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The Doogie Howser Thread

Discussion in 'Platypus Comix' started by Peter Paltridge, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. Peter Paltridge

    Peter Paltridge Knows about rock people
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    As of the new year, Antenna TV is running Doogie Howser at 11 PM every weeknight. Or at 2 AM if you're on the East Coast.

    As we learn in the lengthy opener set to random tones from a Casio keyboard, Doogie Howser graduated college at 14, delivered a baby on the street at 15, and got a job as a surgeon at 16. His voice makes him sound like he's 12. He is paid 20,000 a year, which was apparently a doctor's salary in the late 80's.

    Doogie has a friend named Vinnie who crawls up the wall of his house and into his bedroom every night, as you do (at least if you're an 80's sitcom character). Vinnie is basically Quagmire as a teenager and every single piece of dialogue he gets is about sex and his wanting it. Doogie also has a bland girlfriend named Wanda whom I assume we won't be seeing again after the first season wraps up in two weeks.

    Both the first two episodes have scenes where women nearly in their forties come on to Doogie. He's 16. What was going on with you, 1989?

    There was a promo on a Free Spirit episode for a Doogie episode where he checks into a motel and his neighbors are super loud, and one of them punches his fist through the wall. I wanted to see what led to that and the aftermath of it. It turns out that promo scene was the best part of the episode. Oh well.

    "Doogie Howser" was NOT filmed in front of a live studio audience. It's single-cam and shot on film, and has no laugh track either, which was very rare for the time period. Because of these artistic choices it hasn't aged as badly as some other shows, but I'd still rather watch something modern. This is because every episode has an Important Moralâ„¢ that is shoved in your face via the usual ham-handed manner of the 1980's. If we don't get it by the 25 minute mark, Doogie spells it out on his crappy computer one letter a second. "To....day.... I.... learned.....the..... real.... medicine..... was..... in..... my...... heart." Executive Producer Steven Bochco.

    Doogie once saved Wanda's life and she hated him for it. They were on a date when her appendix burst and he rushed her to the hospital and personally cut out the exploding organ. This wasn't what Wanda was upset about, it was the mandatory questionnaire Doogie had to ask her prior to surgery. "Are--are you pregnant? Are you sexually active?" Howser asked as her jaw dropped. Then he had to do something involving her nether region that the ABC censors wouldn't let the show describe.

    There is a poster from the Red Cross in Doogie's checkup room. It's a photo of a weeping man in his 50's with the caption, "WHY WON'T YOU GIVE MY DAUGHTER YOUR BLOOD?" It's disturbing.

    Antenna TV also runs Small Wonder on the weekends now. I turned it off after twenty seconds of it.
     
  2. Peter Paltridge

    Peter Paltridge Knows about rock people
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    Tonight Doogie was hired to teach sex-ed at a high school. Seriously. But that wasn't the main plot, there was barely anything done with it, it just got us to this: there was this big jock in the class who theatened to beat Doogie up. Even though Doogie was in the teacher position, this guy started yelling "Hey, scrawny nerd, I'm gonna mop up the floor with you!" In fact, he called Doogie "Doggie." Them's fighting words!

    There was actually a montage of Doogie training to take the bully on after class, set to some late 80's pop-of-the-month: "Pump it up! Pump it! Move that body!" sang Salt and Pepa while Doogie thrust his fists in front of him repeatedly and karate-kicked into thin air. At 3 PM, about fifty kids gathered around to watch the fight.

    Doogie was taken out in one hit. He had to have a cast.
     
  3. Peter Paltridge

    Peter Paltridge Knows about rock people
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    Tonight Doogie went out on a date with a cheerleader from the Lakers. He's 17 now. Doogie gets to do everything. And get this....he went on one date, it went flawlessly, she was all over him, and then he dumped her so he could get back with Wanda.

    Then in the very next episode, Wanda left to go to Paris for the entire summer. Hah!

    Also, Doogie has pierced ears now, for some reason. I don't know which episode that happened in.
     
  4. Kung-Fu Yoshi

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    I checked out part of an episode. It was one where Doogie was fired because he did an operation on a kid's dog. Apparently he wasn't supposed to do it, especially because it was free.

    He got rehired though. And he managed to get something done about the homeless that were turned away at the hospital.

    The soundtrack could've been better. A lot of Full House music-type cues.
     
  5. Peter Paltridge

    Peter Paltridge Knows about rock people
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    I'm beginning to notice a pattern here: Doogie is making a mistake in his personal life, but he's oblivious to it until he helps a patient who is having a parallel problem. After he solves the patient's problem, Doogie thinks "wait a minute, this is like my own life!" and corrects the wrong path he was on. This has happened over and over.

    Bland Wanda has lasted on the show way longer than I thought she would; we're well into the second season and Doogie still thinks he can't do better; she has a spot in the main title now. (And her mother just died -- yikes! I don't know if this will affect her for the rest of the series like it should, or if it'll be forgotten. Winnie from The Wonder Years had her mom die in the pilot and she felt affected thereafter.)
     
  6. Peter Paltridge

    Peter Paltridge Knows about rock people
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    You never realize what a pain appointment television is until you get used to the alternative. It's too hard to remember when this is on -- I've missed a ton of them. They're into Season 3 and Bland Wanda might be gone already -- I don't know.

    I only caught the end of the second episode tonight. Doogie and Vinnie had a paddleball set. Anyone remember those? Whatever happened to 'em?
     
  7. Peter Paltridge

    Peter Paltridge Knows about rock people
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    Shocker of shockers -- after lasting what amounts to half the series, Doogie has finally, finally FINALLY dumped Bland Wanda.

    Or, rather, she dumped him, in humiliating fashion. It turned out Bland Wanda's absence from the Season 3 main title is because she moved to Chicago. Doogie actually saved himself for her and considered them still together. She took a trip back and they snuggled in Doogie's car on Makeout Point. ....Then he found out she had a new boyfriend.

    Was it really worth it, Doog? Was it really all worth it? He told Mr. Computer that he finally learned his lesson and that there were plenty of other girls out there, plenty of possibilities.

    .....In the following day's episode, Doogie got into his car and started driving to Chicago, running back to Bland Wanda. You've gotta be kidding me.

    But if infidelity didn't smack him in the face, maybe this will: Doogie and Vinnie had their car stall in the middle of the desert. While they were stuck at a podunk gas garage having it fixed, by pure chance Doogie ran into a gorgeous, non-bland, vibrant, personality-filled girl his age with a genius IQ like his. While the car was being repaired they spent the evening together, peering through her telescope and passionately discussing science. Also, at the same time Vinnie developed a bromance with a taxidermist, but I won't go into it.

    The girl leaned in for a kiss, and Doogie says...."No, it can never be." WHY?

    For some incredibly stupid reason he abandons the girl, but he also turns around and drives back home, and once again, tells Mr. Computer he's learned his lesson and that he can do better than Bland Wanda.

    I wish I could say he improves from there, but tonight's schedule shows another Wanda episode.
     
  8. Peter Paltridge

    Peter Paltridge Knows about rock people
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    Tonight Doogie was on his bed, playing with one of THESE:

    [​IMG]
    That's right, Doogie was the one solitary American who owned a TurboExpress. No wonder his only friend is that weird Italian kid.
     
  9. Peter Paltridge

    Peter Paltridge Knows about rock people
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    Tomorrow there will be a Doogie Howser marathon. It's by no coincidence it takes place during the same weekend Neil Patrick Harris hosts the Oscars.
     
  10. Peter Paltridge

    Peter Paltridge Knows about rock people
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    Tonight is the special "dealing with the aftermath of the LA riots" episode. It's sad that you could just change the location and names being thrown around and do this script today intact.
     
  11. Peter Paltridge

    Peter Paltridge Knows about rock people
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    We're entering the final week of Doogies. At this point the show has grown out of its premise: Doogie is now a full-grown adult with his own apartment. He's no longer a teenage doctor, he's just....a doctor. No surprise ABC cancelled the show at this point.

    Bland Wanda never returned again, but that didn't make Doogie's dating life any less bizarre. Last Friday a supermodel became his roommate, and I've never seen the man more angry about anything. She would strip to her unmentionables in front of him and take baths in his tub and he HATED this.

    At one point he confronted her and accused her of getting everything for free because of her looks. "Where do you think you'd be if you weren't a model?"
    "Where do you think YOU'D be if you weren't a genius?" she retorted back, and that was perfect. As far as Doogie's genius status goes, over the course of the series I've really had doubts.
     

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