blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Becker (1998) s01e22 – Regarding Reggie

I’ve been dreading the “Becker” season finale. I was initially enthusiastic about this rewatch but the first season’s been a slog. I’m not sure why exactly I was dreading this episode—other than the Regarding Reggie title being a little ominous—but it was the appropriate expectation.

If this episode, which is about Ted Danson daydreaming about how if he asks Reggie (Terry Farrell) to a fundraising benefit she’s going to fall madly in love with him and it’s going to ruin his life. Even though the entire show’s about how Farrell can’t stand Danson.

And there’s really nothing else to the episode. Just Danson and this date. There’s Hattie Winston telling him to ask Farrell, Shawnee Smith telling him to ask Farrell, building super Elya Baskin telling him to ask Farrell. The show’s got an experienced writers room. You’d think someone would’ve told writer Russ Woody the joke wasn’t getting funnier the more times he made it. It’s more appropriate as maybe the second episode than the season finale.

There’s also the optics to it. Sure, former supermodel Farrell is thirty-six or whatever, but she certainly doesn’t look like she wants or needs definitely fifty-something Danson serenading her from across the lunch counter. It comes across as this weird ego trip from the show and Danson.

Like the painful flashback to his childhood when he’s too spectrum-y for a girl in elementary school. And it’s like, yeah, Farrell would at most be a newborn while Danson was already creeping out the ladies. They’re perfect for each other.

Whatever the show was trying to do with the first season and its finale—like, you know, encourage the network to pick it up for a second season—it doesn’t. The episode doesn’t just not compare to the season’s best episodes, it doesn’t even compare to its most middling ones. Woody’s script is… well, it’s actually not wooden so much as rotten.

Way to not leverage your show’s cast in your show.


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