Episode 204: Business & Pleasure
Brendon Small – Brendon Small
Jason Penopolis/Coach Jon McGuirk – H. Jon Benjamin
Melissa Robbins – Melissa Bardin Galsky
Paula Small – Janine Ditullo
Josie Small – Loren Bouchard
Erik – Jonathan Katz
Synopsis: Brendon finds himself at the mercy of Jason's bizarre need
for friendship after he casts him in a small role. Paula looks to
Erik to help with her job-hunting. McGuirk takes care of a friend's
dog, Mr. Freckles.
· This episode is the first time we get to see Jason’s weird home
· This is the only episode in season two where Erik appears. As I
understand, Jonathan Katz was unavailable for a long period of time.
But hey, at least he got one in.
Lawn Gnomes: (Click for picture)
· Bed Shot during
4 A.M. phone call
· The cookies
that Melissa gives to Paula are shaped like Lawn Gnomes
· “The Blind Date” Version 1 – Romantic comedy about two people out
on a blind date. Starring Brendon and Melissa, co-starring Jason.
· “Waiter Minute” – After his parole officer leaves, a man and a waiter
go rob a bank. Starring Jason and Brendon, co-starring Melissa.
· “The Blind Date” Version 2 – Romantic comedy about two people out
on a blind date who rob a bank. Starring Jason and Melissa, co-starring
The Movie-Episode Connection:
· Well, the movie has nothing to do with the episode, just the cast.
Whoever is not in the movie changes the course of the episode.
The Plotline Connection: (TheJazzFighter)
· I don't really see a connection. The McGuirk storylines involve
Brendon (Brendon on drugs, and Brendon having to clean Mr. (or Mrs....hah)
Freckles' crap) so thats kind of a connection. In a way, Paula and
Brendon connect with the title: Jason mixes business with pleasure,
while Paula is enjoying a nice Cobb Salad with a bloody mary and discussing
business. That's kind of a connection.
Random Observations & Facts:
· The movie at the beginning starts out on take 1, then goes to take
2, 4, 15, and 31.
· The restaurant in “The Blind Date” is called “La More Restaurant”.
· The table in “The Blind Date” is actually a box with a tablecloth.
· Melissa blushes slightly when she says the chicken is “really funny”.
· After Erik says, “Finding smells?” on the phone, he likes his finger
a sticks it out. I have no idea why he does this.
· Jason wears flippers when sitting next to the kiddy pool.
· Jason tan lines around his butt seem to indicate that he wears a
· The phone-clock says 4:09 AM when Jason calls, and it is 4:13 AM
by the time Paula hangs up the phone.
· Movie posters in Jason’s room include: “Madagascar”, “Teeth”, “The
Hunt For Red Oktoberfest”, “Space Rumble”, “Pulp Free”, and “My Clock
is Orange”. Though the name isn’t seen, you can also see a parody
of “The Usual Suspects” movie poster. Most of these posters have a
picture of Jason’s face taped on.
· There is a skull on Jason’s bookshelf.
· Jason’s closet is full of a bunch of orange outfits like the one
· When Jason holds the picture of him, Melissa and Brendon as mobsters,
he covers up Melissa’s face with his thumb.
· Sign in the lunchroom: “Potatoes Yum!”
· When Brendon uses a hand motion to show he will expand Jason’s role
“a little bit”, Jason pushes Brendon’s hands farther apart.
· "Jason" can be seen on the lower right corner of one of the blocks.
(Thanks to TheJazzFighter for this one)
· It is never explained who Mr. Freckles is, exactly. He isn’t McGuirk’s
dog, because we’ve seen his apartment before and haven’t seen him.
Freckles never appears after this episode either.
· The people in the back of the restaurant where Paula and Erik meet
look highly distorted.
· Brendon is holding Mr. Freckles on a leash right before he runs
· In the background when Melissa talks about “Mr. Freckles going all
over the place”, you can see one of the soccer players sliding. She
is sliding on, well, Mr. Freckle’s crap.
· Sign in the office of the second place Paula applies for a job:
“Rock the Fishy”.
· At Paula’s workstation: An old man and a monkey are hooked up to
each other. A clock says Meltdown in: 3:49. The guy who gave her the
job is one of the guys in the radiation suits.
· This is the only episode (I can remember) that ends with the Paula
Movie & Other References:
· Jason’s posters in his room:
Madagascar = Casablanca
Teeth = Jaws
The Hunt For Red Oktoberfest = The Hunt For Red October
Space Rumble = Star Wars
Pulp Free = Pulp Fiction
My Clock Is Orange = A Clockwork Orange
· Jason points out to Melissa that "The romantic comedy is dead, Nick
Nolte and Julia Roberts KILLED IT!" This is a reference to the really
bad movie starring them, entitled "I Love Trouble". Jason did his
homework. (thanks to Stewie for getting specifics on the movie)
End Credits: “Season Two Theme”
Reviews: WARNING: Spoilers
Spectre: This episode
is simply the best episode from the second season as of yet. It's
nearly flawless; not a moment wasted. Where the past three episodes
failed this one succeeded; "Hiatus" had many funny moments, the best
one being the Jazz sequences, but there were also some stale, unfunny
moments. This episode was entirely funny.
Best of the best moments: Jason talking to Brendon at his house;
Paula's conversations with Erik; any scene involving Melissa - especially
when we catch her talking with Paula; the misunderstood conversation
between Brendon and McGuirk about Brendon being a drug user; etc,
This episode works because it doesn't seem to try too hard. It doesn't
have to introduce numerous characters to go for laughs -- it sticks
with the main characters and succeeds.
It is also the first episode in the second season where Jason and
Erik had more than three minutes of screen time. A great, great episode.
J-Chan: I'd seen it
before so it doesn't really matter.. I think it was a good one, the
whole jealousy thing with Jason and Melissa, it's great. And that
dog, oh that dog.
Randomguy: By and
large, I agree with most of what's been said already. I loved the
return of Erik (he's one of my favorites), and his interactions with
Paula were great (Although they could have covered more story if they
were dating... THAT would be interesting). McGuirk was McGuirk as
always, truly hilarious. The intervention was the crowning touch.
Melissa got a bit more screen time, which was good, and she was funny
too. The conversation she and Brendan had over dinner on their filmed
blind date, using the chicken as a metaphor for everything from living
prospects to sex, was pretty funny as well. The only bad part about
this episode? I never thought I'd say this, but Jason was just....
weird. I mean, Jason's always weird, but this time, calling at 4 in
the morning and obsessively giving Brendan his animal blocks was almost
Hitchcockian in its creepiness. One of the charming parts about Jason
so far has been that, despite first impressions, he's more or less
the sanest, most reasonable character in the show (save the parents).
This kind of seemed to break with that. Maybe I'm just being too observant
there though. Anyway, great episode.
The Condiment King:
This is a fun episode because after a break hiatus (no pun intended),
we see Melissa and Jason in a spotlight plot again without the guest
stars. There's really less jokes in this one but its interesting to
see Melissa and Jason fight for their roles in the movie to be enlarged,
more bickering between them.
The best part of this episode is the McGuirk subplot with Mr. Freckles.
I love that McGuirk asks Brendon at first if he's trading online and
then moves on to drugs. "Mr. Freckles." "The janitor?"
"No, not Mr. Fitzgerald, Mr. Freckles." And then of course,
Mr. Freckles turns out to be a she, which makes absolutely no sense.
McGuirk failing once again at absolving Brendon of his "drug
problems" and getting his team motivated.
We also have Paula trying to get a new job since Arnold Lindenson
fired her last episode, more of the continuity that we've come to
expect since "Brendon's Choice". Paula's plot is pretty
basic with her faking computer skills and then bailing out as soon
as it looks bad. The plot has been done plenty of times before. I
think its kinda bizarre that a gorilla and a man were hooked up to
what looked like electric chairs there. Who knows just what they were
doing? I wonder where SQL comes in with that. I like Erik's ill-timed
lines like that he's feeling lucky for her and that he's going to
"let her go" but in a good way. There's another literal
Airplane!-like joke here when McGuirk tells Brendon to humor him and
Brendon tells a joke. Its a classic device that Home Movies uses from
time to time.
Of course, in the end, Brendon ends up compromising to both Jason
and Melissa by sacrificing himself from the plot. I like how all the
changes that Brendon does are so radical, like his first rewriting
is a complete non-sequitur with Melissa leaving and Jason and Brendon
ready to rob a bank. Not a hilarious episode, but a thorougly enjoyable
StrangerAtaru: As we
have seen throughout the show's run up to this point, Jason is one
of those characters who is somewhat normal, yet is deranged to the
point where he is funny. This episode is purely one of those episodes
where Jason stands out no matter what else goes on. (well, a lot of
the other stuff was funny too, but I will get to it) From the opening
sequence where he tries to insert himself into the movie after being
given a tiny part ("SIZZZZZLING FAJITAS!" is just one of those onomotopeatic
lines that only he could do), he starts obsessively and comedically
trying to influence Brendon to give him a bigger part. From the scene
with the "pool party" (which is a whole lot funnier than the "pool"
he will later have access to in "Impressions") to the now classic
4 AM phone call to Brendon (which starts the running gag of Jason
replacing movie poster faces with his own) to the gift of the blocks,
Jason just steals every scene he is in and makes it his own. Of course,
Melissa's influence on Brendon is funny as well, even though it seemed
like the writers were intentionally or subliminally trying to prevent
this from exploding too far. And then there was McGurk's entry to
the main story, where he comedically thinks that Brendon's lack of
sleep has to do with a drug problem. (the best part being his tale
about the "gang" and when he tries to run an intervention via a pamphlet)
At the same time, we have this funny little vignette involving Paula
asking Erik for help in searching for a job. This bit, which was not
only funny (especially since this is Erik's only appearance this season),
sort of emphasized how much this show gets its humor from common human
problems, yet still is able to invert them for its own purposes. (such
as the now classic ending where Paula gets hired to run a weird brain
transplant operation!) As for the whole "Mr. Freckles" bit, OK maybe
it isn't that funny, but at least it is funnier than a similar plot
coming up soon.
The Landstander: The
tug of war between Jason and Melissa was always fun in season one,
and here we have an episode based around it. While ties in nicely
to Paula's new jobhunt, and Erik's involvement in it. Finally, there's
McGuirk's newfound dog, Mr. Freckles. Of these plotlines, two work
very well, and one falters.
First, there is the tug of war. Jason has always been a bit weird;
here, we find out he just might be demented. His multiple personalities,
obsession over his part and attempts at winning over Brendon are as
creepy as they are funny. Melissa actually has a similar reaction
to a re-casting, but while Jason reacted with straight-forward insistance,
Melissa goes for the low-blow: Paula. I also liked the fact that Brendon
(who is rarely this flexible on his creative endeavors) puts himself
to the side, to make a solution that everyone is happy with. How Madagascar
Paula is similarly good, in the season's only run in with Erik. It's
a shame Jon Katz didn't do more material, as his sense of humor always
worked perfectly with the show. Luckily, he gives his all here, and
works off Paula nicely. It's also nice to see Paula doing something
without Lindenson; the end gag is a bit much, but the jobhunt was
pretty funny. The only negative aspect here is Coach McGuirk's Mr.
Freckles plotline, which feels too poop joke to be effective. But
even McGuirk isn't wasted, as his material with Brendon being a drug
addict is very good. They should've just left that part in. Recommended.