Friday, October 13, 2017

Season 2, Episode 16: Computer Dating

Two weeks in a row! I know! I was surprised, too.

The episode starts with Joan in some kind of panic about running late and Ted being home soon, so she asks Vicki to quickly clean the living room. Vicki delivers at supersonic speed - just in time for Ted to come home and compliment how good the living room looks. Joan takes credit because her awful family just keeps rubbing off on her.

Jamie demands his family join him in the backyard quick. What is up with everything needing to be in a hurry? We're only two minutes in, geesh. Jamie is showing off a used bike he used for just $10 down, with a whole week to come up with the other $100. Those are the worst loan terms I have ever heard of. When Jamie's parents tell him they're not going to bail him out, he asks for an advance on his inheritance. Jamie Lawson, son of the year.

Harriet comes over, excited to show Jamie something. She took a computer dating quiz in a magazine, and it confirms what we always knew - Jamie is her soul mate. Harriet uses these results to propose, but money-motivated Jamie decides to start a computer dating service for the kids at school. Oh, gee, I wonder how he's going to pull that one off.

Just kidding, his robot slave sister gets to do all the work. Oh my gosh, Jamie even has a business line. All I wanted as a 12 year old was a phone in my room. It didn't even have to be my own line, just a little privacy when I talked to my friends. But Jamie gets a business line. I'm jealous. Also, he's only charging $5. He doesn't understand the value of his service. Anyway, it's one of the clients who called and the rest of this episode must've come in under budget because they used special effects for the second time in less than five minutes. I'm suspicious of what that means.

What is up with people just walking up to Jamie's second story window? A boy named Herbert stops by to ask Jamie if his service might work for him. Twelve year old me would have liked Herbert. Unfortunately, Herbert is poor and can't afford the $5 for Jamie's service. Do you think Jamie through the kindness of his heart decides to help a kid that can't even make friends, let alone find a date? Actually, yes. I'm surprised. Body snatchers?

Down in the kitchen, we find Joan because throwbacks are fun. She's filling out a questionnaire for Jamie's dating service for fun, to see how compatible she and Ted actually are. Is this how Joan files for divorce and takes Vicki with her? But it turns out, Ted filled one out, too. Ted has Vicki scan the results of both questionnaires to see what the results are. Seven minutes in, and we get special effects for the third time. Where did all this money come from?! Anyway, Ted's perfect match is 13 year old Cynthia Williams. That's actually funny.

Jamie comes home bummed out and asks how old one has to be to declare bankruptcy. We're only 7 and a half minutes in - Vicki has a whole ten minutes before she screws everything up. Everyone that matched up hated each other and Jamie had to issue refunds. And because everyone in Sitcomland has perfect timing, the kid Jamie owes $100 to shows up.

Wait, isn't that the bully Vicki beat up to become the leader of the He-Man Woman-Hater's Club? Dude, Jamie, just sic your sister on him. Ernie wants his money because of course he does. Jamie offers to give the bike back, but Ernie rationally decides he'd rather murder Jamie. Jamie has one more day to come up with the money before he's murdered. Jamie decides to set Ernie up with a date using his failed computer service as an extension until Jamie can raise the $100 - which would be smart if not for that word failed. Come on, Jamie-Jame. But teenage boys can only think of one thing, so Ernie agrees to it - so long as the date happens by the next day at 4:00.

Harriet shows up in the window and decides to sign up for Jamie's dating service, just in case she realizes she can do better than Jamie. After asking her a few questions, Jamie thinks the only person Harriet would work out with was Ernie. Harriet asks, "You wouldn't do that to me, would you?" with such fear in her voice, I now have to know what 12 year old Ernie did to 10 year old Harriet. Jamie says he wouldn't do it to Ernie and pulls the shade on Harriet.

Joan is worried about Jamie having to deal with Ernie, but Ted says they need to stay out of it. Joan is just regretful the computer dating service didn't work out because it was such a cute idea. Ted thinks there's no future to computer dating and nothing beats meeting in person, and in 2017 that's funny on many levels. But in 1987, it's still weird to hear it from the robotics engineer. Then Ted sets up an argument because Ted thrives on the chaos. At least this argument ended with them giggling and not with Joan assaulting Ted.

Ernie comes over ready for his date. Jamie decided that if it would save his kneecaps, he's cool with pimping out his sister, and introduces Vicki as Ernestine - a girl Ernie. Ernie tells Vicki to give him five, and she punches him in the stomach because she learned affection from watching Joan. Ernie takes this as a sign that she likes him.

The doorbell rings and Jamie leaves the lovebirds to find out who it is. It's Herbert, who wants to know if Jamie was able to find him his blonde bombshell. Herbert takes the news that Jamie hasn't found her yet really badly, so Jamie decides to double pimp out his sister. Jamie's getting lazy.

Jamie goes back to the kitchen, where Vicki and Ernie are arm wrestling, and that bored look Vicki has is just everything. I love it when the robot is just so over the situation. Ernie finds himself warming up to "Ernestine," but Jamie borrows her.

Vicki is now Marilyn for Herbert. She is super adorable, but also this whole thing is super ridiculous. This not what people signed up for when they signed up for computer dating, Jamie. Also, this twelve year old is way too sexually charged for my liking. He makes Warren Enright seem tame.

Ernie comes up to Jamie's room, and he's not as dumb as Jamie thought he'd be because he recognizes "Ernestine" right away. Ernie starts threatening people's faces, but Herbert pulls out some awkward karate. Man, he's really into "Marilyn." Anyway, Herbert is just crazy enough to scare off Ernie, but Jamie isn't off the hook. But Herbert sure is happy, and I guess that's worth it.

Ted and Joan come up, and they tell Jamie that Ted is going to loan Jamie the money for the bike after all - because he ran over it with the car when Jamie left it in the driveway. Ted, no. Teach Jamie more lessons. Don't give him guilt money when it was his fault.

End of episode. I don't know. I'm stunned. I don't have a reaction.

The next episode is one of my favorite episodes, so hopefully I'll actually post it next week.