You know what really freaked me out as a kid? Fire episodes of sitcoms.
I think my least favorite was Webster. In the fire episode, he burned down the entire condo with his chemistry set. I’m pretty sure he was trying to see if he could make himself taller with chemicals. And Ma’am? Was pissed. Of course afterwards, the family moved into the house with the hidden passageways so I guess it was all for the best.
Another favorite was The Facts of Life and was just as lame; Edna’s Edibles burned down (miraculously, only the store area was affected – not the living space) and was replaced by Over Our Heads, a hopelessly Clooneyrific 80s junk store. I mean really, a fire?
It seems like the fire is a last ditch effort to reinvent a show. That’s why I think that when the writers’ strike gets resolved – if it ever does (!) – every show should start out with a big, giant fire. Let’s wipe the slate clean. Lost? Island burned down. ER? Please, burn the damn hospital down. 60 Minutes? Andy Rooney’s eyebrows on fire. Ratings gold folks, ratings gold.
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