Monday, October 8, 2012

Reunions: Breaking Away, St. Elsewhere

I've long listed the magazine Entertainment Weekly as one of my guilty pleasures, over there in the right sidebar of this blog. Aside from a few ads, I don't think I've ever mentioned a thing about the magazine here in almost five years of posts.

The current issue, though, has finally moved me to say "Good job" to the EW staff. The cover section is dedicated to reunion photos of nine movies or television shows, among which are two of my favorites: the show St. Elsewhere and the movie Breaking Away.

Mark Harmon, Ed Begley, Jr., Howie Mandel, and David Morse

A few bonus photos are posted on the site, but the ones printed in the magazine are much better, plus there are stories about the actors from each. The St. Elsewhere story, for instance, includes photos and updates on the many actresses involved, which the bonus photo above would never lead you to believe. It also reminded me that Norman Lloyd -- who 30 years ago played the white-haired, dying Dr. Daniel Auschlander -- is not only alive but still occasionally working today at the age of 98.

The story also reviewed the innovations St. Elsewhere brought to medical dramas. It was the first prime-time show to deal with HIV/AIDS (especially among heterosexuals) and to show patients dying instead of always being heroically saved by doctors. It also may have been the first time I heard of autism. I loved that show, and though it had its ups and downs, I never felt at the time that its quality was fading.

Dennis Quaid, Dennis Christopher, Daniel Stern, Jackie Earle Haley

Breaking Away came out in 1979. I'm not sure if I saw it during its first release, but at some point it became one of my favorite films. Something about its small-time, small-victory approach appeals to me.

Though I have to say, the part that sticks with me the most is the way the main character's father gets stuck exclaiming "Refund!" over and over, as if the idea of giving a refund for a used car could be traumatic enough to cause a nervous breakdown.


Blissed-Out Grandma said...

I loved your comments about St. Elsewhere. I watched it but did not realize what a pioneering show it was.

Ms Sparrow said...

I'm gonna have to go get a copy of EW!