Friday, April 19, 2013

Episode 23: Doug Oh Baby

This episode begins with a rather long fantasy about Professor Porkchoppy and Flash Asimov.
Guess who’s who! They’re going to be shrunk down so they can go on a fantastic voyage into Judy’s inner space to find out what makes her so annoying. According to Dr. Skeeter, their ship has a kickin’ stereo. So the fantasy goes on, and Dr. Skeeter shoots them up her nose, Flash Asimov makes a joke about not seeing a brain, and then locates the problem: “a malfunctioning rung in Judy’s DNA ladder.” I don’t want to make a joke about what Judy would actually be like if one pair of her chromosomes were broken or missing, so I’ll just leave it.

Before Professor Porkchoppy and Flash Asimov can do anything about Judy’s broken DNA, they are attacked by “big sister genes.” Dr. Skeeter removes them from Judy and restores their original size, but it’s too late. They are already zombies quoting Shakespeare. As one of the big sister genes starts to grow to enormous size, Dr. Skeeter sets off the alarm and yells for everyone to escape before they are turned into performance artists.

After the fantasy, Doug says having a new baby can be fun, but complains that it hurts his eyes. His parents are obsessively taking pictures of her.
After this one and several more, Doug jokes that they haven’t taken a picture of the back of her right ear yet. Naturally, Phil agrees and makes Doug hold her in a way that allows for such a picture to be taken. Doug is surprised by his father’s inability to spot a joke.

After several rounds of pictures, including wearing a hat and sitting in a hat, the Funnies invite the Valentines over to show off pictures of Dirtbike.
Mrs. Valentine points out that Dale has never seen a little baby before, which is hard to believe. How can that be true? Have they kept him isolated from other children? Why are they doing that? What do they do when they’re out and happen to cross the path of any couple that has a little baby, or are babies so scarce in Bluffington that Disney’s Doug is the animated prequel to Children of Men? As Dale stares as Dirtbike, we get to see his thought process as he tries to understand what she is. He comes to the conclusion that she is a camel.

After that Mr. Valentine says they’re going to have Dale tested to see if he’s a genius like Skeeter. He can’t remember the word “genius” or his son’s name. He even calls his son “the blue kid.” This is thoroughly confusing considering the whole family is the same color. Dale wipes his nose on his sleeve and Mr. Valentine takes this as proof of genius because most kids would just let their nose run. Then Dale finds an empty cookie box and places it over his entire head saying, “me cookie head monkey!” And then we hear Dirtbike think, “if this kid is a genius, I’m a camel!”
This isn’t framed as one of Doug’s fantasies, but it’s safe to assume he’s taken quite a few liberties in describing scenes like this where he wasn’t present. He didn’t witness this, but he knows Skeeter’s parents gave his parents the idea to see if Dirtbike might be a genius. He just filled in the gaps with whatever bullshit he felt like writing. It continues too.

As his parents discuss having her tested, they begin having their own fantasies that exaggerate her abilities. Because she’s throwing her toys so far, she’s a basketball star.
Phil has other plans. On a late show, the world famous photographer, astronomer, holder of the tennis world championship, and neurosurgeon is performing her new hit record.
With such high expectations, I’m sure she’ll never disappoint her parents.

Of course this is all Doug’s speculation of their expectations and fantasies. Unless he’s hiding in their room and spying on all their conversations. I suppose that’s possible. Anyway, they get her tested.
The test is a bunch of stupid bullshit and she seems to fail every one of them because she is a newborn baby. At home later, Phil and Theda tell Doug and Judy she has the intelligence of an 8 month old. They both start revealing their plans to make Dirtbike like them. Doug has bought her art supplies and comics and Judy insists she’s going to be a great actor too. Doug realizes she might end up being too much like Judy and has a fantasy.
Doug wants her to come play beetball and read comics at Skeeter’s, but she calls his interests immature and trivial. She then leaves with Judy to rehearse for pee-wee Shakespeare.

In Doug’s mind, the first step in making sure Dirtbike is nothing like Judy is to make her into a new sidekick for Quailman. She is the Bandicoot Kid.
In this, Dirtbike is still too young to talk, so Doug gets around this by writing that she communicates telepathically. When Quailman spots the Quail-signal, he throws the Bandicoot Kid into the air and yells, “fly away!” In the boring downtime of travel, the Bandicoot Kid asks Quailman what a bandicoot is, and he starts to explain but the Judy-dra interrupts. I like to think that he would have told her that bandicoots can’t fly or communicate telepathically.
Quailman defeats the Judy-dra by complimenting one of the heads. The other heads get jealous and they start fighting each other, get their necks tangled up and fall to the ground, defeated.

After the Quailman thing, Doug is showing the comic to Dirtbike and trying to get her to dislike Judy. He’s got her blowing raspberries at the arguing Judy-dra.

Tonight, Phil and Theda are going out until 10:00 pm. Doug and Judy are babysitting. Judy immediately tries to get rid of Doug so she can watch the baby alone. Doug has a short fantasy where Judy is a stereotypical gypsy hypnotist, hypnotizing Dirtbike to make her enjoy Shakespeare.

Doug also tries to get rid of Judy. He tells her to go get a cup of chino and she gets a little angry at him. She corrects him and calls him a yokel. As she’s tucking Dirtbike into bed, she asks, “isn’t he boorish?”
I like this picture because it looks like Doug and Judy are going to smother Dirtbike. Anyway, Doug gets angry and amends the Quailman comic. As Quailman stands proud on his victory, the Bandicoot Kid reveals herself to be a double agent. After freeing the Judy-dra, she changes costume to become the Poetry Girl. After freezing Quailman and Quaildog in huge blocks of ice, Judy-dra and Poetry Girl simply read poetry to them.
Quailman can’t escape the horror.

After the fantasy, Judy reminds Doug that it’s almost 8:00 pm and he needs to feed Mr. Dink’s plant. The plant is called the venus cheese trap. The plant eats cheese. In a flashback, Mr. Dink explains the details and demonstrates one of the most common mistakes people make in feeding the venus cheese trap.
Mrs. Dink says this happens 3 times a day before it spits out Mr. Dink. He points out the plant is completely vegetarian.

As Doug is leaving, the phone rings and it’s for Judy. She tells him to watch the baby, so he takes her over to the Dink’s. Unfortunately for him, Judy finds his Quailman comic, then sees across the yard that he’s trying to get Dirtbike to respond positively to Man o’ Steel Man comics and negatively to Judy’s Shakespeare book. She rushes over and confronts him with the Quailman comic. He wants the comic back and she wants Shakespeare back. He throws the book outside rather smugly, as if he’s won. He somehow completely forgot about the comic. When Judy threatens to destroy it, he rushes outside and they start this business.
While this is going on, the Dink’s electric door closer shuts the front door and locks it. Doug left the keys inside next to Dirtbike. He suggests they teach her unlock the door. Judy basically tells him this plan is impossible and he tells her to shut up. They then imagine their parents’ reaction.
Judy is about to try something with the windows when Doug stops her because of the alarms. She then suggests they tunnel in like in The Countess of Monte Cristo, in which she got great reviews. He asks how long that would take and she says, “with a spoon? 20 years.” And the award for least practical idea goes to…

Meanwhile, Phil is too tired to stay out as long as they planned so they start heading home early.

Doug’s idea really isn’t practical either. He wants to use a fishing pole to lower Porkchop into the chimney. Then Porkchop can unlock the door for them.
Obviously, this was never going to work, because he’d have to be above the chimney to lower anything into it, and Porkchop is too heavy for the fishing pole. It snaps before Doug can even wonder how he was going to get Porkchop into the chimney from the ground. I guess it’s just as impractical as Judy’s plan, but at least he was thinking in terms of minutes and not years. What’s wrong with Judy?

Finally they decide to call the security company. The company will send someone over and that person will open the door for them. Unfortunately, the guy asks for the code. Doug doesn’t know the code. It wasn’t a terrible idea, but the security company would go out of business if they just opened the doors for anyone that called and said they were locked out.

But Doug has another idea: set off the alarm. The guy will have to come back and open the door then, if only to turn off the alarm. The alarm is crazy. Loudspeakers and fireworks and fake dogs. It puts Dirtbike to sleep but all the neighbors come out to complain. Anyway, the plan works too well. In addition to the neighbors, there’s police, EMT, firemen, someone in a helicopter, all wondering what the hell is going on.
So they get in and now have to figure out how to get rid of the crowd. Judy says she’s got this. She walks outside and starts singing America the Beautiful. The crowd starts to join her before Doug stops them and says he’ll just tell everyone what happened. He starts apologizing and telling everyone to go home. But then Phil and Theda pull up wondering what’s going on. Judy tells them Doug just locked the key in the house and set off the alarm trying to get in through the window. Doug readily admits that he locked Dirtbike in there too, and Judy sticks up for him again. She says he never let her out of his sight (I guess he was able to retrieve the fishing pole and talk to the security guy in the street without taking his eye off her). But what good is Doug’s eyesight if Dirtbike gets into Mr. Dink’s very expensive collection of rat poison?

After Judy says Doug will be a good big brother, he promises it will never happen again. Instead of saying, “obviously! We’ll just get a responsible babysitter next time,” Phil says, “well if it ever does, remember that Bud keeps a spare key over here.”
It was at least hidden behind a bush, but thanks for showing all the neighbors where it is, Phil.

In the end, Doug realizes it wouldn’t be terrible if he had another Judy. He also mentions that Dirtbike is actually acting more like Porkchop. She tries to drink his water and he’s teaching her how to dance.
Doug is pretty crazy in this episode and he’s trying as hard as he can to make everyone else look worse. His parents are obsessed morons who hope their infant daughter will be a basketball star, photographer, astronomer, tennis champ and rock star before she’s two. Also they need all the pictures from all the angles or else the scrapbook will be incomplete. Judy is dishonest and has the shittiest plans imaginable. She wants to turn Dirtbike against him.

Except she doesn’t do anything like that. She might make fun of him a bit, but she understands the baby doesn’t know what she’s saying. Doug actively tries to get Dirtbike to dislike Judy and the things she enjoys most. That’s fucking insane. But we’re just supposed to forget all that because he’s honest. How convenient that his honesty exposes Judy’s dishonesty.

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