When Dan and I first started making our plans to chat about The Green Hornet for Eventually Supertrain, I knew that we would be discussing the whole series, but I was absolutely delighted when he said that we’d be including the Batman crossover episodes.
In those episodes, our heroes Green Hornet and Kato take a trip to Gotham City where their status as villains precedes them and puts the Caped Crusader and his sidekick on alert. As it turns out, Britt Reid is old frenemies with Bruce Wayne and they spend the two-parter jousting over some woman who’s obsessed with the color pink while their alter egos attempt to apprehend Colonel Gumm.
But I’d probably think that anyway because well, I am a sucker for a crossover.
There’s just something about seeing characters you know so well meeting other characters you know so well in each other’s environments. It’s oddly exciting to me. It’s fun. It’s different. I think The New Scooby Doo Movies did this to me. I saw Davy Jones running from ghosts with Shaggy and Velma and I was hooked.
Speaking of childhood, I was addicted to ABC’s TGIF. It should be no surprise to you how absolutely stoked I was as a young person to watch Steve Urkel from Family Matters show up on Full House and crash into Step by Step. For my 11 year old self, that was must-see TV.
It probably would be for my 42 year old self, too.
Back in the day when all of the CSIs were up and running, they managed to a crossover with all three of them, and though I’d kind of fallen out of love with them at that point, you better believe my ass watched all of those episodes anyway.
The 1980 Magnum PI was implied to exist in the same universe as the 1968 Hawaii Five-O, but a proper crossover never happened. However, Magnum PI did crossover with both Murder, She Wrote and Simon & Simon, creating its own little universe that should have seen Rick and AJ visit Jessica Fletcher at some point, but it never happened. That probably would have been too much for my heart seeing as how much I enjoyed them visiting Hawai’i. But I still love watching the crossover episodes we did get.
With the reboots, the 2010 Hawaii Five-0 crossovers included Magnum PI, MacGyver, and NCIS: LA, which means that it shares a universe with JAG, NCIS, NCIS: New Orleans (RIP), and NCIS: Hawai’i, which recently did its own crossover with NCIS.
Talk about crossover inception.
In the vein of all of this, there’s something special about characters from the original show visiting the show’s spin-off. Like Arnold from Diff’rent Strokes showing up at Eastland to visit Mrs. Garrett on Facts of Life (Arnold also showed up on Silver Spoons, and Diff’rent Strokes had three different crossover episodes with the show Hello, Larry). Or like the Fonz and Richie Cunningham showing up on Laverne and Shirley. And Laverne and Shirley turning up on Happy Days after they got spun-off. The two shows even had a crossover two-parter. Laverne and the Fonz also turned up on Mork and Mindy and Laverne made an appearance on Blansky’s Beauties because Garry Marshall had a whole universe going there.
Likewise, characters crossed over in the Henningverse, would go from The Beverly Hillbillies to Petticoat Junction to Green Acres and back again.
And of course, Stargate: SG-1, Stargate: Atlantis, and Stargate: Universe all crossed over with each other. I mean, they were all based with the same government program. It’d be weird if they didn’t.
I know that these are just stunt episodes, many times using the popularity of one show to help boost the ratings of the lagging one. But sometimes it’s just two popular shows colliding and exploding in a joyous cacophony of fun.
I’m going to be honest. I never get tired of it. I don’t even care if the shows crossing over have nothing in common and the premise is completely ridiculous, I’ll still watch it. Give me all of the crossovers.
Make the TV Universe infinite.