Dr. Tamarin

Difference between revisions from 2009/10/23 05:13 and 1969/12/31 23:59.
ИQ.9Q..јQ 20091023-0513-25.bakޘQmeta.dat''By [Mayweather Lofty|Ellie]''

My grandmother always used to say, by way of advice, "Say your prayers, keep your nose clean, and put your uglies on the top shelf." What she meant was that your strangest knick-knacks deserved the most care, because those were the ones bound to be worth the most money someday.

I hear tell that these days college professors publish papers analyzing TV shows they way they used to pick apart Shakespeare and Falkner. (And God forgive me for confessing this, being a Southern woman, but I never thought Mr. Falkner was all that special.) I've had a few calls from professors and grad students who've seen my blog and are looking for copies of tapes, old clippings, or sheer backstage gossip, and they're afraid to go to Mr. Kirby due to his reputation as a grouch (no offense meant, Mr. Kirby, of course.) Even more calls since Gamma Waves disappeared (and when are you going to get that up again, Mr. Kirby? I did like it.) At first I'd get all excited, offer to take them out for a Coke, ask all sorts of questions. Nowadays I just send them a standard file and a few months later, if their mothers raised them right, I get a copy of their published piece in the mail with a very nice thank-you note for my time. 

Because they always write about the same thing: Dr. Tamarin.

Dr. Tamarin was played by Chet Wheeler. I got to know Chet well. He was forever in my workshop, getting his costumes let out and taken in. He'd run around doing blow on every rooftop in the city, awake for nights on end. Then he'd turn paranoid and hide out at [Adrian Kennedy's|Adrian Kennedy] place for a week, living on beer and Chinese food. That kind of life takes a toll on a man's waistline. Once I had to alter all his pants to cover a walking cast because he jumped out of a moving cab while high and broke his leg. Then I had to alter them all back a week later when it turned out to be a big joke. 

He was a man, to put it delicately, of many passions. He loved dancing and acting and tall men with dark hair. He loved cheeseburgers and foreign beers with funny names and that awful grunge music that was so popular in those days. He loved harmless pranks, and mean-spirited slights disguised as harmless pranks. He loved giving tabloid interviews and spilling everyone's dirty laundry, making us all look like idiots. He loved proving that everyone was right about him, that he was a worthless shit, that he could trust nobody but himself. When things were slow, he'd pick fights out of sheer boredom. When Adrian started to fall apart, Chet acted out, desperate to keep himself in the spotlight. He worked hard to rid himself of friends and allies. 

But Adrian and Marshall kept trying to help him. They knew each other from way back, and they wanted it to be the Three Musketeers, just like always. They'd lend him money, tell him how much he meant to them. Chet hated it. And it showed. 

He poured his bile and vitriol onto them in every scene. Dr. Tamarin and [John Gaunt] weren't supposed to be enemies, just old friends who couldn't help getting into pissing contests. But nobody believed that for a second and so the writers ran with it. Unicode Gamma dropped their original mission in the skies and chased Dr. Tamarin underground. And I have to agree with Mr. Tamarin15 that the [Banquet Massacre|Banquet Massacre, The] is one of the most astonishing scenes in the whole series. You would have thought Chet had real guns in his hands.

The college professors ask, "How does Dr. Tamarin's character speak to our collective unconscious?"  I've no idea, I say. "What do you think about the parallels between Dr. Tamarin and Fidel Castro?" Dr. Tamarin didn't have a beard. "Why did the writers fall into the stereotypical trap of making the villain extra-villainous by making him gay?" Don't blame them for that; Chet wouldn't stop making goo-goo eyes at poor [Perry Thompson], who was too green and young by half for a tornado like Chet Wheeler. It got so bad that the writers finally just had to make it official in the script.

Chet put us on the map, however small a pin-point we are. I don't know if he's dead, or in prison, or settled down with Perry and seventeen kids. He could be doing blow on the rooftop of this building right now. I just hope I get the chance to see him one last time, tell him how much his character meant to the show, all he's done for it. Then I want to get even for the broken leg joke and prank that little shit right back.

'''See:''' [Adrian Kennedy], [John Gaunt], [Perry Thompson]

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