Friday, January 3, 2014

Episode 2x05 "The Uninvited"

This episode was written by Susan Estelle Jensen, who, in season one, gave us two abortions and one ehhhh-that-wasn't-so-bad.


The first minute of this episode is entirely Amy and Alan Matthews talking about Alan's dick. I wouldn't even call it subtle. It's funny though. They're always funny. Alan explains that he takes Vitamin E supplements to be more "durable". Indeed, Viagra wasn't approved by the FDA until 1998. I wonder how they would write this kind of joke today. Anyway Alan wants to go play basketball with Cory and Shawn but his back gives out because he's old.


Mr. Feeny is teaching the class about the transcontinental railroad, but it must be that Renaissance transcontinental railroad because he has a map of Europe pulled down over the blackboard. Da Vinci's idea, if I remember correctly. Our favorite teacher snatches up some notes being passed around class and reads them out loud. I hate when teachers do that. 



See? Europe. Maybe Feeny is teaching some sort of propaganda history, where he attributes all of America's accomplishments to England. We learn from the confiscated notes that this bitch in a denim shirt named Melissa is throwing a party.

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AND NOW YOU CAN WATCH IT ANY TIME!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pyaaz0iA-rM

Melissa users her chin to deliver her lines.


After class, Cory expresses his anxiety over whether or not Melissa The Chin will invite him to her party. In his eyes, anyone who doesn't get invited is a geek. Shawn apparently took his Xanax this morning because he's apathetic toward the whole thing and tries to convince Cory to relax. 


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Judgment Day arrives as Melissa hands out the invitations in envelopes because this is the Dark Ages before Facebook. Might as well send out carrier pigeons or have a crier ride into the halls on a mule and sound his horn before reading the names from a fucking scroll. This clip looks like something I would make, but it's actually how it is in the show.


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This is funny for a handful of reasons. First is at the beginning there when there are two girls on screen at the same time wearing denim vest jacket whatevers. Not exactly "ha ha" funny, more like "what the fuck were the 90s" funny. Besides that, the other extras have great reactions, and Cory's is absolutely priceless. I don't know how Ben Savage kept a straight face draped over the lockers like that. 

But Shawn didn't get an invitation! The world's gone all wibbly wobbly topsy turvy! How is Boy supposed to meet World like this! MORE LIKE BOY MEETS BIZARRO WORLD AM I RIGHT? WOOOOO HOOO HOOOOOOOO


Later, in the cafeteria, the soda machine eats Cory's money. A conveniently placed Mr. Turner channels his inner Saturday Night Fever to kick the can loose.


The audience applauds that shit. They clap and they cheer. 
WHYYYYY??!! Your cheering is not going to convince me that that was real! Why do sitcoms DO this?! Ughhhhhhhhh...

Anyway Cory's feeling bad about Shawn not being invited to The Crimson Chin's party and Turner tries to give him some advice. The most helpful thing he says is to make sure not to get caught up in what other people think. This is a unique spin on that lesson. Usually the main character is dealing with insults or bullying, and the voice of wisdom says "don't listen to them, you're fine just the way you are." And that would be boring. Instead, people are starting to say that Cory's pretty cool since he got invited to this party, so he has to try to stay detached from the positive things people are saying about him to keep from inflating his ego. Good stuff.

At home, Alan's back still hurts and he can't move and stuff and he feels old.



Cory is slightly over preparing for this party.


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BUT WAIT! Cory gets to the party and only sees geeky guys there. He learns from Chinlissa that her parents forbade her from inviting any cool/dangerous guys (like Shawn) to the party, and without the cool guys none of the girls she invited wanted to come either. 

HEY MELISSA.

MILLION DOLLAR IDEA HERE.

MILLION DOLLARS, BABY. MAYBE TWO MILLION.


One of Melissa's female friends shows up and tells her about a cool party happening somewhere else, so the two bail on the geek party to go  to the cool one. Cory is left feeling like a real shitface, so he goes to find Shawn. 

Cory arrives at the local burger joint "Chubbie's", expecting Shawn to be there. This is the first time we see Chubbie's, but it's the go-to hangout place all the way through season 5. Shawn is here, but so are a ton of other students. We spy Melissa and her friend, so this Shawn-centered gathering is in fact the "cool party". 

Our heroes have a little heart to heart.


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Beautiful. I don't think Shawn's given us the life lesson before, but it definitely works here. Shawn adamantly denies being "cool" and tries to make Cory forget about that kind of shit so they can just be best friends like they always have. Way to go Shawn.

During the credits, Alan is persuaded to finally get up off the couch by his wife, clad in her new lingerie. He's hobbling after her up the stairs, but not without his Vitamin E. Because he's old.





Plot: 1.0 - Like I said, it's a refreshing take on the cool vs uncool story. This episode was genuinely enjoyable to watch and, as far as sitcom plots go, it was pretty unpredictable. 

Character Development: 1.0 - It's like episode 2x02, they've quickly gotten rid of a characteristic that would only hinder the show's progression in the future. In 2x02 it was fear of talking to women, this time it was worrying about being cool. If I remember correctly, Cory is very comfortable with his not-so-cool-ness from here on out. That saves us from a lot of stupid stories.

Humor: 1.0 - Hilarious. There's a lot more than what I posted in the clips. 

Life Lesson: 0.5 - The idea is there, but the episode wraps up in a weird way, so it's hard to know exactly what they wanted to tell us.

3.5 out of 4.0 
Good work, Susan Estelle Jensen. You broke even.


Thanks for reading, see you Monday! 

Clips and images used under Fair Use.

And let's be honest, that new episode of Sherlock sucked.



4 comments :

  1. Some of the things that make this blog not very good are coming into focus now. This show was before your time, and you're simply too young to be writing about it.

    All the harping on the clothes is irritating, because the sleeveless hoodies and copius denim was cool at the time and your critique of them from a modern vantage point is completely irrelevant. Same with any mention of technology. Things were different when this show was made than during your lifetime, but that doesn't make them automatically worse or ridiculous. It's just a normal fact of life that things are different during different periods in time and it's really not clever to go on about it as though your contemporary experiences are the standard by which everything else should be judged.

    Also, there's so much ethnocentrism on display in your writing that it's physically painful. Anyone who watched BMW during it's original run should be approaching or into their 30's by now, in which case it would be a goddamn tragedy for them to think the way you do. Since you appear to be younger than that, and you admitted to being dismissive about race issues during the episode involving Anne Frank, maybe there's hope for you to wise up eventually. In the meanwhile, you're being pretty offensive and your praise of problematic jokes like "Little Big Hair" is sad.

    Then there's comments like this entry's "you dumb, stupid girl" that honestly would not even be acceptable coming from a disgruntled, unwittingly sexist 13 year old. The most confusing part is you regularly praise BMW for touching on the kind of life lessons that should allow you to know better than to say the kinds of things you say here.

    Whatever, though. The internet's full of bullshit and this is just more of it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Discussing the cultural differences is fun for me, and most people enjoy it. I can't please everyone I suppose.

      I had extremely high praise for the Anne Frank episode. I would venture to say that you didn't even read the post.

      She is being dumb and stupid, and she is a girl. That's not offensive. And you completely ignore all the times I call Shawn and Cory and Eric morons. You're being so selective that it's embarrassing.

      Delete
  2. I'm not sure if you remember this but I think that how did john adams high from boy meets world move from Philadelphia to seattle between 1998 and 2007 and become ridgeway high in icarly

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You post this everywhere.
      And if' it's not obvious, just cause the shows use the same exterior establishing shot doesn't mean they're the same school plot wise..

      Delete

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