Its been one week

I have managed to make it through the first week of blogging! It has been a neat experiment so far and I intend to keep it up. I think that having themes driving each days post will really make coming up with blog post ideas much easier. Wednesday posts will be devoted the more off beat and weird stories that I find interesting. What better way to kick off off beat posts than on a particularly weird day, leap day.

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Leap Day William, wishing you a Happy Leap Day.

There were several stories today about the origins of leap year, day, and second, and the neat traditions associated with them. But what I find interesting is the number of fictional characters on television who have a leap day birthday, especially if their show is on ABC. Tonight, Sue from The Middle, and Cam from Modern Family, each celebrated their leap day birthdays, while last Thursday Jerry from Parks and Recreation celebrated his leap day birthday as well. While this nice tv coincidence is a great gimmick (and commonly used trope), it does mean that we will have to wait another 4 years before we see Cam’s 11th birthday, and that is kind of sad.

And in the realm of neat tv coincidences, there was a story last week in Vulture about actors who have been typecast into playing the guest starring parent on popular television shows. The article highlights all these fictional characters as fictional siblings, and it is a pretty enjoyable read and steeped in the meta-tv world tradition that began with the Tommy Westphall hypothesis.

Tommy was a character on the show St. Elsewhere, and in the final episode of the series, it was revealed that the whole entirety of the show, was actually just a figment of the austic child Tommy Westphall’s imagination. Which is not an uncommon way for a series to emd (Newhart), but what was really interesting was the fact that many characters from other television shows (i.e. Homicide Life on the Street) had appeaded on St. Elsewhere, and characters from St. Elsewhere had appeared on other shows (i.e. Cheers). Taken to its extreme, people have hypothesized that any show with a crossover connection to St. Elsewhere only exists in the mind of Tommy Westphall. The extent of the connections is remarkable, and fortunately it has been illustrated by others. While it is easy to dismiss all of this as nonsense and a waste of time, especially considering we are talking about fictional characters on televsion, I find it incredibly interesting, and admire the dedication and nerdiness of those who have mapped out the Tommy Westphall Universe.

Visualization of the crossovers in the Tommy Westphall Universe

 

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