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June 30, 2015

Moral Orel: School Pageant

by Adam Finley, posted Jun 11th 2007 9:51AM

moral orel(S02E16) This was probably the most sitcomesque episode of Moral Orel so far; I think it could have played on network television without any issues, which is saying something for a series that has been challenged by the censors on more than one occasion.

But let's not confuse "sitcomesque" with "formulaic," because even if a plot centering on a school pageant has been done before, it hasn't been done in the super-pious town of Moralton, where everyone loves Jesus, and Christian folk bands tell folks to think with their heart and "put a motorboard on your aorta."

I enjoyed this episode, though in its effort to be straightforward I felt it missed out on the usual gags that make people like me laugh hysterically and other people change the channel in disgust. I know I've brought this up before, but the short running time was again probably detrimental the episode. Not only did they have to cram a plot into eleven minutes, they also had to cram in some musical numbers, too. When dealing not only with the main story, but also with a story-within-a-story, it's inevitable that certain things have to be sacrificed.

I thought the town's reaction to Orel's anti-Jesus song was a nice surprise. Rather than getting angry, they actual embrace his song because they admire him so much. I thought that was a lovely touch to an enjoyable, though perhaps not-as-laughter-inducing episode. Also, occasionally shifting the perspective to show a more "human" side of Moral Orel isn't a bad idea at all, I just wish the episode had more time to explore all the possibilities of that creative decision.

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