Becker was a television series which ran on CBS from November, 1998 to January, 2004. A Sitcom about an angry, loud, opinionated doctor named John Becker (played by Ted Danson) with a small practice in the Bronx and a loose group of petty, self-centered "friends", who seemed to be the only people who could actually stand Becker for more than a few moments. Nevertheless he seemed popular with his patients, despite the fact that Becker generally hated people.At work, head nurse Margaret (Hattie Winston) was in charge, and the practice was assisted by Linda (Shawnee Smith), who could be The Ditz but was very popular with the patients. Becker spent most of his time at Reggie's Diner, owned by ex-model Reggie Kostas (Terry Farrell). Other characters included blind newspaper seller Jake Malinack (Alex Desert) and Bob (Saverio Guerra), an annoying old schoolfriend of Reggie's who referred to himself in the third person.After Season 4, Reggie was suddenly written out of the show after Farrell was fired, and new character Chris Connor (Nancy Travis) took over for the final 2 seasons. Bob left in Season 6 and was replaced by Hector (Jorge Garcia).The show seemed determined to outdo Seinfeld's level of human depravity.It will come as no surprise, even to anyone who's never seen the show, that Becker Pets The Dog frequently.
Brick Joke: In one episode, everyone questions Becker why he's carrying around an air horn. After the joke is abandoned for the rest of the episode, he uses it at the very end to blare it into the phone after a telemarketer calls.
Buffy Speak: "Quit hovering over me like... help me out, what hovers?"
Reggie: I don't really cook so much as I defrost and reheat.
Grey and Grey Morality: In one episode, a twin brother of one of Becker's patients uses his brother's insurance to get cancer treatment. Becker spends the episode debating giving him the treatment (resulting in insurance fraud and possibly risking his license) or denying him the treatment (condemning a sick man to die because he is uninsured). Ultimately, Becker decides against committing fraud because he's the only practice in a poor neighborhood, so more people would die if he got caught.
Homemade Sweater From Hell: In one episode, Margaret wears a "swest" that her husband, Lewis, made; it's hilariously bad. Linda feigns a compliment on it, and ends up getting her own "swest" from Lewis.
Hypochondria: One patient had it and kept going to different doctors who kept giving him prescriptions. Ironically, all the medication he was taking was actually giving him actual medical problems, which other doctors would solve just by giving him more medication. Becker eventually straightens it all out.
Hypocritical Humor: It's a Running Gag to have Becker decry things in the diner for being dirty, disgusting, and unhealthy right before buying a pack of cigarettes. Linda also gets in the action as well such as when she complains about people getting paid for doing nothing.
The Internet Is for Porn: After Bob said that he was looking up something online, guess who replied, "Yeah, it must have been shocking to discover the internet wasn't just porn."
"One crisis at a time."
It Is Pronounced Tro PAY: One segment has Linda pronouncing "Asperger Syndrome" as "ass burgers". Margaret starts correcting her on it, but later in the episode starts giggling about "ass burgers" herself.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: As much of a jerk as Becker is to Linda et al., he truly seems to care for most of his patients. That is, the ones that aren't stupid.
He's got a surprising amount of patience even with some of the stupid ones. Such as the woman who asked—after being told to only drink clear fluids until she got better—whether orange juice and milk would be okay. And then asked if vodka would be good for her, being a clear fluid.
One episode states that the reason why Becker's office is where it is is so that he can help people that otherwise wouldn't have access to medical help.
He also frequently accepts gifts such as baked goods and Sports tickets instead of money as many people usually don't have much.
Subway Story has his patience tested where he guides an old lady to where she wants to go, before he starts to figure out that she was going to Ground Zero. When she explains the reason why she can't the realization hits Becker hard, and he stays with her as she talks about her son on September 11.
Last Name Basis: Everyone but Margaret, Chris, and sometimes Jake call him Becker.
Long Bus Trip: At the start of Season 5, Reggie left a note saying she was leaving town for Europe. Worse, at the start of Season 6, Bob was said to be on vacation. Apparently, he never came back, as that was the last we ever heard of him.
Mood Whiplash: See the Tear Jerker entry. An otherwise funny episode turns into a beautifully tragic and one in the span of about 2 minutes.
Persecuted Intellectuals: Becker is called to jury duty but keeps getting rejected. He believes that lawyers don't want him because they believe as a doctor he is too intelligent. At one point he almost gets accepted on a jury until he mentions he was reading a book. Meanwhile his ditzy assistant Linda is quickly put on a jury and made foreman.
Take a Third Option: When Reggie gets two tickets to a hockey game she ultimately ends up letting John and Jake decide who should get the extra ticket, instead of picking one over the other. In that same vein when confronted with this new scenario John and Jake take their own third option by giving the extra ticket to Bob.