Aug 21, 2014
Suddenly Susan: Biceps, Brooke Shields, and Pete the Gay Mail Boy
It was one of many workplace sitcoms about Young Female Journalists with Big Ideas who butt heads with stick-in-the-mud magazine or newspaper editors, in this case Susan (Brooke Shields, best known for Blue Lagoon nearly twenty years before) and Jack (Judd Nelson, the homophobic bigot best known from the execrable Breakfast Club nearly twenty years before).
Her main coworkers included:
1. Photographer Luis (Nestor Carbonell, top photo), a Latino hunk ("Today is the day I work on my biceps.")
2. Sardonic restaurant critic Vickie (gay-positive comedian Kathy Griffin, right)
3. Susan's arch-nemesis, tough-as-nails reporter Maddy (Andrea Bendewald).
4. Pete (Billy Stevenson), the mail boy.
Two things made Suddenly Susan memorable (excluding Nestor Carbonell's biceps).
1. On March 22, 1999, David Strickland committed suicide. Instead of replacing him without comment, the producers decided to incorporate his death into the series.
When Todd fails to report for work and doesn't respond to his pager, his coworkers spend the day searching for him and worrying. Finally they congregate in his apartment. The episode ends with the telephone ringing. Everyone looks around, afraid to answer, knowing what news is coming. It gave me goosebumps. Very effective.
When he married his boyfriend, the equally nerdish Hank (Fred Stoller, left), he talked the homophobic Jack into participating -- quite a memorable accomplishment for the 1990s.
See also: Just Shoot Me