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Monday, August 14, 2006

2.21 --- The Girl I Married

Directed by : Philip DeGuere
Written by : J.M. DeMatteis
Starring : James Whitmore Jr., Linda Kelsey
First aired : 17th of July, 1987.

Ira (James Whitmore Jr., previously of Nightcrawlers) is a succesful corporate lawyer, married to Valerie (Linda Kelsey), who works as the aerobics instructor. While both are rather good at what they do, both also feel a strong nostalgic feeling towards the freewheelin' sixties from which they sprang to this world. Ira, in particular, can't let go of one old photo of Valerie in her hippy outfit.

While driving to a meeting one day, Ira suddenly spots the very same Valerie from his photo frolicking in the park. Almost rabidly, he stops and rushes out to meet her, finding out she's real. Ira initially thinks that this is his Valerie dressing up, but after phoning to her work, he discovers that this is the old Valerie who somehow materialized in his world. He informs the "real" Valerie he won't be home 'till late, and goes off with the "photo Val". After a lengthy lovemaking session, Valerie is however sad to find out Ira became a "suit", and just disappears.

Ira comes back home, where he finds Valerie reading Hesse's Siddhartha, a book he held dear years ago. He is intrigued by this, but Valerie interrupts the scene by saying she phoned his work and found out he never came back after the lunch break. She doesn't seem to buy his excuse about a short notice meeting either, and leaves the room.

The following day, Ira again hooks up with "photo Val", and after a fun day of reviving the sixties, two of them decide to confront the "new Val" and tell her the truth. They arrive at Ira's home, only to find the real Val going at it...with the 60s version of Ira, right from the photo Val treasures ! The "new" and the "old" engage into a verbal confrontation, from which the new Ira & Val come out triumphant thanks to their pragmatism and realistic approach, saying how love is not just a fluffy feeling, it's a commitment. As the hippies disappear into thin air and morph back into the photographs, Ira and Val take a moment to reassess their life, and plan ahead.

***

It's only fitting to have a mediocre episode finish a mediocre season. Sure, there have been some highlights during season 2, but this just isn't one of them. While not being as bad as, say, Nightsong, The Girl I Married is just plain - and boring. The twist at the ending is somewhat improbable (I kinda expected the "romantic" ending with the 60s brigade winning), and I could have really, really done without Phil DeGuere attempting to emulate Norman Jewison in The Thomas Crown Affair with all those splitscreen shenanigans 15 minutes into the episode.

On to season three thus, which, as far as I remember from the original airings, featured some better bits than this one. Next up, the TZ awards for season 2.

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