Monday, February 20, 2017

MaY Cellphone Watch: "The Alan Brady Project" and "Mad Without You"

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 3, Episode 16] "The Alan Brady Project"

Paul is working on a documentary film about the history of television. He has worked to convince Alan Brady (a famous television actor from the 1950s) to narrate his film. Brady is played by Carl Reiner--himself a famous television actor from the 1950s and 1960s. Turns out that Brady is a real jerk and Paul is struggling to accommodate the actor's ego while making self-serving edits that Brady wants to add to the documentary. 

At Paul's request, Jamie shows up for a dinner with Brady, but when Brady negatively reacts to Jamie's (eminent) arrival, Paul wants her to leave quickly. 

How a cellphone would have helped: It would have been more efficient--if not comedic to quickly call or text Jamie and tell her not to arrive at the restaurant. Instead, there was a time of quick conversations and some slapstick hiding before Brady showed up.

[Season 3 Episode 17] "Mad Without You"

Jamie leaves Paul in the city while she goes back to Connecticut to help her father for the weekend. While Paul is re experiencing bachelor life, he discovers that he has no idea what goes on around the apartment when Jamie is in charge of things.

How a cellphone would have helped; During one scene, as Paul and Jamie are discussing whether she can leave Paul alone for the weekend, he is seen playing a pre-Game Boy handheld game.Obviously, he would have been playing a phone app game instead.

In another scene, while she is getting ready to leave Paul alone, Jamie gives a list of things to do while she is gone. Obviously, this could have been done via text or some other digital method. But it would have had the advantage of leaving him a checkable list of tasks and knowledge, which would have eliminated the comedic fact played upon during the episode that Paul doesn't know what to do at any point.

Later, while Paul is looking for friends to get out of the house with, he flips through a physical telephone "black book" to check phone numbers and addresses. This would definitely have been done with a cell phone app in our time.

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