It’s a Date

Season 1, Episode 6



Yeah, yeah.


I don't feel like answering.


Oh alright.  Hello.


Hello?  Ah, I wonder if I could speak to Sally O'Mally please.


You are.


I am Tony Fiorentino.


No, I mean, you are talking to Sally O’Mally.  Wait a minute-- did you say-- Tony?  (Tony's laugh).  Tony Fiorentino?

The enemy of good drama is predictability, something that’s particularly hard to avoid when creating a soap opera, which tends to focus on day-to-day life—often by definition . . . predictable.

One way to combat this problem is by introducing surprises, especially by surprising the characters in the story. In this episode Sally O’Mally, (almost) everyone’s favorite restaurant owner in Milford-Haven, gets a surprise that knocks her off her feet. The man she once loved back in high school . . . the man she’d always imagined she’d marry one day . . . the man who joined the Marines and went off to war . . . is suddenly on the other end of the phone.

Does this call come at a convenient time? No. Is Sally available? Not exactly. Does she angrily hang up on him now that’s finally calling? Not on your life. Do they have issues to untangle? You bet, and then some.

What a tender storyline this was to write, with the terrible wounds of war, the disappointments of lost time and opportunity, and yet what a rich promise of redemption and healing the seeds of this storyline contained, right from the start.

The part of Tony Fiorentino—a Vietnam veteran who is now paraplegic—was inspired by, and originally written for the actor Lou Carello, who came to national attention in Fern Field’s Oscar-nominated breakout documentary A Different Approach and as a colleague to the Jon Voight character in Coming Home. Later Lou also appeared in Coach of the Year starring Robert Conrad, and also my dear friend Erin Gray, though we didn’t know about this connection at the time. I met Lou while I was researching my cover story about Jon for Rolling Stone, and was so inspired by Lou’s courage, humor, and talent that I created the part of “Tony” for him.

To research the storyline, I interviewed Lou extensively and he generously shared with me some of his own war experiences, a process he considered to be an important part of his own healing. Sadly, before Lou could come to work in my show, however, he succumbed to the ongoing injury inflicted by shrapnel that continued to damage his body long after he had started a vibrant and active acting career. You can find out more about Lou Carello at his IMBD profile page.

For the original Central Coast version of Milford-Haven, the part was played by Bruno Ragnacci, a wonderful actor known primarily for his extensive work on stage. For the BBC version of Milford-Haven U.S.A., the part was played with great sensitivity and mastery by Lloyd Battista.

As you hear Milford-Haven USA, have fun listening to both sides of the non-conversation that begins each episode.

So now . . download the episode
or purchase Season 1

Tune in to your favorite device, and join us in . . . Milford-Haven!