Tony Woodlief | Author

Previously, on . . .

The start of a new season of 24 got me thinking about that standard practice television series have of explaining what happened in the previous episode: “Previously, on ____”. Sometimes it’s a little funny because, while of course the particulars are usually quite different, in another sense what happened last week is pretty much what’s going to happen this week. Instead of telling me how many people Jack killed on 24 last time, interspersed with close-ups of villains breathing commands into their untraceable cell phones, we could just summarize as follows:

Previously, on 24: “Jack! Look out!” KER-BOOM!!

This got me thinking about what other standard previously-on’s one might look like:

Previously, on House: “That’s not lupus, it’s Dandy-Walker malformation with nasopharyngeal teratoma and diaphragmatic hernia. Now get out of my personal space.”

Previously, on Lost: “You mean the guy who was in seat 27B is actually a nuclear physicist who teleported to a secret lab in Cambodia and developed a soundwave oscillation machine that will cause everyone not wearing a shirt to avoid sunburn despite the lack of sunscreen on this island?”

Previously, on True Blood: “On the way home from taking my G.E.D. for the third time I got bit by a vampire.”

Previously, on Jersey Shore: Guido: “I’m gonna work out and then spend three hours styling my hair so nobody notices my big pineapple of a nose when I’m grinding my herpes-ridden junk up against them at the club.” Guidette: “Yeah. Me too.”

Previously, on Grey’s Anatomy: “I think I left my thong at that doctor’s apartment.”

Previously, on Melrose Place: “I think I left my thong at that struggling writer’s apartment.”

Previously, on Mad Men: “I wish they would invent thongs already. Somebody get me a scotch.”

Previously, on Frasier: “Niles, I simply cannot fathom why women do not find me attractive. Oh, waiter? Can you please freshen my latte with just a dash of lemon-infused crème fraiche?

Previously, on ER: “Why didn’t you tell me you wanted to move in together when you asked for another amp of epi?”

Previously, on NYPD Blue: “Why didn’t you tell me you wanted to move in together when we were rousting that skel for some information on our perp?”

Previously, on Everybody Loves Raymond: “Ray, you’re an idiot.”

Previously, on King of Queens: “Doug, you’re an idiot.”

Previously, on According to Jim: “Jim, you’re an idiot.”

Previously, on All in the Family: “Edith, you dingbat you.”

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