Murphy Brown Comes Swinging on Thanksgivng

"Thanksgiving and Taking" - When the culinary-challenged Murphy invites her colleagues plus Phyllis, Miguel and his parents (Valente Rodriguez and Selenis Leyva) for Thanksgiving dinner with her and Avery, they all brace themselves for the worst, on MURPHY BROWN, Thursday, Nov. 22 (9:30-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Pictured L-R: Faith Ford as Corky Sherwood, Joe Regalbuto as Frank Fontana, Grant Shaud as Miles Silverberg, Tyne Daly as Phyllis, Nik Dodani as Pat Patel, Candice Bergen as Murphy Brown, and Jake McDorman as Avery Brown. Photo: David Geisbrecht/CBS. ©2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Murphy Brown‘s Thanksgiving episode came swinging with one of the most political episodes by far since returning to air in September.

Thursday night’s episode saw two undocumented immigrants being arrested by ICE.  I was in tears as a family got broken up.  The Gonzales family of three arrived in the USA when their son was only two years old.  You might be asking why–gang violence.  All season long has hinted to Miguel Gonzales (Adan Rocha) being scared of what could happen.  As much as I hate to say it, those hints paid off in tonight’s episode.

The episode may have started out with humor thanks to Murphy Brown’s (Candice Bergen) colleagues on Murphy in the Morning avoiding her Thanksgiving meal.  It’s the first time in years that Avery is home so Murphy’s cooking, $350 turkey and all.  But by the end of the episode, nobody was laughing.  Only tears were being shed.

In short, power went out at Murphy’s house due to a snow storm.  Carlos (Valente Rodriguez) and Maria Gonzales (Selenis Leyva) have a food truck so they go there to cook the turkey.  Unfortunately, two ICE agents, Officers Lynch (Judy Gold) and Reynolds (Ethan Slater) raid the truck to arrest Carlos and Maria.  Murphy does everything she can to prevent it from happening to no avail.

Murphy’s son, Avery (Jake McDorman), sees what’s happening in the restaurant and asks Pat Patel (Nick Dodani) to start recording.  The video would air later during Murphy in the Morning when Murphy goes off-script.

Murphy Brown’s off-script monologue at the end of the broadcast:
“I did everything I could to stop it. I called in every favor. I pulled every string. But it wasn’t enough. People say, ‘Why can’t these illegals just get in line and apply for citizenship?’ Well, there isn’t any line. There’s no path to citizenship if you’ve come into this country the way my friends did — yes, illegally. But because they would have waited years to become citizens — precious years with a young child vulnerable to the gang violence and drug culture that threatened his future.

“So, if you celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday with your family, I hope you gave real thanks that you were all together. As for me, watching what I did yesterday might have given me a real reason to lose faith in my country. But I refuse to believe that we’ve become so jaded that we feel nothing when we see these human beings experiencing such heartache. There has to be a way to fix this. We can do better. We will do better. I know we can.”

While the Thanksgiving episode may be the most political episode yet, it speaks to just how political the Season 11 reboot has been.  It speaks to just how much we need Murphy more than ever.  Where I come from in improv/sketch, we talk about finding truth through comedy.  This sitcom is living proof.  Even when we do find truth through comedy, there’s still a message at heart.

Sitcom reboots are all the rave because networks know these shows come with a fan base upon ordering the reboot.  Unlike new shows, these don’t struggle to find an audience.  Even though season 10 ended back in 1998, the political divide of this era required the newscaster’s presence.  Season 11 has proven to be so strong in giving us comedy while while offering social commentary on our nation’s politics.

CAST: Candice Bergen, Faith Ford, Joe Regalbuto, Grant Shaud, Jake McDorman, Nik Dodani, Adan Rocha

Murphy Brown airs Thursday nights on CBS.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.