Ned and Stacey

Season 1 Episode 1

Pilot (aka Ned and Stacey)

Aired Monday 9:30 PM Sep 11, 1995 on FOX
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Pilot (aka Ned and Stacey)
Stacey Colbert, a young freelance writer who has worked for the "Village Voice," runs into Ned Dorsey by chance at a restaurant bar. Ned is a successful advertising account executive who is bombastic, pompous and definitely more than a little off-center. In the course of a brief conversation she is totally turned off by him. Stacey sees her sister Amanda, who hopefully will be able to introduce her to a nice guy, but she's horrified to find out that Ned is the unlikely best friend of Amanda's husband Eric, who works at the same ad agency as Ned. During the dinner conversation Stacey is outraged by Ned's amoral, ruthless attitude toward his work and life in general and she gives him a piece of her mind before stalking off, ending their blind date. At his job, Ned's boss Spencer tells him he can't award him a promotion because he's not married (their conservative clients like "family men.") Ned lies to Spencer, saying his own wedding is planned for a short time later. Ned gets his promotion he wanted instantly. A few days later, as Stacey suffers through a night in front of the television with her parents, she is shocked to see an underwear commercial, the copy for which is a word-for-word quote of her rant to Ned a few evenings before. Fuming, she goes by his apartment to tell him off. In the middle of her rant she notices how wonderful his centrally-located Manhattan apartment is. She says she desperately needs a place like this to operate out of to advance her writing career. Ned then makes a totally unexpected offer: marry me. He explains that his situation to her, but gives her scant time to think about it, because if she doesn't say yes, he's planning to go out that night and find someone who will. So despite the fact that the two don't like each other's personalities, beliefs, ideals, etc., they agree to a two-year marriage of convenience in which Stacey will fulfill the role of a businessman's wife at various functions, but it will be a genuine marriage in no other way except legally. Ned hands Stacey a front door key, a laundry room key and an engagement ring, then leaves the apartment--with an admonition to her not to lose the laundry room key. The two are wed in a rather uncivil ceremony. But Stacey's parents, especially her mom, are ecstatic about their long-unmarried daughter getting hitched to an up-and-comer like Ned. But after the ceremony a distraught Stacey is convulsed with sobs. She tells Ned (about to leave for a date with a server he met at the reception!) she can't go through with this sham, she wants a divorce. Ned angrily tells her he's holding her to her commitment. In their ensuing argument he lets it slip that despite their seeming incompatibility and maybe even loathing of each other, he might still like her. Ned decides to stay in and watch the Knicks game, and the incongrous pair wind up seated on the couch staring at the TV, Stacey still clad in her wedding dress.moreless

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    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (6)

      • When Stacey is watching television at her parents' house, very brief clips are shown of the movies On the Waterfront (1954, with Marlon Brando delivering his famous line, "I coulda been a contender!"), Born Yesterday (1950, showing the stars Judy Holliday and Broderick Crawford) and the animated Mr. Magoo series (1964).

      • Stacey's ex-boyfriend who broke off their planned wedding is identified as Gary.

      • Features the one and only appearance of Ned's boss Spencer Haywood (Alan Oppenheimer), the 'Haywood' of 'Haywood and Kirkland' the company Ned works for. In all subsequent episodes Ned only ever interacts with Patrick Kirkland (James Karen), the 'Kirkland' of 'Haywood and Kirkland'.

      • Ned's 'girlfriend' counter:
        #1 Charmaine (proposed to after having coffee with her 4yrs ago)
        #2 Alyson (cheated on her with her mother)
        #3 Alyson's mother

      • Stacey's boyfriend counter: #1 Gary (the ex-fiancé).

      • In the early scene in the restaurant, Amanda tells Stacey she has "two kids with the flu." But in subsequent episodes the Moyers are never shown to have more than one child, a son, Howard.

    • QUOTES (8)

      • Ned: Look, Stacey, based on this marriage I got a promotion. I got a corner office. I got two secretaries, one of whom is qualified!

      • Ned: You know, you slap a wedding dress around a woman and they go insane!

      • Ned (to Stacey): I told my boss I was getting married in order to get a promotion, so now I have to get married. I mean, it doesn't have to be a real marriage, just a marriage minus the love, sex and intimacy, which, now that I think about it, is more real than the 'real' kind.

      • Stacey: Remember me?
        Ned: I'm not sure.
        Stacey: Then let me remind you. I'm the person you exploited without a trace of conscience.
        Ned: You're gonna have to be more specific.

      • Ned (on the telephone): Hello, Charmaine? This is Ned Dorsey. You know, I really enjoyed having coffee with you...Has it been four years? Huh, wow! So, anyway--wanna get married? You know anybody that wants to get married?...OK, fair enough...Ah, keep in touch.
        (Dails another number) Allison! Ned Dorsey. Look, I, I know we parted on bad terms but ya, you gotta admit, your mother is an attractive woman...hullo?
        (Makes another call) Hola, Conchita! Es senor Ned...Nah, forget it, I'll see you Wednesday.

      • Stacey: I was late because I was at...a thing.
        Ellen Colbert: A thing? What, like a hippie thing?

      • Spencer Haywood: Ned, I'm planning to promote Snowdon.
        Ned: Uh, Snowdon! Ahh, come on, Spence. Snowdon's a complete imbecile!
        Spencer: Well, that's a little harsh, Ned!
        Ned: Those are your words.

      • Ned(to Stacey, after ordering at the bar): I don't really drink. I just like sayin' 'Scotch, neat.' It sounds better than 'Tea, neat.'

    • NOTES (2)

      • There is no opening title sequence for the first several episodes, just a stylized "Ned and Stacey" logo featuring some moving artwork that spells out the name of the show. The end credits are displayed over stills from the episode.

      • The basic credit order on the show is the same for all episodes: Thomas Haden Church, Debra Messing, Greg Germann and Nadia Dajani. For the episodes they appeared in during the first season Harry Goz and Dorie Brenner also were listed fifth and sixth respectively in the opening credit sequence. In this first episode, Alan Oppenheimer was listed in the opening credits, but he never made another appearance on the show, though his character's last name was still used as part of the advertising agency's name.

    • ALLUSIONS (0)