Bottle of Blues

Sandy Bailey an old boyfriend of Doris' auditions to join the school. He was once a student but got expelled as he had a drinking problem. Sandy and Doris reignite their relationship and Sandy swears he's no longer drinking. However when he arrives late and drunk at a rehearsal for a show Doris realises Sandy needs help.
Meanwhile Mrs Berg's Aunt dies and leaves her some money which Mrs Berg has to decide how to spend.

My Review
More doomed love this time for Doris. This episode is okay and certainly has some nice scenes in it but I get totally confused about the timeline from this episode.

We are in the middle of the 3 season but they state that Sandy and Doris were a couple two years ago when he got thrown out of the school for being an alcoholic. So that means their relationship should have taken place in the first season, which obviously it didn’t. So I can only assume that these events took place before the first season which surely means it was longer than 2 years ago.

Also it seems out of character for Doris. At the time we meet her in the first season to me it’s like she’s not very experienced with love and I never imagined that she’d had a real relationship. She had too many issues with her body image and thought people wouldn’t be interested in her, in fact she’s still feeling a little like that in season 4 in the Monster That devoured Las Vegas.

In the 2nd episode of this season she tells Bruno that at her old school she was plain old dumpy Doris who people made fun of “Who’s going to get a date for Schwartz”. She also states in season 2 when Will the cowboy dies that that was the first time she’d found someone who wanted to give her everything she wanted to give to him. So now suddenly to discover she was having a major relationship around 14 or 15 years old just seems to contradict things to me and I don’t like it when they change people’s characters for the sake of the story.

If she’d had this relationship with an alcoholic I would have thought nice caring Doris would have wanted to offer help and advice to Dwight when we found out that his Mother was drinking. Also having gone through this situation once she doesn’t seem any better prepared for dealing with this situation second time around.

I’m not even sure why we need a back story in the first place; it doesn’t really add anything to the episode. Having been thrown out of the school once, I don’t really understand why he would go back when he obviously hasn’t changed or given up drinking. Surely he must know exactly the same thing will happen again.

To keep things simple I really don’t know why Sandy couldn’t have joined the school after the auditions in the previous episode? He and Doris then start going out and then she discovers his drinking problem for the first time in this episode. I feel that would have worked better.

I also have to ask why Sandy is even getting an audition. Last episode Lydia tells us that auditions take place in September and she was a little put out when they had extra auditions mid way through the year. Now we are having even more auditions, it doesn’t make sense to me.

I can’t help but wonder how Val felt doing this episode, with Doris’ reaction to Sandy’s drinking problem, when all the time she was drinking heavily herself. Did she even recognise her problem at that time? It does give the episode a whole new perspective.

The wonderful thing about this episode is that we find out more about Morloch’s past and how he had a drink problem. I have to say when he’s talking to Sandy I would have much rather heard more about Morloch’s past than having to carry on with Sandy’s story.

There are some lovely scenes between Morloch and Doris, particularly when she hugs him and it’s so funny when Mrs Berg comes along to give Morloch a piece of her mind because he’s such a horrible person only to find him being really nice.

Although I really like Morloch here there is a little contradiction with what we’ve seen already. He went out and had beer with his friend Lefty in “Equals” and we see him drink in the future so I would have thought a reformed alcoholic wouldn’t be drinking at all.

Mrs Berg adds some great comedic touches throughout this episode. There she is wearing her new fur coat in the office and when Sherwood comments on it she says “You noticed”. As if anyone could miss it. It’s also funny when she’s trying to work out where to go on holiday where she doesn’t have to exchange currency and Sherwood suggest Hawaii and there’s Mrs Berg in her fur coat! Great stuff.

I don’t recall seeing these flowers that she’s going to be sending to herself in the office in future episodes, so that money didn’t last long. A month is sipposed to have gone by at the end of the episode when Doris receives the chip from Sandy and they are still talking about the flowers! Hmmm, that's a little convenient for me.

Sherwood is also funny when she discovers just how Shorofsky has changed Sandy’s file so that Morloch won’t have him thrown out of school.

Old Girlfriends is a good song for Carlo, Billy and Gene but as it was Doris episode it would have been nice for her to sing a nice ballad too.

Having not heard anything about Sandy before this episode we never hear anything about him again in the future. If he was finally getting help I would have thought Doris would have wanted to see him again or at least mention him. 

Episode Pictures

Production number 2758 
Written By Adam Rodman
Directed by Robert Schreerer
Original U.S. air date 11th February 1984
Original U.K. air date 11th May 1984
Guest Stars
Ann Nelson as Mrs Berg
Scott Colomby as Sandy Bailey
"Old Girlfriends"  performed by Gene Anthony Ray, Carlo Imperato & Billy Hufsey
 Written By  Robert Kraft


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