Episode 203--"the mike van dyke show"

Writers
Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick
Director
Ron Lagomarsino
Air Dates
12/20/88, 6/6/89
Guest Star

Sound wavs from this episode
Craig Berenson as Rabbi Markowitz; Clyde Kusatsu as Dr. Richards; Jack Gilford as Old Gentleman; Angela Paton as Nurse
Synopsis
Michael is back to having Christmas issues once again, compounded by Hope's car accident. Ethan and Nancy work Christmas arrangements with their kids.
Summary
It's Christmas again with Michael issues. He and Hope are being difficult about each other's faiths, shopping for presents. Michael is preparing to go to Chicago to view his father's headstone when he has a dream sequence of himself starring in The Dick Van Dyke Show, himself as Rob Petrie and Hope as Laura (who's obsessed with Christmas). Elliot and Nancy with the kids charge through, their arguments given a laugh track that's somehow tragic.

While failing to come up with a good pitch for a laxative, Michael gets a call at the office saying that Hope's been in an accident. He goes to see her and while she doesn't look that good, the accident itself wasn't that bad though they're still checking for internal injuries.

In the midst of this, the Westons attempt to work out what kind of Christmas arrangement they will be having since the separation.

Michael and Melissa go to get a tree and end up having a deep conversation about the synagogue that she's been attending lately and the rabbi she likes so much, Rabbi Markowitz. Michael returns to find Hope violently ill and dizzy. After some more of Ethan's worrying about his parents and Christmas and some of Michael's own worrying, Michael stops by the synagogue and meets Rabbi Markowitz, who looks just like the old guy playing Santa in his dreams. He returns home to find Hope exhuasted. They go back to the hospital to do more tests.

Michael then delivers presents on Christmas Eve to the Westons only to find that Ethan is still having trouble dealing with his Dad not being around all the time. When Michael gets home, Hope and Janey aren't there and he begins to panic, succumbing to the final dream sequence in which everyone else gets what they want for Christmas, but Santa tells him that Hope is never coming back. When she finally returns from the store, Michael is adorably furious with her at which point she tells him that she's pregnant. Having now re-evaluated his life, Michael returns to the synagogue and meets Rabbi Markowitz (who is actually a young guy) and stays for service.

Notes
  • Hope is shown sitting on toilet which is a network first, I believe
  • Hope is still working, though we never see it
  • The red Cherokee is utterly demolished
  • The last time Michael went to synagogue was 1967
  • Howie Slutski told Elliot there was no Santa
  • Elliot lost his virginity to Judy Saperstein
  • Fashion
  • Melissa's coonskin cap appears and she has a big white earring like a paper doll in her left ear.
  • Michael wears suspenders and his tie is way too thin.
  • Elliot gets a jacket pin that seems to be holiday themed.
  • Quotes
    "I was just driving along, Janey was singing "Kum Ba Yah" and, um, and then this car started drifting across the lanes..." --Hope

    --"Explain to me again why they waited a year to put up your father's headstone?" --Hope

    --"They wanted to make sure he was really dead." --Michael

    "This is God's revenge for the time you planted a tree in Israel for Alfred E. Neuman." --Melissa, on Michael's Christmas tree

    "Melissa Steadman is related to you? Such a talent, such a lovely girl. Can't you get her to do something about that hair?" --Rabbi Markowitz

    "It's Hannu-claus! Happy pagan ritual everyone!" --Melissa

    Analysis

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    The dashed line marks the point where Lisa Stevenson Blackwell's original version of this page ended, and where Bob Fahey began adding material.

    Scene edited out in Lifetime version. - Luiza Hirsch (Luiza@gmx.org) has both the Lifetime versions and the unedited versions aired in Germany. She writes that the entire opening scene, about 90 seconds, was cut. She describes it like this: "Gary, Ellyn, Hope and Michael are playing Trivial Pursuit, sitting on the floor of the Steadman living room before the fireplace. Fire burning in the background. They drink beer and munch on popcorn from a flat (wooden?) bowl. Gary picks a TV-related question and starts ranting about how he hates TV and hasnít "our generation" any other way of defining itself than by old songs or by TV show memories (heavily ironic in the context Iím writing this, of course). The question, which Hope reads from a card, is "Who played Buddy and Sally on The Dick Van Dyke Show?" This immediately sends Hope and Ellyn down memory lane about the show, they start humming the show theme and reminisce about their favorite episodes.
    Michael chimes in, first giving a mock answer (it was Roger Moore and the show was shot in England in 1958), then remembers other 1950s sitcoms and how they used to fascinate him as a kid. Ellyn observes how in so many of them the mothers were already dead (names a few examples), and remembers that she always thought of that (wistfully?) whenever her own mother yelled at her. Michael tells how he used to cut school and watch sitcoms but then was scared by the prospect that "real life" might be like that. Hope declares in a mocking tone that she loves TV because "everybody on TV is always so nice and so happy", then kisses Michael who has his head in her lap. Close-up of Ellyn who looks on with a mix of envy and embarrassment and visibly swallows before she quickly turns her glance away. Then Gary pretends to have thought of the right answer and blurts out "Ethel and Julius Rosenberg! They played Buddy and Sally! Do you remember the scene where they were executed as Russian spies?" Everybody laughs, Michael pretends to hit him, and Ellyn throws popcorn at him, plus something that looks like either a large book or a cardboard box. Probably the latter."
    Thanks, Luiza, for the scene description and the photo. The original script, published in the book thirtysomething stories, opens the same way. Of course, the game puts that TV show in Mike's mind, setting up the fantasy sequences.

    Sound wavs from this episode - All sound names starting with "24"


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