Monday, March 28, 2011

Episode 22, Part 2: Doug Wears Tights

"Well, the Bluffington Ballet was at it again. Their annual production of The Beetcracker was just starting up."

I've never lived in a town that was so self-centered. They can't just do The Nutcracker. They have to change everything about it so it relates to the entire town's absurd obsession with beets. I really want to see the propaganda the beet farmers are laying on this town.

Anyway, at the community theater, people are signing up to work on The Beetcracker.

Skeeter wants to run the lights. I know what it looks like, with Doug being at the front of the line and all, but Skeeter still has to talk him into signing up for the crew. The girls talk about how Patti is the best dancer and she should have the lead role as the Sugar Beet Fairy. Beebe says she'd try out for the part if she was as good as Patti, but she'd rather design the costumes anyway. No one points out that she is in the wrong line.

The girls tell the guys the theater is always desperate for guys. They both decline and as Doug says he's a strictly behind the scenes guy and starts to make his move toward signing up...

Patti says, "I don't know. I bet you two look awfully cute in tights."

Doug doesn't even realize he's done it until the vampire woman directing The Beetcracker gushes with joy and announces Doug as the Beet Prince.

Porkchop is always listening to music and dancing throughout this entire episode. It would be cute if it wasn't a constant reminder of Doug's instability. Skeeter, of course, talks him into dancing too. I guess he just makes him feel better about it. He reminds him that he'll get to dance with Patti. So we get a fantasy.

In this fantasy, Doug is the most amazing dancer ever. The crowd loves him. Judy is jealous of his artistic abilities. Patti is thoroughly impressed. Yeah, Doug has made a good decision.

Back in reality, Doug is having trouble with his lessons.

All of her directions are in French and she just expects Doug to know what the fuck she's talking about. Patti finally tells him that she's just telling them to bend their legs. He tries it and can't stand back up straight. He says he's stuck!

Who has rickets now? But seriously...Doug has this much trouble with squatting slightly and he's supposed to play the Beet Prince?

Oh, and yeah...he really thinks he's stuck this way. He hops away like this.

Definitely not a crazy person...

After more practice, he starts to get the hang of it. While dancing with Patti he catches her and has another fantasy. A really simple one.

I don't know what to make of this one. They're just dancing in a gazebo in the middle of some mountains. I don't know why Doug has to imagine this. He's actually dancing with her. His fantasy here makes his situation no better or worse.

Then he sees Roger out the window.

And he has another fantasy.

Roger and his goons are all giants and just mock Doug. Not much to that one. He expects Roger to embarrass him and make him feel really small for doing ballet. Pretty straight forward fear.

Oh, and then Patti kindly lets him know that he can put her down. He caught her as part of the dance, then held her while he entertained two fantasies.

As it turns out, Roger was actually coming to try out for The Beetcracker too. He heard there was a Rat King and thought he'd be perfect for the part.

Bluffington: where everyone is obsessed with beets and the bully is just a weird kid that has trouble making friends. I mean...he has those three goons, but nobody calls their yes-men friends. He wants real friends like Doug and Skeeter.

Before the audition, Doug overhears Beebe talking to her mom. Her mom is talking about how Beebe is going to be the Sugar Beet Fairy because she's a Bluff, and they own the Bluffington Ballet and no Bluff is going to be backstage doing costumes! Doug is worried that he won't get to dance with Patti.

At the auditions, Roger gets his part. Of course. Patti does her part great. Of course. Then Beebe sabotages herself so they couldn't possibly give her the part.

Of course. She knows Patti would be the perfect dancer for the part, and she wants to do costumes.

So opening night, Bluffington shows what a strange town it is and sells out the show.

Or they hired a bunch of seat fillers. Not to shit on ballet or anything, but this is a small town production of a mangled version of The Nutcracker starring 11 year olds. It gets worse. The only roles that are mentioned are the Sugar Beet Fairy, the Beet Prince, the Rat King, and his 3 rats. Doug didn't even fill in all the blanks with the Team YO Guy or Chalky or anything. What happened to Connie? She was in line to sign up to be a dancer. She was in the same class with Doug, Patti, and Beebe. Doug never mentions what part she got or anything. Fuck you, Connie. Audiences don't want to see you dance. And Doug has never danced ballet before. He might have had 2 months of learning before the show (Doug's not really specific on how much time has passed between sign ups and the show), but he certainly hasn't had enough training for anyone to consider him a great dancer. Anyway, the point is no one is going to see this except parents, and since there are apparently only 6 kids in it, that's not many parents.

I don't like that Doug didn't have to audition. The director saw his name on the sign up sheet and gave him the part. Roger had to audition to play the Rat King. He had to audition in full costume too. Did Doug have to do that? No. He had to be talked into taking the part that would allow him to dance with Patti. And did he even take advantage of that? Couldn't he have ended this story nicely by asking her out on a date. They can go dancing somewhere. It'll be perfect. Nope. Instead he awkwardly held her for too long while obsessing about Roger. Oh well. Another missed opportunity.

As for ballet, I highly recommend you find and watch The Tales of Beatrix Potter. It's a British film from 1971 that adapts Beatrix Potter's stories into dances. The costumes are amazing and the whole film is one of the most psychotic and hilarious things I've ever seen.



  1. At least you still remember the Team YO Guy!

  2. I'm shocked you didn't jump on Doug's "How do I keep getting myself into these messes" line!


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