When Hurricanes Make Landfall on Your Favorite TV Show

When it comes to actual real-life hurricanes, they are big business for the Weather Channel. When a hurricane hits, everyone there hops into action. On those rare occasions when summer remains relatively quiet of tropical disturbance, the Weather Channel is forced to bring out their specials. Since hurricanes are primarily a summer event and summer was traditionally the time when no new episodes of TV shows were produced, a lot of TV series that might have indulged in the hurricane as a plot device never bothered. But that doesn’t mean you can find hurricanes on your favorite fictional TV series.

HURRICANE GIL

Hurricane Gil was the name given to what may be the storm that caused the most widespread damage on fictional TV. That is because Hurricane Gil was the driving force behind one of those crossovers nights that networks used to love so much. “The Golden Girls,” “Empty Nest” and “Nurses” were all affected by Hurricane Gil, sending characters from one show onto another. And no, Hurricane Gil did not flatten “Nurses” from your memory. It was never a memorable show in the first place.

HURRICANE BARBARA

When it comes to hurricanes hitting TV series, perhaps none resulted in more substantial damage than Hurricane Barbara. This was the hurricane that hit Springfield and while it did result in some physical damage, for the most part the only resident to really come out of it the worse for wear was goody-two shoes Ned Flanders. But it wasn’t just that Hurricane Barbara demolished his home. The storm’s greatest damage was to the carefully constructed and entirely willed serenity enjoyed and exhibited by Flanders. Flanders never gets mad despite living next to the worst neighbor in town. He has learned how to keep it all bottled up inside and it wasn’t even really Hurricane Barbara that undid the fragile seam holding Ned Flanders together. It was the comprehensively inept manner in which the rest of the residents of Springfield came together to rebuild his home.

HURRICANE CAMILLE

Yes, that Hurricane Camille. The Hurricane Camille of 1968 that was the storm by which those living along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to the Florida panhandle judged every subsequent storm until Katrina. One of the many leaps through time that puts Sam Beckett in the position of being able to change lives for the better took place during Hurricane Camille. The episode titled “Hurricane” finds Sam leaping into the body of a sheriff who must deal with an ex-girlfriend, a dog who escapes into a storm and the typical sort of idiots who drain resources by holding a hurricane party.

UNNAMED X-FILES HURRICANE

“Agua Mala” finds Mulder and Scully in Florida just in time for a hurricane to hit. As you might expect, it is not the hurricane that is their biggest problem,, although it was the hurricane that was responsible for making it a problem. “Agua Mala” is one of the monster-of-the-week episodes of “The X-Files” that does away, mercifully, with that whole ever expanding alien conspiracy garbage. And the monster in “Agua Mala” is one of the more abstract entities of evil that Mulder and Scully have to face.

HURRICANE ANTHONY

ou would imagine that “CSI: Miami” investigators would have more than a few cases involving hurricanes. But Hurricane Anthony seems to be the show’s only trade in the tropical storm plot device. I’ve never seen this episode–or any episode of “CSI: Miami” for that matter–but apparently Hurricane Anthony kicks off in news broadcasts with the name Andrew. Anthony…Andrew…sound the same so maybe those reports of this goof are just wishful thinking. At any rate, Hurricane Antthony is apparently used as a convenient occurrence in an attempt to conceal connections between two apparently independent storm-related deaths.