Wednesday, February 15, 2017

MaY Cellphone Watch: "Love Among the Tiles"

Recently, Lynda and I have been watching Mad About You reruns. This is one of our favorite shows. But . . . looking back on it, you see how the plot of this show (as with many others) would have been utterly destroyed had they only had a cellphone.

[Season 1, Episode 16] "Love Among the Tiles"
Paul and Jamie frantically get ready to attend Fran and Mark's annual Valentines Day party. Jamie is getting ready at the bathroom sink and Paul is finishing up his shower. They are already late to leave for the party.

Murray (the dog) leaves the bathroom and either jostles the bathroom door, causing it to close or maybe Paul closed the bathroom door. When Paul turns the knob to leave the bathroom and get dressed, the bathroom doorknob comes off from the inside and the two are trapped in the bathroom.
The rest of the episode is a series of scenes in which we see the couple try to escape the bathroom, break the door down, communicate with Murray, and find ways to scavenge food (Tums antacids) and occupy their time.
Meanwhile, we see flashes of the ongoing Valentines Day party where Fran, Mark, and Lisa (Jamie's older sister) wonder why the Buchmans are not showing up and then bad-mouthing them for ditching their friends.

How a cellphone would have helped: Pretty much instantly, a cell phone could have been used to a.) call the building superintendent (Mr. Wicker) to arrive and open the door. And while they waited to be released b.) they could have called Fran and Mark to explain what happened, apologize, and avoid being thought poorly of.
Alternatively, they could have used their cell phones to order up some food to prevent resorting to eating Tums antacids to stave off hunger. And probably, the delivery boy might have been able to open the bathroom door--assuming he could access the building's lobby and get through their unlocked (?) apartment front door?

Temporal impact of cell phone's existence: Assuming the existence of a cell phone, the central plot conflict of this episode would have been attacked in the first three minutes. The amount of time then required to resolve the broken door might have been an additional five minutes for Wicker to arrive or possibly 30-45 minutes for a food deliveryperson to show up.

Of course . . . the Buchmans might have called their British neighbors across the hallway and fixed things in 90 seconds. But since the two couples typically feud, this might not have been the best solution?

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