Previously on City of Angels: Minority groups begin criticizing the networks for not having enough melanin on the tube. With mind-boggling serendipity, Steven Bochco says to his cell phone, "Oh, hey, Leslie Moonves, wazzzzap? I just happen to have this script that is full of minority characters. We were gonna pitch it to UPN, WB, BET, and all the other channels you guys don't watch, but I guess I could part with it for, say...your SOUL???"
Long story short: Bochco scratches another notch into his TV gun barrel, CBS directs the NAACP and LULAC toward the other networks, and Moonves wakes up the next morning with a teeny tiny hole where his soul used to be.
The storyline so far -- Dr. Turner (our buddy Blair Underwood from L.A. Law) and Dr. Price (Vivica A. Fox who was the most chaste stripper in the universe in Independence Day) kissed, which wouldn't be so bad except they used to be engaged and now they have to work together. The Racist Bearded White Doctor has been giving Dr. Williams a hard time for basically being a little wuss in the OR. Dr. Turner confronts RBWD about it, assigns himself as the new chief while, inexplicably, lightning dramatically flashes during this locker-room confrontation. Dr. Veiss (er, Weiss) has been getting snuggly with Nurse Patterson and she doesn't seem to mind even though he looks like one of the Beastie Boys in scrubs.
It takes a very smart girlfriend to help me figure out that the show takes place in Los Angeles, which she deduces without having seen a single episode. I mean, who knew, just from the title? The girl is smart, is all I'm trying to say. Either that, or....
Wailing gospel vocals greet a morning skyline panning to Angels of Mercy hospital and its statue, which looks like a Mayan warrior. While the opening scene unfolds, a little graphic low on the screen lets us know that this is being simulcast in HDTV. Of course, we all know that when the engineers were coming up with HDTV, they intended it for use in digitally broadcasting second-rate hospital dramas. That was the dream, at least.
Delmar and Iris, a never-miss-a-meal couple, ask Dr. Turner for help in finding a lost relative. "Po-lice don't give a damn," Delmar bellows, while a lone policeman watches in the background, a tear in his eye. The man they're looking for, Iris's father, is seventy-five years old and six feet tall. He's been taking medicine every night for a condition called "Flubbitis," which is something one suffers by acting in a Disney film starring Robin Williams. ["No, actually, it's nothing like 'phlebitis,' smarty-pants." -- Wing Chun] Delmar and Iris wear big, bright visitor stickers, which I've never seen in a real hospital.
They say, "HELLO! We're Concerned Family Members!" Dr. Turner, sans decorative headgear, tells them that a John Doe was brought in the night before, which jibes with Daddy Giant leaving the house the night before, without his wallet, and in a red jogging suit. The John Doe, Dr. Turner says, had a coronary embolism. "The man had a heart attack and couldn't be revived," Turner says, in Full Compassion Mode. "The man died?" Iris asks. "Yes, the man did die," Turner says, while wondering what part of "couldn't be revived" Iris doesn't get. Turner asks if Iris could handle seeing a dead body. Delmar gives Turner a sneaky look like, "It's okay, Doc, we check out dead bodies all the time. Heck, that's why we bought the extra fridge." Turner walks Delmar and Iris downstairs to the morgue and explains the procedure for viewing a Joyce DeWitt, which is to say "a dead body." They'll gaze upon a sheeted body, give the man in the booth a nod, and after they've inserted their quarters, he'll remove the sheet.