‘Murphy Brown’ 11×06 Review: ‘Results May Vary’

Five days before the midterm elections, Murphy Brown focuses on the big vote in “Results May Vary.” The episode features marathon election day coverage by Murphy in the Morning and Avery’s rival Wolf Network, from the opening of the polls to the final tally at midnight Eastern time.

The episode is chock-full of the jokes you’d expect. Murphy starts the day rejoicing that “America gets to vote the clowns off the island.” Avery will get to share a sofa with the Wolf Network’s lead anchor, who boasts that Donald Trump calls him for advice every night.

“Murphy Brown” 11×06 “Results May Vary.” Source: CBS

The story  bounces back and forth between the two network sets, with running jokes at both. At Murphy in the Morning, Frank chugs energy drinks until he can’t speak clearly, Murphy struggles to stay awake as the night drags on, and Pat becomes a deer in the headlights when Miles insists he wear a sport coat and tie to be on air with the election map. All of this is interspersed with Phyllis’ wanderings as she delivers food to different people on the set – completely disregarding whether she’s getting into the shot.

At the Wolf Network, Avery tries to steer “alpha wolf” John away from rhetoric (and from pitching his book). He gets no help from their female co-anchor, who has just one repeated line: “Amen to that, John!” It’s a sign of her unimportance when she’s replaced midway through the show by another woman. If not for the different color dress and hair, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference!

Things get even tougher for Avery and his liberal values when the president calls and holds forth for about 90 minutes.

Interspersed with the running jokes is a more serious story, about the importance of voting. Phyllis isn’t planning to vote, believing her vote makes no difference. As the day goes on, she hears a personal story from her employee, Miguel, who’s not allowed to vote because he’s a Dreamer. What to the polls, though, is a conversation about a new challenge to Roe v. Wade.

“Results May Vary” makes no predictions about Tuesday’s outcome, except to say that it will all come down to Nevada. The surprised expressions on both network sets leaves it open to interpretation. The episode’s most important message is in the closing graphic:

“Elections have consequences. Vote.”

See you at the polls.

Murphy Brown airs Thursday nights at 9:30/8:30 Central on CBS.

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