It sounds like the setup for an episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” but it’s real. On Wednesday, Governor Charlie Baker threw yet another twist into the vaccine priority game and announced “companion appointments.” Take someone 75+ to get a vaccine at one of the mass vaccination sites, and you can get a shot, too.
With people on Craigslist willing to pay seniors for the honor of being their “Plus One,” we imagined how the scenario would play out on TV.
“Curb Your Enthusiasm” Larry, 73, signs up to take a qualifying senior for his shot, but becomes quickly annoyed by the older (by two years) gentleman’s needs. He has to take his medicine. Use the bathroom. Walks slowly. Complains it’s too cold in Larry’s car with the windows down. Takes off his mask to cough and blow his nose, at which point Larry leaves him by the side of the road. Neither gets their shot.
“Friends” Ross and Monica conspire to get their parents vaccinated on Long Island. Monica compiles a spreadsheet of potential sites within a 75-mile radius of their overpriced apartment, but it’s not good enough for her mother — she loathes the subway! Golden boy Ross just so happens to date a fellow paleontologist who specializes in rare dinosaur vaccines, however, and his parents swoon. Meanwhile, Rachel dates a playboy Moderna investor, and Joey auditions for a lucrative Pfizer commercial. Guest stars Sarah Michelle Gellar in a dual role as Ross’s girlfriend and a flirtatious nurse.
“FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened” This eye-opening chronicle of an ill-planned Caribbean concert catering to the well-connected — and vastly disillusioned — is hastily repackaged as a vaccine rollout documentary using identical footage and interviews. Look for entitled people demanding VIP treatment, empty tents, canceled events, panicked attendees, overwhelmed organizers, stranded travelers, broken dreams, sad sandwiches, and an undercurrent of hostility.
“The Golden Girls” Sophia discovers a hidden box of vaccines at the senior center and brings it home to the girls. A crisis of conscience strikes. Stanley Zbornak suggests selling them at the Rusty Anchor as a package deal with his baked-potato opener, but the ladies decline. In a heartbreaking subplot, Blanche enrolls in an FDA trial for people under 18 and is expelled when her birth certificate reveals she was born in 1939.
“Law & Order: SVU” Benson investigates the chilling case of a Hudson University biology professor-turned-hamburger tycoon (Alan Alda) creating a vaccine in his penthouse, reserved only for people in his Facebook Peloton group. Also stars Sean Young as his ruthless wife willing to do anything to get a shot; Melissa Gilbert as the damaged daughter with a secret; and Freddie Prinze Jr. as the down-on-his-luck attorney who drops a courtroom bombshell.
“Mad Men” Don Draper goes for the heart in his pitch to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. With a video of sepia-toned, multi-generation shots playing in the background, he coos: “Taking grandma for her shot is more than a way to get inoculated. It’s about family, hope, saying, ‘I love you.’” Betty is stewing because after work, Don goes out drinking with Roger and leaves her dad stranded, unable to get to his appointment.
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” Midge offers her enormous apartment as an Upper West Side vaccination center in exchange for an appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” a lifetime supply of coats at Bergdorf Goodman, and vaccines for her parents. Disaster strikes when dad Abe suffers an adverse reaction and is whisked to an undisclosed location in the Catskills to recover away from his nagging wife. Meanwhile, Lenny Bruce develops an underground vaccination center in Greenwich Village and lands in jail. Midge, sensing a career opportunity, sells her coats to bail him out.
“Seinfeld” George hustles over to his parents’ house, but arrives to see rival Lloyd Braunhelping his mother into the car. His father, too proud for assistance, insists on going alone, denying George a shot. Elaine is poised to break up with her boyfriend, a vaccinated dentist, but hangs on in hopes of taking his mom for her shot. George’s frustration builds as Jerry gets priority status for an upcoming show at a long-term care facility, and Kramer scores when he happens by a pharmacy with a leftover dose.
“The Office” Michael asks Pam to book appointments for both him and Phyllis, and parades around boasting about how he’s a caretaker until Pam calls him aside. “Michael, she’s in her early 50s,” she says, horrified. Looking into the camera, Michael initially seems apologetic, but then bursts out with a giggle. “Could have fooled me.”
“The Queen’s Gambit” Chess master Beth Harmon is so vexed by the vaccination process that, true to form, she breaks into a pharmacy and administers doses herself. Fueled by adrenaline, she realizes that she could actually create a sign-up website in about an hour. Lying in bed, she visualizes the possibilities on the ceiling, picturing Walgreens next to CVS — and perhaps Fenway at f3. She’s promptly hired by Charlie Baker’s team and deploys her logistical wizardry to vaccinate Massachusetts in a week.
“The Undoing” With questions swirling about the killer’s identity, Nicole Kidman is seen sweeping out of her building, in flowing red velour, to rendezvous with an older woman. Is it Hugh Grant’s mother, eager to spill more dirt about her son’s psychological condition? Someone who witnessed the murder of which Grant is accused? Suspense builds until the finale, when we see the two meeting again, and the camera pulls back to reveal they’re at Gillette Stadium.