Friday, November 27, 2009

Episode 3: Doug's Dog's Date

We start this episode with Doug on the front porch of his house, playing his banjo and wailing “Oh my dog gone dog, done dog gone gone.” Roger walks up and knowingly talks about Doug’s missing Porkchop. For this conversation, Roger has walked past Doug, and is talking over his shoulder. He’s a weird guy. So then we’re set up for the title screen, and we get the back story about what has happened to Porkchop.
It all started when Doug noticed Porkchop didn’t want to play or do anything really. He just sat around all the time, so he thought maybe Porkchop was sick. Time to fantasize about the vet…

It's a brain switching fantasy.

Doug is Porkchop

Porkchop is Doug!
After the pointless fantasy, Doug goes to the actual vet who can find nothing wrong with Porkchop. He recommends that Doug follow Porkchop around to see what he’s up to. Maybe there’s a reason he’s behaving strangely, and it is related to all that time he wanders around town on his own without a leash, like most dogs. Another pointless, quick fantasy that serves no purpose in the story other than to frequently remind you that Doug is prone to slip into bizarre fantasies due to his undiagnosed psychological problems.
Dog follows him to the park where he sits on a bench long enough for Patti and three other people that want to bang Patti to come along and ask Doug if he wants to play the made up game beetball. From the glimpses of the game that we get in this episode, it is like baseball on another scale of retarded. Porkchop apparently realizes that Doug is distracted by Patti and takes off. Doug apologizes to Patti and her bang crew, and takes off in pursuit. When Porkchop stops at a house, Doug trips over him and face plants on the sidewalk.

The Dink’s walk up and talk to Doug because Mr. Dink is an annoying, rarely helpful neighbor who refuses to mind his own business. Mr. Dink takes great pleasure in pointing out that Porkchop just has a case of puppy love with a bipedal dog that wears a wig and seduces other dogs from a balcony. Porkchop howls a bit at her and Mr. Dink says something stupid like “it sounds like someone has a date.”

To prepare Porkchop for his date, Doug gives him a little cologne slap.

Then we get to Doug’s boredom. Without Porkchop, he can’t find anything to do. “There’s lots of fun things a guy can do by himself.” The first thing he tries to do is play barnyard chess. Swing and a miss. This is just really sad, Doug. You’re alone, and commenting on it out loud, and the first thing you think to do is play a two player game. Why bother calling Skeeter to see if he wants to play? Fuck that, I’ll play by myself.

Doug is stupidAs you can imagine, the game doesn’t work out and he remarks that it’s just not fun to play without Porkchop. So his next boredom solution is to draw. Not a bad idea. I find that I do my best drawing when I don’t have people around to distract me…oh wait, he drew a picture of Porkchop. Damn it. “I guess I really miss Porkchop. I can’t wait till he comes home.”
Porkchop eventually gets home, and Doug realizes that this is only the beginning to his problem. Porkchop has another date, and this time he has flowers and a tux. Pretty classy for a dog. Looking for an excuse to keep Porkchop around that night, Doug points out that it’s raining pretty bad and recommends that the date be cancelled. Porkchop shows off his thumbs and holds up his umbrella. Good call, dog.

Again, more Doug boredom. As it gets closer to Doug’s bedtime, he really starts to worry about Porkchop, who hasn’t returned yet. He consults with the parents.
“I’m worried about Porkchop. He still hasn’t come back from his date.”
“Good for you, son. I like a boy who worries about his dog. It shows maturity.”
“But son; be careful. Worrying can cause little wrinkles in your forehead.”
“And besides, I’m sure Porkchop is fine.”
This display of terrific parenting is what finally makes Doug imagine his dog being hit by a car.

So out into the rain, he must go, in order to find his missing dog. Finally.

Doug quickly finds Gene Kelly. He gives Porkchop an ultimatum: him or his girlfriend. The next morning Porkchop is gone. Shit.
Roger stops by to laugh at Doug’s misfortune, then reveals that he saw Porkchop walking down the street with a suitcase. Shit shit. Doug deals with this by finally talking to Skeeter. They play barnyard chess in the park. Skeeter suggests that Doug get a new pet to deal with his loss.

Lobster is clearly the only other kind of animal a crazy person would keep as a pet.

He ends up ditching Skeeter, saying “don’t move” when he hears Patti playing beetball. Skeeter doesn’t move.

Doug plays beetball until Patti asks him to bring Skeeter next time. Oh shit, I forgot about him. He rushes back to find Skeeter still frozen because of a literal interpretation of an order he didn’t have to follow. Dumbass Skeeter. HONK! HONK!
Doug apologizes. “No problem, man. I know Patti makes you crazy. A beet salad has the same effect on me!” Skeeter is in love with beet salad. Doug realizes that he just did the same thing that Porkchop has done to him, and maybe Porkchop will return as well. They rush back to Doug’s house to find Porkchop moping on the front porch, apparently dumped.

“So for the three of us, everything was back to normal.” My favorite piece of exposition in this episode. I imagine if Skeeter heard this, he’d be a little upset considering his role in this story. Doug is all mopey about his best friend ditching him, and Skeeter doesn’t even get mentioned until Doug accepts that Porkchop is gone for good. Then all he does is bitch about his missing best friend, and ditch him for a girl. Doug has a total “you’ll do, I guess. At least until something better comes along” attitude toward Skeeter here. And for Doug, nothing is better than a horny dog, and a girl who will never like him the way he likes her with the voice of Constance Shulman. Ah well, Skeeter found his dream girl anyway...

This is the perfect time to discuss Doug’s relationship with his dog. It’s not normal. At all. Probably everyone talks to their dogs. Some people pretend their dogs talk back. Doug writes in his journal about his dog dancing around with a walkman, renting tuxedos for dates, buying flowers, playing chess, playing a harmonica, and doing so many other things that dogs will never be able to do. He believes his dog does these things. I’m never sure whether Porkchop’s exploits actually happen in a way that Doug greatly exaggerates, or if he just adds the silly, made-up adventures of his dog in his journal to escape the reality of how much he hates himself.


  1. The title is actually Doug's Dog's Date which makes a bit more sense. [:

  2. You're right. The back of the dvd box has it as Doug's Dog Date, and I guess I didn't bother to double check that. Oh well. I'll fix this.

  3. You know how these DVD guys are when it comes to trying to sort through this mess with titles. They'll never fix it after it's already sent to the printers.

    I always sorta thought Beetball was a combination of Cricket and Croquet personally, though the way they pretty much play it on a baseball field, whatever, it's a stupid phony game in a cartoon that seems to take place in world that resembles ours in some form or fashion despite the differently colored people and animals of anthro-sentient qualities.

    And for Doug, nothing is better than a horny dog, and a girl who will never like him the way he likes her with the voice of Constance Shulman.

    Probably for the best Porkchop's virginity was spared this once.


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