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HERC Reviews BOSTON PUBLIC 1.14!!

Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.

HERCULES THE STRONG seems to be hooked on this, the only David E. Kelly show not currently obssessed with lawyers, and I have to agree: it's fun. I was thrown by the world it's set in at first, but once I figured out that it wasn't set in anything resembling the real world, I started to enjoy it. Let's see what's up this week...

BOSTON PUBLIC 1.14 FAQ

WHAT’S IT CALLED?

“Chapter Fourteen.”

WHO’S RESPONSIBLE?

Teleplay is credited to series creator David E. Kelley and the longtime TV writing team of John J. Sakmar & Kerry Lenhart (“Seaquest DSV,” “Early Edition,” “Judging Amy”).

WHAT’S TV GUIDE SAY?

“A teacher shortage yields surprises; memory lapses fluster Lipschultz; and the Boston Pops names a guest conductor---Guber, who's now romancing Marylin.”

WHAT’S THE TV GUIDE AD SAY?

“What will Lauren do when she finds out the new teacher is … a student?”

SUCKOMETRIC READINGS?

Almost zero. Even the lesser episodes of “Boston Public” are great; one gets excited every time one sees Harry Senate within shouting distance of an authority figure.

THE BIG NEWS?

Joey Slotnick and Thomas McCarthy really are out of work. The title credits have been re-edited to excise them, and the actors do not appear in this week’s episode. But my suspicion is Slotnick might be back.

WHY?

Because Lisa Grier is back.

WHY?

(MAJOR SPOILAGE HERE) Unbeknownst to school administrators, Lisa’s been teaching a 4th-period lit class since October.

ANY OTHER BIG NEWS?

We learn that Harry Senate’s need to compartmentalize his life may be related to what happened to his dad.

DO WE MEET HARRY’S DAD?

No.

WHO SHOULD PLAY HARRY’S DAD?

In a perfect world, a reanimated Dick York.

WHAT HAPPENED TO HARRY’S DAD?

That would be telling.

WHY IS THERE A TEACHER SHORTAGE?

Six quit in protest of Kevin Riley’s firing.

ANY OTHER BIG NEWS?

Steven Harper agrees to dinner with Marla Hendricks!

IS JENNA MILLER, THE HOT TEACHER HARRY USED TO DATE, BACK?

She is, and tells her blonde pal she lusts after one of her 17-year-old students. The blonde replies she’s hot for Brian Weld, a 15-year-old student. This conversation takes place within earshot of Harvey Lipschultz in the teachers’ lounge.

ISN’T THAT SICK?

How could any normal human being think of a 15-year-old in a sexual way?? And with Harvey in the room??

IS SCOTT GUBER REALLY ROMANCING MARYLIN?

Only to the degree he was romancing Lauren.

ANY TALKBACKERS TO THANK THIS WEEK?

Big thanks to Tad Ghostal, who pointed out that the actress playing Jenna was also Billy’s secretary on “Ally McBeal” last season, and Guerilla Films, who noted that superhot principal’s assistant Louisa is essayed by the spawn of Peggy Lipton and Quincy Jones!

AREN’T YOU PISSED THAT, ON LAST NIGHT’S “THE PRACTICE,” WE NEVER FOUND OUT WHETHER OR NOT REBECCA WASHINGTON REALLY WANTED A BLOOD TRANSFUSION?

Yes. And we’re not going to find out next week, either: the excellent “Practice” is pre-empted for a Judy Garland TV biopic.

TELL US HOW TO SQUANDER OUR MONDAYS, O HERCULES!

Fox’s “Boston Public” at 8:00, the WB’s “Roswell” at 9:00, and ABC’s “Gideon’s Crossing” at 10:00 (when it’s not pre-empted).

NEXT WEEK, ON “BOSTON PUBLIC” 1.15?

TV Guide: “Renewed violence rewrites the pact between Senate and a former gang-banger; a rush to judgment stresses out a cheerleading coach, accused of molesting a student.”

HERC’S RATING FOR “BOSTON PUBLIC” 1.14?

***1/2 (Sorry, Marianne!)

The Hercules T. Strong Rating System:

**** better than most motion pictures

*** actually worth your valuable time

** as horrible as most stuff on TV

* makes you quietly pray for bulletins

I secretly covet your defiance!

I am – Hercules!





Readers Talkback
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  • Feb. 19, 2001, 3:29 a.m. CST

    *hum*

    by ginta1971

    For some reason I don't think we will see either of the missing teachers again, to which I say good. Their performances were just dandy, but I applaud DEK for the ballsy move of building those two up, and then booting them.

  • Feb. 19, 2001, 4:25 a.m. CST

    Missing info

    by Lazarus Long

    Herc, it would be nice if you told us the NAME of the new BP actress that everyone seems to be lusting for. Telling us she used to be on Ally doesn't help too much. My eyes aren't quick enough to read names off the lightning-fast credits that every network zips by on 1/3 of the screen these days. Please, Oh Mighty Hercules, enlighten us again!

  • Feb. 19, 2001, 7:13 a.m. CST

    Hot Damn!

    by Sylvia Simon

    Harry (Senate) busting the chops of authority figures! Gotta love it! Oh, Lauren would be such an idiot if she lets her relationship with him disintegrate. Oh, and I gotta agree w/Herc - any woman out of high school who lusts after a 15 year old boy is twisted. Plenty of legal cuties out there, folks.

  • Feb. 19, 2001, 7:20 a.m. CST

    not only is Rashida

    by Guerilla_Films

    Quincy Jones daughter, but she is really good on this show. Considering what she's had to do she's shine very well, unlike some daughters of big shots who get on prime time shows (cough tori cough). This episode looks tight, looking forward to it alot. THANKS FOR THE HEADS UP.

  • Feb. 19, 2001, 7:21 a.m. CST

    Gina Phillips

    by Guerilla_Films

    is Jenna's real name. Personally I don't think she's all that hot. She's like a slim-fast Kate Winslet. That's just my truth I could be wrong.

  • Feb. 19, 2001, 8:01 a.m. CST

    Who plays Lisa Grier because I'm in love!

    by Hobbs70

    Where in the world is that actress from? She is a godess! Man, someone please clue me in! Thanks!

  • Feb. 19, 2001, 2:20 p.m. CST

    No Joey Slotnick = I'm not watching.

    by Vincent D.

    The title says it all. Let me know if he comes back, Herc.

  • Feb. 19, 2001, 5:06 p.m. CST

    Sexual relations between students and faculty seems to be a recu

    by Village Idiot

    I seem to remember it going on in my high school only 3 or 4 times per semester, tops. And it's not safe to be an older character on TV anymore: you either end up having Alzheimers, or your name is Dick Van Dyke.

  • Feb. 19, 2001, 10:56 p.m. CST

    Is there a better actor on TV than Chi McBride?

    by Twig

    It's one of the best things on TV right now any time he gets up in the face of anyone and speaks in that threatening voice. The guy definiely deserves an Emmy nod.

  • Feb. 19, 2001, 11:05 p.m. CST

    Many good ideas, but the follow-through was a little rough.

    by Dave_F

    Example: Having Marla struggle to teach Calculus, and become fairly unhinged as a result, is a good idea. I think it reflects a crisis of self-confidence most teachers face at one time or another. But the scene with her leading the class in a singalong of "Midnight Train to Georgia" stretched credulity a little too far. Same for the scene where the principal walks in on her singing to herself. A little stagey. A little too much melodrama. And I like the premise of a student teaching a class, but I don't buy at all that it could go on for months without anyone noticing. Even in the Kellyverse. Harry Senate's inability to open up to his girlfriend was the strongest thread of the show. Good writing, good acting. I *believe* this guy has some demons. The Guber subplot, which seemed fairly obvious at first, still had a nice emotional payoff in the end. He's a good tragic character (loved the "vice principal" rant the previous week), and deserving of a little happiness. And who can blame him for falling for Marilyn, she of the killer bod and oh-so-cute nose ring? Ahem. I think Herc's being too easy in describing even the lesser episodes of "Boston Public" as "great", but I'll settle on "very good". Oh, and just a reminder: Principal Harper IS the Kingpin. Even dresses about right for him. Cast him for "Daredevil" and the movie is off to a good start.

  • Feb. 20, 2001, 3:22 a.m. CST

    "This bank won't give loans to teachers!"

    by METHOS

    Wow! And I thought I was the only one addicted to Boston Public. This show is actually progressing quite nicely. I couldn't believe someone as talented as Nicky (The Limey, Suburbia) Katt would take on a David E. Kelley melodrama. But his work as Harry Senate is easily becoming some of the most fascinating character portraits on television. Kelley's stuff might be formulaic, sensational, and melodramatic yet it's never dull, and I laugh my ass off. And who is the actor playing Lisa Grier? She is something! I like how easily Kelley can take a guest star, and just work her into the show like that. She's interesting.

  • Feb. 20, 2001, 10:19 a.m. CST

    A 2hr. static stretch of the credulity muscle

    by Village Idiot

    That is, 2 hrs. when coupled with Ally McBeal. ***** I think for me the most compelling aspect of the show last night was the Guber story. However, it chould be noted that Guber comes down in a long line of Kellyverse schlep-anti-heroes. We have to go all the way back to Stuart Markowitz from LA Law for the beginning. Peter McNichol on Chicago Hope. Peter McNichol on Ally McBeal. The DA guy on The Practice. Am I missing anybody? Guber bucks the trend by not being diminutive, but the pattern is clear: unpopular or unloved schleps who you end up rooting for. What usually develops is that these guys get the girl somehow. I boldly forecast on the basis of this theory that Guber will hook up with someone soon, maybe even the girl from this last episode. ***** Furthermore, the manner in which the History teacher came unhinged suggests that there is probably a backstory with her having to do with mental illness, and subtle references were being made in that direction. ***** How long will they keep Fyvush Finkel on the show? Short of a thyroid condition, his character is a goner, ala Alan Alda and ER. ***** I'm not digging the "Teacher Who Just Can't Open Up" story. ***** Letting the student teach the class is ludicrous. But of course, welcome to the Kellyverse.

  • Feb. 20, 2001, 10:27 a.m. CST

    Here's a question...

    by howstone

    Harvey is identified in the credits with the last name "Lipschultz". Yet everyone, whether in an official capacity or otherwise, refers to him as "Lipschitz." Any reason why?

  • Feb. 20, 2001, 8:15 p.m. CST

    Don't be silly Sleazy G

    by Guerilla_Films

    I do have to say I agree with Steven and the point he brought up. Marla committing suicide didn't endanger the students and their lives, neither does instructing cheerleaders on a cheer that THEY made, or being a senile racist (who at least ACKNOWLEDGES he doesn't understand it), or telling a student about your ass. Senate is the only one who has come close and he only 1) shot the gun against a wall and 2) DIDN'T LIE ABOUT IT. It was totally wrong what Slotnick's character did. The girl was at fault too but still. He should have been fired. And I have to say one of the reasons I like the show is that it isn't creating situations for it's characters that it's easy for you to agree with them 100% of the time. That's just like real life to me. (And Louisa not only doesn't need to be fired--she needs more screen time! Hey Herc make a new question that says just "Is Louisa shown in this episode". That'll rock!)

  • Feb. 21, 2001, 11:31 a.m. CST

    Forget Lisa Grier give me.....

    by Natas

    THE BLOB!

  • Feb. 21, 2001, 5:35 p.m. CST

    Boston Public by way of the bridge of the Enterprise.

    by Village Idiot

    Sleazy, I'm down with most of what you just wrote; however, the lying teacher should have been dropped. He didn't "narc on a friend," sure, but his obligation in these circumstances was to something more important than a "friend" who would ask him to lie about something so weighty. They idea of extolling the virtue of "not narcing" or "ratting out" bothers me. Alas, how much injustice can we lay at the feet of those who refused to rat their buddy out? ***** Meanwhile, for a lighthearted look at inescapable TV narrative convention, let me say that Boston Public reminds me of Star Trek. Not because Boston Public takes place in the Kellyverse and Star Trek in the regular Universe, but because we're dealing with a rather large group of people (the teaching staff of the school/the crew of the Enterprise) and yet the same people keep beaming down to the planet. Who are those other people on the bridge, and why don't they get to hang out in the teacher's lounge?

  • Feb. 23, 2001, 12:27 a.m. CST

    Harry Senate

    by Guerilla_Films

    He's a good character and done well by Nick Katt. I don't think he should narc this kid out because he gave him a promise. There is more to this situation than that. But back to some other points. Sleazy I'm in Chicago too, but those girls on BP came up with that routuine themselves. The teacher wasn't to blame there she was just giving direction. Riley LIED, not once, but twice. He had no idea what was going on in that relationship. It could have been rape and he did nothing. Again we're going in circles here, but I really agree with the judge. And that comparison with BP and Star Trek is just plain wrong. I'm looking forward to seeing next Monday's show.