12 August 2005 | littlekittentails
A GREAT show that never should have been canceled
Becker is a wonderful comedy that made its debut in 1998 six years back but very unfortunately, maybe even tragically was canceled in 2004. Thankfully reruns play so at least that's in order.
Meet Dr. John Becker who runs a practice in the Bronx played by Cheers Ted Danson, an arrogant and outspoken man in his middle ages who very deep inside has a heart of gold. But you have to look really deep. And in the right area. In the practice set in the Bronx we have Margaret Wyborn care of Hattie Winston, a driven and more than capable nurse who sometimes seems to appear to be the boss not always so happily married to Louis, and the assistant Linda who is ditzily portrayed by Shawnee Smith, the polar opposite who does hardly any work if at all and has an ever-changing appearance and extremely active social life and whose excuses are usually preceded by the classic "Here's the thing." And the diner Becker regularly visits we get to know Regina "Reggie" Kostas who is played by DS9's Terry Farrell, whose late father gave her the inheritance of Becker's favorite diner. Very unfortunately she was fired from the show in the fourth season and was replaced by Nancy Travis who played Christina "Chris" Connor who became a love interest for Becker later in the seasons and takes over the diner after Reggie leaves town. Also at the diner there is Jake, who is exemplarily portrayed as a blind man who has a newsstand there and is John's best friend because as he said in one episode "I don't listen to him. That's why we're friends." Oh, and Bob, a divorced man who at first is openly interested in Reggie who was a fellow high-schooler and has a tendency to be self-seeking and talk in third person narrative. He was a recurring guest for twelve episodes and later left the show and his absence was explained by his being on vacation and it was left at that. His replacement was somewhat inadequate, Hector Lopez, the brother of one of Jake's old friends.
It never does get old with this show. There are really only three basic settings (the practice, the diner, and Becker's apartment) which makes for familiarity once you really get into it, which isn't all that hard. There are so many good one-liners and retorts and comebacks from really everybody, which makes for a well-balanced if not super famous cast. With such good scripts it's appalling that they couldn't at least think of better reasons for Reggie and Bob's departure from the show. Neither of their replacements had the old charm of the original characters. Much harm was done if you ask me, but the show continued being funny although in my opinion the first four seasons with Reggie were the best, no question about it. At first glance you might not think much of it, as I had at first but once you get over how boring it looks you realize how accurately 'don't judge a book by its cover' works for this show. I really hope the six seasons turn into DVD's and that the show returns on air because it really was a great show. Fortunately there are still remnants of it: reruns play regularly and if you're lucky you'll have time to watch them.