Space Ghost (1966)
Philips Television 1973
Space Ghost (1966)
Philips Television 1973
Sony KV 7010U 1964
Patty Duke, December 14, 1946 – March 29, 2016.
The Patty Duke Show (1963).
Saturday, December 14th:
(original made-for-TV movies):
“Matchmaker Christmas” (Lifetime, 2hrs, earlier),
“Best Christmas Ball Ever!” (ION, 2hrs),
“Holiday Heist” (BET, 2hrs),
“Holiday Date” (Hallmark, 2hrs+),
“A Christmas Winter Song” (Lifetime, 2hrs++),
“Most Likely to Murder” (LMN, 2hrs),
“Christmas In Montana” (HMM, 2hrs+),
“Christmas Matchmakers” (ION, 2hrs)
“The X Factor: The Band” (hulu, part 2 of 4),
Steven Universe Future (TOON, 30mins),
The Shop (HBO, sports talk special),
Saturday Night Live (NBC, “Scarlett Johansson | Niall Horan”),
TZGZ Shorts (SyFy, latenight)
(latenight “Toonami” [adultswim] lineup):
My Hero Academia,
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (part 1 of 2),
Lupin the 3rd (special time, 45mins),
Naruto Shippuden (preempted)
Bite my shiny metal hat!
Doctor Who | 3.11 - Turn Left
The Witcher - Final Trailer
On a Continent riddled with evil, the paths of a monster hunter, a sorceress and a runaway princess converge. The Witcher arrives December 20, 2019..
Are you thinking what I’m thinking?
139 svanslös sanslös bikarbonat
This is, obviously, a bit of a step down from the last one. That doesn’t mean all that much in itself - the last episode was one of my favorite TV episodes of all time - but this one, regrettably, does contain a lot more Hong family shit, and that’s always depressing. Still, it’s not a wash, and there’s plenty of interesting stuff to be found here.
For one thing, this is the first Outrageous Fortune episode that doesn’t mostly center Cheryl. She is - aside from a brief stint delivering papers in the cold open - between jobs right now, and she’s not taking it well.
The episode thus centers around the West children, who all must find their own ways of helping to alleviate her distress. For Jethro, of course, it’s easy: he drops off his clothes for her to iron at the house as an excuse to be able to pay her for something. The others, alas, have to get more creative - and they’re more than a little bitter about it.
As usual, Loretta’s willingness to do a Good Deed seems to be only skin deep; she’s the one who initially brings up the idea of helping Cheryl, but she doesn’t go about it in the healthiest ways. For a start, she tries to convince Van to give her money so that she can give it to Cheryl (”I don’t have any to give her”, she says, which seems improbable, really, considering her history). This almost works, but even Van can see through that, and he instead just up and gives Cheryl the money himself. But by that point, Loretta’s had another idea, and it’s turned into something far bigger than helping out her poor old mum.
A glimpse of a pirated kung fu movie Van got from Mr. Hong sets the gears working in Loretta’s mind, and soon she’s up to no good, albeit in a harmless way. Her scheme is as simple as it is illegal: she’s gonna buy pre-released DVDs from the Hongs, make copies of them, and sell them to the customer base of the Video Shack for a profit. It’s definitely the most wholesome kind of criminality any of the Wests have got involved in so far - she correctly identifies herself as “fighting the good fight” against the corporations, not that that’s really her main motivation - but Cheryl nonetheless wouldn’t approve, and neither does Kurt, whom she still treats like a dumb lackey.
It’s the singleminded intensity with which she pursues her goal that makes it interesting. Loretta, see, doesn’t just buy a few DVDs from the Hongs; she sets up a whole distribution deal, and then uses some of that money she apparently didn’t have to buy a proper copying equipment. She does that all without telling Kurt until she’s already done it, of course, and mocks him as a “pussy” when he complains. It’s not news that Loretta’s friendship with Kurt is softly abusive, but her sudden hunger for money is new. For the moment, it’s also very successful - she has no problems blackmailing the store’s owner into giving her management of the place, and she ends her plot by giving us the title card shot that’ll persist throughout the first two seasons.
Van, having already helped Cheryl with her cash flow problems, spends most of the episode dealing with issues of his own. For the most part, I wish he didn’t, although I will grant that there are a couple of moments I truly cherish. The little laser-gun noises Van makes while shearing the hedge are hilarious, and the whole physical comedy situation in the car - getting stuck under Suzy after she somehow throws her back out during sex, accidentally deactivating the handbrake during the struggle to get out, Suzy’s terror as the car begins to roll towards the lake with her, immobilized, in the back - is perhaps the only really, truly brilliantly funny moment to ever come out of the Hong family.
The rest of the plot is less interesting, although it does have its moments. Van does display his first sign of resistance to his father’s will when he meets him in prison this time - perhaps taking his brother’s advice from last episode - but in the end he still acquiesces, and as a result we get our first introduction to the manic, lovably drug-addicted pyromaniac Sparky, an old friend and associate of Wolf’s who is, apparently, in dear need of some company.
He’s funny, and Van’s awkward nervousness around him is funnier. But his part in the plot is a little boring; he’s really just there to create a logistical conflict for Van, catching him between his commitment to his father and his job with the Hongs, thus forcing him to rope in Jethro to imitate him on an errand. Sparky, as it happens, was hired by the Video Shack’s owner to burn it down for the insurance money, and provides something of a miniboss fight for Loretta, who’s copying pirated DVDs in it at the time; Jethro, meanwhile, successfully completes the Hongs’ task and is rewarded for it with sex by Tracy (the daughter, in case I’ve forgotten to mention her name by now), who is under the impression that she’s fucking Van and is thus, I’m pretty sure, a victim of rape-by-deception. It’s another of the many plot threads surrounding the Hongs that has aged poorly, especially since it’s played entirely for laughs.
It eventually turns out that Suzy is newly pregnant with a child that may well be Van’s, which is, if nothing else, at least maybe the first sign we’ve had of any actual reason for her to have been having so much baffling sex with Van. But that, too, is used in a kinda predictable way - the other Hong girl is mad at him (she doesn’t like Suzy, for no good reason), the father remains clueless, and Suzy remains utterly one-dimensional. If we learn anything new from this, it’s that Jethro has no problem whatsoever with deceiving women into sex, which isn’t exactly the most surprising thing we could ever have learned about him. God, it’s all so unbecoming of a show like this.
Pascalle’s plot in this episode, on the other hand, is very good, and a perfect snapshot of this show’s moral complexity at its best. She’s getting a little dissatisfied with being a waitress in a strip club full of drunk and handsy old men, so the club’s owner, Robbie, offers her an escape route. You can probably guess what that route is.
He doesn’t seem like a bad guy, this Robbie; he’s genuinely kind with Pascalle, rather than Nice Guy kind like the photographer from a couple of episodes ago, and he’s not especially pushy. But it’s impossible to ignore that he has a self-interested reason to be offering her this carrot; Pascalle is gorgeous, and every new beautiful stripper in his club is more potential money in his pocket. She’s also still very young, and the spectacle of an adult man gently trying to ease a teenager into becoming a stripper is always cause for caution. Still, at least his method of getting what he wants is genuine-sounding positive reinforcement (”I really think you’ve got what it takes!”) rather than anything less wholesome, and the girl he leaves her with for training doesn’t seem to bear him any ill will.
She’s an interesting minor character in her own right, though she doesn’t do much after this episode (that I recall, anyway). She’s doesn’t love her job, but she doesn’t hate it either; after all, it’s paying her way through college, and it’s not like it’s any more shameful than any other job. Pascalle, for her part, learns quickly, and is soon ready to make her own debut.
As it happens, Judd and his youthful sidekick are in the audience at the time; Pascalle gets cold feet, but she can’t back out now. So the other girl, reassuring her that this sort of shit has happened to everyone, advises her to just pretend she’s where she most wants to be instead. The result is one of the show’s best sequences so far, and one of the only moments with memorable directing.
Pascalle goes onstage and disappears into herself; she is, as far as she is concerned, on a beach in some nameless paradise, being photographed by someone who sounds like their first language is Spanish while she poses for some big magazine or something, looking the absolute happiest she has in the whole show while the audience jeers and cheers and - in one particularly galling case - laughs hysterically.
Judd’s sidekick (whose name I can’t recall off the top of my head) is particularly into it, and that’ll come back to bite later. But Pascalle doesn’t notice, and she’s made so much money that she doesn’t care. It gives the audience something of a quandary; on the one hand, it feels a lot like she’s being exploited, but on the other hand she seemed to genuinely really enjoy the experience. That’s an old feminist debate made manifest in a single character’s plot arc here, and it’s very nicely done. No answers are given, though - we have to make up our own minds on the moral questions, at least for now.
The end of the episode is nice; Cheryl, having received money from all four of her children, is deeply proud of them. The four of them, of course, are all happy to have provided for her; the fact that two of them made that money through means she would entirely disapprove of, and that the others were unrelatedly involved in yet more things she’d disapprove of, is a beautiful little icing. Thus ends the episode, having set a lot of things in motion for a lot of the characters and yet still leaving me feeling a little dissatisfied, mostly cos that Hong stuff is so boring. Still, I’ll just keep holding my breath, ‘cos the worst is already over. On we go!