|Oz and St. Elsewhere|
St. Elsewhere (1982-1988)
Okay, I have waited a long time to post this and I figure I better get to it or several Tom Fontana fans are going to beat the crap out of me. And I bruise easy.
Tom Fontana is both TV producer extraordinaire and the king of the blink and you'll miss it crossover connections between shows. I've already blabbed my arse off on another page about him connecting several shows with through a fake kiddie show. Well from an entertaining kid's show we go to a soul sucking adult construct: a soulless corporate conglomerate by the name of Weigert.
Years before the prison drama Oz had even been conceived, Tom Fontana was a writer on the quirky medical drama St. Elsewhere. St. Elsewhere was actually a Boston city hospital named St. Eligius. It was nicknamed St. Elsewhere because it was sort of viewed by the community as the bottom wrung of medical care. This was not the top of the line medical facility you might see on another show where everything turned out right in the end. It was instead a hospital facing real world problems like dealing with a lack of funds and the potential for further cutbacks or even having to close their doors entirely. In fact at the end of the show's 5th season that is just what happened. With the hospital in the red, the city shut it down and the season ended with it being crushed with the first blow of a wrecking ball. It was pretty clear the producers of the show thought the show might be about to get demolished as well and were going to go out with a bang.
But a miracle happened to St. Elsewhere, both the show and the hospital: a last minute reprieve. NBC renewed the show for one more year and as a result at the absolute last second the hospital was bought from the city by a private medical corporation name Weigert. oops, not quite. The hospital was actually bought by a company named Ecumena. Then suddenly halfway into the season the company suddenly was renamed Weigert! Now while in the real world companies do change their names, I have to think their was more to this particular change. Hardly like it served as a huge dramatic point. My guess would be somewhere out there was a company with the name Ecumena or something damn close that the rights and clearance people had missed. So, oops, all of a sudden corporation gets a brand new name.
For the run of the 6th season, Weigert tried to run St. Eligius like a company, forgetting the fact that it was a hospital and that you couldn't just turn injured people into numbers in a ledger. A no shirt, no insurance, no service attitude hardly helped many of the poorer people dependant on the hospital for their care. In the end, Weigert bailed on St. Eligius. The doctors, like always did manage to keep the hospital going without them. Not that it really mattered. Ten seconds later it turned out the entire show was nothing but an autistic boy's daydream. Seriously!
Cut to a number of years later and the Oswald Maximum Security Penitentiary from the HBO prison drama Oz is looking to revamp itself. On the top of the list is cutting costs by turning the prison's medical needs over to the Weigert Medical Corporation. Yeah, because they did such a good job on St. Elsewhere. I guess it's easier to treat convicts like soulless numbers than regular people. But the jokes on them all anyway since they are also apparently only the delusions of a small boy named Tommy Westphall.
You have to wonder, what the hell is wrong with Tomy Westphall. I mean, geesh, if you are going to be trapped in your own head imagining stories, go for the sci-fi! Or some hot babes. Nope. This kid dreams of hospitals, prisons and giant medical companies. Oh and about a zillion other shows. Keep in mind, any show tied to St. Elsewhere? This kid dreamed it all up. Don't tell the writers of those shows though. His taking all the credit will just piss them off.
But wait! There's more. Another Oz plot featured a prison nurse by the name of Grace. Grace is such a pretty name with such a pleasant meaning. Darn shame the nurse using that name was crazier than a hat made of wild living ferrets! She was so bad even scared the hard core cons of Oz. Prisoner Enriques Morales was freaked out enough he even told Warden Leo and asked him to check into her past. Morales would be very happy to know to know the warden took his advice, looked into Nurse Grace's past and ended up proving she was a psycho freak and sending her off to crazy nurse jail. Well... he would have been happy except that part of the reason the warden decided to check out her past and that she went away was because she killed the hell out of him and another prisoner. Kinda hard to give a good, "I told you so," when you've been suffocated. But maybe he'd have been cheered to know that he also helped unearth another tie between Oz and St. Elsewhere. In checking into Grace's past the warden found that she had previously worked for and been fired from St. Elsewhere! I know if I had been horribly murdered by a whack job R.N. the discovery of minor trivia as a result of my death would make it all worthwhile. Oh wait. No it wouldn't.Other Oz Crossover Links
Oz and The Beat
Oz and Homicide: Life On The Street
Other St. Elsewhere Crossover Links
St. Elsewhere and The Bob Newhart Show
St. Elsewhere and Cheers
St. Elsewhere and Chicago Hope
St. Elsewhere and Homicide: Life On The Streets
St. Elsewhere and M*A*S*H
St. Elsewhere and Tattingers/Nick And Hillary
St. Elsewhere and The White Show
St. Elsewhere Season 1 DVD article!
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