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Seinfeld’s best episodes ever!



Picking your favourite moments from all time great sitcom Seinfield has to be one of the hardest tasks on Earth given that almost every episode is a classic, here though – in no particular order – are our favourites.

The Contest — Episode 49 (11/18/92)
George’s mother catches him in a compromising position with an issue of Glamour magazine, leading the gang to enter into a contest to see who can remain master of his or her domain the longest.

The Parking Garage — Episode 23 (10/30/91)
The gang spends this episode trying to find Kramer’s car in a shopping mall parking lot. Kramer is handicapped by the air conditioner he is lugging around. Public urination, and Jerry and George’s arrest for same, ensues.

The Chinese Restaurant — Episode 16 (05/23/91)
Talk about nothing: Jerry, Elaine, and George wait to be seated at a Chinese restaurant. That’s it. Filmed in real time.

The Soup Nazi — Episode 110 (11/02/95)
Jerry takes the gang to a soup stand for the world’s best soup, though the proprietor has fascist tendencies. Elaine leaves her new armoire on the street with Kramer, and he is robbed by a pair of flamboyant gay thugs.

The Junior Mint — Episode 58 (03/18/93)
Jerry dates a woman whose name rhymes with a female body part—but he can’t remember which one. (Mulva?) Elaine’s ex-boyfriend gets an operation, and Kramer watches from the gallery, only to drop a Junior Mint in the artist’s surgically opened abdominal cavity. George, anticipating the artist’s death, buys some of his paintings as an investment.

The Bubble Boy — Episode 45 (10/07/92)
George’s girlfriend, Susan, invites the gang to her father’s woodsy cabin, but on the way Jerry must visit a sick “bubble boy.” Unfortunately, George gets to the bubble boy’s house first, and nearly kills him during an argument over a Trivial Pursuit question. Kramer, who gets to Susan’s father’s cabin first, accidentally burns it down.

The Note — Episode 18 (09/18/91)
George’s massage by a male massage therapist leaves him in a state of homophobic panic because, as George himself puts it, “It moved.”

The Tape — Episode 25 (11/13/91)
Elaine, disguising her voice, leaves an X-rated message on the tape Jerry uses to record his act. He wants to date the mystery woman, but when Elaine confesses to George, he suddenly sees her in a whole new light. Meanwhile, George orders a Chinese tonic that allegedly promotes hair growth.

The Puffy Shirt — Episode 63 (09/23/93)
Jerry inadvertently agrees to wear Kramer’s mumbling designer girlfriend’s “puffy shirt” during his appearance on the Today show—much to Bryant Gumbel’s amusement. George, broke and living with his parents, finds his calling as a hand model, until his “smooth, creamy, delicate yet masculine” hands are injured in Jerry’s Today show dressing room.

The Implant — Episode 57 (02/25/93)
Is Jerry’s new flame, Sidra (Teri Hatcher), a fake? That’s what Elaine says, until she trips in the health club sauna and has her fall broken by Sidra’s supposedly silicone endowments. George, hoping to score big points, goes to a funeral with his new girlfriend, but ends up fighting with her brother Timmy after he’s caught double-dipping.

The Cheever Letters — Episode 46 (10/28/92)
Jerry gets Elaine’s secretary fired, then winds up in bed with her, where his attempts to match her dirty pillow talk cause her to flee the scene. George and Susan tell her parents that Kramer burned down their cabin, and an insurance investigator returns from the scene of the fire with a strong box containing John Cheever’s love letters to Susan’s father.

The Fusilli Jerry — Episode 101 (04/27/95)
Jerry’s mechanic, Puddy, starts dating Elaine, but he goes too far when he uses Jerry’s bedroom “move” on her. George tries the move too, but he can’t remember it without consulting his notes. Kramer creates a statue of Jerry out of fusilli pasta, and gets the wrong plates from the DMV—they read “Assman.” When George’s father falls on Fusilli Jerry and must visit the proctologist, the mystery of the license plates is solved.

The Yada Yada — Episode 145 (04/24/97)
Jerry’s dentist converts to Judaism, but Jerry suspects it’s merely a ploy so he can tell Jewish jokes. Kramer and his friend Mickey go on a double date, but can’t decide who’s with who. George dates a woman who uses the phrase “yada yada yada,” which temporarily becomes a catch phrase for the gang.

The Cigar Store Indian — Episode 71 (12/09/93)
Jerry buys Elaine a cigar store Indian, offending her Native American friend Winona, whom he’d hoped to impress. George is grounded for having sex in his parents’ bed. Kramer sells his idea for a coffee table book about coffee tables. Elaine takes Mr. Costanza’s new TV Guide, not realizing that he has saved every issue.

The Bizarro Jerry — Episode 129 (10/03/96)
Jerry’s world turns upside-down when Kramer gets a job in an investment office, George figures out how to date supermodels, and Elaine starts hanging out with ex-boyfriend Kevin and his pals Gene and Feldman.

The Couch — Episode 87 (10/27/94)
George joins a book club to impress his new girlfriend, but he can’t get through Breakfast at Tiffany’s, so he decides to rent the movie. When he finds out it’s checked out of the video store, he invites himself over to watch with the African American family that has rented it. Elaine falls in love with the moving man who delivers Jerry’s new couch, only to find out he’s not pro-choice.

The Invitations — Episode 126 (05/16/96)
George’s impending wedding makes Jerry fear eternal bachelorhood, and he decides to marry his latest girlfriend (Janeane Garofalo), who is a female version of himself. George chooses the cheapest wedding invitations he can find, and his fiancée, Susan, is fatally poisoned by the glue on the envelopes.

The Chinese Woman — Episode 86 (10/13/94)
Kramer switches from briefs to boxers after learning his sperm count is low: “There’s nothing holding me in place!” George’s phone lines are crossed with Donna Chang’s, and Jerry, who assumes she’s Chinese, asks her out. Meanwhile, Ms. Chang’s sage advice reunites the separated Costanzas. Turns out she’s a Jewish girl from Long Island (it’s short for Changstein), much to Mrs. Costanza’s dismay: “I was duped!” But why is Mr. Costanza hanging out with a man in a cape?



Kick-Ass TV Heroines: Xena – Warrior Princess




Xena Warrior Princess

What was not to love about Xena? As Lucy Lawless says: “Xena is a bad-ass, kick-ass, pre-Mycenaean girl.” Evildoers, clearly, must stand down, but not only bad guys (and girls) have Xena-phobia. Even heroes quake when she swings her broadsword.

Originally created as a syndicated complement to Kevin Sorbo’s Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena pretty much kicked Herc to the curb. It was like when the Bionic Woman made us lose interest in the Six Million Dollar Man–only more so.

Unlike Lindsay Wagner’s early half-woman, half-machine, Xena wasn’t prone to frailty. Nor did she need robot parts. In fact, the Warrior Princess never lost. If she’s down, it’s not for long.

Plus, she was in touch with the dark side: This big-boned bruiser had definite moments of blood lust, as well as lust of some other varieties. Garbed in a leather miniskirt and armed with her trademark razor-edged, boomerang-action chakram, we watched Xena single-leggedly kick down entire platoons of Roman soldiers.

Sure, there were murmurings about Xena and her softer female sidekick, Gabrielle (actress Renée O’Connor). So what if they liked to conserve bathwater by doubling up? And what’s wrong with close friends frenching once in a while?

Then again, maybe it was true–and there’s anything wrong with that.

Actress: Lucy Lawless
Show: Xena: Warrior Princess
Character: Xena

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Classic TV Revisited: McMillan And Wife




McMillan And Wife

Starring Rock Hudson and Susan Saint James, McMillan and Wife was a super cute crime-solving saga from the 1970s made for the NBC’s Mystery Movie series.

Who were they?
Hubby was the debonair San Francisco police commissioner Stewart McMillan.

And wifey?
Sally was a foxy, rather scatterbrained dame with a knack for finding corpses.

Worked down the morgue did she?
Hardly. Sally’s finds were usually in some glitzy mansion which the couple were frequenting for a weekend cocktail party. She also had a habit of getting her life threatened or being kidnapped.

Who was in it?
Tragic Hollywood star Rock Hudson no less. He took on Stewart McMillan in his first TV role, after years as a matinee idol with movies such as Giant.

Fans of the lantern-jawed star were dismayed when he went public about having Aids. He had long kept his homosexuality secret. He carried on working in ’80s glam drama Dynasty, but make-up could not disguise the deterioration of this once-statuesque man. He died in 1985, aged 59.

What about Sally?
That role fell to raven-locked Susan Saint James. The Ali MacGraw lookalike was previously in shows such as Alias Smith And Jones and The Name of the Game.

Other characters
A vital ingredient to McMillan And Wife was sharp-tongued housekeeper Mildred, played by Nancy Walker. Somebody needed to keep the place tidy while they gallivanted about solving crime.

Famous guest stars?
Kim Basinger

The couple’s conception?
Like Hart To Hart, the idea was borrowed from Dashiell Hammett’s Thin Man books of the ’30s.

Gritty crime drama?
Hardly. These were cosy whodunnit cases, where the brutality of murder was never portrayed. The show was more about the interplay between McMillan and Sally.

Had viewers arrested?
Certainly in the US. It was the fifth highest-rated show in 1972 and 1973.

Fate of the golden couple?
Susan Saint James quit in 1976 over a contractual dispute. Nancy Walker also packed away her duster as housekeeper Mildred.

The dame’s exit was a fatal blow?
Certainly for the character of Sally – she was killed off in a plane crash. But Rock soldiered on with new assistant Sgt Steve DiMaggio (Richard Gilliland). The show became McMillan.

A winner?
Audiences dwindled and the plug was pulled.

Distinguishing features?
Cosy pillow talk, cocktail parties, Rock Hudson, pyjamas and numerous corpses.

Do say
Let’s go to bed. Turn the light out, darling.

Don’t say
Must you eat toast in bed, darling. Apologies, but I’ve got terrible flatulence. Separate bedrooms.

Not to be confused with
My Wife Next Door, Harold Macmillan, The Merry Wives Of Windsor and Mr And Mrs.

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Classic TV Revisited: The Royal




The Royal

The Royal was an ITV drama commission and was inspired by its sister programme Heartbeat.

The lowdown: This nostalgic family drama is set in the swinging 1960s and centres on the staff of a cottage hospital in Yorkshire. Newly qualified doctor David Cheriton (Julian Ovenden) is determined to make a difference to the world and arrives at St Aidan’s Royal Free Hospital in Elinsby full of big ideas. But he clashes with the hospital’s secretary TJ Middleditch (Ian Carmichael) who is determined to run things his way. Then there is the Matron (Wendy Craig) who rules her nurses with a rod of iron and tries in vain to stop them being distracted by the handsome arrival.

Memorable moments: Watch out for former Heartbeat favourite Bill Maynard who crosses dramas and continents as Claude Jeremiah Greengrass. Greengrass has returned from a Caribbean holiday with a mystery illness but that doesn’t stop him trying to earn a fast buck. It doesn’t take long before Claude attracts Matron’s ire.

Trivia: The Royal is a family affair for real life husband and wife Robert Daws (Ormerod) and Amy Robbins (Weatherill). No fewer than seven members of their clan have appeared in the series including their daughters and stepson.

Michelle Hardwick, who played receptionist Lizzie, says her favourite moment in the whole series didn’t come on screen but in the actors’ green room. She says: “I was sitting in there with Wendy Craig and Honor Blackman and we were having a lovely conversation. I sat back and thought ‘Wow, this is great, I can’t wait to tell my gran’.”

A modern day set version called The Royal Today aired 7 January – 14 March 2008.

First broadcast: 2003

Starred: Wendy Craig, Ian Carmichael, Michael Starke, Robert Daws and Julian Ovenden

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