What If…Wednesday, November 25th, 2009
…we replaced the cast of WKRP with the quirky crew from Firefly? Before you ask “why?”, let me explain where this train of thought originated. ManWithPez and I enjoy watching reruns of WKRP. It reminds of us of our youth and it’s freakin’ hilarious. One evening during a WKRP marathon ManWithPez noticed Gary Sandy and Nathan Fillion share some movement and personality traits. We decided then and there that should WKRP ever return to the small screen, or large, that Nathan should assume the role of Andy Travis. That kernel of fun led to recasting the station crew with Serenity’s crew.
First we have the aforementioned Malcolm/Andy casting. Mal has a lot of trouble controlling his crew. His plans rarely work and trouble seems to hover like a cloud. Andy was a great program director until he moved to Cincinnati. He struggles with keeping the station running smoothly and the crew doing the right thing. I think it fits. Next I dropped our lovable pilot Wash into the role of station manager Mr. Carlson. They both love toys and play time. They both enjoy a good joke. Despite the fact that they both pilot the crew, someone else is making all the directional decisions.
Just as Inara acted as a sort of ambassador, Jennifer often is the face of WKRP, the person that relates to everyone else. They have beauty and grace and more intelligence than their positions would suggest. On the other hand we have Herb. A distasteful man who surprises everyone that he gets any sales. Jayne is a distasteful man who surprises everyone that he has any social skills at all. Plus, they aren’t the snazziest dressers.
And what of the DJs? Johhny Fever can be no one other than Book. Both have pasts that aren’t fully known. Both seem to have a font of unusual knowledge and advice. Both are obviously the coolest, most relaxed members of their crews. Venus was a bit trickier. I settled on Zoe for a couple or reasons. First, Venus and Zoe are war veterans. This gives them a sense of duty and willingness to be a part of the team effort. Second, Andy turns to Venus for advice every now-and-then. He recognizes that even though Venus isn’t as experienced as Johnny, his opinion is valuable. Venus is usually in one of two places: the studio or Andy’s office. Zoe it is.
We’re left with the fastidious Les Nesman and the perky Bailey Quarters. Fastidious and perky…Simon and Kaylee, obviously. Les and Simon are the butt of jokes, well manicured, and too smart for their britches. While the crews of both the station and the ship love them, they always seem to be outside the lines…or in the office/infirmary. Bailey and Kaylee are the fixers-of-things. They seem to know how everything works. Bailey can splice a reel and Kaylee can splice some wires. They are the heart of their crews.
You may have noticed River missing from the station crew. I couldn’t figure out where to put her. I don’t know enough about the other three DJs or Bucky to feel comfortable casting her for any of those roles. So, she’s a free agent. Free to roam the station observing and commenting and being kooky.
Did I get it right? Feel free to discuss what’s right and what’s wrong with my choices. Also, offer up some other “What If” scenarios. This could be the beginning of a regular post for little ol’ me.