Episode 111 Table Read
November 10, 1999

"Himbo" follows the tale of our hero, Hunter, as the relationship tables get turned against him. Always the casual jokester and philandering playboy, Hunter suddenly finds himself attracted to a strong, sophisticated woman. Her interests are purely physical. Now that's comedy, pure and simple.

Or is that comedy that's too pure and simple? Is the old table-turning story line fresh and exciting? Or is this simply the umpteenth retelling of that story? Not an easy question. You like to think that your show is doing something unique and clever. In this case, the story intertwines Ford's life because the woman is a partner at Ford's firm. And it brings Norris into the picture because he is painting a portrait for another partner at the firm. So there are a couple of extra layers. Is it enough?

Behind the scenes, there may actually be pressure from ABC to make the scripts less interesting. There is strong sense that ABC wants to avoid the gay issue. They have squashed Ford's dating story line and Ford's gayness has been only obliquely referred to in the last couple of episodes. There may also be a push toward more sex in Hunter's and Norris' story lines. In an effort to bring in viewers, ABC might be suggesting this added spice. And no, that doesn't necessarily mean the show has to become less interesting, but maybe it's harder to be unique and clever when you're accommodating a lower common denominator.

The show is not in trouble by any means. The writers are all still doing a fantastic job. I just think maybe the pressure of not being picked up yet and the unrelenting schedule have created a less-creative atmosphere. The show is moving forward of its own momentum but it's not the same free-flowing wonderland of creative energy that it once was. If ABC does decide to shut down production for a month or so as they are suggesting they might do, it may be the best medicine this show could ever receive. A long winter break could recharge the Oh Grow Up battery and prepare us for Millennium Run at the ratings ABC is so desperately seeking.

And though it seems a broken record, it's always the most appropriate ending to all of these entries... "We'll just have to wait and see."

Go on to Episode Eleven Shoot.

Episode 111 | Behind the Scenes | Oh Grow Up