Today on Alphabet City: Thanksgiving Theme Week begins with a bittersweet memory of loss
On most TV shows, holidays get woven into storylines as part of a ratings booster—and Alphabet City is no different. So this week, log on for a special series devoted to Thanksgiving.
Although odd to some people that I process my life through the lens of a sitcom, my group of friends has always indulged me. In fact, some of them have starred in their own series. When I first moved to the Big Apple, I remember worrying that the East Village might be too grungy of a location for a gay Mary Tyler Moore show. My Texas buddy Katrina—think face of Julie Andrews with the dry wit of Tina Fey—counseled me otherwise.
“Setting your sitcom in a slightly trashy neighborhood just adds to the dramatic tension,” she told me one day, giving me an expert pep talk at a grungy little coffee bar filled with the stink of too many cigarettes from nervous artists avoiding their dreams.
“My show opens with a montage of my subway commute showing all the crazy characters on my daily journey.”
Katrina was the star of Scalin’ the Heights—her own life sitcom that was the lead-in to Alphabet City. She was a writer for a TV Guide-like trade publication for local cable operators—a job that sounded dull but scored her interviews with down-and-out C-list celebrities.
“I might go out with Tom Wopat. Dating a Dukes of Hazzard—how’s that for an episode?” she laughed.
“Sounds like the makings of a powerful Tuesday-night line-up,” I teased.
We peppered our every day dialogue with the promotional language networks use to capture viewers. I referred to regular people in my life as having “guest roles.” When parents came to visit, or we scrounged up enough cash for a vacation, I called it a “very special episode.” When friends moved away and new ones arrived, I officially announced a new character joining the cast.
When Princess Diana died, the heart broken casts of Alphabet City and Scalin’ the Heights teamed up for a “special memorial tribute”—we journeyed to Coney Island and rode the Cyclone picturing ourselves like the Peoples’ Princess on the log ride with her boys.
“We’re living our lives. It’s what she would have wanted,” said one of the Scalin’ the Heights co-stars, also named Diana.
So for the beginning of Turkey Week on Alphabet City, we begin with a bittersweet excerpt from Episode 14: And Baby Makes Three. It was 2001, a year of transitions, with the loss of a special little character that began at Thanksgiving. CLICK HERE to read the excerpt.
And keep tuning in for more Turkey Week fun.