Good Morning, Miami

Season 1 Episode 7

Kiss Of The Spiderman

Aired Thursday 9:30 PM Oct 31, 2002 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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  • On Halloween evening, everyone except Claire moves out of their original locales to learn more about themselves and each other. Lucia has the funniest lines, Frank MIGHT be gay and the tired Gavin-Dylan-Jake love triangle continues.

    This is my original TV TOME review of the episode the week it first aired in the United States. (As the character Claire said, "Stay open to the signs".)

    Quick! What does a stage manager do? Answer: Supervise the physical aspects of a stage production, assist the director during rehearsals and act as the person in charge of the stage during a rehearsal. So during a live television performance, the stage manager usually counts the show in and out. That is, except in "Good Morning, Miami." In the fictional "Good Morning, Miami" this week, stage manager Robby (played by Stephon Fuller) described the gist of Kiss of the Spiderman in his prophetic weekly
    line, "And we're out!"

    This week, the subplot and main plot were cleverly woven into this one event while all the characters learned about themselves as they interacted in the same places. That is everyone except Claire. She wasn't "out" as Robby announced. For some reason, the producers and writers kept her at home yet again to bring Jake, and the audience, up to speed about the main plot and his mistakes when dealing with Dylan.

    In this week's episode, Jake arranges for the cast and crew to broadcast the Halloween episode of the fictional "Good Morning, Miami" from a local gay bar that is reputed to have the best costume party in the area. We learn that Frank gets along extremely well with gay men even though he thinks he has never met a gay man. Lucia, Frank's confidant in this episode, suggests that perhaps he is really gay At the same time, Dylan and Jake inadvertently share a kiss when Dylan supposedly thinks she is kissing Gavin. This transpires because Gavin and Jake both dress as the same cartoo superhero to attend the costume party. The kiss causes Dylan to at least question her feelings for Jake.

    The entire episode flowed together quite well with some cute little vignettes between various actors and characters. I didn't get the same "yucks" as from Lucia and Frank in the episode Power Failure or Sister Brenda's one-liner about kids in The Heart is a Lonely Apartment Hunter, but the show offered a good time for thirty minutes. There are some serious concerns developing with the overall plot at the same time which need to be addressed.

    Once again, my favorite actor was Tessie Santiago as Lucia. They do not give that woman the best lines ever written, but she certainly turns what she is given into memorable screen gems.

    Frank and Lucia were great while discussing whether or not Frank had ever met a gay person especially when Lucia asked him how that could be: "We live in Miami. We got gay like we got flamingos!!" Then, in the bar, when Frank comes dressed as a biker dude, actor Jere Burns readily turned the effiminate behavior on and off as Frank switched between talking with Lucia to talking with the bar patrons. I loved Lucia's costume for the party: "Katie Couric." Rather than wearing Lucia's typically flash outfits, she forced herself to step foot in the women's clothing chain ‘Ann Taylor' to pick up a twin set for the party. The bar owner mentioned he almost didn't recognize her in this delightful disguise. At the office the next day, Frank is exhausted from going out dancing with the "female" friend of one of his new gay friends. Lucia is great as she tells him "OK, enough with this. A man can be straight or he can be gay but there's none of this 'I'm straight, but I'm dancing all night with Wayne.'" Ms. Santiago gave the line life. If Mr. Kohan and Mr. Mutchnik want Frank to be a gay character then this was a cute "outing," but female fans will never forget Mr. Burns as "Roy," Nina's hot blooded, convict, boyfriend on "Just Shoot Me." Gay Hmmmmm. Mr. Burns is a good actor.

    Brooke Dillman had a cute scene with Ms. Santiago. As Sister Brenda's Halloween joke, she appears to be cutting vegetables for the crew to take to the shoot when she seems to cut her hand off. Fake blood spurts everywhere. Ms. Santiago is freaked out (a phrase Sister Brenda likes to use). When Lucia wants to try the joke on Jake with Sister it backfires causing Sister Brenda to tell Lucia, "Next time I work alone ‘hambone.'" The Halloween joke sequence was cute and perfect for Sister Brenda; however, the team of Kohan and Mutchnik added another seriously erroneous stereotype about Catholics at the bar in this episode. They had Sister Brenda indicate that hell is full of gays. Specifying that the Catholic Church teaches that by just being homosexual one will go to hell is simply another fallacy. (Hey! Just check out article #2358 in the "Catechism of the Catholic Church"—available at a bookstore near you.) Kohan and Mutchnik are known for pushing the envelope, but the stereotypes of Catholicism are not working even in a character who behaves as if she might have a frontal lobe brain injury. There is so much in the character of Sister Brenda that COULD be funny to all people, but by persisting with inaccuracies, the show is closing the door to humor from that character.

    This all leads us to Jake. From correspondence I have received, I know that some women and gay men find Mark Feuerstein quite attractive. That helps bring viewers to the show, but in spite of the public attraction to Mr. Feuerstein and Ms. Williams, the Jake and Dylan story has turned stale. Jake persists in acting like a love-struck teenager while Dylan doesn't notice his over-the-top overtures. As someone pointed out to me, the show would have more aptly been called "Dylan and Jake" since so little of the show is actually about putting on the fictional "Good Morning, Miami." With this said, let me note that Kiss of the Spiderman DID move the love story forward just a little. Jake imagines fantasy dating in daily 8:15am meetings with Dylan at the coffee stand where he uses the various creamers available like puppets to attempt to entertain Dylan. Dylan enjoys seeing Jake, but doesn't seem to think that the daily meetings are anything special. Jake has begun sharing his interest in and pursuit of Dylan with Penny. When Dylan announces that Gavin is taking her to meet his parents for Thanksgiving, Penny points out to Jake that Dylan is Gavin's girlfriend, not his. So on the day of the shoot, as Jake is leaving for the bar, Dylan shows him Lactaid she brought to join the creamers at the coffee stand. She asks Jake what it would say as a puppet. Jake blows her off (thereby ending another chance to get to know her at least as a friend.) At the bar, Gavin keeps Dylan close for fear of being ogled by the gay men. Gavin is dressed like a buff "Flash" while Dylan is a cat. At one point he asks her to leave and get something for him. While Dylan is out, Jake enters also dressed as the "Flash." Gavin departs demanding that Jake change because Gavin's image is more important. While Jake is sitting in Gavin's place, Dylan returns and apparently doesn't know that this new "Flash" is not Gavin. Why she couldn't at least tell that he was a different person is unimaginable. Either she knew and wanted to kiss Jake, the lighting was bad, or she isn't as sharp as the producers want us to believe. Gavin was buff with a great chin. Jake was…well… "round." Once again, Jake shares his delight with his new confidant Penny.

    Constance Zimmer is fast becoming a favorite of mine in this series. Her apathy at his pining for Dylan as well as her cynical attempts to bring Jake back to reality (i.e. "C'est la vie, Frenchy") are what make the "Dylan pursuit" scenes tolerable. Dylan and Jake end up discussing the kiss so that Jake's feelings for Dylan start to come out. As with the Frank coming out subplot, the Dylan-Jake kiss main plot ends the next day at the office. Jake was thrilled that Dylan had ended their kiss with "mmmmm," but when they discussed the kiss, Dylan claimed that that is a noise she has to emit to clear her sinuses. Penny notices Gavin and Dylan kiss by the coffee stand. When Dylan does not respond with "mmmmm," Penny hurries to Jake and suggests that he join Dylan at the stand for a fresh pot of coffee. That new aspect of Penny's character was a sweet way to end the episode.

    Other people working on "Good Morning, Miami" who need to be given a pat on the back for their work on Kiss of the Spiderman are the prop master and the set decorator. In his opening scene at the office and while at the bar, Gavin reads a thick book. Characters never talked about the book, but in a quick shot of the cover, the title of the book was revealed: "The Power of Yellow." I loved it.

    To sum up, Kiss of the Spiderman was possibly the best-written episode to date of "Good Morning, Miami" in spite of my waning interest in the Dylan-Jake love affair. It was nice to see the humor finally coming from the situation in which the characters found themselves. Now this is a sitcom! I see many improvements in the show so far and the potential for further improvements continues to exist. So, I am giving Kiss of the Spiderman 8 Palm Trees out of a possible 10. In addition, I am awarding it 6 Pink Flamingos for the delightful scenes with Frank, Penny and Lucia.

    What I would still like to see: an actual taping of the fictional Good Morning, Miami.