October 5th: Kate & Allie

Two Emmys heavier.

Kate & Allie, huh? Look, I don't remember anything about this show. I'm reasonably certain that Jane Curtin was in it, and if the title is any indication, I suspect we're looking at a classic case of Eighties Ladies.

This has to be one of the most 80s of 1980s sitcoms, for it has seemingly not translated into easily-accessible reruns that continue satisfying a contemporary audience. That being said, we are in the midst of a streaming-culture hungry to binge-watch anything, so perhaps the next wave of post-millenials will adopt the pantsuits of your Kates and Allies and Murphy Browns, and restore them to their proper place within the primetime canon. What a future that would be.

Anyway, straighten your shoulder-pads, bitches, and let us long remember Ms. Curtin's interpretation of Kate. Or Allie. Or both - it is called Kate and Allie, so maybe she alternated? However you'd like to interpret it, we're going to their (or her) house to check in on the celebration. Basically, what I'm saying is: it's Curtins for you.

Space: New York, NY
Time: October 27th, 1986
Episode: "Halloween II" Season 4, Episode 6

Holy shit, is everyone okay? Are you all right? No, just take a minute - take all the minutes you need. No no, it's no trouble, we're time traveling, we can make all the time we need for this, just... catch your breath.

Listen, I don't know what that was back there. I mean, I understand that it's all part of the experience, and that just as people at home have to open their doors without knowing what's on the other side, we the trick-or-treaters are just as unaware of what we'll be faced with after ringing the bell. But come on, what was that?

Huh? No, I don't know what the deal was with the upstairs neighbor disappearing from the closet - stop trying to figure it out, you will never figure it out! Say what? No, I don't know how Jane Curtin won two Emmys for this, or that the series ran for 5 seasons and was critically-acclaimed, I just don't - it was on the Wiki map, so we're here. And I have to assume that the Academy felt so bad for Jane Curtin, they were like, "You have done more than anyone else ever could, or even would, to save this show from simply being people in a vacuum saying random sentences for 25 minutes, so... here. Take these awards and hang on, we'll either find something better for you, or you will fade into obscurity but you'll do so at least 2 Emmys heavier."

Will you listen to yourselves!? You're trying to figure out the story and how this made it to air without any jokes - I get it, but it's a complete waste of time, trust me! Remember how it was kind of strange getting used to their cold open and the fact that it didn't have a studio audience laughing at their comments? And how we all just thought, 'Oh, this is one of those shows without a laugh track, okay...' until a few minutes later, following a string of almost-jokes, there emerged a tittering-response to something someone said, and we were like, "Oh shit, there is a studio audience, it just hasn't been laughing or reacting to anything that's been going on."

Yep, I remember the gag where there's a costumed mix-up, of course I do. It was a familiar plot device that we're aware of, it felt comfortable and offered some sense of security, like seeing Sean Bean show up in the background - you suddenly know exactly what you're in for. But they didn't even play that gag up the right way, because it immediately descends into some Greenwich Village oddball ghost-whispering that ran on far too long... it was almost like this was wholly taken from the very first Halloween special, ever - you know, when they hadn't figured out how to do shit the right way. This feels like network standards were finalized on October 30th, 1941, and everyone was like, "Well, just put together something for tomorrow, it's not like anyone outside of these 17 people has a TV yet - we'll figure out something better next year." And the result was this show.

This is going to happen though - some jackass is going to hand out circus peanuts because they think someone likes 'em. You just throw them out when you get home. Just as we'll throw out this episode.

But first, as we are obliged to report on the Halloween-ness:

This is respectable, I'll give it that - they're trying to crank the vibe for an entire episode, and they're utilizing paper products to exploit as much of their $45 prop budget as possible - including that groovy, slouch-capped pumpkin, dressed like a member of the E. Street Band circa the 1975 Born To Run photo shoot. This is a good thing. However, might I suggest they invest that $45 in re-evaluating their wallpaper choices instead?

$45 for props and then, I don't know, pass a hat around the crew to get a little more cash and get something less disorienting, something less-easily made into curtains? (Or "Curtins" if you will?):

And here's a common theme in these 80s homes we've been hitting... barometers.

We, as a people, were obsessed with two things in the 1980s: 1.) Michael Jackson and 2.) barometric pressure. Also, according to items found on Jane Curtin's shirt, bowties, Member of the British Empire medals, and... oil refineries?

And how many metric tons of ceramic mugs do you think this elaborate kitchen-scaffolding could support? GET A DRAWER. It's just a question. I have many, many questions. Like, how could these candles be burning like that - all by themselves!?

Jane, you deserve better than this. Susan Saint James... maybe not so much. Your performance will doom you to Kate & Allie purgatory for some time, I'm afraid. And we need to move along as quickly as possible, before this confused-laugh-track syndrome has time to corrupt us like it wants to. Murphy Brown this is not, and we owe a hearty apology to Candice and the Crew for mentioning them in the same breath. Yes, even Miles.