Hello, Rosemary!
Episode 109: Life Through A Fish Eye Lens

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

I gave that look $5 last week

Synopsis: Brendon’s desire for a fish eye lens for his camera doesn’t match well with Paula’s newfound financial problems. Meanwhile, McGuirk wishes to beat his former coach.

· This episode is the first time we meet Paula’s parents. They reappear in seasons three and four.

Then get it yourselfs!

Lawn Gnomes: (Click for picture)
A lawn gnome serves as an alien extra in “Aliens…Go Home”.

Brendon’s Filmography:
· “Aliens…Go Home” – Aliens are attacking…a home…somewhere…with some guy in it…who has a daughter.

The Movie-Episode Connection:
· In all honesty, “Aliens…Go Home” would’ve been better with a fish eye lens. Would've made the script less obvious, anyway.

The Plotline Connection: (TheJazzFighter)
· The title seems to fit in with everyone's story line: Brendon: well, he wants one so he can see things differently in his movies, Paula has to see things differently with her new budget, and McGuirk tries coaching differently.

That'll be $10.50

Song Lyrics:
The music that plays while Brendon is going for different jobs is not credited at the end of the episode. However, I’m pretty sure Brendon Small made it.
It's not on the CD Soundtrack.

Paula's Proud Parents

Random Observations & Facts:
· At 20 minutes, 57 seconds, this is the shortest episode of the series.
· Jason is sweating under his armpits in “Aliens…Go Home”.
· The aliens hold hair dryers in “Aliens…Go Home”.
· Brendon’s pupils spin in a circle whenever he talks about the fish eye lens.
· Josie seems to chant along with the rest of the kids.
· The cones at “Splitz” are apparently $1.50 each, regardless of size or number of scoops.
· Pictures in Erik’s office: A younger Erik with hair and glasses holds a baby Melissa; Baby Melissa on a camel; a general picture of Melissa.
· The screwdriver is still sticking out of the shredder.
· A picture of Paula Poundstone’s Paula (wearing the baseball cap) is at Paula’s parents house, along with pictures of Josie and Brendon.
· McGuirk says he just started playing soccer a year ago, but he’s been a soccer coach the past three years at the school.
· Actually, that makes perfect sense, nevermind.
· There is a sign at Barlow’s: “All Sales Final!”

Erik, I am so sorry...

Past Episode References:
· A picture on Erik’s wall looks like it was taken right out of Episode 102 – I Don’t Do Well In Parent Teacher Conferences.

Movie & Other References:
· Two Roman Polanski movies get mentioned. While in the fish eye lens, Brendon says "How do you feel, Rosemary?", a play on Rosemary's Baby. At the end, Melissa makes a remark about Chinatown, another Polanski film.

End Credits: “Season One Theme”

Reviews: WARNING: Spoilers

Condiment King: I just think this is a really fun episode, starting with the first scene where Brendon, Melissa, and Jason talk about their newest film. Jason being the film critic goes over the dialogue, whereas Brendon naively thinks everything will be fixed by merely having a fisheye lens.

Paula did more kidding around with the kids, but in this episode, Paula seems more playful and motherly than in the UPN 5, which really reflects the change in actresses and roles. Paula has become more of the soccer mom to the kids, who tries to help out when asked, or when she sees there is a problem. And the woman who takes them out for ice cream after a long day.

McGuirk's subplot is great in this episode with his grudge against his old mentor, or rather, made-up mentor. That ending really did come out of nowhere. Brendon had some good lines in this one as well like getting mad at the store clerk and saying he's mad "at this situation, at this situation". Really fun episode. ****

StrangerAtaru: I don't know why I do, but I just seem to like these crazy Brendon-based episodes, partially because of his getting the good lines and partially because its funny every time he screws up. Well OK, it isn't his fault that his mom doesn't have money and that he wants a fish-eye lens for the movie, but hearing the enthusiasm of the voice actor and watching what happens on the screen makes this one an episode to remember. My personal favorite scenes with him include the conversation with his mom about the fish-eye lens and the scene where he tries to work for Erik. Speaking of him, this is perhaps my favorite performance by Erik at this point in the series, partially because he works so well with Brendon in the scenes he is in. However, as fun as this episode is, it does have its faults: for one is the whole situation with Paula wanting to borrow money, which leads to a somewhat unnecessary (but necessary plot wise) trip to meeting the grandparents. (who do reappear later) Second was McGuirk and the whole soccer thing seemed tacked on and had nothing to do with anything, but hey a tie is better than they usually do. Finally, I just want to note the weird obsession with Roman Polanski in this episode. (We all know the "Chinatown" line at the end, but many forget the "Rosemary's Baby" reference when they are playing with the Fish-Eye lens. They must really think Polanski likes Fish-Eye lenses)

The Landstander: The past two episodes had the problem of great scenes with a lack of focus. Here's a nicely focused episode that still maintains some great standalone scenes.

Brendon needs (or, to be more honest, wants) a fish eye lens to finish his alien movie, but Paula's new budget forbids it. Brendon's attempts at getting money himself are very good, and the scene between him and Erik is a classic. It isn't rushed, has plenty of play off between Small and Jonathan Katz, and just gets funnier and funnier. The relevation at the end about the lens itself and Brendon's lesson about money are both fitting.

Janine Ditullo as Paula does a good job here, as we see Paula trying to hold everything together despite various problems for the first time. Once again, we see how Melissa might be a bit more high class than Brendon when she saves the day with her cell phone. Paula's situation is funny and feels geunine.

The McGuirk plot isn't exactly among his best, but it does get some laughs, is not central and doesn't take up too much time. Recommended.

Oh, I am full!