I'm gonna stop us there...
Episode 208: Therapy

Before this one, you’ll want to see Episode 207 – Dad (and before 207, you’ll want to see Episode 113 – Brendon’s Choice).

Meh...

Cast:
Brendon Small – Brendon Small
Jason Penopolis/Coach Jon McGuirk/Lunch Lady – H. Jon Benjamin
Melissa Robbins – Melissa Bardin Galsky
Paula Small – Janine Ditullo
Andrew Small – Louis Szekely
Linda – Laura Silverman

Synopsis: Andrew convinces Linda and Brendon to go to group therapy, to help with their problems. But "Gentle Talk" just isn't as helpful as you'd think.

Are they bleeding?

Lawn Gnomes:
· Didn't catch any.

Brendon’s Filmography:
· *“The Shrinking President-King” – A medieval tale of a President-King who faces the challenges of scheming servants and a shrinking body.

The Movie-Episode Connection:
· · This is kind of explained by the therapist, but this is really one of their best "movie mirroring real life" episodes. Brendon is, of course, the King, who feels he is being belittled (or shrunk) by Andrew and Linda. He feels Andrew is caring less about him and more about Linda. In the end, after the fight between Linda and Andrew, Melissa/Linda stands in power over them both.

The Plotline Connection: (TheJazzFighter)
· Brendon and Paula are both having problems getting used to Linda. McGuirk doesnt really connect.

Not fatter, my lord, thinner...

Song Lyrics:
· Brendon’s “The Shrinking President-King” movie has it’s own medieval style music. It's on the soundtrack.
· The Hot Dog Theme is used at several points in this episode, mostly in the restaurant. It's on the soundtrack.

Random Observations & Facts:
· Throughout this episode, Paula reacts to Andrew & Linda’s marriage. Some of her reactions include: Eating chips, popcorn & ice cream while watching TV and going out in the sun and having a margarita.
· The President-King’s “big shoe” might be Linda’s shoe.
· The therapist has a leather jacket that says, “The Feelgoods” on the back.
· McGuirk calls a timeout, even though (as I understand from 106 – Director’s Cut) there is no timeouts in soccer. Of course, he doesn't know that.
· You can hear something that sounds like “The Compliment Song” (from Episode 210 – History) coming from the TV.
· Brendon eats some butter of off a knife while Andrew & Linda are arguing.
· A cartoonist is at another table in the restaurant. The guy he is showing his drawings to ends up hitting him on the head.
· When shrinking President-King Brendon asks servant Melissa for the eyedropper, Melissa has an eyedropper and Brendon ends up holding a turkey baster. Good use of camera tricks.
· When Brendon does the spit take, he ends up hitting Linda.
· This is the second episode in a row to go to the commercial with Brendon doing a spit take.
· When Brendon is thinking about Linda, she seems to say, “Hello Brendon”.
· While Brendon does his rant during therapy, it’s interesting to look at Andrew’s facial expressions as he talks.
· The therapist uses finger quotes when he calls Dad “Andrew”.

I feel it would be in your best interest...

Past Episode References:
· Lorraine from Episode 206 – Impressions can be seen at the restaurant.
· The therapist's "Feelgoods" jacket is a reference to McGuirk's "gang" from his (brief) college days, as recounted to Brendon in Episode 204 - Business & Pleasure (Thanks to Matt Davidson for this one)

End Credits: “Hot Dog Theme”

There's no problem with reacting, Brendon,  I've been doing it all week.

Reviews: WARNING: Spoilers

Randomguy: Man. That Home Movies was AWESOME. After the disappointing "Dad", this episode took the new characters a bit farther, while still managing to be comedic. The dialogue totally drove this episode. The best bits were all of Brendan and Paula's talks, and the McGuirk/Brendan interplay. Some really sharp insight was made here into the whole pop-psychobabble therapy thing as well. Every single thing about the therapy sessions was superb. Even the movie rocked. Best of all, we saw HM characters really DEVELOP. Brendan showed some backbone, Dad began questioning his wife, etc. Great Overall. I say A. Too bad it won't be on again Thursday. To be frank, there wasn't really anything wrong with this episode. Jason and Melissa might not have been featured a lot, but that's ok, because some others got extra screen time. I'm still missing Erik, but other than that, this ranks among my top 5 episodes of HM.

Spectre: "Therapy" begins and interweaves with a segment that should be placed high on the "Best Home Movies memories" list: the "shrinking" Brendon film. Perhaps for these several moments I should consider this episode to be better than last weeks.

There are numerous pluses: the amazing Paula and Brendon conversations which always seem to bring a smile to my face; Brendon, Jason, and Melissa's comments toward the film they're currently making; McGuirk's gingivitis problem; several instances of what seemed like improvisational dialogue; the ending; and of course, the amazing, hilarious, off the wall clips of Brendon's movie, as I said before. Jason, Melissa, and Brendon create these sorts of characters in the movie that I think will linger in my mind for a while.

There are some negatives, however. There were a few semi-long stretches of time where I didn't laugh; mainly during the fight scenes between Brendon's dad and his soon to be wife. It didn't seem so humorous... it seemed more serious, but in a bad way. Got annoying, really.

The therapy sessions were also somewhat of a letdown. I did laugh a little at the book the therapist wrote and such.

Was "Dad" better? It's extremely hard to tell. I don't know, really; I think that I might like this one even more because of the pluses. They hugely outweigh the negatives.

All in all, a pretty good episode. Grade: A-

Pabcool: This Home Movies episode shows off the usual greatness of HM. The whole therapy plot was great, (and the fact that I wanted to run over, shoot, and toss the therapist's blood-drenched corpse off a nice little cliff was probably intencional) the movie, due to it's overwhelming low budget cheeziness I usually see in low budget films, was very amusing, and the McGuirk sub-plot was decent. (McGuirk REALLY strikes me as the type who'd regularly see a shrink)

I give "Therapy" a B+.

The Condiment King: This is a nice follow-up to "Dad" as we see Brendon, Andrew, and Linda try to resolve some of their problems, however it is at the expense of the rest of the cast. Season 2 really takes a turn to where it deals more with the overall themes of the season than with episodic misadventures, perhaps moreso than any other season.

What's odd about this episode is we really don't have any feasible subplots involving Paula or McGuirk, their scenes in this episode are just giving advice to Brendon as to what to do with his father and perhaps soon to be stepmother. This advice is entertaining enough, and it puts the focus solely on this one plotline.

We also have the movie that Brendon, Melissa, and Jason do with Brendon shrinking and being betrayed by Melissa and Jason. The quirky therapist dissects this as meaning that the President King represents Brendon and Melissa and Jason represent Linda and Andrew. I really don't get the point about Brendon shrinking and what that has to do with whatever problems they need to resolve. Perhaps Brendon wanted to be a part of their life and feels like its not working out so far? I'm not sure. Once again, Brendon's problems coming out in his work. Enjoyable episode. ****

StrangerAtaru: Once again, we have one of those episodes that is for the most part good, but does have a couple of problems here and there. For starters, I love the whole plot about Andrew, Linda and Brendon all being forced to go to therapy in order to get the marriage setup to work. Although some of the fighting involving Andrew and Linda could have been worse in this part, it is Brendon as a "third party" in these fights with his typical snide comments that makes it hilarious. (such as one of my favorite lines in the whole series: "Well then it's unanimous: SOMETHING'S STUPID!") The therapist in this episode reminded me a lot of the anger management counselor McGurk went to in "Brendon's Choice", but in this episode, he creates a lot of awkwardly funny things just because of his ridiculous methods involving how to approach conflict resolution. (which, as we all know by now, doesn't go anywhere) Brendon's telling off of the guy's methods at the end should have been a lot funnier to me, but considering it is so similar to McGurk's approach to Fenton in "The Party", it just was not as funny. Meanwhile, I thought that even though McGurk was trying to be useful in this episode, a lot of what he does isn't necessarily needed. Once again, he treats Brendon older than he really is and tries to instill a non-existant Oedipal complex with Linda, while the whole gingivitis bit was even more pointless. (while McGurk has been off or pointless the last few episodes, he starts picking up comedically again next time) Paula once again was a great character, trying to cope with Brendon's therapy as well as her old husband remarrying. I especially like the conversation in front of the TV with Brendon in this episode. And of course, what review of this episode would be complete without "The Shrinking President King", one of the better movies made and giving desperately needed roles to Melissa and Jason in this episode. Although I didn't quite overinterpret it to the way that the therapist does, it does bring out a lot of the themes in the episode in a fun, low-budget fashion. Then again, be prepared to compare a movie like this to the "big one" coming up real soon. (you know what film it is.....)

BTW: During this funny bit where Brendon tries his "gentle talk" on the caf lunch lady, this is the first time I notice the background character I have appropriately named "Joe Kido". Yes, I think he does look like the Digimon character, probably not intentionally, but who knows.

The Landstander: A few episodes ago I wrote how Home Movies is willing to go to odd, awkward places for humor. "Impressions" was the last time it applied, and it didn't quite work, but this episode has a premise that almost sounds like a drama. Brendon, Andrew, and Linda are having trouble getting along, to the point where they need therapy. But the therapy just brings out more anger and makes new problems. Drama in theory, but the episode makes it very, very funny.

First off, there's the movie, which is one of the best uses of the movies the show ever does. The plot plays off Brendon's real life problems nicely, and it gives some great material for Jason and Melissa. The therapy scenes are great in their use of psychobabble, "Gentle Talk", and the way they just make matters worse. Paula has some nice material as she "reacts" to the situation (in a very underplayed way) with some comfort food, some TV and some alcohol. Paula and McGuirk both function as a different type of therapy for Brendon; there's Paula's attempts at keeping Brendon from going overboard, and McGuirk's straight forward opinion of psychology and his own interpretation of the Linda situation. The gingivitis thing is tacked on, but meh.

This all plays out for great comedy, despite the dark undertones. In a way I see the movie is Brendon reacting not just to the fact that he doesn't like Linda, but that Linda is going to be his father's new life. He feels a bit tossed to the side (or shrinking in his father's mind, if you will), and doesn't quite know how to deal with it. Of course, with Linda and Andrew getting into fight at the end, she was the real power all along. This episode is funny, a bit sad, and smart, and I think I've underrated it in the past. Highly recommended.

The skin is all wet. She's all nude and beautiful!