Production Code: #3M08
First Air Date: December 20, 1999
Writer: David E. Kelley
Director: Jonathan Pontell
# of Times Richard said Bygones: 0
Wendy Worthington as Margaret Camaro
If you were ever wondering whether Elaine had more in her repertoire than lip-smacking her fellow office inmates, this episode was either your wish fulfillment or the night you tried to invent a fast-forward function for televisions.
Should the actors participate in weekly screen sharing or would you rather Elaine made like a lampshade while she does her eavesdropping?
For me, this was a grimace and bare it sort of situation. Elaine's character has gone so woefully underdeveloped that you question her sincerity at every turn. Did she want the baby in the manger because of some everlasting maternal instincts or was it her standard ego feeding stuff? It was so out of left field, but since it was the Christmas episode we're supposed to be sympathetic not skeptical.
Though this babydance was painfully contrived, it did pose an interesting query: If Mary had the reputation that the Madonna (Ciccone, that is) has, would we still be celebrating or would we have vilified her and moved on?
Enough with the heavy borderline dangerous stuff, there were two actual laughs here, if it weren't for Billy, this show would not still be getting comedy nominations. First, there was the macho man sweat-fest and then at one of those Al Bundy brain-trusts, he hopped around like an N'Sync reject (is that possible?) referring to his bride, as, well, a female dog.
Did you catch Georgia's squealing on Elaine, wasn't her hubby pretty much on the money?
Correction, maybe there were three laughs. Check out Nelle's new look, the latest in Princess Leia meets Queen Amidala, Ms. magazine would ever so approve of this business attire, huh?
Meanwhile, you don't need to be Shar to figure out that David E. Kelley will develop a Mandy Patinkin meets the Waif Broadway musical and clean up at the Tony's, causing resentment in the ranks over there too. Of course, it would help if his leading lady hadn't taken her lip-synching lessons from Cher, not opening her mouth would have been less obvious.
Speaking of Ally, do you think they just plopped a mop and a ball cap on Calista's head and called it a hairstyle or what?
Lastly, wasn't the finale exactly the uplifting start you needed for this, of all weeks? Streaming tears and helplessness. Happy Christmas to you, too, Mr. Kelley.