Monday, February 14, 2022

Night Court: "Billie's Valentine"

Premiered February 14, 1985.

It's Valentine's Day in New York City.  Judge Harold T. Stone (Harry Anderson) has feelings that he hasn't yet expressed for his court colleague, Public Defender Billie Young (Ellen Foley).  He plans to ask her out for a Valentine date, but she already has plans.  

She's head over heels for David Towers (Geoffrey Scott), a very wealthy Public Relations executive with an impressive list of accomplishments.  David has a romantic dinner planned for them.

Cupid's arrow has also struck the heart of Bernie (Martin Garner), who runs a newsstand in the courts building.  He asks the court's bailiff Selma (Selma Diamond) if she'll go out with him, but she's not interested.  Bernie tells if she's still not interested by midnight, he'll leave her alone.

When night court begins, Billie is surprised to see David enter the court as a defendant!  She thinks its some sort of Valentine prank. 

However, David has been arrested for grand larceny and pickpocketing.  It turns out that David lied about his wealth, he's actually a habitual criminal.  Billie is shocked and distraught and storms out of court. 

In spite of his criminal record, Billie still loves David.  She later visits him in jail and says she'll wait for him while he serves his sentence.  Her Valentine's Day gets even worse when David breaks up with Billie.  

While Harry has feelings for Billie, he also doesn't want to be hurt.  So the judge visits David to confront him.  Can this Valentine's day be saved?  

J.A. Morris says:

"Billie's Valentine" is a solid holiday episode.  Lots of Valentine episodes involve someone getting their heart broken and that's what happens here.  Harry likes Billie, so he could try to catch her on the rebound.  Since he's a good person who genuinely cares for her, he tries to be a bigger person and talk David into reconsidering.  

This episode gives us plenty of Valentine's Day atmosphere.  In one of the best moments of "Billie's Valentine," David hires a man (Larry Gelman) to dress up like a Valentine heart and sing to Billie.  

We get some presents with hearts on them, Bernie hitting on Selma and Dan Fielding (John Larroquette) trying in vain to get a Valentine date.  

I wouldn't call "Billie's Valentine" a "classic" episode, but it's fun and like all holiday episodes, it's a nice way for Night Court fans to get reacquainted with the series' great ensemble cast.  

J.A. Morris' rating:

3 Valentine hearts.

RigbyMel says:

"Billie's Valentine" is an amusing episode from the second season of Night Court.    As J.A. Morris points out above, the holiday tropes abound -- we've got hearts and flowers and candy and romantic rivalry/disappointments galore.  

The regular courtroom zaniness of the series frequently featured cases on the docket that tied in thematically with the general theme of the episode and this installment features a comic elderly couple who have gotten arrested for starting a fight in a restaurant during their 65th anniversary party.   Their interaction in the courtroom indicates they might be better off going their separate ways, but they refuse on account of their (retirement age) children!  

Billie's personal and professional troubles regarding larcenous David, Bernie's fruitless pursuit of Selma and Harry's sacrifice on Billie's behalf are all both funny and touching.  

This Valentine's episode is a lot of fun even if it's not in the upper echelons of  television.  It reminds us to be careful of others' feelings on Valentine's day since hearts can be fragile and easily bruised. 

Billie confronts a broken heart in a more than metaphorical sense! 

"Billie's Valentine" is worth a look if you're a fan of Night Court or of holiday themed sitcom episodes in general. 

RigbyMel's rating: 

3 Valentine hearts.