Boston Public
Chapter Twenty-Three

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Who would give up six figures to teach high school?

As the current popular radio single goes: "It's been a while." But, kids, I'm back, after a lengthy hiatus during which I did not mention Fyvush Finkel even once. And I'm firing on all cylinders, folks. Let me tell you a bit about what's in store. Funny nicknames? Yep. Identification of David E. Kelley's ridiculous writing tics? Oh yeah. Attempts to seduce the female cast members? Perhaps. But, if the premiere is any indication, I'm going to need more than that. I'm going to need an all-new feature, which I'm going to call "How It Should Have Been." That's right. Whenever an opportunity for good TV is squandered, instead of throwing things, or perhaps in addition to throwing things, I'll switch into HISHB mode and write the scene the way it ought to be.

Last season on Boston Public: Marilyn told Principal Steven that Mrs. Peters keeps her son locked in the basement, which she proudly admitted; Jeremy Peters sat in the basement, looking creepy; Marilyn told Mrs. Peters she'd be watching; Anthony Heald asked first Lauren, and then Marilyn, to go to the symphony with him; Harry Senate started the Suicide Club and got in various forms of trouble; Harvey offended black people; Lauren told Steven that her parents think being a teacher is a waste; Marla spoke to the school board about how being a teacher makes you crazy; Anthony Heald lamented to Steven that working at Winslow High dominates their entire lives, and Steven countered that it matters; Marilyn speculated that Jeremy Peters has done something to his mother; Jeremy spoke at graduation and thanked his mother, who was tied to a chair in his basement.

An alarm clock goes off in a swank Boston apartment. A swank Boston area woman's hand turns it off, scrunching her swank Boston eyes with weariness. It's Jeri Ryan, as promised in all the ads. The alarm is set for 7:00 AM, missing the opportunity for the first in-joke of the season, which (HISHB alert!) would have been to set it for 7:09. Eh? Eh? Better, right? Anyway, she says, out loud, "What did I drink last night?" Then she peers at the man in her bed, and seems to recognize him, and not be pleased at his presence.

Jeri takes a steamy shower. The water runs down her alabaster skin in hot rivulets, her silken hair the color of sunlight reflected in a lily-dappled pool of mountain spring water. Then Billy Zane gets into the shower with her. He starts to scrub her back. Apparently, he is her ex-boyfriend, and she wants it that way, but they seem to have some trouble staying away from one another. We also learn that she's going to high school that day to talk to the kids about going into the practice of law. Which is odd, because ordinarily kids have to go to college first. It seems like a very unorthodox approach. Jeri's plan is to tell the kids, "Don't do drugs. Listen to your parents."

Did somebody say "unorthodox approach"? My word, here comes "Mata" Harry Senate, striding through the halls with Jeri. He says, "Most of them are drug-free. Some don't have parents." Anthony "Scott Guber" Heald appears (yay!) and tells Harry that he needs approval to bring a guest instructor to the dungeon. He also says "Hello" to Jeri Ryan three times, indicating that he thinks she's a cutie. Maybe there's some internet footage of that shower scene. Anyway, Harry introduces Scott to the guest instructor, and takes it that approval is inferred from his gaga eyes. We also learn that Jeri's name is "Ronnie Cooke." And boy oh boy does she ever! Ba dum bum. Principal Steven Harper approaches, with The Exposition Fairy by his side, though right now she's looking a little bit like The Extra Pounds Over The Summer Fairy, if you know what I mean. Maybe it's just the angle, though. Or the fact that most of the women on this show are anorexic. Steven asks who Harry's walking away with, and Scott's all, "Guest instructor. She's even more fetching from the front than she…Steven, I have a dentist appointment later today." The dentist appointment doesn't seem to matter, except insofar as it sets up The Exposition Fairy for a lame "Scott Guber with a toothache!?" joke. I mean, that's it -- that's the joke, so really there is no joke.

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Boston Public

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