Tom Goes to the Mayor: Zoo Trouble
(S02E11) When I watch shows in order to review them for TV Squad, I try to simply sit back and enjoy them as if I were any other fella sitting down to enjoy a TV show. In other words, I try not to get hung up on every little nuance and line of dialogue because I want to appreciate the show as it's meant to be, not turn it into some kind of archaeological dig where I over-examine every detail and completely suck the enjoyment out of the experience. I like to look for little details, of course, but I don't want to lose the whole package. This is my way. Yes, it is.
However, I can't completely neglect the blogger/writer part of me that knows he's going to be typing out something about the show once it's over, and some things I would normally ignore get stuck in my craw because of it. For instance, I thought this recent episode of Tom Goes to the Mayor was very funny, but there were two moments I felt were somewhat beneath the usual bizarre humor I expect from Tim and Eric. The first was a "Benny Hill" chase sequence, which has already been spoofed a million times, and a Scooby-Doo style "unmasking" at the end, which, to be fair, was pretty damn surreal, but I still felt it was a little too easy. These are minor complaints though, and the rest of the episode was pretty funny, I thought.
The episode opened with Tom volunteering at the Jefferton Zoo, which only has one genuine zoo animal, an ape named "Michael Davidson." The rest is filled with puppies, kittens, squirrels, rabbits, and other things you wouldn't actually pay to see. Before it was a zoo, it was a place to hold captive Indians and homosexuals. Now the gigantic theme park/zoo across the street is getting all the business. The owner, played by Brian Doyle Murray, has people sit in giant swinging chairs while 3D animals jump out at them. We learn in the end that the chairs are meant to shake out loose change from people's pockets, making him "tens of dollars a month."
The Mayor wants to compete with the bigger zoo, so he dresses the animals in top hats and ties, and creates an "open air cafeteria" which is just a bunch of microwaves sitting open in the rabbit habitat. That night Tom has a weird waking dream in which Michael Davidson the ape tells him to free all the animals. The "ape" is actually Murray in disguise, and the next day when Tom tries to talk to Michael again, the real ape beats the living tar out of him.