Thursday, October 11, 2012

Episode 3: Doug Grows Up

This episode begins with Doug and Skeeter getting ready for a Bluffscouts meeting. Skeeter's shouting out a checklist for Doug as he collects his items, like his compass and pocket knife. Doug writes in his journal that he can't think of anything cooler than being a Bluffscout. He writes, "it's downright manly."

On his way out the door the phone rings. He answers and says hello. The voice on the other end says, "hello, ma'am. I wonder if I might have a moment of your time."

Doug is shocked and tries to explain that he's not a woman, but the overdressed telemarketer keeps interrupting him to say more things about how he's obviously a very busy woman. This guy sucks at his job. In a business where you've likely already pissed someone off, you shouldn't assume anything and just be happy they didn't immediately call you a cunt and hang up on you. Interrupting and talking over someone is expected. How else are you going to get through your four page script before they call you a cunt and hang up on you? Anyway, the whole conversation throws Doug off his "Bluffscouts are manly" attitude because a total stranger mistook him for a woman over the phone.

At the library, the Bluffscouts are discussing the big Shindig-a-rama that will be happening next weekend. Scoutmaster Dink reminds them that they need to decide on their projects for the event. Apparently they have to do a science fair-type project because the Bluffscouts aren't all fun and games. Al says he's going to work with Moo to demonstrate how a person could use a loaf of bread as a flotation device or emergency shelter. Scoutmaster Dink asks Doug what he's doing, totally putting him on the spot, and Doug says he's going to work with Skeeter but they don't know what they'll be doing yet. Instead of asking the other nameless Bluffscouts, Dink says something reassuring about the buddy system (because when Al and Moo work together, it doesn't count as the buddy system, but Doug and Skeeter do it and...) and then leads the group in a chant. The cliche old librarian is annoyed by the amount of noise this causes because we've all decided that libraries should be absolutely silent all of the time.

The next scene is filler that doesn't make sense because the show is supposed to be the journal entries of Douglas Yancy Funnie and he is not witness to the events. After just waking up, Beebe enters her family's kitchen and finds a stranger digging through the refrigerator. She's terrified and runs to her father at the table in the dining room. He's enjoying coffee alone and now I'm trying to remember if we've ever seen Beebe's mom. Mr. Bluff tells Beebe that it's just their new rich neighbor, because he had to qualify "neighbor" with "rich" as if poor people could actually buy the mansion next to the guy that has more power than the mayor. Oh yeah, that new rich neighbor is Roger.

Apparently rich people just let each other rummage through their refrigerators. Another reason I need to be rich. I also love Roger's choice of breakfast; grapefruit. Delicious. He's clearly worried about vitamin deficiencies. He's eating citrus fruits for breakfast and he's cut the sleeves off his leather jacket. He's gotta get that sunlight. Beebe complains about Roger's presence, but her dad says they were just talking over some business ideas because successful businessmen often steal their best ideas from middle school kids.

Meanwhile at the Funnie's, Phil wants to know if anyone has any new suggestions for the baby's name. Judy suggests Guillaume because it is William Shakespeare's first name in French. Phil says it's not bad.

Doug says he has three suggestions and Judy says, "not Metallica-man again!" Annoyed, Doug says he has two suggestions. His first suggestion is Really. Doug wants to name his new sibling Really, because that person's name would forever be the torturous Really Funnie. It's clever in that way that's obvious and not really clever at all. Judy gets really annoyed with him because he keeps asking if they get the joke. His second suggestion is The Trashman. He says it's great if the child wants to be a rap star, or a pro-wrestler, or a morning dj. Judy sarcastically adds, "or if he wants to take out people's trash," and Doug doesn't get the sarcasm and agrees.

Theda says they've both picked out boy's names and asks, "what if the new baby's a girl?" Nope. Guillaume and The Trashman are definitely names for boys, but just because Doug used a masculine pronoun when he suggested Really, it does not mean that Really is a boy's name. Way to be wrong, Theda. Anyway, Doug imagines a baby girl, and the baby girl is dressed and acts like Judy. He says, "let's just say, if it's a girl, I'm leaving." I would say it's an empty threat, but Doug has run away before.

After breakfast with the family, Doug starts walking to school. He says he and Skeeter decided to wear their Bluffscouts uniforms to school everyday until the Shindig-a-rama. He says, aside from making them look cool, he thinks it might come in handy. He then has a fantasy that demonstrates this.

His new teacher Ms. Crystal is writing something on the chalkboard when her chalk crumbles and she begins wailing in distress. Doug tells her not to worry; he's a Bluffscout! He pulls out a map and determines that the nearest natural deposits of sedimentary rock are 40 miles from the school. He then describes the primary sources of chalk, and Skeeter backs him up with some sort of literature that backs up Doug's chalk talk.

He then demands that Roger's goons get him some sticks about two feet long. He points at unnamed extras and demands they take off their sweaters. While waving makeshift flags on the school roof, he demands that everyone take off their clothes. He lays the clothes out in a pattern so the helicopter knows where to land. He calls the pattern the "universal distress signal" but really it just spells out "universal distress signal." The helicopter flies up and doesn't land. Like a frustrating claw machine at an arcade, it lowers a claw holding onto a single piece of chalk. Doug grabs it and hands it to Ms. Crystal. Fireworks explode behind Doug as Patti says, "oh, Doug. You're so scouty!"

Fucking insane. This is the most insane delusion of grandeur yet. To demonstrate how his Bluffscout uniform might come in handy, he airlifts some chalk to a middle school. Doug thinks his uniform is going to solve the everyday annoyances of public school teachers. His first instinct when the teacher runs out of chalk is geology and helicopters and getting his entire class naked. No one in this fantasy suggested going to another classroom to borrow chalk from another teacher, or failing that, going to the nearest store where chalk is sold. No, we must listen to Doug, for he is in Bluffscout uniform and he knows where to dig chalk out of the ground, and he will have it airlifted to the school and there will be fireworks! Ms. Crystal could have rented a limo to take her to the store to buy chalk and it would cost less.

Back in reality, Doug and Skeeter get to school and find everyone laughing. Doug doesn't understand why. Skeeter reasons that someone's probably acting goofy or wearing something dumb. No self-awareness. Roger's goons make fun of them for the Bluffscout uniforms and ask Roger to join in. Roger says, "oh, please, you losers. Have some couth, will you?"

In band class, the teacher is impressed with Doug. Doug's uniform gives him the idea to request that all band students wear their band uniforms all the time. Everyone is upset with Doug. Doug wonders how he didn't realize the Bluffscouts was for grade-schoolers, and determines to give up this kids' stuff before it's too late. He has a fantasy.

In the fantasy, an adult, nerd version of Doug asks Patti if she wants to go hunt for arrowheads. She says she's a corporate attorney with clients waiting. Doug then points out that the plant on her desk is edible and demonstrates that fact. Patti calls security.

At lunch, Doug is thinking about how he can't wait to get out of school so he can change into his normal clothes before anyone else saw him. Who else might see him? Oh, Patti...

So finally, we get to the puberty of the episode. At home, Doug says even though he hasn't been changing much on the outside, there were days where he sure felt like he was growing up. He's watching tv and it's some weird detective show where two women go around solving crimes in their underwear. Old Doug calls it the dumbest show ever. New Doug doesn't want to change the channel.

Doug imagines a showdown between Old Doug and New Doug at the Shindig-a-rama.

Old Doug and Skeeter are trying to start a fire when New Doug spits his peppermint stick onto the ground and kicks up a lot of dust when he speeds away on his motorcycle. There's a lot of phallic and/or masturbation references in this short fantasy and it's all very obvious.

After the fantasy, Doug asks Skeeter if he's learned anything from the Bluffscouts. He's worried if being a Bluffscout has prepared him for being a man, and that it might just be a big school for losers. Where's his self-confidence? They have a conversation on the Funnies' front porch about their project for the Shindig-a-rama. Skeeter reminds him that it's this weekend and finishes with his trademark "honk honk." Doug asks if maybe he's a little old to still be making that honking noise, and Skeeter asks, "what honking noise?"

After this conversation, there's a scene with Roger moping around his mansion. His mom asks him why he doesn't invite some of his friends over, and he says he needs more sophisticated losers to hang out with. She suggests a house warming party to make his friends feel more comfortable at his new place.

Back at the Funnie house, Doug has decided to do some research about what it means to be a grownup. In this case, research means channel surfing and watching a few seconds of several adult television shows. Porkchop is unimpressed with everything on tv, and Doug is increasingly bored, until he stops on a movie where a car jumps a small canyon in the desert.

Porkchop's just trying to read...

Doug has a fantasy where he is just Mad Max. Patti's in the car with him and Roger's chasing them and everyone has bad Australian accents.

The fantasy ends with Patti telling Doug to use the clutch, and Doug asks, "what's a clutch?"

So naturally, going from this fantasy, Doug asks his parents, "what's a clutch?" At first they are confused, but Doug clarifies that there's some things he should be thinking about since he's getting older. Theda thinks it's time Phil had "the talk" with Doug.

Phil reacts the same way every father on television acts when he's supposed to have "the talk" with his son. At first he tries to distract himself with some bills, but Doug will have none of that bullshit. So Phil asks if Doug has any questions, and he simply repeats his question, "what's a clutch?"

After a pause, Phil says, "serious questions, Doug." Ignoring Doug's question, Phil goes on to awkwardly talk about changes Doug might have noticed in himself. Doug and Porkchop are confused. Phil starts talking about salmon leaping upstream and says people are like that, except they don't go in the water. "Your mother and I don't go in the water, but we both still go upstream." Doug is fucked for life. He doesn't understand, and Phil is doing a terribly shitty job explaining anything. Eventually he decides to finally answer Doug's only question. "A clutch is what disengages the motor from the wheels." That's the end of their talk. Doug still has questions about being a grownup. Of course. Who wouldn't after that miserable display? Doug decides to get more opinions about what makes an adult.

The band teacher says the key to being an adult is one word: sensitivity. The Heaver Brothers give him their advice according to their preference of wood or metal. It's not helpful. Doug even consults Mr. Shellacky, and he says "hugs" over and over again. Hugs make a man. This man should not be a guidance counselor in an elementary school. Doug decides it's time he just start acting like an adult. He changes the way he talks and dresses like this...

His display at dinner is baffling to all that witness it. When Theda comes in with the dinner, he says, "I hope you whipped us up something delightful, darlin'." He slaps his mom on the ass to emphasize the word "delightful." Highly inappropriate. After dinner, he decides he needs to watch more adult television. This means the chess world championship for some reason. Everyone is bored. Doug excuses himself, saying he has meetings tomorrow, and stretches and yawns. Judy notices something strange.

Yes, he's taped hair in his armpits. He quickly leaves the room and Theda turns to Phil to ask what they talked about.

The next day, Doug decides he's going to dress more adult at school, instead of wearing his Bluffscouts uniform again. So naturally he wears a suit.

Skunky bumps into him and mistakes him for a teacher.

At lunch, Roger is shrugging off everyone that isn't rich and skips the line to get near Beebe. He wants to ask her to come to his party. He wants to invite only her. It's pretty obvious what's going on here. She's revolted and insists he isn't actually rich.

Doug pushes his way up to Roger to ask about the party, but Roger tells him to get lost. The party is only for certain people. After Roger chases after Beebe, Skeeter runs into the cafeteria dressed as the solar system. He has an idea for their project.

In Skeeter's project, Doug will be dressed like the Milky Way. Sounds like fun. In his excitement, Skeeter repeats the chant from the Bluffscouts meeting, and everyone laughs. Doug gets pissed, tells him to cut it out, and says, "I'm not a Bluffscout!"

In the next scene, Theda is on the phone, telling Skeeter that Doug isn't home. Skeeter is at the Shindig-a-rama and he's pretty disappointed to find that Doug really has quit the Bluffscouts, apparently. Meanwhile Doug is strutting his way up to Roger's front door. He's going to the "one place to be if you wanted to be mature." He rings the doorbell.

A butler answers the door and demands to see Doug's invitation. Doug tries to play it off like he forgot it or lost it, and the butler does his job and sends him away. As he's walking away, Roger calls out to him from a window and invites him in. There's no one at the party, which is totally predictable. That's what happens when you only invite the one person that doesn't want to be there.

Doug compliments Roger's new home, and quickly realizes he's not having fun. "I felt more mature than ever." Where did he get this idea that being mature meant never having fun? Phil?

Roger's mom walks in with a tray full of cocktail weenies and Roger starts pigging out. While Doug and Ms. Klotz make small talk, Roger starts choking on a weenie. Doug quickly realizes it and saves him with the Heimlich maneuver.

Enjoy this image, internet.

Ms. Klotz is impressed and asked where Doug learned to do that. It's the Bluffscouts of course. Ms. Klotz is impressed with the Bluffscouts while Doug tries to downplay his knowledge and involvement with them. Roger asks about the Shindig-a-rama and Doug starts getting excited before remembering that he quit. On his way home, he walks past the park where the Shindig-a-rama is being set up for the next day. It makes him sad, and he quickly changes his mind on the whole thing.

The next day, his project with Skeeter is about the Heimlich maneuver. Fuck your Solar System/Galaxy project Skeeter. Doug saved Roger's life.

Roger also rejoined the Bluffscouts, presumably because his mother made him after Doug easily saved his life because of what he learned with the Bluffscouts.

Enjoy this image, internet.

At the end of the episode, Roger takes Beebe's advice and moves back into his old trailer. At first she's happy, but then she sees that they've moved the trailer onto his new property next to her house.

All of Doug's insanity in this episode can be excused because of puberty. He has some shitty ideas about being a grownup, but that's because he asked the worst people for advice. At least he asked for advice. It's not his fault his dad sucks, his teachers suck, and his old guidance counselor is likely a pedophile. His fantasies are still pretty great though. The chalk fantasy might be one of my favorites. Only Doug could think such a minor problem would need to be solved in such a grandiose way. The one where he thinks the Bluffscouts will actually turn him into a socially inept hunchback that eats office plants is pretty baffling. I don't know why he thinks the knowledge and friendships gained from a social club would turn him into someone with no social skills whatsoever. I am a little troubled by his hallucination of a new, older Doug that wants to watch a show where women solve crimes in their underwear, but only because of the hallucination part.


  1. Loved the reference to "Doug Gets Busted".

  2. The cliche old librarian is annoyed by the amount of noise this causes because we've all decided that libraries should be absolutely silent all of the time."

    You'd think they could give them a closed room to do their business in! Most libraries I know often have a room or two set aside for meetings and what-not.

    Doug wants to name his new sibling Really, because that person's name would forever be the torturous Really Funnie."

    It would be ironic if the person himself happens to be a very normal kid who never sticks out in the crowd if he tried!

    Phil starts talking about salmon leaping upstream and says people are like that, except they don't go in the water. "Your mother and I don't go in the water, but we both still go upstream." Doug is fucked for life."

    Shame, he might end up like R. Crumb!

    "Skunky bumps into him and mistakes him for a teacher."

    That's our SKUNKY! (APPLAUSE)

    "Enjoy this image, internet.

    Thanks for giving it ammo!

    Fuck your Solar System/Galaxy project Skeeter. Doug saved Roger's life.

    It also didn't help that our 'astronaut' is suffering from a case of repeat-itis!

    I am a little troubled by his hallucination of a new, older Doug that wants to watch a show where women solve crimes in their underwear, but only because of the hallucination part.

    His 'older self' at least digs it!

  3. The adult, nerd version of Doug eating Patti's plant has got to be one of the more plausible fantasies he's ever had, which is awfully depressing


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