Book ’em, Danno–Episode 42

We’ve got a clever theft ring in “Air Cargo -Dial For Murder” and Marion Ross is an integral part of it. I know. I was shocked, too. The episode kicks off with an OSHA violation murder…Wylie E. Coyote style. Yes, I’m a bad person for thinking that.

A wild robbery scheme in “For a Million…Why Not?” takes Five-O for a ride. With Steve on the Big Island for the Johnny Oporta trial, Danny is leading the charge in trying to fit all of the puzzle pieces together. Or printer’s type, as it were.

I will tell you right now that there are an excessive number of shipped corpses in this episode.

Listen on Soundcloud iTunes Spotify Stitcher.

Oh, by the way, here’s that frozen Ling I promised you.

Rerun Junkie Characters–Calleigh Duquense

When I watched CSI: Miami first run, I liked Calleigh Duquense, but it wasn’t until I watched the series again more recently that I really came to appreciate her. She’s a fascinating character played exquisitely by Emily Proctor and her evolution across 10 seasons of the show is equally interesting.

Calleigh Duquense is a CSI with a ballistics specialty which is a gilded invitation to a “strong woman” stereotype. A woman with the nickname “Bullet Girl” would be expected to be something of a tomboy, someone who’s stern and unemotionally tough, who eschews the “girly” things and wears a lot of denim and camo. Instead, we’re treated to a different kind of “strong woman”, one who’s bubbly and sunny and embraces the feminine and isn’t afraid to show emotions, but at the same time has excellent control over them. She’s tough without question, but she’s not what I’d call hard.

She shows up in the first episode of the series with braided pigtails and a sunny determination in the middle of a plane crash. It’s a beautiful introduction to the character. At one point in the second season, Speed says that Calleigh is entirely too cheerful. And he’s not wrong. “Cheerful” is a different direction when it comes to characters on cop dramas. They might be funny, but that humor is typically used to mask some sort of past trauma or toll the job takes on them. Everybody has a past and many times on shows like this, the characters end up leaning into the melancholy of it in order to give them depth. Calleigh doesn’t do that. She doesn’t have to.

This isn’t to say that she’s had a painless life and that she’s immune to trauma. She actually endures quite a bit during the show’s ten season run. And that does take its toll.

Calleigh is arguably at her sunshine most in the first couple of seasons, but even then she was dealing with her alcoholic father. Kenwall “Duke” Duquense isn’t a rough drunk. He doesn’t get violent. He’s not abusive. He’s usually a happy drunk, but he can be a morose one, too. Either way, taking care of him falls on Calleigh. She’s the one who scoops him up from the bar and delivers him home safe. Most of the time. A drunk driving incident leaves her dad looking at a murder charge, but he’s eventually cleared. As relieved as Calleigh is, she also takes his keys. She can’t stop him from drinking -she’s been supportive of every trip he’s made on the wagon and wants nothing more for him to stay there, but he’s a grown man who has to make his own choices- so she stops him from driving. There’s no question that she loves her father, but the man is also a challenge. It’s a great storyline that shows a different side of our tough sunshine girl.

Some of Calleigh’s bubbly personality begins to recede in the third season, and it’s understandable. First Speed, her friend and colleague, dies in a shootout, a fear realized as she’d warned him to keep his gun clean. Then her father’s DUI incident. And then her former boyfriend John Hagen ends a difficult period in his life by shooting himself in front of her in the ballistics lab. The lingering impact of that final blow drives her out of ballistics and away from her identity as bullet girl. At least for a little while. She eventually finds that you can go home again, in a sense.

Over the rest of the series, we watch as Calleigh’s accumulated experience -including two close brushes with death- matures her in the sense that her sunshine dims a little bit. It doesn’t go away entirely. She still smiles and she still makes jokes, but not as much as she used to (her teasing Walter with an eyeball hits me almost as a glimpse of the old Calleigh in a way). She becomes much more serious over time. Even her wardrobe reflects the change. She goes from wearing brighter colors to a more muted palette. The later seasons almost make me sad given how much black she wears (I acknowledge that Emily Proctor was pregnant during Season 9 so the black was more strategic then). It makes me long for the vibrant Calleigh of the early seasons.

Despite this apparent dissipation in effervescence, her experiences do sharpen certain aspects of her character. Not one given to pettiness to begin with, she outpaces almost everyone except Horatio when it comes to reason and emotional control, particularly in regards to her coworkers. She rarely flies off the handle with any of them and when she does get angry with them, you totally understand it. And even then, she’s not one for dramatics or cheap shots. It might be heated, but it’s direct. She leaves no room for misinterpretation.

Her ability to remain in control when dealing with difficult coworkers, suspects, witnesses, and situations sets her apart from the rest. While Eric and Ryan are still pouting over the revelation that Natalia was the lab mole for the FBI and is now working as a CSI, Calleigh has already reconciled that betrayal and is ready to move on. When Ryan whines about going out on a case with Natalia, Calleigh lands on Natalia’s side, giving her a vote of confidence. And when Natalia makes a mistake on a case, Calleigh helps her fix it. She gives her the consideration that the pouty boys wouldn’t until they were forced. Calleigh lives in the present.

Another episode that illustrates this skill is when Calleigh is being investigated for an off-duty shooting in which it appears her actions lead to a woman’s death. She’s distraught by this, visibly upset as she talks with Eric in the ambulance after the fact. But it’s a different story when she’s dealing with Stetler and internal affairs. She takes his insinuations that she was inebriated during the incident and basically rams it down his throat; she can’t tell him what the remaining suspect looks like, but she can describe in detail the gun he stuck in her face. She’s pissed, but she doesn’t lose it.

She also doesn’t lose it when she’s taken hostage buy a couple of shitheads who want her to help them cover up a murder. Calleigh keeps her cool, does what she can to acquiesce to their demands in order to stay alive, while also leaving a trail for her fellow CSIs to find. Her faith in her team is unshakeable and so is she. Calleigh might be effected by the whole experience, but she doesn’t fall apart, at least not until she knows it’s safe. And even then, she doesn’t so much fall apart as she relaxes and allows herself to breathe a shaky sigh of relief.

It would be easy in light of these trials and traumas for Calleigh to lose her empathy and caring nature, but she doesn’t. She still has a way of connecting with victims and witnesses, sympathizing with them and supporting them through a terrible moment in their lives. And of course she has this softness for her friends and coworkers as well in big and little ways. It never fails to hit the mushiest part of me when a gazebo comes down on Dr. Tara Price’s head and Calleigh calls her “babe” while tending to her. It’s not a shipper thing, it’s just sweet. Calleigh it just sweet tea sweet with the people she cares about.

It’s part and parcel with her loyalty to them. She’s ride or die with Horatio and will come to the defense of every single one of her team members. Like with her father, Calleigh wants to be as supportive as possible of them. Even when they kinda don’t deserve it. Or you could understand if she didn’t. Let’s face it, nearly everyone she’s worked with and cared about have lied to her big time. It would be easy to hold that grudge, but she doesn’t. They may have to earn her trust again, but she forgives them. And she doesn’t give up on them. Like I said, Calleigh lives in the present.

Calleigh has her share of romantic relationships (none of those men are good enough for her, though, not even Eric; I will not be moved on this), and while you get the sense she’d like a happily ever after, it’s not a defining aspect of her life. Neither is having children. She’s at no point reduced to a walking biological clock. What’s interesting is that when Calleigh does show interest in having kids, it’s a specific brother and sister she encounters on a case. She doesn’t just want to have a baby or adopt a child; Calleigh wants those two specific children. She’s bonded with them (particularly the older boy) and she’s willing to alter her life for them. And does, successfully adopting them in what would be the final episode of the series. It would have been intriguing to watch how she coped as a working single mom of two, how that would have changed her character.

I have a feeling that it only would have made Calleigh better.

She’s already pretty great.

Book ’em, Danno–Episode 41

Book 'em Danno Podcast

A charming panhandler and his girlfriend steal money from an embezzler in “Two Doves and Mr. Heron”; and a sniper opens fire on a busy road and a stand off with HPD and Five-O ensues in “…And I Want Some Candy and a Gun That Shoots”.

Mild trigger warnings ahoy!

“Two Doves and Mr. Heron” contains some mild, 1970s grade homophobia, which I discuss at length because you can’t stop me.

“…And I Want Some Candy and a Gun That Shoots” features a sniper scenario that has a bit of a mass shooting vibe as well as talk of mental illness. I will be discussing both of these as well.

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But on the bright side, we get an IT mini-series reunion of sorts with John Ritter in a top hat in one episode and a sweet Annette O’Toole in the other. Also, Vic Morrow schooling the young folks and Jeanne Cooper being her absolute ruthless best.

John Ritter is very excited about this.

john ritter in a top hat

Rerun Junkie Confession–Gimme That Found Family Vibe

I’ve written before about how Gilligan’s Island was the first rerun that really made an impression on me, something that I totally fell in love with even though I was so young. It is most likely responsible for my love of reruns today.

It’s also one of the earliest indications that shows with a found family vibe were going to be in my wheelhouse.

Maybe it’s my own strong desire to belong somewhere, but those shows that feature a group of people coming together to form a family get me on a soul level.

Look at Gilligan’s Island. Seven people thrown together in an unlikely and extreme situation, forced to survive. Okay, that’s a dramatic explanation for a sitcom, but it’s not wrong. They have to come together as a family to survive. Sure, they bicker and quarrel and many times want to drown Gilligan after one of his fuck ups, but ultimately, they care about each other. This never would have happened if they hadn’t gotten shipwrecked. They’d have completed their 3 hour tour (with an unnecessary amount of luggage) and then gone their separate ways. Fate (and Sherwood Schwartz) threw them together and gave them a bond that even being rescued couldn’t break.

But it’s not just that extreme found family vibe I’m looking for. Chosen family is a kind of found family and that works for me, too.

Take for example another early love of mine, The Monkees. It’s a show about a band trying to make it. Obviously, these four guys came together to form a band, so they must have at least known and liked each other before they moved into a beach house together. It’s less fate and more struggling dream that has them scraping together rent and playing gigs. But they’re no different than four brothers, squabbling on occasion, but always having each other’s back. Just look at the episode “Success Story”. Davy’s grandfather is going to take him back to England and the fellas do everything they can to keep him in America. After all, they may not be blood, but they love each other like they were.

It’s this found family/chosen family vibe that could account for my love (at least in part) of cop shows. Be it partners, a team, or a whole squad room, you end up with people who come for the job and stay for the family.

Barney Miller is a great example of this. There’s a squad room of detectives who are paid to be there, but the nature of the job means that they have to have each other’s backs. It’s inevitable that this would eventually extend into their personal lives to an extent. When the final episode sees the precinct closed and everyone split up, you still get the sense that even if they aren’t working together, and maybe if they never see each other again, they all hold a very special place in each other’s lives. The way blood bonds family, they’re bonded by experience.

CSI: Miami not only has a similar vibe, but even has Ryan saying that they’re his family in the final episode.

Starsky & Hutch are akin to blood brothers given how many times one has been near death and the other has bailed him out. Adam-12 has a similar feel even though most of the series focused on the mundane aspects of the job. When you’re riding in a car with a guy for 8-12 hours a day, there’s only a couple of ways your relationship is going to go.

Emergency!, The A-Team, The Golden Girls, Stargate: Atlantis, F-Troop, Magnum PI…the one thing they have in common is that they all have a found family/chosen family vibe.

And I simply cannot get enough of it.

Rerun Junkie Guest Stars–Ron Masak

When Sheriff Amos Tupper (Tom Bosley) left Cabot Cove, there were some big law enforcement shoes to fill. Enter Ron Masak as Sheriff Mort Metzger.

Arguably the role he’s most recognized for, Ron Masak brought life to the New York City cop learning the ins and outs of a small town with a high murder rate on Murder, She Wrote. His interactions with the citizens of Cabot Cove while he tries to help Jessica Fletcher solve murders add a touch of humor to the rampant killings. And maybe it should be no surprise that he ended up fitting in so well. He had guest starred as two different law enforcement characters earlier in the series.

In addition to the role of Charlie Wilson on the short-lived series Love Thy Neighbor and a small recurring role of Woody on Webster, quite a few of Ron Masak’s 122 credits are on the small screen.

Mr. Masak has several memorable appearances on TV shows, sometimes in only a scene or two. One of my favorites is on Barney Miller. In the episode “Horse Thief”, a handsome cab owner has his horse stolen. In order not to lose any business, he steals a police horse. Mr. Masak plays the officer with the missing horse. The character is funny, odd, and maybe a little overzealous. In the end, he and the horse thief end up on the same side because as it turns out, the handsome cab owner took a different horse…which means another officer took his horse…and he uses spurs.

One of my other favorite guest spots is a second season episode of The Monkees called “Monstrous Monkee Mash” in which he plays The Count. Are the Monkees getting into shenanigans with horror characters like a Count Dracula-ish vampire, his niece, a mummy, and a wolfman? Absolutely. It’s a funny episode, bits of which have firmly implanted themselves into my brain. It’s also noteworthy to mention that the Monkees were a little more out of control during the second season, which could frustrate guest actors. However, Ron Masak kept up, kept his cool, and pulled off a fun and funny vampire. He would have made a fitting mentor for Vampire Davy Jones if he hadn’t been vanquished.

I will admit that his appearance blew my young mind when I realized it was him because until that moment, he’d always been Sheriff Metzger to me. Him appearing on a ’60s show didn’t seem possible to my young self.

Some other ’60s shows Ron Masak appeared on include The Flying Nun, Get Smart, I Dream of Jeannie, Bewitched, and The Good Guys.

He spied on Mission: Impossible, took a trip to the Twilight Zone, and visited the Land of the Lost; privately investigated on The Rockford Files, Magnum PI, Longstreet, Barnaby Jones, Mannix, Remington Steele, and The Law and Harry McGraw (a Murder, She Wrote spin-off in which he played yet another cop character); checked in on Marcus Welby MD, Medical Center, and E/R; visited Mayberry RFD and rode the Supertrain; tangled with the law on Police Story, Police Woman, Ironside, The Feather and Father Gang, She’s the Sheriff, McMillan & Wife, and Columbo; lent his voice to The Real Ghostbusters; hung out with some names on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, Quincy ME, and Alice; he had Good Times and Diff’rent Strokes; leapt into action on Emergency! and Wonder Woman; enjoyed some Love, American Style; and got unexpectedly soapy on The Yellow Rose, Falcon Crest, and The Bold and the Beautiful.

Ron Masak made an impression on every show he guested on, be it a recurring role or only one scene. He had a way of taking a character, making it memorable, and adding a bright spot to every episode he was in.

And we’re lucky to indulge in his shining light.

Five TV Tropes I Hate

During one of our Eventually Supertrain discussions, Dan suggested I write “10 TV tropes I Hate” and I decided to take his suggestion. However, I chose to cut the number in half. It felt a little aggressive to do ten.

I figure I can make a series out of this if I am so inclined.

And given how many tropes irritate me…

So, here they are in no particular order.

Five TV Tropes I Hate.

  1. The Bickering Couple -Blame the societal standard that het couples should detest each other. Married or dating or unresolved sexual tension, this seems to be the go-to way to show that two people are meant to be. Look at how they bicker with each other! Sure, couples bicker. They give each other shit. But if this is their sole way of communicating, it’s fucking annoying. I complained about this during the discussion of the Tales of the Gold Monkey episode that inspired this post. Jake and former-lover-turned-nun Bridget spent most of their conversations bickering, to the extent that if one of them said the sky was blue, the other one would disagree. That’s not chemistry. That’s grating. It’s hard to enjoy an episode when you’re irritated the entire time.
  2. Will They or Won’t They? -I don’t care. I don’t care about the arbitrary obstacles thrown in the couple’s way to prevent them from coming together and drag out the unresolved sexual tension as long as possible. I don’t care how they’re obviously meant for each other and any other human they interact with is an agent of the devil sent to prevent this holy union. It’s boring and takes up valuable screen time that could be spent on something more interesting, including getting these two characters together in a more creative way.
  3. A Good Ol’ Miscommunication -You know what I’m talking about. If one person would just talk to another person, it would all be worked out. Granted, the episode would only be about four minutes long, but still. I wouldn’t be subjected to all of the justifications of why this simple solution hasn’t happened yet. Same with seeing two characters interacting from a distance and then jumping to a conclusion. If this person is supposed to be close with one or both, wouldn’t they just ask? Yeah, they would. Because assuming makes asses of us all.
  4. Secretively Bratty Children -I’ve already discussed how I’m not big on children in TV shows to begin with. I feel they’re written so poorly. But of all of the TV children I despise, the secretly bratty kids make me wish it were possible to reach through the TV and slap someone. I’m not talking about the Eddie Haskells, who are shit to their fellow young people, but kiss asses to the adults. Nor am I talking about the spoiled kids whose parents will always defend them. I’m talking about the kids who are shitty to one adult in particular and then an angel to every other adult, making those adults doubt the other adult. Yes, this is a very specific hate. This sort of trope is usually played for laughs, but I’m not amused. My blood pressure is elevated just writing about it. I don’t advocate violence against children, but seriously, throw those kids in the trash. You think they’re cute now, but they’re going to grow up to be your least favorite coworker.
  5. No Sunglasses When It’s Sunny -This is less of a trope and more of a petty hill I will die on, but I think it’s absolutely ludicrous that you stick characters in sunshiny locations and then deprive them of the appropriate eyewear. Especially when they’re driving. I don’t want to share the road with these people who are squinting so hard to see that they’re giving me a headache. I realize that the justification of this is so we can properly see the actors emote, but I will counter that argument with Darth Vader and the Mandolorian. They don’t seem to have a problem. Y’all make fun of Horatio Caine for rocking his sunnies, but you don’t see him squinting, now do you? No.

Are all of these dislikes a little petty? Yes. Will listing them out like this change the course of television writing? No. Writers are going to continue to execute these tropes to their dullest and I’m going to continue to roll my eyes and pine for the rare instances when writers choose to subvert or even all together avoid them.

Hope springs eternal and these tropes will no doubt last forever.

Book ’em, Danno–Episode 40

Book 'em Danno Podcast

Season 4 is just getting started. In “Wednesdays, Ladies Free”, we’ve got a serial killer going after women in order to fulfill a very specific fantasy. This results in the women ending up dead and made up like dime store drag queens.

And then in “3,000 Crooked Miles to Honolulu”, a faculty club is really a cover for a half-a-million dollar scam involving travelers’ checks. Remember those? Karl Malden does (I am really showing my age with that joke).

It’s Monte Markham, Soon-Tek Oh, Buddy Ebsen, and David Canary in some all-star shenanigans.

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Did you ever think you’d see Barnaby Jones having a chat with Adam Chandler? Well, now you have.

the professor and george

Rerun Junkie Guest Star–Joyce Van Patten

“I didn’t know Dick Van Patten had a sister,” my roommate said.

Now I could take that two ways. One, my roommate didn’t know who Joyce Van Patten was or two, she knew who Joyce Van Patten was, but just didn’t realize that she was Dick Van Patten’s sister.

It turns out it was the latter and that stands to reason. Joyce Van Patten has had quite the solid career, built upon her own fantastic talents. A little nepotism really wasn’t necessary in her case.

She was Claudia Gramus on The Good Guys, Iris Chapman on The Mary Tyler Moore Hour, and Maureen Slattery on Unhappily Ever After. And she has a slew of guest credits on a wide variety of TV shows.

Two of my favorite guest appearances of hers happened to be on the same show, Hawaii Five-O.

Miss Van Patten made her first appearance in the Season 3 episode “The Payoff”. She plays a woman helping out an old friend that she’s sweet on. The only thing is that her old friend was involved in a kidnapping for ransom that ended in murder and now he’s been gut shot by one of his co-conspirators. She’s desperate in multiple ways –desperate to help Jace, desperate to have Jace feel for her what she feels for him, and desperate to evade the law. Unfortunately, none of it works out for her and the scene in Steve’s office where she spills her guts has you aching for her.

Her second appearance came in the Season 5 episode “I’m a Family Crook–Don’t Shoot!” I picked this as my favorite episode of that season and with good reason. Joyce Van Patten plays the matriarch of a swindling, thieving family with Andy Griffith as her husband. The family pulls their bump and grab routine on a mob bagman and lets just say that it doesn’t work out well for them. These crooks are obviously the lesser of the evils in this ep, and even though they are crooks, you can’t help but like them. The way that Miss Van Patten plays both outlaw and doting mother is a unique blend that feels real. She is all about her family, it’s just that the family business is illegal.

She also tangled with the law on episodes of The Untouchables, The Defenders, Perry Mason, Men at Law, The FBI, McCloud, The Streets of San Francisco, Amy Prentiss, Columbo, Law & Order, and NYPD Blue; worked with Jack Lord on Stoney Burke and Andy Griffith on The Andy Griffith Show; checked in on Ben Casey, Dr. Kildare and Young Dr. Kildare, The Bold Ones: The New Doctors, Medical Center, and Diagnosis Murder; got laughs on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, The Odd Couple, The New Dick Van Dyke Show, and Love, American Style; worked with Bob Newhart on The Bob Newhart Show and Bob; went west on Gunsmoke and The Virginian; went to jail on Oz and got in with mob on The Sopranos; privately investigated on Cannon and The Rockford Files; got spooky on The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, The Twilight Zone, and the 1960s Outer Limits; was family oriented on Family, Sisters, Touched by an Angel, and Judging Amy; made headlines on Lou Grant and disappeared on Without a Trace; went back in time on Boardwalk Empire and Brooklyn Bridge; and got soapy for several episodes on All My Children.

Joyce Van Patten has a charm that shines across genres, no matter the role or the show. She’s eye-catching in a subtle way, and compelling whether she’s making you laugh or pulling at your heart strings. Her older brother may have been pretty great, but she holds her own. As the paraphrased saying goes…thank God for little sisters.

Rerun Junkie Episodes–“The Duke of Squigman”

In case it escaped your attention, I guested on an episode of Night After Night to talk about this episode as Squiggy is my favorite. During our discussion of the episode, I said I could write a blog post about the tag scene.

This is that blog post.

Because I feel that the tag scene of this episode is a perfect example of how reruns should be viewed in two different contexts.

If you haven’t seen “The Duke of Squigman” and/or listened to me, Lisa, and Chris discuss it (why the hell not? you’re missing out on some good shit), the quick synopsis of the episode is that Squiggy has been sleepwalking and when he does, he adopts the persona of -you guessed it- the Duke of Squigman. It turns out the reason that Squiggy is sleepwalking is because he can’t accept the fact that some people just don’t like him.

I know. I find that hard to believe as well.

The episode does a fabulous job of balancing the funny, the sweet, the absurd, and the emotional.

And then there’s the tag scene.

After the emotional conversation between Lenny and Squiggy about the psychological motivation of Squiggy’s sleepwalking, the boys are at the Pizza Bowl and Squiggy is attempting to hit on a woman sitting at a table. Naturally, she rejects him. Squiggy consults with Lenny about whether or not his feelings are hurt by this and Lenny affirms that they are. Squiggy acknowledges this and decides that he doesn’t care. He then proceeds to kiss the woman right on the mouth.

It should go without saying that this has aged poorly.

In the time this show was set (late ’50/early ’60s) and the time it was filmed (mid-late ’70s/early ’80s), this type of mild sexual assault was normalized and typically played for laughs. Of course it was. We don’t want to think of our favorites as sex pests.

Watching this scene in the context of the now, it’s not the laugh that it’s supposed to be. It’s uncomfortable. It doesn’t necessarily spoil the episode, but it definitely ends it on a sour note. As a woman, if a dude I had rejected forced a kiss on me, it wouldn’t be funny. It’d be a felony. ‘Cause I’d be going to jail. Living in a society in which there is a constant struggle in regards to the entitlement men believe to have to women’s bodies, in which violations of these boundaries are categorized and graded and the acceptable responses to them dictated by a certain script that ultimately makes them easier to dismiss, it’s kind of difficult to find the humor in the joke.

However.

In the context of the narrative, it makes complete sense.

Squiggy has confronted the issue that makes him sleepwalk. When presented with his next rejection, he checks in with Lenny, acknowledges that his feelings are hurt, and then soldiers on. That’s growth. Not a lot of growth, but it’s the growth that you’d expect to get from a character like Squiggy. At least he’s acknowledged that the woman has rejected him and that, yes, his feelings are hurt. But he ultimately decides that he doesn’t care. Now whether or not this is another form of denial is another story. But for Squiggy, just acknowledging it is progress.

Could this be accomplished without the forced kiss? Sure. No doubt that Squiggy could have showed his little bit of growth before insinuating himself into this woman’s space without forcing affections, and probably could have been done in such a way that would have garnered the same volume of laughs, with the added benefit of retaining much of those laughs in future viewings.

However, in the context of when the show was set and when it was written, it makes perfect sense that this would be the gag used to convey Squiggy’s limited growth, especially given the established behavior of the character being just a little bit slimy with the opposite sex sometimes.

In viewing the episode in these two contexts, I’m able to both acknowledge the problematic content without condemning the entire episode. I’m not absolving it of its offenses, but I am putting those offenses into proper perspective.

This approach allows me to have a more enjoyable viewing experience.