Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween 2012: The Middle, The Neighbors, Suburgatory, South Park, Guys with Kids, The Big Bang Theory, 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Ben and Kate

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Although a couple of shows have yet to air their Halloween-inspired episodes because of multiple pre-empting conditions, I wanted to go ahead and give you guys recaps of all of the Halloween episodes I've seen this year. [except The Simpsons, who did theirs really early.] The episodes below appear in the order in which they aired. When shows like Go On and The New Normal finally run theirs, they'll be posted separately.

It's an interesting year for television in that I can't remember the last time that so many different shows actually featured Halloween episodes! I was pretty excited, actually, as they kept showing up in the descriptions on my DVR. One can only hope that Thanksgiving and Christmas will also bring us such festive storylines, but we'll see!

The Middle "Halloween III: The Driving" (S04E06): Brick tells the school that his mother isn't working so she's available to volunteer at the school Halloween carnival. [I find it hilarious that the Hecks don't have Called ID with all of the people they try to avoid!] Though Frankie winds up having to bring home a bunch of extra goldfish, she is able to get Mrs. Donahue to agree to take Brick trick-or-treating. [...what did they do with the fish?] The kid returns home with a huge Halloween haul - about 500 pieces! [holy moly!]
Frankie wants to send most of it to the soldiers overseas, so she tells him he can only keep it for 24 hours. [except she's TOTALLY the type of mother who would keep it for herself instead.] In true childhood fashion, Brick manages to eat ALL OF IT in that time period. He winds up acting semi-normal for a few days, very focused and social, only to crash from the sugar eventually. [but with Mike and Frankie now aware of this "trick," I can see them employing it more often than "special occasions"!]

Sue has her learner's permit, but is taking her time getting ready to drive an actual car, wasting time picking out a keychain and practicing puttering around the house. She freaks out on both Frankie and Mike, saying that they rush her, but on her third try things get worse - she runs over Axl's foot and is so distraught that Mike eventually has to throw her from the car and back up so the tire is no longer on Axl! [omg that's terrible!] Oh, and by the way, Axl is really taking his new responsibility as a registered voter seriously, so when both of his parents aren't home on Election Day (and he can't drive because of a broken foot), Sue manages to pull herself together and drives him to the polls (with Aunt Edie riding along to be the "adult supervision"). [good for Sue!]

The Neighbors "Halloween-ween" (S01E05): The Weavers have always wanted to take their children trick-or-treating in a neighborhood instead of an apartment building, so they're pretty psyched about the houses in the area. [Christmas! Thanksgiving! Halloween! was cute.] Max and Marty being Nemo and Marlin while Abby is being Rapunzel. Amber was the financial collapse last year and will be Obamacare this year, though the pun is for Debbie's sake - Amber is really doing Sexy Nurse. But, when Max and Abby talk about Halloween on the school bus, a girl invites him to trick-or-treat with her, so he wants to go as a zombie to fit in.
The Zabvronians are paranoid about people coming into the community on Halloween, so they set-up scarecrows and prepare for an invasion. Jackie asks the Weavers to teach everyone in the neighborhood about Halloween. Larry is skeptical, especially of weapons. When they open their gates to trick-or-treaters, the community panics, taking shelter at Larry's. He eventually decides to answer the door for a little girl, gives her a piece of candy, and then tells everyone to go ahead home to answer their doors. [Jackie as Effie Trinket?]

Meanwhile, Reggie wants to get in on Amber's costume, but he was thinking "Death Penalty" until she tells him to go as Sexy Doctor. This falls through because he dresses as a sexy nurse, plus Debbie and Marty are sad that Amber has "gone slutty" instead of topical. Their hands are still full, however, as they take Dick along, and he   dresses as Debbie (someone he admires), complete with a Marty puppet. [he NAILS it! that was hilarious and got better as time went on!] In the end, Amber and Reggie bail on a party and join the Weavers, who have reunited because Abby wants her parents to help her scam adults and Max wants to avoid Emma because she wants them to be boyfriend-girlfriend. [not the funniest ever but some poignant moments and a great bunch of Debbie/Marty jokes!]

Suburgatory "The Witch of East Chatswin" (S02E02): Dallas goes to the Country Club Halloween Party as Barbie, planning to get George to be her Ken. But, he doesn't think he can pull off the look, so she decides to take Dalia as Skipper. [hahaha! I'm glad to hear that Skipper still exists. I think Tutti/Todd, Stacie, Kelly, Chelsea, and Krissy have all faded, LoL.] George thinks about going as Jerry Seinfeld, but he can't do the jokes, so he decides to go as Noah after learning his best friend is shadowing him to get the mannerisms and voice accurate enough to go as him! [is this a thing? going as your friends? between these guys and Dick going as Debbie on The Neighbors, I'm not sure what's going on here.] At the party, The guys are shocked at how differently they're treated as one another. Dalia tells George about how her mother wanted to go to the party with him, and he decides to confront Dallas and ask her out.
"It's Stripper Shoe Season!" After Tessa tries to get Dalia and her friends to not objectify themselves this year, she thinks that someone is following her, even planting a creepy book in her backpack. [it was a bit odd, let's not lie.] Sheila burns the book, saying it's from "a witch," a girl who took shop class, opened her own pudding cups, and ruined a doll. [why does Tessa have an office in the school bathroom at this point??] Tessa decides to seek out this "witch," and runs when she sees a "coven of witches" over a cauldron. [I liked Tessa as Daphne, Lisa as Velma, and Malik as Fred for the Scooby-Doo gang. Ryan also dressing as Fred was only slightly funny.] Turns out, Paula was just running a book club, and she tells Tessa that she's also into female empowerment. [haha, Chatswin sees witches and feminists as the same.] Sheila leads a mob towards them, but Paula disappears. [does Tessa have a new friend as well as a new cloak? hmmmm...] Tessa realizes that her mother was a brave feminist to "leave the world that was thrust upon her,"though George doesn't see it that way. [and, neither do I.]
South Park "A Nightmare on Facetime" (S16E12): Randy buys a Blockbuster, still full of DVDs and BluRays. He makes the family work with him, and nobody comes the first two days that they're open. You get the feeling that renting DVDs is so antiquated that young children no longer know what it means. By the fifth day, someone comes in to rent Turner and Hooch... but it turns out to be a ghost... the first of many. The next day is Halloween, but Randy won't let Stan join his friends to celebrate. [Butters as a were-prechuan was great, but I should have seen Jimmy as Gangnam Style in advance!] Stan is to be the Captain America to go along with Kyle as Thor, Cartman as the Hulk, and Kenny as IronMan. But, using iPads, Stan trick-or-treats via FaceTime, moving forward on a skateboard somehow. [I didn't like how that part wasn't explained.] People don't get that Cartman is the Hulk, thinking he's Honey Boo Boo or Bruce Vilanch or Chas Bono. [so odd! I feel like it's really easy to guess, especially in the context of the other kids!]
photo courtesy: Comedy Central
The kids decide to try stopping a convenience store robbery, but when there are more villains than they expected (and a dead cashier), they split, but Stan-via-Facetime is captured and tortured, via scratching the glass. [odd. funny. kinda suck. interesting all around!] The bad guys dump the iPad in a field, where a couple finds it and brings it to the hospital. Stan explains that the robbers are going to the Monster Mash at the community center, and he goes "in disguise" as GangamStein. [loved the jokes about the "Monster Mash," and everyone dressed as Gangnam Style is funny.] Meanwhile, at Blockbuster, Randy talks to an employee ghost, then goes after the family, taking over Stan's FaceTime until he's thoroughly shot. [this was too weird.] The battery dies before Stan can help the Avengers win the costume contest, Shelly burns down the video store, and we're back to status quo by the end. 

Guys with Kids "Apartment Halloween" (S01E06):  The building's co-op president died, and the new president, Linda, takes down all of Nick and Emily's Halloween Haunted Hallway decorations. ["what do I look like, the grim reaper?" was weak. cute change in font for the credits, tho.] But, she's really into Chris (immediately giving him extra storage space for no reason), so Nick and Sheila decide to team-up and use Chris to get what they want - Halloween decor for him and permission to alter the apartment for her. Sheila and Nick set up Chris with Linda, saying that they'll only be friends if he helps them, so he turns it around and forces them to share food and hug, like real friends would. [hahaha!] However, all bets are off when it seems that Linda wants Chris to dress like her father. In a possible future storyline, Emily and Sheila both proposed to run for co-op president next time.
(Photo by: Vivian Zink/NBC)
Because the now-dead president was Gary and Marny's neighbor, they want to buy that apartment and expand their own place... but it has to be on the market for a week before a current tenant can buy it. [is this a common rule?] The family goes crazy trying to get people to hate the apartment by spreading a story about how the previous tenant died via explosion, and her body was eaten by ants for two weeks before it was found. [gruesome!] Of course, this winds up backfiring when the boys are scared to live there because of the stories, and the lights mysteriously flicked off when the family was taking a look at the place. [I was only half on-board with this plotline. If the family is to expand, I wouldn't do it so early in the series!]

The Big Bang Theory "The Holographic Excitation" (S06E05): Raj offers to help Stuart throw his 9th annual Halloween party, going so far as to theme the menu, "foods that go bump in the night," to include "Halloweenies" and "Draculoni and Cheese." [a little cheesy but I like the concept.] Raj goes as Indian Jones, Bernadette and Howard go as Smurfs, Penny goes as a sexy cop, Leonard goes as Einstein, and Stuart goes as Willy Wonka. Amy asks Sheldon to dress in a couples costume, and he agrees a bit readily, though he wants R2D2 and C3PO to her Romeo & Juliet or Cinderella & Prince Charming. [other ideas included Hewlett & Packard, Batman & Robin, Jobs & Wozniak, Kirk & Spock, Arhtur Dent and Ford Prefect, The Doctor & a Dalek, Salt & Pepper, Raggedy Ann & Andy, and Dharma & Greg. You can figure out who suggested which!] In the end, Amy goes as Raggedy Anne and Sheldon as Raggedy C3PO, which is a robot with a wig. [funny and disturbing.]
Warner Bros.
Howard gives out autographed, framed photos of himself in his NASA suit, leading Leonard and Sheldon to see if they can talk about any single topic without Howard bringing up his space trip, but it's not working. [haha at Sheldon shaking Leonard's p0wn fist!] Bernadette decides to try telling Howard that he shouldn't bring it up in every single conversation, but he's bummed out until Raj sends Howard a video of Buzz Aldrin handing out candy (Milky Ways and Moon Pies!) to trick-or-treaters, telling each child he went to space.

Penny goes to Leonard's lab to see him work on a hologram that you can move with your hands, and they end up getting frisky. The next thing he shows her is a levitation thing (through magnets), with the same result. [okay, so they're definitely together, got it.]

Mockingbird Lane (Special): [note that I'm calling this a special, though technically it's a pilot to 1313 Mockingbird Lane, which may never see the light of day again.] On a camping trip, a bear snatches a couple of scouts and the rest run to the car for the night. In the morning, young Eddie is out there, and the situation causes the family to move unexpectedly to 1313 Mockingbird Lane, a condemned home that was scheduled to be torn down because a serial killer took out his aggression on hobos there. [creepy! also, this appears to be in the San Francisco area... interesting.] Movers deliver rats, which combine to form Grandpa. [um, what??] Smoke comes out of an accompanying box to showcase Lily, who calls upon spiders to wrap her dress. [neat!] Herman and Lily talk about Eddie's "baby bear attack" and think that two more rounds will happen (every 29 days?) before he becomes majorly suspicious. But, Lily winds up talking about how she tries not to eat things but sometimes it happens, and Herman explains that Eddie WAS the baby bear... though he's really a werewolf. Eddie is freaked out, as he had just decided that he didn't even want to eat meat anymore. [I felt that scene came out of nowhere... perhaps something was cut?] To help the boy cope, his parents get him a pet dragon to help protect him from eating anything the next time it happens. [is it partially invisible?]

Herman collapses as his heart gives out from loving too hard. [awww. #firstworldproblem?] Grandpa puts in a new one but Herman demands the old one be put back inside, only to later need a transplant... from another person. Enter Steve, who is the pack leader of Eddie's new scout troop and has no family. Grandpa invites him over with the intention of devouring him, which Eddie knows because he has seen his grandfather transform into a pterodactyl of sorts to eat a mountain lion. Sure enough, Steve's heart is put into Herman and Grandpa drinks the blood. [creepy!]
Photo by: Jordin Althaus/NBC
We also learn that Grandpa can pause time at the snap of a finger when he and Marilyn (a cousin) take some cookies (into which Grandpa put blood) to the neighbors. 

Ben and Kate "Scaredy Kate" (S01E06): BJ wants Kate to be wh0rish for Halloween, and she decides to go for it when a neighbor is throwing a party. So, she foes as a Babe Ruth / Bader Ginsberg mix, with a sluttier baseball costume underneath. With BJ's coaxing, she even kisses the host immediately. But, she realizes that she's not being herself, leaves, and on her way home meets a guy with whom she has a lot in common, and they call the police over the party noise. [I understand that Kate is supposed to be an incredible goody-goody (hello, massive emergency kit?), but this storyline was very curtailed, I thought.] She also manages to finally scare Ben by pretending that a razor blade cut up her mouth. [gotta admit, that was a bit horrifying!]
Cr: Jennifer Clasen/FOX
Tommy wants to go to the club, but Ben thinks they should answer the door for trick-or-treaters and hit on hot moms. [haha!] But, Tommy eats a couple of BJ's candies, which are from Amsterdam. [hint, hint.] Tommy wants to go to the hospital, but Ben decides to join him in ecstasy, and after one set of trick-or-treaters, they decide to bail on that plan. [omg, BLTs are the ONLY sandwich I eat with mayonnaise! I'm like Kate, LoL!]

Also, Maddie is dressed as Marie Curie. [her previous costumes include Baby Ghandi, tiny Geraldine Ferraro and the Death of Print Journalism. mmhmm...]
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