Episode 405: Curses

Cast:
Brendon Small/Mrs. Addleburg/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
Erik Robbins - Jonathan Katz
Erik's Girlfriend - Maria Branford

Synopsis: Brendon's newest movie about a foul mouthed robot is a hit with the local kids but hated by local parents. It also causes him to swear a lot himself. Meanwhile, Erik tries to win Melissa back after she gets angry with him over dating a woman in his journal writing class.

History:
· First and only episode with Erik in season 4.

Lawn Gnomes:
· Chess Pieces = Lawn Gnomes

Brendonís Filmography:
· "Weird Robot" - Two dorks build the ideal robot woman.

The Movie-Episode Connection:
· Swearing. Duh.

Random Observations & Facts:
· Swear Count: 41
· Paper in "Weird Robot":
· Project: Perfect Female Robot by Anagon & Jeremy
· The girl is created on "The Plasmotron".
· On the set is an incredibly badly done version of the Periodic Table.
· The fact McGuirk doesn't know how to spell his own name may be a reference to the many different spellings seen on the internet.
· McGuirk apparently writes from the right to the left.
· Erik's license: HLA-4EVA
· After the commercial, Brendon lays awake a 4:10 AM.
· Erik's journal has a unicorn on it.
· McGuirk's imagery: Shark, grain in a field, a field of flowers, ladybug, trees in winter. Played in a loop, apparently.
· Erik and his girlfriend make out during McGuirk's journal reading.
· Yes, a picture of two dogs having sex is seen for one frame at the end of the episode.

Past Episode References:
· A sign for Black Hole Brew in the background marks the continuing occurance of that brand name in the show.
· The Published Poet guy is in the car that drives by McGuirk and Erik. With the Lunchlady. =o

Movie & Other References:
· The entire robot movie is an almost perfect replication of the movie "Weird Science".
· The "splicing in dogs having sex" joke is based off of Brad Pitt's character in "Fight Club".

End Credits: Ending Credits

Reviews:

KTF: This one was an OK episode. It was good to see Eric back finally as he has a very distinct style of humor compared to everyone else. The "Weird Science" type movie was really funny, especially their censored version and watching Jason and Brendon lethargically deliver their lines. The over-use of swearing didn't bother me, but they used it too much as a crutch for the humor. Much of the humor was kinda flat too. Not bad, but definitely not one of the best this season.

Delthayre: "Curses" was another hopeful sign for this season. The swearing was played to comedic effect in a style ultimately quite appropriate to the series. It was nice to see Eric again, he's always an amusing character, particularly whilst interacting with McGuirk. It was also nice to see Brendon, Jason, and Melissa's story effectively sharing the foreground with McGuirk and supplying many of the laughs, not that the other lines didn't. The opening film scene, while funny, was a bit disturbing, but it played into the plot well.

Nicely in form and a little better than usual **** out of *****

Chrono: I thought this was a very well-rounded episode, even though McGuirk's reading of his "journal" was stretched way too long. I'm glad to see Erik back into the show.

The cursing and bleeps did not annoy me, and in the case of McGuirk, it was hysterically funny.

Rating: B+

Karl Olson: Anyway, for an episode that very coarse verbally, it was some how very witty as well. I can relate to Brendon's Curse Jar issue (tryed that once, ended up just sticking a 20 in and calling it good, though I could never figure out the cash value of terms that are offensive, but not part of the notorius 7,) and it was handle pretty amusingly. The subfilm was pretty warped, and the line about being "downloaded full of porns" was pretty funny. It was definetely a weak night for McGuirk, atleast after the great scene at soccer field (can that man let off a blue streak mixed psuedo-philosophy or what?) It was nice to have Eric back as well, and their was definetely some character development for him and Melissa.

I'd give it a 8.9/10 on the whole.

Strawberry Jam: I find the worst thing about parodies or social commentaries, whatever it is you would have called the garbage of a subtext, is that the one's making them either get lost in them and becoming what they parody, or quite simply, call the kettle black. I think that Home Movies was certainly the pot. Yes, excessive swearing is annoying, and yes, it's trendy to make an episode about it in the least subtle manner, but it would have been even wittier had they not done it in their season littered with out of place out of character excessive swearing. But whatever.

Erik's plot was nice.
McGuirk was thankfully toned down when he has a counterpart who isn't so... Lynch.
The movie was funny, until you had to realize how out of character for them it was.

I'm on the fence with this one... What was good was great, what was bad was utterly miserable.

Mynd Hed: Personally, I saw this episode as less of a commentary on shows that overuse profanity (which would be pretty hypocritical) and more of a response to fan backlash against the recent use of profanity in HM. Personally, I've never found it to be as big a problem as people make it out to be-- there's only been a couple of instances in which I feel the use of profanity has been out of character, and more often than not it's been used to good comedic effect. But that's just me.
Anyway, I thought this episode was great. Melissa's little Oedipal jealousy of her father's romance was inspired, I only wish they'd done more with it. But it did help to tie together the McGuirk / Erik plot (which was excellent except for McGuirk's journal reading, which started off good but went on too long) and the Brendon / swearing plot, which could have been gratuitous but was made amusing when Brendon's frustration with Melissa gave a realistic reason for why he was swearing so much.
Add in a great parody of Weird Science and teenage sex comedies in general, a nice little bit of commentary on overprotective censoring soccer moms (in this case, Paula is a soccer mom in the literal sense as well), and a great Fight Club reference at the end, and you've got a good episode.

Overall Grade: A-

The Landstander: I didn't mind the swearing here, and I think that beyond that facet of the episode the rest worked pretty well.

It's a shame Erik couldn't do more episodes overall; he's pretty much always enjoyable. Here is no real exception, and with McGuirk it's a nice followup to something like "Mortgages & Marbles". The journal class stuff was all very funny, especially the Journal to the Center of McGuirk or McGuirk taking part in someone else's journal. Melissa's anger at Erik could've been developed a bit better but it didn't seem inappropiate. This will be the last time we see Erik, so it's nice to have (some) closure on him.

Beyond that, there's Brendon and his fight against censorship. The swearing in season 4 takes some getting used to, but within the realm of the plot I didn't mind it here. I mean really, it's fun to swear for no reason when you're a kid. Brendon's final revenge was a bit crude, but I won't deny it got a laugh out of me.

Recommended.