Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Episode 4: Doug's Hoop Nightmare

This episode begins with Doug talking about surprises he's received in the mail. There's been cool surprises like this chandelier.

Unfortunately, they got the wrong house and Doug had to give it back. I don't know how Doug thought he just got to keep the package that must have obviously been delivered to the wrong house, but he did, and he was very disappointed when the men from the post office broke into his home, entered his room and tapped him on the shoulder to demand the package back. Doug also mentions lame surprises like some exercise equipment he ordered. The best surprise he's ever gotten was a letter from Bolivia.

The whole family is very interested in the letter from Bolivia. Perhaps the letter will explain what happened to the backs of their chairs. Doug refuses to tell them what the letter is about without starting from the beginning. So it all began last summer. Doug was really excited about his summer vacation. He wanted to be super organized for summer to get the most out of it.

He's planned out the first half of his day, which is almost over as he's checking off items on the list. His day, and summer, falls apart completely at noon when he finds out Skeeter was accepted to Camp Einstein last night and had to rush off this morning. According to Doug, the only thing left on his schedule for the day was at 4:00, and that event was "avoid Roger." Doug does this by hanging out alone at the Honkerburger. Here's how that plan worked out.

Roger makes jokes about Doug getting rejected from camps and steals some of his fries.

At home, Doug's parents suggest he go to a summer camp so they can have more sex because all his friends have gone to camp. Phil says camp is fun and educational. Doug has a quick fantasy of a place called Fun & Educational Camp, and it's a boring fantasy where campers just sing the Fun & Educational Camp song. After the fantasy, his parents hand him some brochures for different camps.

Camp Sullen sounds like a dream. It's not that they want him to change his attitude. They just want him to be sulky and bored somewhere else so they can have sex and get pregnant. Right after he tells them that he's just not the summer camp kind of guy, the doorbell rings.

Patti just wants to return his Smash Adams tape before she goes to sports camp. She says, "too bad you're not going! We'd have a lot of fun!" Doug immediately gets on his knees and begs his parents to let him go to sports camp.

The next day Doug has the typical goodbye scene with his parents. They tell him to write and tell him to be safe and give him sunglasses and slap him so hard in the ass that he falls down as he's getting on the bus. At first he thinks he's on the wrong bus, but then Patti starts calling out to him.

Patti is excited that he's come along, and says the camp will be fun and sporty. He has the same fantasy as earlier with the same song using different lyrics because camp is fun and sporty now instead of fun and educational.

At camp, Doug is surprised to find that it's not as relaxed and fun as he assumed. Coach Spitz runs the camp, and he has no patience for Doug's sunglasses.

Please note the gentleman wearing the shirt pointing at his crotch, and please, if you wish to get me something for Christmas, consider such a shirt.

Anyway, Coach Spitz reveals that Patti and Chalky are his assistants. This entire camp is run by one adult and two children. This should be good. Coach Spitz tells them to put their shit up and regroup at the obstacle course in 15 minutes.

In a letter home, Doug talks about how great camp is. On the first day they went rowing, swimming, rock climbing and life saving.

All of these activities were a result of the previous activity sucking. The row boat capsized, so they had to swim to shore, where they had to climb a whole 10 feet, and wait for a helicopter to airlift them back to camp. This camp is amazing.

Doug says they trained for a big basketball game with the camp across the lake. Predictably he sucks at basketball and is worn out by his feeble attempts to keep up. After plopping down on his cot for a rest, Leonard pops down to let him in on a secret.

Leonard plans to escape from Grinning Bear Sports Camp. He's already escaped from 3 other camps this summer. His plan to escape this one is called "Operation: Moo Moo" and involves a cow suit made of old baseball gloves.

"Got room in the rear if you're interested."

Coach Spitz, Chalky and Patti are watching the shittiest news report on the slowest news day ever. The news is talking about the big basketball game Grinning Bear Sports Camp will be participating in. There's a few shots of the other team training.

They also have a see-saw and real exercise equipment. There's an interview with Camp All Star's coach, Piney Ziegler, where we just find out that Camp All Star is a super exclusive camp where everyone has their own personal trainer (among other things) and so their winning streak is hardly unexpected. After the interview, Coach Spitz squeezes a tomato. He says they'll beat Camp All Star this year because they have the drive to win, the will to win, and fruit. He makes Patti and Chalky squeeze the banana and grapes they have, and no that is not a euphemism. I hope. Coach Spitz mentions a secret weapon, but won't reveal what it is. Looking out the window, he sees Leonard in his cow suit and tells him to get back to his bunk.

At Camp All Star, Coach Ziegler is talking on the phone with someone he calls Falcon. Falcon tells him about Grinning Bear's secret weapon.

At dinner, Doug hides his pain from Patti as she tells him how great he did today.

Percy Femur sits down and makes a joke at Doug's expense. Patti defends him in a way that makes him feel worse than Percy's joke. Percy then plays up how awesome Camp All Star is, and Chalky asks him how he knows so much about it. "One word: SHUT UP!" So yeah, Percy's the spy. After dinner, Doug finds out about Operation: Trash Dump.

The next morning, Leonard comes walking back into camp with flies buzzing around his head. Coach Spitz welcomes him back over the intercom system. Doug says that Leonard inspired him to come up with his own plan: Operation: Impress Patti. Nothing's more inspiring than two miserable failures. Doug imagines his plan in action. Basically he's just awesome at basketball.

And he's taken Nike's slogan and shoved it in their fucking face.

In practice, his plan sucks. He can't do any fancy dribbling, and he really sucks at making baskets. He throws the ball into the trash once, through a window once, and into an old woman in a wheelchair that's actually Leonard in disguise once. Another escape plan foiled!

Patti tells him to work on his accuracy a bit, and one of the easiest ways to be more accurate is to throw underhanded.

He finally gets one in the basket, but is worried about looking cool. She dismisses his concern, but Chalky comes along and shows off.

Chalky and Patti leave him to practice on his own. He just sits down on the ball. Percy walks up and makes more jokes and comments that reveal he is obviously the spy for Camp All Star.

Doug says the big game was on everyone's minds for the next week. The only thing on his mind was not looking like a dork in front of Patti. At practice, he throws the ball at Coach Spitz's head. Because of this, he has to stay behind and practice more. Patti offers to stay and help. Then Chalky stays too, which pisses Doug off.

Somewhere else, Coach Spitz is making the other students squeeze tomatoes. He's finally going to reveal his secret weapon.

What a let down. One girl asks him what it's made out of and he tells her not to worry about that. He tosses her another tomato and says, "just keep squeezing." All the kids squeeze tomatos and we get to follow the juice as it runs into a drain on the floor, through a rube goldberg of pipes and sieves, and into more bottles with the Liquid Spitz label. Gross and criminal.

After the secret weapon is revealed, Percy sneaks off to make a phone call.

No one is surprised and Coach Ziegler is relieved to know he doesn't have anything to worry about. Meanwhile, Coach Spitz makes everyone present drink Liquid Spitz, and it's a gross drink (obviously) and no one likes it.

At practice, Patti is barking orders and Doug fails to make a shot again. She asks why he won't shoot underhanded, and he says he doesn't want to look like a dork. She points out that shooting air-balls is dorky and he gets offended. Chalky tries to help and Doug gets offended and calls him a ball hog. As Doug storms off, Chalky asks Patti about it and she sort of reinforces Doug's point by pointing out that he takes a lot of shots. Chalky is stunned, but Patti chases after Doug. She tries to get Doug to see the point, but he gets snarky and shuts her down. He's such a douche sometimes.

The next morning, Doug wakes up worried he's hurt Patti's feelings. Also he see's Leonard's next brilliant plan.

Dressed as a plumber, he's going to escape through the sewer. Before the game, Leonard gets started on his great adventure through the sewer.

At the game, Coach Spitz notices all his players look sick and offers them more Liquid Spitz. This makes them all sick and they run to the bathroom.

The ensuing flushes rush into the sewers and make Leonard panic.

Meanwhile, at the game, Coach Spitz finds he doesn't have enough players. With everyone sick, he only has Doug, Patti, Chalky and Percy. They need at least 5 players. As Percy smugly points out that they'll have to forfeit, Leonard comes shooting out of the sewer. They've found their fifth man. Doug sees this as his last chance to prove himself to Patti.

The first half of the game sucks. Doug can't shoot. Chalky keeps passing the ball to Doug. Percy hands the ball to the players on the other team. Instead of a good halftime speech, Coach Spitz just yells at everyone. Doug interrupts to give a real halftime speech.

He says he's just jealous of Chalky and that Patti is a great assistant coach. His speech is so motivational even Percy is moved. In the second half of the game, Chalky plays like he should, Patti plays like she should, Percy switches sides, and Doug and Leonard are as useless as they normally are. Right at the end of the game, as Grinning Bear is losing by one point, Doug is fouled by this tall fucker.

Hardly seems like a fair game. Doug gets to take a couple of free throws. He immediately goes into a fantasy.

In the fantasy, he's in the same situation in a larger venue but he just imagines he's shooting free throws underhanded and the entire stadium is laughing at him. After the fantasy, Doug says it's just a game and he wants to go out in style. He throws overhanded and misses. Everyone laughs. He realizes that he's let his team down because he didn't want to look stupid. He throws the last free throw underhanded and makes the shot. It ties up the game and his team celebrates.

The ref calls overtime, and Grinning Bear wins the game by 6 points. During the celebration, Judy finally interrupts Doug's story to ask what this shit has to do with a letter from Bolivia.

Fucking finally. Did you forget this had something to do with a letter from Bolivia? So anyway, that letter from Boliva was just from Leonard. It may be several months later, and school may have started weeks ago, but Leonard finally escaped that awful two week camp and Coach Spitz will never find him.

Oh wait, no...there he is, right behind Leonard in Bolivia.

This episode is fucking insane. Doug gets a letter from South America and in telling his family why, he had to explain how he became a hero at summer camp after being so unnecessarily worried about being dorky for two weeks? No. Did he really sit there and tell his family this whole story where he mostly looks like a stupid asshole instead of saying, "oh there was this weird kid at camp that kept trying to escape. I guess he finally made it and I should find his parents and tell them where he is. Haha...Bolivia, huh? How the fuck did he make it that far!?" Maybe. If this is the first they've heard of this story, then it didn't happen. If this happened, Doug would have told them when he got home from camp. Maybe he was just a narcissistic asshole the whole time he was at camp and it took him a few months to figure out a way to tell his family his summer camp story without looking like a total shithead.

As for the letter from Bolivia? Who knows? I remember at some point during elementary school, I was made to write letters to some pen pal at another school across the country. I had no interest in the project, and apparently neither did my pen pal. Maybe Doug had a similar project set up for him in elementary school and it finally paid off in the best possible way for him; as an excuse to lie to his family to make himself look better.

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.