Greatest Show of All Times -- 1 -- Click Below
There was a show called Square One TV in the late 80s that came on after "Sesame Street". Unlike Sesame which was for babies, Square One TV offered math help for kids up to like grade number six.
They did square roots, fractions, tessalations, geometry, and then wrapped itself up and closed the curtains twenty minutes in...
For it was time for the lights to come off, the smoke to rise, and the main event to begin...
The number one show of all times.
I remember sitting through endless Square One TV, not even paying attention to math that I was about to flunk anyway, just to see if George Frankly would catch the guy with the Despair Diamond.
There were four or five seasons of episodes on Mathnet, yet I only watched one. And it had the two best episodes I've ever seen on any show ever. CSI, kiss my butt. But NCIS and Law and Order...please take a lesson...
In one episode, George Frankly comes back from his wonderful little cabin trip in order to see that James Earl Jones has video tape evidence of him performing a bank robbery. Somehow, he's on there with his face and voice, fully familiar with the bank teller and his family, and gets a bunch of money via bomb threat. To make things even heavier, all the money he's supposed to have stolen is IN HIS BANK ACCOUNT ALREADY DEPOSITED.
George doesn't know what the hell to tell James Earl Jones or his partner Kate Monday except..."I must have done it!"
But no fear. Kate is on the case. They do their little mathematician stuff it leads them to the place where George left his car. The odometer should read 69,170 miles after all the simple stuff George did that day. It doesn't. It reads 69,430. That means that, not only is there video tape evidence and evidence on a computer...but now evidence on George's god damn car, man! George could have driven to his cabin trip and back to L.A. to committ the robbery in well over 250 miles. Sherman Oaks is where he said he was? That might take forever to get to...but it's only 20 miles. You'll be jammed on the freeway is all.
So damn. Now Kate thinks even more. All the evidence says you robbed the bank, huh? That means either you did it...or heh-heh...someone wants us to THINK you did it.
So they do a mathematical finding and nailing down of all the people George arrested in his life (over 130, god damn Maverick!)...and find that only 2 of them haven't been accounted for due to escaping. Two brothers who were actors. Oh...and got busted for computer crime.
It is then that, now that we realize who really did all this, that George takes the time to tell America's youth how to committ computer crime. It was incredible. You put 10,000 imaginary dollars in the bank's computer via your computer, then have your brother take it out, and then boom...down to the original balance before anyone can directly realize that they don't have the money in the bank in physical form. That's how my third grade teacher explained it to us. Everybody watched Mathnet.
And so we go to the Judge. And the courtroom scenes are funny as hell, but then get scary. For you see it comes to a point when George takes the stand and then "confesses". It seems like it's the real George until a point when he's giving a shot out to everyone he knows he "hurt", such as his "beloved wife Martha and our fine children." Their friend turns to Kate and James Earl and says "George doesn't have any children,"
They jump up.
That is NOT GEORGE EARNEST FRANKLY!!!
And so out indeed comes the real George...in hearts underwear.
What an episode. And we haven't even gotten to the best one.
It's about the Despair Diamond.
There's a distraught woman who calls them up because she heard that they "solve problems". (Nice advertising there, Mathnet. I mean they do after-all solve problems!)
They go to the lady's house. Her husband has been kidnapped.
So they're working on the case and then all of a sudden, for a reason that seems stupid, we're interrupted because some museum exhibit is featuring a 400 foot cardboard hamburger. The mathematicians now have to do some stupid math in order to find the correct way for the thing to get in the...you know I dunno. This was the days of Sam's Kidnapping on Different Strokes, and I felt cheated that we parted from the kidnapping episode.
Of course this hamburger turns out to be the hiding place for the most valuable diamond in the world ala the Great Muppet Caper. This diamond has "over 200 carats", which my dad loudly explained when he heard this with the TV on that "THAT'S IMPOSSIBLE!!!"
So it gets stolen.
We're like damn.
So they're now on the immediate case of a stolen diamond, and the long-term case of a kidnapping.
Through a series of moments, George and Kate realize -- in the wake of being at the museum and being in charge of it's dimensions and looking around the place for solutions...remember that the roof was pretty much open the whole time. The thief could have escaped here with a hot-air balloon.
And so they go and realize that nope...hot-air balloons make too much god damn noise for a thief to make out in the middle of the night like that.
But...not helium balloons.
Anyway, as they think and ponder, one of the other mathematicians comes in and announces that Hans Ballapeen, the guy who was kidnapped, has returned safe and sound.
And so here it comes.
They go to the house and ask him to recount what happened. As it turns out, this guy was made to cut a "beautiful diamond".
"Could you tell us about this diamond?" asks Kate somberly.
"Oh it was a beautiful stone," recalls Hans. "It had over two hundred carats."
It turns out this is a man of many talents. His wife is amazed to hear he's a diamond cutter on top of a...heh-heh...animal balloon maker at children's parties.
They walk outside and go and tell the owner of the Despair Diamond, this poor heart-weary old man, that the thieves cut his diamond up. He wants to throw up. And they pat him on the back and go out on the terrace to think of what to do next. They feel terrible. This man's not taking it well. Hardly, says Kate, the makings of a party.
"Speaking of parties," says George, "did you notice what Missus Ballapeen used to fill up those animal balloons?"
The music straightens up, as does Kate. "Helium," she snides.
"What a coinscidence, huh?"
Close up of head-nodding Kate
Close up of head-nodding George.
To be concluded...
So they're at the office and launch it even more reasons why they're now positive it's Hans. He said it was forever since he cut a diamond, his wife didn't even know he was a diamond cutter...who's gonna trust this guy to cut one of the world's most precious stones?
And then they go...damn. The kidnapping happened first...then the diamond heist. Who the world goes and kidnaps a diamond cutter when you don't even know yet if you have a diamond to cut?
And so they go and bust him. He tries to hide the diamond in George's coffee. It's completely fine. Uncut.
And so they bust Ballapeen, console his wife, and go and give the old man back his diamond...the old man is now every bit the opposite of his depressed and tearful state. OH BLESS YOU MATHNET!!! BLESS YOU!!!!
And so Kate and George, like always, congratulate each other, and then give each other a hearty, arms-extended high-five.
And then we cut to the mugshot and fate of the bad guy.
And then with the triumphant music and badge -- MATHNET!!!! TO COGNITATE AND TO SOLVE!!!!"
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