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Murphy Brown - Results May Vary - Review

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Murphy Brown “Results May Vary” was written by the team of Gary Dontzig and Steven Peterman and was directed by Don Scardino. Dontzig and Peterman also seem to have come out of retirement to join the “old team.” Their lengthy “hiatus” doesn’t seem to have dulled the sharpness of their wit, however, and this episode takes another hilarious swing at the Fox network. The episode also does a nice job of covering AND dancing around the mid-term elections because it would have been written and shot well before this week’s results could have been known, so I loved how the episode title played with that.

The episode opens with Murphy (Candice Bergen) and Avery (Jake McDorman) getting ready for the election coverage. Avery teases Murphy with a joke Trump tie – which is even funnier because it’s a clip on. Avery has a big break getting to cover it with John Haggerty (Peter Gallagher) – the show’s version of Sean Hannity. Murphy accuses Haggerty of running a zoo and throwing meat to his audience. I adored Murphy’s comment that the Wolf network was “where truth goes to die.” Avery assures Murphy that his own values are still intact, and the two make a $20 bet. Avery bets Murphy she won’t be able to stay awake for the entire lengthy broadcast, and she bets him that he won’t be able keep his cool with Haggerty.

Most of the coverage at Murphy in the Morning is played for laughs as Frank (Joe Regalbuto) tries to avoid “cottonmouth” by drinking way too many energy drinks and ending up enunciating miss-emphasized words very clearly! However, big shout out to Frank’s American flag socks. I also loved Corky (Faith Ford) having no mercy in teasing him, and him telling her that “menopause has made her mean.” Pat (Nik Dodani) is getting his first chance on camera to crunch the numbers and social media as the information rolls in. Miles (Grant Shaud) has him dress like a horrifying mini-Miles and it completely freezes Pat up. When Miles finally relents and lets Pat dress the way he wants and be himself, he’s on fire. And a quick shout out to Andre Ward who plays Julius – I love how irritated he is by everyone!

There’s some nice interplay between Miguel (Adan Rocha) and Phyllis (Tyne Daly) who are onset to help keep everyone going with food, coffee, and those energy drinks! We get a bit of humor from Phyllis inadvertently walking on camera – repeatedly. Phyllis isn’t planning on voting because – as so many people think – her vote won’t make a difference. Miguel as a Dreamer can’t vote – and really, really wishes he could have the privilege. He also points out that Dreamers do pay taxes and serve in the military – and still don’t have the right to vote! On a darkly humorous note, he also wishes that Phyllis would provide him with health care – highlighting the precariousness of both Dreamers and all low income earners who are not covered by their employers for health care. Phyllis is eventually shamed into voting when she overhears some girls talking about another challenge to Roe v Wade – and Miguel’s repeated offers to cover for her.

Over on Wolf, Haggerty is every bit as egotistical and ignorant as Hannity – so huge kudos to Gallagher! When Haggerty teases Avery about being “left” and Avery teases him back for being “right enough to push Callie (Kara Lindsay) off the couch, Haggerty quickly puts him in his place. Haggerty is the alpha dog and the pup will know his place! Clearly, vacuous Callie does as she simply smiles and parrots “Amen, John.” Haggerty tells Avery that the President calls him every night to ask for advice and then does what he says the next day – Haggerty says he’s running the country! And Avery is appalled when it’s clear Haggerty is serious.

Avery tries repeatedly to get Haggerty to report in an unbiased manner – it’s a Boy Scout helping an old woman at the polls, not uniformed gangs intimidating voters. The highlight just might be when the President (Bob Dibuono) calls into the show to boast that he’s polling higher than Abraham Lincoln! Avery tries to point out that there were no polls during Lincoln’s lifetime. The President, however, ignores the facts – so true to life! – and instead tells Avery that he knows who he is and that his mother is not a nice person. Again, so true to life! Attacking both a journalist and a woman! And of course, he has to add in “there was no collusion.” Methinks she doth protest too much….

Of course, once he has a forum, Trump won’t shut up and is clearly digging himself a hole. Haggerty tries to get him to hang up, but Avery encourages Trump to keep going on his incoherent tirade, earning Avery his first Amen from Callie! When they finally do get him to hang up, the last thing you hear is “Eric! Don’t do that to the cat” – which is hilarious!

Emboldened, Avery makes fun of Haggerty’s book, telling the viewers that the audio book is read by Ted Nuggent. When Haggerty again threatens Avery by telling him that no seat on the couch is permanent, Avery turns it right back on him. He tells Haggerty that there’s always some young wolf coming up – and he howls!

Back with Murphy’s crowd, one of the other funny bits in the show was Corky’s coverage of the fictional East Windsockett, New Hampshire, with a population of 16 eligible voters – who have picked the winner since 1860. The polling place is in Emily Currier’s (Anne Carney) garage. Once Emily veers from commenting on the election into local gossip, Corky gets her off the air – it’s hilarious as to how mundane the filler gets to be on the long road to the polls closing!

Even funnier, of course, is later in the broadcast. By 7:30 Murphy is horse, and Frank spills his energy drink on her. Corky goes back to Windsockett – which Murphy calls Windsuckit – for the 6th time as they are still waiting for the last voter – Bill (Arnie Burton). When Bill is clearly more interested in advertising his local business than voting, Corky loses it and swears at him – on air! – to get in the damn booth! She is horrified – and uses an even worse word to blame the menopause for making her do it! Miles comments that it will be costly – and I loved this little nod to real life trivia – the FCC will indeed impose a heavy fine for the live coverage letting that get out!

By 11:50 – with only 10 minutes to go, Murphy is triumphant that she’s won the $20 – she’s still standing – or sitting anyway. I loved how they handled the results – which they had no way of predicting. Both shows look at the board with some surprise. Murphy has almost the last word with “I did not see that coming. Welcome to the next two years.” The very final message of the episode? “Elections have consequences. VOTE!”

So yes, some of this episode was a bit preachy – but if it got people to go out and vote, it’s all to the good. I’m also really enjoying the satire of Fox news! What did you think of the episode? Let me know in the comments below!

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