Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Episode 25, Part 1: Doug's Hot Ticket

Doug, Skeeter and Porkchop are singing The Beets. They are thrilled with their brilliant idea. See, The Beets are playing 60 miles away in Bloatsburg, and tickets are going on sale today. Doug and Skeeter thought of the best way to get tickets; they're lining up 2 hours early. Oh, except that didn't work. They walked up to the box office, where there was no line, and told the depressed individual working the window that they were there to line up for tickets. The woman cheerlessly told them to get in line as she pointed to the line. There are people in tents in the line, so it's safe to say a 2 hour head-start was a bit of an under-achievement. To think they were so proud of their idea...

Anyway, the tickets go on sale and you'll never guess who gets the last tickets. That's right, it's the people right in front of Doug and Skeeter. If only they had lined up 2 hours and 15 minutes early. Oh well. Doug takes this particularly hard and has a vision of the future. The Beets are doing an interview in their retirement home.

Sorry. They're doing an interview in the Old Beet-Heads Home. The interviewer asks them, of the 5,000+ shows they played, what was their best/favorite. They say the Bloatsburg show was without a doubt the best. Old Doug and Old Skeeter are upset, as they are watching from home.

Let's just assume that they moved in together after their wives died. Maybe? Actually, I'm just glad that Doug's current vision of the future doesn't involve him going all Mark David Chapman on the lead singer of The Beets. With how much he fantasizes about meeting them, and how much The Beets always like him when it happens, and what...3 episodes ago he claimed to have convinced them to play at his school...it just seems he could turn out like that.

At home, Doug is complaining to himself, alone in his room, when Judy enters dangling two tickets in his face. Apparently some douche she's dating bought them so they could go on a date, but she hates The Beets.

She agrees to give Doug the tickets if he'll paint her entire room black. What a crazy bitch. I guess she wants her room to be black so that she'll be even more depressed and maybe screaming at herself in the mirror will be more satisfying? I don't know, but as for her date...I guess it's a lesson well learned for him.

Doug calls Skeeter and tells him the good news and then they finally pause to think...how are they going to get there? Bloatsburg is 60 miles away. They can't ride their bikes. Their parents aren't going to take them, I guess. They don't even address this issue. They only mention their parents by saying, "well, they'll never let us go alone." I guess they assume their parents are unwilling to drive them. But Skeeter has a plan. He heard about it on the radio. It's the K-Bluf Beets Bus

It's a free ride to the show by the local radio station. They give the guy their permission slips and get on a bus full of the most annoying people alive. You do find out some "interesting" bullshit though. The bus organizer says the original title of Killer Tofu was Szechuan Bean Curd, but it was just too hard to rhyme. According to one of the crazy people, if you play "I Need More Allowance" really slow, you can hear one of The Beets say "I love cheese." Similarly, if you take the second letter of the one-hundredth word of every post I've made on here, it spells out "I love how much this show loves cheese."

The bus stops and Doug and Skeeter start to freak out, thinking they've finally arrived, but no. It's just a pit stop at a diner. The bus organizer steps off and says, "Okay, remember folks! This is a 10 minute break. 1/5 of an hour. 600 seconds." 1/5 of an hour is 12 minutes, jackass.

Look at that nerd. That's a guy that should know his fractions, because what else is he going to do? Date? Ha.

Inside the diner, a trucker gets annoyed with Doug and Skeeter's annoying enthusiasm for The Beets. She comes over and tries to act tough with her trucking skills, which the bus organizer totally matches her claims on. This turns her attitude around. So now she's friendly, and telling Doug and Skeeter trucker stories.

That's the organizer in the back, walking out the door as he reminds them about the 10 minutes they have. It doesn't matter. They are totally captivated by the trucker. There's a time dissolve so luckily we only have to hear the end of her irrelevant story, and then she leaves. Presumably because the speed she took before they entered the diner is starting to kick in and she needs to get on the road for her all-nighter.

Doug and Skeeter are having such a great time. They can't believe they met a real trucker. Skeeter got her autograph!

Simply unbelievable. I stopped getting autographs from famous people because really...who cares? You meet some musician you really like and they scribble something illegible on whatever you have on you, and you take it home and it sits in your room forever, wishing you actually cared about it. So now Skeeter has this Eat, Then Gas truckstop menu signed by the great Charlene. I feel like he should've lost interest in this autograph halfway through the question, "can I have your autograph?" At least for a moment after she left, he's still excited about it.

Oh, and Doug and Skeeter missed the bus. That's what you get for getting useless autographs and trucker stories. So how are they going to get there now? They're stranded at some diner in the middle of nowhere. Doug looks at one of the trucks and has a fantasy.

Don't be alarmed. Porkchop is not riding on the hood. The hood ornament is shaped like him. What you should be alarmed by is Doug and Skeeter's rapid facial hair growth that came with stealing a truck from the Eat, Then Gas parking lot. Also, they can't drive it and they run off a cliff. Another good, productive fantasy from Doug.

A sheriff overhears them talking about their dilemma and offers to help.

He's from Bloatsburg and headed back there anyway, so I guess it's cool if he picks up a couple of hitchhikers.

He gets them to the venue and uh oh...

"The tickets! We left the tickets at the diner! OH NO!"

That's right. For some reason, Doug took the tickets out of his pocket at the diner and then just didn't bother to put them back. Incompetent.

Then they see that The Beets crew is still unloading the truck. Apparently the band was late too.

Doug and Skeeter offer to help the guy unload the van and he enthusiastically says "sure" and throws them a couple of backstage passes.

This asshole is going to lose his job. Not in this episode because Doug and Skeeter are honest strangers. He tells Doug to grab the guitar and follow the amp. Other people might grab the guitar and you know...fuck off with it. And I guess because they carried it in, they get to set it up on stage.

Fuck the drum and guitar techs. These helpful 11 year olds seem like they know what they're doing.
And so the band walks past Doug and Skeeter onto the stage and the show begins. They get to watch from "the best seats in the house. That would be here...

Peeking out from behind a curtain. And that's how they saw The Beets.

This episode certainly gives credence to the idea that Doug did not get The Beets to perform at his school, as if it really needed it. Three episodes ago, he claimed they came and played a free show at his school. Now he's claiming he helped set up the band's gear and watched the show from backstage. It feels like he's inventing these great stories about things that make him happy because he's just so depressed. I mean really...his best friend is an idiot, he's completely unable to do anything about his crush on Patti Mayonnaise, he's stalked and tortured by a kid with rickets who may also have a crush on him, his sister is crazy, his parents are so useless he barely mentions them and almost never consults them on his problems, and his dog apparently outshines him in every possible way. All he has is The Beets. They mean everything to him. I really hope he doesn't kill one of them. For real.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Episode 24, Part 2: Doug Goes Hollywood

J.B. Spiggot, big Hollywood director, is rumored to be looking for a new face to star in his next big movie. The episode starts off with a few people in Bluffington seeing his limo, blatantly labeled with "BIG SHOT Productions J.B." on the side, and then immediately calling everyone they know to spread the news.

Roger's conversation is about how J.B. Spiggot is in town to meet him. Patti's conversation is about someone telling her she has a fresh new face that would be great for Spiggot's movies. Mr. Bone's conversation is about him telling someone he calls "shnookums" and "sugarmuffin" that she would be perfect for the part. I'm hoping Patti is not talking to Mr. Bone.

So Doug and his father (Phil. Remember him? He so rarely shows his face in Doug's life...) are throwing a baseball back and forth when the limo drives by, stops, backs up, and Spiggot and his little assistant get out to talk to Doug.

They look at Doug in that cliche way directors look at shit, framing it with their hands, and then have a mumbled conversation.

People from Hollywood are just rude. They were having a nice day, throwing the ball around, when some jackass and his yes man got in the way and stared at them like zoo exhibits, without ever introducing themselves or anything. Finally, the yes man walks over to Doug and says, "Mr. Spiggot thinks you've got something special there. What's the name?"

Doug looks at Phil as if for permission, then introduces himself and Porkchop. Fuck you, dad.

The yes man confers with Spiggot again and they agree that he is perfect, then he takes a picture and hands Doug a card.

This is what McG's business cards look like, except you have to imagine that it's in the trash.

So Doug has no idea who J.B. Spiggot is. He wonders if anyone has heard of him, and naturally wanders over to the big J.B. Spiggot-related meeting outside city hall to ask Patti, Skeeter and Roger about him. Skeeter reminds Doug of the movies he's done, a trilogy of movies called "Wafflestomper," "The Revenge of Wafflestomper" and "Wafflestomper Strikes Again in 3D." Doug loved those movies. Now he's imagining he's the next Wafflestomper!

Roger and his goons are the bad guys and they've kidnapped Patti.

It's up to Wafflestomper to save her, of course. He comes in and he's just a regular dude with huge shoes with a waffle pattern on the soles. He kicks through the door, says a few things, stomps to make some boxes fall on the goons, and grabs Roger before he can get away. Roger calls him a big, funny baboon. Wafflestomper quips, "Ouch. You burned me." And the audience cheers!

Yeah, this fantasy has an audience, and they are fucking morons that are impressed by "Ouch. You burned me." More of his fantasies need an audience like this.

Ok, so Spiggot and his assistant finally arrive while the mayor is still talking. They push him out of the way mid-sentence (more rudeness) and the yes man announces to the crowd that they are indeed looking for a new star in Bluffington. They want to see everyone acting naturally so they can judge appropriately.

At home, Doug goes to Judy to tell her Spiggot already chose him for the part, but he overhears her conversation with a friend talking about how much she wants the part. She hangs up and, without acknowledging that he has entered the room, walks over to the mirror and says, "if I don't get this part...I'll just die."

Earlier in the episode, she was having a conversation with her friends about what a terrible, cliche director Spiggot is. Now her life depends on getting the part. So, she's just a phony with emotional problems. Doug decides he shouldn't tell her.

Outside, something strange is starting to happen.

Mr. Dink heard the movie was going to be a superhero movie, Skeeter heard it was going to be a space movie, and Roger heard it was going to be a monster movie, so they've all dressed for the part. I feel like this could be Doug's take on religion. There's some big shot with the key to a better life, and everyone has picked their own rumor to run with hoping it's the right one when all that's been said is that they should just be themselves.

Anyway, they're all headed down to the mall because Spiggot is apparently shopping today. Mr. Dink gives them a ride.

The mall is a circus.

I love the store Cheap Cheese and wish it was real. Everyone in the mall is overacting, and being just as presumptuous about the whole thing as Skeeter, Roger and Dink. Judy comes in and makes her own big, embarrassing scene. Doug decides it's time to tell her.

At home he asks her what if she didn't get the part and someone else she knew did, like himself. She laughs. And laughs. And laughs. He again decides against telling her because "if I tell her, it would ruin her life forever." And another fantasy.

Big time actor Doug Funnie is walking down the street with a huge entourage. They're walking to the theater to see the latest Doug Funnie movie, because that's all they're playing apparently.

They walk by the posters so we can see what kinds of films the theater is playing. They are Dougsy, D.F., A Funnie Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Good The Bad and The Dougly, Douginator 2, Dougbo, and Paws. Stupid Doug. That's not how movie titles work. They don't shoehorn the most famous actor's name into the title. The only one here that works is Paws, which is just Jaws starring Porkchop and Doug.

And Judy is a street performer, making cats dance for spare change. Doug acknowledges her enough to throw some change in her hat, but neither of them acknowledge that they are brother and sister. So, Doug imagines that he's a pretty big asshole here. Not only has he stolen his sister's dream, but he's also completely written her out of his life and now that she's basically a beggar on the streets, his only help is some spare change. There's no using the money he made from the Douginator movies to help her out. No using his big name to get his sister some parts in his movies. No...if he sees her on the street, he'll see what he's got in his pockets. This is what fame will make of Doug, and he doesn't like it.

Again, the entire town has a meeting because it's time to find out who has been chosen to be world famous. Spiggot's assistant gets up and and says, "the new star...is you!" Then he points at Doug. Doug quickly apologizes and says he can't and the yes man says, "not you! You!"

That's right! Apparently all they're casting for is a dog food commercial. The town is so upset they scream "a dog food commercial!?" in unison. Roger asks what they wanted to see everyone for if they were just looking for a dog. And finally J.B. Spiggot speaks for himself, in the nerdiest voice possible, with "well...somebody's gotta open the can." The crowd rushes the stage. Not out of anger. They want the part. Still.

Judy got to open the can in the commercial. All you can see is her arms. Everything went back to normal, but Doug is worried that the commercial went to Porkchop's head a little bit.

Everything still seems normal here. Everything Doug has told us about Porkchop leading up to this point makes it seem like this is totally within the realm of his character with or without the commercial. Unless he means the shirt. Yeah...we never really see Porkchop wearing a shirt, I guess. But relaxing, sipping on what I can only assume is some sort of booze...I assumed he already did this.

It's weird. For an 11 year old, Doug sure does rub elbows with famous people a lot. You know how many famous people I bumped into in my small town when I was 11? None. Doug has met The Beets (twice), Sky Davis, the host of the show Kiddie Koral, art critic Werner Schnozel, and now J.B. Spiggot. Truly amazing luck. I mean, I always dreamed of meeting my favorite bands, athletes, film directors, and Bozo the Clowns. I just never wrote in my journal that it happened.

It always happens the same way for Doug too. Sky Davis sat down next to Doug on some random bench. Why? Sky Davis just happened to be walking through Bluffington and needed to sit down? The Beets just pulled up at the Honkerburger and danced with him? J.B. Spiggot was driving down his street and had to stop to see his amazing dog! Thank god that search for the anthropomorphic dog is over! This boy, who I hear is friends with The Beets, has a dog that can basically speak and loves to dance! We better be vague about our intentions from the beginning, lest the boy go a few days without having dreams of being famous!

(One last reminder about the facebook page...for now)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Episode 24, Part 1: Doug Pumps Up

Doug and Skeeter were loitering outside of Raccoon Records in the 4-leaf Clover Mall when Doug noticed Patti was having some trouble with a couple of bags. He excused himself from Skeeter and offered to help her. She gladly dumped the heavy bags into his hands, which he could barely hold. He jokingly asked if she bought barbells, and she replied, "yeah." As he struggled to get a good grip on the bags, Beebe and Connie walked up and dumped their bags into his arms also.

Under the weight of it all, Doug dropped everything and fell on his ass.

I don't think I'd shop at a store called "Punt & Grunt." Anyway, this is how the episode begins; with Doug humiliating himself in public in front of Patti.

After the girls are long gone, realizing Doug isn't much help in the "carrying things for 3 women" department, Skeeter notices a cardboard cutout of Ronald Weisenheimer. He is Arnold Schwarzenegger. The cutout informs the kids that he'll be in town as a judge for the All-Bluffington Fitness Test. Doug has a great fantasy here.

...dissolves into...

According to this fantasy, if Doug works out like Ronald Weisenheimer, he will double in height and speak with an Austrian accent. He helps out the three girls and the fantasy ends. It is enough to convince Doug to sign up for the All-Bluffington Fitness Test. He gets in line behind Roger's goons. Chalky is sitting at the desk helping people sign up, and when he sees Doug is next, he yells, "next," assuming Doug wasn't there to sign up. Doug points out that he's next and Chalky laughs at him. Dick.

So Doug assumes that the test is in 4 or 5 weeks, and he'll have plenty of time to train. Skeeter tells him the test is the day after tomorrow. Doug either doesn't know what day, or even month, it is, or he didn't bother to check the date when he signed up. This might also be Chalky's fault. As the guy recruiting people for the test, he should make sure all the necessary information is given to them. Given that he laughed at Doug, he might've just saved his breath thinking it might be better if Doug didn't show up and embarrass himself.

With the test so soon, there's only one man Doug can go to for help.

Mr. Dink has the Lazy Guy Workout System. It's great! Very expensive. First he puts Doug on a treadmill with a changing background. He still has to walk, so I'm not sure how this is part of the Lazy Guy Workout System. The next part is for the real lazy guy.

Pull-ups are easy when you stand on a platform that moves you up and down. However, when that platform breaks and starts going double-speed, problems arise.

Yeah, his arms are stuck like that, in spite of the fact that he was holding the bar the other way and not really using them for anything other than maybe balance. Apparently it was quite a workout though. Doug can't even lift the newspaper anymore.

The results of this non-workout with Mr. Dink are, at best, entirely in Doug's mind.

After this, Doug goes to the school gym where Chalky and others are working out.

Before he picked up those weights, Chalky came over and told him to start slow. He suggested that little red weight at Doug's feet. Don't strain yourself. Doug calls the weight "dinky" and puts it down as soon as Chalky walks away. He goes back to ignoring good advice, and has a fantasy in the process. A really weird, fantastic fantasy.

Doug is apparently a contestant on a show called Mr. Dumbell. The camera pans across 3 or 4 bodybuilders while an announcer talks about the tough competition. Then it stops on Doug.

Pretty standard Doug fantasy. If he's not the worst at something, he's the best at it. Oh, and then it gets weird.

I just don't even know what to say about this.

After the fantasy, Doug loses his balance and drops the weights. One of them crushes his foot and Chalky takes him to the nurse. With his foot all bandaged up, he won't be able to do the All-Bluffington Fitness Test. Unless he just does something that doesn't require your feet.

The kid that couldn't pick up the newspaper earlier is now fully able to pull himself up a rope. He thinks that with a little practice he could be as good as those guys on Bloatsburg Gladiators.

Bloatsburg Gladiators is a more awesome, dangerous version of American Gladiators. You can't see it in that picture, but someone at the top poured butter down Doug's rope to make him slip, and the ropes are above an alligator pit with huge spikes. Seriously. I'd watch that show. Fuck that nerf version we were all obsessed with back in the early 90's.

At the end of the fantasy, Doug is at the top of the rope.

Somehow he wasn't hindered by his overly-detailed fantasy about being on tv, yet again. However, his celebration causes his grip to slip and he slides all the way to the bottom.

Now with both hands bandaged up with serious rope burns, Doug really is out of the All-Bluffington Fitness Test. Turns out Patti is too.

She pulled a muscle trying to carry those bags by herself. Doug thinks this is stupid because she could still do the running part. She's worried she'll look goofy. Because Patti has always been so vain. Doug convinces her to do the running, and laments the fact that all he's good for with two fucked up hands and a fucked up foot is sitting. And that leads him to the sit-up competition.

By the way, this is a really strange fitness test. Doug never really explained what it was, but apparently it's just different fitness exercises, and instead of just displaying that you can competently do the exercises (like the presidential fitness tests), you are in direct competition with whoever else is trying that exercise. To think that Ronald Weisenheimer would travel to Bluffington for a middle school track meet...

Anyway, Doug starts doing sit-ups while Patti starts the race around the track. Kids are dropping out of the sit-ups competition left and right, but Chalky and Doug keep going. Patti wins the race after they've already done a few hundred sit-ups. Chalky finally gives up at 500, and Patti comes over and gives Doug the slightest bit of encouragement so he'll be able to do 501 sit-ups. He beat Chalky and set a new school record.

And so Doug redeemed himself in public. In front of Patti. He may have weak arms, but he can do more sit-ups than that stupid jerk Chalky. Shouldn't have laughed at him, Chalky.

Doug's fantasies here are clearly more about the typical, weird body issues kids his age might deal with. He doesn't really want to be a bodybuilder tv and movie star. He'll settle for being just a tv and movie star, thanks.

Also, if you didn't see it earlier today...