an Episode Guide
|aired from: Sep 1997 to: ___ ____||70+ eps||ABC||30 min||stereo||closed captioned|
Dharma & Greg is an unusual situation comedy created by Chuck Lorre &Dottie Dartland .
In fact, Chuck Lorre (also one of the executive producers) has taken advantage of the fact that some people don't see the show during its initial airing. So for those who have videotaped the episode, the end credits reveal a special message from Chuck. The message appears on a vanity card and sometimes remains the same for a number of episodes and then changes, we will list the message with the episode where it first appears. In addition there is web site that is devoted to the Vanity Cards and now other D&G info. You can see what the card originally looked like, with the text transcribed on the right.
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of All Series
Twentieth Century Fox Film Productions
in association with more_medavoy productions/Chuck Lorre Productions/4 to 6 Foot Productions
Created by Chuck Lorre and Dottie Dartland
Executive producers: Chuck Lorre & Dottie Dartland, Erwin More, Brian Medavoy
Co-executive producers: Bill Prady, Regina Stewart
Consulting producer: Don Foster, Sid Youngers
Produced by Randy Cordray
Associate producer: Michael Collier
Executive story editor: Eric Zicklin
Story editor: Charles Harper Yates
Free-spirited Dharma and straitlaced Greg break the news to their respective parents, none of whom are especially thrilled with the match.b: 24 Sep 97 pc: AE79 w: Dottie Dartland & Chuck Lorre d: James Burrows NOTE: Quibble: This genuinely charming pilot episode begins with a flashback to Dharma and Greg encountering each other as children on the subway, thus implying that they are "fated" to be together. For me this strikes a false note - especially as it is obvious that the New York-style set is not the San Francisco MUNI system it is supposed to be.
This is Chuck's vanity card #1:
Thank you for videotaping Dharma & Greg and freeze-framing on my vanity card. I'd like to take this opportunity to share with you some of my personal beliefs. I believe that everyone thinks they can write. This is not true. It is true, however, that everyone can direct. I believe that the Laws of Karma do not apply to show business, where good things happen to bad people on a fairly regular basis. I believe that what doesn't kill us makes us bitter. I believe that the obsessive worship of movie, TV and sports figures is less likely to produce spiritual gain than praying to Thor. I believe that Larry was a very underrated Stooge, without whom Moe and Curly would not conform to the comedy law of three (thanks, Lee). I believe my kids are secretly proud of me. I believe that if you can't find anything nice to say about people whom you've helped to make wildly successful and then they stabbed you in the back, then don't say anything at all.
[ Editor's NOTE: He's probably referring to his work on Roseanne or Cybill ]
I believe I have a great dog, maybe the greatest dog in the whole wide world, yes, he is! I believe that when ABC reads this, I'm gonna be in biiiig trouble. I believe that Tina Turner's "River Deep, Mountain High," is the greatest rock song ever recorded. Once again, thanks for watching Dharma & Greg. Please be sure to tune in again to this vanity card for more of my personal beliefs.
When Dharma and Greg throw a party to celebrate their union, a disapproving Kitty boycotts the event, and Dharma sets out to befriend her mother-in-law. But when the Montgomerys and the Finkelsteins finally get together to plan the details, the hostilities really begin.b: 1 Oct 97 pc: AE01 w: Dottie Dartland & Chuck Lorre d: Will Mackenzie
Dharma tries to sprinkle a little TLC in Greg's life by installing a new, deluxe "Spring Mist 3000" shower, while Greg finds himself on a testosterone-ridden golfing afternoon with Edward and Larry. Meanwhile, Kitty, misunderstanding the word "shower," readies for a social event with hors d'oeuvres and formal invitations.b: 8 Oct 97 pc: AE02 w: Bill Prady d: Will Mackenzie
There's love amid the ruins when Dharma and Greg hold a "do-over" wedding to appease their families, particularly the hostile Kitty, who turns the young couple's plans for a simple party into a big country-club affair, including a formal renewal of the wedding vows. (Says Greg to Dharma: "You know, some day our parents will be gone and we'll look back on this day and not miss them so much.") Meanwhile, Pete and Jane have a surprising encounter of their own in the cloakroom.b: 15 Oct 97 pc: AE03 w: Regina Stewart d: Will Mackenzie
When Greg's former co-worker and ex-girlfriend Barbara is transferred back to his firm from Washington, Dharma seeks to assuage her own natural jealousy by finding a new Mr. Right for Barbara - a quest which takes on a desperate edge when Barbara confesses she is still in love with Greg.b: 22 Oct 97 pc: AE04 w: Eric Zicklin d: Tom Moore NOTE: Nick Toth reprises his role from the previous episode. As the actor plays a different character in episode 21, I have not listed this as a recurring role.
This is Chuck's vanity card #2:
Thank you for videotaping Dharma & Greg and freeze framing on my vanity card. I'd like to take this opportunity to share with you some more of my beliefs. I believe that the guy that invented those speed bumps in the freeway that snap you back into consciousness when you're drifting into a nearby semi, should be given a big hug. I believe that there are actually several cures for the summertime blues. I believe that in my earlier statement of beliefs, I erroneously believed that beer was a gateway drug that led to vodka. After intensive consultation with ABC executives, I now believe I was very, very wrong. Beer is good. Especially beer brewed by major manufacturers, and enjoyed in a responsible manner. I believe I've spent my life expecting people to behave in a certain way. I believe that when they didn't behave according to my expectations, I became angry, sad, confused and occasionally fearful. I believe these expectations are the reason I've been angry, sad, confused and occasionally fearful more than I care to admit. As a result, I now believe my expectations are the real problem. I believe that everyone has this very same problem, and they ought to start acting accordingly. Well, that's all for now. I hope you continue to watch Dharma & Greg and check in on my vanity card for more of my personal beliefs.
When Greg's competitive nature becomes destructive, Dharma exposes him to yoga, hoping to lower his stress level. After two classes, however, they both realize Greg's life is out of control when he gets into a macho "I can do this" contest with Pete and pulls a groin muscle. Meanwhile, Larry goes to Edward with a scheme to mass-market videos of Dharma's yoga instruction.b: 29 Oct 97 pc: AE07 w: Regina Stewart & Eric Zicklin d: Gail Mancuso
While sunning on the roof, Dharma & Jane meet an elderly Native American who wants to die on the premises, claiming that it was his ancestors' sacred burial ground. Naturally Dharma invites him to stay with her, and naturally Greg is deeply suspicious of his motives and tails them - even to the extent of getting Pete to impersonate him at a dinner with Attorney General Janet Reno.b: 5 Nov 97 pc: AE06 w: Don Foster & Charles Harper Yates s: Dottie Dartland d: Philip Charles MacKenzie
After Greg wins a major court case, he is urged to run for Congress. It's an idea that moves Dharma to consult Greg's mother for grooming advice, as a potential political wife. After worrying about Dharma fitting in with the political crowd, Greg embarrasses himself during his first public appearance by emerging from the washroom with his fly undone. But when Dharma tries to boost his confidence with a little back-seat lovin', it becomes front-page news. ("We know he's not a Democrat because he's having sex with his wife, and we know he's not a Republican because he's having sex.") Greg is thrown into a black depression until he realizes that his popularity has soared; then his opponent makes a decisive sexual confession of his own.b: 12 Nov 97 pc: AE05 w: Bill Prady & Regina Stewart & Chuck Lorre d: Philip Charles MacKenzie
When Greg needs an upgraded security clearance to work on a top-secret case, Dharma and the families are subjected to a background check, which reveals some very interesting information about Larry and Edward. Dharma discovers to her horror that her proud anti-establishment rebel father in not in fact wanted by the FBI as he's always bragged, and embroils Greg and Pete in a scheme to plant a phony file for Larry to steal. Meanwhile, Greg is shaken to discover that Edward never in fact divorced his first wife; and Kitty's reaction to the news is not what anyone would expect.b: 19 Nov 97 pc: AE09 w: Bill Prady & Sid Youngers d: Gail Mancuso
After Dharma, Larry and Abby give a farm-full of turkeys their freedom, Dharma volunteers to make Thanksgiving dinner for the whole family in Kitty's spacious kitchen, with Jane's help (while Kitty plays it safe with a restaurant reservation). But Greg is not offering up thanks when he's the last to know that Dharma might have more than just a bird in the oven.b: 26 Nov 97 pc: AE08 w: Chuck Lorre and Dottie Dartland d: Gail Mancuso
Dharma's parents arrive for their weekly yoga class only to find Dharma in tears because all her other students have deserted her for the popular self-defense class across the hall. Greg's efforts to cheer her up only get them evicted from Kitty's operatic fund raising evening. Clearing out her locker, Dharma curiously wanders into the self-defense class that turns out to be run by a wacky woman named Spyder, who is promoting herself with alarmist flyers about a massive increase in crime in the neighborhood. When Dharma protests that this is a lie, Spyder intimidates her physically, then invades a depressed Dharma's nightmare about breaking her non-violent principles and retaliating. When Dharma does attempt to remonstrate with Spyder, both she and Greg get their butts kicked.b: 10 Dec 97 pc: AE10 w: Sid Youngers s: Chuck Lorre d: Gail Mancuso NOTE: Quibble: Would an FBI prosecuting attorney really allow both his wife and himself to be beaten up without recourse to the police? Second quibble: The lack of resolution of the situation leaves a bitter aftertaste to this episode. What is Dharma to do for a living now? Although she is described as a professional dog walker in the series promotions, we have never actually seen this. She is certainly not the kind of woman to let Greg support her totally, is she? Nor could she simply abandon yoga as a discipline and way of life - not to mention her pupils Abby and Larry.
This is Chuck's vanity card #3:
Once again, thanks for video - taping Dharma & Greg, and freeze-framing on my vanity card. The following are a few more of my beliefs. I believe that El Nino is an international conspiracy perpetrated by evil roofing contractors. I believe it's high time The Beatles came clean on that whole 'Paul is dead' thing. I believe that anyone who can read and speak clearly can be a network news anchorperson - - but not necessarily a weatherman. I believe that if I rid myself of insatiable cravings, lusts, paranoia, deep-seated anger and ill-will towards others, I'll be a much better person. I believe that TV is the cause of all the violence and immorality in our society- -ha! just kidding. I believe there's no business like show business, although if you're over-paid for feeding a big, scary monster, then that might be sort of like it. That's all for now, gotta go make a TV show. Once again, thanks for watching and keep checking for more of my beliefs real soon!
Dharma's free spirit and maternal instincts are challenged when Greg's rebellious teenage niece Jennifer visits for the holidays and soon abuses her newfound friendship with her aunt. When Dharma and Jane take her along on a wacky shopping trip pretending to be monolingual German tourists, they are upset to discover that she has used them as a cover for actual shoplifting. Later when Dharma discovers that Jennifer has invited a boyfriend over unannounced, she lowers the disciplinary boom - and Jennifer runs away.b: 17 Dec 97 pc: AE11 w: Dottie Dartland & Regina Stewart d: Gail Mancuso NOTE: Guest Sloane is a regular on that other ABC hit series Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.
Greg's latest legal victory leaves him depressed in the middle of the office celebration, so Dharma suggests that maybe Greg should quit and "follow his bliss." It turns out that Greg's suppressed passion is for cooking, so he informs his disturbed parents that he is starting a new career as a short-order cook in a hamburger joint. This prompts Edward to confession his own secret talent: hairdressing.b: 7 Jan 98 pc: AE12 w: Chuck Lorre & Charles Harper Yates d: Ellen Gittelsohn
Transportation becomes an issue for the young couple when Greg insists Dharma can use his car any time she wants but makes compulsive demands on her treatment of the vehicle. (Dharma: "Honey, I love you, but bite me!") So Dharma goes to a city auction with Jane and Pete and becomes the proud owner of a 1968 yellow schoolbus. Meanwhile, Abby invites the Montgomerys over for a meat dinner, and reveals that she was once romantically involved with Salazar, the featured artist at Kitty's charity exhibition. An amused Edward challenges the Finkelsteins to attend the function, which is threatened by a freak rainstorm and flood - it's 'Old Yeller' to the rescue!b: 21 Jan 98 pc: AE13 w: Bill Prady & Eric Zicklin & Don Foster d: Gail Mancuso NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #4:
I am growing skeptical of cynicism.
When Dharma's charismatic old boyfriend, Leonard, suddenly re-enters her life after a year in India, Greg finds himself extremely uncomfortable around him - especially when it becomes clear that absolutely everyone else, from Greg's parents to even Marlene, absolutely adores Leonard. Weakened by battling a bad cold, Greg is thrown for a loop when Leonard reveals that he has been celibate since he left Dharma and Dharma decides that she and Greg should give abstinence a try as well. Finally, Dharma informs everyone that they should respect Greg's wishes and not see Leonard any more - then everyone simultaneously spots Greg on television enjoying Leonard's company and his benchside basketball tickets.b: 4 Feb 98 pc: AE16 w: Dottie Dartland & Eric Zicklin d: Gail Mancuso NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #41/2:
I believe that all work and no play makes Chuck a dull boy. I believe that all work and no play makes Chuck a dull boy. I believe that all work and no play makes Chuck a dull boy. I believe that all work and no play makes Chuck a dull boy. I believe that all work and no play makes Chuck a dull boy. I believe that all work and no play makes Chuck a dull boy. I believe that all work and no play makes Chuck a dull boy. I believe that all work and no play makes Chuck a dull boy. I believe that all work and no play makes Chuck a dull boy. I believe that if you've read this far in my vanity plate you are an extraordinary person infused with great love and compassion. I believe that all work and no play makes Chuck a dull boy. I believe that all work and no play makes Chuck a dull boy. (thanks, Jeff) I believe that all work and no play makes Chuck a dull boy. I believe that all work and no play makes Chuck a dull boy. I believe that all work and no play makes Chuck a dull boy. I believe that all work and no play makes Chuck a dull boy. I believe that all work and no play makes Chuck a dull boy. I believe that all work and no play makes Chuck a dull boy. I believe that all work and no play makes Chuck a dull boy. I believe that all work and no play makes Chuck a dull boy.
A romantic Valentine's Day weekend turns out to be anything but for Dharma and Greg. It all begins when Greg downloads a travel brochure promising a cozy getaway at the Red Rose Inn in upstate snow country. Unfortunately, things don't go quite as planned. En route, they get ticketed for speeding when Greg tries to make up time lost burying a dead animal that Dharma spotted by the roadside. Worse still, when they arrive at the inn they discover it's just an ordinary little house with no snow and only a backyard trailer to accommodate guests. Meanwhile, Kitty misinterprets Larry's talk about an animal-shelter swap meet to mean wife swapping, and she and Edward find themselves strangely disturbed by the idea.b: 11 Feb 98 pc: AE14 w: Bill Prady & Regina Stewart s: Chuck Lorre d: Gil Junger NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #5:
Well, once again I'd like to thank you for not only watching, but videotaping Dharma & Greg. I know you're busy, so this shows a wonderful commitment on your part and I want you to acknowledge that commitment with a big ol' Chuck Lorre vanity card hug. Okay, with that done let's go on with why you're here, to learn more of my personal beliefs. I believe that this episode, which on the surface deals with a funny Valentine's adventure, in fact grapples with the weighty issue of Weltschmerz. Weltschmerz is a German word which loosely means "world suffering deriving from the inevitability of reality to never match up with our expectations." Boy, only the Germans could come up with a word like that. Anyway, in this episode Greg is in Weltschmerz hell as he discovers that life is never quite like the brochure. Dharma, on the other hand, recognizes that life is a flowing river and happiness exists only when one embraces its ever-changing nature. From this dilemma we draw the comedic essence of our story. Finally, I believe that when I retire and teach sitcom writing at a community college, I'll use this theme for one of my classes to impress the kids.
While Dharma, Abby and Jane try to help a depressed Kitty struggle through her 50th birthday, Greg, Larry and Edward head off to the slopes to stage their own Winter Olympics. To head off Kitty's stated intention of immediate plastic surgery, the daffy trio persuades her to join them, big wigs and scanty dresses donned, on a mission to flirt at a navy bar. Kitty is an immediate hit - until one of the young men tells her she reminds him of his mother! Meanwhile, tobogganing down a mountainside in a canoe, at night, backwards, turns out to be the father and son bonding experience Greg and Edward never found time for.b: 25 Feb 98 pc: AE15 w: Chuck Lorre & Bill Prady s: Dottie Dartland d: James Burrows NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #6:
Once again, thank you for videotaping Dharma & Greg and freeze framing on my vanity card. For those of you who are new, this is my sporadic attempt to share my personal beliefs with millions of people (hence the term "vanity"). This attempt has led me into communicating many deep thoughts, and, I'm afraid to say, quite a few shallow ones as well. But what I've found most interesting, is that after a few weeks, I've discovered myself scrounging for new beliefs. Things about which I could stand up and say with pride, "I believe in this, dammit!" Now that's not to say that I couldn't fill the card with alot of mindless aphorisms. But do I waste my precious moment in the sun by proclaiming, "I believe that sex with multiple partners in a moving vehicle isn't all it's cracked up to be?" No, I do not. Do I squander this priceless opportunity to announce, "I believe we are better than the animals because we're capable of reading in the bathroom?" Once again, I do not. And so it is for this reason, I have no beliefs to share with you this week. No wait ... actually I do believe that JFK had a much better understanding of the word "perks".
A plumbing emergency in their apartment forces Dharma and Greg to move in temporarily with his parents, and a situation fraught with tension is made worse when the Finkelsteins decide to contemplate marriage after twenty years of unwed bliss - and Larry moves in with the Montgomerys as well.b: 4 Mar 98 pc: AE17 w: Chuck Lorre & Fred Grenlee d: Gail Mancuso NOTE: This episode, beautifully directed by Mancuso, shows how top-notch ensemble acting lifts this series miles above the average sitcom. Watch, for example, the scenes between Abby and Kitty, with both actresses superbly playing the subtext and conveying worlds by how the two women do or do not look at each other on key lines. Dharma and Greg's scene in his former bedroom, with him demonstrating his dorky teenage seduction move he never actually got to try, is so funny that it is difficult to remember that the actors are not actually married in real life.
This is Chuck's vanity card #7:
I believe that the very act of believing in something causes us to distance ourselves from that thing, thus a duality is created: oneself and the thing in which one believes. Now since we all know that in order to fully understand a thing one must be that thing - walk a mile in its shoes so to speak - it seems obvious that the state of believing in something inevitably causes us to not truly understand that thing in which we believe. This noncomprehension leads to all sorts of difficulties. "I believe in love" has a better than even chance of leading to divorce, while "I believe in God" seems to end in variations on the Spanish Inquisition. But - and this is a big but - if one were love, one couldn't help but be affectionate and caring towards oneself and others. If one were God, one would act toward all beings and all things as if they were one's own creations. And that, my friends, is the secret of life in a two-second vanity card. Of course, the secret could also be "Sit, Ubu, Sit." We have to keep an open mind.
Dropping in on Kitty, Dharma instantly senses what has happened: Kitty and Edward are separating. An appalled Kitty makes Dharma promise not to tell Greg, but this well-meaning deception snowballs as Dharma's sense of guilt develops into a series of escalating fibs that draws in an uncomprehending (and protesting) Jane Seymour. We also learn something important about Dharma's macrobiotic childhood: she's a recovering secret sugar junkie!b: 11 Mar 98 pc: AE18 w: Bill Prady & Regina Stewart d: Ken Levine
The pretense that everything is fine with Greg's parents finally proves too much for Dharma, who snaps during dinner at a Chinese restaurant and has the bad news served to Greg in a fortune cookie (to the absorbed interest of the Chinese family sharing their table). Trying to help the Montgomery's non-existent sex life, Dharma takes Kitty to her local neighborhood erotica store, where they naturally run into Abby and Larry. Greg and Pete take Edward for a drink to commiserate, and Edward demonstrates his ace in pick-up lines: "Excuse me, young lady, do you have change for a million?" Meanwhile, Jane has gone off to a Star Trek convention ("I like middle-aged men who are virgins"), leaving her pet Mr. Boots with Dharma and Greg; but Greg freaks out when he discovers that Mr. Boots is not exactly a cat.b: 1 Apr 98 pc: AE19 w: Dottie Dartland & Fred Greenlee d: Gail Mancuso NOTE: Guest Teller is brilliant as the mute man-who-enjoys-being-a-cat, and it is to the writers' credit that they make absolutely no attempt to explain his fetish. Teller's professional partner Penn Jillette has an uncredited cameo as the pimp in the hotel.
This is Chuck's vanity card #8:
I believe that our words have power. Sticks and stones may hurt our bones, but bones heal in a relatively short time, while one critical parent can cripple you forever. With that in mind, let's try a little experiment. As you read the following words notice whether you feel the impulse to smile. Did it work? Did you smile immediately upon reading that? If not, that's okay. Don't get down on yourself. Remember, this is just an experiment. We can try it again. This time feel your lips curl up gently at the corners. You try to fight it, but your mouth seems to have taken on a life of its own. As you continue reading you can't help but notice that you are now smiling like the execs at Paramount after they realized they got a piece of "Titanic" for chump change. See? The power of words. In this case used for good. If you would like an example of words used for evil, call your mother and tell her you're really starting to make progress in therapy.
Spring fever hits klutzy Dharma, moving her to dance naked on the roof (in full view of a newscast helicopter and, hence, an appalled Kitty), carpet the apartment with live grass and enter a ballroom dancing contest at the Montgomerys' posh country club. Reluctant Greg insists they should accept that they have no chance of winning and merely enjoy themselves, but Dharma confesses to her parents that for once in her life, she's like to be competitive at all costs. Trouble is, the brunt of her aspirations is borne not by her competition but by Greg.b: 28 Apr 98 pc: AE20 w: Chuck Lorre & Bill Prady d: Gail Mancuso NOTE: Their dance routine shows that Elfman is a worthy successor to Lucille Ball when it comes to physical comedy, even allowing for the judicious use of a double.
This is Chuck's vanity card #9:
I believe I think too much. I believe I'm literally drowning in a thick swamp of thoughts. No. Swamp's not right. It's more like being in the middle of a swarm of bees, all of them flying insanely about, occasionally stinging for no apparent reason. I also believe my perception of the world is filtered through my thoughts, which are generated by my emotions, which are cranked out by my childhood, what I just ate, how much sleep I got, miscellaneous trauma stored as memory, etc. This means that with few exceptions, what I perceive is not reality but the crap that comes after my thought/emotion filter. Ya' dig where I'm going here? My only link to reality are these constantly buzzing mental bees that grow out of a snarling hive of random emotions. If fact, I believe that this is the flimsy connection we all have with the universe. It makes you think, doesn't it? Ouch! Dammit!
A rather daring episode by contemporary network standards: When Jane breezes in to claim custody of Dharma's stuffed duck, Dharma explains to Greg that it's a trophy held by whoever has had sex in the unlikeliest place. Having actually fallen asleep during sex the night before, the couple decide to spice up their love life and search the city for a public place to have sex, since the rest of San Francisco will be too busy watching the finale of Seinfeld to notice. But Jane 'seduces' Pete (by painting his toenails and shaving his legs) into blabbing about their plans and sets out to sabotage their trophy win, and, after a few ironic twists, it is not Dharma and Greg who get arrested for having sex on the steps of City Hall, but Kitty and Edward! (Edward points out that the trophy is actually a goose, and Dharma calmly explains that goose wouldn't rhyme.)b: 13 May 98 pc: AE22 w: Eric Zicklin & Chuck Lorre d: Ken Levine NOTE: Dharma fell asleep because she was tuckered out from teaching three yoga classes, so at least we know her career is back on track.
This is Chuck's vanity card #10:
When I began writing these vanity cards, the premise was simple -- it's a vanity card -- be vain. And what could be more vain and self-serving than to use my two seconds of ABC's broadcast day to share my personal beliefs with millions of viewers. But as time passed I realized I was missing a major opportunity. Rather than just tell a few jokes, I could use the two seconds to unravel the mysteries of life and death and share my discoveries with those of you who can operate a VCR or log onto the Internet sites where my words are regularly posted (yes, I lurk). So, anyway, that's the new plan. The meaning of life, once a week, right here at the end of each Dharma & Greg show. HOW'S THAT FOR VAIN, BUCKO?! Okay, let's get started. The secret of life is we're all writing a vanity card. I'm not kidding, follow me on this. If we're in agreement with the concept "I think, therefore I am," then what are we in these rare moments when we're not thinking? Do we cease to be? No, of course not unless we never "were" at all, unless our actual identity is a nothing that embraces everything, but an "everything" can't look at itself so we create the illusion of separate selves, which leads to the illusion of survival, which of course leads to all of our pain and suffering. Pride, i.e. vanity, goeth before the fall. And you thoughteth I was joking.
When Greg hosts a poker game, Dharma takes advantage of the occasion to meet his buddies. Petty jealousies surface as she begins befriending the men and privately advising them on personal matters - including bankruptcy, impotence, and a serious crush one of the men has on Greg - and they in turn begin to full uncomfortable around Greg because he won't share his feelings with them. Upset that Dharma has taken over his friends, Greg tries to bluff her by maintaining that he has plans of his own to hang out with Jane; and when Dharma thinks this an "awesome" idea, he finds himself involved in a bizarre role-playing game with Jane's very bizarre friends (including the Vulcan-eared Trekkie seen at the end of episode 20). Meanwhile, Kitty and Edward are unhappily afloat in "duck soup," as their swimming pool is invaded by waterfowl. Enter Abby, who is getting a Berkeley degree in ornithological intelligence. (Larry: "It's the study of bird brains." Kitty: "Oh, that must be useful.")b: 20 May 98 pc: AE21 w: Susannah Hardaway & Charles Harper Yates d: Gail Mancuso NOTE: Dick Clark, rock singer Michelle Shocked and nationally syndicated radio personalities Mark & Brian make guest appearances. NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #11:
In February of '97, Dottie and I set out to create a series revolving around a woman whose personality is not a neurotic product of societal and parental conditioning, but of her own free-flowing, compassionate mind. In short we tried to create a character we personally knew nothing about. Then the most astonishing thing happened: this fictional character began to teach us to think differently. For instance, while writing, we'd be forced to ask, "how would Dharma deal with the emotion of anger?" Oh sure, she'd feel it -- feel it completely. But then she'd be just as likely to let it go like a cluster of ugly balloons. Okay fine, she'd let it go. How did she let it go? Probably by recognizing that no matter what the circumstances, emotions are self-generated. No one reaches inside your brain and flips the "anger" switch. So what does that teach us? Well, for me it means that all the anger I feel toward Cybill is ultimately created by me. Whoa, there goes an ugly balloon! Thanks, Dharma!
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Executive producers: Dottie Dartland, Chuck Lorre, Erwin More, Brian Medavoy
Co-executive producers: Bill Prady, Regina Stewart
Consulting producer: Don Foster, Sid Youngers
Produced by Randy Cordray
Associate producer: Michael Collier
Executive story editor: Eric Zicklin
Story editor: Charles Harper Yates
A new path in life opens suddenly at the newlyweds' feet when Donna, the express checkout girl at their local supermarket, reveals that she has been dumped by her boyfriend just as she is about to bear his child. When Dharma brings her home for the night, Donna gets a bright idea: why doesn't she give the baby to Dharma and Greg? Greg is dead against the idea but.... you can guess the rest except maybe the fact that the baby turns out to be black.b: 23 Sep 98 pc: 2ABD01 w: Dottie Dartland & Chuck Lorre d: Gail Mancuso NOTE: IMHO this is a dreadful false turning in the series' storyline, putting it prematurely into Mad About You territory. Let's hope the brilliant writers prove me wrong. NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #12:
Richie didn't know he was beginning a journey into darkness when he made love to Kate. All he knew was bliss. For a few surreal hours his identity simply melted away. Of course, he tried to maintain his objectivity. Sex for Richie was traditionally an ego-ridden activity - an athletic event designed to win the "you're incredible" trophy. But something else happened that night with Kate. He actually made love. He kissed her with love. He touched her with love. And finally, he entered her with a sense of devotion that dissolved all the fear-boundaries, which had caused him to be so alone. Unfortunately, Kate was just drunk and horny. Nothing even remotely special was happening in her camp. Richie had his first nervous breakdown shortly thereafter, although he preferred to think of it as a learning experience.
Abby and Larry assemble a village, which includes an African spiritual adviser, a troubadour, a storyteller who has taken a vow of silence, a lesbian lactation expert, and Jane to help Dharma and Greg with the baby. Greg is pleased, sort of, until he realizes that this entails everyone living with them during the baby's first formative years. Meanwhile, Kitty takes to her bed, convinced that her life is over now that she has become a grandmother overnight. Dharma promises to help Kitty fulfill her matriarchal ambitions by having "a whole buttload of kids," but is taken aback by Kitty's first dynastic decision: to name the baby after Edward's wealthy uncle Fergus.b: 30 Sep 98 pc: 2ABD02 w: Bill Prady & Regina Stewart d: Gail Mancuso NOTE: So far, so good. This episode contains two classic moments which are meaningless out of context and screamingly funny in context: Edward singing Ol' Man River and Kitty's line "Don't you sass me, young man!"
Trivia note: We learn that Jane is Canadian!
This is Chuck's vanity card #13:
Dave really looked like he was paying attention. He smiled, pursed his lips and nodded as if he were giving their comments and criticisms much thought. And why wouldn't he? They are the Grand Pooh-Bahs who protected the simple folk from unnecessary art. But the truth is, Dave's mind was elsewhere. And that's not just a figure of speech. His mind was actually in one of those little butt bags that kids like to wear these days. Now of course, Dave didn't start the meeting with his mind in a butt bag. When one of the muckamuckas was summing up a vague thesis with a meandering generality, Dave's mind was very much around his head. But then on its own volition, Dave's mind imagined all the attendees dancing around naked and squirting one another in their private parts with brightly-colored water pistols. And that was when it happened. That was when Dave's mind inexplicably slipped in a butt bag . . . right alongside his heart.
rc: Celia, Donna
Experimenting to see if her parents can be trusted to mind the baby, Dharma and Greg take the baby to the movies with them, but the incessant crying annoys the patrons around them, Dharma's crying. Abby approached Kitty to see if they can agree on a compromise between their family traditions for the baby's naming ceremony, which results in a huge gathering and a minister, a rabbi, and a shaman. (Yes, they tell jokes.) Even Kitty, with the help of Larry's special cookies, gets into the swing of things; and all is happiness until a telegram arrives: Donna has changed her mind and wants the baby back.b: 7 Oct 98 pc: 2ABD03 w: Bill Prady & Regina Stewart s: Dottie Dartland & Chuck Lorre d: Gail Mancuso NOTE: Okay, okay, I didn't like them adding a baby to the series, and I cried when it was taken away. Sue me.
This is Chuck's vanity card #14:
Some days Richie would wake up crying. His first thoughts would be of Kate and the emptiness he felt without her. Those were the darkest days. The days when the pain of her rejection reached back and formed an alliance with his earliest childhood memories. The women who couldn't love him now and the women who couldn't love him then, working together like a Sino-Soviet monolith lumbering toward total Richie domination. So, bright boy that he was, he worked hard, drank hard and chased soft women. Anything to forget that amazing day when Kate came to him and said she had been wrong, that Richie was indeed the man for her and she wanted them to be together always. Which is when Richie suddenly realized that Kate was nuttier than rat crap in a pistachio warehouse. Richie still wakes up crying.
It's traditional to fight on your first anniversary (even if Hallmark doesn't have a card for it): Dharma and Greg stage an argument to escape their parents' planned celebration, but in concocting the excuse Greg says Dharma was being "flighty," and the gloves come off. While they drive out of the city, Dharma retaliates by calling Greg a "stick in the mud," and soon their car is stuck in the mud when he tries to demonstrate how impetuous he can be. (Not very.) They hike to a diner, but find it closed because of a death in the owner's family; just as Greg breaks a pane in the door in order to use the phone, a highway patrolman happens by and the young couple get caught in a charade of being the replacement cook and waitress. There's a nice unspoken continuity with the first season episode in which Greg really did become a short order cook, and it's nice to see him sharing Dharma's role-playing game, even if unwillingly. But Dharma looks tense and unhappy even before Greg accidentally insults her. Are we to infer a further continuity with the stress from the loss of the baby?b: 14 Oct 98 pc: 2ABD04 w: Bill Prady & Eric Zicklin s: Chuck Lorre d: Amanda Bearse NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #27:
Dave was mildly disoriented when he realized he and Richie were the same person. This sort of cognitive moment tends to undermine a guy's sense of self. But it didn't stop there. When Dave looked around the room, he realized he was also Kate and Lorraine and Ted and Lenny. Heck, he was also the dying philodendron on the windowsill. Suddenly he felt enormous compassion for all these variations on himself, or rather "ourself", which he thought was a more appropriate label. The pain of loneliness and the fear of death were suddenly swept away by this one blinding flash of insight. It was so obvious! There are no separate forms of life. Life was life, just sort of wandering around looking at itself, loving itself, and unfortunately killing itself. Which is when Dave woke up *#@+, showered and shaved, went to work, worried about nonsense, drove home, watched a supposedly funny show, had a stiff drink and went to sleep again.
In the middle of a typical in-law squabble, Dharma and Greg answer an emergency call and rush to hospital, where they find a partially immobilized Pete who has dislocated both shoulders in a bizarre car accident. Greg is not too pleased at Dharma's offer to nurse Pete back to health, and after a traumatic visit to Pete's apartment to pick up his cat gives her far too much insight into Pete's life (or lack thereof) Dharma finds herself committed to cleansing her house guest both physically and spiritually. Meanwhile, Kitty convinces Abby's "Save the Ducks" fund raising committee that rather than making $800 with a bake sale, they can raise $80,000 with a fancy celebrity dinner featuring "Alan Alda, or one of the Baldwin boys." Trouble is when the event gets under way, the celebrity turns out to be not exactly environmentally aware Andrew Dice Clay. Jane becomes addicted to the one acceptable item in Pete's apartment: his vibrating, um, massage chair; and Pete's final act of chauvinism for this episode, involving beautiful twin masseuses who live above a liquor store, leaves him in a very embarrassing position indeed.b: 21 Oct 98 pc: 2ABD06 w: Noah Gregoropoulos & Julie Ann Larson s: Charles Harper Yates d: Gail Mancuso NOTE: This episode curiously fails to gel, perhaps because Pete has already supplied enough male piggery before the appearance of the deliberately appalling Clay. But the climax of the fund raiser, involving dozens of migrating ducks, is amazingly well staged.
This is Chuck's vanity card #16:
Richie was excited about his upcoming death. He rented a medium-priced banquet hall and invited all of his friends, family and co-workers to the happy event. But when the big day arrived, many were confused. There was Richie, walking and talking, actually having quite a good time. What kind of death was this? What Richie had failed to explain in the invitations was that the death he was celebrating was that of his carefully constructed ego. From this day on, Richie would cease to be Richie (except for tax purposes). For all other purposes he would simply be a continuously unfolding manifestation of the universe--a process not a thing. He tried to explain how blissfully liberating this was, that this was the enlightenment sought by wise men throughout the ages, but no one really understood. Of course it didn't help matters much that he kept pestering several female guests to show the continuously unfolding manifestation their sweater puppies.
**WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS!**
A hilariously spooky Halloween episode finds the couple engaged in amorous horseplay (Dharma showing Greg how to do a strip-tease for her) on the eve of their house-warming party when the dogs sniff out something eerie in their new apartment: a hidden storage closet full of antique dolls. Although Dharma senses evil, Greg talks her into going ahead with the event while he cleans away the dolls but in the middle of the party Dharma discovers the dolls have quietly returned to their former positions, together with two new dolls which bear an alarming resemblance to Dharma and Greg. Abbie intervenes with an exorcism (to Pete's amusement), then all seems well until the newlyweds hear heavy footsteps in the attic at midnight, and discover a single doll hung from the ceiling. Greg determines to spend all night in the attic to find out once and for all what is going on, joined by a reluctant Dharma, and they are both terrified when a trapdoor opens to reveal a screaming elderly woman who demands to know what they are doing in her attic. It turns out she makes dolls as an innocent hobby, basing them on people she sees from her window and hanging them up to dry at night. She invites them for tea; but when Dharma and Greg arrive bearing a cake, they are told the old woman died fifteen years ago. Once the couple has headed for the hills, the old woman and Jane appear: it was all Jane's Halloween prank.b: 28 Oct 98 pc: 2ABD05 w: Dottie Dartland & Fred Greenlee s: Chuck Lorre d: Gil Junger NOTE: Guest Elfman is Jenna Elfman's real-life husband. We discover at the end that Jane has inaugurated a new contest; presumably next year's Halloween episode will be Dharma's revenge? Oh, please.
This is Chuck's vanity card #17:
Dave still had vivid memories of when his mind was a quiet, useful ally - - a handy-dandy accessory that would discreetly remind him not to stick his little Dave fingers into light sockets. But that was long ago. Dave's mind was now in full revolt. One moment it would be idling nicely, waiting to notice, judge, critique or consider - - then, without warning, like a spider monkey or methamphetamines, it would start thinking ugly, angry, snarling monstrosities. Dave didn't know what to do. It was the only mind he had. And then he realized, it was out of his control because it was never his mind. It was just some scanning mechanism generated by billions of years of evolution, genetics, and conditioning. That made Dave feel better. At least until #*& #&S # mKeP %$&!#grrrrr %*%-I I *7) &% MWHA-HA-HA!&&* ( & *&*&*78#07 WHOO-gaa !$*& ) argeep++tynoop!&*
Greg is forced to make a very embarrassing public admission when he sees the first girl he claims to have slept with and her jealous husband makes some serious threats. Meanwhile, Dharma and Greg attend the wedding of Kitty's housekeeper and offer to park cars as a wedding gift.b: 4 Nov 98 pc: 2ABD07 w: Fred Greenlee & Bill Prady s: Chuck Lorre d: Gail Mancuso NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #18:
Surrender is a powerful word. It runs directly counter to everything Dave was taught. Dave was taught to fight for dominance-to struggle, to be the best. And after years of doing just that, Dave finally arrived at the mountain top, the plateau, the hollowed place where eagles crap. But Dave was still unhappy, because no matter how hard he fought, winning was an illusion-a mirage. But then Dave thought, what would happen if I just gave up? This universe isn't meant to be dominated. It's an incomprehensible vastness which created us and to which we'll ALL return. So Dave surrendered and discovered a happiness he never dreamed of. A sea of bliss in which he willingly drowned. But then he met this guy who was even happier and more blissful. You can guess the rest.
Dharma discovers Greg is really the only man for her when she agrees to attend a dance with a nerdy high school kid, but meets with some serious competition from the younger crowd.b: 11 Nov 98 pc: 2ABD08 w: Regina Stewart & Eric Zicklin s: Dottie Dartland d: J.D. Lobue NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #19:
The carotid artery. I think that's what it's called. The big blood vessel in the neck ... maybe it's the jugular, I don't know. But what ever you call it, the damn thing was spouting blood, probably with each beat of his heart. It was late, I was coming back from a gig and saw his car wiped-out on the side of the road, I pulled over and tried to help. I know that thing to do was to somehow stop the bleeding, but my hands were frozen. Instead, I told an unconscious teenager to hang in there, everything would be okay. A better Good Samaritan joined me eventually. He found an old shirt in the car and applied pressure to the kids neck while I directed traffic. Then a cop arrived and told us that he would take over. I nodded, got in my Corolla and slowly drove home. That was twenty (20) years ago. I still think about that kid and my frozen hands.
Dharma is surprised when both Jane and her parents accuse her of having changed because she is busy attending a society fundraiser with Kitty then alarmed when Kitty congratulates her on having changed to the extent that young socialites thinks she's "a hoot and a half." Her identity crisis is confirmed by a visit from the spirit of her Indian friend, George, who directs her to retreat to the Redwoods to find herself and conveys a cryptic message to "save the young one." An uncomprehending Greg reluctantly lets her go, persuading her to take Jane with her; then, upon seeing George in a dream, rushes to the woods in Larry's van to save Dharma and Jane, who have adopted a bear cub while remaining oblivious to the nearby presence of its angered mother. Best lines: George to Dharma: "You might have mentioned that you moved. I scared some skinny guy in the shower half to death!"; Larry, fleeing from the mother bear, slips on something in the woods and mutters, "That answers that question!"b: 18 Nov 98 pc: 2ABD09 w: Dottie Dartland & Bill Prady s: Chuck Lorre d: Chuck Lorre NOTE: Another hilarious episode with an unstated serious subtext, since Dharma's returning the cub to its mother is clearly part of the healing process following her giving up of her adopted son. Are these writers brilliant or what? Now, about Greg's dream visions of homoerotic behavior between Edward and Pete...
This is Chuck's vanity card #20:
Richie was in perfect health when he began reviewing his life. His reasoning was simple: if your life passes before you moments before you die, why not do it when things are going good? That way, when you're coughing up blood and forgetting your children's' names, you can just lay back and enjoy the morphine-drip carpet ride that takes you back to God. Richie's life review began with his teenage years because his actions during those years effectively blocked out all memory of the preceding years. He began slowly, looking for moments when he'd been kind and loving, generous and cheerful. Unfortunately, all he could remember was a bewildered, terrified, selfish, horny, angry, pimple-faced knucklehead. But that was okay. Part of the life review involved extending forgiveness. So Richie forgave that miserable teenager of long ago and began scanning his young adult years. Which is where he found a treasure trove of memories that caused him to cough up blood and forget his children's' names.
A gently surreal episode whose humor derives from escalating skewed logic in the Preston Sturges mode: Greg's hostile secretary Marlene (at last the wonderful Yeardley Smith returns!) is offended by her annual staff evaluation as "Satisfactory," while Greg is overjoyed by his "Superior" rating until he learns Pete got the same rating. When Greg confronts his boss, he is driven to desperation by the man's apparent complete inability to discriminate between similar items (Tahiti vs. Buffalo as a honeymoon destination, freshly baked bread vs. moldy supermarket bread), and almost unhinged by the boss's decision to put Pete in charge while he is in medical leave. At the same time Greg must deal with Dharma's impulse decision to open a store without first deciding what she will sell, and the fact that the place quickly becomes packed with people who find Dharma's environment strangely soothing and establish a barter economy amongst themselves. There is of course only one "logical" conclusion: despite the fact that Dharma is losing money, she makes a profit when she is bought out by Starbucks. (We leave her contemplating a "drive-through" version of her non-store.) Meanwhile, Larry tries to persuade Edward to buy a drug-running friend's power yacht, and the four-in laws find themselves held prisoner by an aggressive sea lion who climbs on board and won't leave.b: 25 Nov 98 pc: 2ABD10 w: Charles Harper Yates & Eric Zicklin s: Regina Stewart d: Ellen Gittelsohn NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #21:
It was a novel thought for Dave: What if he's not someone who is perpetually in need of repair? What if the real grunt work of self-improvement is simply being aware of the things one thinks, feels, says and does? Dave decided to put his novel thought to the test by being aware of the first feeling that came along. As it turned out, his first brain guest was the feeling of horny. Dave was aware that he was horny. But, his awareness told him he was not so much horny as lonely. And the loneliness was really just a deep-seeded fear that he was unworthy of being loved......even by himself. Suddenly, Dave no longed felt horny. Now he felt hungry. But not so much hungry as sad. And the sadness was really just a deep-seeded fear that he was unworthy of being loved ..... even by himself. Which caused Dave to no longer feel hungry. Now he felt insane. But, that was okay because he was aware of it. And it wasn't so much insane as psychologically giddy.
Gail Mancuso seems to direct all the best episodes, and this is no exception: A friendly game of strip poker between the newlyweds is interrupted by an emergency visit from Larry and Abbie (who are willing to wait a half hour until the sex is finished, an offer Greg can't accept). It turns out that their property is under siege by an unscrupulous developer who happens to be a former, and hated, classmate of Greg's. After Dharma invites the developer and his wife to dinner, then has to fight off his sexual advances, she is forced to accept Greg's viewpoint -- that he is evil -- and to seek a flattered Kitty's advice on how to get rid of him and save her parents' beloved home. The solution involves Jane, Pete, a trampoline, some garbage cans, and the IRS... and a wonderful coda using the trampoline. (In the course of the episode we also learn that Dharma has been both a magician's assistant and a professional casino dealer.)b: 9 Dec 98 pc: 2ABD11 w: Chuck Lorre & Bill Prady d: Gail Mancuso NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #22:
If he had pondered the problem for a hundred years, Hollywood agent Mort Tayback couldn't have dreamed of a better way to kill her. His plan was elegant and simple . . . he would make Carolyn famous - - and not just Courtney Cox famous or David Schwimmer famous. For Mort's murder to work, he'd have to make Carolyn a legend, an international icon, a transcendent luminosity upon whom men, women and children from San Bernardino to Zimbabwe would dream about. He liked the sound of that - "San Bernardino to Zimbabwe!" Carolyn, of course, wouldn't feel like she deserved such adulation (and who does, really). At which point she'd quickly descend into a deadly spiral of drugs and miscellaneous self-destructive behavior, culminating in her untimely death. The world would mourn, but not Mort Tayback. For this was his perfect plan of revenge, based on a maniacally simple premise: "If you want to kill someone you hate, make them famous."
When Greg convinces Dharma to accompany him and Pete to a football game, despite her lifelong aversion to competitive sports, he is unprepared for her sudden and total conversion into a fanatical San Francisco 49ers fan--and the term "fanatical" is not used lightly. When Dharma sneaks out to a game in the middle of dinner with her parents, Greg decides she needs help, and arranges an intervention involving quarterback Steve Young.b: 16 Dec 98 pc: 2ABD12 w: Fred Greenlee & Eric Zicklin s: Bill Prady d: Gail Mancuso NOTE: Doubtless it is my own aversion to competitive sports that prevents me from finding this episode terribly convincing.... though it does deepen our understanding of why Dharma needs Greg's "squareness" as a counterbalance to her excessive enthusiasms.
This is Chuck's vanity card #23:
My eulogy. I know I'm not dead, I just thought it would be kinda cool to write it myself, while I'm alive and well, and stick it on the end of a TV show. Okay, first, I meant well. Despite all the things for which I need to be forgiven, in my heart I know I meant well. I believe that my sins were driven by fear -- fear of being unloved, fear of poverty, fear of death, fear, fear, fear. What can I say? I was deeply influenced by a frightened mother. I'm not casting blame here; God knows what she dealt with as a little kid. Second, I tried hard. When it came to taking care of my children, I allowed nothing to get in my way - even a closer relationship with them. I attribute that sin to "fear of being a bad provider." There's so much more to say but as you can see, space is limited. I'll continue eulogizing myself on future vanity cards. In the meantime, there's nothing to fear but fear itself . . . and lethal diseases, random violence, and tragic accidents.
Edward's mother Beatrice is dying and knows it, despite the efforts of everyone around her to deny the fact except Dharma, who argues for honesty and gets a priceless Stradivarius as a keepsake, much to the horror of Kitty who believes it belongs in a museum -- especially after everyone has heard Dharma trying to learn "Three Blind Mice" on the instrument. Then Dharma learns something very surprising: Edward and Kitty's marriage was a whirlwind courtship bitterly opposed by Beatrice, who has never forgiven her "free-thinking" daughter-in-law and refuses to pass on the family heirloom engagement ring to her. Dharma tries to help mend fences before it's too late -- then tries to respect Beatrice's dying wish to pass on the ring when it is much, much too late. In a coda, Greg is more than happy to let Dharma's violin teacher borrow the Strad for a recital, then learns Dharma has taken up the trombone instead.b: 6 Jan 98 pc: 2ABD13 w: Dottie Dartland & Chuck Lorre d: Dottie Dartland NOTE: Another superbly funny episode, and to my knowledge the directing debut of co-author Dartland, who handles the cast very well indeed, particularly Kitty's rather touching inability to see any parallel between her marriage and Dharma's. Note also that the funeral features Greg's uncle Fergus after whom the baby had been named.
This is Chuck's vanity card #24:
To pierce through the illusion of separateness, to realize that which lies beneath the tormenting wound of duality -- that was a goal worthy of a lifetime. Richie, however, never really believed he could unravel the mystery which had baffled the greatest minds of humankind. He certainly didn't have anything resembling a great mind. Then it occurred to him ... maybe a great mind was not what was needed to see behind the veil of illusion. Maybe true perception comes from a great heart. This realization troubled Richie, for he knew in his gut that he didn't have a great heart either. But then he thought, perhaps with some desperation, maybe the secret was in having a great gut. Or nice shoes.
Role playing at a golf shop, the couple put on fake Southern accents and wind up endearing themselves to a genuine Southerner -- who turns out to be the federal judge before whom Greg must argue a cast the next day. After an evening's panic, he decides to tough it out and wins the case hands down (while mystifying Pete). But he discovers he has succeeded only too well: Judge Harper becomes the couple's best friend and constant companion, and Greg despairs at having to keep up the pretence forever -- especially when the judge comes to meet the entire extended family.b: 20 Jan 99 pc: 2ABD14 w: Dottie Dartland & Regina Stewart d: Gail Mancuso NOTE: While this episode has its charming moments, its premise rests on the questionable assumption that Southerners cannot tell when they are being mimicked, and is undermined by the fact that guest Dooley (who tries gamely), is no more convincing than Greg. But it's almost worth it for the priceless final tableau of the Montgomerys and Finklesteins as The Beverly Hillbillies.
This is Chuck's vanity card #25:
I want to take this opportunity to wish all my faithful vanity card readers a HAPPY NEW YEAR. I also want to thank all those tireless people who transcribe the ol' card and download it onto the Internet. I'm hoping '99 will be a great year for the vanity card, filled with fresh insights into the meaning of Life and plenty of pithy zingers that bring a smile to one and all. I don't have anything insightful or pithy at the moment. The truth is, I'm vamping like crazy here. Just killing time, looking for a clever point of view. A sweepingly original antidote on the mystery of Life, anything. Oh Hell, who am I kidding? This has been a terrible burden.....week after week, exec producer of D&G and write this freaking vanity card. No "Sit Ubu Sit" for me. Nooooooo, I had to create a voracious little stinker that gnawed at my piece of mind like a slightly irregular freckle which could be melanoma.....but I digress. HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYBODY
It's Dharma's birthday, but the surprise she gets isn't what Greg was planning. First his parents take them on a mock foxhunt, and the uncontrollably wild stallion at the stables becomes meek as a lamb as she as he meets Dharma (who nicknames him "Steve"). Groom Joaquin swears it's because the horse has fallen madly in love with Dharma -- and sure enough Steve starts showing up unexpectedly (and inexplicably) at the apartment. Meanwhile, Greg's old flame Barbara (guest Coyle reprises her role from episode five) is assigned to work with him on a case with an overnight deadline, but has to go home to deal with a plumbing emergency, so Greg accompanies her, and over several hours of hard work they both fall asleep. When Dharma gets back from returning Steve to the stables, it's 3:00 am and Greg is missing, so she calls Pete, who assumes the worst and swears that Greg is passed out drunk on his floor. When Greg is late leaving work for Dharma's party and still has to stop off at the jeweler's for his surprise gift, Pete lies again and tells Dharma Greg has stopped off at a bar. Dharma and Abby conclude that Greg has a secret drinking problem and arrange an intervention, their suspicions only fuelled by Greg's outraged protestations. When he breaks down and tells Dharma the truth, she storms off -- followed by the omnipresent Steve -- but is ultimately reconciled by Greg's gift of diamond earrings. (In a coda, Dharma introduces Steve to Barbara, and it's mutual love at first sight.)b: 3 Feb 99 pc: 2ABD15 w: Julie Ann Larson & Charles Harper Yates s: Regina Stewart d: Bob Berlinger NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #26:
A valued member of the D&G staff, Informio the clown, has been encouraging me to use the vanity card to exercise the non-verbal right-side of my brain. Well, Informio, this hemisphere's for you.
Drawing of a screaming man lying on his back, with hovering birds about to attack.
Thanks a lot, Informio. Now I have to go back into therapy. Stupid clown.
After a dehumanizing experience with bureaucratic red tape, Dharma is inspired to run for office, and thanks to a pair of wacky opponents and a hefty campaign contribution from Edward, she may have a real shot. Meanwhile, Pete and Jane find a shocking way to fight the alone-on-Valentine's-Day blues.b: 10 Feb 99 pc: 2ABD16 w: ______________ d: ______________ NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #27:
When Richie figured out that the universe truly was an illusion, he was quite dumbfounded at the simplicity of the insight. Unless some sort of awareness exists to perceive the whole shebang, the whole shebang effectively does not exist. It could be an infinite space filled with stars and planets, or a plaid snot rag wrapped around a bottle of pseudoephedrine hydrochloride. Or, to put it another way, when a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, there is no sound. For a sound to be a sound, there must be some sort of ear hooked to some sort of intelligence that says something like, "What was that?" Otherwise the sound might as well plaid snot rag rapped around a bottle of pseudoephedrine hydrochloride. So now Richie understood that energy and mass only exist because of awareness, which means they have no inherent existence. Of course he had this insight while fighting a bad head cold, so that might have had something to do with it.
As Election Day approaches, Dharma and Greg's relationship hits stormy seas due to clashes over her campaign strategy. Meanwhile, an aggressive opponent may really rain on Dharma's parade.b: 17 Feb 99 pc: 2ABD17 w: ______________ d: ______________ NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #28:
When I was a young man I got this guitar and sorta learned how to make it talk. Not as articulately as the guys I worshipped, but I did manage to get that old Strat to speak with a certain fluency and syntax. On good nights, I could make it scream with anger or cry like a baby. There were even times when my hands did things that would utterly surprise me - - when the thousands of hours of practice exploded into music that seemed to come from someone else entirely. I couldn't imagine a life without three pickups and that cool setting between treble and midrange. But eventually I realized my teenage dream was turning into an adult nightmare. In order to provide for my family, I traded the six-string Fender for a four-camera sitcom. I guess in hindsight it was a good trade, although on good nights while writing and producing Roseanne, Grace Under Fire, and Cybill you could hear me screaming and crying like a baby.
Election day is here, and Dharma has finally mastered the art of politics. But it's her own body that teaches her that lying can lead to flu, rashes, eye sties, oozing sores and even a bout of the gout.b: 24 Feb 99 pc: 2ABD18 w: Don Foster & Regina Stewart s: Dottie Dartland & Chuck Lorre d: Will Mackenzie NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #29:
As an experiment, I just set my computer's calendar to 1/1/00. So far so good. The system seems to be dealing with the 00 date without too much trouble. Although I did just notice that President McKinley is running for re-election, and Americans are certainly smelling better, now that one home in seven has a bathtub. On a sour note, bubonic plague has struck Honolulu and the entire city had to be set on fire to destroy the disease-carrying rats. I just read about a fellow named Harvey Firestone who clams to have a bright idea about attaching rubber tires to rims. Rubber tires? What good will those be on trolley cars? Finally, as I sit here on my porch, sipping lemonade, I feel comfortable in predicting that the 20th Century will be a peaceful one.
Dharma and Greg join their parents, and even Pete and Jane, on a couples' retreat. But when they repeatedly fail tests designed to demonstrate the strength of their relationship (while Pete and Jane score tops), they resort to covert measures. Meanwhile, Kitty and Edward find a weekend in the wild to be just that.b: 3 Mar 99 pc: 2ABD19 w: Bill Prady & Sid Youngers d: Will Mackenzie NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #30:
I feel that the alter-egos of Richie and Dave are beginning to wear out their welcome in my vanity cards. The spiritual searcher, "Richie," is named after my childhood friend, a gentle giant and bonafide genius. "Dave" is derived from the classic Cheech and Chong piece "Dave's not here." I used Richie and Dave to explore themes I was personally uncomfortable with. As fictional characters, I could send them charging into emotional, intellectual, moral, sexual and spiritual machine gun nests, while I sat safely behind the lines. This is literary cowardice. Beginning now, any vanity card musings will be written from my own point-of-view.
"Wait one darn minute! I'm real, and so is Dave! This should actually be called The Richie and Dave Vanity Card!"
"You're damn right, Richie. If anyone's fictional, it's Chuck Lorre."
Uh-oh, little help?
When Greg rather reluctantly gives Dharma half of his on-line investment account, she becomes obsessed with profit (even borrowing from her parents), but unwisely follows a tip from a friend of Larry's and sinks everything into a San Francisco company that promptly sinks even further. When she appeals to a recently retired Edward for help, he quickly rejuvenates the business, which happens to merchandize women's fashions for men: edrag.com; but Kitty objects that Edward's golden years were reserved for her.b: 31 Mar 99 pc: 2ABD20 w: Dan Foster & Regina Stewart s: Chuck Lorre & Bill Prady d: Gail Mancuso NOTE: As far as I am concerned, everyone involved in this episode deserved an instant Emmy: it is one of the funniest half hours ever produced for network television. The second act goes far beyond "La Cage aux Folles" in just under ten minutes.
This is Chuck's vanity card #31:
There's a wonderful story about a learned man who went to see a Zen master to debate the merits of Zen. The master poured him a cup of tea, and purposely kept pouring so the tea ran over the cup and spilled onto the table. The man was startled and asked the master what he was doing. The Zen master replied, "You are like this cup, too full of your own opinions to receive anything else." Now I'd like to ask everyone reading this vanity card to empty yourselves of all your opinions, beliefs, fears, hopes, resentments and desires for just one moment. Just let them all go . . . empty your cup. Good. Some call this emptiness nirvana - attained by years of meditation. I would suggest that there's another path to attain this state of emptiness - write and produce twenty-four sitcom episodes in thirty-five weeks. Which is the origin of Zen riddle - if no one hears a comedy writer weeping inconsolably while curled in a fetal ball, is he still funny?
Dharma pushes her mother-in-law's fortitude to the absolute limit when she presents Kitty with an award at a country-club luncheon -- and later wrecks her car.b: 5 May 99 pc: 2ABD21 w: Julie Ann Larson & Bill Prady s: Dottie Dartland & Chuck Lorre d: Gail Mancuso NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #32:
The secret of life: praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind. To be happy, rest like a great tree in the midst of them all. Did you get that? Okay, here it is again: praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind. To be happy, rest like a great tree in the midst of them all. Got it? No? All right, don't panic. Once again: praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind. To be happy, rest like a great tree in the midst of them all. Are you a great tree yet? ... Aw, geez. Okay, once again: praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind. To be happy, rest like a great tree in the midst of them all. Ya' happy? ... Good. Unfortunately, that's not the secret of television, so tell all your friends to watch Dharma & Greg and while you're at it, see if you can get a Nielson box .. get a Nielson box .. get a Nielson box .. get a Nielson box ..
Greg is forced to go with the flow when Larry makes a few improvements in the loft and lets in more than just a spring shower; and Dick Clark pays a visit during Edward's surreal flashback sequence.b: 12 May 99 pc: 2ABD23 w: Fred Greenlee s: Julie Ann Larson d: Gail Mancuso NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #33:
I happen to believe that a life unexamined is a life not worth living. I also happen to believe that a life examined will cause an incredible amount of heartache. With that dilemma in mind, here's where my examination has gotten me so far. The only real progress I've made as a human being came at those times when my carefully constructed ego was completely shattered by people and/or events. Unfortunately, that progress was always short-lived because each and every incident of ego deflation was followed by years of building up a stronger, more resilient replacement. Son, friend, athlete, musician, rebel, space cadet, husband, daddy, TV writer-producer, divorced guy, jerk, smart guy, wiseguy, fool, seventeen handicap, success, failure are all false selves because they are fleeting processes with no real substance or permanence. So where does this leave Chuck Lorre? Egoless? I wish. But it does make one think, maybe Prince was on to something when he shed his name for a symbol. Hmmm . . .
rc: Marlene (voice only)
Greg discovers he should pay more attention to his wife's intuition when Dharma has a nightmare and begs him not to go away on a business trip.b: 19 May 99 pc: 2ABD22 w: Dan Foster & Sid Youngers s: Dottie Dartland d: Amanda Bearse NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #34:
The more I investigate the non-realm that lies just beyond, beneath or throughout the non-realm I think we're in, the more I'm convinced that it will take the heart of a warrior to continue. I suppose part of the reason for that is it requires courage to not be seduced by the comfort level generated by this particular illusion. Isn't it easier to just layback and slip-slide into the daily grind of unconsciousness? And then there's the cultural conditioning, which proclaims, "This is it! What you see is what you get." Now, let's think about that for a moment. What we see is what we get. Hmmm... We can't see electrons. We can't see a virus. We can't see getting an honest profit participating in anything we write - and yet we still believe these things exist. Which brings me to God. Isn't it strange that we can look up at a night sky, at a majestic mountain, at the sculpted behind of a beautiful woman in spiked heels, and have trouble believing in God. But I digress.
When Dharma and Greg decide to go on a first date to get reacquainted the old-fashioned way, their courtship doesn't go as well as planned: a furious Dharma moves back in with her parents and refuses to speak to a penitent Greg.b: 26 May 99 pc: 2ABD24 w: Chuck Lorre & Bill Prady d: Gail Mancuso NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #35:
Dharma & Greg adopt a baby, they break into a diner and serve pie, their closet is haunted by devil dolls, Kitty sues Larry for a broken ass, Pete lets the bad air out, Dharma goes to the big dance, a dead friend sends D&G to the big trees, Greg falls asleep in a very bad place, Dharma goes into the nothing business, Edward comes out of retirement in a simple blue frock, Greg says "y'all," Dharma runs a button hook with Steve Young, D&G run from an angry bear, the in-laws are attacked by an angry sea lion, confused ducks attack a fund-raiser, a horse falls for Dharma, Greg is nibbled by a curious goat, Dharma tries out a Stradivarius, a coffin and a Ferrari, Good and Evil meet on a trampoline, politics gets ugly, Pete and Jane tie a bad knot, D&G peel potatoes, Santana bonds Greg and Larry, food fight with Kitty, Greg and Pete crash and burn, and marriage doesn't stop D&G from dating. You don't believe me? Watch the reruns, dude! Thanks to everyone who taped and paused. See you next year!
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rc: Celia, Marlene
Questioning his place in the universe, Greg begins a journey of self-discovery by exploring his reasons for becoming a lawyer.b: 21 Sep 99 pc: 3ABD01 w: ______________ d: ______________ NOTE: The third season gets off on a rather feeble note, since this story arc was dealt with rather fully in "Do You Want Fries With That?".
This is Chuck's vanity card #36:
I recently mentioned to an engineer friend of mine that I get slightly crazed when things are less than perfect. To my surprise he looked at me with a crooked little smile and said, "Oh, but things are perfect." A few days later our conversation continued. This time he told me that the universe was expanding at exactly the right speed to keep it from flying apart or collapsing back into itself. He also noted that the subatomic makeup of our bodies was calibrated so magnificently that were it off by less than one percent, two human bodies approaching one another would release enough energy to blow the Earth out of its orbit. And consider this: if a plane loses its wings at thirty thousand feet, and DOESN'T fall to the ground, then we would be living in a world where fat people could stick rockets in their ass and fly to Miami for a three-day weekend. Now, if you're like me and don't find that to be an improvement on the laws of nature, then I think you have to agree with my friend -- things are perfect.
Dharma tracks the missing Greg down at a seedy motel. (I missed this episode and it has not yet been rerun.)b: 28 Sep 99 pc: 3ABD02 w: ______________ d: ______________ NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #37:
I wanted to take this opportunity to welcome all my loyal vanity card readers back for year three of D & G. As you can see, I've changed the card to black print on a white background in the hope that this will facilitate reading while you "pause" your videotape. I also wanted to use this card to talk about what I did on my summer vacation. Rather than go to Europe, or some exotic locale, I chose to go on a spiritual journey. Among other things, my journey led to this stunning realization: For as long as I can remember, I've mistakenly felt that God, or some kind of higher power, had taken everyone aside and explained to them what this life was all about. And for some twisted, cosmic reason, it was decided that I alone would remain in the dark. Uncovering this self centered misconception was an enormous breakthrough for me. For the first time in my life I didn't feel like an ignorant, frightened outsider. As a result, next summer, one more ignorant, frightened insider is going to Paris!
When the financial realities of Greg's unemployment sink in, Dharma takes on a slew of new jobs and makes a deal with the devil to make ends meet: she accepts covert checks from Kitty in exchange for expanded mother/daughter-in-law time spent together. Only when Edward takes Greg to a high-power suits party while Kitty takes her to the opera to see "Faust" does Dharma come to her senses and rush back just in time to prevent Greg from accepting a corporate job.b: 5 Oct 99 pc: 3ABD03 w: Julie Ann Larson & Rachel Sweet s: Michelle Nader & Jonathan Schmock d: Amanda Bearse NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #38:
Dear Dad, I want to apologize for being such a rotten son. I want to say how sorry I am for all the pain I brought into your life. For the years I humiliated you with my ridiculous hair, my moronic clothes and my stupid, stupid behavior. For all the times I ignored your heart-felt advice and hard-won wisdom. And finally, I want to apologize for despising you for reasons I still don't understand. Please know that my thoughts, words and actions were the best I had at the time. I also want to thank you for endowing me with a sense of humor. It has proven to be a priceless inheritance, and I don't use the word priceless loosely. You should see where I live. I also need to thank you for showing me what courage, strength and personal integrity looked like in action. I'm still trying to live up to that part of my inheritance. I miss you so much, Dad, and yet I feel your presence more and more with each passing year. Love, Chuck. P.S. You'll be happy to know that your grandchildren are a definite improvement on their father.
Dharma agrees to play drums for a friend's teenage garage band.b: 12 Oct 99 pc: 3ABD04 w: Eddie Gorodetsky & Fred Greenlee s: Chuck Lorre d: Robert Berlinger NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #39:
Inspiration. Noun. 1. Stimulation of the faculties to a high level of feeling or activity. 2. The condition of being so stimulated. 3. An agency, such as a person or a work of art, that moves the intellect or emotions. 4. Something that is inspired, as an idea or action. 5. Theology: Divine guidance or influence exerted directly upon the mind and soul of man. 6. The act of breathing in; inhalation. (From the Latin inspirare, to breathe into) I'm under a lot of pressure to get one of these vanity cards written every week and to be perfectly honest, some weeks I've got squat. Like this week. Nothing of substance to say. Nothing even marginally amusing. Which is why I'm hoping for a little of #1 or perhaps even #5. I'm just sitting here waiting... just sitting here... Oh, well, at least I'm doing well with #6. Which, if you read the definition again, still counts as inspiration. How about that, I'm inspired... and expired... and inspired... and expired... inspired...
Dharma decides to help Kitty fulfill her lifelong dream of winning a beauty pageant.b: 19 Oct 99 pc: 3ABD05 w: ______________ d: ______________ NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #40:
Once upon a time there was a wave. The name of the wave was, no surprise, Dave. Dave the wave. Dave was a big, powerful wave. His massive blue body surged across the surface of the ocean with great majesty and deceptive speed. Oh yes, Dave was quite a wave. From the moment he rose up from the ocean he felt special. He felt invincible. Ferocious storms battered him with wind and rain, great ships sliced through his very heart, and yet he rolled on. It was not for him to stop and consider the other waves. To stop was to die. Waves have to keep moving... or else. But then one day Dave saw a strange darkness on the horizon and, for the first time in his life, felt fear. What could it be? Was it connected to the laughing creature sliding across his face on a piece of wood? But before he could make sense of it all, he crashed down into the darkness. For a brief moment he felt a weird, splashing feeling, then oblivion. Dave was no more. He was now a part of the sea. And as we all know, the sea loves to make waves.
Dharma becomes convinced that the ghost of a recently deceased neighbor wants to conduct some unfinished business -- and the spirit soon moves Greg in a rather carnal way.b: 26 Oct 99 pc: 3ABD06 w: Jenna Bruce & Michelle Nader s: Bill Prady & Regina Stewart d: Amanda Bearse NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #41:
In an earlier vanity card I made a joke that involved sticking rockets in the asses of fat people, thus enabling them to fly to Miami for a three-day weekend. At this time I am forced to admit that the joke was in bad taste and may have hurt the feelings of some of my readers who are calorically challenged. I especially regret the gaffe since frankly, I should know better. I spent two years on "Roseanne" where I was repeatedly beaten over the head with a simple truth: "fat" jokes are cheap jokes. I was also told that I was an incompetent hack intent on destroying the show, but that's another matter for another vanity card. The purpose here is to make amends to my corpulent compadres; my endomorphic, abdominous buds; my swag-bellied, moonfaced, roly-poly pals. This is not the place for any more thoughtless japes at the bloated, bulky or broad of beam. From this moment on, I solemnly vow to restrain from any and all juvenile badinage aimed at the jumbo dumplings who walk among us. Thank you, and good night.
Greg decides his life's fulfillment lies on the professional golf course, but Dharma isn't so sure if she should let him play through, given that Greg's journey of self-discovery may mean relocating to Scotland.b: 2 Nov 99 pc: 3ABD07 w: ______________ d: ______________ NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #42:
Thirty thousand feet in the air. Strapped into a seat that doubles as a floatation device. Thinking about faith. Faith in airplanes. In jet engines. In pilots. Faith that the sullen, unshaved guy across the aisle isn't the mindless pawn of a master terrorist with a deep hatred for America, the Great Satan. Then, assuming a safe landing, faith that the cabbie didn't have a fight with his adulteress wife who hides her deceit behind sly jokes about his unremarkable sexual prowess forcing him to soothe his anguish with that fifth of Jim Beam he keeps stashed beneath the seat. And, of course, faith that the doorknob leading out of the public bathroom isn't tainted with a flesh-eating bacteria that came to Earth imbedded in a small, flat meteorite that some unsuspecting child picked up to skip across the surface of a lake. Yes, faith is a wonderful thing. Without it, this world would surely be a fearful place. Once again, thanks for reading my vanity card. Have a nice day.
Abby and Larry decide to make it official after thirty years of unwedded bliss, provided they can get Kenny Loggins to sing at the ceremony. Meanwhile, Greg comes full circle on his search for tranquility a part-time resident of the local park comes to him with a legal problem.b: 9 Nov 99 pc: 3ABD08 w: Don Foster & Eddie Gorodetsky s: Michelle Nader & Jonathan Schmock d: Chuck Lorre NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #43:
For many years I've been fascinated by the phenomenon known as automatic writing. If this strange occurrence could be made to work in television comedy, and I could harness it, my productivity would no doubt increase tenfold. I decided that there was only one way to find out. I would have to turn on the computer, close my eyes, and trust that some cosmic power would embrace my humble consciousness, causing my fingers to fly across the keyboard in an explosion of cutting-edge humor. Please keep in mind that I claim no authorship for what follows.
Ally felt strangely powerful knowing that she was not wearing panties and by what she had just done in the bathroom.
ALLYYour Honor, my client's injuries were clearly masturbated by the actions of the defendant. Oops! I meant exacerbated.
Constant interference makes Greg wish that his new law practice were a little more private, especially when Dharma keeps solving his client's problems without recourse to the law; Dharma reaches out to her landlady on behalf of the other tenants; Larry pursues an increasingly vindictive feud against his neighbor -- who turns out to be his uncle.b: 16 Nov 99 pc: 3ABD09 w: Jenna Bruce & Chuck Lorre s: Regina Stewart d: Amanda Bearse NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #44:
The concept of prayer, as I've always understood it, was that one beseeched God for what one wanted. Make me rich, famous, sexy, happy, married, single, whatever -- just improve upon the status quo. In my humble opinion, this is a waste of time. That's not to say that I think prayer is a waste of time. In fact, I now believe that prayer is essential to a happy life -- just not the kind of prayer that asks for stuff. What I now believe is that the true purpose of prayer is for us to get our actions and thoughts into alignment with the universe as it really is, as opposed to how we wish it to be. If we assume an omnipotent God, then God is everything. In other words, God is the universe as it really is. With that in mind, I've been praying a lot lately so that I might properly align myself. The two messages I've received thus far are: "be kind and loving" and "have fun while it lasts". While I find that comforting, it troubles me that the two ideas seem incompatible. Maybe I've been in L.A. too long.
In an attempt to make Thanksgiving more enjoyable than last year's debacle (which we see in flashbacks), Dharma and Greg devise a plan to entirely avoid their families. When it becomes clear how much this has hurt everyone, the pair wind up more stuffed than any turkey after eating four Thanksgiving dinners: their own, one cooked (barely) by Kitty, another with Abby and Larry, and a fourth with Celia's family -- who have a fight that top last year's.b: 23 Nov 99 pc: 3ABD10 w: Michelle Nader & Sid Youngers s: Bill Prady d: Amanda Bearse NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #45:
Over the years, I have resented you for not being athletic enough, brave enough, funny enough, smart enough, talented enough, handsome enough, rich enough, admired enough, educated enough, New York enough, out going enough, quiet enough, old enough, young enough, loving enough and loved enough. I have demanded perfection from you and have found you wanting. The result of this obsession with perfection has been to make you terrified of failure and ridicule, angry at any and all obstacles, and finally, incapable of enjoying the bounty that was not only around you, but within you as well. Well, all that's about to change. From now on, I'm going to make every effort to love and accept you as you are. But since bad habits die hard, I'll start with something easy. From now on, you're old enough.
While his fledgling independent law practice struggles, Greg feels emasculated when Dharma hits the jackpot in a TV commercial whose producers caught her in a late-night promo for Greg's business.b: 30 Nov 99 pc: 3ABD11 w: Eddie Gorodetsky & Jonathan Schmock s: Jenna Bruce & Rachel Sweet d: Asaad Kelada NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #46:
Dear Vanity Card Readers,
I regret to inform you that I will not be writing a vanity card this week due to illness. Nothing serious, just your average, common cold versus aspirin, antihistamines, vaporubs, humidifiers, throat lozenges, vitamins, homeopathic remedies, buckets of chicken soup that I can't smell, and enough squeezably soft facial tissue to exfoliate my nose down to the skull. But what I find most fascinating is that while nothing's worked, I persist in thinking I can ''beat'' a common cold. Why am I incapable of accepting my helplessness? Is the inability to accept helplessness a survival trait or the cause of suffering? I can't amaze my friends at cocktail parties by levitating the dip, but I accept that I'm powerless over gravity and thus do not suffer. Likewise, I can't sing like Joe Cocker, but I accept my inability to emulate Ray Charles and feel just fine about it. Anyway, there won't be a vanity card this week. Geez, I feel clammy, maybe I should take more zinc. Yeah, zinc, that'll do it.
Worried that they've run out of friends, Dharma and Greg "interview" a series of potential couples to see who meets their strict requirements.b: 14 Dec 99 pc: 3ABD12 w: Fred Greenlee & Chuck Lorre s: Regina Stewart d: J.D. Lobue NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #47:
I recently found myself in a room with a group of complete strangers. As each one spoke, I noticed I was making a snap judgment about that person. Sometimes the judgment was warm and appreciative. But more often, it was of the "Geez, what a vacuum tube this guy is" variety. At first I was troubled by this ugly mental reflex. But then I was hit with a flash of insight. As I gazed around the room I realized that if each person was animated by the same energy -- call it God, call it carbon based, chemical doowhackies -- then each person was essentially life doing the best that it can. Suddenly my judgments were replaced by a pervasive feeling of love. Emboldened by my epiphany, I meditated upon a TV executive with whom I'd recently had difficult relations. I visualized this person not as an arrogant prig, but as "life doing the best that it can." Which is when my insight grew deeper. I now believe that the ability to suspend judgment and flow love, works really well with complete strangers.
Finding that Greg is overwhelmed with paper work (and that her own efforts to help only lead to desktop carnal encounters), Dharma determines to hire him a first-rate legal secretary. She tries to get pointers from Greg's former secretary Marlene, but discovers that Marlene's only real skill is in dodging work. After submitting applicants to a battery of tests, both skill-related and New Age, Dharma finds the perfect secretary: the intelligent, caring, spiritually centered Kim -- who also happens to be a former fashion model. Despite Jane's skepticism, Dharma insists she trusts Greg completely and goes out of her way to throw Kim & Greg together, going so far as to have her accompany Greg to a dance with Kitty and Edward while she goes to a Smothers Brothers vineyard jamboree with Abby and Larry. When the car brakes Kim supposedly had serviced fail, Dharma's trust looks like a fatal mistake...b: 11 Jan 00 pc: 3ABD13 w: Bill Prady & Rachel Sweet s: Chuck Lorre d: Amanda Bearse NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #48:
Zen mind, beginner's mind. The phrase, popularized by Zen master Shunryu Suzuki, means exactly what it says -- the Zen mind is a beginner's mind. It has no preconceptions or fixed ideas. It is open, questioning and delighted. When I began in television, I had a beginner's mind, but over the years I acquired a mind that was filled with so much stuff that my creativity became frozen. My joy became a dim memory. Obviously the answer was to re-cultivate the "beginner's mind." Less obvious was how to jettison this "acquired mind" when I was firmly convinced it exists solely to protect and serve the self. The answer was to jettison the self, to annihilate the ego that clings to the "acquired mind." Well, after many months of meditation, I've done just that. The rules and boundaries of the "acquired mind" have been replaced with the wonder and delight of a child-like beginner's mind. My writing once again flows effortlessly, and the result is a new sitcom entitled "Pooping!" or "Mr. Poopie" -- whichever tests better.
Dharma's friendship with two police officers gets her anti-establishment father Larry hot under the collar, and the family feud threatens to ruin Abby's surprise birthday party.b: 24 Jan 00 pc: 3ABD14 w: Regina Stewart & Don Foster s: Chuck Lorre d: Randy Cordray NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #49:
For the last two and a half years I've been amazed and delighted at the response my vanity cards have received from all the folks who watch and tape D & G. I've also been very appreciative of the many Internet sites where each week the cards are transcribed (sometimes accurately, sometimes not). Anyway, it seemed like a logical next step for me to make the cards even more available. Unfortunately, and for reasons I can't go into, I'm not allowed to tell you how this has been done. I can't even give you any hints. About all I can tell you is that all the cards are now out there for your easy perusal, but the only way to find them is to use your imagination. I would also like to mention that if you are clever enough to locate them, please pass it on. Thanks, ChuckLorre.
Dharma lends a helping hand to singer-songwriters Lyle Lovett and k.d. lang when their fame and fortune leaves them unfulfilled. Meanwhile, a sarcastic hotel clerk spoils plans for the couple's romantic Valentine's Day getaway.b: 8 Feb 00 pc: _________ w: Eddie Gorodetsky & Jonathan Schmock s: Chuck Lorre d: Asaad Kelada NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #50:
I was recently asked by a journalist why I write these vanity cards. It seemed like a simple enough question, but the truth is, I was stumped. Why do I write them? Not for money certainly, although I continue to hold out hope. Is it a creative exercise from which I derive great pleasure? Not really. I've always felt that the act of writing isn't nearly as enjoyable as the feeling that comes from "having written." So why do I do it? Well, after careful consideration I've come to believe that had I been even a moderately successful communicator in my formative years, I would feel little compulsion to communicate now. This leads me to wonder, would it have been appropriate to have told the journalist that I write these vanity cards because I was incapable of expressing myself as a youngster, a situation which caused me unbearable anguish and is only now beginning to dissipate? Maybe. But I didn't. I told him I write them because it's fun. And this leads me to a question: if he's writing about my writing, what kind of miserable childhood did he have?
While spending the weekend at Dharma's parents' house, Greg fears they're in grave danger when an old family friend shows up unexpectedly -- Nunzio and Stinky dig up his skeleton in Larry's garden. Meanwhile, Larry and Abby run into Edward and Kitty on a flight to Washington and discover that Edward is testifying before Congress on an environmental issue that Larry and Abby are protesting.b: 15 Feb 00 pc: _________ w: Bill Prady & Michelle Nader s: Julie Ann Larson d: J.D. Lobue NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #51:
I've never understood the phrase ''God's will be done.'' It certainly wasn't bandied about while I was growing up on Long Island. Were it not for TV and the movies, I probably would never have heard it at all (prune-faced sodbusters in the Old West seemed to say it a lot). The American psyche of the Fifties and Sixties celebrated our will, not God's -- and we believed our will was limitless. But thankfully, as I've gotten older, I've come to realize that my will is anything but limitless. I can will myself to knowledge, but not to wisdom. I can will myself to pleasure, but not to happiness. I can will myself to money, but not to a sense of security. I can will myself to veggies and aerobics, but not to good health. Hell, I can will myself to bed, but not to sleep. All of which leads me to conclude that my deepest desires were never attainable through the exercise of my will. There's a feeling of relief in that conclusion. And unless God has a Manhattan attitude towards people from Long Island, there's a small bit of hope.
Dharma runs into an old boyfriend (Jason Beghe) whose endless, high-flown tales of jet setting sound more and more like flights of fancy. Meanwhile, Greg's hernia becomes a popular topic for discussion and forces several trips to the doctorb: 22 Feb 00 pc: _________ w: Bill Prady & Regina Stewart s: Sid Youngers & Rachel Sweet d: Amanda Bearse NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #52:
NEWS! Chuck Lorre announced today that he was making his second run at purchasing Universal Studios. Lorre said, "Back when they were on the block to Matsushita I offered to keep the company in American hands by personally buying it for one hundred thousand dollars -- eighty-eight five in cash plus a late model Jeep Cherokee with low miles. My offer was rudely rebuffed. The chaos that ensued under foreign ownership was my only satisfaction. This time around I'm upping my offer to a cool one million dollars -- all in cash, but I'd be open to throwing in a 1995 Mercedes sedan." Lorre said his goal was twofold: to liberate Universal from the cruel yoke of Canadian domination and, once in charge, to quickly green light a big-budget motion picture based on "Major Dad". Lorre went on to say that if he failed in his bid for Universal, he would consider making a run at UPN. Lorre says for that coveted prize he's willing to go as high as eight thousand dollars and a home stereo system that is still under warranty.
Much to Greg's horror, Dharma tries to help Donald make a memorable evening of his first sexual experience. Meanwhile, Greg searches for memories from his childhood but decides he would rather remain in the present; and Larry develops temporary powers of recollection.b: 29 Feb 00 pc: _________ w: Don Foster s: Sid Youngers & Rachel Sweet d: Asaad Kelada NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #53:
In a recent New York Times article about the King of Jordan, the King discussed an episode of Dharma & Greg, which explored some of the issues he faces in running his country. Can I just tell you... this makes me very happy. I mean, c'mon, the King of Jordan watches our show and finds wisdom in it! Not the King of Big Screen TV's, mind you -- the King of Jordan! Now if Sting is right, and we live in a universe of synchronicity, it then follows that a single episode of Dharma & Greg could bring peace to the Middle East. Heck, as long as I'm chasing this pussycat, let me just ask, are there any more world leaders out there watching the show? If so, please feel free to contact me directly. I know you're busy and can't watch every week, so we'll discuss your problems and then determine which episode of D&G would be best for you to watch. Who needs think tanks and big shot consultants? The reason you guys are world leaders is that you know where the truth is: Dharma & Greg, the sitcom fit for a king!
For the first time in her life, Dharma gets depressed about her sex life when she discovers that Greg can't make a move in the bedroom without checking his day planner first. Meanwhile, a depressed Greg confides in Pete, who convinces him the only logical explanation for the downturn in his sex life is that Dharma is seeing someone else.b: 14 Mar 00 pc: _________ w: Regina Stewart & Julie All Larson s: Chuck Lorre & Bill Prady d: Will Mackenzie NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #54:
I just got home from the Writers' Guild of America awards banquet. We lost. For the second year in a row, we lost. I'm not bitter we lost. We just lost. I expected we'd lose, and we did. Again. A few months ago we went to the Golden Globes. We lost there, too. For the second time. But that's okay. It's nice to see old friends at these show-biz shindigs. It's nice to be acknowledged by my peers and by members of the foreign press. And let's not forget, good work is its own reward. Knowing that I did my best and had fun doing it is really all I can ask for. But the most important thing is, three more awards shows -- win or lose -- and I'll have fully amortized my lousy tuxedo. Okay, maybe I'm a little bitter.
Dharma's ritual of unburdening her sins every seven years reveals things that would be better off remaining a burden. Meanwhile, Larry convinces the Montgomerys' maid, Celia, to go on strike, leading everyone to discover how much control Celia has over Kitty's personality.b: 28 Mar 00 pc: _________ w: Eddie Gorodetsky & Julie All Larson s: Don Foster & Sid Youngers d: Will Mackenzie NOTE: This is Chuck's vanity card #55:
Miracle. The dictionary defines it as "an event that appears unexplainable by the laws of nature and so is held to be supernatural in origin or an act of God." When I reflect on the people and events that led me to this moment in time, this "place" in my life, I am forced to conclude that a miracle -- no, a series of miracles -- has occurred. How else can a devastating car accident and a terrible illness turn out to be, in the long run, blessings? But then my inner critic says, "Are you so self-obsessed as to believe that the hand of God moves through your puny life?" Well, if I postulate an infinite God, the answer is, why not? The dictionary definition of infinite is "having no boundaries or limits." With that in mind it seems self-obsessed to think that the influence of something infinite wouldn't extend to me, or anyone else for that matter. Of course I could also postulate that we're all chemical accidents in a dead and meaningless universe. It just doesn't make a very interesting vanity card.
Greg's old girlfriend Stephanie asks for his help in getting her son into Greg's old prep school; and once Dharma sets eyes on the boy, she becomes convinced that he is Greg's child.b: 11 Apr 00 pc: 3ABD21 w: Chuck Lorre & Bill Prady s: Don Foster & Eddie Gorodetsky d: Asaad Kelada
After replacing her furniture with Greg's stored bachelor stuff, Dharma is a changed woman. But not necessarily for the better -- she becomes strangely possessed with material ambition. Meanwhile, Edward finally rebels against the fact that even his private den is entirely decorated by Kitty.b: 2 May 00 pc: 3ABD22 w: Sid Youngers & Jonathan Schmock s: Bill Prady d: J.D. Lobue
When Abby objects to being president by acclamation yet again of the educational co-op, she impulsively nominates Dharma to run against her, and both women are nonplussed when Dharma is instantly elected. While Abby tries to be supportive, Dharma sets about making changes, which backfire, convincing her that Abby is sabotaging her. Meanwhile, k.d. lang asks Greg for a small legal favor which quickly goes to Greg's head.b: 9 May 00 pc: 3ABD23 w: Regina Stewart & Rachel Sweet d: Steven V. Silver
Dharma's vision of a baby sets her and Greg to officially start trying; Pete asks for Greg's help after getting fired; Abby celebrates the onset of menopause.b: 16 May 00 pc: 3ABD24 w: Michelle Nader & Julie Ann Larson s: Chuck Lorre, Bill Prady & Regina Stewart d: Asaad Kelada
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Thanks to Paulius Stepanas for some of the missing production codes.