Sunday, March 6, 2011

Episode 21, Part 2: Doug's Big News

This episode begins with Mr. Bone boring the shit out of the entire school with his school news tv show. Everyone complains, but it's something Doug says that especially sets off Mr. Bone. Apparently, after his show was over, he went and put his ear to Ms. Wingo's classroom door to hear the mutterings of the students to see what they thought of his show. He was offended by their complaints and sarcastically challenged them to make a better show. Ms. Wingo quickly jumped on the idea and made it a class project, because fuck you, Mr. Bone. 11 year olds can make a better tv show than you. Naturally, these are the anchors the class chose.

This is Doug's big dream. He's always fantasizing about news shows interviewing him, or being on tv somehow (unless it's a stupid baby's show). Doug quickly uses this scenario for one of those fantasies that completely takes him out of reality and he's left sitting there as though he'd acted out the fantasy.

For some reason, Patti doesn't have a chair at the anchor desk for Sensational News. She's just always there on the tv. Doug's top story for Sensational News is that he's asking Patti out on live tv. She giggles in the flirty way Patti never really would, and says yes. Back in reality, NOTHING LIKE THIS HAPPENS EVER! Not even close. He never brings it up or thinks about it for the rest of the episode. I suppose for Doug, the fantasy is enough to satisfy his reality.

In the intro for the news show, we learn that Skeeter will be doing the weather.

Chalky will be doing sports.

Beebe will be doing shopping advice.

And Roger will be doing special segments.

At first this seems like a terrible idea. It is a terrible idea. He's barely literate and he's typically a jerk. But if you think about it, this is the job where he's least likely to electrocute himself or damage expensive equipment. If they'd had him running the lights or the camera, it would only be a matter of time before someone got hurt. He'll go on to prove that he's useless anyway, and he should've been excluded from the project, or given some meaningless job that would distract him. I would suggest something like standing in the way of the natural light coming in through the windows with some bullshit reason about it ruining the lighting the class was trying to create. Give him this job, and you help him with his rickets too. Win-win.

So, you're producing your school's news, and trying to prove yourselves to the assistant principal...what do you lead off with? What's your big story after you introduce yourself?

"At the top of the news, somebody barfed in the cafeteria today." -Patti

Off to a good start. Lets see how the ever competent Skeeter is doing with the weather.
"One minute it's raining. The next, the sun's shining. It's crazy."

It is entirely unclear whether he is aware of the sprinkler behind him. I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt and just assume he's joking around, but this is the guy that wanted to be head astronaut on student government day. It's a tough call.

Next we get a glimpse of Beebe's segment, titled Consumer Corner. All she does is remind people of her imminent birthday and list shit she wants.

And next, we have Roger's segment.

It starts with Roger saying, "you know what really gripes me?" Then he complains about teachers and homework. If this sounds familiar, it's because Family Guy did the exact same thing with Peter and his "grinds my gears" segment.

After the show, Mr. Bone barges in and tells them their show was a bunch of stupid nonsense. After he leaves, Patti and Doug talk about how he'll change his mind after he sees the tribute they've made for tomorrow's show.

After school, all the other kids crowd around Doug and Patti and make Roger jealous. If you're taking notes: barf stories make you popular, complaining about teachers and homework does not.

I really don't understand what happens next. The next day, Roger is sitting in Doug's anchor chair doing his segment, which is now about how awesome Mr. Bone is. Then he plays the special tribute the class made and takes all the credit. After that, Doug and Patti go to sit down and Roger hands Doug his news script.

Why did they let him go first? Why is he sitting at the anchor desk? Why didn't Doug have his own news script already? Because I guess there wouldn't be a story otherwise. Doug's top news story today is "Mr. Bone wears pink underwear."

And yes, he did Ron Burgundy that. I wish he had kept reading just to hear him try to pronounce the rest of Roger's script, but the pink underwear thing was too shocking. Also, he immediately got called to Mr. Bone's office.

So first, everyone but Roger is off the show. The show is now Mr. Bone and Roger as co-anchors. Second, Doug has to Bart Simpson "Mr. Bone does not wear pink underwear" 5,000 times.

"That'll take forever." This leads to one of my favorite fantasies.

They're both old as shit. I like to think Doug would actually follow through with a punishment that lasted well into his 50's. Sure, he's a grown man who could just walk away at any time, but then he might not learn his lesson about always falling for Roger's very simple tricks.

And so the news show is back to boring.

It consists of Mr. Bone being a boring douche, and Roger sucking up to him to stay on tv. I guess he's forgotten that his power grab was instigated by his jealousy and desire for popularity. What's he getting out of this? All the kids hate him, and now he has to pretend to like Mr. Bone. Way to fuck yourself, Roger.

But that's not good enough for the other kids. They scheme.

Their plan is simple. Since they know Roger will just take credit for anything nice they try to do for Mr. Bone, they just get him a present. Doug passes it off to Roger who waits until they're on live to give it to him, taking full credit.

Of course it's pink underwear. Roger now has the Bart Simpson punishment.

And FINALLY Ms. Wingo tells Mr. Bone that Roger wasn't the one that produced the special tribute.

Oh right, did you forget that Ms. Wingo has been observing everything the entire time? Easy mistake, especially since she didn't say a damn thing when Mr. Bone got pissed off at everyone but Roger. What use is she? She always knew what was going on and made no attempt to stop or fix it. Let the kids do a little playground justice. I bet Beebe bribes her for good grades.


  1. Roger's segment of course pre-dates Family Guy. Really, it's a send-up of Andy Rooney's bit on 60 Minutes where he just curmudgeonly complains about something for five minutes. But of course that's a reference that goes right over the heads of the target audience.

  2. I always forget about Andy Rooney's segments. If I had my way, Andy Rooney would do those rants for a 30 minute show every week. It would be amazing to see what he would come up with when forced to go for so much longer.

  3. I was going to mention the Andy Rooney thing too, there's been a few cartoons over the years that did that too like Muppet Babies.

    Certainly one of those that obviously adults would get, though perhaps you might get it too if you bothered watching what they were watching as well! It's not to say that writers that write for shows aimed at kids don't have better ideas, but I do like the duality that you might find something to enjoy from something as an adult instead of not watching at all if the show may not hold up beyond the first time.

    I always forget about Andy Rooney's segments. If I had my way, Andy Rooney would do those rants for a 30 minute show every week. It would be amazing to see what he would come up with when forced to go for so much longer.

    That would be an interesting challenge indeed.


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