Friday, March 8, 2013

Emergency! I'm On Fire Put ME Out

I have slowly come into the 21st century over the last few months...swapped Blackberry for Android, got uppity with a laptop, which of course required obtaining internet which, in turn, forced me to get out of the Redbox line and sign up for Netflix.

I may now be technologically slick, but Netflix has caused me to become glued to my computer in ways I never considered. Just when I was feeling all futuristic and such, Netflix catapulted me back in time.

It started innocently enough with the Mystery! shows BBC aired in the 80s and 90s. Then – of all things – my KID turned me back on to Murder She Wrote. We watched a movie or two, there's some good stuff I want to watch...but...

...then came Emergency!

It is my latest obsession. I have no idea what put the show in my head, haven't thought of it in years. But now, oh! NOW it is ON. I mean that in the strictest street sense of the phrase as well as  literally...currently I have Season 2, Episode 6 ("Saddled") rolling in another window as I type. Hey Doc...speaking of illness, I think I've got it bad. *coughcough*. I hear this high-pitched sound all the time and see flashing lights. Am I gonna survive Doc? AM I GONNA LIVE DOC???

Holy crap.

Of course, anyone who knows me knows I have a special place in my heart for the fighters of fire (my happy place mantra is "Firemen in kilts") but I didn't put two and two together until I saw John Gage on the screen. And then all of a sudden it flooded back to me...being a little girl, about 6 or 7, watching Emergency! and (drumroll......) crushing on firemen.

Holy Mother of God, it is all t.v.'s fault. A lifelong affliction of a fluttering heart at every sight of a big, shiny, red...firetruck.

I think I may have a personal goal to watch a year's worth of episodes in a week. (illlllll....nessssss.......).  What tiny, little weekend social life I have has been trumped. So. *doing math in head...rats. I hate math.* Let's just estimate that I am unavailable to the world for the next few weeks. My children will have to feed themselves. Who needs to work. Sleep sucks! (I actually quite miss sleep...)

What's funny is that now I am a grown woman I totally look at John with a different viewpoint. Yes he was cute, yes he was funny, but gosh he sure was a tool of sorts. Ok ok. A cute, funny, totally adorable tool. But nowadays I am kind of partial to the intelligent, thoughtful, steady, (although long-suffering) DeSoto with a heart of gold and an overbite. Awwwww.

(And I never knew he was a ginger...which makes him even nummier...)

Some of the reasons I enjoy Emergency! besides the boys in blue:

Classic Cars. I love the open cab truck they used in the first two seasons. I have a thing for classic vehicles and that one is definitely an eye-catcher. And the old ambulances! Verrrrry cool. I keep waiting for Drs. Venkman, Stantz and Spengler to bounce out of the back one of these days.
The open cab I love so much. 
Fans will recognize this as the stock scene for when the truck left the station for a call.

Who ya gonna call?

Fashion Emergency. It's an all-encompassing parade of why we should never dress like the 70s ever, ever, ever again. But more on the chic Dr. Brackett later... Oh...and because I was so stunned, I actually took a screengrab of a particularly iconic 70s ensemble...both for men and women. Feast your eyes and then poke them out with pointy things:
...and now you're blind... Dear God, this is never going to happen again, right? RIGHT??
Groovy man...

This was high fashion at the time. 
And this. WHAT. THE. F....
Bad designers! BAD BAD just go sit in the 

corner and think about what you've done. 



More WTF?! It's always fun to watch the scenarios and wonder if today's firefighter/paramedics would laugh their heads off, cringe, or cry at the things those boys do...thank goodness for progress, technologically and medically.
Please notice the man bent in half under the car engine... 

Legacy! Emergency! was a boon to the paramedic industry across the nation, and looking at the forums, fanfic and fan pages, a lot of today's firefighters and paramedics made their career choice after being hooked on the show as kids.  The rich history of the show goes back to Hollywood drama royalty with Jack Webb's production company spearheading Emergency! as a spinoff from Adam-12 (my next obsession) which was a spin-off of Webb's Dragnet. If you're as interested as I am in the background of the show (there's LOTS of blogs and fan sites) I was impressed with and

Melting Pot (Not THAT Kind of Pot): I remember 70s television. A lot of the stuff they used to say you can't touch in today's world of t.v. and there was a lot of stereotyping even in an age when television was beginning to bust the mold and bring a sense of ethnic reality to the small screen.  Emergency! wasn't immune to stereotyping, but I think the producers and writers highlighted the diversity of Los Angeles sincerely and in the spirit of education versus jumping on a "We The People" campy bandwagon like so many other shows of the time.

An LA Time-Capsule: Because the show often had outdoor scenes, you get a great view of LA in the 70s. I spend almost as much time watching the background wondering where they are at and if the places are still around (see the photo tour link above).
Traffic has been a part of Los Angeles since the beginning of time. That and smog.

Just another LA corner...

Brackett vs. Early: It's almost like asking which captain do you prefer, Kirk or Picard (I Brake For Picard). *Author note: I originally wrote that as Break, which in the context of this blog is quite apropos. Then in fixing it, I, in turns, mistyped Barke, Bake and Brae, all of which made me laugh hysterically which means the sleep deprivation is kicking in. Ok. Continue reading. Although Kel was quite the clotheshorse I'm afraid it's just not enough. Even for this fashionista (stripes on stripes on stripes! WHO DRESSED PEOPLE IN THE SEVENTIES???). 

B  v. E
And the winner is: EARLY. I just prefer Dr. Early...his voice, his face, his bedside manner. And as a jazz lover, well, Troup's classic 60s lounge singing gives him the cool edge in my book. Is it weird that I think his hair was cute?
Such a cutiepie. Love that messed up hair and grin :)
(why did I pick a sweaty picture? WHY?)

Speaking of Dr. Brackett: WHAT THE HELL IS WITH THE BLUE EYESHADOW?? Really. Am I the only one that finds it distracting? Well, almost as distracting as his wardrobe. I noticed they cut back on Dixie's makeup...but not Brackett's. Maybe they thought that much blue eyeshadow in a given scene was mind-boggling. They were right. It's like a 5 o'clock shadow on his eyelids. Oh well. I still like that grumpy Dr. Brackett, mixed patterns, makeup and all.

5 o'clock eye shadow.
Even Dixie is frustrated.

Chet's Twin. I went to high-school with Chet Kelly. Well, not really, but my buddy Mark is a dead ringer for him. A complete doppleganger. Seriously. I'd post a photo comparison here, but you'll just have to take my word for it. He used to be a dead ringer for Alan from the Hangover, but now it's all Fireman Kelly and I think my good friend should work on growing a porn-stache. By the way, he was in total denial when I posted a picture of Tim Donnelly as Chet on his Facebook page and insisted they were one and the same. Whatev Mark...I know the truth. :)
Chet's signature pornstache. I love Chet.

Cool Cameo Appearances: A teenage John Travolta, William Katt (Greatest American Hero),  Cicely Tyson (Roots), Sharon Gless (Cagney and Lacey), Henry Jones (you would know him if you saw or heard him)...I can't possibly list all the wonderful actors here.

Coffee. Were these people in the Navy or something? (Apparently that's an inside joke in the military but I thought I'd fling it anyway). Coffee at Rampart usually meant a serious discussion was about to befall you. Apparently Rampart's Mission Statement included this fineprint: "All problems a spinal tap or IV can't solve WILL be fixed with coffee." A noble philosophy to which I totally subscribe. I don't drink, do drugs, smoke...but caffeine...that is it. Do not remove from me. You will need your own personal Gage/DeSoto should you try to cleave mug from hand. No touchy me cuppa.

Deep thoughts require caffeine. Always. 

Eating. Is there an episode where they actually sit and eat? There are food preparation scenes, scenes where they clean the dirty dishes (which indicates food ingestion), there is even a shot or maybe two where food gets close to mouth... but they never actually EAT. There's always a kid in a hole, or a chick with a body part caught up in something or some shmuck stuck in a tree that requires them to run away from all things edible.

Get ready! Get set!

Aaaaand....GO! So close...

Food as a tool to make a point, not for nourishment. Again, SO close...

*Addendum: Season 2, Episode 8, "Trainee". Food has been ingested. WOOT!

Alarm face: Is it me or do DeSoto and Gage always have a perplexed look on their face when the alarm goes off? Is it that they are deciphering a sound code? I tried to listen to hear if there were different tones. Which, ironically, caused me to appear as though I, too, was applying great mental pressure the moment the alarm sounded, leaving all three of us with furrowed brows. SIDENOTE: Does DeSoto actually ever really smile ever? I mean...reallllly smile? Or laugh out loud? I'd like to see him just break up once. Produce a real chortle...a belly laugh. A DeSoto snort. This one's for you Kevin/Roy :D

Alarm face.

This is DeSoto joy. I think that's as big as it got in the first two seasons.

OK...OK. Give me a break, I'm only halfway through Season 2 so I am sure there is more to question, love and write about.

Emergency! has been a bit like eating mac and cheese...comforting, familiar...a childhood favorite. But with the hawtness associated with firefighters and paramedics. *sigh* I'm sure I'll get back to the gym and coffee with friends and other stuff I did before Netflix brought me to the brink of sticking my big toe in the bathtub faucet and calling 911, but for now, I have a double-date with Gage and DeSoto tonight. All night. Allllllll night...

Which makes me hungry for cheddarized pasta bits...

NOT from the show.

Parting shot. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the ONE SCENE from Emergency! that stood in my mind all my life. And, no, I have not replicated this scenario. Yet. Just kidding.
Really. I am really kidding. *God is going to stick my toe in a
faucet just to get a really good laugh.


  1. Kris, you've taken me back 30 odd years with Emergency! I loved that show when I was a wee boy and wanna-be fireman.

  2. See??? Who says time machines don't exist? :)

  3. I really dislike Brackett's eye shadow. He's a guy, for crying out loud! Maybe they thought it would help him look seriously sleep-deprived, who knows.

  4. isn't a website. Were you meaning Randy Mantooth's site? /


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