Well I'm lonely...and I ran out of Sherry...
Episode 302: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Brendon Small/Perry – Brendon Small
Jason Penopolis/Coach Jon McGuirk/Walter – H. Jon Benjamin
Melissa Robbins – Melissa Bardin Galsky
Paula Small – Janine Ditullo
Josie Small – Loren Bouchard
Doris – Jennifer Kirkman
Fenton/maybe Fenton's Dad – Sam Seder

Um, why are you touching my chest?

Synopsis: Following a kitchen fire, McGuirk is called in for repairs in the Small household. This coincides with Paula's mother showing up, announcing she's getting a divorce.

· Though this is the second time we see Paula’s parents (Episode 109 – Life Through A Fish Eye Lens), they are completely different in this episode and play an important part.

Lawn Gnomes: (Click for picture)
· McGuirk sleeps with a lawn gnome during the “Working on the Kitchen” montage.
· Paula’s Dad smells a lawn gnome.

I just found out I'm supposed to be grading you kids...

Brendon’s Filmography:
· “Innocent But Proven Guilty” – Detective Mulligan and Detective Wenuski are out to find a fugitive Dumper. But is Dumper really guilty of his crime. Featuring Doris as the landlady.

The Movie-Episode Connection:
· "Innocent But Proven Guilty" has a divorce plotline.

The Plotline Connection: (TheJazzFighter)
· Once again, someone is here to ruin everything. Doris ruins Brendon's movie, Paula ruins the kitchen, McGuirk ends up ruining the kitchen even more, and yet another marrige is ruined.

· “Working on the Kitchen” – Instrumental.

You know maybe we should do something about this fire.

Random Observations & Facts:
· While reading the script at the table, the food includes grapes and cut-up sandwiches.
· The opening car in “Innocent But Proven Guilty” has a toilet seat for a back wheel and says “We Are Not Cops” on the door.
· The fire starts when Paula takes off her oven mitt and puts it right next to the flame.
· In the Small’s freezer: “Bag O Bagels” and “Pizzaz Pizzetes”.
· When the fire department arrives, the TV, Brendon’s camera and the phone have been dragged outside.
· Paula’s dad has been cleaned up slightly since we last saw him. He has a lot less facial hair and no ear hair.
· Doris has had 4 martinis while she talks with Brendon.
· Keep in mind that doesn't include labor or materials...oh, wait, that does include labor and materials. McGuirk's estimate on the kitchen.
· Does anyone else think Paula has a lot of tools? Andrew must've never took them
· There is a piece of cardboard with a rat drawn on it put in the corner in “Innocent But Proven Guilty”.
· Doris fixes up her breasts before her scene.
· Doris fixes the Small’s laundry: A pile of Brendon’s blue suits, a pile of Paula’s shirts, a pile of Leopard style underwear and a pair of polka dot underwear.
· Paula watches professional wrestling featuring a wrestler that looks incredibly like McGuirk and another wrestler who looks like what McGuirk’s mom might look like.
· Brendon (oddly effectively) uses a mirror to make it look like the “State Pen” in his movie goes on longer than it really does.

Hi, Paula! How was your fire? I'm getting a divorce.

Past Episode References:
· The opening shot shows all of Brendon’s costumes and props. Included are:
1. The “Holy Roller” bike and priest suit from 202 – Identifying A Body.
2. The Starboy suit and glasses, the Captain suit and helmet, the Annie Oakley costume, the Mr. Pants costume, the Shakespeare costume and the Hot Dog Man costume from 210 – History.
3. The sailor hats from 301 – Shore Leave.
4. Jason’s medieval costume from 208 – Therapy.
5. Jason’s dragon costume from 213 – The Wedding.
6. Little Malooloo’s costume from 212 – Pizza Club.
7. What appeared to be McGuirk's coffee uniform in 211 - Class Trip
· In the Small’s freezer, there are “Pizzaz Pizzetes”, which is probably a reference to the pizza place “Pizza Pizzaz” from Episode 212 – Pizza Club.
· We see the cow tattoo again. (Episode 101 – Get Away From My Mom)
· McGuirk rides the “Holy Roller” bike from Episode 202 – Identifying A Body during the “Working on the Kitchen” montage.

Movie & Other References:
· When coming back from the commercial break, we take a “Brain Ride” through Paula’s Dad’s mind, a parody of the opening of “Fight Club”.
· There is a “Scabface” poster in Jason’s room (Scarface).

That's Detective Wenuski...

End Credits: “Season Three Theme”

Reviews: WARNING: Spoilers

Spectre: In a word? Disappointing. That's okay, though -- I mean, the people behind HM can't throw us a great HM episode one after another. It's just that after the amazingness of "Shore Leave," I was a little disappointed to watch an episode along the lines of average.

There are some bright moments, as always. The McGuirk photo montage was very well done, as was the smoking grandmother.

I'm guessing I was too tired. Need to see it again! B-

Rad Recker: Didn't get to see it the first time around. I thought it was pretty funny. Paula's parents were hillarious, and Paula's mom in the movie hitting on Jason was classic. Grade: A

The Condiment King: I don't remember Brendon's grandmom being that annoying in "Life Through a Fisheye Lens". She really brought down this one to make it just an okay episode. This is probably the weakest of Season 3. I think I'm much fonder of the really strange yet funny grandfather. Oh wait, they changed voice actors for the grandfather in this episode and he was much more rational, even while drinking. I think these characters were ruined for a bad plot device in this episode.

McGuirk attempting to do some work for Paula is alright, but its not a very strong plotline for McGuirk. Its amusing enough. I think its a more effective subplot with "Focus Grill" when he's trying to put together the grill. Its almost sad in that McGuirk is doomed to failure for this whole thing from the beginning.

Jason faking his parents having a divorce was an okay storyline, which led to some good scenes like Jason yelling over the phone to make the divorce more convincing. I also liked the references in the flashback with McGuirk working on Paula's kitchen like the wedding album, no doubt with pictures from "The Wedding" as well as the holy roller tricycle which appeared in "Identifying a Body" and "Dad".

Paula being angry at her mother is such a predictable and boring storyline. She once again introduces a woman to McGuirk (like she did with Stephanie in "The Wedding"). I noticed that McGuirk was once again drinking Black Hole Brew. I also noticed that they've been eating different things in recent episodes, like how McGuirk was eating a taco in "The Wedding" and the gang was eating meatball subs in this episode. ***

Jdoggg: I may be in the minority here, but I thought this was a great HM, better than last weeks. I was afraid aliens were going to attack, but this was great. This is what HM is supposed to be like. Subtle humor over cheap laughs. Brendan's grandpa, Mcguirk playing with toys, Melissa and Brendan consoling Jason because hs parents aren't divorced. Classic.

Shnay: So...season three. First, some general season three comments (that have probably been made before...sorry. I'll keep them limited). The animation has greatly evolved and, for the most part, improved. I still love the Squigglevision, but I can accept change, and season three looks great. The colors have been toned down a bit, which, for me, may take some getting used to, but I think it will probably prove to be for the best. It's great to see Josie back, and I think she'll add a lot to the show, as she did in season one. Now, onto the actual episode review.

I'm going to have to agree with the consensus on this one, in that I really wasn't all that impressed with this episode. It really wasn't all that bad, as it certainly had its moments. But it certainly wasn't all that great, either. I'll start with the positive aspects.

The story of Jason's parents staying together was not only funny, but rather poignent. Now-a-days, it's hard to meet kids who parents aren't divorced, and the reversal of the typical TV situation regarding divorce was very well done. As for the main plot, Paula's reactions to her mother always seemed realistic, which was good, but I don't think they fully used the comedic potential of the situation. Perhaps the best part of this episode, though, is that the humor came by utilizing the personality traits of the various characters, and it never seemed that someone was going out of character for a cheap laugh.

However, this episode also had a number of negative aspects, as well. First off, I liked the original design for Paula's parents seen in season one. The angrier, and more tired father, ("I don't give two damns!") and the more laid back mother seemed more interesting to me. The changes worked for this episode, but I still like the originals. Not a big deal, just a matter of preference.

However, what is a big deal is that Brendan didn't revceive that much focus. There wasn't even a conflict involving him besides Dorris getting into his movies. Most people here agree that his movies are best when they reveal something about the problems he's facing. Well, that's hard to do when he doesn't have a real conflict to to actually deal with. It seemed they pushed the main characters to the side to develop the Dorris, so I'm guessing that (as others have said) she'll be stopping by a few more times this season. If they do use her in the future, I hope the episodes will focus more on Paula and Brendan's reaction to her than her behavior itself.

The worst part of this episode, for me, was the feeling that it just wasn't all that...tight. While the story was certainly coherent, and there weren't any "out there" side plots (another positive thing) it just didn't feel like the episode had the sublety and charm that the others do. It felt like it was missing something. I can't explain it real well (obviously ) but I could definitely notice it. I have a feeling others did, too. I'd like to see a return to the simplicity of season one...but I'm growing ever more doubtful that that will happen. I'm not trying to give the impression that I dislike the show (or even this episode) because I don't. I've just got high hopes and expectations for Home Movies that I'm hoping it can fill.

Behonkiss: Yeesh, this blew! Even compared to other episodes, I didn't like this. I also don't like the idea of Paula's parents living with them-her mom is self-centered and doesn't seem to care about other people's opinions, and her dad's just stupid. McGuirk's photomontage was great, though.

Rad Recker: I thought it was pretty funny. Paula's parents were hillarious, and Paula's mom in the movie hitting on Jason was classic. Grade: A

StrangerAtaru: One of the great aspects of Home Movies is that unlike a lot of shows on prime-time television, this one deals with divorce in a frank, yet funny way. (whereas on many shows, relationships just end with marriage) This episode, which primarily focuses on the break-up of Paula's parents (aka Brendon's grandparents), is another one of those times where topical situations leads to funny things going on. Paula's mother is seen as a typical "motherly" type who bugs her daughter about doing things while at the same time trying to move on by doing her own thing. One of the weirder subplots involves her getting involved with Brendon's cop movie, transforming herself into a character akin to Mrs. Robinson in being an older woman who knows what it takes to use younger men. Although this movie is not one of my favorites in the series, she does bring something interesting into this one, especially at the ending where she changes the script to transform Jason and Melissa into undercover agents trying to get Brendon's character. As for Paula's father, he is your typical "weird male" we have seen in this series, and while I don't understand what his wife saw in him that lead to the divorce, he makes up for it with such stuff as his sherry addiction, his "smelling" towards the end, and this somewhat classic scene where he mistakes McGurk for Brendon and sends him to his room! (followed by McGurk playing with Brendon's toys) The talk of divorce doesn't just concern the elderly here: a hilarious subplot involved Jason's obsession to fit in with everyone by claiming his parents are getting divorced, when they are probably the happiest couple in the series. (even though we never see them) But then, seeing everyone else go through hard times has somehow taken affect of him.

While this episode was pretty good by itself, there is one plot I found problematic with this episode which I actually still thought was funny: the kitchen fire and McGurk playing handyman. The actual fire sequence just seemed to have this "phoniness" to it, where we see all of these ranges up and running, yet Paula only using a couple of them making this almost certain to happen. The fire in itself had a great interaction between Brendon and Paula, but a problem was that with all of this stuff burning, they were taking their time in getting out of the house when they could have been suffocating on carbon monoxide. But the real problems with me began when McGurk took on the repair of the kitchen himself even though he had no experience in it. While I thought the whole idea that McGurk was just doing it in order to mooch some stuff out of the Smalls was funny, it just seemed like something which I like to call "The Fonz effect", where a certain popular character is used in an episode with a strange situation opposed to either creating another character or finding someone else in the cast to do it. While I do like McGurk's constant "father figure" stature in this show and realize that he was probably the best one they could come up with for this, it just doesn't feel right in seeing him in this episode in this way. But it was still funny. Overall, this was a good episode, not perfect, but hardly any of them are.

BTW: I always do that "inner ear itch" thing McGurk was doing whenever I get one in there. Doubt it ever works, but I've been doing this long before I saw this episode.

The Landstander: A kind of dull episode with a couple of redeeming moments.

First off, the dull: Paula's parents just aren't that great of character. Doris felt like she belongs in another show, and she took up too much screentime here. Paula's dad felt too sitcom pathetic. They were the main focus here, and I don't know if they deserved it. It was nice to see some development for Paula, but meh.McGuirk felt a bit tossed in, although it is rather appropiate to see him doing some "dad" things around the Small house. Not well, mind you, but hey, he's trying. His plot was okay (though letting Brendon use the saw always gets a good laugh out of me).

The best portion was, I thought, Jason's parents still being together. It was smart, funny, and well-done, while giving insight into Brendon & Melissa. In fact, I think the stuff about divorce that underlined the episode was the best; I never really noticed how Brendon reacts awkwardly to Doris following her announcement. "You know who really loses out, is the kids". I didn't notice any big punchline there. Though Brendon as a whole, as Shnay mentioned, didn't have much to do here; he felt more like supporting character amidst several sideplots.

As for the movie itself, I couldn't quite follow it. I mean, even beyond the usual non-sensical aspects of the movies; I just didn't get much out of it. After a fantastic season opener, this one comes off as rather forgetable; luckily, this is probably the "worst" of the season (perhaps "Four's Company" is less enjoyable) and it really isn't that bad at all. Just bleh. A mediocre episode.