Thursday, September 16, 2021

AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE ABOUT THIS BLOG, A.K.A. The State of "State of the Skate"

Me at the rink with my daughter Lexie back in 2012.

NOTE: As explained in this post from September 2021, State of the Skate is now State of the SkateMUSIC and has moved to a new location! Here's the link: 

I hope to see you there!

Hey State of the Skate-ers, 

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? The last skating-related thing I wrote about was 2021 Worlds, and U.S. Nationals ahead of that. Otherwise, this space appears to have been overtaken by a very enthusiastic fan of some couple on some show about a “good” doctor (wink). (Hint-- it was me)

Part of the reason for my lack of skating posts is easy to attribute to COVID and the lockdowns, postponements, and cancellations that have permeated just about every non-essential activity in life. But a bigger part of it came from me taking a harder look at this blog I started way back in 2008 (!) and wondering if I really wanted to keep it going or not. 

(It turns out that I DO, so if that floats your boat, keep reading.)

State of the Skate has been a part of four different Winter Olympic cycles thus far. I’m not sure how many blogs and/or podcasts (and all platforms related to those two) have come and gone in that time! But of those currently active-- including Jackie Wong’s Rocker Skating, Dave Lease’s This and That, and Ryan Stevens’ Skate Guard-- the most interesting ones benefit from the same things as ever: a strong voice, a unique niche, or both.         

So the basic question I’ve pondered is… do I want to continue State of the Skate as what it’s primarily been for the past several years? Competition previews, predictions, and post-mortems? 

I could do that. But like other aspects of present-day figure skating such as coaching dramas, COVID conflicts, and an obscene number of athlete assault and abuse cases (because even one such case is one too many), I know there are plenty of folks who cover these territories and do it much better than I can. 

Meanwhile, over the past couple years my mind has continued to drift back to a post I wrote in early 2018 called “The ‘Carmen Karaoke’ Theory” which sought to explain why skaters continued to skate to excerpts from Bizet’s opera Carmen ad nauseum… and why, even in the advent of vocals being permitted in singles and pairs competitions, Carmen remained a steadfast choice (with vocals or without). 

Fun fact about that post-- I tried to sell it as a stand-alone article to a number of different online publications, hoping that 2018 Olympic fever would propel it to bigger audiences. When I was unsuccessful in that attempt, it ended up on my blog in the midst of all activities Pyeongchang. 

So while I didn’t get where I wanted to with that article, it definitely sparked my interest in writing about the music that drives this sport. For whether programs are created from a coach’s CD collection, an athlete’s favorite film soundtrack, or an engaging-but-obscure cut that began making the rounds a few years ago, every skater uses music.

And… there are often stories behind the music itself. Stories about the composers, the source material, the inspiration-- it depends, of course, on the kind of music involved. 

So much music! So many stories!

Someone who knows a little about skating should try and tell some of them! 


That’s where I’m going with this…. State of the Skate is becoming… (Should there be a drumroll? Pretend there’s a drumroll)

State of the SkateMusic!


You’ll find State of the SkateMusic on my brand new website… hopefully as soon as next week!

Watch this space for updates on when it goes live… I’ll get into more detail about the new format at that time.

In the meantime, thanks SO MUCH for reading up to now, and I hope you’ll continue to find yourself reading in the future!

UPDATE: State of the SkateMUSIC is now live... check it out at this link:


Thursday, September 9, 2021

#Shea Altar-Bound, Part 2: Anatomy of a Season Premiere Promo

NOTE: State of the #Shea has a new home!! Here's the link:

As of this moment, there are two posts at that link. Click on the picture for either one and you should be able to read... and leave a comment, of course! 

I hope to see you there!

If the link isn't working for you, please let me know and I'll give direct links for each post. 

Thanks, as always, for reading!  

This is a Shea stan account, says the current bio line in The (official) Good Doctor Twitter account. 

That was one of the early signs-- seeing that change simultaneous with the S5 poster reveal, which you see at the top. Then came some “Save the Date” animation from TGD Twitter, featuring images of Shaun and Lea alongside “the date” of September 27-- already tattooed in our memory banks as Season Premiere day. But seeing a digital version of the notification commonplace to many a wedding guest’s mailbox reinforced the notion that the #Shea wedding is going to be the S5 starting point. 

THEN came this TV Line Exclusive which provided:

  • A TGD article featuring quotes from showrunner David Shore

  • Five promotional stills, all of which appear to be from the engagement party

  • A 30 second ABC promo ...

    • With 18 shots from the show

    • Who knows if they’re all from “New Beginnings” (episode 1)...?

    • David Shore knows, but won’t tell us

    • Some fans are freaking out after seeing this peek into the new season...

    • … and others are more chill.


Things are likely to start snowballing with every day closer to the 9/27 season premiere-- they’ll probably release a “sneak peek” scene within 48 hours of my posting this, for instance-- so I’ll jump in here while I can so we can do what we looooove to do while awaiting a new episode…


And we begin this with a friendly reminder that TGD promos, particularly the ones assembled for U.S. television by ABC, are often itty bitty, 30-second carnival rides for the strong-yet-delicate emotions of #Shea-shippers. Sure, they lure us in with the eye candy that is, say, Shaun and Lea sharing an affectionate moment in the kitchen of their loft. But several out-of-sequence clips and sound bytes later, we’re quite likely to grumble I don’t really know what the hell’s going to happen there, but I definitely don’t want to wait three long weeks to find out. 

Add some decidedly ambiguous commentary from showrunner David Shore-- as was the case with the TVLine article-- and ta-da! We’re putty in the producers’ hands all over again. 

Here’s the promo that was released September 2nd:

Now let’s break that down into the 18 different shots that went into those 30 seconds: 

    #Shea paradise
  1. Lea squeezing Shaun’s arm and kissing his cheek while he makes pancakes for two

    1. All looks well in #Shea Land… at a glance, anyway.

  1. OR shot #1 where we pick up Lim’s line “Planning a wedding is a big undertaking”...

  1. OR shot #2-- Dr. Shaun Murphy saying  “All that matters to me is marrying Lea”

    1. NOTE: I originally wrote this as Shaun responding to Lim’s statement with those words, but then thought better, remembering what we hear in these promos is often as disjointed as what we see.

  1. Lea in bed, gasping as if she’s just awoken from a

  1. Shaun asking “Are you okay?” to Lea, sitting up in bed, again looking as if she’s recovering from a nightmare...but wearing something different than in the previous shot (as many eagle-eyed viewers noticed), prompting the question DAMN, GIRL..? 

    1. NOTE: I do realize that DAMN, GIRL is not actually a question. And that I might have been the only one “asking” that. 

  1. Lea says “I just want this wedding to be perfect,” appearing to say it to Jordan.

    1. Heh. That sentence. I just want this wedding to be perfect. We’ll get back to that.

  1. Jordan says (presumably to Lea), “If you aren’t willing to
    risk little things…” 

  1. Quick shot of Shaun looking anxious in the doctor’s lounge

    (This may or may not have a thing 
    to do with the wedding.)

  1. Quick shot of Lea at what looks to be the #Shea engagement party, turning away from someone (Looks like Lim?) and wincing

(See previous caption.)

  1. Quick hospital shot of Jordan, Morgan, Andrews (holding a clipboard), and Wolke

Probably nothing to do with #Shea

  1. Quick shot of a weary-looking Glassman, dressed but with tie hanging off shoulders in his bedroom, bed unmade, pizza box alongside him… (aside from the #Shea shots, this was the most interesting shot in the promo for me. Even if we can presume this is just Glassy in breakup mode.)

Most definitely nothing to do with #Shea

  1. Quick shot of Park alongside a whiteboard of different recovery timelines (for a patient), looking like he’s on the edge of an unfortunate realization

Still has not a dang thing to do with #Shea

  1. Jordan again, same scene as before: “... You’ll never get the chance to have the big things go right.”

  1. Shot of Shaun and Lea at that #Shea
    engagement party, looking content

  1. What appears to be a shot of Shaun
    and Lea’s wedding, taking place outdoors

  1.  As the clergyman (or whoever that guy is; we’ve never seen him before) says “Shaun, to you take Lea to be your wife…” we see a shot of Shaun with head held high, gazing at Lea…  

  1. Then a close-up of Lea, looking… um, I want to say “pained” but that seems wrong. More like she’s stressed but trying to smile through it?

  1. Finally a close-up of Shaun appearing to hang his head as we hear (in voice-over) him saying “I’m sorry.” (That VO actually starts while we’re on the Lea CU.)

And then,

if you are anything like me, you may have heard yourself laughing and/or groaning…

With your eyes rolling back into your head…

Saying “Really, ABC? You’re trying to sell us on the notion of Dr. Shaun Murphy getting cold feet at the altar as he stands there with the love of his life? REALLY?!”

Thanks, Amy and Seth

I guess promos are just gonna keep on promo-ing. So rather than harp on the silly stuff, let’s do a quick game of WHAT ARE THE FACTS AS THEY PERTAIN TO SHAUN AND LEA?

Fact #1: We’ll be witnessing an engagement party. That, in and of itself, hints at the timeline picking up not long after Lea’s marriage proposal in Guatemala. 

Fact #2: Lea is having difficulty sleeping. (I’ll go ahead and speculate “nightmares” like the rest of y’all.)

Fact #3: Lea is on the impossible mission of many a bride-to-be… a “perfect” wedding. And Shore’s comments in the TV Line article indicate a deeper dive into what constitutes “perfect” awaits. (If you read my previous post about a #Shea Wedding Wish List-- and/or if you’ve been elbow-deep in wedding planning yourself at some point and time-- you may have chuckled at Lea’s confession as well.)

Fact #4: All Shaun cares about is marrying Lea. AWWWWW. (Yeah, from that we can interpolate that Shaun couldn’t care less about the details-- which may or may not drive Lea bonkers-- but all we really have to go with right now are Shaun’s exact words.)

Fact #5: There is a wedding scene.

Is it THE wedding scene? Or is it part of Lea’s nightmares? Is it a nightmare because she dreams that Shaun leaves her at the altar with “I’m sorry”? Or is it more circumstantial (she’s dreaming of an outdoor wedding but a thunderstorm takes them by surprise)? 

Fact #6: Jordan gets to deliver the line of wisdom upon which this early-season drama may or may not hinge… depending on what actually goes down in the season opener. 

Oh, and it’s not a particularly pertinent fact, but they found a way to get every member of the principal cast into the promo except for Dr. Mateo Rendon Osma (Osvaldo Benavides). Considering what we’ve seen thus far is a standard 30-second promo as opposed to a nearly 2-minute “official trailer” spanning the first 3 episodes (like this one they produced last year), that’s kind of impressive.

Oh, and Dr. Rendon was among those featured in the promo
stills… see?


Now, back to that good old speculation…

Are they getting married right away or not?

Here’s what happened when I posed a similar question on Twitter last week:

We talked about this at length last time (before all these promo materials came out), and it seemed many of us were in agreement that it would seem a shame to skip the buildup drama that weddings bring to a script. On the other hand, we’ve seen not just the “promo wedding” but photos from various IG stories that make a viewer wonder if they’d have spent THAT much time dolled up for a location shoot if it wasn’t the real deal. (Paige Spara’s photo captioned “the one where they get married” certainly fuels that fire.)

On yet another hand, we have Shore dropping trademark teases like “We are working towards (the wedding)... I can’t say [exactly] when it will happen, but we are working towards it.”

That’s three “hands,” isn’t it? Hmmmm. Let’s not overcomplicate this.

My answer, for now, is

SEASON OPENER, aka 5:1 (“New Beginnings”)-- unlikely.

EPISODE 5:2 (“Piece of Cake”)-- possible. Less unlikely. Guess we can’t rule it out.

EPISODE 5:3 or later-- Still hopeful it’s this one. 

A few other mental notes I took in watching this early look at season 5:

  • If the show is staging a full-on engagement party (and possibly a full-on “nightmare” wedding), will the real #Shea wedding ultimately be a quieter, more intimate affair?

  • And if we’re starting the season with an engagement party, would they really jump to a wedding (intimate or otherwise) in the following episode? Seems like there’d have to be at least a minor time-lapse for that to happen-- which isn’t unprecedented, I guess (there must’ve been at least a small jump between “Frontline Pt.2” and “Newbies” last season), but would still be unusual.

  • This particular promo marks the first time that a season premiere of TGD is showcased primarily from Lea’s perspective rather than Shaun’s. Yeah, he’s right there in the thick of things, but she’s the one with the (probably) nightmares, she’s the one wanting things perfect, and she’s the one (supposedly) in jeopardy of rejection via Shaun. If they DO issue a longer S5 trailer, I suspect the big-picture focus will be back on Dr. Murphy. But what we’ve seen so far sends an interesting message about The Good Doctor five years from where it started: not just a “he” journey now, but a “he” and “she” becoming a long-term “we” journey.

New beginnings, indeed!

No wonder the official TGD Twitter account changed its bio.

Monday, August 23, 2021

#Shea Altar-Bound, part 1: The Wedding Wish Lists

It seems they've stood...

And talked... 

... Like this before

I have to confess that I’ve a couple larger than usual distractions holding up this post. One is becoming increasingly typical this time of year for me-- for us-- as my husband Dan and I helped move our firstborn back to Purdue for year THREE as a network engineer major. It’s not a very long journey; just a few ticks over an hour, and aside from a handed-down sofa that had to be stuffed through some uncooperative doorways (are there any “cooperative” doorways when it comes to moving a sofa?)... there wasn’t much to it this time. 

But next year we have our son in his fourth year of college AND our daughter (the second born/youngest) graduating high school and starting a university adventure of her own, so I know there will be a lot more “to it” in 2022. Which is as it should be, of course. But let’s just say I’m grateful for one more year of preparation.

The other distraction I spoke of actually has to do with this very small corner of the internet you are so kind to visit… I am building a new website! Without getting into much detail, I’ve maintained this blog on Blogger for a looong time and have new things I am (finally) ready to try and do. Don’t worry, State of the #Shea is most definitely continuing… how could it not… #Shea Nation has given me my largest readership (that’s a word, right?) to date! So thank you!

Here’s the thing, though…as my extended stay with Blogger surely proves, I move with extreme caution, especially when it involves technology (and I’m putting this new site squarely in that category whether it truly belongs there or not). So while my current goal is to have parts of the new space “live” ahead of September 27-- which is the season premiere of TGD, for those who hadn’t heard-- I’ve got a lot of learning (and decision-making) to do in the next 5 weeks. It’s pretty overwhelming, but I’ve gotta get it done, you know? 

(Just my sharing this "in public" is daunting, as it means I actually need to carry it through this time and not just talk/think about it.)

So wish me luck, stay tuned for updates, and THANK YOU for helping give me a reason to push this particular boulder up the hill.



Or should I say “Let’s keep talking about a wedding,” since the conversation has continued in some shape or form ever since Lea’s proposal in early June. In fact, when filming on TGD season 5 began this past week, the #Shea Twitterverse freaked and geeked out over three things that felt like hints that Shaun and Lea’s wedding was leading off the entire season:

  1. Paige Spara posting a couple of photos to her IG with hair and makeup done in a way that might suggest they were shooting a formal occasion

  2. Bria Samone Henderson sharing a pic of herself in a purple dress-- a dress one might wear in a formal situation-- on her IG

  3. Additional social media implications that Antonia Thomas (Claire) has been up in Vancouver this week, despite the fact that she departed the series last season

I must admit that, aside from being skeptical about these “hints” (TGD, being misleading with sneak peeks?? Where have I heard that song before?)I was feeling a little bummed. Of course I’m as eager to see the #Shea wedding as you probably are… but… I’m looking forward to some build-up. Maybe not a full season’s worth, but winter finale, maybe? Eh, we’ll get back to that..

Anyway, what could those “hints” be about if not the wedding itself? First thing that came to my mind was engagement celebration… but what are we working with, really? Paige’s straightened hair and perhaps a makeup upgrade? Could be something; could also be a certain look they’re imparting on Lea this season in general. Bria’s dress? Possibly a wardrobe test for a future episode… and it’s worth remembering that there’s all kinds of reasons that Jordan (Bria’s character on the show, now a series regular) might dress up. We don’t know all that much about her, after all…

As for Antonia possibly being there? I’m stumped on that one, but offer the possibility that “Claire” might need to be around for a day or two even if she’s simply being featured in a FaceTime or phone conversation from her new digs in Guatemala-- they wouldn’t have to go off-site in Vancouver to recreate that. 

Oh, one more thing: When the ladies at @EndgameShea tagged Barclay Hope (the actor who played Mike Dilallo last season) in a Tweet this past week, the exchange looked like this: 

Assuming Lea’s dad will attend the #Shea Shindig of the season, whenever it may be… it doesn’t appear that Mr. Hope has been back on the TGD set yet. Unless he’s playing coy about it, or has been instructed not to reveal anything … always a possibility, I guess.

IN ANY CASE, we’ll know a little more as September 27 approaches. 

Oh! I forgot to mention that one more thing that could have been interpreted as a wedding day “hint” was the title of the season premiere episode, which was also revealed this week…


Easy to see why this would fire everyone up too, but let’s not forget that the “moving forward” theme spotlighted #Shea but extended many different directions with the S4 finale: #Matlim, #Parnick (did I get those hashtags right???), Andrews, Claire (cue that FaceTime call??)... even no-longer-newbies Dr. Jordan Allen and Dr. Asher Wolke as they settle into year two; even Glassman, assuming he and Debbie will follow through with divorce proceedings. 

My capacity to be wrong remains as high as ever, but that’s my .02 on what we know so far. 

But with this year’s premiere date coinciding with the 24th anniversary of my own wedding, I’ve been mining my memory for issues that crept in-- sometimes loudly stomped in is more like it-- as Dan and I inched ever closer to that day. A partial list: 

  • Guest list debate: “I don’t even know that relative, why do I have to invite them?” 

  • Multiple mama dramas (MY mom… but it worked out OK)

  • Bridesmaid/MOH re-assignment drama (but it, too, worked out OK)

  • Issues with details, specifically wedding veil, reception hall (before and during said reception), and flower girl dresses… which my mom made herself… yes, part of the Mama drama

  • Wedding rehearsal drama (had some no-shows or plane hadn’t arrived yet-shows)

  • Post rehearsal dinner antics (again, see Mama drama)

I should probably add that my mother was, at the time of my wedding, a certified flower show judge and a veteran wedding cake-maker who also had a few years of catering experience. She was brilliant when in her element, but also tended to bite off more than she could chew at times.. (I may circle back to this if it becomes relevant to #Shea matters.)

Could we see anything like this with Shaun? With Lea? With Mama D (Pam)? Or anyone else? Maybe, maybe not. But we know a smooth sail from the Guatemala airport to the wedding altar is out of the question, so let’s see what we have to say thus far about the options… 


The most popular choices I’ve seen land in mid-season-- the winter finale getting the most nods, though I think some have said they’d enjoy a Valentine’s Day wedding. Some still seem excited at the thought of it happening right away; a lesser number are content with waiting till the season finale (or close to it). 

My preference, as I said earlier, would be something mid-season. There are just too many options thrown away if they rush the preparation. Winter finale sounds lovely, but assuming they return to a more “normal” pattern of episodes, would they be sacrificing a mini-cliffhanger if they do it then? Or would something about the wedding BE the mini-cliffhanger…? I’m not crazy about that idea at all… unless it involves something that doesn’t spoil Shaun and Lea’s day. Like, say, new guy Dr. Osma being dragged off to jail at the end of the night when the long-held arrest warrants catch up to him…? Just an idea.

I’d even be OK with an end-of-season wedding bash, except for one thing: what if S5 proves to be TGD’s swan song? Sure, it’d be a great way to go out-- but the greedy #Shea fan in me wants more than a projected Happy Ever After, ASD/NT style. I want to hear Shaun and Lea call each other “husband and wife” as long as possible. And yes, like most of you, I want to see them in at least the early stages of raising a family. If it can only be VERY early stages (with Lea pregnant again, this time carrying to term), I’d take that. But if the ratings, or Freddie, or some other factor determines S5 is TGD’s final season, we’ll likely be denied all those things-- unless the wedding happens earlier in the episodic cycle.


I say it’s going to be at the hospital on that balcony they used for the prom dance in season three or that beautiful final dance in the spilled milk episode. --Steven

Pam is the controlling type, she may horn into the conversation and insist on a church. I don't think Shaun would care, but Lea may push back with a vengeance, because mom… (or I'm full of it and maybe Lea wants a traditional wedding in a church). Or, they could have the state deputize someone (Glassy?)-- Juliana

Many of us are associating a church wedding with the Dilallo parents’ (OK, probably just Pam) hijacking any plans Shaun and Lea might conceive on their own. But logistically speaking (for a TV show, anyway), Steven pointed out in the longer version of his answer that a church or other sort of unique location could be a lot harder to pull off. So another recurring idea I’ve seen-- that Lea eventually does away with family wishes, leads with her heart, and has the wedding elsewhere-- seems to suit the needs of the show better anyway.

Some, such as Sheree, fully support the idea of an outdoor wedding-- and we know the production crew has dedicated multiple days to shoots in certain Vancouver-area parks and nature preserves for happenings far less monumental than the wedding of the titular character. Beautiful as I think that could be, I wonder if such a big event would be too expensive if it was weather-contingent. I also wonder if the nature of Shaun’s character would endorse such a plan… he’s a dedicated Weather Channel watcher, so he surely knows the likelihood of rainfall, high winds, excessive heat, etc. in San Jose. If the odds were too high for one or more of those things, he could make a very strong case for an indoor, more climate-controlled environment. (And unless Lea has her heart completely set on it, I suspect Shaun could bring her around to his way of thinking. At least on this matter.)

Juliana mentioned Glassy possibly being deputized by the state to officiate; she also mentioned there could be a revelation that one of the series regulars was ordained at some point by Universal Life Church. If they went that direction, who’s your guess for the job…? I have Lim, Park, and Jordan on my shortlist… (Except Jordan would be ordained in some other fashion, given her background of faith)



RE: The Attendants… 


 I can’t wait to see how they handle the wedding party. Will Glassman be treated like an honorary father of the groom? Or would he be Shaun’s Best Man?  I personally prefer the former, allowing Park to roll into the Best Man spot…


Will the show develop a significant Lea-female friendship?  Morgan? Jordan? Even a reference to an off-screen long-time Hershey friend would give us something to look forward to in a Maid of Honor. I’d be disappointed to see the other female regulars as bridesmaids “just because,” but I’d love it if they could earn their spots!  -- TONY


I don’t have much to add to this except that if Claire is in attendance, I hope she sings. Maybe during the processional…?


RE: Controversial guests…


My top possibilities for pot-stirrers are your top possibilities: Shaun’s mother Marcie and Lea’s presumably-still-estranged brother Donnie. I cannot fathom the show skipping a major dramatic opportunity and failing to at least discuss Marcie as a possible guest; whether or not they’d go ahead and actually bring her to the wedding is another story. As for Donnie… I sincerely hope we not only meet Donnie at last, but get him to the wedding (even if he and Lea have reconciled by then, he could still make things interesting). Given that he didn’t merit a mention during last year’s “Parenting” episode, I worry that the writers won’t pursue it/won’t cast him/will hope we’ve forgotten all about him. But I’m the one always reminding us to “trust the writers”... so I should stay positive about this, right?

It's important, IMO, for them to go there (HERSHEY) and to have a sort of  parallel to “Friends and Family,” but Lea's edition so she can solve any issue she might have had in the past to keep growing into her future with Shaun. --VALE


I’ve seen plenty of wishes for #Shea’s wedding day to be simply the shiny happy celebration they deserve…

The unthinkable will probably happen  (a medical emergency in the middle of the ceremony is the least I can think of). But they have other 19 episodes for that, so... please be nice just for once!-- Daniela

But even Daniela admits, earlier in her comment, that she was “probably delusional” for thinking David Shore and Co. will give everyone a break for the duration of the wedding day.

As for me, my questions circle around the variations they might do on a few TV wedding tropes:

  • How will St. B get incorporated into the wedding? Will there be a mid-ceremony medical emergency, as Daniela offered? Or could one or two St. B’vites be forced to miss the wedding while on-call? (Or will an on-site ceremony eliminate that problem?) 

  • Regardless of location, will either Shaun or Lea (or both) have some sort of delay that results in a frantic and/or amusing hustle to the altar?

  • What (admittedly silly) traditions will be honored… and which will be broken?  Will Shaun “see the bride” ahead of the ceremony, either by accident or because they need to see each other for some reason? Will Lea wear something old/new/borrowed/blue? And maybe the most anticipated one: what will their first kiss as husband and wife look like? (I’m kind of hoping Shaun will “dip” Lea during that kiss-- just me?)

  • I’m also hoping for something that would feel very #Shea to all of us… that both Shaun and Lea are jumping for joy at the ceremony’s end. Actually I hope they jump all the way down the aisle during the recessional, if there is an aisle!

Whoops, getting ahead of myself. I guess it’s time to ask…



“Lea in a white gown! Please, don’t make her get married in jeans and combat boots…”

-- Daniela

Yeah, we could spend a week just discussing Lea’s dream gown, trying hard not to dwell on the stunning bride look that Paige delivered in that Watermark commercial…

Like Daniela, I hope they go full bridal formal for Lea. Even a cocktail-length dress seems too simple…

Me with the pink
Chuck Taylors at 
my own wedding
in 1997

But as for what shoes to wear: as someone who went with an alternate look for my own wedding, perhaps I should exempt myself from this conversation… 

(I wouldn’t mind boots underneath the gown)

As for Shaun, we all remember that he bought the Armani tux back in Season 1 (for the gala at St. B) after much debate about renting vs. purchasing. I hope this fact either comes up in conversation-- seems Shaun is too practical-minded to wear anything BUT his Armani, knowing how much he spent on it and how few opportunities one has to wear a tux-- OR we simply see him in a tux on the big day and, when comparing it to the one he wore in S1, can “confirm” it’s one and the same. (Though the wardrobe folks on set may be the only ones to know for sure)

The ceremony itself is likely to be relatively short and sweet-- maybe the length of an average “act” of the show (6-7 minutes tops, if we’re lucky?). I know daytime dramas often stretch those ceremonies to take half the hour or longer (at least they used to), but that’s a lot easier to do when you’re on the air five hours a week and have time to burn…

By the way, this need for a short ceremony probably puts another point towards Shaun and Lea having a wedding somewhere other than a church. And for those suspecting Lea’s family roots are Catholic, surely a wedding with a “full mass” (including communion) is out of the question!

Short ceremony or not, I’m hoping that if Claire is there she will sing. Perhaps for the processional?

In any case, I think we’re in agreement on the part of the ceremony we anticipate the most: THOSE VOWS…

The vows are what I am the most excited for just hope the writers have them be "personal" vows and not just generic.  Or a mix of both.  -- Sheree

I so want them to say their own vows, a kind of continuation or reiteration of their "more" statements. – Pamela

Assuming the writers agree, I kind of picture Shaun carefully writing out what he wants to say on a series of index cards-- but then, getting flustered halfway through, tucking them back into his pocket and speaking spontaneously. Part hilariously honest, part heartstring-yanking, ALL earnest Shaun. 


I think it’s crossed most #Shea fans’ minds that Shaun might be thrilled by a “big” wedding/reception, no matter where they are held. But several have pointed out that he’s likely to try and accommodate whatever Lea wants in this regard; as long as his friends from St. B are in attendance, he’ll be comfortable enough. 

Really, all we care about are two things. OK, three things (I added one on my own):

  1. Will there be dancing?

  2. Will there be karaoke?

  3. Will we get to see them cut the wedding cake? (Bonus points if the show comes up with a really cool cake-topper… fondant his-and-her toilet paper rolls, anyone?)

There’d BETTER be dancing-- a #Shea first dance, and anything that can follow it (Glassy and Lea, for instance, as Daniela suggested)! When Shaun’s attempt to dance with Lea last season was cut short by her queasiness, we felt cheated. GIVE US A BETTER DANCE MEMORY, PLEASE. Could be “Islands in the Stream” or one of the countless options put forth via YouTube fan videos… just pick one and go with it!

(Does anyone think the show might do a thing where Shaun and Lea do something choreographed? I’ve heard Freddie Highmore can’t really dance at all; that’s what I think would be most adorable about a choreographed piece-- Shaun/Freddie would be trying equally hard to get it right!)

And dang, a karaoke machine seems absolutely mandatory for this shindig doesn’t it? End of discussion. 

A few random reception questions I’ll throw out there:

  • Who will catch Lea’s bouquet (assuming she has one)? Will Lim, Morgan and Jordan all be fighting to NOT catch it, with their arms at their sides, bouncing it off their bodies like a soccer ball? (My God that would be funny, if I do say so myself)

  • Who will drink the most… then say something provocative and regret it later?

  • Will there be receptionus interruptus… something dramatic that grinds the fun to a halt?

That last one brings me to the wild card question…

WHAT “DRAMATIC PAUSES” WILL THERE BE BETWEEN NOW AND THE MOMENT SHAUN AND LEA LEAVE FOR THEIR HONEYMOON (which I hope they get, even if-- sigh-- it all happens off-screen)?

  • Will we get to see Shaun give Lea an engagement ring? If so, how big a deal will be made about it?

He probably wouldn't think of a ring until someone like Park asks him if he's gotten one yet. Then he may obsess about it, asking everyone he meets about where should he get it, what should it look like, etc. When a jeweler asks him about the size, he may go into a tailspin! Good comic material. --Julianna

  • If the question of inviting Marcie Murphy (Shaun’s mom) does surface, as I think it has to, will it be Glassy’s doing? Or Lea’s? Would Shaun possibly declare it himself-- after, say, a particularly gripping medical case that got him thinking about his only surviving blood relative?

  • And regarding Donnie Dilallo (Lea’s brother): Since it seems unlikely we’d get TWO episodes (at least by the time of the wedding) where Lea’s family is featured, will Donnie and Lea’s relationship end up being on display throughout the wedding episode?

  • One issue that I have NOT heard any of #Shea Nation discuss at any length is Lea’s previous marriage/wedding/husband. I think this is due to the fact that the whole matter was downplayed last season once Lea brought it out into the open. And while I don’t anticipate a surprise appearance by the ex-husband, I do wonder how much her previous wedding will impact what Lea wants to do this time… or maybe more to the point, how it will inform Mike and Pam Dilallo’s input. After all, we’ve no idea how elaborate wedding #1 was, though if “everyone expected it” as Lea said I can’t help but think it was more than a trip to the courthouse.

Speaking of Mike and Pam…

A scene between Lea’s parents and Dr. Glassman would be pure gold! I’m sure that I’m not the only one wishing that. But it doesn’t need to happen necessarily at the wedding. Maybe right before would make even more sense. I can already picture it in my head --Daniela

  • I’d be remiss, I suppose, if I skipped over the question of how Shaun’s ASD might factor into things… except that it’s already been discussed in many regards. One lingering question I guess I have is whether or not Shaun might get overwhelmed at some point with the whole thing-- the formalities, or the fact he’s actually marrying this woman he’s loved for so long, or the aspects of the big day itself-- and will need someone (hopefully Lea) to calm him down… cue that seeing-the-bride-before-the-ceremony tradition being broken? But as much as Freddie and Paige would rock such a dramatic moment, I don’t know if they’d go that route. Shaun’s lack of serious meltdowns last season seemed a marking of Shaun’s growth and maturity since we first saw him in 2017. What do you think?

(BEFORE YOU ANSWER, HERE IS BIT MORE INPUT FROM READERS ABOUT THE PENDING NUPTIALS IN GENERAL… and don’t go away just yet; if you keep scrolling you’ll find one more #Shea Interactive Challenge to carry us towards the season premiere)

All that we love about and that define the distinct characteristics of the Shea relationship:   unique, fun, funny, romantic, and heartwarming.  The show needs to treat it as THE big event that it is and what Shea deserves as the central couple and heart and soul of the show, without cliche drama like cold feet or someone stopping the wedding ceremony.  -- Pamela

The main character of the show is getting married so it can't be something like what we saw with Glassy and Debbie for example. I hope they pay attention to details such as the place, Lea's dress and hopefully we will see Shaun giving her an engagement ring. --VALE

They are a young couple with a long life ahead of them. I want that they celebrate that and their love for each other.-- Daniela

David Shore said the writers will have fun with the wedding; there's lots of material to play with! Not to mention the buildup, the honeymoon (road trip!!??), Lea's dress, bridesmaid(s) best man,etc. I can't wait!  -- Julianna




OK, so we’ve discussed favorite episodes from S4 and the upcoming S5 wedding, but what about a SEASON 5 WISH LIST? I know it’s kind of hard to separate such a thing from the wedding plans, but we all know this is not the #Shea Show 24/7. What developments would you like to see for other characters? For Shaun and Lea as individuals? Are there any particular medical issues (under-represented or otherwise) or controversies you’d like to see addressed this year? 

If you’ve got such a wish list, please send it to KLawrence997 at gmail dot com!