Friday, July 29, 2011

Episode 32, Part 2: Doug Behind the Wheel

"I couldn't believe my luck! My sister Judy was taking the test for her driver's license on the same day I overheard..."

"Oh I wish you could go with us to the opening of Bumper Car Mania this weekend, Patti, but then I'd have to leave Smidgeon behind. She just loves bumper cars! D'ya hate me forever?"

Patti says it's alright. She'll find another way to get there. Doug quickly pops up and offers to...wait.

Smidgeon? Who the fuck is Smidgeon?

So Doug asks Patti if she'd like to go with him, since Judy is getting her license and will be more than thrilled to drive her little brother to where she can experience all the excitement of bumper cars. It's Bumper Car Mania! Finally opening!

Naturally, Patti says yes and Doug slips away into a fantasy.

A bit dressed up for bumper cars. You're going to get ass sweat and child urine all over your fancy clothes. That white dress will be ruined. Oh, nevermind.

That fancy limo Judy's driving is the bumper car. Bumper Car Mania is a high class sort of place.

At home, Doug is thinking about how he's going to bribe Judy into living up to the promise he made, but when she gets home she is evasive regarding his questions about the driving test.

She implies that she just didn't even take the test. She's an actor. She's above driving a car. She starts practicing another form of travel...

Fuck cars. Unicycles are more practical. As she's riding around the yard, blabbing about how stupid driving is, Porkchop notices there's a rollerskate from the 1930's in her path.

Saved by the dog. No one else noticed this, except Doug I guess since he included this important detail in his journal.

Because Doug keeps questioning her, she finally admits that she failed the test because "the instructor had no imagination."

"So what if my driving was a little...improvisational?" While she's saying this, Porkchop is testing the unicycle.

Doug isn't immediately amazed at his dog's ability here. He doesn't even seem to notice that it's happening. He's too caught up in his own head, where he has to find a way to make Judy get her license before tomorrow night. Suddenly, he has a brilliant plan.

Inside, Judy is lacing up some weird sort of rollerblades when Doug enters and asks if she'd like to challenge him and Porkchop to a game of Dino Drivers. She sees right through his brilliantly shitty plan and scoffs at the idea that a stupid game could teach her anything. She asks why he's so concerned with her ability to drive, and he lies, saying he wants her to have freedom. She says she has all the freedom she needs, as soon as the sun hits the solar powered skates Mr. Dink loaned her.

After she opens the curtains, the sun pours in onto the solar panels, and the skates shoot to life, rocketing Judy out of the house and into a world where solar power is the methamphetamine of energy sources. She crashes of course, and so it's back to Doug's plan.

She's wearing a wig and a band-aid; first to disguise herself so her friends don't recognize her, and second to cover up the massive head wound she got in the crash. I think she should show off the head wound, in case anyone questions her decision to practice driving on an arcade game called Dino Drivers II. They'll be confused at first, but they'll see the blood stained bandages and think it's a brilliant way to keep yourself awake because of the concussion.

Also, she demands to be called Violet.

At first, she sucks at the game. Her car explodes almost immediately. But according to Doug, after 35 games, she's finally getting the hang of it. Doug is watching with excitement and distracting her with advice.

"Just jump over the tar pit, and dodge the hot lava and you're home free!"

She crashes and finally starts coming to her senses...

"I don't see what dinosaurs have to do with driving. This game is very poorly conceived."

FINALLY! This certainly means Doug's dumbass arcade learning experiment is over...then Porkchop gives her another quarter, which he retrieved from the coin holder on his belt.

Doug starts thinking she's hopeless and imagines he'll get his license before her, after all, he does hold the 11th place score for Dino Drivers II. Fantasy time!

He's dodged the lava and is about to jump a 2 mile wide canyon.

The dinosaur was on the other side of the canyon. This is supposed to be a fantasy about Doug getting his license. These are the obstacles Doug will face as a driver. Doug is a modern day Don Quixote. The lava was just some children, the canyon was just some bad traffic, and the dinosaur was just a bank he crashed his car into.

At the end of the fantasy, when Doug pulls up at Bumper Car Mania, Patti hugs him and screams, "Oh, Doug! You're such a dino daredevil!"

And that fades out into an awkward public moment.

That guy with the necktie is probably the most confused.

Doug stops hugging Porkchop and throws him away when Patti calls out to him.

She asks how Judy's driving test went. He lies and says it went fine, so Patti asks if they're still on for tomorrow. Here's where Doug should've told the truth. I know he really wants to go, and he really doesn't want to be driven by his parents (who did at that age?), but still. Judy's doing terribly at Dino Drivers II and there's just no way she's going to get good enough to pass the test if she can't even beat the game...

So she finally gets to the end of the game and this is it? A game that combines dinosaurs and racing ends with a parallel parking challenge? Can cars in arcade racing games even go in reverse? I always just pushed the gas pedal all the way down and tried to avoid the walls. I wish there had been dinosaurs involved.

At this screen, Judy gets upset. Doug never said anything about parallel parking. He tries to tell her it's easy and she says, "I can't! That's the part of the test that I failed!"

WHAT!? They just spent about $10 so she could play this fucking game to learn how to drive and the only part she failed on the real test was parallel parking? These kids are fucking morons.

She tries to parallel park the dino car and fails. The game goes on to repeatedly call her a dino loser. Doug says, "maybe if Patti and I started now, we could peddle to Bumper Car Mania." And fantasy...

He starts apologizing to Patti, saying he's sure they'll get there before it closes, but right as he pulls up, the gates shut. He slams on the brakes and Patti and Porkchop go flying into the mud. Then Beebe pulls up and asks what happened. Patti says, "hey, Beebe. Can you give me a real ride home and save me from this loser!?

They laugh as the car speeds away and the fantasy ends.

At home, Doug is trying to convince Judy not to give up.

"I told you. I am an actress. Not a truck driver! An actress."
"But Judy..."

Doug gets another idea.

They're driving downtown and Doug keeps trying to be a director. He makes up a scene that requires Judy to parallel park, assuming that she'll just act it out. Judy keeps ignoring actual traffic laws to argue with Doug about his stupid plan. She runs stops signs, red lights, cuts people off, speeds, swerves the car; all because she keeps turning around to tell Doug how stupid he is. She finally snaps when Doug says he promised Patti she'd take them to Bumper Car Mania.

This is when she's come to a complete stop in the middle of an intersection, just so she could yell at Doug. That car next to her just pulled up and the driver said "why don't you learn how to drive, pal?" and Judy yells back, "WHY DON'T YOU LEARN TO CHILL OUT, JENNY TOMLINSON!?"

So yeah, apparently she knew that girl. Jenny Tomlinson gets embarrassed and drives away. It's kind of sad, in a way.

Judy starts backing up and yelling at Doug that she is not his personal chauffeur and he has no right to make promises for her. Without realizing it, she parallel parked.

Doug just had to get her to stop thinking about parallel parking so that she could actually do it. And so she passes her test, gets her license and starts driving everywhere. She takes Doug and Patti to Bumper Car Mania and fun is had by all.

Doug's idea of help sucks, especially since his motivation is entirely selfish. He needs her to be able to do something for him. He is never concerned about anything else. And he really doesn't actually need her to do it. I doubt that Patti would care if one of Doug's parents dropped them off at Bumper Car Mania. I guess this reveals that he thinks Judy is the least embarrassing member of his family, which is sad when you consider how much she hates herself, which is probably a result of how self-absorbed and pretentious she is.

Also, this whole thing happens because Doug is an eavesdropping creep.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Episode 32, Part 1: Doug and the Weird Kids

This episode begins with everyone in Doug's class (hey, YO guy!) crossing their fingers and shaking uncontrollably. Ms. Wingo is pairing people up. Roger gets paired up with Connie, and he lets out a sigh of relief. Boomer gets paired with Chalky, and he too feels great relief.

Doug finally explains that she's pairing everyone up for a "Get to Know Your Fellow Students" Report. Certainly Ms. Wingo could've given the assignment a better name. Anyway, everyone is nervous that they might have to do their report on Al and Moo Sleech. This is them.

Al held up the paper with 473 written on it and they both laugh. Throughout the episode, you see that they have some kind of numerical language they use to talk to each other, and to justify their reputation for being weird as fuck. Of course, Doug gets paired up with them.

Right after Doug gets home from school, his doorbell rings. It's the Sleech brothers and they are not wasting any time in getting their report done. Also, they are dressed in hazmat suits.

I doubt Ms. Wingo is going to deduct points if they don't go through Doug's garbage and analyze it, but then I was never a very thorough student.

After inspecting the washer and dryer (one of them actually gets in the dryer while the other turns it on), they decide to inspect the air ducts.

They learned nothing of value or interest.

And just like that, they are finished. Doug tries to get them to interview Judy and wait to interview his parents, but they refuse. They have everything they need. They found it in the apple core from the trash and how much the dryer shook.

As they are leaving, Doug asks them when he would be able to visit their house and interview their family. They say their father is very busy and cannot be disturbed. Then they give him a report on their home life. They have done all his work for him.

Later, Doug shows the report to Skeeter at the Honkerburger. Skeeter is amazed by the cool graphics.

That's a pretty cool pie chart about the annual distribution of towels, but I'm more interested in the line graph on the other page. With the x-axis labeled with onions, pickle, and relish, I just have to know what that chart is about. How does a line chart work with these items on the x-axis? What's on the y-axis?


Doug reads some of the data too. "543 feet of electrical wire. Average temperature: 492 degrees kelvin."
These poor, weird nerds. Kelvin isn't measured in degrees. Also, what is 492 kelvin in their house? That is about 426°F. Did they give Doug the average temperature of their oven?

So anyway, Beebe and Connie sit down and ask him what the inside of their house is like. Beebe asks about the weird smells coming from their basement. Connie asks about the black smoke. Beebe asks about their dad. Connie lives right next door to them and has never even seen Mr. Sleech. Sounds like Connie lives next door to a drug dealer.

Roger chimes in and says their dad is a super evil scientist that stays in his laboratory all day and never comes out! Roger says Al and Moo are part of his experiments. He made himself genius twins, and ultimately his plan is to turn everyone into Sleeches and take over Bluffington! High ambitions. Doug says that can't be true, then Skeeter calls attention to their dad's profile in the report.


Finally, Doug has a fantasy about this situation.

We see the inside of Mr. Sleech's laboratory, and he grabs some beakers, there an small explosion with a puff of black smoke and he introduces Al and Moo to his latest experiment!

How evil! He made sisters for Al and Moo. This may be a disturbing bit of insight into Doug's feelings for the Sleech brothers, so take it how you will.

After the fantasy, Doug decides he has to do his own report. He can't just hand in the useless crap they gave him. He has to go to their house and interview Mr. Sleech.

The Sleech brothers are not thrilled by Doug's decision, but they agree to let him interview their father.

Doug should feel more insulted by this than he does. That they think he would not be able to recognize one of them wearing a fake mustache and a hat is nothing less than insulting. Or it could just mean that they know Doug is crazy, and if there's one kid that would work on, it's him. Anyway, it doesn't work. Their dad isn't even home ("he's doing very important, secret experimentations"), but they decide to show Doug their bedroom.

Doug likes their bunk beds. He asks who gets the top bunk and they say they alternate every 4 hours. Next they show him Brian.

They spend hours and hours playing with Brian. Doug asks if they have any games and they start playing their favorite game. Eventually, Doug gets bored and decides to leave since it's almost 10 o'clock.

They freak out. It's almost 10 o'clock, which means their dad is coming home, which means Doug needs to get the fuck out! While they're running around in circles and banging their heads against the wall, Doug has a fantasy about what will happen if he's caught by the evil scientist Mr. Sleech.

Doug is still alive in that jar, screaming to be released. Another reasonable fear from our crazy Doug.
Back from the fantasy, Doug actually gets to meet the real Mr. Sleech. He's happy to answer any of Doug's questions and starts showing him around the house. He wants to show Doug where he does his experimentations!

He takes Doug down into the basement where you quickly find out that he's just a baker.

He gives Doug as many fresh donuts as he can eat while answering questions. Neither of them can believe he fathered two kids that are as smart and weird as Al and Moo. There is no mention of their mother. Parts of her might be in the donuts Doug just ate.

Anyway, Doug finally realizes that they're just ashamed of the fact that their father is just a baker and not a brilliant scientist doing top secret work. When he presents his report to the class, he has Mr. Sleech come in with donuts for everyone.

This helps Al and Moo get over their stupid embarrassment. It's nice to know Doug can apparently help other people with their emotional problems. If only someone did the same for him.

And someone should help Beebe and Connie too. Weird smells coming from the bakery in the basement? What is wrong with Beebe? Her sense of smell is broken. The way they described it sounded like Mr. Sleech was cooking meth. The way it actually is sounds like Beebe and Connie are fucking morons.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Episode 31, Part 2: Doug Flies a Kite

This episode begins with Doug trying to find something to watch on tv. Every channel has the exact same show, at the exact same spot in the story, but it's just a different stereotype. First we see the English, then the Mexican, then the Japanese, etc... He says it is "the boringest day ever." He doesn't say, but it must be a Sunday afternoon.

He walks into the other room and plops down on the couch and asks Phil what he's doing.

He's organizing slides from the last 10 years of family reunions. Exhilarating.

Doug asks if he wants to go outside to shoot some hoops but he says no. Then he plops down onto the floor and says, "I guess I could start on my boring kite for the Bluffscout air show tomorrow."

At this Phil jumps into action. "Huh? The Funnie 5! The Funnie 5, Doug! At last! The Funnie 5!"

He says, "this is Funnie 5, requesting permission to land," then runs around the room making engine noises because he apparently doesn't know the difference between kites and planes. Doug says, "insane! My dad had gone insane!" Like father like son?

After the title screen, they are in the attic where Phil is digging out the kite-making supplies. That doesn't look like Uncle Happy's old clown trunk, so this must be just some other trunk they store in their almost empty attic. Anyway, Phil gives him the supplies and Doug says, "what is this stuff, dad?" This is the kid that often fantasizes about being a detective. And a spy. And an intelligent quail. Well...

Anyway, Phil explains that it's the Funnie 5. He pulls out his trophy for the Funnie 4 and gets nostalgic.

So now they're giving out trophies for making kites? Has anyone ever received a trophy for making the best trophies? That'd crack me up.

Apparently Phil got this for his kite at the Tri-County Iron Kite Competition. It's hard to imagine there is such a thing. First, the name is illogical. Iron kite? Really, now. Second, they probably expanded it to three counties until someone finally entered, and then Phil just showed up and accepted the trophy.

Phil's enthusiasm continues to go overboard, but now that Doug knows the Funnie 5 is going to be a kite, he knows what to fantasize about. He's going to build a kite with his dad! Finally, some long overdue father/son time!

That's...unnecessary. It's a kite...

Goddammit. Do either of these two idiots know what a kite is? Phil's making engine noise and running around the room with his arms stretched out like wings, and Doug's fantasy kite is a fucking plane with no cockpit.

The fantasy fades out just in time for us to witness the end of the kite-making process. Phil is putting just a little more glue on the edge (!?) and says, "ah! And now we wait for it to dry!"
"So, is that the bottom, or just one of the sides?"
"That's it! The Funnie 5!"

Doug is extremely disappointed. He wants something flashier. This is when Phil really starts to get insane. And annoying. He says, "like my science teacher used to say: 'A simple design flies just fine.'" I'm glad I never had a science teacher that wasted my time with rhymes about fucking kites. He is again running around, pretending the t-square is a plane, and making engine noises. Just like a kite.

He has a rhyme for everything Doug suggests. How about some more sticks or something? "Too much wood flies no good." What about a tail? "Big tails fly like snails."

Later, Doug goes to the movies with Skeeter and Chalky. They're bragging about their kites while waiting in line. Skeeter's is shaped like a tug boat his dad used to have. Chalky and his dad are making a stealth kite. Roger shows up (because they didn't invite him and he desperately wants to hang out with them and be friends) and says his is shaped like a t-rex. Doug laments his dad's simple, boring design. Of course he has a fantasy for this situation.

Insane! Well done, Skeeter! Fuck you, physics! That stick kite between the two beet kites is Chalky's. It quickly turns into a shape much like a stealth plane, but disaster strikes!

Stealth planes are designed to avoid detection by radar, not a fucking t-rex. Roger's t-rex kite eats that shit up. When the fantasy ends, they are in the theater watching the movie.

The movie is some hybrid of Star Wars and Star Trek. It doesn't matter. What matters is that is causes another fantasy from Doug. He's now part of the movie, with his dad. They are the bad guys the good guys are approaching.

They fly up in their small, kite-shaped ship and Doug says, "oh no!"
"Don't worry, Son. Battle cruisers are bigger losers!"

Even in Doug's fantasies, Phil is making annoying rhymes; a good indication that a good portion of Doug's insanity comes from his father. Anyway, Doug says, "Dad, if you say one more thing that rhymes..."
"Gee, son. You're no fun!"

And Doug has just completed his first fantasy in which he tortures his father. In space.
At home Doug decides to alter the kite.

Pure evil. But look at the totally badass kite he made!

More evil?

He decides to try it out, which is weird since he never tried out the kite with his father's original, simple design. Anyway, Porkchop helps. With Porkchop letting the kite go from the ground, it doesn't fly. Doug's logic is that it just needs to be let go from a higher point, so Porkchop stands on top of the doghouse and lets it go. Again, nothing. From the top of the garage? Nothing.

Nothing. Doug's shitty kite just doesn't fly.

The day of the air show, Doug has wrapped the kite in cloth so his dad doesn't see how he ruined it. They are getting it out of the trunk of the car at the park when Mr. Dink, Mr. Valentine, and Mr. Studebaker come over and mock the size of it. Phil replies, "a kite that's small cannot fall." Doug is embarrassed and again, has a fantasy.

What if he was Mr. Valentine's kid?

Yeah, then he'd be happy. Or maybe Mr. Studebaker?

Or even Mr. Dink!

Yeah. He's be so much happier with a different dad.
The other guys laugh at Phil's small kite, and as they are walking away he says, "you guys just wait! Today's the day you meet your fate." If kites make you rhyme uncontrollably, you have problems.

Anyway, Phil put the kite on the ground for some reason and Doug noticed that a huge truck was about to run over it. He considers allowing this for a brief moment, then decides to try to stop it.

They save it, but Doug finally confesses that he altered the kite. He admits that it won't fly. Phil looks at it and says that the big stupid fins Doug put on it are probably making it too heavy. So they just remove them and it's time for the big stupid kite competition. But first Phil tells Doug that the simple, small design is what allows it to do tricks. It's a fighter kite! Now Doug is excited. If only Phil had mentioned this from the start, Doug might not have fantasized he was someone else's kid...or torturing, and possibly murdering Phil in space.

Now it's time for the big stupid kite competition.

Phil is the only one that's ever even seen a kite. The flying saucer is a neat idea for a kite, but it's not going to work. Combined with Skeeter's tugboat idea and Roger's t-rex idea, I think it's safe to assume that everyone else watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and thought the giant balloons are kites. None of the other kites fly. Doug's is the only one.

Look at that! Finally happy about his father's kite, but still not seeing it right.

One string? two strings? It's all the same to Doug, but a fighter kite is badass, and a badass fighter kite probably has two strings. So that's how Doug is describing it to us now.

And because switching from one string to two arbitrarily isn't enough, he switches it back to one again...

Oh, and Porkchop has made a balloon-kite shaped like himself. It's a Bluffscout father/son thing, but that's not going to stop Doug's crazy imagination from thinking Porkchop made and entered this thing in the competition too.

So now Phil has helped Doug with two things: avoiding fights and making kites...