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November 27, 2014

Tom Goes to the Mayor: Joy's Ex

by Adam Finley, posted Sep 23rd 2006 10:01AM

tom goes to the mayor(S02E16) This is an early review.

Avid viewers of Tom Goes to the Mayor know that Tom, no matter how hard he tries, will never be respected by anyone, whether it be his friends, family, or the members of the city council. Of course, it's difficult to blame these people because despite being "full of ideas," the concepts Tom comes up with are usually rather asinine. What I liked the most about this episode is that while Tom still served as the whipping boy, he was actually the voice of reason throughout the entire episode.

I loved how Tom was forced to sleep in a pup tent when Joy's first husband, Saul (played by Todd Barry), comes to visit. Since Saul is the real father of Tom's stepchildren, he treats Tom like a nobody. Tom accepts this, even though Saul isn't exactly a role model himself, covering the entire house in his favorite artistic medium, "liquefied macrobiotic bovine wash." In other words, "cow diarrhea."

One of the keys to enjoying Tom Goes to the Mayor is realizing that it's not just a show where things occasionally come out of left field, it's a show where everything comes out of left field. This is especially true with the character of the Mayor, who seems to be born brand new with every episode. Despite all the adventures he and Tom have had together, he never remembers Tom and always has to be reintroduced at the start of each episode. He's like a human Etch-A-Sketch that's shaken clean and redrawn in a new way every time we see him. In this episode he's distraught that the talking bear he received for St. Patriot's Day isn't talking anymore, and despite Tom's insistent that the bear just needs fresh batteries. the Mayor won't listen to him. He will, however, listen to Saul when he tells the Mayor to stand on the roof of Jefferton Castle and hold the bear in the air during a lightening storm to make it come back to life a la Frankenstein. Of course, it's Tom who gets hit by lightening, which ultimately proves that Tom exists in a universe that is perpetually against him.

This was definitely one of my favorite episodes of the season, and it had some great gags sprinkled throughout: I loved that everything in the Mayor's castle ran on tokens, including the Mr. Quench soda machine with the slogan, "Swallow the Load!" Watching Saul, Tom and the Mayor play Saul's "didgeridoo collection," which was actually just a bunch of bongs, and "playing them" by holding the bongs up to their mouths and simply humming.

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