Monday, March 20, 2023

Key West TV Series – what if they had a reunion show

Unfortunately the TV series Key West died before it’s time.  Only 13 episodes before Fox pulled the plug on the series which had great potential.  The time slot that Fox put the show into was facing one of the largest viewed sitcoms and that was Roseanne.  Key West did not stand a chance against such a show.  So it died an unnatural and unwarranted death.

What if they brought the show back?  How would it fair?

Just for fun, let’s say that they did indeed bring the show back with the original cast.  Unfortunately two of the members have passed on, but they can still be part of the show.  Follow and I’ll give an idea or at least my vision.

First is Seamus, now he is the editor and publisher of The Meteor.  Hanging on the wall are portraits of two of his influencers.  One is Ernest Hemingway who Seamus idolized and right next to that is a portrait of Roosevelt ‘King’ Cole his mentor.  Even though Ivory Ocean who played Cole in the original series passed on in 2011, can be written into the new show as Cole passing on yet remains as watching over Seamus from above.

Next is Jojo Nabuli the lovable Rastafarian who has not changed much.  Still living life to it’s fullest and being the best friend of Seamus.

Sheriff Cody is still the Sheriff of Key West keeping things in order with his sense of fair play and Zen.

Gumbo has expanded his bar to a larger location still with dancing girls in skimpy outfits.  His favoroite pet, ‘Tickle Pink’ is older but still with him.  Alligators can live up to and sometimes exceeding 70 year old so it would not be unreasonable that Tickle was still there.  And like in the original series, Gumbo’s is a favorite hang out.

Mayor Chaucy has made it to the Governor of Florida but still makes Key West her home.  In fact when she is not in Tallahassee the capital of Florida, she is in Key West and has an office there.

The lovely Savannah has retired from being a prostitute and now runs a business consulting firm but will still take on a few private clients from time to time, if you know what I mean.

Flame now owns a dance studio and teaches girls the art of exotic dancing.  In  an earlier episode Seamus asked her what would she like to do and she said study ballet.   Not only does she teach exotic dancing, but ballet as well.

Rikki has a successful retail establishment on Duval Street.  She is just as upbeat and playful as ever.

Fig still works at The Meteor and is the lead reporter and Seamus’s second in command of the paper.

Hector, played by Geno Silva would have passed on in 2020, would have his legacy continue with a son or daughter who now runs the business.  In the first or pilot episode we see that Hector has a son with special needs, so the child that takes over the business was born after the special son.

Dr. Clarke and Seamus have gotten married to each other since there was the sexual tension between the two in earlier episodes.  Dr. Clarke still runs the Atlantic Dolphin Research Center and advocates for dolphins.

Hunter Fisher still has a successful charter boat business taking tourists fishing.

Annie and Isadora are now the personal assistants to Chaucy.

From here numerous story lines can be written for the original cast using current events.  It could make for a great show once again. 

But in reality that would most likely never happen.  Not only have two of the actors pass on, but the creator of the show, David Beaird and executive producer Richard Berg have both passed on as well.  David in 2019 and Richard in 2009.

According to IMDB,there have been four of the actors who have not acted in several years and it can be assumed that they retired from it.  Starting with Joy Hawkins who played ‘Annie’ has not acted since 1993, Lara Piper who played ‘Rikki’ has not acted since 1995, Michael Covert who played ‘Hunter’ has not acted since 2012 and most recently Leland Crooke who portrayed ‘Gumbo’ has not acted since 2016.

The last executive producer, Allan Marcil is now teaching at a college and the last film he produced was in 2000.

So even if a reboot or a reunion show was conceived it is doubtful that those people and the rest of the cast would be interested, but you never know.

Then again, a reunion show is nothing more than a pipe dream of mine.

Friday, March 17, 2023

Key West Show actors


Like all TV shows, there is a list of characters that make up the cast. Not all of them were in all of the episodes and a few were in on;y a few episodes.  This is a chart of the recurring actors and their roles.  There were a few that made only 1 appearance but never again.  I didn't include those people.

I would have liked to see Fig, Isadora and Annie's parts expanded into more episodes.

This chart is simple to read, the character, who played the part, the episode that they were in and that total number of episodes that they appeared.  Two of the actors are regrettably no longer with us.  Four of them have retired from acting.  One of the characters even though they cannot act was included and that was the 'gator "Tickle Pink".

Character Actor Ep1 Ep2 Ep3 Ep4 Ep5 Ep6 Ep7 Ep8 Ep9 EP10 Ep11 Ep12 Ep13 Ttl
Seamus O'Neill Fisher Stevens X X X X X X X X X X X X X 13
Jojo Nabuli Terrence 'T.C.' Carson X


X X X X X X X X X X X 13
Gumbo Leland Crooke X X X X X X X X X X X X X 13
Savannah Sumner Jennifer Tilly X X X X X X X X X X X X X 13
Sheriff Cody Brian Thompson X X X X X X X X X X X X X 13
Mayor Chaucy Denise Crosby X X X X X X X     X X X X 11
Flame Jenna Grodsky X X   X X X X X   X   X X 10
Roosevelt King Cole Ivory Ocean(d 2011) X X   X X   X   X X   X   8
Dr, Clarke Kim Myers   X     X   X X   X X X X 8
Rikki Lara Piper X X   X X   X X   X       7
Hector Allegria Geno Silva(d 2020) X X X X X             X X 7
Hunter Michael Covert   X         X   X X X   X 6
Tickle Pink   X X     X   X X     X     6
Fig Maria Canals-Barrera   X X X X       X         5
Annie Joy Hawkins   X         X     X       3
Isadora Donna Kimball     X     X           X   13

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Key West TV Series - aired 30 years ago this year

Next to M*A*S*H possibly one of the best shows was ‘Key West’ that aired on Fox in 1993 created by David Beaird d2019, executive producers were David Beaird, Richard Berg d2009, Allan Marcil.  Key West is about a factory worker Seamus O’Neill played by Fisher Stevens who won a million dollars on the New Jersey Lottery on March 26, 1992 (Thur).  O’Neill an aspiring author who idolizes Ernest Hemingway quits his factory job and drives to Key West to pursue his dream of being a writer.

Once there he learns that he is flat broke for the winnings have been seized for back taxes and law suits.  O’Neill begs for a job at the local newspaper the Key West Meteor run by Roosevelt ‘King’ Cole played by Ivory Ocean d2011.  Cole offers O’Neill a job sweeping floors for $4 an hour and O’Neill said that was good money.   

ERROR - The wage offered was .25 below the Florida minimum wage of 4.25 an hour in 1992.

King Cole was the blind and demanding publisher of the Meteor who said secretly that O’Neill had more talent in his little finger than the rest of the office but he also indicated the O’Neill was raw unbridled talent that needed to be harnessed and molded.

Of course there was no time line as to when this all transpired.  All we can do is surmise that the story was based in 1992 – 1993.  First O’Neill won the lottery in 1992 and was established living in Key West when hurricane Andrew hit in August 1992. 

O’Neill is befriended by several locals, Jojo Nabuli a laid back free spirited Rastafarian played by Terrence ‘T.C.’ Carson, Savanna Summer a high class prostitute with a head for business and a heart of gold played by Jennifer Tilly, Paul "Gumbo" Beausoleil the owner of a bar on the water front called ‘Gumbos’ played by Leland Crooke.  Sheriff Cody Jefferson who spent time in a Buddhist monastery and brought his beliefs in Zen to the job played by Brian Thompson. In the show Cody was the law enforcement in Key West but in reality the Sheriff runs the Sheriff’s Department for Monroe County where Key West is located.  Key West’s police department is run by the chief of the department.

Then there was Rikki a local dancer that worked at Gumbo's played by Lara Piper who lived next door to O’Neill, Mayor Chaucy Caldwell who is a recovering alcoholic with her hands full played by Denise Crosby, Dr. Reilly Clark who ran the Atlantic Dolphin Research played by Kim Meyers, Fig who worked with O’Neill at the Meteor played by Maria Canals-Barrera, Flame who was a dancer at Gumbo’s played by Jenna Grodsky.

Not everyone in the show were the shining stars of the island for there was Hector Allegria a property developer who thought he was a gangster wannabe that owned a lot of properties in Key West and was always expanding his empire played by Geno Silva d2020.

The show is a light hearted comedy / drama where O’Neill finds himself in all kinds of dilemma’s as well as the rest of the cast.  I need to point out that there was nothing violent, degrading, sexual in any of the scenes.  Even in regards to Savannah the prostitute.  There is one scene in the beginning of the 1st show where in Gumbo’s one of the dancers, Flame takes off her top but all you see is her back.  Gumbo yells at her to put the top back on.  That probably was the ‘dirtiest’ scene in the entire series.

The show was not only set in Key West but was filmed there as well for in many scenes you will see local establishments and neighborhoods.  As an example in the opening credits is a shot of the world famous Sloppy Joe’s bar where Hemingway hung out.  Speaking of which in the first show O’Neill passes the Hemingway house and wanted to kiss the ground.  In the episode ‘Act of God’ where hurricane Andrew was about to hit Florida, featured a cameo with ‘Captain’ Tony Tarracino himself of Captain Tony’s Saloon.  An interesting note, Captain Tony’s is the original location where Sloppy Joe’s was when Hemingway hung out there.

Hurricane Andrew a Cat 5 storm was in August 1992 and was the costliest hurricane recorded until Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

In episode 5 at 13:07 O’Neill gets a package from home addressed to him at the Meteor.  In episode 4 at 25:21 we see an exterior shot of the Meteor as well as in episode 9 at 9:36.  Considering that in many TV shows and movies, addresses are generally made up unless it is a significant landmark like ‘1 PP’ in Blue Bloods.  I took the address from the package that O’Neill received and put that into Google Earth and it brought me to the exact building that was used as the exterior shots for the Meteor.

Speaking of locations, I was able to drill down to where Gumbo’s Bar was located, Jojo’s home that was used in episode 4, the old Court House on Greene Street which was featured in a few episodes, the background that was used when O’Neill tried to catch a plane to get off the island in episode 7 when hurricane Andrew approached.  And several other locations.  I went over what I've found further down in the post.

Back to Jojo’s home, in a later episode, episode 8 his home was referred to as being in a house boat that was trashed in the hurricane.  Prior to that in episode 4, his home was located in the back of where Blue Heaven is at the corner of Thomas and Petronia streets.

Several of the streets in the show were not paved even where Gumbo’s was located.  Today all of the streets of Key are paved and where Gumbo’s was has grass in front of it.  Then again this is 29 years after the show aired.

There was a major error in the show that no one caught on.  In episode 10, “We The People” the Federal Government set up road blocks preventing people from leaving Key West until their cars were searched for illegal aliens.  The truth is there was indeed a road block in April of 1982 but up further north of the merger where US1 and Card Sound Road meet on the mainland.  About 124 miles from Key West.  In the episode Mayor Caldwell and Sheriff Jefferson are involved with a federal agent at the road block.  The actual event was 11 years earlier than when the date of the Meteor was shown in episode 9 and 10 years earlier when O’Neill established himself in Key West.

In another blooper, in episode 6, "The Greening" one of O'Neil's friends is sitting on the beach wearing a yellow tee shirt with 'Conch Republic' on it.  This episode predates episode 10 from above provided that the list of episodes runs in an established time line.  As such based on the shows time line the Conch Republic did not exist until episode 10.

But the events of 1982 caused the formation of the Conch Republic which was highlighted in the show, even thou the timeline was incorrect.  But it made for an interesting episode.

The cast played off perfectly with each other and brought a sense of enjoyment to the viewers.  The series ran for only 13 shows not even a full season and was canceled suddenly without any explanation.  In doing some research I learned that Key West was up against 'Roseanne' which was a heavy hitter at the time and as such Key West had no chance in surviving.

The show is a fabulous look at a fictional life being based and filmed in paradise. It is a shame that Fox and Viacom pulled the plug way too early on the show for it had great potential.  Maybe if it was shown on CBS, NBC or ABC would have given it a fighting chance for longevity.  As I understand the show still lives and is shown weekly at the Green Parrot Bar on Whitehead Street in Key West.  I just hope their copies are in better condition than the ones I’ve seen on the internet.

I learned that the original name for the show was "Sex And Politics At The End of The World" and FOX changed it to "Key West".  Personally I like that better than the original name.

One of my hobbies is to try and locate filming locations, the show Key West is no different.  It is like playing detective.  I want to thank Allan Marcil one of the producers of this wonderful show for providing me with a few of the locations.  Starting towards the east, the Atlantic Dolphin Research was filmed at the Dolphin Research Center on Grassy Key.

Gumbo’s, a favorite hangout was filmed at the former location of Turtle Kraals for the pilot episode right off of the head of Margaret Street.   After the pilot Gumbo’s was filmed in The Boat House located at the Coconut Mallory Marina and Resort right off of route A1A on the eastern coast of Key West. 

Next O'Neil’s trailer was in one of the trailer parks located on the east side of Key West.  There are a few there and I am still trying to drill down to the exact one.  If anyone knows which trailer park, I'd love to know.

Moving deeper into the city itself, the Meteor was located at 535 Frances Street behind The
Porch of Frances Inn.

Staying on the northern side of Key West the Waterfront Playhouse located at Mallory Square was in the background in Episode 7, ‘Act of God’ when O'Neill tried to catch a seaplane ride off the island before hurricane Andrew hit.

Moving south a few streets we come to the intersection of Front Street and Fitzpatrick Street where Mayor Caldwell was having lunch at a roof top restaurant in Episode 12.  In the same episode Sheriff Cody rides his bicycle from Sloppy Joe’s on Duval Street, making left onto Greene Street then a right onto Whitehead Street to stop at an open air restaurant to talk with Savannah.  I have not been able to locate that restaurant at all and using Google Earth going back to that era did not yield any positive results.

Speaking of Sloppy Joe’s, it was seen in the opening credits of the show.

We keep going south on Whitehead Street we come to then old Courthouse which was the scene of several episodes.

We continue our trip south until we come to the intersection of Thomas Lane and Petronia Street.  Behind 729 Thomas Lane was the location of Jojo’s home in episode 4, ‘Less Moonlight’ when Sheriff Cody delivers Mayor Caldwell to Jojo to be his slave for the day.  In the same episode going west a little bit on Petronia Street Mayor Caldwell was giving Jojo a ride on a three wheel bike towards his home.

On the same intersection in the opening credits we very briefly see O'Neill riding his scooter from Petronia making a right onto Thomas.  Also in the opening credits we briefly see Shamus greeting and sitting down at a table on the sidewalk with some people on Petronia right across the street from the building where Jojo’s home was.

We continue onto Whitehead Street we come to the Hemingway home and museum.  In the opening credits O'Neill is seen sitting at a table outside typing away.  In the pilot episode O'Neill and Jojo come to the museum and O'Neill wants to kiss the ground of the property all because his idol, Hemingway lived there.

Finally is the lighthouse on the corner of Whitehead Street and Truman Avenue which is seen in several episodes and in a scene in episode 5, ‘Pieces of Man’ where O'Neill is at the catwalk of the lighthouse with Savannah and he scatters the cremains of a Bertram Stoddard.

The show was canceled long before it's time.  It could have gone on for a few years very successfully for there was plenty of fodder for more episodes. I am sure a lot of people would like to see it come back, but the cast has aged and two have passed on.  It would not be the same, or would it?

In a later entry, I am going to look at what episodes the cast appear in and address the various story lines that were in each episode.

 In closing, Long Live The Conch Republic.

Monday, September 5, 2022

Will Earth = Venus

 Around 4.6 billion years ago a star was formed out of dust and huge clouds of gas from an unknown nebulae.  The nuclear fusion in the star ignites starting the consumption of hydrogen and helium.  Gravity begins which gathers and holds molecular gas and dust that begin to condense into discs.  These protoplanetary discs are planetary embryos that form into planets and eventually into a solar system.

The solar system in our little adventure has 9 planets with 5 of them being solid while 4 where comprised of methane gas.  The star which was at the center of the solar system was 437,000 miles in diameter which is about half the size of our sun.  Around 3 and a half billion years ago the second planet of the solar system was in what is known as the ‘habitable zone’ where the temperatures permit life to exist.

There was an abundance of liquid water on the planet surface and oxygen in the atmosphere.  Ice packs where on both poles of the planet and snow formed on mountain tops.  The temperatures were moderate while the gravity was a little lighter than what is on Earth.

After a few 100 million years life appeared.  At first only microbes then eventually invertible animals showed up.  After another million years or so the planet had giant reptiles roaming about followed by humanoid figures.  As time progressed the reptiles died off and the humanoids ruled the planet.  As time went on they developed societies, technology and eventually industry.

As the industry grew, so did the pollutants from that industry.  Greenhouse gases began to rise into the atmosphere raising the temperature of the surface of the planet.  The ice packs began to melt as water evaporated into the atmosphere.  Planetary warming was in effect.

Rivers dried up, lakes and reservoirs became nothing more than puddles with many disappearing.  The lack of water in reservoirs halted hydroelectric power generation throwing millions into darkness.  Crops died from a lack of water as did livestock and other animals.  To combat the loss of the hydroelectric generation more fossil fuel power plants were built because they were cheap and easy to build.  As this was happening the greenhouse gasses only increased.  The humanoids on the planet reacted to try and stop what was happening by enacting legislation and making grandiose promises and speeches.  But they were too late as resources vanished.  The temperature of the planet kept on increasing higher and higher as the carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen and other gases formed a thick blanket around the planet preventing any heat from escaping into space.

Wars broke out as each nation tried to take what little was left from others to help their own citizens.  These wars escalated into nuclear holocausts.  The once lush blue skies became more and more clouded with a thick yellow cloud that covered the entire planet blocking any chance of seeing the stars or seeing the surface of the planet from space.  Sulfuric acid formed in the yellow clouds and came down as an acid rain and after 3 and a half billion years it obliterated any evidence that life ever existed on the planet.

In the meantime the star grew in diameter as it used up the hydrogen and helium from the nuclear fusion that produces light and heat to the planets.  The star is on its 10 billion year journey to when it will become a red giant engulfing all the planets before it goes into a nova.  As it grew to 865,370 miles in diameter the second planet was by far no longer in the habitable zone for life to exist.  The temperature of the second planet kept on climbing to 900 plus degrees.  The atmospheric pressure rose to 1,350PSI and the surface of the planet became one massive pressure cooker.  No one was able to survive under those temperatures and pressures.

Now the third planet was in the ‘habitable zone’ where life could exist.  As with its predecessor life started on the third planet eventually with humanoids becoming the dominant life form that grew into a society with technology, industry and with it pollution.  With the pollution came greenhouse gases that raise the planetary temperature.  As with its planetary predecessor the ice caps started to melt, the summers were getting hotter the winters were getting warmer and shorter.  There was a major decrease in snow fall which meant no water to replenish the supplies in the rivers.  Rain was not was not as common or strong as normal.  Rivers, reservoirs and lakes were drying up all over the planet.  With the drying up of the reservoirs only endangered the hydroelectric generation threatening millions of the inhabitants with no electricity.  With the lack of water crops are failing and well as livestock becoming more malnourished reducing food for the inhabitants of the planet.  Resources were disappearing.  Tension among the inhabitants grew with several having their fingers on nuclear buttons that threatened to wipe out all life on the planet.

It would appear that the third planet in our little story is following the path that the second planet took.

Could this be science fiction?  Could this be the story of the planet Venus and now the Earth following suit?

We are witnessing global temperatures that are higher than normal.  The icecaps in the North Pole and South Pole are indeed disappearing.  With the melting of the ice caps the sea levels are rising and the oceans are getting warmer.  According to an article by the National Geographic the average sea level as risen over 8 inches since 1880 with 3 of those inches in the past 25 years.  New research shows that the sea levels rise is accelerating and will rise another foot by 2050.

According to Monroe County Florida in the city of Key West the sea level was measured to have risen 3.9 inches from 2000 to 2017.  Is has been projected that from 2018 the sea level will rise 6 to 13 inches by the year 2040, 21 to 54 inches by 2070 and 40 to 136 inches by 2120.  By then the Florida Keys will no longer exist.  Current coast lines across the globe will be under water as new coasts are formed by the rising waters.

Snow fall in the mountains which help replenish the water in the rivers is lower than normal.  Rain fall has been lower than normal.  A global drought has been in effect for the past few decades and is only getting worse by the day.

Rivers like the Nile, Euphrates and the Colorado are drying up rapidly. The water level Lake Meade which is fed by the Colorado River is lower than it ever has been since the Hoover Dam was built.  This is threatening power generation and water distribution to several states in the west as the lake approaches dead pool.  In some areas the water level has been seen to drop in as little as a week.  Lake Meade is not alone as several other many other reservoirs are drying up.  This lack of water is affecting crop growth as well as live stock.  Water restrictions are being put into place in the west and now in the east of the United States.

In an article published by US News & World Report in August of this year, the United States Bureau of Reclamation in June told Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming that they need to reduce their water consumption by 15% by next year.  The west is not the only place in the US facing water restrictions.  Suffolk County New York has declared a stage one water emergency which means to stop all non-essential water usage.  Rockland county NY has also declared that water restrictions are to be put into place.  Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and others are putting into place drought watches, warnings and in some cases restrictions.

Several countries have their fingers on the nuclear buttons which can wipe out millions of people in a flash.  Tensions between countries like the United States, China, Russia, North Korea are growing daily.  Sooner or later someone may slip and push that button.  Will the lack of water be a reason?  Like we don’t have enough to worry about.

A large part of the blame for all of this has been on industries and transportation that use fossil fuels.  Even the process of creating products is adding to global warming.  As an example electric arc furnaces which are used in the production of steel generate thousands of degrees in heat which goes into the atmosphere.  In addition the pollutants that are expelled from these is mind boggling.  Never mind that, how is the electricity for these machines is generated?  Fossil fuel power plants?  Nuclear plants?  Hydroelectric plants which are already in danger of shutting down?  And that is just for steel plants.  What about the other aspects of manufacturing like forging other metals or oil refineries as examples?

It is well known that one of the greenhouse gases we need to contend with is carbon dioxide (CO2).  Based on research from the Mauna Loa Observatory in 1960 the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere was approximately 318PPM.  In 2020 the concentration was 420PPM which is a dramatic increase.  The atmosphere of Venus is primarily 95.5% CO2.

This makes you think as to what direction are we headed for.  If things don’t change will we eventually live like those from the TV show Firefly where populations are thrusted back to the old west?  Or maybe like on the fictional planet Arrakis from the hit movie Dune where water is more precious and rarer than gold.  Or will the Earth become another planet Venus?