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Quincy M.E.: On Dying High starts as Quincy (Jack Klugman) & Dr. Emily Hanover (Anita Gillette) are enjoying a night out together at a club, on stage is singer & comedian J.J. Chandler (Roger Miller) who has a unpleasant act based on bad taste jokes & songs about drugs. While out back in a break from his performance J.J. decides to 'freebase' some cocaine near a lit cigarette, it's not long before he is on fire & runs on stage screaming. Quincy goes to his rescue & puts him out, talking to narcotics cop Sgt. Wendell & realising how many drug overdose cases he autopsies a year Quincy becomes aware of how widespread drug use is throughout society & decides he should try & do something about it...
Episode 16 from season 8 this Quincy story was directed by Ray Danton & one has to say save for some simply hilarious & horribly dated dialogue regarding drug use On Dying High is pretty poor. Some of the dialogue here has to be heard to be believed, from slang terms & words for the taking of drugs to funny descriptions of the drugs themselves it's horribly dated, it was made for telly so the language had to be kept clean & as such all these hard drug dealers & users talk like they are in Mary Poppins or something & it just sounds silly but that's the main attraction of this episode. It's not as unintentionally funny as the classic Next Stop, Nowhere (1983) about the punk music but it comes close. There's no murder mystery here & in fact no-one ends up on Quincy's autopsy table, there's no lab work, no detective work & it's just a horribly dated moralistic episode about the dangers of drugs from alcohol to cocaine & probably just about everything between. On Dying High is also notable since it's the episode where Quincy proposes to Emily & in true Quincy fashion gets a phone call mere seconds later & has to rush off! When all said & done there's very little in this episode to enjoy or get involved with & some hilarious dialogue just isn't enough.
At the start of On Dying High J.J. does a quick comedy routine involving jokes about drugs that really isn't funny at all, he can't sing either. While in hospital after being burnt the doctor's claim that J.J.'s vocal chords were burnt but he manages to speak normally to Quincy & anyone else who comes to see him! I'm not being funny or anything but I would have thought that if your vocal chords had been burnt you wouldn't be able to talk since they are things which allow speech, or am I wrong? The acting is OK but the regular cast are better than the guest's as usual.
On Dying High is another poor, moralistic based Quincy episode from the generally disappointing season eight & apart from some hilariously dated dialogue there's little here to get excited about.
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