The Sunset Scene
Episode 205: The Party

Brendon Small/ Perry/Junior Addleburg – Brendon Small
Jason Penopolis/Coach Jon McGuirk/Walter – H. Jon Benjamin
Melissa Robbins – Melissa Bardin Galsky
Paula Small – Janine Ditullo
Josie Small – Loren Bouchard
Trudy Muley – Paula Plum
Fenton Muley – Sam Seder

Jeepers Jolly ain't it great, Fenton's Mulley's turning eight, Eat some ice cream eat some cake, Jeepers Jolly ain't it great...Wow. That's awful.

Synopsis: Fenton Muley, a kid from the soccer team, has his birthday party. But when Fenton's mother asks Brendon to make a movie tribute to Fenton, he's at a loss for how to portray Fenton as anything but a jerk. Jason's falling to his candy addiction and McGuirk's inevitable appearance don't help matters.

· This episode introduces Fenton Muley, as well as his mother, Trudy Muley.
· We also meet Ken Addleburg’s son, Junior Addleburg, in this episode. His role is gradually expanded.

Lawn Gnomes:
· Didn’t catch any, though I’m pretty sure there is one in there. I’m probably just missing it.

Hi Ya!

Brendon’s Filmography:
· *“Kung Fu Fighters” – What else is there to say?
· *“Happy Birthday, Chump!” – A birthday video to Fenton Muley, where Brendon makes fun of him. Honk honk.
· “Fenton is…” – A movie that shows the real Fenton Muley.

The Movie-Episode Connection:
· Beyond the nice "birthday suit" gag, Brendon’s storyline centers on the movie, so no real connection.

The Plotline Connection: (TheJazzFighter)
· Pretty simple: The Party. Brendon has to do a video for it, Jason goes on a candy binge during it, Melissa tries to stop Jason during it, McGuirk shows up to it, Paula helps Brendon with his video for it, Walter & Perry are at it, and the party is Fenton's.

Fenton, that sounds like a drug you take to keep from scratching. Honk honk!

· The music that plays in the background through most of Fenton’s party (credited as “The Birthday Song”) sounds a lot like “The Compliment Song” from Episode 210 – History.
· “Sunset Theme” – Instrumental.
Both of these are on the CD Soundtrack.

Alright, let the games begin!

Random Observations & Facts:
· This is the last time we will see Josie until 301 - Shore Leave.
· When Jason says, “that was a haiku”, it actually wasn’t. It had 16 syllables, not 17.
Melissa How High
Can You Jump? How High Do You
Need? Eighteen Feet.
· The birthday invitation has a bear eating cake on it.
· Brendon uses “Loco Coco” chocolate syrup, in both his milik and his Sloppy Joe.
· Fenton complains about “Cristy” potato chips.
· On the Muley’s fridge are Fenton’s tests. Grades include B, C-, and “Ok”.
· Pictures of Fenton at the Muley’s: Fenton with a black eye, Fenton in a rabbit costume, Fenton as a baby, and Fenton with a dog.
· McGuirk’s present is wrapped in soccer wrapping-paper.
· Jason eats “Chipz” and drinks “Spaz” cola.
· McGuirk tosses the soccer ball when he puts it behind his back.
· When McGuirk says, "Here's a trick even Houdini couldn't do"
(paraphrasing), he's right! Houdini used to harden his abs and let fans
punch him in the stomach. One day, a fan punched him when he wasn't ready
for it, and he died several days later from internal injuries. So, the joke
is actually a lot smarter than it seems! :-) (thanks to Allyson for this very neat observation)
· Melissa rolls a 7, and McGuirk says she rolled a 4. Though I guess it doesn’t matter anyway.
· Jason’s pupils grow large and small as he looks at the Gummi Bears.
· How exactly did Jason get back to the party? I mean, yeah, he was determined, but in terms of pure practicality...I'm overthinking this.
· The sunset scene is 1:08 long.

And we'll call it the Walter and Perry Van...

Movie & Other References:
· Brendon’s opening movie is a parody of all kung fu fighting movies, particularly “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”.
· There is a picture of Fenton in a rabbit costume at the Muley’s, which might be a reference to the movie “A Christmas Story”.

End Credits: “Sunset Theme”

Melissa, look at me, in the eyes...

Reviews: WARNING: Spoilers

Randomguy: Amazing. I'm convinced I might have just witnessed the singular best episode of this series. Be forewarned, this is going to be a long review; there was a LOT that was done right this time around (In fact, I'm only listing good points- I can't think of anything that was so wrong with this episode that it should be mentioned).
This is what a rocked about "The Party" (Spoilers):
-The Opening Movie- a Crouching Tiger spoof, it was really funny. Looking over this and the Jazz fight from Hiatus, with their costumes and lighting, I think we can all agree that Brendan has progressed a lot from "Dark Side of the Law"
-Josie. She's alive and eating. Thank God.
-Walter and Perry. Some might find them annoying but I think they're a great addition to the series. Their interactions are hilarious- stemming no doubt from the improv technique; they play great off of each other. The romance angle between the two is hilarious. For two background characters that don't get a bunch of screen time, they do a nice job of adding a few laughs.
-Jason's candy problem. This thinly veiled metaphor for a drug problem was so gut-bustlingly funny it's unbelievable. It was so clichéd (purposefully) that it was great. Seeing Jason begging for just "One More Gummy Bear" was awesome. His talks with Melissa were good too, as well as, I believe, being the first Home Movies character to utter b***ch (Do I have to censor myself on an AS board), leading into....
-Melissa’s increased amount of screen time. She played really well off of both Jason and Brendan, be it talking about the movie or begging Jason to stop his bad habits. Further cementing my theory that she's a great character.
-McGuirk. 'Nuff Said, y'know? Having him barge into the party with beer was so random and unexpected. Even better, McGuirk (With Brendan's re-enforcement) finally showed some backbone, yelling down that snobby punk just as he deserved, and getting the partygoers the apology they deserved.
-The Annoying Kid (Already forgotten his name). He was great because he was SUPPPOSED to be irritating. Watching him get his comeuppance was suitably satisfying.
-Voice acting. I know I'm being random here, but I'd like to give the Home Movies cast props. They render the characters with just the right timing and emotion. Home Movies would be a pale shadow of what it is without such a great cast.
-The Ending. Pure and simple, this ending was great. The strength of Flash is really showing itself here, because the ending had the first shot ever in Home Movies to take my breath away. Up until this point, the animation has been a means to end, but that lost shot, cornball it might sound, was beautiful. First showing Walter and Perry walking away, shadows moving across their faces, to having Brendan, Melissa, and Jason strolling into an awesome sunset was one hell of an ending. Their dialogue here was great as well. Having them walk into the sunset talking about their next movie would have been a great way to end the whole series. Their was development here, actual growth, and it was really sweet, in a way. It proved to me that Home Movies and its central characters were deeper then I first gave them credit for. This was all complemented by a superb musical track, "Sunset Theme".

What really made this episode was the character interaction. Be it Walt off Perry, Jason off Melissa, Brendan off McGuirk, it was the dialogue that made this episode worth watching. All great shows have one thing in common, and that's characters. They're important to any good piece of work, and Soup2Nuts knows it. This whole episode was, more or less, the "Ballad of Fallen Angels" of Home Movies- everything was that spot on. I think it's clear, at the very least, that Home Movies has come a long from "Get Away From My Mom". I'm gonna watch it again Thursday, it's just so well-done. If Home Movies had ended here, I would have died a happy man. And that's saying something.

Spectre: This episode has a lot of awkward humor here and there -- Jason gets "drunk" but eating a lot of candy, and in a rather uncomfortable moment, he tries to kiss Melissa, er, "drunkenly." But the fact is that it's all funny. The awkwardness evokes laughter. "The Party" is about a party (surprised?) where Brendon, Melissa, Jason, practically the whole soccer team, and Coach McGuirk (eventually) go to a birthday party of Fenton Mewler, another student at their school. You have to laugh when Fenton's mom continually says "Video-film" and vice versa. You also have to laugh when Jason gets shoved in a cab while on a sugar high (or down). Brendon gets good jokes in; Paula does as well. She wasn't used to great effect like she could of been, but whenever she was on screen, it was time of value. This episode was probably the most "adult" episode of Home Movies so far -- Coach McGuirk brings beer to the kid's birthday party; Jason actually says a bad word; and Jason acts drunk (did I say this yet?). But we got to know all of the characters more, and in the end, you realize that this little party will probably be a good memory of our favorite characters -- Jason, Melissa, and Brendon -- as they grow up. It was a good episode, handled in a gentle and actually caring way. It ended, what can I say... perfectly. Grade: A

Jdogg: Generally regarded as the best post-season 1 episode, "The Party" was not quite as good as I remember. It is still very good though. Very poignant. A

Behonkiss: OK, it won't shock you if I say that "The Party" is my favorite episode. The Jason scenes are so hilarious and bizarre(My friends and I STILL quote them), Walter and Perry get their first taste of a lot of screentime(Unlike many, I find them funny), it's so satisfying to see Fenton get yelled at at the end(That guy was such a jerk to his mom; speaking of her, how come nothing came out of her and McGuirk talking to each other?), and an important note....I'm confident that this is the final appearance of Josie.(She's in the "birthday suit" scene.)

J.C.: As usual, another great episode. This show is a split hair away from replacing Space Ghost as my favorite AS show of all time.
Grade: A-

The Condiment King: This episode was really a showcase for the kids, particularly the guest stars, such as Addleberg Jr., Walter & Perry, and especially Fenton. In a way, we are introduced to all their mannerisms. How eccentric Addleberg Jr. is as a Skunk Scout who "earned this badge for earning that badge", all the innuendo around Walter & Perry, and of course, the unbearable annoyance and whining of Fenton Muley. Even his mother is annoying as she and her son call everything a "film video", and Trudy gives in to everything Fenton demands and takes all his garbage. Well, at the end, she seems to turn a corner thanks to McGuirk, but I don't think this sticks with the character very long.

Its great to see Brendon make fun of Fenton, especially in his first draft of his video for Fenton's birthday party, no matter how ridiculous it may seem to actually think about showing that video. Brendon takes pity on both Fenton and his mother throughout and that's pretty much the only reason he does anything for him, but in a way, I'm rooting against Fenton since he's such a terrible person and he deserves his eventual comeuppance.

I liked the subplots here with Jason going crazy over the candy (which we would see later in "Coffins and Cradles" at Halloween no less), and Melissa trying to stop him. Its hilarious that Jason has such a deep-seeded internal struggle over candy here at a meaningless eight-year-old's birthday party. Also, we see Coach McGuirk being so bored that he goes to Fenton's birthday party despite the lame invitation. "Golly geepers, ain't it great. Fenton Muley's turning eight.." My favorite joke might have been how McGuirk explains the "slaughter rule" to Melissa and then berates the team once again. The episode ends with everyone going off into the sunset to another original theme. I actually think this episode is usually slightly overrated, but its still a very good episode. ****

StrangerAtaru: For every "on" episode this show has, there just are some that seem to get to me no matter how much everyone likes them. This episode, while having a few funny bits in it, just doesn't have the comedic consistancy of something like "Hiatus" or "Director's Cut". Part of the blame has to go to the semi-important, yet still annoying, Fenton, who is introduced and gives new meanings to the word "brat". Fenton is the most obnoxious, whiny kid met so far, to the point that he would pretty much be holding back everyone else in the episode. But the Fenton situation does improve the comedic situations for at least 2 (or should I say 3) characters. The first one is obviously Brendon, who is pretty much forced to create a birthday video for the brat, both of which exploit how he really is. (the first one being just a bunch of insults while Brendon is in his "birthday suit", the other being the infamous "Fenton Is...") The other characters who actually work with the idiot well is Walter and Perry, whom you could probably consider Fenton's subliminal "arch-enemies". Their crazily cheerful (and obviously ambiguous) routine works in making Fenton even more aggrevated, especially as seen with the bathroom bit. (you can sort of tell Fenton and Walter and Perry just seem to mesh as well in "Field Trip", as well as smaller bits in "Writer's Block" and "Shore Leave") Meanwhile, Jason's "sweets obsession", while trying to parody alcoholism, just never works for me. Sure Melissa and Jason tried to make it funny, but it just seemed more disturbing considering that it's only candy. (and speaking of disturbing, is it just me or does Fenton's mom trying to do something with every male she coaxes other than her son?) As for McGurk, his eccentricities gave a bit more life to the insanities, from when he payed off the clown to get rid of him to his "dice game" against Melissa. However, he also seemed to channel himself to a more meaningful side, being the one who finally shuts Fenton up after everything he has done in this episode. And of course, who can't forget the famous Sunset ending.....well, maybe Melissa considering Brendon's and Jason's ideas. Overall, an episode that could have been a lot better, but at least has a few good things to it.

Noclist: This is a really good episode from season 2, Walter and Perry are at their best, wanting to go to the bathroom together and move into a van/house with each other. Other funny parts include Jason getting drunk on candy and McGuirk barging into the party with beer.


Mynd Hed: This episode is one of my personal favorites. This was the first episode containing Walter and Perry in full "ambiguously gay" mode, back when it was still fresh. Fenton was annoying, but that made it all the better when he finally got his comeuppance from McGuirk. McGuirk was great, bringing beer and playing dice at an eight-year-old's birthday party, and it was nice to see him actually do something good at the end of the episode and even get in with Fenton's mom a little. (-: Guy's gotta win sometime. And the high point of the episode, for me, was Jason's disturbing chocoholism. So wrong... and yet so funny.

Overall Grade: A+

The Landstander: On the commentary on the DVD, the creators talk about how they like to get all their characters into the same situation, and just play around and have them interact. This is probably the definitive episode done in that style: There's one big story, Fenton's birthday, housing a ton of little stories and great characters (some old, some new).

First off, we get to meet Fenton in this episode. He's truly one of the most obnoxious characters I've ever seen, and it's hard to pull that off while still being funny. His general bad attitude and whiny, snot-nosed personality make McGuirk's big speech to him not only funny, but geuninely satisfying. McGuirk doesn't feel interjected into the plotline here; it's twice as good because you can geuninely believe McGuirk would show up to a children's party, just to hang out. His antics are funny, from his reading of the birthday invite down to his implied wooing of Mr. Muley. Walter & Perry get their first real episode that extends beyond a cameo; they rant, they rave, they creep out, for a good amount of screentime. If there's some audio file of Walter & Perry outtakes, even if lasts for hours, I would pay good money for it. Even Paula gets some nice scenes towards the beginning of the episode, with her appraisal of Brendon's situation.

At the heart, of course, is our usual trio. Jason's candy addiction is great; season 2 seemed to like having characters drunk, and so they gave Jason the next closest thing to it. What makes it work even more is Melissa, who is the perfect straight (wo)man to his insanity. Brendon is given the tough task of making Fenton seem somewhat likable; though both of his attempts ultimately fail (one directly, one due to lack of any usable material), they both seem to be saying, "hey, I was trying"! Brendon's mingling abilities are showcased in his awkward conversations with, well, everyone. Finally, there's that excellent final scene, starting with a walk by Walter & Perry that lasts a bit too long for comfort and ending with Brendon, Jason and Melissa walking off into the sunset, discussing nothing in particular.

There's no big concept to "The Party", and maybe not even any huge gags around which the episode is based. But there's a certain understated simplicity to it that makes it work wonderfully. The only concievable complaint I have is that, perhaps, the show chose an image that worked so well for the series that it's a shame it wasn't the final one of the series (though then again, they ended up remedying that nicely). Best of the Season.

You know, I thought randomguy's review was pretty long, but you kind of need it to review something you like this much.

You're ruining my party!