It’s May in TV Land, and everyone knows what that means: The Miss Universe Pageant on CBS! Well, that, yes. But also, there are the much anticipated season finales, those sweeps-hungry orgies of murder, marriages, and mayhem! A guide for you:
Finales and marriage — they go together like the proverbial horse and carriage. Or at least finales and attempted marriage. Take Caroline in the City, in which Caroline (Lea Thompson) is all set to walk down the aisle with her dullard fiance, Del (Eric Lutes), when wiseacre Richard (Malcolm Gets) finally confesses his love. Just add water — in the form of a rainstorm — and let the high jinks begin. ”It could have been torturous because I’m drenched the whole time,” says Gets of the three-day shoot.” [The producers] kept apologizing, but I was in hog heaven…. It reminded me of an old Lucy show.”
Not to be outdone on the marital-triangle front, Paige (Joely Fisher) gets the wedding jitters on a two-part Ellen. Her dilemma? Sticking with dullard fiance Matt (Dan Gauthier) or ditching him for wiseacre Spence (Jeremy Piven). ”If I may be so bold, it’s sort of a Robert Altman-ish kind of thing, because all the characters have something going on,” sums up Fisher. Okay. As long as it doesn’t last three hours.
Now, here’s a shocker: A Seinfeld character is having trouble with commitment! George (Jason Alexander) spends the season ender trying to weasel out of his engagement to Susan (Heidi Swedberg). But nuptials or not, original plans to include the face of George’s elusive boss — longtime Yankee owner George Steinbrenner — were scrapped when a Steinbrenner cameo was chopped out. Meanwhile, none of the six emotionally retarded Friends will become spouses either, although Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) does serve as an uncomfortable bridesmaid during the wedding of her ex-fiance and her best friend.
Bucking the commitment-phobic trend, Overton (John Henton) on Living Single is determined to propose to his love, Synclaire (Kim Coles). But — guess what? — things still go awry. The obstacles include a sinking restaurant, an invocation of Robert De Niro (who is not seen), and Bobcat Goldthwait (who is seen, as a Prozac-popping thief). ”In TV time, they can move it along to where we don’t end up getting married for another year or so,” Henton predicts.
At least one small-screen couple actually make it to the altar. Melrose Place promises viewers a ”surprise wedding,” although Courtney Thorne-Smith recently made it less of a surprise when she reportedly boasted that the lucky couple were Alison (her character) and Billy (Andrew Shue), a revelation Fox denies. No matter who ties the knot, don’t expect Jo to catch the bouquet: Daphne Zuniga is leaving the sagging sudser, possibly to star in her own show.