Season 1, Episode 1: Virgin, Mother, Crone
Original Airdate: January 2, 1995
On the surface, the allure of Hollywood is intoxicating. A dreamlike state of mingling with movie stars, day drinking at the Frolic Room and then later getting caught up in a whirlwind of flashbulbs on the red carpet at some swanky star-studded premier. The harsh reality, though, is dodging shoddy Marilyn Monroe impersonators begging for tips and traffic jams stretching so far down the boulevard, it’s nerve-racking to think you may be late for a guest stint on some trashy gothic serial featuring unrealistically handsome vampires. And when you finally arrive, the director is chastising and reminding you the producers were initially looking for someone younger.
Anyway, this is Cybill Sheridan’s life. She’s the industry’s go-to day player. Whether it’s a sexy Dark Shadows knock-off or playing the freshly murdered old broad on Hart to Hart, which is apparently still running new episodes in 1995 in this alternate reality to ours. Ever since hitting the ripe old age of forty, she’s come to the realization that she doesn’t have the same accolades and notable screen credits of her peers to fall back on. So, it’s either continuing to stack up the sucky roles and hope the big break eventually comes or switching gears with a gig on the other side of the craft services table. Well, a life of slinging sandwiches to pretty boys sounds unappealing to Cybill, so she hesitantly succumbs to her director’s latest instructions and begrudgingly finishes the scene where she gets bitten on the neck by a tall, handsome man with garlic breath.
To further add to Cybill’s frustration, following the shoot she’s stuck in a traffic jam in her vintage hot red ’64 convertible and jamming along to an uninspired cover of “Drive My Car” by The Beatles. A typical dude in a neighboring car takes notice, of both the car and it’s driver, “Hey, that’s an old beauty,” he shouts as the two cars slowly creep their way down the parkway. “You mean the car, right?” Cybill nervously replies, while quickly glancing in the rearview mirror to make sure she’s somewhat presentable. Like some kind of stretchy Mr. Fantastic-type, the dude manages to miraculously slip Cybill his business card between the two cars. Cybil smiles, because despite the entertainment business dragging her down, she’s happy to report she’s still got some kind of it factor going on when it comes to the opposite sex.
Post-traffic jam bliss, she meets up with gal pal, Maryann Thorpe, who is fresh out of rehab and fresh out of her third martini. She expertly hand gestures for the cocktail server, a probably gay men that’s probably days away from hitting thirty and can relate to Cybill’s current situation; he’s getting too old for Bryan Singer pool parties and those heavy bags under his eyes will deter further invitations. Anyway, the fun afternoon of slurping down cocktails loses it’s appeal when Cybill’s second ex-husband, Ira, crashes happy hour with a young, sexy blonde hanging off his arm. Her name’s Kathy, but she goes by Cat. You know, like the animal. And she’s successfully clawing her way into Ira’s psyche. Like, he’s even into hip-hop music now.
Feeling defeated, Cybill rushes home to discover that teenage daughter Zoey is allowing muscle bound college hunks to use their palatial palace to take showers at. It’s weird, Zoey has managed to land herself in that classic Brenda Walsh-like scenario where she pretends to be a college student to impress some dude and Cybill isn’t too happy with this. However, before Cybill has a chance to fully process the mess Zoey has gotten herself into, an avalanche of continuing calamity engulfs Cybill whole. Rachel, Cybill’s other daughter, the one she had with ex-husband number one, Jeff, stops by to announce she’s pregnant. Under normal circumstances it should be a cheerful time, but to a struggling actress whose fighting ageism on a daily basis, being rewarded the title grandmother is a huge boner killer.
Speaking of boner killers, Cybill goes on her date with Teddy, the traffic jam dude, and things are going along swimmingly until it’s time for the two of them to become intimate. It’s pre-Viagara America, so let’s just say the night doesn’t end well for Cybill. Was he not digging the news that Cybill is months away from receiving one of those “#1 Grandmother” mugs or is it finding out your date has played the murder victim three times in one week on various CBS crime procedurals? We’ll never know. Instead, she swings by Maryann’s house and they chug down cocktails until it’s time to pick up Zoey from a random gas station because Mr. College Guy found out she was sixteen. Anyway, kudos to Mr. College Guy, at least somebody in this town made the right decision… for once.