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Television sitcom about a recovering alcoholic who becomes the manager of a big city bus station. The tragicomic theme of the show is perhaps summed up best by an old carnival sign that now hangs in his office, 'This is a Dark Ride.' Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
I haven't seen this since it was first-run, but it made an impression on me. This was a great show, especially the first season. Very funny, very dark. The acerbic JL was a great match for the material, and given his personal difficulties in the 80's, he personally must have been able to relate to the character, a last-chance alcoholic working graveyard in a bus station. I remember the show as having a great, dark tone that you usually didn't see in sitcoms, more so than Night Court, which erred on the slapstick side. The first season of the show I remember as having no fear dealing with 'John Hemingway's dark side, and his alcoholism. The plots often portrayed a similar cast of midnight nutballs, loonies, the down-on-their-luck and some out-and-out losers. But, while redemption was a ways away, JL's character was on the upward path. It was good to see them deal with and not shy away from people's real problems. The teeth of the show got pulled later... Unfortunately after the show's first season of moderate success, the network (or somebody) decided that it needed to be a bit more family-friendly or something and added Alison La Placa as a love interest, and made the tone and lighting a bit brighter. Too bad, as there was plenty of patina in the station and among the great cast of characters including Dary' (no more 'chill'?) Mitchell as the put- upon Dexter, the reliable Chi McBride, Liz Torres, and especially Elizabeth Berridge as the too-cute-for-a-cop Officer Eggers. I wonder if she would have ended up as the love interest had they not brought in La Placa. Anyways, we really need season one on DVD.
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