Five-O, because the character of Caine came off as a cross between Clint Eastwood and Jack Lord, in other words, a laid-back hard ass.

Just as the original CSI had Catherine Willows (Marg Helgenberger) as a counterpart for Gil Grissom (William Petersen), the original plan was to have Caine have a female counterpart as well. After Sela Ward (who eventually joined the cast of CSI:NY) turned that role down, the job was given to Kim Delaney, another NYPD Blue alum. She was gone after ten episodes, officially because there was “no chemistry” between her character and Caine. Rumor had it, however, that Caruso wanted her out.

Assisting Caine was Calleigh Duquesne, a petite, blonde, blue-eyed, and stunningly beautiful young woman played by the equally petite, blonde, blue-eyed, and stunningly beautiful Emily Procter. Calleigh was originally from New Orleans (although she sounded like she was from North Carolina, as is Ms. Procter) and joined the Miami CSI’s as a ballistics expert. The appeal was obvious: a beautiful blonde Southern girl who liked guns. Calleigh’s father was a down-on-his-luck attorney from New Orleans who drank a lot.

Calleigh had an on-again, off-again relationship with fellow CSI Eric Delko, played by Adam Rodriguez. Delko was a dedicated and responsible CSI who was frequently called on to don a scuba suit and look for evidence underwater. Tim Speedle (played by Rory Cochrane), on the other hand, though he was an excellent CSI, was a bit blasé about maintaining his pistol, which eventually led to his death. He was replaced by Ryan Wolfe (played by Jonathan Togo), who was obsessive-compulsive about maintaining his gun (and just about everything else).

Halfway through the series, a second female CSI, Natalia Boa Vista (played by the quite lovely Eva LaRue), was added to the cast to run around with Calleigh to crime scenes dressed as though they were going to a nightclub, in revealing tops, white pants, and high heels. Lt. Frank Tripp (played by Rex Linn) was a semi-regular member of the cast who was finally added to the permanent cast.

The Miami CSI’s were more likely than their Las Vegas counterparts to get involved in doing actual police work. With Caine in particular, you wondered “is this a CSI or a plainclothes cop?” Many of the relationships in the stories were with Caine, either family members such as Yelina Salas (played by Sofia Milos), who was his sister-in-law, and Julia Winston (played by Elizabeth Berkley from Saved By The Bell), who played a woman he had had an affair with, resulting in a son (played by, of all people, Justin Bieber).

For all of its faults (and I’ve barely scratched the surface here), CSI: Miami was fairly well-received, doing fairly well in the ratings and earning its share of awards, and it continues to be popular in syndication. The stories were generally well thought-out, although the execution was at times heavy-handed.

TV Draft Round 4 – Pick 8 – John Selects – JAG

Welcome to the Hanspostcard TV Draft. The remaining 7 rounds will be posted here. We will have 64 different TV Shows by 8 different writers. I hope you will enjoy it! Today’s post was written by John from https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com

  • SHOW: JAG
  • NETWORK: NBC (Season 1), CBS (Seasons 2-10)
  • YEARS: 1995-2005

From a high-concept perspective, JAG was Perry Mason meets Top Gun. It centered around Harmon Rabb Jr., played by David James Elliott, whose father was a Navy fighter pilot during the Vietnam War. Rabb Sr. was shot down over Vietnam and taken prisoner by the Viet Cong. Rabb Jr. decides to follow his father into the Navy as a fighter pilot. On one mission, he crashed his plane on the flight deck of a carrier. This led to a diagnosis of night blindness and made him unfit for flight duty. He transfers to the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps, which is responsible for “administrative law, government contracting, civilian and military personnel law, the law of war and international relations, environmental law, etc. They also serve as prosecutors for the military when conducting courts-martial.”

The show was cosiderably different in its first season than the rest of its run. LT (later LCDR) Rabb was assisted in his investigations by LTJG Meg Austin, played by Tracey Needham (last seen on NBC’s Life Goes On), and did more investigations than arguing cases in court. His partner for the two-part pilot episode was LT (Kate) Pike, played by Andrea Parker. Evidently NBC wasn’t impressed with the chemistry between Harm and Kate, though later Parker was hired to play Miss Parker on the network’s Pretender. The chemistry between Harm and Meg was practically nonexistent, so then a third female JAG officer, Commander Allison Krennick (played by Andrea Thompson) was added as a supervisory officer. Cmdr. Krennick quite clearly had the hots for Rabb, but the relationship stayed professional, even prickly, during working hours.

The first season ended with Harm thrown in the brig for murdering a former girlfriend, LTJG. Dianne Schonke, who was played by Catherine Bell. (This will play a role later in the show.) Producer Donald Bellisario clearly intended for this to be the season finale cliffhanger, but NBC cancelled the show for low ratings.

JAG was picked up by CBS and was a midseason replacement in January 1997. In the first episode, Harm meets the new JAG, RADM A. J. Chegwidden (played by John M. Jackson, who had a minor role as the JAG in A Few Good Men), and the rest of his team, including LTJG Bud Roberts (played by Patrick Labyorteaux, who reprised his role from the pilot) and Marine MAJ Sarah “Mac” McKenzie, played by the aforementioned Catherine Bell. (Strangely, Bellisario didn’t clear up the cliffhanger from the first season until the middle of the third season.) When Harm sees Mac, he’s haunted by his former girlfriend, and that remains throughout the rest of the series.

Harm has two primary objectives when the show starts: to find out what happened to his father and to go back to flying F-14’s. He accomplishes the first objective in the third season, when a notebook found during an investigation contains information that could lead to Harm finding his father at last. Of course, the notebook disappears, taken by a Soviet agent who later agrees to give it to him. In the season 3 finale, he and Mac (who speaks Russian) take off for Russia, then in the season 4 season premiere Harm learns that his father died not long before he arrived. Also in Season 4, we learn that Mac is a recovering alcoholic, has been married before, and had an affair with a previous commanding officer, and is reprimanded by the Admiral for it. Also arriving on the scene in season 4 is LCDR Mic Brumby of the Royal Australian Navy (played by Trevor Goddard), mostly to woo Mac and make Harm jealous. By the end of Season 4, Harm has been approved to go back to flight duty and leaves JAG.

Season 5 starts with Harm as a fighter pilot again, but for some reason he keeps getting hauled into prosecuting or defending courts martial. Finally his commanding officer recommends that he go back to being a lawyer, which he does. When he gets back to JAG, he discovers that Mac has been promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and that she and Mic are becoming an item. He now has new objectives: get Mac back and be promoted to Commander.

And the wheels kind of come off at that point. Over the next five years, Bud, kept in the show more for comic relief than anything, marries LT Harriett Sims and the two have several children. Mic goes back to Australia, then comes back, getting engaged to Mac, who secretly has been in love with Harm the whole time, something that comes out during her engagement party (how embarassing). LCDR Sturgis Turner (played by Scott Lawrence), a friend of Harm’s from the Naval Academy, joins the cast more for diversity than anything. Turner helps Bud get back into shape, whereupon Bud volunteers for duty in Iraq, only to have his legs blown off. Chegwidden falls in love and is ready to get married, only to find his bride-to-be in bed with another man. They break up and he retires to spend the rest of his life traveling around the country with his daughter and going to baseball games. His replacement is Marine Major General “Biff” Creswell, who had prosecuted Mac’s lover, so she’s worried he’ll hold it against her, but he tells her that he figured she was young and stupid and she’d get a clue and straghten up. David James Elliott’s real-life wife Nanci Chambers joins the cast as LT Loren Singer, who has designs on the Admiral’s job, but is eventually murdered, providing the basis for introducing the cast and premise of NCIS.

The show ends with Harm and Mac being sent to opposite corners of the world, deciding they can’t live without each other, and that one will resign their commission and follow the other, they’ll get married and live happily ever after. They decide to let Bud toss a coin to decide who stays and who goes, and the show concludes with the coin in the air.

Okay, so JAG was a soap opera. There were many more characters and many more things that happened than I was able to squeeze in here. Nevertheless, it was an entertaining show with well-crafted characters, interesting stores and plenty of humor.

TV Draft Recap Rounds 1 & 2

Welcome to the Hanspostcard TV Draft. The remaining 8 rounds will be posted here. We will have 64 different TV Shows by 8 different writers. I hope you will enjoy it! 

This is a recap of rounds one and two that were held earlier. Hope you will join us on April 11, 2022… Monday at 9am CST to kick it off. 

Round 1TV ShowWho PostedHome Site
1.Doctor WhoVichttps://cosmic-observation.com/blog-posts/
2.The Sopranos Mikehttps://musiccitymike.net
3.Bozo’s Circus Johnhttps://thesoundofonehandtyping.com 
4.Barney MillerMaxhttps://powerpop.blog
5.The WireKirkhttps://slicethelife.com/
6.Police SquadKeithhttps://nostalgicitalian.com/
7.Only Murders in the Building (OMITB)Paulahttp://paulalight.com
Round 2
1.The Odd CoupleMikehttps://musiccitymike.net
2.Cartoon TownJohnhttps://thesoundofonehandtyping.com 
3.Fawlty TowersMaxhttps://powerpop.blog
4.Rockford FilesKirkhttps://slicethelife.com/
5.Mission ImpossibleKeithhttps://nostalgicitalian.com/
6.FireflyVichttps://cosmic-observation.com/blog-posts/