“Never Let ‘Em See You Leak”

[Contains pre-soaked cereal and SPOILERS!!!]

Kristen Johnston as ‘Sally Solomon’ and Wayne Knight as ‘Officer Don’ in “3rd Rock from the Sun” (S2)The second season of 3rd Rock from the Sun (1996) was just as much fun as the first, and featured several great Sally episodes… including one where she’s mistaken for a man-in-drag and courted by a gay fella (#2.8, “World’s Greatest Dick”), one where she agrees to marry a cute French fella who needs a green card (2.16, “Dick on One Knee”), and one where she beats up Mark Hamill in a restaurant and becomes a local celebrity, only for her “fame” to wain after she goes full-tilt Sunset Boulevard (#2.23, “Fifteen Minutes of Dick”)… all of which gave the awesome Kristen Johnston ample opportunity to show off her comedic chops, as well as her gorgeous gams. Hurrah! Her continuing flirtation with Officer Don (Wayne Knight) was also a great running gag, though I was a little disappointed by the revelation that it’s mostly just his uniform she’s attracted to, as the poor schlub becomes totally invisible to her when he’s wearing his off-duty duds! (#2.24, “Dick and the Single Girl”) Confusingly, there was also an episode (#2.03, “Big Angry Virgin From Outer Space”) where several jokes hinged on Sally believing that her “comically long legs… blindingly shiny hair… [and] unruly breasts” made her a hideous, undateable freak, which is totally inconsistent with how proudly she flaunts her hotness in every other episode. Boo!

While we’re on the subject of logical inconsistencies, I also found it a little hard to believe that all four aliens could be totally unaware of Thanksgiving Holiday until it arrived (#2.10, “Gobble, Gobble, Dick, Dick”), considering that two of them (Dick and Tommy) regularly attend educational establishments, and date American-raised Earth-women. Likewise, the plot of the fancy 3-D finale* (#2.25/26, “A Nightmare on Dick Street”) kicks off when they all start having dreams, supposedly for the first time in their lives, even though Harry has casually mentioned dreaming at least twice in previous episodes. In fact, in the first season we even saw into one of his dreams, for a sequence where he met Martha Stewart (#1.2, “Post-Nasal Dick”). But I’m probably being too anal, so let’s just get to the guest stars, shall we?

Linda Cardellini as ‘Lorna’ in “3rd Rock from the Sun” (S2)Brenda Strong appeared in ep #2.7 (“Fourth and Dick”) as ‘Miss Frost’, a comely glee club teacher that Tommy developed a school-boy crush on… and also returned in the finale to serenade him on a tropical isle. Jan Hooks debuted as Mrs. Dubcek’s daughter ‘Vicki’ in ep #2.10 (“Gobble, Gobble, Dick, Dick”), and began a bizarre courtship with Harry, that ensured she’d recur in several subsequent seasons. Nicki Aycox had a brief cameo in ep #2.18 (“I Brake for Dick”), as a cute classmate of Tommy’s, who asks him to the school’s Spring Dance on behalf of a friend. In ep #2.20 (“Dickmalion”), the lucky lad also attracted the attention of ‘Lorna’, a goth-y poetess played by Linda Cardellini. Her character was a big improvement on the antagonistic ‘August’ (Shay Astar) if you ask me, but sadly Lorna was just a one-shot fling, and August endured. Finally, Christine Baranski appeared in #2.24 (“Dick and the Single Girl”) as ‘Sonja Umdahl’, a seemingly shy, Slavic-accented professor who became infatuated with Dick after Mary forced him to befriend her. She also got her goth on a little when she invited him back to her vampy apartment/lair, and attempted to seduce him, while wearing some very fetching black lingerie. Meanwhile, I was also glad to see Ileen Getz getting more scenes as Dick and Mary’s fantastically deadpan friend/colleague/judge, ‘Judith Draper’.

Jane Curtin as ‘Dr. Mary Albright’ (sort of) in “3rd Rock from the Sun” (S2)———–

* I used to own the special VHS version of the finale that came with a free pair of 3-D glasses, but traded it away many years ago. Since the “put your glasses on now” logo didn’t appear in the corner of the screen during this DVD version, I’ll assume that they ditched the extra dimension during the conversion process. Shame really, now that 3-D TV is becoming a thing again… though the sequences are still quite enjoyable as surreal, cinematic shorts in their own right… and seeing Jane Curtin dressed up as a Dietrich-esque dominatrix was quite a memorable moment too.

About Dee CrowSeer

A comic book writer with an interest in feminism, philosophy, and affirmative action. He/him.
This entry was posted in Rants about TV and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.