Now, as if that wasn't enough to boggle my mind for a good day or so, here comes to news that 67 year-old Jones is about to become a father again. Regardless of how you feel about this situation ethically, you've got to admit, that's ... pretty wild.
I can't imagine how the clever writers of the show -- that starts with creator Josh Schwartz -- will keep from referring to Quantum Leap and Enterprise in some way. In fact, knowing their penchant for weaving topical bits into the plot, there should be a slew of references.
Episodes like this just make a show; they really do. In Plain Sight is about Witness Protection, yes, but it's more about Mary Shannon.
Mary doesn't go looking for this case, she's just bringing in her crap car for service. Her mechanic is Scott, who it turns out, was Mary's very first WITSEC client. Mary gave Scott and his 10-year-old brother, Chris, new lives after they witnessed a bookie murder another bookie.
Parenthetically, Scott invites Mary and Marshall to watch Chris play basketball at the university. The kid's got mad skills and is projected to be an NBA star, natch, but something's amiss. Chris is hitting up Mary for $3,000, which we learn is out of bounds for decade-long WITSEC clients.
This is an early review.
This two-parter really made me hate Clay Puppington, and I don't think I can say that about any other cartoon character. Hell, Cartman from South Park has done tons of horrible things, even indirectly killed people, but watching Clay treat Orel so poorly and so dismissively made me want to break off his frail, wire-supported arms.
This is an early review.
Clay Puppington: Hunting dogs are just nature's rabbits.
With every episode, more and more layers have been peeled back from the dynamic between Orel and his father. At first, Orel seemed blissfully ignorant of his father's distance and abuse, but over the course of this season, Orel, like all kids do eventually, is realizing his father is only human, and not a very sane one, either.
This is an early review.
Orel [reading from the Necronomicon]: I'm gonna read from this book that's written in a different language: "bon jour, arrivederci, ooh la la, that's Italian!, ching ching ching chong, spaghetti, top o' the mornin' to ya!"
When I interviewed Moral Orel creator Dino Stamatopolous last October, he mentioned that an upcoming episode would feature a short film created by Orel himself (but actually animated by Dino*). This is that episode, and it both rewards fans of the series and takes a few shots at those who hate it.
I'm sure by now you've all heard that Keith Richards (didn't) snort his late father's ashes. That particular story popped up no fewer than seventy-eight zillion times yesterday during my usual perusal of the news and entertainment sites.
However, I'm not especially trusting of our news media, and I knew that only Conan O'Brien would be able to get to the bottom of Richards' alleged daddy-snorting habit. I've placed a clip below in which Keith himself explains to Conan exactly what he prefers when it comes to ingesting his family members. The Rolling Stones guitarist may have led a wild life of debauchery and excess, but you can't deny the man has discerning tastes. Also, he had his teeth brushed just for the occasion. You have to admire the man's commitment to oral hygiene.
Clip after the jump.
(S02E04) Sadness is nature's spankings. - Clay Puppington
Those of us who have been watching Moral Orel since the beginning know that the show is more complex than it appears on the surface. The inner tensions within his own family and the other grown ups in Moralton were hinted at in the first season and have come more into focus this season. I'm not a television writer, but I imagine trying to meld the funny and the emotional into an eleven-minute amalgam can't be easy, which is why I think the "slow reveal" approach has worked so well for Moral Orel. In this episode, when Orel finds out his mother might have another family, the scene doesn't feel like it was suddenly sprung on us out of nowhere, because Bloberta's unhappiness and detachment has been part of the show's subtext since it first aired a year ago.
Cartman: You can just hang around outside all day tossing a ball around, or you can sit at your computer and do something that matters.
I think I can say with almost absolute certainty that South Park is the first television show in history where a character actually uses the word "pwnage." Since I'm online doing this here blogging thing all the time I caught that particular phrase, though there was a lot in this show I didn't understand, since I've neither seen nor played Warcraft before. The episode gently mocked those who do nothing but play Warcraft, but at the same time, it made it clear what an awesome game it is. It was funny to watch everyone become so immersed in the game they begin to think of it as real life, but it did make me think back to my younger days when a particularly difficult Nintendo game would cause me to throw my controller across the room in anger. I guess we're all susceptible to the allure of these games. Well, not all of us, but those of us with nerdly tendencies. Truth be told, I think that, like Butters, Hello Kitty Island Adventure is more up my alley.
(S02E12) This is an early review.
Bob Balaban plays Tom's father in this episode, and I must say he was the perfect choice. He and Tim Heidecker, who plays Tom, have the same kind of soft-spoken, halted delivery, and it seems perfectly natural they would be father and son, even if Walt doesn't seem to care much for Tom.
The episode opens at the airport with Tom waiting for his father's flight to arrive. We assume he's visiting his son, but actually it's just an eleven minute layover (which is, funny enough, also the length of the episode). Tom doesn't let his father's lack of time keep him from making a minute by minute itinerary, which includes a father/son embrace (tentative). Tom's father sells fish coolers called "Coldinizers" and he doesn't want to miss his flight, else he lose all his sales on the Eastern seaboard. Tom insists they have time to do everything on the list, however.
(S01E22) The season finale of Everybody Hates Chris wasn't exactly a laugh riot, and it may have even relied on a few sitcom cliches, but nevertheless I thought it was a good way to end the season. A nice and poignant tribute to fathers and Father's Day.
All Chris' father Julius wants is to be left alone for Father's Day. As the elder Rock explains in the beginning, Mother's Day has always outranked Father's Day in order of importance. Of course, most dads really don't mind that at all. If they can have one day when they're not being asked for money or to fix things around the house, they're content. In fact, that's exactly what Julius wants, to have the house all to himself for one day.
I remember briefly receiving an allowance when I was growing up, but for the most part I never received any kind of weekly stipend from my parents, nor did I ever ask for one. It was pretty much understood when we were growing up that money had to go to more important things like food and shelter, and like Chris' father in last night's episode, on those rare occasions when I would ask for money I would get a speech from my father about all the free food and utilities I was able to enjoy on a daily basis without having to work at all.
Chris' father, in some ways, reminds me of my own father, but he's probably like anyone's father who worked more than one job to support a family. There's a great moment in the episode where Julius (Chris' father) is trying to squeeze the last little bit of toothpaste out of the tube. It's shown for about two seconds, but it illustrates how important it is for him to make money stretch as far as it can go. When Chris decides he wants a leather jacket like everyone else seems to have, his father lets him come to work with him. The work turns out to be much more difficult than Chris bargained for, but their night together adds a new dimension to their relationship. By the end of the episode Chris has a better understanding of who his father is and how hard he actually does work.
Last night's episode seemed more character driven and less reliant on "gags" than other episodes, and it also focused heavily on the financial situation of the family, which is what really draws me to the show. Too many sitcoms focus on affluent families, or people who live extravagantly without any visible means of support. Those shows aren't bad necessarily, but when I watch Everybody Hates Chris I feel a kind of empathy and camaraderie toward the characters I never felt, say, listening to Mr. Huxtable steer the ever-malleable Theo on the right track with some instantaneous words of wisdom. Chris is funny, not just because the writing and jokes are solid, but because the characters actually feel like real people.
Shut up, Jesus. -Orel, while on crack
I'd like to kick off this episode recap by recalling, again, some of the funny products shown during last night's episode of Moral Orel:
KLUM-Z Caucasian Band-Aids
Hard Milk (spiked milk that Orel's dad drinks before church)
HIV Away (a doctor sprays it on a needle before drawing blood from Orel's arm)
I think I've figured out why it's so cool to be famous, or at least quasi-famous. You can garner praise by doing things that no one else would ever be praised for. Take Kevin Federline, who was recently lauded by Access Hollywood for being a "hands on" dad who actually changes diapers.
Isn't that that you're supposed to do when you're a father? Is changing your own child's diaper really such a great thing? I'm here to tell you that, yes, it is. In fact, here's some other things Brit's hubby did recently that should make all of us fall to our knees and worship him:
- Purchased, but did not steal, a role of Certs
- Used his blinker to signify a left turn
- Removed the foil wrapping from a piece of chicken before reheating it in the microwave
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