Episode Notes

Episode 24 - "Summer Song"

The following is TWY-writer Mark B. Perry's response to Jeff Kindig's question about the chronological "goof" between Ep 23 & Ep 24.

"Okay, you're right. Big time discrepancies in chronology. Here's the only way I can explain it.

I had my first ever "pitch" meeting at the end of that first full season of episodes (Spring of 1989 I believe). When I met with Bob Brush and Bob Stevens (then co-exec producer of the show), they were still editing "How I'm Spending My Summer Vacation" as it was due to air in a couple of weeks. That episode was already filmed.

I wrote "Summer Song" as a spec script long before I even knew about the season finale. It was "Summer Song" that got me in the door in the first place. I pitched a few ideas for episodes for the next season, and two of them stuck. One was about Kevin having a teacher who dies, and the other was about Wayne getting his driver's license and terrorizing Kevin. I was hired to write "Wayne On Wheels" and then, upon delivery of my second draft, was invited to join the writing staff of the show.

At that time, many ideas were being considered for the season opener. I had been told that the show was going to buy my spec script and produce it sometime in the fall -- but they were having difficulty making that work because the show was so obviously rooted in the nostalgia of family summer vacations and changing it to fit a mid-fall trip would have meant too many compromises. Ultimately, the decision was made that it would make such a strong season opener that we simply chose to gloss over the plot discrepancies. Yes, Winnie went away for the summer; but maybe Paul came back a little early because he had to get braces. And, at any rate, the day Kevin gets home from vacation, it's set up that school starts the very next day. So, in theory, Paul could have gone to the lake with his family and come back in time to join Kevin. You're absolutely right though, and it's a very good catch. Sometimes in series television, you have to fudge and hope nobody notices. Of course, the internet is making that a lot more difficult these days!"

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Episode 25 - "Math Class"

HAROLD: Is this like stuff that you could use to figure out Tom Seaver's earned-run average?
MR. COLLINS: No...that would be simple arithmetic.

Earned Run Average [ERA] Calculation:

(Number of Earned Runs x 9) divided by (Number of Innings Pitched)

From the Major League Rule book:
An earned run is a run for which the pitcher is held accountable. In determining earned runs, the inning should be reconstructed without the errors (which include catcher's interference) and passed balls, and the benefit of the doubt should always be given to the pitcher in determining which bases would have been reached by errorless play. For the purpose of determining earned runs, an intentional base on balls, regardless of the circumstances, shall be construed in exactly the same manner as any other base on balls.
(a) An earned run shall be charged every time a runner reaches home base by the aid of safe hits, sacrifice bunts, a sacrifice fly, stolen bases, putouts, fielder's choices, bases on balls, hit batters, balks or wild pitches (including a wild pitch on third strike which permits a batter to reach first base) before fielding chances have been offered to put out the offensive team. For the purpose of this rule, a defensive interference penalty shall be construed as a fielding chance.

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Episode 26 - "Wayne on Wheels"

The address shown on the envelope Wayne holds up is the address of the warehouse/soundstage where the show was filmed in Culver City. (By Mark B. Perry.)
After watching Wayne drive into a cornfield, it is no wonder that the leading cause of death for sixteen-year olds accidents.
Wayne may have had sex with Delores after he got his license (implied by Delores...)

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Episode 27 - "Mom Wars"

This is one of the best-written episodes, I think. A couple themes throughout the episode are the concept of battling for power - "Mom Wars", "this was war", "call in the heavy artillery", and "every war has its casualties..." and the "fire" imagery - "suddenly I was hearing alarm bells", "caught red-handed", and "my hand felt like a five-alarm fire".
This episode makes a good companion to Episode 3 - "My Father's Office", focussing on Norma rather than Jack.
The closing song, Joni Mitchell's "The Circle Game", is my favorite (in the TWY context.)

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Episode 28 - "On the Spot"

"Mr. Webber" - The real Andrew Lloyd Weber is a famous producer of "Broadway musicals", including "Jesus Christ Superstar", "Evita", "Cats", and "Phantom of the Opera".

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Episode 29 - "Odd Man Out"

It is illegal to fly remote control airplanes in residential areas. Do not try this at home!

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Episode 30 - "The Family Car"

MARVIN: Don't you deserve it? It's 1969. You've...(winks)...come a long way, baby. (Smiles.)

"You've come a long way, baby" was a slogan of Virginia Slims cigarettes, marketed toward women.
This is one of the better Jack, and Norma-Jack, episodes, I think.

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Episode 31 - "The Pimple"

Mr. Cantwell's slide show about volcanoes is one of his best.
Dan Lauria once made the comment about how he thought an episode about getting a pimple was "not gonna fly", yet it generated a ton of fan-mail, apparently from the dermatologically-challenged.

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Episode 32 - "Math Class Squared"

I was a stranger in a strange land.

"Stranger in a Strange Land" is the name of a classic sci-fi novel by Robert Heinlein. The following is part of a review I took from
"Stranger in a Strange Land, winner of the 1962 Hugo Award, is the story of Valentine Michael Smith, born during, and the only survivor of, the first manned mission to Mars. Michael is raised by Martians, and he arrives on Earth as a true innocent: he has never seen a woman and has no knowledge of Earth's cultures or religions. But he brings turmoil with him, as he is the legal heir to an enormous financial empire, not to mention de facto owner of the planet Mars. With the irascible popular author Jubal Harshaw to protect him, Michael explores human morality and the meanings of love. He founds his own church, preaching free love and disseminating the psychic talents taught him by the Martians. Ultimately, he confronts the fate reserved for all messiahs."

It starts out pretty slowly, and gets interesting in the last 100 pages. It introduced a word into the English-language sub-culture - "grok", which means to completely understand, among other things.
MR. COLLINS: Who can solve the equation?
Ah, Isaac Newton? Enrico Fermi?

Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) was an English mathematician. He formulated the laws of gravity, motion, and the elements of differential calculus.

Enrico Fermi (1901-54) was a nuclear physicist, whose work in the US after 1938 helped develop the atom bomb.

In a bathroom break after advanced math class:
I'd learned I was going to fail. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow - but soon, and for the rest of my life.

In the 1941 movie, Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart's character says to Ingrid Bergman's character..."If that plane leaves the ground and you're not with him, you'll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.

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Episode 33 - "Rock 'N Roll"

Here's a blurb about the bandleader on the TV...
Mitch Miller studied at the finest schools, and conducted and played in the world's finest orchestras. In his early 20s, he played oboe on a six-week, cross-country tour with a symphony orchestra that featured Gershwin on piano. Miller was also a businessman at Columbia Records - launching Doris Day and Tony Bennett. The multi-talented Miller is most famous for the NBC television show he hosted in the early '60s, "Sing Along With Mitch." On the show, Miller would lead his orchestra through renditions of such popular songs as "You Are My Sunshine," "Bill Bailey, Won't You Please Come Home" and "Goodnight Sweetheart." Lyrics popped up on the television screen, and families in living rooms across America would break into song.

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Episode 34 - "Don't you Know Anything about Women?"

(Kevin reads a card from the Monopoly game.)
KEVIN: "Get Married". Gimme a pink one.
CARLA: Who is she, Kevin?
PAUL: Marsha Brady. (Nods.) No, no! Nancy Sinatra.

"Marsha Brady" is the oldest daughter on the TV sitcom "The Brady Bunch", played by Maureen McCormack. Nancy Sinatra is the daughter of famed singer Frank Sinatra. She is a primarily a singer, and made some movies in the sixties.

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Episode 35 - "The Powers That Be"

The first time I saw this episode, I didn't like it because I thought it was about a dog. I like it a lot now, and obviously it has nothing to do with the dog - it's about "fathers and sons" :-)

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Episode 36 - "She, My Friend, and I"

The Paul-and-Winnie-as-a-couple thought made Kevin want to throw up, and I can sympathize. Mercifully, they split after three dates. Can you imagine what their kids would be like?

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Episode 37 - "St. Valentine's Day Massacre"

Kevin and Winnie finally hook up, although they will not kiss (apparently) for three more episodes. Great musical ending - "What Becomes of the Broken-Hearted", "You're All I need to Get By." Interesting ending - just before the screen goes black, the little seventh-grader, as Cupid, loads an arrow in his bow and pulls it back. The screen goes black, with a little cartoon arrow landing in a little cartoon heart.

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Episode 38 - "The Treehouse"

Well, no real earth-shaking story here, but it is a funny episode. Doug had to listen to his dad say "genitals", and the scene of Jack in the kitchen with the neighbor is hilarious. "We, um...(gestures awkwardly at Kevin and himself)...break".

Craig Hobson - the "Masters and Johnson" of the lunch line.

William Howell Masters began researching sexual function at the Washington University School of Medicine in 1954. Virginia Eshelman Johnson joined him three years later. Their investigation of the physical aspects of sexuality produced some of the first reliable data in the field. Human Sexual Response, Masters and Johnson's first book, was published for the medical community but became a best seller. They opened the Masters & Johnson Institute in 1964 to provide sex therapy and counseling based on their findings. The research, books and media activities of Masters and Johnson profoundly affected American society.

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Episode 39 - "Glee Club"

One of the songs the other boy mentions is "Pater noster qui es in coelis", which is Latin for "Our Father who art in Heaven" - the opening of "The Lord's Prayer". (Thanks, Ken.)

Another reference is..."The Vulpius version"...Melchoir Vulpius is thought to have been born in Wasungen, Thuringia, around 1560. He was cantor at the Gymnasium in Weimar from 1602-1615, and he died at Weimar on August 7, 1615. He is known as a composer of chorales and contrapuntal settings of existing melodies. After his death, his tunes and compositions were published in the Cantional of Gotha, 1646-1648. Vulpius remains one of the more popular and respected Lutheran composers.

"Then something a little lighter. Some selections from 'La Bohème'".
This is a joke, because "La Bohème" is a tragic opera by Puccini. (Thanks again, Ken.)

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Episode 40 - "Night Out"

Great ending when Winnie tries to explain, and Kevin tries to understand, why she ran out of the make-out room. The perfect ending song - Elton John "Seasons".

This is one of the funnier Kevin/Winnie episodes. Kevin gets psyched out by Hobson, Wayne and Mr. Cantwell, leading up to the party. And Kevin and Winnie finally have some non-adversarial "quality time", although only about 60 seconds of it at the end :-)

Dan Lauria directed this episode, but did not appear in it.

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Episode 41 - "Faith"

MISS STEBBINS: We became engaged in Captain Ahab's obsessive quest. We cried when Jane and Rochester finally got married...

"Captain Ahab" is the main character in "Moby Dick" written in 1851 by Herman Melville. Ahab leads a massive quest for the whale that bit off his leg.

"Jane" and "Rochester" are two main characters from the romantic novel "Jane Eyre", written by Charlotte Bronte in 1847.
Although the Apollo 13 mission was a major focal point of the episode, the actual dialog spoken by the astronauts at one point (the commercial break) was manipulated slightly (one line was repeated). While many believe this mission was a failure, others think in some ways it was a great success (by being resourceful and overcoming adversity.)

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Episode 42 - "The Unnatural"

The opening clip shows Bobby Thomson crossing home plate amid cheering teammates. Thomson hit what is perhaps the most famous home run in baseball history. His dramatic "shot heard 'round the world" on October 3, 1951 - a three-run, ninth-inning homer off Brooklyn pitcher Ralph Branca - capped the Giant's historic comeback to win the NL pennant.
After Kevin's first hit at tryouts, Paul says "you swung so put it in the opposite field." This is incorrect. The ball dropped into the outfield between second and third base, which is natural for a right-handed hitter. If he had been late, the ball would have landed over by first base. During the homerun in the final scene, Kevin does not tag third base. I am told that would be an out only if the ball was thrown to third base before the next pitch.

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Episode 43 - "Goodbye"

This is the last of the Mr. Collins trilogy, and was nominated for an Emmy for Writing, Directing, and Best Special Appearance (or whatever it's called), among others, and won for Best Writing.

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Episode 44 - "Cocoa and Sympathy"

alfalfa HOBSON: Hey, Alfalfa! Nice "'do". (Smiles.)

"Alfalfa" was one of the main characters in the series of "Our Gang/Little Rascals" movies of the late '30's-early '40's. Alfalfa's hair featured a characteristic cow-lick. Carl Switzer played "Alfalfa", and was killed during an argument over $50 at age 31 in 1959.

PAUL: You think Arthur Miller is handsome?
NORMA: Well, not just me. Marilyn Monroe thought so, too. (Nods.)

Athur Miller was a famous play-write of Death of a Salesman, and The Crucible. He was average-looking and wore black-rimmed glasses. He was married to actress Marilyn Monroe for 5 years.

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Season 4 (Episodes 47-69)
Episode Info
Wonder Years Menu

12/15/17 22:17