Saturday, September 10, 2005

do you know what it memes...

I have a confession to make. What I've got to say will sound selfish, and I'm not proud of it. But I have this idea in my head. It's a fierce little meme which will not be happy until I've coughed it onto the screen in front of an unwary reader. It started with an NPR report on New Orleans music, in which they played Satchmo's "Do You Know What It Means, To Miss New Orleans". It's a wonderful song, and I've always associated it with an old TV show called Frank's Place. It was a delightful show, from Hugh Wilson, the maker of "WKRP in Cincinnati". Tim Reid, fullfilling the promise he showed in his less-funky Venus Flytrap moments, played a Boston English Professor forcibly repatriated to NOLA by an inherited cafe and a voodoo curse. With a harmoniously integrated cast, the show made you feel the Big Easy, all without involving some sort of crime or corruption to do it. It's been 18 years since the show's brief run, and I still miss it.
So, here's what the ugly thought is: Maybe, with the destruction of New Orleans, all things NOLA will become fashionable. Maybe, just maybe, that will include "Frank's Place". I'm embarassed that I see the destruction of a great American city as an opportunity to watch TV, but there it is anyway. It seems incredible to me that shows like "the Bionic Woman" and "Baa Baa Blacksheep" can be obtained on DVD, but "Frank's Place" cannot. As for the classic WKRP, due to the madness that is the music industry's licensing machine, it will probably never see the light of day, and neither, I suspect, will Frank.

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