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"Diagnosis Murder" Out of the Past (2000)

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Raises issues of making it big in Hollywood, also a TV version of It Runs in the Family

9/10
Author: Parker Lewis from United States
22 September 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is the 23rd episode of season 7 of Diagnosis Murder, at a time when TV network series season would have 24 episodes. It also screened just months before the epic 2000 US presidential election - George W vs Gore.

This episode is also the first of a two parter to wrap up season 7. Incidentally season 8 is the final season of Diagnosis Murder, a show I like. This episode features three generations of the Van Dyke family - grandfather Dick, son Barry, and grandson Shane (who plays medical student Alex Smith). Sort of like a prelude to the film It Runs in the Family three years later which featured Kirk Douglas, Michael Douglas, and Cameron Douglas, a movie directed by Australian Fred Schepisi (rhymes with Pepsi).

The episode had two murders and has a risqué scene by Diagnosis Murder standards, where Alex reunites with old friend Amy Saroyan, who was part of a high class escort business. Dr Mark Sloan comes home and expresses disapproval of Alex and Amy getting it on under his roof. Surprisingly, Dr Sloan, knowing Amy's background, doesn't exhort Alex to have an HIV test. Maybe this will be addressed in a Diagnosis Murder reunion where Alex's fate will be revealed. Maybe by then medicine will have made advances. What's poignant is when Amy tearfully explains to Alex on the beach why she got into the escort business. She tried to break into Hollywood, she took the waitressing jobs, money dried up, couldn't pay the bills...it's all quite real.

John "Dukes of Hazzard" Schneider (who is now a Christian) appears as the mysterious Brett Hayward, who comes from out of nowhere and sweeps Madison Wesley, the Hospital Administrator, off her feet. It seems a bit too neat for the audience, and it is too neat when at the end of the episode Brett knifes his plastic surgeon (played by Sam Anderson, who was in Forrest Gump) to death.

Interestingly, I'd like to see a discussion in a Diagnosis Murder episode about the tension between beach front home owners (such as Dr Sloan) and the public who frequent the beach.

To be continued...

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