Episode 206: Impressions
See Episode 203 – Hiatus to see the first Cynthia episode.
Brendon Small/Dwayne – Brendon Small
Jason Penopolis/Coach Jon McGuirk – H. Jon Benjamin
Melissa Robbins – Melissa Bardin Galsky
Paula Small – Janine Ditullo
Josie Small – Loren Bouchard
Cynthia – Jennifer Kirkman
Weirdo Temp Guy - Sam Seder
Lorraine – Paula Plum
Synopsis: Lying to make a good impression brings down McGuirk's dating
attempt, Paula's interview at a temp agency and Brendon's chance with
· This episode introduces the “Starboy and the Captain of Outer Space”
movie, which we see more of later.
· This episode marks the first time any of the people in Dwayne’s
band have spoken.
· This episode is the first to make a reference to McGuirk’s high
Lawn Gnomes: (Click for picture)
· At Jason’s
country club, all the artwork is gnome-shaped.
· *“The Starboy” – A man world is turned upside-down when he discovers
that he is the Starboy.
The Movie-Episode Connection:
· I personally couldn't come up with a decent connection between the
episode and the "Starboy" movie; however Moltrez e-mailed me this
The people in Dwayne's band wanted Starboy and the Captian Of Outer
Space be the same person, making Starboy someone he's not. The episode
is about lying about who you are.
Landstander: This actually makes a lot of sense to me. Dwayne suggested
that Starboy and the Captain of Outer Space be one single person,
meanwhile Brendon was (at the same time) trying to pass himself as
two people: Brendon (to Cynthia) and as Jason (to the Country Club
The Plotline Connection: (TheJazzFighter)
· Everyone's storyline involves impressing someone. Even what Dwyane's
band said. Brendon lies to impress Cynthia, Paula lies to impress
the Temp people, McGuirk lies to impress his highschool friend. As
for Dwyane's band...see "Movie-Episode Connection" above. (Moltrez
makes a good point)
He wants to be…alone…
To process this to a point of understanding
He wants to be…alone…
He wants to be alone!
He knows it now he’s not what he ain’t
He’s the Captain of Outer Space
He wants to be alone so he can process this
To a point of understandingness
Starboy! That’s who he is that’s not who he ain’t
Starboy! He knows it now and now is the truth…
The Captain of Outer Space that is his brother, Uh-huh!
The Captain of Outer Space he knows it’s true, Uh-huh!
Random Observations & Facts:
· Jason and Melissa wear cheap third eyes in “The Starboy”.
· Dwayne has a car calendar in his garage.
· Sign in the temp agency: “Careers are for suckers!”
· Yearbook picture: McGuirk is dressed as a cheerleader at a Halloween
ball, with the captioning – Jon Mcguirk “the Queen of the ball”.
· When Brendon is pretending to be Jason, he puts his hands behind
his head, in the classic Jason style. (Thanks to Moltrez for this
cool little observation)
· One of McGuirk’s friends is Hoffman. Hoffman is one of the animators
of the show.
· Another yearbook picture: McGuirk is dancing at a disco. There is
a banner that says “Congratulations”. Caption: Johnny B. Goode? –
John “Travolta” McGuirk strikes the pose at the Senior Prom.
· A building is shown before Paula’s scene. The sign says: “Executive
Placement Incorporated”. But, before the scene begins, the camera
switches to another building, with a sign that says: “Fast Cash Temp.
· The name of the Opera is: Can Opera Do This?
· Brendon’s end rant: Talking to Dwayne & his band in Dwayne’s
garage, talking to McGuirk on the soccer field, talking to himself
in the bathtub, talking to Melissa in class, and himself in the sandbox.
Episode Special: McGuirk's Yearbook
· People from McGuirk’s Yearbook:
1. James Letterhead – “The Letter”
Remembers: Hangin’ with the boys, egging, REO Speedwagon, good friends:
Josh, Pete, Sandy, Louie. Thanks, Mom ‘n’ Dad.
2. Jane Lowe – “Crazy Jane”
Remembers: Cheerleading 1-2-3, Friday Night Parties at Annie’s, Sneaking
into Diane’s. Josh 7/11/79, Pete 8/1/79. All my love to Brad. Thanks
3. Kelley Martin – “Kells”
Remembers: Head Cheerleader 1-2-3, The Who, The Stones, Mr. Freemans
acting class, hanging on the Main Street steps, friends: Brenda, Silvia,
Roberta, Jake 10/23/78 143
4. Henry Manchester III – “Hets”
Remembers: Good luck to one and all in the 80’s…Give him another chance:
Nixon in ’80!
5. Nick McArthur
Remembers: Great times on the outside benches, the BEST band ever
“Creation”, cutting classes, sparking a doobie, ‘bye to Lindsey, Daniel,
Kim and Ken.
6. John McGuirk – “Big John” – “Disco John”
Remembers: Boogie Shoes, French Fried Friday’s, The Pit, great friends
Aya, Daman, Davia, Pops, Big Guy, Hoffman, KaYaI, Jamie, Big Bri…’You
should be dancing’…
7. Lorraine Christenson – ‘Lori’
Remembers: Scooby snacks, Field Hockey all my friends. Thanks Mom
8. Joey Carmine – ‘Big Joe’
Remembers: The Ramones, Van Halen, Pecka, Crusha, Dude-boy, Disco
Past Episode References:
· In McGuirk’s apartment, we see that he still has the picture of
Sammy & him from episode 112 – Law and Boarder.
· The opera McGuirk tries to take Lorraine to is called “Can Opera
Do This?”, a reference to Brendon’s Star Wars movie idea called “Can
Star Wars Do This?” from Episode 205 – The Party.
Movie & Other References:
· Next to Lorraine Christenson’s yearbook picture, there is a picture
of Joey Carmine. His picture and his remembrances make him a reference
to Joey of the Ramones
End Credits: “Alone/Starboy”
Reviews: WARNING: Spoilers
Randomguy: That was
HILARIOUS. I don't think I've ever laughed so much in a single thirty-minute
period. Dwayne's band was even funnier here, and the drummer and bassist
got some talk time to- and they were both really funny. The whole
"I need to be alone to process this" bit was really good, as was the
Starboy movie. All three plots, with McGuirk, Paula, and Brendan,
were great; none of them felt tacked on, and they were spliced together
nicely. I was really happy to see the sandbox making its first season
2 appearances as well. Cynthia bugged me in Hiatus, but she was effectively
used here. All the conversations made me crack up; the little touches
in the animation were great (especially the shimmering water effect
in the kiddie pool, the bubble in Brendan's bath, and the Opera's
"Can Opera Do This?" poster). All in all, while "The Party" was kinda
poignant, this one was just straight up laughs all the way. It was
also wise to focus on the central characters as well. Just a hilarious
episode in the end. If you missed it, see it Thursday. If you saw
it tonight, see it Thursday.
Spectre: I will say
this -- in the beginning of the episode, I wasn't involved as much
as I was with other Home Movies episodes ("The Party," for example).
As the minutes went by, though, I realized I really communicated with
the episode. It's a rather sad episode, while I think about it --
it wasn't meant intentionally, but we all knew what Coach McGuirk
and Brendon were going through. We probably all have been in a similar
situation; McGuirk tries to impress a former classmate by lying about
his physical looks -- while Brendon tries to impress a girl by lying
about his status.
McGuirk as a character, though, is prone to do these things. Brendon
was basically pushed to do so by Jason. But most of us get into these
Don't get me wrong -- every part of this episode was very, very funny.
Actually, I must say, this episode has some of the best lines of all
the HM episodes so far. Paula was wonderful as a struggling test taker;
her instructors even more so. And this episode has perhaps the best
editing featured on a HM episode. Look at the ending, for example.
I don't think I liked it as much as "The Party," but it comes pretty
close. It seemed like they spent some time on this episode. Well made,
both comedy-wise and animation-wise (for the HM standard). Grade:
Noclist: I never saw
this episode the first time around but after seeing it, I don't think
it was one of the funnier ones. Nothing really struck me as being
really funny in this one and it didn't have enough of Jason and Melissa.
J-Chan: Well.. Cynthia's
hair is very pretty when it's wet.. ^^;; that's her name, right? I'm
sleepy. Not one of the better episodes, but the previews for next
week look so good, I don't care.
Behonkiss: The other
one is funny, but not spectacular.(On the other hand, it has the first
appearances of Starboy and the Captain of Outer Space.) As said, the
severe lack of Jason and Melissa(And too much focus on Cynthia, who
I personally think was a waste of time for the show)made it a lot
worse than it could have been.
The Condiment King:
The introduction of the characters of Starboy and the Captain of Outer
Space, who would go on to make appearances in "History"
and "Time to Pay the Price". I forgot to mention this in
"Hiatus", but its truly remarkable how much the Dwayne character
has evolved just through this season and a half. Dwayne went from
a character that was almost a borderline bully to Brendon (or just
a person that he would try to be agreeable with for his own good)
to someone that was just dumb and friendly. In a way, this is similar
to how Brendon and McGuirk's relationship went from mildly tolerating
each other to being genuine friends. Here with the Starboy project,
we see Dwayne and the band Skab take an odd interest in Brendon's
movies which wouldn't have really worked in Season 1, Franz Kafka
Rock Opera or no Franz Kafka Rock Opera.
More of the Cynthia storyline as Brendon uses Jason's family's country
club to try to impress her. The underlying theme of this episode is
lying as he lies about being a member of the country club, Paula lies
about doing the typing test for the temp agency, and McGuirk lies
to his date about what he looks like and what his social standing
is in the world. All three of them get punished for lying, and not
really rewarded for seeing how they were wrong. Regardless, they all
learned their lesson.
Interestingly enough, with McGuirk, we see another shot of the Lonely
Avenue road sign as he is looking up people to call for a date, a
sign that only shows up when McGuirk is lonely. Paula has been looking
for a job for quite a while now, which leads me to wonder just what
the timeline is for Home Movies and how long that unemployment compensation
could last, especially from a stickler like Arnold Lindenson. In a
way, this episode is neat since we see a venue that we don't normally
see in the Home Movies world like the country club. On the other hand,
nothing really happens in this episode to further any of the season-long
plots and none of what does happen is particularly funny enough to
make it a really good episode. Seems like they could have went in
another direction here. ***
again, we have another one of those "hit and miss" episodes that are
prevalent in this part of the second season. But this time, while
Brendon has a couple of classic moments (which I will get to much
later), he is concentrated in one of the main blunders plotwise. That
being the whole "Cynthia" plotline and the country club. For starters,
considering Brendon's "pool party" a couple episodes ago with Jason
(a tiny pool at Jason's neighbor's), it just feels really awkward
to see Jason sudennly a member of a Country Club. Not only is this
an obvious plot device, but the moment Jason lets Brendon go in as
himself for a date with Cynthia, you already know it will end in disaster.
(sure Brendon did once "turn into" Jason in his "Director's Cut" breakdown,
but isn't it obvious?) Even Brendon going for love advice from McGurk
seems awkward: he is treated like an adult about all this even though
he is only an 8-year old kid. (which can be one of the weaknesses
of this show, but not seen too often) While we are on McGurk, he too
has an awkward sequence involving impersonating something he is not
to try an attract an old high-school girl. But unlike Brendon, his
situation gets funny once he realizes the lies he makes and actually
tries to set himself straight with the woman, only to end up scalping
his two tickets to the opera. (I just found it funny seeing McGurk
go from trying to save his date to trying to sell his tickets off)
In the end, the only plot that actually works from start to finish
is Paula's little trouble involving her testing anxiety at a temp
agency. Her plot was already set up with both the weird romantic entanglement
with her supervisor as well as the first time she bombs the test.
By the time she tries to impersonate a better typing test, it gets
so ridiculous that its hilarious. (especially with the second guy
who falls for her and the phone call she gets from Brendon)
Even though the main plot of this episode is rather awkward, there
are two things that make this episode really watchable. The first
involves the first appearance of the now classic HM character: Starboy.
The beginning of the episode with the first movie is so cheesy it's
hilarious. (with the weird revelation scene) This is followed by one
of my favorite "movie scenes", where Starboy is sitting on a rotating
cube while a beautifully meloncholic "Alone" is playing, matched by
the graphics added to the screen. (OK, thinking about this makes one
wonder how Brendon can afford this, but remember that anyone with
enough computer knowledge can probably do this) But it gets funnier
when Brendon gets in an arguement with Dwayne and the members of Scab,
first over the music in the sequence, then over the existence of the
"Captain of Outer Space" character. (giving some good lines to the
previously silent back-up members) The other great scene comes at
the end, which I consider one of the best serious sequences this show
has ever done: the final montage of Brendon trying to figure out Cynthia.
("Maybe I'll get her flowers...") In a composite of images occuring
over an expanse of time, we see Brendon trying to boost himself up
in trying to win back a girl he will never have, only to end up alone
in his sandbox again. (with the song "Alone" playing again) I say
that if you just watch the beginning and end sequence (and the Paula
plot), "Impressions" would be a much more worthwhile episode than
as it is. (BTW: I personally wish that this was the end of the Cynthia
situation, but then along comes "Pizza Club"...)
Mynd Hed: I thought
this was a good one. The whole Brendon / Cynthia plot kinda fell flat,
but it was balanced out by Starboy (one of my favorite HM movies),
a creepy mustachioed temp agent, and McGuirk's bad dating advice.
It was nice to see McGuirk actually try to be a decent human being
for once at the end, although of course, McGuirk being McGuirk, we
all knew it was going to end in disaster.
Overall Grade: B-
The Landstander: This
show has always gone to odd, awkward places for humor. I usually love
the stuff, but something about this episode seemed a bit too dead
on. It did awkward well, but it didn't do funny.
First, there's Brendon and his attempt to win over Cynthia. I never
really thought Cynthia amounted to much more than the usual awkward
romance so many other TV shows and movies have attempted, and this
episode didn't bring it up any more. She felt like a stale character.
Brendon's awkward attempts at winning her over were kind of funny
on their own, but...haven't we seen this before? Jason's Country Club
behavior was indeed pretty funny; Melissa didn't have much to do.
McGuirk is given a corresponding storyline that leads to some funny
moments (asking a married woman he hasn't seen in 20 years out on
the phone), and some nice background on his high school days. But
it's not among his best.
Paula's storyline was probably the most solid. Attempting to get
a job, she's spoiled by her fear of test taking and eventually decides
to cheat to get ahead. The two elements I liked in this episode came
at the end: Brendon and Paula's phone call, where they have nothing
to say to each other, and the final montage of Brendon mulling over
This episode is nicely structured and attempts a kind of humor I
like in theory, but I just don't think it pulls it off. Bizarrely
enough, the next few episodes attempt something similar and pull it
off a lot better. A mediocre episode.