February (pt. 1)
February (pt. 2)
SAVE THE ROBOT The 1999-2000 Season The 2000-2001 Season The 2001-2002 Season
May 22, 2000
BM: I watched [the season finale] last night. My thoughts are completely on Lucy's suddenly impressive cleavage, and Shawna's shirt on backwards.
CD: Okay. Let's say I'm a good Christian parent watching TV with my kids. I turn to the only G rated show on prime time, and see sleezy, hairy butt-cut Matt Camden lurking around an apartment building looking for his girlfriend. She answers the door with her shirt on inside-out and backwards. "Daddy, why is her shirt on backwards?" "That's something that happens with grown-up's when they love each other," I explain awkwardly.
BM: There were a number of things that jumped out at me tonight. I'll preface the expose of these earth-shattering observations by stating that I've missed the last couple new episodes, like the one with retarded girl who played basketball and talked Mary into getting engaged to Robby (because only a retarded person would do that, not to sound like a bastard). The first thing I noticed- Mackenzie Roswell MUST be seeing Michael Jackson's skin bleacher. "Mocha Love Child" is no longer an applicable description of the black sheep of the Camden family- and black sheep is no good either, for that matter. All through the episode, I just kept thinking, "Wow, Mrs. C. must have had a Latin streak a few years back." Appearances aside, it was absolutely spectacular how much of a miserable shrew Ruthie portrayed herself to her man, and I believe her character is only like 7 or 8. She nabbed herself a little Casanova, was showered with stolen gifts (he took his mom's crystal kitty), made him cry, and prompted a visit from the flighty matriarch to the Camden house. Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems every parent hits that house when it's crisis time. The mother of the little shit who Ruthie has been terrorizing was no exception. She and Mrs. C decide that the pre-pubescent Roseanne and Tom Arnold should work out their own problems. Which of course means that the kids sit on the bench in the back yard, which is traditionally the scene of much Camden tonsil-hockey playing, and the parents watch to make sure nothing un-kosher goes on. The great climax of this sub-plot is that the little boy Ruthie has been bothering states that he has been turned off of women forever because of Ruthie and has decided to foray into the wonderful world of interior decorating and track lighting as a result. See you at the next Pride March in Southie, little man!
Next up is Lucy. The first thing I noticed was her prominent cleavage. I don't know what the hell happened in the few episodes I missed, but this girl is all about T & A now. Chris, I recall when you got that "Entertainment Weekly" with the article on this show, and we were both amazed that Beverly Mitchell was actually older that Jessica Biel. It's now apparent, she actually looks and carries herself in a more mature way then Mary does now. But she's still a small-time virginal pain in the ass. This time, she's hanging out with a new guy while she's pining for another (once again.) She's out with the C-grade Keanu Reeves, at the pool hall, natch, and sees the guy she really likes across the room. When she catches his eye, he smirks and grabs his date from off-camera. A classic, time-tested and true move for any guy making a girl jealous. Lucy, on the other hand, decides she wants to stay with her mildly challenged date, and says "Oh, I'm still thirsty, let's have another soda!" RIGHT after she forced him to go pay the tab. Jeez- if some woman snapped my Guinness-drinking streak and then forced me to reinstate it moments later, I'd act mildly challenged too. Later, Lucy calls the one she's pining for on the phone, and gets his dad. I've seen this scene before in another episode, and this time the dad flat out calls her a psycho. I was very pleased to see this, and was silently hoping he'd call her a useless slut and a shameless church-going cocktease as well, but I had to settle with the script that was presented. One camera move later, we see the son sitting there, taking in this whole exchange, and the father clearly states that he will not attend the wedding if his son marries this psycho. Neither will the Rev, because if he saw the crap that his ho -in-training is pulling off, he'd keel over with a stronger heart attack than the season opener. Mrs. C will be too stoned on Valium to notice, and will be busy mixing up highballs for the Ladie's Auxiliary. Mary will be busy attending to Robby's demon-spawn (see below) between breaks repairing their trailer home with duct tape, and Simon will be considering a new way to decorate his room, one that makes him look older than 7, preferably.
Next up- Simon. He still seems to be quite a useless character, in my opinion. This time, his little honey has dumped him and given him his "promise ring" back. I was sort of hoping that she'd decided to swing both ways or something a bit more scandalous, but no. The formerly cancer -challenged, hickey displaying beauty is moving to Ass, Pennsylvania because of her mom's job relocating. It turns out, unknown to her but known to the Rev and to Simon, that her parents are splitting up. Oh, the horror. Simon goes the extra mile, inspirational music in the background (I think it was the theme to "Rocky), telling her, "There's no way they'll split us up. Love means never having to dial long distance!" or something trite like that. Simon actually goes so far as to ask his dad if he will adopt his girlfriend so that she can stay and finish out her meager high-school existence. I guess living in the house with candy like Lucy and Mary really gives one an interest in incest, whether it's biological or artificial, in this case. Gross. This was easily the more boring storyline tonight.
On to spicier areas...Matt and Shawna. Again, since I was out of the loop, I was wondering why the hell she was in town, and figured out that it was summertime and school was out. Maybe I was right, but she is still a trashy white ho, and the wrong trashy white ho for our hero Matt. His hair was waaaaay outta control in this episode. Anyhoo, there was another guest star on hiatus from N Sync, and this time he was bumpin' uglies with Shawna. It was almost revolting to see the Trailer Queen getting stuff going...she should have been sitting in church with Matt, dammit, or playing with the twins at the Camden house. I was highly perturbed to see her going at it with that Nancy-boy. Matt knows that he wants to dump Shawna and procreate with Deaf Heather, but he is just tooooo much of a little puss to do it. So, his best friend (who looks a LOT like one of my coworkers- hi Duane!) locks him out of the apartment until he has broken up with Shawna. Good for the roomie- we're all sick of Matt's miserable whining. So, Matt goes over to Shawna's AGAIN (he chickened out the first time) and knocks on her door. In a funny little twist, her neighbor comes out in the hall and informs Matt that he is calling the cops. On his cell phone, no less. Ok, all of us have lived in apartments, and all of us have seen sketchy people in the hall before, but personally I've never been tempted to blow the horn on a tall, pretty white boy who's never been laid. Shawna FINALLY comes to the door, and in an absolutely uncharacteristic, hilarious turn, won't invite Matt in, because you know she's been hitting it...perhaps the shirt on BACKWARDS and INSIDE OUT, along with her bra hanging around her ankles, is the giveaway. Timmy from N Sync comes out with his briefs on his head, and Matt skulks off, knowing that Shawna has given it up to someone else. Later on, Shawna and her love slave are off to the WWF event down the street, and notice Matt sitting on a bench, not looking too upset. Matt and Shawna admit that it's over, and it's off to snag a little rebound nookie for the both of them. At the very end of the show, Matt is seen going into a chapel with Heather. Luckily, she won't be listening to whatever preachy sermon the minister will deliver. We, the viewing audience, are left in limbo for a few months...
And most important - the Mary - Robby engagement / shackup...this was an absolute GEM. The Camden Parents show themselves to be savvy in the art of mindfucking, which is a notable accomplishment for those religious types (aside from Rev. Sun Myung Moon and L. Ron Hubbard - is "Battlefield Earth" on video yet, btw?) The Rev plays the part of the concerned dad about to have a heart attack- well, that's not a stretch. He yells the Emmy-nominatable line, "I don't want you even sharing a FORK with him!" when Mary says that they are going to share an apartment. Umm, hi Dad, Mary and Robby will be sharing a little more than a fork when they shack up. Mrs. C, in a bizarre turn, says that she is happy for Mary, and you can just see an indescribable entertaining look of utter confusion on Mary's face. While Mom is smiling her phony smile, the Rev is doubled over, apparently trying to grasp his aorta or left ventricle or something. Seriously, I expected him to expire every five minutes in this episode, what with all of the kooky hi-jinks aplenty.
Not much later, Mary admits to he parents that she is engaged to that little stinker Robby, and the mindfucking begins all over again! Yippee! Once again, the Rev makes a face like he completed a 7 course meal at Taco Bell, and Mom asks Mary what sort of wedding she'd like. Later, the Rev actually stops by Robby's slum-hut, and continues the mindfucking at his house, concluding by asking him, "Do you pray?" Yes Rev, Robby prays, but it's generally about nailing Mary, his hot daughter, not about the strong, healthy Christian marriage that the Rev is gunning for.
Mary is thoroughly screwed at this point, and her doubts are later solidified by a phone call from Cleopatra or whatever Robby's ex is named. That blond slut explains to our vivacious Christian hottie that Robby is bad news, and Mary finally gets the picture and focuses on her future playing b-ball in the WNBA. Personally, I think her future is brighter flipping burgers for Robby's brood, but again, I don't get to write the scripts, just bitch about them.
It took a vacation of a couple of months from this show to realize how entertaining it really is. My VCR will be working overtime next season so that I can incorporate my picks into discussion- the kids are getting older, after all, and one of the Camden Angels has to break his or her wings at some point. I'm also waiting to hear about the identity of Ruthie's dad. Like the famous "What happened to Carol Brady's husband?" dilemma of nearly thirty years ago, smart viewers of this day and age (like us) are wondering why Ruthie looks NOTHING like anyone in the family.
CD: When Heather and Matt pledged their love to one another and, next scene, showed up at a chapel, did you read that as a "Matt? Getting married?" cliffhanger - or do you think it's just Sunday, and they're going to church?
Next year will be very interesting. With the crazy lust in that household - Ruthie trying to smooch the boys at age eight - where will they go next? How can the kids get so horny and yet none of them gives it up? In real life, Mary would be in the back of someone's ragtop by now. The Rev and Mrs. C treat her as a problem case just because she TP'd the school gym, where a normal family would only get concerned when she started showing up with trackmarks and her brothers started seeing pics of her on the Internet.
I also want to see where they go with the whole kids vs. adults thing next year - the kids listen to their parents way too much. It hurt to watch Simon repeatedly bug his dad to help him win back his girlfriend. I caught part of an episode a month ago where the kids started questioning their parents' career choices: Simon criticizes his dad for wimping out during the Vietnam War, and Lucy makes fun of Mrs. C for being a homemaker. This is what I want to see: real snot-nosed adolescent rebellion.
BM: I'd have a lot more respect for the show if next season, episode one, Mary showed up pregnant in a Bon Jovi tourshirt, Lucy came in from her job at Hooters, and Mrs Camden made a rough martini.
CD: What are your predictions for the rest of the cast for next year?
BM: My predictions:
- Ruthie's mysterious background will be exposed. My guess is that the Camden parents went on some mission in El Salvador when Simon was a youngun, and came back with an adopted child (Ruthie) instead of t-shirts and novelty yo-yos for their kids.
- The Rev will become hooked on prescription painkillers or heart medication. It's been done in every other show, so why not this one? And who else will come in and do an intervention but his drunk, Ed-Begley-bopping sister? I also see his dad, the Colonel, getting written off in a spectacular funeral where Shawna shows up to give support to Matt, wearing a maternity dress.
- Mrs. Camden will take a stronger role in the church's activities (meaning that the audience will see her typing on the Rev's laptop a little more often.) Along the way, she'll also become more outspoken on certain issues, like what goes on at the PTA meetings at Ruthie's school. We'll also see her do a two minute speech on the dangers of Teens and Ecstasy (probably a trademarked lecture by now) when Simon and his little black religious counterpart get caught at a gay rave.
- It appears as though Matt and Deaf Heather went off and got married...but they could have just gone to church. Matt will get a two-episode job as a used-car salesman. Yet another recycled script twist. I do see the parents supporting this marriage, what with his stable future in the hospital food service industry and all.
- Mary seems to have gotten over her infatuation with that loser Robby. She's going to either be relegated to an occasional appearance on the show (think "Gear" magazine) or will be in a local college, emailing her mom on the "how-to's" of premarital relations.
- Lucy is headed down that path of becoming an absolute sex machine or major dicktease. I hate to say things like this, but I predict that there will be an attempted rape on her as she flounces once too often in front of some guy.
- Simon - see above under "Mrs. Camden." I also predict he's going to attempt a goatee.
- Ruthie - she's going to get caught drinking the Camden stash of Manischewitz.