Meeting 24-1.1
Episode 212: Pizza Club

Before seeing this, you’ll want to see 113, 207 & 208 for the full story of Andrew. Also, for the full Cynthia story, see 203 & 206.

Cast:
Brendon Small/Dwayne/Perry – Brendon Small
Jason Penopolis/Coach Jon McGuirk/Walter – H. Jon Benjamin
Melissa Robbins – Melissa Bardin Galsky
Paula Small – Janine Ditullo
Andrew – Louis C.K.
Cynthia – Jennifer Kirkman

So, you getting pizza?

Synopsis: Andrew & Brendon begin meeting weekly for a "Pizza Club", a club based on fondness of pizza. McGuirk, who also enjoys pizza, feels left out. Paula's boredom at home begins to interfere with Brendon's latest project.

Lawn Gnomes: (Click for picture)
· McGuirk’s (well, Lynch’s) bike has a lawn gnome on the front.

Oh, our Little Malooloo is growing up...

Brendon’s Filmography:
· “Who’s Your Daddy” – Two convicts decide to break out of prison when they find out their daughter Malooloo is still alive. The movie follows the prisoners from their reunion with Malooloo to an emotional scene with Malooloo’s long lost mother.
· “Scab – A Documentary” – The history of the rock band Scab; starting with the birth of front man Dwayne to their performance at the Battling of the Bands.

The Movie-Episode Connection:
· "Who's Your Daddy" plays off the general theme of the episode: Brendon finds himself at the center of a conflict between his real life father (Andrew) in a conflict with his father figure (McGuirk). Like Little Malooloo, he has 'two dads'. This works down to Malooloo going out on a date around the same time Brendon seeks relationship advice.

The Plotline Connection: (TheJazzFighter)
· McGuirk and Paula's storylines connect: They both want to be involved with something Brendon does. The Brendon and Cynthia thing shows us Brendon wants to get involved (and i mean this in the least sexual way possible...) with Cynthia. ahh...involvment!

I've fallen in like with you...

Songs:
· Bad Fusion
· Bad 80s Song
· Bad Heavy Metal
· Bad Coffee
Wake up in the morning
And I have some coffee
Put in the sugar, and the cream
And it tastes nice I hope
· Dwayntastic
· Dwayne Outtro

Special from www.adultswim.com:
· A retroscripted session, in the long run cut from the scene, can be found Here. It relates to the "Sending a message" conversation between Jason, Melissa and Brendon.

*Honk*

Random Observations & Facts:
· The opening TV doesn’t have the wire we always see.
· Brendon’s calendar has the pizza club meeting on the Wednesday the 9th at 2:00 P.M. Brendon is with McGuirk when he leaves. Unless this is the summer, wouldn’t Brendon have school?
· Paula holds a script: “Robin Good” It has “-Paula Small” in the corner.
· Brendon bounces a soccer ball off McGuirk.
· The pizza club takes place at “Pizza Pizzaz”.
· The toppings list at “Pizza Pizzaz”: Pepperoni Pepperoni Pepperoni Pepperoni Pepperoni Pepperoni Pepperoni Pepperoni Pepperoni Pepperoni Pepperoni Pepperoni Pepperoni Pepperoni Pepperoni Pepperoni
· Caligula The movie Brendon was talking about.
· Melissa and Jason drink Jaicin’ Juice.
· Caption under Dwayne’s name: Dwayne – Lead singer, song writer, founding member of Scab
· Scab apparently once had a fifth member that no longer works with the group. Apparently he got kicked out during the fights over changing the volume setting.
· Brendon’s feet can’t reach the petals on his bike.
· The initials on the bike seem to be R.L.
· The pizza club meeting is #24-1.1. I doubt this means anything.
· McGuirk wears a pizza club sash when he holds the meeting with Walter & Perry.
· Burpsi and David’s Hard Lemonade sponsor the Battling of the Bands.
· The first band has psychedelic effects on their monitor (well, psychedelic in terms of Home Movies animation)
· The second band has this messages on their monitor: “You Will Obey Us” and “Love Us”
· Someone tosses a pair of boxers onto the stage when the Van Halen type band is playing.
· Lynch is watching the soccer game

Walter, Perry, shut up...

Past Episode References:
· Some of the footage in the Scab documentary is taken out of Episode 203 – Hiatus.

Movie & Other References:
· Dwayne’s amplifier volume goes up to 11, a reference to the mockumentary “This Is Spinal Tap”.

End Credits: “Dwayne Outtro”

Notice 5 people instead of 4...

Reviews: WARNING: Spoilers

Randomguy: As for my thoughts, I thought tonight's Home Movies was gold. I mean, it worked on a million levels. I think the highlight of this episode was character interaction though. The principle focus of the episode was conversation, the way HM should be, and it was all extremely funny. My favorite moments were all of Brendan's talks with Andrew (seems like they're warming up to each other now), McGuirk stealing Lynch's bike, Brendan's documentary of Scab, the various bands, and pretty much everything else, like the movie, the music, the animation, you name it. The only thing I didn't like was the subplot with Paula', which felt tacked on and didn't really go anywhere interesting. I think some might not like Cynthia, seeing as how Brendan's infatuation with her makes NO sense, but I enjoy her character. Anybody who's ever had a crush from afar, the kind that don't make much sense but dominate you anyway, will understand Cynthia's role in HM. Plus, I think she brings out some genuinely interesting emotions in Brendan (I couldn't help but feel bad for the guy in the end). McGuirk's acceptance into pizza club was obviously symbolic for his role as a psuedo father figure for Brendan (and Brendan's movie pretty much nailed that point also), which was interesting to me. In fact, there was really some fairly poignant stuff here. Overall, HM just seems to be getting better and better to me, and this episodes focus on a few principle characters, great dialogue, and a simple plot made it one of the better episodes of the second season. I give it a much-deserved A+

Spectre: I thought the episode was great in some aspects; and rather boring in others. Basically, we've already seen this whole Cynthia thing before - and in better fashion - in "Impressions."

But the good things about it were indeed really, really above average -- McGuirk's obsession to get Brendon's acceptance, and his obsession to get into "pizza club" were memorable moments.

Another bad thing, though: Dwayne's voice. It's gotten cleaner... and I could understand EVERYTHING he said -- that's not how it should be! I liked him better, much better in earlier episodes.

Best moment? The Walter and Perry one. I loved that. I'm really getting to like those characters.

The Condiment King: As Loren Borchard mentions in the Season 2 interviews, the subtext becomes the text in this episode with Coach McGuirk feeling jealous of Andrew Small as being Brendon's new father figure in his life. Coach McGuirk desperately wants in the Pizza Club because he feels left out because a.) he's been Brendon's main father figure and b.) he doesn't have many friends or things going on in his life.

Something else from the interviews: Loren mentions that the animators from time to time would clamor to add some more action into a scene. The scene where Brendon and McGuirk are discussing Brendon missing the soccer game, Brendon is bouncing a soccer ball against McGuirk's arm and McGuirk stops him and gives the ball back. Its an odd scene in the Home Movies universe where there isn't much unnecessary action.

The video from Brendon, Melissa, and Jason is a rather transparent showing of what Brendon is dealing with now: having two father figures in his life like Andrew and McGuirk. Perhaps he is feeling trapped as the two compete for his time. The scenario to set up this movie is laughably hilarious with the two fathers falling in love with the same mother on the same night in the same bed. Them being escaped convicts for a crime that they "may or may not" have committed.

The Skab documentary was pretty funny as it overdramatized a pretty simple band like Dwayne's. I liked the "This Is Spinal Tap" reference there with the volume going to 11 and them turning the volume down. Speaking of Dwayne, he was pretty adamant about what he wanted to do with Brendon in this episode, unlike in "Hiatus" but similar to "Director's Cut". He looked more or less like an amalgamation of Season 1 and (thus far) Season 2's Dwaynes. This is a good mixing of characterizations.

There are some things that deter this episode. First of all, Paula's storyline about wanting to act in Brendon's films is odd for the character. Even if she is really bored, she seems like a relatively responsible woman, who would continue to look for a job rather than put her energy into this. I mean, look at "Writer's Block", where in her spare time she spent actually creative writing, which she taught at the university. I don't know, it just doesn't click with me. At the same time, I really liked Brendon's just lone expression after Paula flatly says she doesn't want to be in a movie.

This episode also touched on the season long Cynthia storyline with Brendon finally confessing that he is "falling in like" with her. The storyline just doesn't do that much for me in the long run and neither did this installment.

At the same time, I don't think any of these elements really took away from the hilariousness of the pizza club. I liked the schtick with McGuirk and the supposedly lactose intolerant Walter & Perry. McGuirk becoming more and more desperate by the fact that he would even try with Walter & Perry as well as stealing Lynch's bike for Brendon. It shows that Brendon really is important to McGuirk, or at least being important to Brendon is important to him. This episode really helps tie up this storyline. *****

Shnay: Very good episode for a number of reasons, and definitely the best of the last few episodes. The most important element of this episode was, of course, the characterization, which was expressed with excellent dialogue and atmosphere. There were basically three major scenes that (directly) established the relationships Brendon has with his father and with McGuirk. They were the first meeting in the pizza restaurant, the confrontation at the soccer game, and the final scene, introducing the newest member of the "Pizza Club."

Not only did these reveal a great deal about the characters and their relationships, but also they were also hilarious, while keeping many of the trademarks of the "HM style." In the first dialogue between Brendon, McGuirk, and Andrew, we see just how much Brendon means to McGuirk, Brendon’s discomfort in the presence of both of them, and the insecurities of both Andrew and McGuirk. But the way we see this is what sets Home Movies apart from so many other show. The exchange between the characters grows from an awkward moment into a tense and chaotic situation where they are all talking at the same time and all hiding how they truly feel. This "talking at the same time" style of dialogue is so refreshing for a TV show. Conversations in life don't end in a punch line, and they're not scripted. This episode found a nearly perfect balance between realistic characters and dialogue and wacky comedy.

I say it finds a balance between the two because, as desperate as he was, McGuirk would not have asked Walter and Perry to start a pizza club. They put that in for comedy, and it worked wonderfully. That was just hilarious.

A few final points: the Paula subplot just didn't work at all. Not only didn't it work comically, but also I think it took a little something away from her character. After seeing her enthusiastically write her terrible novel last week, and then seeing her desperate and wacky behavior this week, it seems her character is being treated with a little less respect on the show. Not a huge deal, just what sort of came to my mind as I was watching (for the record, I know why they had her do all that, I just didn't like that they did). Brendon’s movie was great, I felt it got back to the early style of the movies that I love. And, lastly, the pizza place in this episode looked exactly like the neighborhood place I go to...but none of you care...

Behonkiss: I don't like this one as much as everyone else. Yes, it IS funny, but Paula acted really out of character and it bugged me. I like the band scenes ("Now, over 100 people know their name.") and McGuirk's Pizza Club a lot, though.

Mynd Hed: This episode was all right. I'm usually one of the biggest McGuirk-lovers you'll find, but I found him annoying this episode. I dunno, usually he's funniest when he's at his most pathetic, but this episode just didn't do it for me.
I hate Cynthia's character, maybe Brendon's obsession with her just reminds me too much of my own youth, heh heh-- too hung up on her looks to realize what an evil aristocratic wench she is. Other than that, the Battle of the Bands plot was good, I love it when they give Skab some screen time-- pity they always seem to be linked with Cynthia.

Overall Grade: C+

StrangerAtaru: One of the interesting facts about Brendon in this series is that he has two father figures in his life: his actual father Andrew, and his insane non-father McGurk. In this episode, we finally sort of see Brendon come to grips with this, although it ends up in a sort-of awkward position. The scenes between Brendon and Andrew in this episode are some of the best between them so far, partially due to the lack of Linda to stand in their way. The "Pizza Club" thing is a nice way to see some good father/son relations, showing that they really have connected together since "Dad" when he first sees him. Meanwhile, even though McGurk was trying to remain a "father figure" in the face of Brendon's real father, his performance in this episode seemed mostly annoying at times than funny. The parts where McGurk tries to join this little thing, including the first "Pizza Club" meeting of the episode and the "bike" sequence (a tribute to "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure") came off more annoying than funny. Things started to pick up when McGurk organized his own Pizza Club (with another strange Walter and Perry moment), and peaked with the climatic meeting at the soccer game. Meanwhile, the "duel-fathers" motif was also linked to Brendon's movie involving the two convicts with the same daughter. That movie started off funny in the beginning, but eventually became old a little later. However, what kept it fresh was Paula's sudden interest in being a part of the movie, an interesting side effect to her unemployment situation. Paula was just a lot of fun in this episode, considering that she really hasn't been in any of the movies before and her determination eventually does pay off in the end. (sort of)

Outside of that stuff, we have the other big story in this episode: the final appearance of Cynthia. Personally, I thought this story should have ended with "Impressions", but they decided to stick her into one more Scab-related bit involving a "Battle of the Bands". Brendon's "Scab" documentary was funny, partially since it was mocking shows like "Behind the Music" as well as giving us a bit of background on Dwayne and his group. (even the mysterious "5th member") The contest itself was funny too, with parodies of all these different bands and styles that made Scab look good! (I especially liked the Devo takeoff there) All of this stuff sort of made the conclusion of the Cynthia plot seem invisible to me, but I was annoyed that even after everything he had been through, it had to take another episode (and precious footage) for Brendon to get over her. But other than that and some of the early McGurk scenes, this was a consistant episode that had some good moments.

The Landstander: The main focus of this episode is fantastic, but once again, I just didn't care for the Cynthia storyline. At least this wrapped it up effectively.

Andrew is working Brendon into his life...a little. They seem to have scheduled a meet for a weekly Pizza Club meeting, where they eat pizza/watch movies/whatever. I found it oddly appropiate that Andrew schedules time with his son like a business meeting. When McGuirk finds out about the pizza club, he demands Brendon let him in, which is both a nice look at McGuirk's life and at his odd relationship with Brendon. Brendon uses this as the inspiration for his newest movie, about a girl with two fathers. Despite getting (stealing) a bike for Brendon and his constant insistance, Brendon remains strong that this is a father/son club. The last scene with McGuirk crying over finally being let in is great.

But while that storyline works excellently, the other two are a bit more faulty. Cynthia is back one last time, and Brendon takes up a (funny) Scab documentary to be around her. She still isn't interested in the slightest, and Brendon's attempts seem even less focused than before. I thought the scene with Brendon on-stage professing his "like" for Cynthia was a bit too much, but the final scene with Brendon looking on while editing his movie was legitimately sad. Then there's Paula, whose boredom has amounted to her wanting to be part of the movies. As in, walking on set in the middle of a scene. This one just kind of plays through, and ends in the way you'd probably expect it to.

I think the Brendon/McGuirk/Andrew plotline was among their best here, though, and even though the other plotlines weren't as strong this still makes for a very good episode. I think, more so than "The Wedding", this is the climax to the whole Andrew situation. Highly Recommended.

Well, technically it's not MY bike...