I don't like to drink in front of you people...
Episode 102: I Don’t Do Well In Parent Teacher Conferences

Original Airdate: May 3rd, 1999 (UPN)

Brendon Small/Dwayne – Brendon Small
Jason Penopolis/Coach Jon McGuirk – H. Jon Benjamin
Melissa Robbins – Melissa Bardin Galsky
Paula Small – Paula Poundstone
Josie Small – Loren Bouchard
Ronald Lynch – Mr. Lynch
Babysitter – Sam Brown

Um, my birthday's coming up...

Synopsis: Brendon's underachieving attitude results in a failed presentation, and he might have to repeat the fourth grade. Paula tries her best at the Parent-Teacher Conference, but her communication skills aren't much better than Brendon's.

· This episode is one of “The UPN 5”. Therefore, it has Paula Poundstone as Paula and is 100% retroscripted.
· This is the first episode to feature Brendon’s teacher, Ronald Lynch, and next door neighbor/friend, Dwayne.

My point is take my speech...

Brendon’s Filmography:
· *“The Public Speaking Monster”: A man with a private past turns into a monster whenever put into a public speaking situation.

The Movie-Episode Connection:
· Well, this one should be pretty obvious. Brendon, afraid of giving his report and mad at Lynch for making him do it, has his cinematic revenge.

The Plotline Connection: (TheJazzFighter)
· As often occurs in the UPN 5, the plots revolve around each other: Brendon screws up, Paula has to go in and fix it (which doesn't quite work).

Hey! He's using telekinesis!

Song Lyrics:
· “Monster Movie Jam”: Guitar Jam by Dwayne

Thank you, Brendon!

Cool Random Observations & Facts:
· Loni can be seen in this episode. Loni is the main focus of 105 – We’ll Always Have Tuesday.
· The word “Jesus” is bleeped from this episode.
Paula: Brendon, Mr. Lynch called.
Brendon: Oh, je-
If you listen, you can tell it was edited out. Update: This appears on the DVD fine, however.
· Telekinesis is the moving of objects from one place to another without touching. It also refers to the bending of objects with the mind (i.e. spoons). Fun Telekinesis Link
· This is the first episode to show the rivalry between McGuirk and Lynch. The character of Lynch was not supposed to have a mustache, but was given one when H. Jon Benjamin made fun of it in the course of retroscripting.
· The highly minor character Fink is shown. He appears a few more times throughout the series.


Movie & Other References:
· Jason makes a reference to filmmaker Martin Scorsese with shooting out of sequence, which is a reference to "Goodfellas", "Casino" and "Raging Bull" among others. He also suggests they shoot "Day For Night, like Truffaut", a Francois Truffaut movie.
· I can't for the life of me find out if Brendon's list of directors with tutors is entirely right.

End Credits: “Season One Theme”

Reviews: (Spoilers)

Condiment King: A Paula focus episode, which are generally weaker, but definitely with Paula Poundstone. Generally every Paula Poundstone scene took away from a generally mediocre episode. Par for the course for the UPN 5. She just didn't fit in with this show.

We see the first appearances of great Home Movies characters in this episode like Lynch and Dwayne. There's some moments of hilarity in this episode, reflecting later in the show, like how Coach McGuirk is treating Brendon as such a great commodity to the soccer team. What's interesting about this episode is a really silly Brendon sketch (with him using the TV as apart of his project) and later actually using Lynch in a movie. I don't think this could work in later episodes with a more mature Brendon, but at the same time, it was still pretty funny. As far as the kids go, we got more Jason crude humor, which wasn't funny, but oh well. The movie in this episode was a little too blantantly obvious with the plot.

The show is getting there, and the plots are becoming truer to the characters they would become eventually. Its amazing that Lynch might be the only character in this show that immediately fit into his character. I mean, immediately. Him in I Don't Do Well at Parent-Teacher Conferences is the same eccentric straight-edge teacher that he would be in season four. ***

StrangerAtaru: I missed most of this, partially because it is not one of my favorites of the early episodes. My guess is that the whole Jason gross-out stuff (as well as similar jokes in the UPN episodes) were inspired partially in trying to make this a more intelligent version of "South Park", with wit and sick stuff. (which was sort of in when this show premiered) And there are other parts that were pointless as well (the babysitter). But luckily the intro to Mr. Lynch and Brendan's speech save the episode.

The Landstander: The show continues to find it's element. The Paula plotline doesn't quite work, as it seems to rely on a single gag and Poundstone basically working off her own material. As in the first episode, HM works a lot better with characters playing off each other; it seems in the beginning they had Paula (both Small and Poundstone) out on her own, talking on the phone or rambling on to Lynch or something. It just doesn't seem to work. A monologue with the babysitter is similarly odd and stilted.

But the plotline with Brendon is well done. This is the first time a movie he makes mirrors his real life problems, which is used so much in the series that it's almost a trademark. The movie's simplicity makes it work. Lynch has a nice intro, Jason seems stuck in grossout mode, and seeing Dwayne for the first time is odd, considering how he became a real character throughout the series. Recommended.

(Insert Guitar Riff)