Friday, September 25, 2015

Season 2, Episode 1: Money, Money, Money

Here it is, season 2! Twenty-four episodes and then we will be exactly half way through the series. And I know this took forever, but I really really needed a laptop. I have it now and it is now a nonstop flight to the end of the series! I’ll even get to update the drinking game with quirks from season 2! Guys, I’m excited! Anyway, this episode has both Jessica and Warren, so we’re starting off with the recurrers.
Before I get started, I want to remind everyone that I review in production order. Smoker’s Delight was the first second season episode aired, but it was produced mid-season. I’m only going to make one exception to the whole production order thing, and I’ll explain it when I get to it. It’s not until season 4, though. Anyway, let’s get to it!
Season 2 has a new title sequence! This will also be the last season to use the original theme song.

Ted’s sequence starts the same, but we cut to him using a computer at home. Computers are way cooler than eating lunch, yo.


Joan still starts off in the kitchen, with those googly eye glasses I warned you about last season, but her freeze frame is in the living room. Possible foreshadowing of her character growth?

Jamie is in the kitchen making the most ridiculous sandwich ever. This sequence is actually one of the ones I remembered best as a kid. That sandwich embeds itself into memories.

Vicki is out of the kitchen! Wait, where is Emily Schulman’s credit? Anyway, Vicki karate chops the table. Women’s lib!

Oh, there’s Harriet. They flipped Emily Schulman and Tiffany Brissette in the credits. Anyway, Harriet is eavesdropping because that’s so Harriet.
And the credits end with Vicki clicking them off through Ted’s computer. It makes no sense, but on TV it makes the commercials happen anyway.

Okay, actual episode. Jessica is dressing better! Anyway, Jamie asks if he can sit and Jessica’s like, “of course!” However, as soon as he does sit down, Jessica bolts. She still hates you, dude.

Jamie asks Jessica for a date, claiming to have matured now they’re in junior high. That is the same damn school. This is like how Degrassi Community School was a junior high and somehow became a high school with almost no transition. Anyway, Jessica’s like, “I’m still too good for you.” She tells Jamie he’s adorable, but she only dates for money. She’s 12. Jessica’s parents have majorly failed her. Recognize the red flag and bail out, Jamie!

Harriet walks up to Jamie and makes her feelings about Jessica clear - Harriet’s not a fan. I do not blame her. Jamie is shocked that Harriet’s on his campus in the first place. Harriet says she wanted to have lunch with Jamie, but he’s hung up on the fact that she’s still in elementary school. Dude, it’s not her fault the schools look the same. Harriet doesn’t understand why Jamie would want someone pretty like Jessica when Jamie could have someone like her, but Jamie helpfully reminds her that she likes Warren. I’m pretty sure that was for like five seconds a year ago. Harriet says she’s over him right when Warren comes out. She doesn’t like scenes this week, so she bolts. Or maybe she just doesn’t like scenes when they involve her. Either way, she’s faster than the Flash.

Warren is jealous at how Harriet pines for Jamie, and sad that girls don’t like him. Jamie tries to comfort Warren with the knowledge that he’s the smartest kid in school, but Warren would trade it all “for a night of wild passion.” He actually said that. He’s TWELVE. Warren needs to go back to dating Vicki or he’s going to be that smart kid that goes to community college because he knocked a girl up junior year. You can’t get a robot pregnant. Yet. If this show had gone on long enough, Ted would have found a way, I’m sure.

Back at the house, Ted is programming Vicki. Joan comes out of the kitchen to ask for Vicki’s help making dinner. Ted says she’s busy and tells Vicki to about face. Vicki only turns her head around (get it, about FACE?) and Joan gets bothered. That’s continuity! It bothered her in season 1, too. Ted gets Vicki to make her body join her head before revealing that he’s programmed Vicki to be their accountant and he’s pretty much given her power of attorney over the finances. Oh, that is absolutely not going to backfire at all. Also, how weird is it that Ted had to access Vicki’s back panel to teach her to be in charge of the family budget? Sure, she can learn defibrillation from TV, but handing her an accounting textbook does not take into account how complicated the expenses for a family of four can be, especially when one of them doesn’t eat.

Of course, since the Lawsons are now watching their money, the first words out of Jamie’s mouth as he walks in the door is, “Dad, I need a raise in my allowance.” Ted tells Jamie to take it up with the boss, so he asks Joan and that’s supposed to be funny? Look, robot or no, I wouldn’t assume my younger sibling was the boss of anything, either. Vicki decides Jamie doesn’t need a raise. He’s getting $3 a week in 1986, so I agree. I got, like, $1 a week until 1997 and I made it work. Jamie doesn’t like that answer, however, so he hits Vicki. Lovely behavior to teach children.

Jamie reveals he needs the money for Jessica, but his family is like, “you’re too good for that skank.” You really are, Jamie. You’re a little jerk that just hit your little sister for saying something you didn’t like, and you’re still too good for Jessica. That’s how horrible Jessica is. For absolutely no reason other than it occupied time, Ted reveals that there is an emergency fund of $200 that only Vicki knows where it is, and only Vicki can decide what an emergency is. Jamie needed to know that? It’s obvious they needed a filler device, probably to make up for the fact the B-plot isn’t a plot.

I’m assuming it’s the next day at school, but who really knows? Small Wonder has no regards for time or cuts that actually makes sense. Anyway, Warren asks Jamie for a minute of his time and Jamie says it has to be fast because he has “some heavy breathing to do with Jessica.” Children watched this show. These kids are 12. They don’t need to make so many sex jokes. I mean, I get it’s Small Wonder and if they don’t constantly make sex jokes, they will die, but dude, there has to be limits.

Warren decides Jamie should be his love guru, a position Jamie declines until Warren agrees to pay him. Warren claims he has a lot of money saved up because he has no one to spend it on. Bullshit. Screw other people, Warren is a nerd in 1986. NES is the BFF he spends all his cash on. Anyway, Jamie decides that Warren can follow him around on a date in exchange for Warren bankrolling the whole thing. Jamie then borrows the giant wad of money Warren inexplicably carries around with him at all times, maybe because muggings only exist in Sitcomland in very special episodes. Jamie uses the money to seduce Jessica, and it obviously works because Jessica is a skank. I’m not even going to comment on the fact that she only needed to check a $1 bill to decide Jamie was loaded now. Anyone can... you know what, no. That’s commenting.

Back at the Lawson homestead, Vicki is memorizing a budget meal cookbook, and Harriet comes over to leave a message for Jamie with Joan. Harriet thinks Jessica is trouble and wants Jamie to know she might not be as pretty, but she wouldn’t hurt Jamie as badly. You’re beautiful where it counts, Harriet. Joan agrees to pass on the message. Ted comes home just then and wants to know what Harriet’s problem was. I don’t think he actually cared, he just needed dialogue to cross the room. Ted starts bitching about the budget, and after finding out cabbage is for dinner, he decides “screw the budget” and tries to get Vicki to give up the emergency fund so he and Joan can go out to dinner. I don’t even know where to begin with pointing out all the obvious alternatives. When Vicki decides this isn’t an emergency, Ted threatens to dismantle her, but he threatens it so much that Vicki just doesn’t care. Then, to prove he’s robot father of the year, Ted calls Vicki a bucket of bolts, but she’s just so over him. Man, I really wish the show had gone on into Vicki’s teen years.


Jamie and Jessica show up to “La Petit Maison” for their date, and naturally, the maitre’d wants to know how Jamie’s going to pay. I also would not trust 12 year olds in a fancy restaurant, so bravo for some actual realism here. The maitre'd seats them, and there's some tired gag about how Jamie lied about knowing French and then Jessica asks him when grenouille is. Maybe the gag wasn't so overdone in the 80s that everyone and their dog knew grenouille was frogs legs, but come on.  Jamie gets up to ask the maitre'd what grenouille is, and the maitre'd points out Warren, who's been hiding in a plant. Jamie says Warren is his chauffer, and the maitre'd promises to take good care of Jamie and Jessica.

After the lovely dinner, Warren shows up to ask for cab fare home. It leads to everything coming out about how Jamie was just using Warren’s money to look rich. Since Jessica is a 12-year-old skank that doesn’t care about anything but money, she leaves with Warren and the wad of cash. This leaves Jamie with no money to pay the bill, forcing him to call his parents.

The Lawsons are now in their living room, and they decide now is a good time rip Jamie a new one. Because doing that on the way home is so passe, or even through the door. They have to be in "rip Jamie a new one" positions. Also, why is Joan standing while the robot sits? Small Wonder: who cares if the framing is awkward? 

Ted explains to Vicki that they no longer have money because they had to bail Jamie out. Vicki agrees that this is an emergency and reveals she ate the money. Oh, what do you know, dismantling Vicki actually would have worked out for Ted for once. That’s what he gets for never committing. Vicki has Ted use her front panel as an ATM keypad, and then she makes it rain because Small Wonder is all about the special effects.

The end. This was a painful start to season 2, but we’ll live. I hope.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Small Wonder Reviewed Is Returning!

Okay, so if you can't watch the video, the overview is I just bought a laptop, so Small Wonder Reviewed will start updating again! When? Either September 25 or October 2 - I will keep you posted. I'm going to start season 2 completely over, so we're going to pretend like that one failure of an entry never happened.

I also announced plans to do a vlog series where I review The Munsters Today. If you don't know about that show, it was a Munsters reboot where the family got frozen in the 60s and woke up in the 80s. They sometimes forgot that was the premise of the show. It sadly, technically, outlasted the original - only by like three episodes, but still. I'm aiming towards November on that one.

So, yay! Who's excited this blog is going to update again?