"I'm a psychiatrist, not one of your football players"

I would like to share with you my all-time favorite five minutes of television, ever. It's from an episode of Dynasty called "Alexis' Secret" from Season 2. In this clip, Claudia Blaisdel (upset that her husband Mathew took their daughter and skipped town to Brazil) tries to take her own life by overdosing on pills. At around the 1 minute 40 second mark, Blake Carrington and his staff psychiatrist Dr. Nicholas Toscanni (brilliantly played by James Farentino) show up and try to save Claudia. Accidental comedic genius was born:

Here is an itemized list of why I love this scene quite possibly more than I'll ever love another human being:
1.) If they gave Emmy's for overacting, James Farentino would would have 'em coming out his ass.
2.) Dr. Toscanni rolls up in a Delorian. Because of course he does.
3.) The overly dramatic violin music.
4.) The fervor with which Dr. Toscanni takes off Claudia's shoes.
5.) At 2 minutes and 30 seconds, Dr. Toscanni tries to hug the overdose out of her.
6.) Now, I'm not a doctor. But if I were, I miiiiiight try pumping Claudia's stomach before I try dragging her around the room, regaling her with charming, yet racially stereotypical anecdotes about growing up as an Italian-American on the Lower East Side. But then again, I'm not a doctor. Nor am I Italian.
7.) Dr. Toscanni's monologue at the 2 minute 50 second mark is what dreams are made of. If you only do one thing today; watch it.
8.) RE: Dr. Toscanni's childhood apartment: "We had a John in the hall!" Genius.
9.) The story of Dr. Toscanni's childhood is basically just extremely condensed version of the Fievel movie An American Tale. I'm always dissapointed when he doesn't bust out with "There are no cats in America and the streets are paved with cheese!" while he dances Claudia around the room like a rag doll.
10.) At one point Dr. Toscanni's dramatic monologue disintegrates into random cliché Italian phrases. It's now one of my life goals to burst into a room where someone is overdosing on pills and be like, "EVERY STEP ASIDE, I GOT THIS!" Then pick said person up and drag them around the room while shouting things like, "MANGIA! BERTOLLI! MI SCUSI! RAVIOLLI! Someone get me a cold towel, damnit! VESPA! PREGO! MARIO AND LUIGI! A-PIZZA-PIE!
11.) I understand whoever wrote this scene was thinking, "Dr. Toscanni will ramble on about anything and everything for a while to keep Claudia conscious." That makes sense. But sir, self-editing is important. Because this shitshow of a monologue could have been about a minute shorter and still have been just as effective. For example, maybe it's time to end the scene when the character is awkwardly telling failed inside jokes about the Statue of Liberty's flat ass that ends with, "'eh...maybe you had to be there."
12.) You just know that John Farentino went home at the end of the day and was like "God. I fucking nailed that."



Laura said...

Gosh you make me happy... To quote Jenna, "I'm glad your parents decided to have more than one kid, cause you're quite pleasant."

jen toppe said...

how did the episode end?? did she live? did they ever call an ambulance? did walking her around in circles somehow bring her back to life? i was very impressed with her acting skills in that scene. she seriously made herself completely limp and was dragged around the room for 4 minutes. it seems impossible! she was slapped in the face more than once and never flinched. thats acting right there.

and on a completely unrelated note, i was reading this blog and saw this new invention i feel as though you need to know about.


Elizaveta said...

I'd like to point out that Pamela Bellwood, who brilliantly portrays the dying Claudia Blaisdel was also in a made for TV film that, although does not exemplify perfection as much as this clip, is certainly a ferocious competitor. WORLD, I give you (and for free on HULU) Cocaine: One Man's Seduction: http://www.hulu.com/watch/71779/cocaine-one-mans-seduction.

Your welcome.

Erin said...

This is why the interwebs exist/I love you.

Anonymous said...

You're blog has less votes than a blog about cakes....how does that happen???

2b1b: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...

Laura: THANKS LAURA! You make me happy too. Jenna's bountiful compliments last night boosted my confidence last night like you wouldn't believe. Seriously.

Jen: The Italian-American ramblings work and they save Claudia. But later she goes crazy because she thinks her husband and daughter die in the Amazon, so she gets committed. But then she gets out and I think marries Stephen Carrington?


Erin: Aw shucks... <3

And Anonymous: Because I am the most unlucky and unfortunate human being you will ever meet. That is why I have less votes than a blog about cakes.

ashley said...

I want to know what happened to her too.
This post made me fall out of my chair, I laughed so hard.

How about she totally moved her own arms when he was checking her pulse..it wasn't totally obvious, I suppose she was still alive...but still.

Anonymous said...

Your blog has been slacking. Please try harder. Thanks.

2b1b: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...

Fair enough.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
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