Saturday, January 11, 2014

Episode 2x08 "Band on the Run"

So here I was, just tip tappin along minding my own business, tryin to eat my Taco Bell, startin to watch today's episode and WHAT THE WHAT

Most of you probably know that Adam Scott plays Griffin Hawkins in season 3. And if you're anything like me, you're a total hipster about it. "Oh I knew as soon as I saw him on Boy Meets World that he was amazing. What's that? You didn't know he was on Boy Meets World? How embarrassing for you." HOW LITTLE I KNEW! He only has a couple lines here and doesn't even have a name, so I'll save the actual fanboy gushing for when he comes back as Griff later. This caught me completely off-guard, I had no idea he played a musician with bad hair in this episode. I always thought his hair only existed in a constant state of perfection. Now we all know the truth! The true origin! MAY THE TRUE HISTORY STAND FOR MILLENIA TO COME.

So yeah, Cory and Shawn are at Chubbie's, the local hangout/burger place, and Cory's getting turned down by every girl in the universe for the school dance. Adam Scott and some other guy show up and ask the boys to watch their guitars because your first instinct walking into a place called Chubbie's is "hey, I can trust these people." The shallow girls all see Cory with the guitars and suddenly want his rebellious musician D. There's a joke here about how D stands for dick and is also a musical note... maybe something something D-flat something... I don't know. Post a comment if you can put it together.

Hey, cool, we've got a premise. Shawn and Cory are pretending to be musicians. Golly... A dance coming up, where music will be played, and the boys are pretending to be musicians... Could it be...? 

This should be fun! Or at least refreshing. Usually sitcoms have their characters magically become good at instruments, and they're in a legitimate band somehow, and then plot happens. 

I tried watching Suite Life on Deck once. Lasted about five minutes.

We couldn't break the mold completely though, as we learn that Alan used to play guitar in a band called The Tongues. This primarily serves to give Cory access to a guitar, or at least, a guitar case. Hard to say where Shawn's came from, but knowing him he probably got it from some uncle. 

Topanga shows up and talks to Cory about the upcoming dance. Some dude named Jeremy asked Topanga to the dance, but she put him on hold in case Cory wanted to ask her. What a considerate sweetheart. Cory says she can go with Jeremy though, since he wants to go with the groupies. That's some BS. I am officially rooting for Topanga x Jeremy. Keep an eye out for my upcoming Girl Meets World fan-fiction, where Topanga has an affair with Jeremy.

After school, Cory and Shawn hold auditions to fill out the rest of their fake band. It's a hilarious scene, here's the last part.

At school the next day, the groupies do the verb form of "groupie" with Cory. Mr. Turner comes along and banters with Cory, and it's kinda funny but the real show is going on in the background.

Those two have the exact same hair style. Maybe that's what they like about each other.

That girl looks like Larxene from Kingdom Hearts.

After Turner talks to Cory, the camera cuts to the side where Mr. Feeny is announcing that the dance's band has bailed on the gig, and are being replaced by a live recording of "the cool, mellow, Caribbean sounds of Jojo Man and Brother B."  Inexplicably, the students are not satisfied with this. One of the groupies does that thing TV shows do where one person manages to speak for an entire crowd and suggests Cory and Shawn's band play for the dance. She says it with the most obnoxious face too, the kind that just NEEDS to be hit with that mallet from Kirby.

Where did all those kids come from? There were like two people in the hallway a second ago. You can see the other groupie with the pink cap by the trash can here. Is her shirt not THE most 90s thing you've ever seen? It's like a fucking crayon commercial.

Cory has no choice but to accept and makes up the name "The Exits" for his band when he sees an Exit sign, a la Keyser Soze. When he tells the rest of The Exits about their gig, Thor and the one with the 18th century military blazer quit the band. 

Back at the Matthews house, Alan has invited his old bandmates over, who are played by Mickey Dolenz of The Monkees (who are apparently still successfully touring, which blows my mind), Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick (who are also still touring, but are about a decade younger than The Monkees), and Billy Vera who hasn't done anything that I recognize. Pretty awesome. And the audience impresses me by not losing their shit as soon as the scene starts.

Alan is blatantly just trying to reclaim his youth, but the other three are all very comfortable with getting old. Despite not being actors, they all do really well with their lines, and they're funny! These scenes where Alan struggles with his age are always great.

We're at the dance now, and the boys' scheme is to have real musicians play backstage while they just fake it for the audience. This episode MUST be a satire of those standard band episodes I was talking about before. The musicians show up, but Cory and Shawn don't have the money to pay them, so they're out of 

What was that half-giggle from the audience? That's one of the funniest things I've ever heard on this show. Step it up, audience.

Cory and Shawn go out on stage and stall by exploiting the fact that the crowd at a concert will cheer at literally any question asked by the band.

I don't think the girl on the far right is having a very good time. Also, this is some shoddy camera work. If you're trying to use angles to make us think there are a lot of people, then we shouldn't be able to see where the crowd ends. We can see perfectly well that the crowd doesn't go back very far. Honestly, I don't know if I've ever seen a school dance accurately portrayed on television.

Actually, no, there was one time.

That's right mother bitches, Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide. That show was awesome.

At the Matthews house, The Tongues play Good Lovin by The Young Rascals, which is pretty cool, and we see that Alan is having trouble maintaining the same energy as everyone else. After Alan's buddies leave, he confides all his insecurities in his wife. She explains that, despite what he may think, she didn't fall for him because of his music, but becase she liked the "whole package".

Back at the dance, Cory and Shawn are getting booed off stage when Cory attempts to perform The Name Game using his groupie's name.

It's hilarious. The students all leave the dance. Well great, Cory and Shawn have single handedly ruined an entire dance. It's probably Mr. Feeny's fault though, he should have known better. Or maybe he did, and just wanted to see them embarrass themselves.

Topanga comes back into the dance instead of going to The Oyster House with Jeremy. DAMN IT. She gives Cory the same "whole package" speech that Amy gave Alan. It's sweet.

During the credits, someone known only as Rembrandt is credited as playing "Scream". Alrighty.

Plot: 1.0 - Thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. Every show from the 90s did a band episode, but this one was unique.

Character Development: 0.5 - More good stuff from Alan about getting older.

Humor: 1.0 - Feeny laughing at Cory and Shawn would get this point by itself, but the whole thing was funny.

Life Lesson: 0 - This was more of a "let's just have fun" episode. Nothing wrong with that though.

2.5 out of 4, definitely worth watching. There were a ton of good jokes that I didn't include here.

Thanks for reading, see you Monday! Hopefully Blogspot will let me upload videos again by then.

Clips and images used under Fair Use.


  1. A new review, and it's of one of the more fun episodes. My withdrawals have subsided.

  2. Man, as a huge fan of both Boy Meets World and Kingdom Hearts, that Larxene comparison had me laughing my ass off.

    Had no idea Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick was one of Alan's friends too, that's pretty sweet.

    1. I was really hoping at least one person would know who Larxene is. We should probably hang out.

    2. KBM..Sean.. what are you thoughts on the upcoming Kingdom Hearts 2.8 & of course, Kingdom Hearts III?

    3. The "new story about Aqua" half of 2.8 is extremely exciting. Aqua is my favvvvv.

      And I mean... KH3 is going to be the best thing that's ever happened. I can't even begin to comprehend the Big Hero 6 world. Like... holy fuck, that's just too awesome for me to handle.


      that's the second best line in the series


      Ven says that to Vanitas at one point too. God I love Kingdom Hearts.

  3. You know Harley Keiner and Minkus are make guest appearances on Girl Meets World, along with Shawn, Amy and Alan.

  4. As someone who loves both Boy Meets World & Kingdom Hearts - lovin' the reference

  5. I'm sure that this is the episode that icarly took parts such as the part with the band to impress girls

  6. Cory has no choice but to accept and makes up the name "The Exits" for his band when he sees an Exit sign, a la Keyser Soze.

    ^ I just got that, having seen "The Usual Suspects" just last night

  7. Dude, "Ned's Declassified" was the beeeeeest, and I'm not even totally sure why. Normally I hate that type of humor, it's dumb and terrible, but that show was fucking hilarious, all the time. I don't think I disliked a single episode.

    That same creative team later did some show about a band. Except same style of humor, except that the show was absolute shit. I don't get it.

    I think it has to do, actually, with the clip you showed here: "Ned's Declassified" fucking NAILED middle school. Nailed it. The "cool table", the school dances, the embarrassing situations, gym, the was pretty much pitch-perfect satire. Ah, I miss that show. Maybe I'll be the guy who reviews that one.

    Well, no, I won't, but it would be cool!

    1. yeah it's weird, I don't know if I can explain why I loved that show. It SHOULD have been terrible, I didn't want people to know I watched it, but it was still awesome. They definitely got a lot of shit right. "Locker at the edge of the universe" is so simple but it still makes me laugh.

    2. See, I feel like everybody feels like us though. Nobody talks about it or admits that they liked it, but whenever I bring it up everybody's like "OMIGOD NED'S DECLASSIFIED I LOVED THAT SHOW!!!"

      I don't know. I don't get it. They it. They got middle school, got the absurdity of the whole thing.

      That same style of humor, but following a band? It doesn't work, because I can't relate to a band on tour. It's not smart satire anymore, just dumb, stupid jokes.

      As an aside, the sort of "standard sitcom band" thing was also subverted very well by "Drake and Josh". Josh needs to learn guitar to impress this girl, and Drake, who is a legitimately good musician, tries to teach him a simple song. It's hilarious. There were some killer lines. "Unbelievable. There are people with NO ARMS who can play the guitar! WITH THEIR FEET!"

      Ultimately Drake agrees to hide behind Josh and stick his arms out and try and convince people that it's actually Josh playing the guitar, and it's pretty great. The whole thing is broken up when, I think, their sister puts a snake on Drake or something.

      In any case, it's pretty hysterical.

      Nickeloden had a really great run for awhile, both live action and cartoons. Now both are terrible, and it's a shame.

  8. Micky Dolenz actually has a ton of acting experience, & in the Monkees TV series, he was "the funny one".