MONDO EXTRAS

Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Three’s Company

As the three stars line up in front of the couch, Evil Alan calls in someone to touch up Suzanne's makeup. John starts out standing between the girls, but the photographer has him and Suzanne switch places so she's in the middle. Oooooh, discord! Then, in my favorite moment of subtlety, the photographer says, "Okay, everyone take one step forward!" They do. "Uh, except for Joyce and John," he says. They step back. Hey, that puts Suzanne out in the front! That, too, might cause discord. Then, the photographer wants to put Joyce and John behind the sofa, which puts them about ten feet behind Suzanne. Okay, hold on. Now, call me crazy, but I suspect Joyce's selective memory is making this just a teensy bit worse than it was. But she and John -- every the accommodating people they apparently were -- oblige, as Alan and Jay exchange an evil smirk. Once everyone is in place, though, John and Joyce get twitchy and ask what the deal is. "We only agreed to do this if all three of us were featured on the cover," Joyce complains. Suzanne calls a halt and walks over to Jay, complaining that Joyce's and John's unhappiness is making her "uncomfortable." Jay tells her that they're just getting lots of different shots with different setups, and in her first real diva moment, Suzanne says, "Well, go tell that to John and Joyce." Jay does, but John isn't having it. When the photographer arranges everyone in a Suzanne-flanking formation again, John loses it. "We're not Suzanne's set dressing," he snots, taking Joyce by the hand and leading her off the set. "You have to do it, it's the cover of Newsweek," Suzanne whines. "Yeah. We heard," Joyce says meaningfully. There is no fooling Joyce. The heavy use of the handheld camera in this movie, incidentally, reaches its seasickness-inducing peak right here.

Later, John and Joyce look at a copy of Newsweek that features a picture of Suzanne in full flirt, accompanied by the disembodied floating heads of John and Joyce. John theorizes that the magazine must have taken publicity photos and Photoshopped them in. Of course, it wouldn't have been Photoshop then -- or it would have been the foot-pedal-driven version of Photoshop, at least. John and Joyce lament the article's focus on Suzanne. "The question is, does Suzanne think she's the star of the show?" Joyce wonders aloud. Just then, Suzanne pops her head in to try to make nice. Long story short, she writes the whole thing off as the fault of her "people," not her, and John and Joyce forgive her, and they all make up. I'm sorry, but one of my rules of life is to never have anything to do with anyone who claims to have "people." "My people" has never been used in a sentence that made the speaker appear to be anything other than a complete asshole. "No one can split us up!" Suzanne burbles happily as they all cuddle on the dressing-room couch, which I now notice is in the shape of a big baseball mitt. Ah, the '70s and their wacky décor. I once wanted an area rug for my bedroom that was in the shape of a footprint. My grandmother agreed to get it for me if I kept my room "neat as a pin" for a while. Needless to say, I never got the rug.

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Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Three’s Company As the three stars line up in front of the couch, Evil Alan calls in someone to touch up Suzanne's makeup. John starts out standing between the girls, but the photographer has him and Suzanne switch places so she's in the middle. Oooooh, discord! Then, in my favorite moment of subtlety, the photographer says, "Okay, everyone take one step forward!" They do. "Uh, except for Joyce and John," he says. They step back. Hey, that puts Suzanne out in the front! That, too, might cause discord. Then, the photographer wants to put Joyce and John behind the sofa, which puts them about ten feet behind Suzanne. Okay, hold on. Now, call me crazy, but I suspect Joyce's selective memory is making this just a teensy bit worse than it was. But she and John -- every the accommodating people they apparently were -- oblige, as Alan and Jay exchange an evil smirk. Once everyone is in place, though, John and Joyce get twitchy and ask what the deal is. "We only agreed to do this if all three of us were featured on the cover," Joyce complains. Suzanne calls a halt and walks over to Jay, complaining that Joyce's and John's unhappiness is making her "uncomfortable." Jay tells her that they're just getting lots of different shots with different setups, and in her first real diva moment, Suzanne says, "Well, go tell that to John and Joyce." Jay does, but John isn't having it. When the photographer arranges everyone in a Suzanne-flanking formation again, John loses it. "We're not Suzanne's set dressing," he snots, taking Joyce by the hand and leading her off the set. "You have to do it, it's the cover of Newsweek," Suzanne whines. "Yeah. We heard," Joyce says meaningfully. There is no fooling Joyce. The heavy use of the handheld camera in this movie, incidentally, reaches its seasickness-inducing peak right here. Later, John and Joyce look at a copy of Newsweek that features a picture of Suzanne in full flirt, accompanied by the disembodied floating heads of John and Joyce. John theorizes that the magazine must have taken publicity photos and Photoshopped them in. Of course, it wouldn't have been Photoshop then -- or it would have been the foot-pedal-driven version of Photoshop, at least. John and Joyce lament the article's focus on Suzanne. "The question is, does Suzanne think she's the star of the show?" Joyce wonders aloud. Just then, Suzanne pops her head in to try to make nice. Long story short, she writes the whole thing off as the fault of her "people," not her, and John and Joyce forgive her, and they all make up. I'm sorry, but one of my rules of life is to never have anything to do with anyone who claims to have "people." "My people" has never been used in a sentence that made the speaker appear to be anything other than a complete asshole. "No one can split us up!" Suzanne burbles happily as they all cuddle on the dressing-room couch, which I now notice is in the shape of a big baseball mitt. Ah, the '70s and their wacky d├ęcor. I once wanted an area rug for my bedroom that was in the shape of a footprint. My grandmother agreed to get it for me if I kept my room "neat as a pin" for a while. Needless to say, I never got the rug.

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