Television, like life, sometimes develops strange patterns. Last year it was air conditioners. Three characters on quality shows — The Good Place, Fargo, The Leftovers — died as a result of AC-related mishaps and another died from a long-developing brain condition after trying to fix the air conditioning in his office. That’s pretty weird. And if you’re wondering if and how it could weirder, there’s this: Two of those four characters were played by the same actor. It was some kind of year for Scoot McNairy, man.
All of which leads us to this: We are less than six full weeks into 2018 and a pattern is already developing. In one seven-day span, starting Wednesday of last week and extending through this Tuesday, two separate dramas on Fox featured near-disasters involving bounce houses. Two bounce house disasters in the first 37 days of 2018. This puts us on pace for somewhere around 20 bounce house disasters for the year. That is, mathematically speaking, a lot of bounce house disasters.
We will keep an eye on this as the year progresses, of course, because documenting trends like this is important. But first, let’s look at the two have already, one on 9-1-1 and one on the Lethal Weapon television show. Who destroyed a bounce house better?
It’s a fair question.
CONTESTANT NUMBER ONE: 9-1-1
Summary: A wealthy divorced father gets a bounce house for his young son’s birthday party in an attempt to win the child’s love. The father decides to join the children in the bounce house. The problem is that his adult-size body mass causes the bounce house to shake loose from the ropes securing it into the ground, and a gust of wind lifts the inflatable castle off the ground and into the California sky. It floats over a cliff and falls down to Earth. Paramedics and the fire department show up at the scene and save everyone.
Analysis: The first thing we need to clarify is that this is a real thing. Maybe not with these exact circumstances, but in general, yes, unsecured bounce houses have floated away. 9-1-1 has already done some of the craziest things you’ll ever see on television despite only airing for six episodes so far (a sex addict firefighter chopped off a snake’s head and then slept with its owner on the roof of her building in the series premiere), but this one is grounded in reality, loosely.
The second thing worth noting is that we live in a beautiful time for television and we should never take that for granted.