Thursday, August 11, 2016

Episode 36: Doug's Older Woman

"Dear Journal,
Middle school can be so unpredictable. I thought today was going to be another ho hum day, but you never know what's waiting just around the corner."

Doug and Skeeter enter the school and find a small crowd around a poster. Naturally, they are curious.
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Someone unspecified is throwing a beach party at Lucky Duck Lake. Skeeter is very excited.
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Doug thinks this means that Saturday could maybe be the most important day of his life. Skeeter asks him how it could be the most important day of his life. Doug replies, "'cause it could be my one chance to do something I've wanted to do for years."

"Down a gallon of root beer and burp until the windows rattle?"

Doug whispers, "no. Ask Patti to go out with me on a...date..."

Skeeter starts to loudly express shock at this but Doug shuts him up because Patti is nearby.
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Skeeter quietly asks for clarification, because Doug has been out with Patti several times. Doug says none of those incidents were real, official, dates. At least he recognizes that. Skeeter fails to ask the more pertinent question regarding why this beach party is important. What stopped Doug from asking Patti out in the past and how does this beach party make it any easier?

Doug has a fantasy. The beach party is at night. Skeeter blows a conch shell and yells, "SURF'S UP!" Everyone grabs their boards and starts running into the lake. Patti doesn't have her own board for some reason, so Doug offers to teach her how to tandem surf.
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"Oh, Moon Dougie. You're my big kahuna!"

Patti then asks, "aren't these waves awfully big for a lake?" The fantasy fades out there, before she can ask more questions about this nonsense daydream. Skeeter has been trying to get Doug's attention, and once he finally has it, he points out that the most popular girl in school is checking Doug out.
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Meet Cassandra Bleem. Apparently she is the most popular girl in school.
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While Doug is scoffing at the idea that Cassandra would be checking him out, she's walking over to him.
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She says she saw the cartoon he drew for the school paper and she loves a guy with a sense of humor. Doug is too flabbergasted to say much to Cassandra, and when she asks him to go to the beach party with her, he laughs it off. He tells Skeeter he just imagined that Cassandra Bleem asked him on a date and that it seemed so real. Skeeter pats him on the shoulder and points at Cassandra to make him realize it was real.
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"Ahh!"
"Oh Doug, you are so funny, hehehe. So, you wanna go?"

Doug asks if he can get back to her. She flirtingly calls him a tease and tells him, "don't keep me waiting too long."

The encounter leaves Doug disoriented. He collapses to the floor. Skeeter sprays water in his face to bring him back.
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"Did what I think happened really just happen?"
"It sure did! You, a lowly seventh grade toad, got asked to the beach party by the prettiest, most popular girl in the eight grade! Possibly the whole universe!"

Doug approaches the trophy case and examines his reflection in the glass. He think it maybe had something to do with his new toothpaste. Then he gets mad at Skeeter because he just realized he was called a toad.
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Doug says he doesn't want to go with Cassandra. He can't remember the name of the girl he wants to go with though. Skeeter has to remind him her name is Patti, and it's all very insulting and Doug should not get to go with either of them.

Before Doug can come to any sort of conclusion about how he now feels about Patti, Chalky barges in and congratulates him for the whole Cassandra Bleem thing.
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Before Doug can explain anything, Guy chimes in.
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By lunchtime, everyone is talking about Doug and Cassandra.
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Roger figures Cassandra only asked Doug because she was too shy to ask him. This episode perpetuates some pretty negative views of gender relations all around. You could use it as an example of several unhealthy attitudes and behaviors. It doesn't get better from here.

Doug escapes Roger, determined to get to Patti (to ask her out or explain or what? I don't know) but he immediately bumps into Al and Moo. Impressed by his apparent ability to conquer older popularity, they salute him.
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They say Doug inspires them and demand that he signs their limited edition copy of "How to Get Girls." Doug signs the book (with pencil...) and they say that anyone can get a date to the party if he can. They walk away, leaving him staring blankly. Before he can realize how terribly they've insulted him, Skeeter reminds him of his goal to find Patti. On the way to Patti, he bumps into Fentruck.
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This isn't some misunderstood foreign gesture. Fentruck is shaking Doug's hand to congratulate him. After Fentruck leaves, Doug again stands staring blankly. Skeeter again reminds him of Patti, even pointing at her across the hall and saying Doug better hurry or class will resume. Doug decides to let the Patti situation wait until after school.

Here's our crappy B-story for this episode. Al and Moo are up to something. On the football field, they've got a decently sized rocket.
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They plan to use this rocket to drop pamphlets all over town.
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I really wish we could see the details inside. If I was doing this, the inside would read, "I built a rocket to distribute this pamphlet across town. Here's my number." Theoretically, I wouldn't want to date someone that wouldn't appreciate my desperate efforts or my rocket science delivery ability. Anyway, their rocket fucks up. The hatch won't open and they can't release the pamphlets.

Al and Moo start fighting over the control for the rocket and eventually it ends up in space
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Finally, the hatch opens and the pamphlets spill out. Aliens crash into the pamphlets and start talking about Doug getting a date with an eighth grader.
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What the fuck is this? I don't know what to do with this.

At Mr. Swirly, Doug tells Skeeter he can't make up his mind. He still wants to ask Patti, but everyone is making such a big deal of Cassandra that he feels like he can't say no. Here to reinforce that idea is Beebe.
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Doug explains to Beebe that he hasn't decided to go with Cassandra yet. Beebe then accuses him of always making it about himself. Hasn't he considered what dating Cassandra would mean for Beebe Bluff? If he doesn't go to the party with Cassandra, how will he introduce Beebe to all of Cassandra's important eighth grade friends? Here they are, across the restaurant.
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You can tell they're important because they look slightly older than the seventh grade kids.

Beebe calls them the "Crème de la cool," and this triggers another fantasy. This time, Doug is in Baywatch, of all godawful things.
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There's dialog here, and they go for a slow motion run, but I'm too disgusted by the fact that Baywatch started before Nickelodeon Doug and ended after Disney Doug. Fuck television.
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Beebe ruins Doug's slow motion fantasy by saying the eighth graders make the seventh graders look like kindergartners. The fantasy changes to reflect that.
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Doug is included in that change.
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Does Beebe not realize she's discouraging Doug from doing what she wants here?

After the fantasy, Beebe makes Doug get up and tell Cassandra he'll go with her.
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Doug still doesn't quite know how to speak to Cassandra. She asks him if they are going together and he says, "well, uh, y'see...of course, I'd like to...." Before he can finish his thought, she is excited and tells him she's really looking forward to the date. On his way back to Skeeter and Beebe, Patti says hello.
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He says hello back and has a fantasy.
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It's sort of Casablanca but sort of the opposite. Fantasy Patti is upset because she expected the beach party to be their first official date. She says she expected it to be the highlight of her pre-adolescence. She says she's going to Antarctica to leave behind "the us that never was."

It's a pretty ridiculous fantasy. Aside from assuming Patti feels this way, or misinterpreting which of the two is leaving the us that never was, it also assumes that dating Cassandra makes it impossible for Doug to ever date Patti. It's one date. It's not a lifetime commitment to monogamous marriage. Stop being such a dumb seventh grader.

After the fantasy, Doug is apparently locked into conversation with Patti. She says she heard Doug is going to the party with Cassandra. Doug sheepishly admits this is true.
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Patti says, "well, that's great! It should be a fun party. See you there!" If she's torn up about Doug's date with Cassandra, or even slightly bothered by it, she is hiding it well. It's almost like she doesn't want to date him and is happy at the prospect of him dating someone else so he can stop being so goddamn hung up on her.

Beebe grabs Doug and insists they plan every detail of the date. She doesn't want Doug screwing up her introduction to eighth grade society. Roger is skeptical. He says eighth graders know stuff and have been places. Doug tries to defend himself.
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Then he is also skeptical. He has a fantasy. On a yacht, Cassandra and her friends are all having boring, pretentious conversation about sophisticated fancy things.
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Doug joins the party, yucking it up, ready for a swim.
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Roger says Doug will be humiliated, and before Doug can even defend himself, Al and Moo get the attention of everyone in the restaurant. They have a large device called Al and Moo's Date-o-rama. It plays music and has a full light show, but it's not clear how it's supposed to land them a date. They're dancing around, wearing jackets with rhinestones spelling out "DATE ME" on the back.
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Al and Moo explain that they're having a contest where the winners win dates with them, among other fabulous prizes. Before their initial presentation ends, the Date-o-rama starts to malfunction. First, a light goes out. Then the top rolls off and smoke starts pouring out of the machine.
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Everyone flees the restaurant as the sprinkler system kicks on. Al and Moo owe Mr. Swirly a lot of money, but he'll probably just make his insurance company pay for it.

At home, Doug is determined to be cool for his date. He's reading a book called Cool for Dummies.
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He's also consulting with the coolest guy he knows: Porkchop.
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Porkchop shows him this really cool move where you twirl your sunglasses around your index finger before smoothly placing them on your face. Doug tries it and jabs himself in the forehead.

Al and Moo's next tactic is an auto-dialer. Connie picks up first and hears, "congratulations! You have been chosen for a date to the upcoming beach party with one of the devastatingly popular Sleech Brothers. Press 1 for Al. Press 2 for Moo. Press 3 for both."
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As the message plays, we see more female characters responding to it. The three age appropriate females hang up the phone, but that old woman...
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She wants them both.

Finally, the big day has arrived. Doug has his best Hawaiian shirt on and he's about to ring Cassandra's doorbell. He's nervous and sweaty. Cassandra's mom answers the door and tells Doug she'll see if Cassandra is ready. The sight of Cassandra makes Doug slip into a time-filler fantasy.
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I'm not about to transcribe what Cassandra says in this. Fuck it.
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It is irrelevant.

After the fantasy, Cassandra puts on her sunglasses, asking, "shall we?"
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Doug takes this cue to show off the trick her learned from his dog. He spins his sunglasses on his index finger. They fly off and bounce off several cool surfaces before falling into a cool umbrella stand. Doug struggles to retrieve his glasses while Cassandra giggles and says, "didn't I tell you he was funny?"

Cassandra is excited. She can't wait for Doug to meet her friends Summer, Hunter, and Devin. Doug says she'll like his friends too, trying to list them but getting stuck on Patti. Cassandra laughs at him, saying, "oh, Doug. You are so hilarious. Imagine me hanging out with seventh graders. Hahahahaha!" Doug is confused and saddened.
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Doug and Cassandra thank Theda for the ride and she drives away without a word because fuck a damn beach party at the lake, right?

Skeeter approaches Doug and Cassandra and tells them they're just in time for beach croquet. He says he'll make sure they're both on his team.
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Cassandra doesn't want to play beach croquet, which I assume is like regular croquet but played near some sand and water. Anyway, she says Summer, Hunter and Devin are waiting and walk away. Doug apologizes to Skeeter and explains that Cassandra wants him to hang out with her friends. The beginning of a truly healthy relationship. Yep.

Skeeter immediately finds replacements.
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They don't have dates, so they are totally free to do whatever the hell they want.

Doug approaches the eighth graders and makes a great first impression.
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So cool.

Hunter or Devin says Cassandra says Doug's a laugh riot, then demands that he say something funny.
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As Doug gets older, he'll learn to deal with this sort of request in a variety of ways. Hannibal Buress has a good bit about it. Doug says, "something funny." When no one laughs, he explains that they told him to say something funny so he said something funny.
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To be fair, fuck them. Summer says, "if he's so funny, how come we're not laughing?" That's on you, girl. Cassandra is upset with Doug because he's making her look stupid. He says Skeeter told him a joke the other day. Excitedly, she tells her friends to listen up.

Doug begins, "what do you get when you cross and elephant with a..."
"Oh, give me a break. Not an elephant joke. What are you, five?"
"Typical seventh grader. They're so immature."
"Dougie, you're mommy's calling!"
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I hope these shitty characters don't show up again.

The whole situation finally pushes Doug over the edge.
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They mock Doug for feeling sick, but when he actually throws up, they start to like him because throwing up is just fucking hilarious.
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They truly are terrible characters. Doug should snap and drown them in the lake.

They invite Doug to go on the eighth grade ski trip. Summer invites him as her date, but Cassandra claims him for her own. While Cassandra explains that he's so funny and that's why she asked him out, Doug finally realizes she doesn't really like him at all. He just had an anxiety attack and she and her friends thought it was hilarious.

Hunter, Summer, and Devin start talking about how they all thought the seventh graders were losers. Summer starts by trashing Beebe.
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"Too bad all that money can't buy her some class."

Summer doesn't even say anything negative about Skeeter's personality. She just calls him "Skeeter Blue Boy."
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...is she being racist? I think she's being racist. I don't know.

Cassandra says, "and then there's perpetually perfect Patti Mayonnaise."
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Mocking Patti finally pushes Doug over the edge.
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"You all think you're so smart, but you know what you are? You're...you're...you're not my friends."

Doug walks away and Cassandra comes after him.
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Doug explains that he doesn't have to perform like a trained seal with his friends. They like him whether he's funny or not.

So Doug joins his friends and sucks at beach croquet.
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No word on how he would fare at regular croquet.
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Meanwhile, Cassandra finds someone else to make her laugh.
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She'll have to fight off the old woman, but I think she can manage it.

I still want Doug to explain why this beach party was the chance to ask Patti out he has been waiting for. I thought we covered this in the Dark Quail Saga. Did that not count? Is it ever going to count? Did he lie to his journal, himself, to make it seem like Patti wanted to go out with him?

I can't believe this episode did not include the Lucky Duck monster. Skeeter shouldn't have been excited about the party. He should have been campaigning to keep his friends away. Or throwing seasonings on the asshole eighth grade kids so the monster would eat them first, maybe overdose on some hormones.

Was that old woman arrested? Maybe she hooked up with the aliens.