As consumers of various forms of media, we find ourselves becoming obsessed about or at the very least find ourselves retaining details of the thing we are watching/reading/imbibing etc.. As geeks, we are highly likely to have many memorable things that stick in the mind and as geeks are more likely to obsess over them! As a dedicated watcher of a wide variety of media, including a whole lot of TV, I end up remembering things and then recognising people as they reappear in other shows, or if there was a reference to something else. Quite often, these can be esoteric, but are rewarding when noticed!
There are no doubt myriad moments/references that I could mention to illustrate this, but off the top of my head, here are a few that come to mind:
Alias – S04E13
There is something that amuses me greatly about this scene, which is essentially not a major part of the story, but is highly memorable. To me, this is probably due to the word ‘spork’, which is amusing in itself. In this episode, Marshall Flinkman (Kevin Weisman) has to gouge out a man’s eye with whatever he can find around him; in this case a spork, and I think what makes it work is just great writing, not just within the scene, but also due to how it is true to the characters, as well as being amusing and developing the interactions between characters. Overall, you know you’re ok if you’ve got a spork…
ER – S10E08
I love ER. It was a great show, lasting well, even over the massive span that was 15 seasons! The reason this episode is so memorable is basically down to the death of Dr Robert ‘ Rocket’ Romano. Now, it is not just any death, where a character leaves a show off screen, it is a ridiculous death full of irony and leaves you thinking ‘now they’re taking the piss…’. Somehow, it works though! Probably, again, due to the writing.
If people aren’t aware of ER history, let this be a spoiler warning!
Anyhoo, spoiler alert done, Dr Romano is an arrogant senior surgeon, who at the start of Season 9 has his arm severed by a helicopter rotor and throughout the next season and a half they deal with the issues he now faces, as he can no longer operate. Fast forward to S10E08 and Romano is still suffering with PTSD type symptoms and when he has to go to the helipad in a scene, he can’t handle it and so rushes out the front of the building to get some air. What do the writers do? they crash another helicopter, which promptly lands on him.
Raising the Bar – S2E12
As I said before, consuming lots of media means you end up noticing small details or people doing guest spots in shows, or weird references. In this case it was a bit of ‘extra’ work for none other than Jeff ‘Vork’ Lewis from The Guild. in this episode he was in the Jury and probably only had a few seconds screen time, but as the camera went past, I instantly thought ‘what is Vork doing in that Jury?!’…
As an aside concerning ‘Raising the Bar’, I do remember thinking ‘she was in Raising the Bar!’, when Brea Grant first appeared on Heroes.
Franklin and Bash – S1E08 & S1E10
Franklin and Bash, although very recent, has already given us a couple of nice geeky references/connections.
The first of these may well go unnoticed by many, but in a case involving drug possession, the judge is played by Tommy Chong of Cheech and Chong fame, so is somewhat ironic. People not aware of Chong’s oeuvre would not realise the reference at all, but it’s a sly wink to the rest of us…
The second is both a recognition moment and a geeky reference because it sees a judge, played by Gates McFadden on the bench in front of Stanton Infeld, played by Malcolm McDowell. Anyone familiar with Star Trek films will know they have worked together before – McFadden as Dr Beverley Crusher and McDowell as Dr Tolian Soran in the Star Trek film Generations.
Castle – S3E09
My final example (which will probably be Rooney’s favourite) is from a show that is full of references and just can’t help itself from letting Nathan Fillion play with the audience. In this instance, Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) decides to dress up as a ‘Space Cowboy’ for Halloween. For the observant, it is remarkably like his costume from Firefly… Cheekily, the writers even have his daughter Alexis (Molly C Quinn) say “Didn’t you wear that 5 years ago? Don’t you think you should move on?”
These are just the tip of the iceberg though, and almost every week, geeks will be exclaiming, ‘oh, that’s..’ about any number of actors such as Tony Todd, Max Grodenchik, Jessy Schram, Brad Dourif, Tracy Middendorf, or… the list is endless! Somehow we just remember and/or notice this stuff!