“A Star in Stripes Forever”

18 October 1997
["Mackie Bloom, listen to your life!"] Written by Rupert Holmes.

Directed by Jill Mitwell.
MAIN Season Three Episodes: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7
8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17

We open with WENN's version of "This Is Your Life,": "Listen to Your Life." As we found out in "There But for the Grace", Hilary has had little appreciation for the people in her life. Eugenia, the pianist/organist, is particularly annoyed that Hilary doesn't recall the woman gave Hilary piano lessons for 13 years...for free!

Before long Mackie begins his first day as acting station manager and we open with a view of the main WENN hallway floor. I had never noticed the nice marble (marble-like?) tiles before. (Went and looked at an older episode. Looks like it's always been there but it took this close-up to bring it to my attention.)

In no time at all, the station manger position has gone to his head. Luckily this doesn't last long. I've gotten a little tired of Mackie looking like his services were contracted from Dial-a-Dope. It's starting to seem like he's used whenever we need goofy comic relief. One episode he's paranoid with superstitious fear and in another episode he pooh-poohs it while coming up with his own mentalist trick.

I suppose his behavior could be considered a development of what we saw of him in "Close Quarters", but he was addressing issues that needed to be addressed (sleeping arrangements, washroom arrangements). This time he merely seemed like a jerk. I suppose first impressions really last and my impression of Mackie was formed in the first few episodes of "Remember WENN." I sized him up as one of the most stable of the cast, so I cringe when he's given scenes like this.

Next up is Eldridge vs. Palermo. "I wish to discontinue this phase of the conversation and segue to my reason for being here." ROTFL. So beautifully put so that even Mr. Eldridge can understand it.

We've seen WENN's "This is Your Life," now it's time for WENN's "To Tell the Truth": Will the real Mackie Bloom please stand up? Suddenly, Mackie has become the "Voice of a Thousand Men." A male imposter equal to Edward G. Robinson (wonder if Cutter would fall for that?)

Maple is the next to fall into Mackie's web of deception. Between last week's mention of feather fans and her "distraction," there's little left to the imagination regarding her previous vocational skills.

Next up to bat is Eldrige and Mackie. Mackie spells out the situation to Mr. Eldridge with a description worthy of naming the baseball team in the classic "Who's on First?" routine. And much like Lou Costello identifying the players without any comprehension of what he was saying, Mr. Eldridge manages two hits and one out.

Scott stumbles into the situation and sizes things up. Of course, Palermo is hardly being subtle. However, he must cut things short because he's "overdue on the airwaves". His concern for this and showing up to work 15 minutes early means he really is telling the truth when he said, "I'm workin' on it, Betty, I'm workin' on it." (I wonder if he was coming from golfing or planning to hit the course afterwards. For someone at the lowest rate of pay, he seems to be doing alright. Maybe the special "sponsors" he has.)

Mackie's finally caught by Palermo who threatens to blackmail him. It speaks volumes of Mackie's trust of his friends that he doesn't hesitate at all, but gathers everyone up and fills them in on his "criminal" past. We find out how the time he spent with the mummers and minstrels that he spoke of last week ended.

That brings us to the WENN word-of-the-week: mummer. A mummer is a merrymaker wearing a mask or fantastic disguise, particularly at Christmas, New Year's and other festival times. It can also refer to an actor, especially a pantomimist.

Since radio (and later, television) stations east of the Mississippi are assigned call letters starting with W and west of the Mississippi K is used, Mackie speculates that perhaps he could hide from Palermo at a West Coast counterpart to WENN: K-E-N-N. I can't help but wonder if those letters seem more natural to the west coast viewers.

Eugenia pays particular attention as Mackie details his past. With Hilary's "Listen to Your Life" fresh in her mind, she comes up with a scheme to diffuse the situation. Luckily, Mackie's under a mental gloom that distracts him from putting the pieces together (although he could probably could have pulled off a realistic surprised reaction.) Once Palermo is dealt with and Mackie is let in on the ploy used, the Mackie I like to see gives a well-articulated oration about his feelings for his friends.

Off they go for some brewskis, leaving Hilary to her oration of how she remembers her life, from the INSIDE of studio B. The pale-blue walls of last week have been draped over with dark blue fabric. She's having such a good time, I doubt she'll notice they've been gone. ;-)

NOTE: Disappointed that Microsoft Works' dictionary and a paperback Merriam-Webster dictionary (over 57,000 words) didn't have segue. Luckily I've gotten one of my unabridgeds unpacked. Particulary lucky since I thought it was spelled segueway.

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17

[ Top ] [ Walk Throughs Main Page ] [ Cafe ]   Valid CSS! Valid XHTML 1.0!

"Remember WENN," the Remember WENN logo, all publicity and images from the series are ©American Movie Classics. All rights reserved. This is a fan page. No copyright infringment is intended. Any opinions stated are my own and do not reflect the thoughts of the creators or producers.