Episode 413: Focus Grill

Brendon Small/Perry/Junior Addleburg - Brendon Small
Jason Penopolis/Coach Jon McGuirk/Walter - H. Jon Benjamin
Melissa Robbins - Melissa Bardin Galsky
Paula Small - Janine Ditullo
Josie Small - Loren Bouchard
Fenton - Sam Seder

Synopsis: Brendon, Jason and Melissa hold a focus group on their most recent movies. McGuirk helps Paula by setting up a grill. It's called America.

· This is the final episode of Home Movies.


This being the last episode of Home Movies, the last 5 or so minutes of the episode were written to be a "wrap up" for the show. These are the interpretations of those wrap-ups:
- Landstander - On Brendon no longer needing the movies.
- CaptainRed - On...everything.
- Alonzopt - A metaphor for the cancellation?

Lawn Gnomes:
· The lawn gnome's final scene is being crushed by McGuirk's grill

We stay and fight, man!

Brendonís Filmography:
· "Zee Diamonds" - Filmed on location during a soccer game, this film follows a troubled exchange between two spies.
· "Eazy Triker's" - First film by Brendon; real plotline. 3 endings exist:
- The girl in the movie turns out to be Princess Pretty.
- The three bikers are attacked by a Throw-Up Monster.
- The bikers decide to settle down and build a home out of their bikes.

The Movie-Episode Connection:
· Well, this episode is more of a Movie-Series connection. The show has followed Brendon as he made his films, and in this episode he finishes his first movie (which, presumably, will be his last).

A solid foundation

Song Lyrics:
No songs with lyrics are in this episode, though it should be mentioned where songs are used.
· The song during the movie montage was "Sunset Theme" (originally from The Party).
· The song during the final shot of the show, as the camera turns off, is "Dwayne & Clarice's Theme" (originally from Guitarmageddon).

...a little too much?

Random Observations & Facts:
· Brendon's comment card reads "Commints".
· McGuirk buys the "Family Grill D9000". He also puts the box upsidedown to begin with.
· Perry seems to have drawn a picture of him and Walter running on the comment card.
· Jason says he has his ending "RTG" took two viewings for me to get that meant "Ready To Go".
· In the credits to Jason's ending, Brendon is randomly dressed as a horse.
· Credits to Jason's movie:
Eazy Tikers/
Planet of the
Throw Up Monster

Dedicated to
the mother and father of
Jason Penopopolis

Written, Directed and
Produced by
Jason Penopopolis
with Brendon Small

Jason....Johnny Thunder & Monster
[can't make out beyond that]
· The scenes with Paula, Melissa and makeup along with Brendon, McGuirk and the grill seem to indicate that both kids have found a new parental figure. (Just my opinion...but even though I think the McGuirk/Brendon thing makes perfect sense, the Paula/Melissa thing didn't work for me)
· When Melissa puts her head on the pillow, a lot of makeup rubs off.
· Besides an eyebrow plucker, Perry also has a comb and scissors in his coat.
· Junior holds a tube of M885. No idea what that means.
· The movies Brendon and the gang watch (in order):
"Septopus" from The Heart Smashers.
"All's Pharaoh In Love & War" from Dad.
"Jazz Fighters" from Hiatus.
"Landstander" from The Wedding.
"Artists" from Stow A Way.
"Prescott" from Four's Company.
"Kung Fu Fighters" from The Party.
"Secret #50" from Stow A Way.
"Heat" from Bad Influences.
"The Slapstick Barbarian Project" from Law and Boarders.
"Shore Leave" from Shore Leave.
"The Man In The Box is Bad" from Psycho Delicate.
"Monster!" from I Don't Do Well In Parent-Teacher Conferences.
"Dark Side of the Law" from Get Away From My Mom. (Notable since it was the first movie shown on the show)
"Starboy & The Captain of Outer Space" from History.
· Brendon has a weird (yet interesting) reaction to his camera being broken. At first his eyes water, and he puts his finger up to say something...but after a minute, listening to the conversation, Brendon chooses to say nothing.

You've been putting this grill together for 3 days

Movie & Other References:
· The end credits of Jason's ending to the movie parodies "Planet of the Apes"; the first scene has Jason on the sand a la Charlton Heston and the second scene has a throw up monster Statue of Liberty. Also, his music is the same song he auditioned with in "Bye Bye Greasy". (thanks to Slim102 for that)
· Walter & Perry dance in the style of "Peanuts" characters.
· In Jason's ending credits, you see Brendon dressed as a horse with Melissa holding him while Jason is on the ground with a painful face. This is a reference to a photo of Nietzsche of the same nature. (Thanks to David McGuirk for this addition)

End Credits: Home Movies Ending Theme

Maybe our movies aren't meant to be watched

GMB: I liked Jason's ending (the "Planet of the Apes" homage was pretty funny) but Brendan's ending stealing getting more insane (and Json's bad-ass trike) made me chuckle as well.

Of course nothing is perfect. I coulda done without the focus group stuff, which wasn't funny and stayed that way the whole episode. Fenton, Walter and Perry in the same room are annoying enough to make my friggin' teeth bleed.

Man it was kinda affecting to see all those movies again (Darksideofthelaw!). . .and given the ending, definitely for the last time.


Funny episode. The weak bits were annoying but short and the end had more of a punch than I thought it would. Well done, well done. Goodbye, farwell, and amen, Home Movies. A

Behonkiss: The first half was average Season 4 crap for the most part.

The 3rd quarter was more up to par with Season 3.

The last parts were heartbreaking to watch. Seeing that montage, having the kids realize the meaning of their movie making, and the camera....It was very fitting. Something tells me Soup2Nuts saw this coming.

Adios, HM. It was a long trip. Not always great, especially towards the end, but I will always have fond memories of watching Season 2 when it first premiered.

Starboy Forever.

tigerrunner: What a finale. A perfect combination of bittersweet and hysterical, Focus Grill is probably one of the show's best episodes. My one worry going into this episode was that it would leave some questions unanswered, but I was proven wrong. The episode wrapped up the whole series perfectly (obviously the crew was doubtful that there would be a 5th season in the first place).

The film retrospective was very touching, as was the scene at the end with the kids, Paula and McGuirk in the car. The focus group was, admittedly, extremely annoying (but they were supposed to be). McGuirk's story was OK, nothing too spectacular. But Melissa stole the show. Her slow evolution from a little girl to a clown was absolutely hysterical, and her conversation with Paula was priceless. All in all, I really have no major complaints about the episode, only that I would've liked to see some other characters, too, like Mr. Lynch, Andrew, Linda and their kid (whatever happened to them, anyway?) and, most of all, Eric.

No matter what, I'll greatly miss Home Movies, but I feel that this episode was a great send off, one that makes me a bit more comfortable that the whole thing is over. Good bye, old friend.


Mog: That's just too sad. I only recently liked HM, and it pains me to see it slipping away. While it wasn't the best show on the market, it was one of the best. It really pisses me off to see good shows getting canceled because Big Biz types think it'll continue to fall down the ratings chart. Well that's just crap. While HM didn't get much mainstream popularity, it had a giant sum of fans that were almost acolytes in it's glow. I may not have been one of those acolytes, but I sure as hell was a supporter.

As for Focus grill, it was great. Seeing their older film, seeing them complete their older film, and the last hurrah when Brandon's camcorder was smashed were just perfect. They even included a small, yet funny, McGuirk sideplot, and scrunched in the other support characters for good show.

The only possible negatives were that the support characters had a little too much screen time, and that there was too much beating around the bush when it came to Melissa and her horrible ability to apply make-up. I was hoping that they would just tell her that she looked bad, but it never came. Too bad.

All in all, I'll give it a 4.8/5. The Melissa thing was needed, but not that much.

King of PaQ: Wow. <--- That's how I felt after I let the show sink in, because right after I had watched it, I just wasn't feeling it, seemed like an average show, and then after thinking about it, I just saw how good it actually was, which sort of represents how I used to feel about Home Movies (Average Show --> Wow). The episode starts off with Brendon, Jason and Melissa showing off their latest film (Spies + Soccer Game) to their focus group of Fenton, Walter, Perry, and Junior Addleberg. Who all end up giving the trio terrible commints. The other subplot if you will, is Mcguirk putting together an extremely large grill he bought for Paula that she paid for. While they were discussing the grill, you see the trio look at them at the window, where funny convo takes place, including how Paula never dates, and Melissa and her makeup. When the trio almost get into an argument about how to fix their movies, they end up watching the first movie they made, once noticing it didn't have an ending (they couldn't agree even then) they decide to each make an ending and have the focus group decide. Melissa's magical princess ending and Jason's throwup monster ending are shown, but when Fenton asks for Brendon's, it's not ready because McGuirk had convinced Brendon to include the grill in it.. and well McGuirk was having trouble with the grill. Also Paula has some girl talk with Melissa.. Long story(or in this case rambling review) short, McGuirk finishes the grill, the trio look back on the old movies they did and realize they did them because they were together, and McGuirk causes an explosion, resulting in everyone eating out, where as they're driving Brendon loses the video camera and it gets run over.. A rather appropriate, touching ending to Home Movies.. I give it an A-.

Karl Olson: A brillant ending to the series. Half culmination of some of the character relationships, with Melissa finding a psuedo-mother figure in Paula and Brendon affirming McGuirk's psuedo-father status, and half symbolism and metaphot for actual process and psyche of the people who make Home Movies in real-life, the crap they put up with and why they put up with it, it flowed somehow very naturally, like any other HM episode. Then, a shot that was not only semi-referential (shades of "Lost In Translation" with their shot out of the window end shot,) but also incredibly strong and poignent (seeing Brendon's camera smashed was like seeing the low-battery sign on Shinji's DAT player in Evangelion; you just know that it's over.) Lastly, the addendum you'd almost have to have; the rebirth of the simple, inane, yet amusing banter the show is known for.

Tacos sound good about now.

A+ 10/10 100%

HomeMoviesFan: In a certain thread I said I may feel really sad during series finales of shows I loved, but never cry. Wrong. When Brendon's camera was I was I. And I actually SHED A TEAR! Shows you something. Man, the only complaint I had was that Coach McGuirk wasn't as funny as he should be, but the entire episode felt so damn comfy. All the characters felt like you were breathing a fine
fresh breath of air...except Melissa, because she looked weird with makeup on.
Walter and Perry, Junior and Fenton both felt like they fit in, and Paula and McGuirk just went in as well, especially the last parts. When they viewed their past movies, it took me back...way September 2nd, 2001, watching "Director's Cut" for the first time. Watching on Sundays, risking some sleep, tuning into season 1 HM.

I loved Home Movies...hopefully there will be an Xmas special in the future!...and a DVD...with commentary. That's all we can hope...

God bless HM. Rest in peace. A+

Jaguar: This was an awesome ending to an awesome series. It served as a great ode to the series and an amazing farewell. I found myself saying to myself, while I was watching this episode, "This will be legendary." And it was. Almost every scene was played out to the best of the actors' abilities. McGuirk was enjoyable, as were Walter and Perry (who seemed to be restored to their normal glory and not the creepyness that they were in "Cho and the Adventures of Amy Lee".)
When the trio were looking over all of their movies and wondering why they made them, I felt the most nostalgic I probably ever have watching this show. I was taken back to September 2001, too, when I first saw this show. It was the first AS show to premiere on the block...and I fell in love with it the minute I saw it.
And of course, there was the ending. The powerful, almost totally shocking, saddening ending, with Brendon's camera being destroyed; signaling the end of an era.
This was, without a shadow of a doubt, the best ending to any animated series I have ever seen. Although I didn't cry when I watched it, I can actually feel two little tears forming in my eyes right now. I would love to say that HM is just a cartoon, isn't. These past few weeks I've been rushing to review these last few episodes, mainly because I knew they would be a roller coaster ride. And they were.
Even though this season was probably not the best, even if you believed the show has somewhat declined from its former being, or even if you don't, you have to agree with me when I say that Home Movies really was something.
It was the first.
It was the best.
And it always will be.

MovieGuy: Wow. That was the best episode of the season. I never thought I'd say this, but, I was glad with the ending.

Melissa was hilarious. Her whole make-up plot line was great. The talk between Melissa and Paula was some of the best stuff and I trhink the first real scene between Paula & Melissa.

McGuirk was used well. He wasn't underdone or overdone. The Family Grill D9000 was a strange design for a grill.

Brendon, Jason and Melissa's first move was great. I'd have to say the best movie end was Brendon's. This time around, I wasn't bothered by Fenton, Walter & Perry a little. The montage at the end of their past movies had me crying. The explosion was great. The road and the destruction of the camera was so sad. =[

Goodbye, Home Movies...

My positives were every thing.
My negatives were it's all over. =[

Grade: A+

Fone Bone: This episode was great. I was so sad when Brenden's camera broke but it seemed like the kids were growing up. Time to put away childish things and all that. Melissa looked horrible in make-up though. I loved her and Paula's girl-talk. Great stuff.

Walter and Perry were funny as usual.

The last movie was great, all three versions of it. I like Jason's throw-up monster and Melissa's princess ending. I was so relieved that they didn't all die in the explosion. Who would take care of Josie?

I think Brenden, Melissa, and Jason will be friends forever even without the movies. ***** out of *****.

The Landstander: Shows like Home Movies without much of an audience rarely get to end appropiately at all; Home Movies somehow got lucky enough to do it just right.

First, the episode was good on its own. Though perhaps not great (the focus group got a bit old by the time they got into the makeover bit), it was solidly funny. All of McGuirk and Brendon's scenes were great. Paula and Melissa get an odd but appropiate back-and-forth. And the ending movies were all appropiate.

But I think the real greatness of this episode is for the people who truly followed the show. Without being pretentious or maudlin it brings all the characters to a logical and touching conclusion. I won't get into it too much here, but you can read my (long-winded) interpretation above if you'd like.

Though even reading over my interpretation, it does seem to be a bit much. But the intelligence of the show is that it doesn't go into such strict detail or beat you over the head with this; it all just flows with humor. I had my problems with the show in season 4, but this just about avoids any of that.

This is my Best of the Season. Which is neat to say for a finale. But, for a final review:

The Gunshuu: What a way to go, Home Movies.

What a way to go.