Tell us about the war...
Episode 107: It Was Supposed To Be Funny

Cast:
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
Drive-Thru Guy/Melissa’s Grandfather – Will Lebow

Where we you when Kennedy was shot? It became America's question. I myself was at work...

Synopsis: Brendon agrees to make a documentary about the life of Melissa's grandfather, but when he thinks it's going to be boring, he decides to spice it up.

History:
· Though this is in fact the second episode with Janine Ditullo as Paula, this is the first episode where she actually does something in the story.
· This episode of the first appearance of the supermarket.
· This episode is the first episode we hear of the relationship of McGuirk and his mother.

Brendon's Apology

Lawn Gnomes: (Click for picture)
· There is a gnome with a WWI hat in the Grandfather’s documentary

Brendon’s Filmography:
· “Melissa’s Grandfather: Part I” – Featuring an old man in a dress!
· “Melissa’s Grandfather: Part II” – Nicer film; a reenactment of the greatest moments of Melissa’s Grandfather’s life. Starring McGuirk and Erik.

Stop picking your nose!!!

The Movie-Episode Connection:
· Documentary.

The Plotline Connection: (TheJazzFighter)
· There's really no connection. Once more, Brendon appears to be the only one with a storyline (that ties into Melissa, Erik, and the Grandpa)

David, don't use your hands, this is not tennis!

Random Observations & Facts:
· Melissa’s spelling: Sofistitedcd. Actual spelling: Sophisticated
· Brendon said he “doesn’t do documentaries”, however he has done them in several episodes so far.
· The idea of a person already being off the phone became a running gag throughout the series.
· Brendon and Paula eat at Alien Burger.
· A car gets abducted in the background at Alien Burger.
· Walter and Perry appear briefly swinging on the swings.
· Brendon gives Melissa a gray smiley face balloon, some flowers with roots, three balloons, a poster with a drawing of him saying, “I’m sorry” and some chocolate.
· This is the third episode in a row where McGuirk wears his camouflage suit.
· Jason’s book says “Speaking German German 101”

Past Episode References:
· We get to see the banana and cow tattoos when McGuirk changes, a reference to Episode 101 – Get Away From My Mom.

Mom, I want my own fries!

Movie & Other References:
· At Alien Burger, Brendon & Paula park at #51, a reference to Area 51.
· “Ich ben ein Berliner” is based on a famous JFK speech.

End Credits: “Season One Theme”

Let's both distract the waiter...

Reviews: WARNING: Spoilers

Condiment King: Its becoming more and more apparent in this series that Brendon Small is actually learning life lessons, and they aren't just meaningless sitcom plots. In this episode for example, Brendon, in his youth, becomes more aware of the elderly and how to treat them in the world. He also starts to respect other people, and in a broader sense, realizes that just because something is funny doesn't mean its in good taste.

Brendon and McGuirk have become buddies by now, as Brendon is looking out for McGuirk (by telling him that parents had arrived to pick up their children) as much as McGuirk is looking out for Brendon (giving him advice on pretty much everything, including what is and isn't funny.) McGuirk is basically the surrogate father to Brendon and would prove to be the only person to fill this role for Brendon in the absence of his actual father. In many ways, Brendon looks up to McGuirk and yet takes his advice with a precoaxious grain of salt, but in a way, don't we all think that we know more than our elders?

What brought this episode down just a smidge in my mind was more of Paula doing the wrong thing for Brendon to follow the example of, but this rights itself quickly with how Paula addresses this in Brendon's world. She sets him straight and manages to be quaintly funny in doing so. It really cannot be said how much the transition between actresses and focus really gelled into this series.

There's something really odd about the fact that Brendon thought spicing up the video would be to put Melissa's grandfather in drag. Regardless, as Erik would later put it "an old man in drag -- what's not to like?" Man, that first video was hilarious with the JFK question and how mundane he seemed to make everything.

Plenty of nice Erik/McGuirk stuff here, especially with the nose-breathing scene for Brendon's project to make up with Melissa and Erik. I also really liked the failed dating videos at the end with everyone, particularly McGuirk's. It seemed like there were elements of this episode that parodied a traditional sitcom episode, like how Melissa started to say "you just don't get it, do you Brendon" seemingly going on to some long-winded speech on the true meaning of the episode, but stopped short and said she was pleased with Brendon's offering. Amusing episode, though not the best effort of the season. ****

StrangerAtaru: Unfortunately, this one does not deliver as much to me, but it is not what you think. What I consider the weakest link in this episode is, believe it or not, Melissa's dad. I know that he was trying to be more comedical in his interactions with the rest of the cast, but he just felt off compared to some of the other characters in this episode. On the other hand, this episode is a defining moment for the new Paula, where we sort of have insane, but somewhat normal, mother/son conversations that makes her character more enjoyable. (especially in the fast-food sequence with the fries) The main plot involving Melissa's grandfather does have it's moments, but I do think that most of the humor comes less from him and more from how low Brendon has to go to make the video more interesting. Jason is, well, Jason, but at least he is becoming more the weird Jason and less the "gross" Jason. (although for some reason I think that whole balloon sequence was weird, but pointless) As for McGurk, well, there were moments where he worked (the whole video-dating sequence) and moments that just felt off (such as the scene early on with Melissa. And by the way, it's "sophisticated") At least it is all sort of at the end with all the male characters doing the video dating bit, but I sort of keep that outside the episode, so unfortunately it doesn't help it much.

The Landstander: Like StrangerAtaru said, the Grandfather at the center of the story is probably the weakest part. It seems the episode had a handful of good moments, but the main plotline was kind of weak. I loved the back-and-forth between Erik/Melissa and Paula/Brendon. Erik and Melissa have always seemed more high-class while Paula and Brendon have some financial problems, but showing the differences and their similar interactions was nicely done. McGuirk also has some great material here; yelling at David to not use his hands is one of his funniest moments, and this is his first of many great scenes with Melissa.

Still, the grandfather stuff just isn't that good. The part towards the end where he keeps flatlining just feels off more than anything. Some great moments amidst a bleh plotline. A good episode.

This is my proudest moment. The birth of my granddaughter, Melissa.