Episode 304: Sensitivity
AKA “Improving Your Life Through Improv”
Brendon Small/Perry/Junior Addleburg/Ken Addleburg/Josh – Brendon
Jason Penopolis/Coach Jon McGuirk/Walter– H. Jon Benjamin
Melissa Robbins – Melissa Bardin Galsky
Paula Small – Janine Ditullo
Josie Small – Loren Bouchard
Mr. Lynch – Ron Lynch
Improv Girl – Laura Silverman
Synopsis: After doing an impression of Junior Addleburg, Brendon
and others are forced to attend a sensitivity seminar. Meanwhile,
Paula enters a contest.
· This is the only episode to ever show us anything about the
Addleburg family. Ken has an apparently beautiful wife, another son
besides Junior and two twin daughters (with the eyebrows) who remind
me of the twins from the Shining. He also has a big screen TV.
Lawn Gnomes: (Click for picture)
· There is a lawn gnome wearing a sombrero
in front of the Addleburg’s house.
· *“The Robbery” – A man wants a better life
for his wife and kids, so he goes off an tries to rob a bank.
The Movie-Episode Connection:
· The whole sensitivty theme of the episode is shown in Brendon's
behavior in the movie. Maybe he really does need training.
The Plotline Connection: (TheJazzFighter)
· Brendon, McGurik, Melissa, Jason and everyone else laughing
gets sent to the seminar thing. Paula's little storyline connects
because in the end, Brendon ends up getting laughed at. In my opinion,
the seminar did nothing for anyone. Look at the next Episodes and
you'll see what I mean.
· No Skin Off My Ass
Ooooh, bu dum be dum ba bahh
This is a song I wrote, about tolerance, and understanding:
I watched a caterpillar change into a butterfly today (She watched
a caterpillar, change into a butterfly and...)
You can't throw rocks from your house of glass
There ainít no skin off of my ass, ainít no skin off of my ass (Ain't
no skin off of my ass, ain't no skin off of my ass)
People, donít look at each other as black and white, look at each
other as light and dark
Be sensitive, today
And you can't throw rocks from your house of glass, ainít no skin
off of my ass, my sweet ass, my sweet ass, my sweet ass, I love my
My sweet sweet sweet sweet ass
My sweet sweet sweet sweet sweet sweet sweet ass
Random Observations & Facts:
· It seems like when the Seminar girl is asking for volunteers,
and keeps skipping over Perry who is now seperated from Walter, when
she asks for a job title for herself it seems like Perry's suggestions
are totally bitchy: "A SHOE man" - "A HORSE person".
(thanks to John O' for this funny interpretation)
· This episode starts in a season one-style “going into
the TV Screen” thing.
· During Walter’s imitation of Perry, Walter gets big
· McGuirk wipes grass off his shirt when he talks to Lynch
(from rolling on the floor laughing during Brendon’s imitation).
· Junior reads the “Generic Gazette”. The stories
are “Sick Eddie Cured” and “Lost Dog”.
· Brendon says walking in, “I’m home! I got in
trouble today and I have to go to a seminar on Saturday and I apologized
to Junior and we have to have dinner at his house I’ll be upstairs!”
· The clock on Brendon’s editing machine doesn’t
work very well.
· The vault says “The Bank of the US”
· The sign on the auditorium door says “Sensitivity Seminar
Saturday” Over the word Saturday is a piece of paper taped on
that says “Today”
· At the seminar: Shannon (sleeping), Fenton, David (as in
Don’t Use Your Hands) (sleeping), a few of the Fairy Princesses,
Walter & Perry, Alison, Jason, Brendon, Melissa, Cindy, and a
few of the other regular classmates.
· Josie eats “üt o’s” cereal. The flag
of Denmark (I think it’s Denmark) is on the box.
· Some possible occupations: “Doctor”, “Teacher”,
“Cement Mixer”. Nobody said Dental Hygienist.
· Some for the girl: “Shoe Man”, “Horse Person”.
Nobody said Window Washer.
· Walter & Perry have a picnic during lunch, including
a basket and tablecloth.
· Walter & Perry jump up and down when they hear there’s
a closing song. At the end of the song, Walter looks like he’s
about to cry.
· Shannon holds a lighter during the song.
· Paula makes brownies for the Addleburg’s party.
· Paula wears a shirt that says “Girl” in the video.
Past Episode References:
· When Junior Addleburg reads the paper, one of the stories
is “Sick Eddie Cured!” a reference to Eddie from 207 –
· Jason has a shish-ka-bob at lunch, just like he did in Episode
108 – Method of Acting.
End Credits: “Season Three Theme”
Reviews: WARNING: Spoilers
Spectre: The third
season of Home Movies has really been on target, I must say. We've
had the absolute classic "Shore Leave," the very funny "Bad
Influences," and now this great episode. I think watching this
episode beside 201 - "Politics" really reveals how fluid
HM has become in both animation, comic timing, and lines.
I could really relate to the assembly. I've seen those kind of things
numerous times, and have also taken part in them. The way Brendon
feels at the event would be my thoughts exactly.
The whole sequence where Brendon watches his uncut footage and writes
down various notes was both completely on time and funny. Jason kept
getting madder and madder... nothing could be more funny. Each time
Brendon would ask for more anger, we could see Jason quickly look
I must say, this episode is better than last weeks. It's not better
than the now classic "Shore Leave," but great nonetheless.
Behonkiss: Better than
last week's OK episode, definitely. The "pee" ending was
funny, as was freeze tag and the movie. B.
The Condiment King: I
really like the facial expression of Paula as she sneaks out of the
car to the mailbox while Brendon isn't looking. This is pretty consistent
with Paula, to not think about Brendon's reputation before sending
in such a video. She was going for the money here. He'll get over
Brendon sure does a good Junior Addelberg. It was great hearing everyone's
impressions and especially hearing Jason ask if it was his father.
I wonder how good Jason's Nixon is. Junior Addelberg actually has
a plot centered around him for once (at least somewhat) along with
Ken. He's already popped up more in this season than in the others.
I like how Lynch asks Brendon if he's playing the hurt-someone's-feelings
game and Brendon says, "Yes?"
I really like the scene where Brendon plays back the old footage
and realizes only then how insensitive he was. It was hilarious seeing
him tell Jason to overact, even when before he looked at the tape,
he knew it was overacting before any stage direction. Then, of course,
his notes after his actions one by one were great. Apologize to Jason,
apologize to Melissa, re-hire Jason, send flowers to Melissa..
The sensitivity seminar was a great little setting. It seems like
Brendon has used this series to showcase all the things about the
typical childhood. We have the drone teacher who doesn't put any life
into his subject for the kids, as well as other certain events. This
is one of them. The leaders of this are very similar to seniors leading
a high school or college orientation, trying to be all peppy about
learning lessons over a small amount of time. They incite dumb, quirky
games such as the improv that they did with lame jokes.
Two interesting things: 1.) on the headline of the paper is that
Eddie had been cured, a reference to McGuirk's old pal. 2.) Did anyone
notice Shannon in the audience? Did anyone notice him laughing at
some of the jokes? That seems very out of character for Shannon. Shannon
also raised a lighter during the final song.
McGuirk comes on to the girl leader, which is typical. The leaders
are generally just hilarious in their cheesy awkward politically correctness.
Its great that Josh leaves as soon as his community service stops.
Its downright bizarre that the closing song is so random and has so
much language. Great moment. Great episode. ****
Shnay: Due to circumstances
beyond my control, I've only seen two of the four Home Movies episodes
from season three, so it's hard to develop an opinion about this new
season. But that doesn't mean I'm not going to, anyway . From the
commercials I saw of the last episode, it seemed that Brendon and
Jason suddenly got very fat, and then returned to normal by the end
of the episode. While I'm sure that would make for a pretty funny
episode, it seems to sacrifice some of the reality of the show. Again,
I haven't seen that episode, so I can't say for sure, but I think
I prefer episodes like this latest one that stick more to the original
feel of the show. That said, I'll begin the episode review.
Overall, I thought this was a very good episode, however, while it
was certainly solid, I don't think it had enough good moments to really
be great. The good moments it did have, though, were very good. The
assembly groups, the improv game, Jason being told to “go bigger,”
McGuirk’s impressions, (just to name a few) were all very good
scenes. One of the things I really enjoyed was the simple relationship
dynamics we saw between Brendon, Paula, and Josie. In scenes reminiscent
of season one, we saw Brendon try to dodge getting in trouble, Paula
playing the combined role of the loving mother and the distressed
woman ("Oh, sh--"), and Josie being herself, and adding
to the scene by simple actions such as sneezing or eating spilled
Another aspect I liked was the fact that the supporting characters
seemed to stay in a supporting role (imagine that). McGuirk didn't
receive all the focus, yet was still used enough to deliver some great
comedic moments ("This isn't the bathroom."). Walter and
Perry were used quite a lot, but not so much that they became tiresome
(well, they're supposed to be tiresome, but they weren't used so much
that I got bored with the joke). Junior was also used just the right
amount, and he and his father stayed entertaining throughout the episode
(though I hope they don't keep bringing them back, as they did in
I do have some gripes about this episode. First, although this is
more of a personal opinion about the show than a criticism of the
episode, I just don't like the editing machine. True, it brought about
one of the episode's funniest moments, but I just enjoyed the movies
more in season one when they had even more of an amatuerish feel to
them. That feeling is still there, and the movies are still great,
but I liked them better before there was any professional editing
machine involved. It certainly could be argued that since Brendon
is obviously very serious about making movies, getting an editing
machine for his birthday, or something, would just be a natural step
for him. And perhaps that's true, and I'm just being stubborn. I don't
know, an editing machine for his films just doesn't...feel right to
As for criticisms of this specific episode, I felt that the ending,
while funny, was way too abrupt. It ended the episode on a rushed
and unfinished sort of note. I think the episode would have improved
a lot if they had even just a little more closure for the episode.
I think the "pee movie" was a good idea, but it shouldn't
have ended the episode. I thought Jason and Melissa were under-used.
An easy way to fix this would have been to have a scene in which they
were shooting the bank robbers movie. I definitely would have liked
to see more of them. I also agree with livingfruitvirus, who said
that the girl's song was just sort of padding. They could have cut
that song in half and it would have been much better.
So, for this episode, the good moments far outweigh the few gripes
I have. A very good episode, but I think it had the potential to be
a lot better.
the dissapointments associated with the previous episode, we come
across one that is a lot better on both concept and execution, even
if it gets a bit akwards at times. The situation seems simple enough:
Brendon and a good chunk of the school are forced to go to a sensitivity
seminar because they tease Junior Addleburg, only the seminar really
doesn't do anything at all. Brendon is back at the top of his form
here, being the reactionary to the situations around him even if he
doesn't mean to bring it on himself. The scene where he makes impersonates
the Addleburgs is not done derogatorily, but instead at the end of
a series of impressions which include Brendon doing McGurk, Melissa
doing Lynch, and Walter doing Perry. (or was it the other way around?)
The situation only becomes akward because of the over-sensitivity
of Lynch and "bad timing" of the boy with the accent. Brendon
has to go through more issues involving feelings as the episode goes
on, including a conversation with McGurk and a funny sequence where
he is editing a bank-robbing movie and, at the same time, realizes
how bad he treated Jason and Melissa when filming it. Of course, all
of this is leading up to the actual seminar, where everyone has to
sit through these four idiot-teenagers who really don't know anything
about sensitivity but think they do. One of the classic scenes at
the seminar is the role-playing sequence, which really has nothing
to do with sensitivity whatsoever, but is a good scene through the
akwardness of Brendon as everyone does all this confusing stuff around
him. I also liked the one kid who started doing that one speech, then
suddenly a beeper goes off and he leaves because his community service
sentence is up, showing that even the people doing this don't like
doing this) The only one who actually is enthusiastic about the whole
thing is the leader-girl, who comes across to me as an obnoxious jerk
acting overly-perky even before her, um, musical number towards the
end. But then again, I think she was supposed to.
While Brendon is central to the comedy in this episode, I liked many
of the other characters here as well. Paula had another good episode,
especially in showing that she is a loving mom who cares about Brendon,
yet also knows when he needs to be reprimanded for what he does. (such
as in that great scene where Brendon comes home) Of course, she is
also the reason behind the ending of the episode, where she sends
in and wins third place with an embarassing video of a little Brendon,
giving him his, um, just desserts for the whole Addleburg situation.
("Peeeeee.") While I don't know why they would rerun the
video over and over considering it was in 3rd, I don't know, but I
think it was just a device for the episode to come full circle where
Brendon was the one being laughed at. Speaking of the Addleburgs,
both the son and the father truely showed themselves off well in this
one, trying to cope with the whole situation involving embarassment.
(but then, this is one of the few episodes where they are crucial
to what happens) I even liked little Josie in this episode for some
reason, considering she has a couple of cute moments here and there
in the first half. (like Brendon's conversation with her and the scene
with the cereal) As for McGurk, well, he was funny as usual, but this
is another episode where he was just inserted for no reason except
"he was there". Overall, a pretty good episode with several
memorable moments for better or worse.
The Landstander: A
very solid episode, funny from start to finish.
Whenever the show goes to the schoolyard and the various kids in
the class (which admittedly they didn't do often), it's usually pretty
funny. There's that very real feeling of trying to impress people,
even if it's just Walter & Perry. Brendon gets the crowd going
with a nice Junior Addleburg impression (which is particularly funny,
as Small voices both characters), until Junior cries and Lynch intervenes.
Even funnier is when McGuirk edges Brendon on to do it again, after
his own set of impressions that, once again, seem a desperate attempt
to impress Brendon. Junior cries again and Lynch intervenes again,
making everyone head over to the Sensitivity Training Seminar. Laura
Silverman is great as the overenthuiastic improv leader, and the performance
really catches that "awful school performance" feeling.
The neat thing about this episode is how everything flows nicely
into a simple main storyline, involving Brendon and sensitivity. Namely,
his insensitivty to Jason and Melissa in the movie, and the final
bit of poetic justice at Addleburg's house. An all around good effort.