Moral Orel: The Lord's Prayer
(S02E08) This episode, written and directed by Scott Adsit, reminded me of an old Emo Philips joke that you can read here. The gist of the joke is that two people share almost identical religious beliefs, but one insignificant difference is enough to make them enemies. In this episode, a new family, the Posabules, moves in next door to Orel's family. They seem like the perfect neighbors: their kids get along famously, both the men enjoy the album "Non-threatening Negro Comedy Volume 6," and the wives find common ground in their love of organizing detergents. Even when Bloberta goes monkey-crazy because one of her cleaning products is out of place, it's all quickly smoothed over.
This episode actually reminded me of the first Moral Orel episode to air, "The Best Christmas Ever." It had nothing to do with Christmas, but it had that same mixture of great gags and genuinely touching moments. Orel falls in love with Christina, his new neighbor, but because her family uses the words "debts" and "debtors" instead of "trespass" and "trespasses" when they recite the Lord's Prayer he's forbidden to see her.
What I love about Orel's character is that he's a genuinely good person and he instinctively does the right thing, at least most of the time. The problem is, he's also willing to obey his elders, which is often what gets him into trouble. It would be easy to create a character who dumbly follows whatever rules are arbitrarily laid out for him, but when Orel's instinct is challenged, it creates a real conflict within him. Moral Orel is a hilarious show, and it's made more so by that layer of realism.
- The "Repressional" at Orel's church where Reverend Putty instructs one parishioner to say "three 'it's not happenings' and "two 'I'll deal with it laters'"
- Orel and Christina sneaking off to a secret make-out place . . . to pray.
- Shapey accidentally leaving with the neighbors, and Clay's complete indifference