TV reminds you to drink responsibly this New Year's

Bartsimpson_240Today is New Year's Eve -- or, as some call it, Amateur Drunk Night. As we close the books on 2008, it's likely that a fair number of us will be knocking back a glass of champagne or five, or perhaps a couple of nice cocktails.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with that, provided you're not driving and provided you don't overdo it and end up with a tongue-fuzzing, eye-reddening, dear-lord-why-won't-everyone-just-be-quiet hangover.

I'm not going to go all The More You Know on you or anything, but I thought it might be helpful to share a few examples from recent TV history about what happens when you overindulge. Links to video evidence are provided (this blog's embedding ability being somewhat spotty, I'll attempt only one, at the end).

Beverly Hills, 90210 - "U4EA"

The story: This Very Special Episode of the original 90210 finds the gang heading to a rave that Emily Valentine (in one of her earlier appearances, before she came back with the really weird haircut) knows about. She slips a mickey -- the Ecstasy stand-in referenced in the episode title -- into Brandon's drink, which causes him to get so loopy that he has to leave his beloved car at the club, where it's vandalized. Also, David downs a bottle of whiskey, but only Kelly seems appalled. (Link is to the full episode, which has some embedded ads.)

The lesson: While at an underground club populated by your new friend's sketchy acquaintances, make sure you keep your drink in your hands. Plus, make sure you bring your egg to the right convenience store.

Gilmore Girls - "To Live and Let Diorama"

The story: While Stars Hollow wonders (OK, snickers) at the new town museum, Rory, Paris and Lane -- each of them feeling down on love -- partake of a few cups of Miss Patty's leftover Founder's Day punch, which Rory says "is used to remove tar from construction sites." Paris ends up wandering the streets barefoot, Lane discovers Zach is in a bluegrass band, and Rory finds herself on Lorelai's bathroom floor, still despondent. Kirk, meanwhile, gets sideways on sugar and needs a Pop-Tart hair of the dog the next day.

The lesson: Stay away from any beverage that can also be used as a solvent, but if you don't, greasy food will help.

The Bachelor: London Calling - "Episode 1"

The story: Opening-night jitters have gotten the better of several Bachelor contestants over the years, causing them to overdo it on the champagne and make slurry spectacles of themselves on national television. Few have done that as spectacularly, though, as Stacey Elza, who got very handsy with Matt Grant, shoved her underwear into his hands and babbled on about discovering a drug to cure a disease no one even knows about yet -- before passing out. The relevant clips are about seven minutes in here and at the start of this one.

The lesson: Eat something before the limo picks you up. And don't go on The Bachelor.

Friends - "The One in Vegas"/"The One After Vegas"

The story: Before "What happens in Vegas ..." became a tourism-board tagline and an Ashton Kutcher movie vehicle, this season finale/season premiere two-parter put the lie to that, while also illustrating a lesser-known maxim: It's all fun and games until someone with a fake beard drawn on her face gets married to the guy who said her name when he was marrying someone else. (Although I do love the "Hello, Mrs. Ross!" "Hello, Mr. Rachel!" exchange.)

The lesson: When you're married in Las Vegas, you're married everywhere.

The Simpsons - "Boy Scoutz 'N the Hood"

The story: After finding $20, Bart and Milhouse go on a Squishee- and candy-fueled bender (Broadway style!) that ends with the two of them enrolled in the Junior Campers. I'm actually not a fan of the episode's second half -- despite the presence of Ernest Borgnine, Homer is a little too aggressively stupid for my taste -- but the first part is absolutely brilliant. The Squishee scenes can be found here, as well as below.

The lesson: You need to cut your Squishee syrup with some kind of mixer, and never, ever go camping with Homer.

Happy new year, everyone!