Are you kidding? This is the ugliest audience I've ever seen!
Episode 304: Sensitivity

AKA “Improving Your Life Through Improv”

Cast:
Brendon Small/Perry/Junior Addleburg/Ken Addleburg/Josh – Brendon Small
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

Mr. Lynch as the other kid!

Synopsis: After doing an impression of Junior Addleburg, Brendon and others are forced to attend a sensitivity seminar. Meanwhile, Paula enters a contest.

History:
· 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.

Hey stupidheads kick the stupid ball...

Brendon’s Filmography:
· *“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.

Jason, you gotta get bigger...

Song Lyrics:
· 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 ass
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 eyelashes.
· 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.

Reaction the closing song

Past Episode References:
· When Junior Addleburg reads the paper, one of the stories is “Sick Eddie Cured!” a reference to Eddie from 207 – Dad.
· Jason has a shish-ka-bob at lunch, just like he did in Episode 108 – Method of Acting.

End Credits: “Season Three Theme”

Freeze!

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 confused.

I must say, this episode is better than last weeks. It's not better than the now classic "Shore Leave," but great nonetheless. A

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 it.

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 Swedish cereal.

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 season two).

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 me.

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.

StrangerAtaru: After 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. Highly Recommended.

Pee, mom, look!