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The Philanthropist Recalls Crystal Beach

Did you catch the opening of Wednesday's episode of the NBC series "The Philanthropist" co-created by Buffalo native Tom Fontana?

In the opening scene, billionaire Teddy Rist (James Purefoy) was taking his ex-wife Julia (Krista Allen) on an airplane trip to Kosovo for a mysterious reason.

On the flight, Teddy explained that when he was a child his family used to vacation every summer near the Crystal Beach amusement park and he enjoyed cherry soda, cotton candy and the rides as grainy footage of an amusement park aired. I'm not sure if it was footage of Crystal Beach, but it sure looked like it.

During one visit on his third ride on the rollercoaster, Teddy said his father told him his parents were divorcing. Teddy's response was to refuse to leave the ride and cling to the safety bar.

At the end of the hour, Rist used the Crystal Beach experience to explain to his ex-wife that he was clinging to the past like he clung to the safety bar and was ready to forgive Julia and himself for the death of their young son. Then Rist took his ex-wife to an indoor children's playground in Kosovo that was dedicated in their son's memory.

It was lump-in-your-throat stuff. If you saw the episode, what did you think of it? And did you think the footage was of Crystal Beach?

-- Alan Pergament 

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