"New" Who, Doctor Who Write-Ups

New “Who” Reviews: The End of Time, Part 2

So I rewatched Part of The End of Time just for this review and…I didn’t dislike it as much as I did the first time I watched it.  No, really!

Well, even the first time I saw it I thought it was an improvement over Part 1, but I didn’t expect to be more forgiving on my last viewing.  Maybe part of it is that I’m watching it post-Day of the Doctor (which, incidentally, I’ll be spoiling in this review, so heads up!), or maybe I’ve gotten some perspective in hindsight on what RTD was trying to accomplish with his run as showrunner.

All that said, to quote Frank Costanza, “I’ve got some problems with you people!”

eotgallifrey

Hello, Gallifrey! Sorry we’ll have to wait years to see you again.

It might also be that when I first watched this I felt like RTD has personally punched me in the face.

My problem with the premise of the “new” series was exactly that Gallifrey and the Time Lords were written out.  I understand that this was an attempt to simplify the show for new viewers, but I never got why “The Doctor is part of a non-interventionist alien race that has mastered time travel and are like tech gods” is any less “confusing” than “The Doctor is a veteran of this horrific war that took place off-screen and is burdened with guilt because he had to single-handedly wipe out both the aggressors and his own people.”  The old series got around all that by just having the Time Lords or Gallifrey mentioned occasionally, while with the “new” series’ approach there’s whole backstory at play that’s more complex and intrusive than just the Doctor having stolen a TARDIS for mysterious reasons many years ago.

So honestly I expected that this special would shake up the status quo in a way beyond even introducing a new Doctor.  I thought the idea of the Doctor being the sole survivor of his race – an idea I never really enjoyed but thought it did have some potential (even if it fed into my complaint that RTD wanted to write the Doctor like Superman and really this change to his backstory made him more like Lobo) – had been exhausted and RTD was giving the next showrunner a clean slate.  Granted, I don’t really keep up with the backstage developments of the show like most fans, so as far as I know Moffat wanted to be the one to bring back the Time Lords or wanted more time to play with the concept of the Doctor as a guilt-ridden veteran, but regardless at the time End of Time Part 2 felt like a cheat played on the audience.

But still…Timothy Dalton as Rassilon, one of the founders of Time Lord society!

eotdalton

Timothy Dalton kills with the power of Awesome.

Granted the script makes Rassilon act like the most cliched of Saturday morning villains, as he kills an adviser for questioning his plans and screams that he will not die.  But God I love how Timothy Dalton fires on all cylinders here.  There’s still too much going on in this special for him to really make a mark, much like the tragically short five minutes we get of Derek Jacobi as the Master in Utopia, but like there I’m glad for what we get here.  Anyway, Rassilon and his advisers are listening to a prophet, portrayed as a ranting old woman who seems like she’s wandered in from another genre, who is predicting the destruction of Gallifrey at the Doctor’s hands.  Seizing on the part of the prophecy that predicts that the Doctor and the Master will outlive the Time Lords and confront each other again on Earth, Rassilon arranges to have a four-note drumbeat broadcast into the Master’s mind across all time and space (the drumbeat only referred to since Utopia, natch) and sends a type of diamond that only exists on Gallifrey to present day Earth to serve as a kind of anchor for bringing back Gallifrey.  Thus we have one of the hugest retcons of all time, carried out on one of modern fiction’s most iconic villains.

Insert lengthy, pretentious essay about the problems with basically depriving a decades-old character of their “free will” here.

eotmaster

“So all this time I’ve been driven insane by a plot device?”

Back on Earth and the “present,” the Master has got the Doctor strapped down.  Now this does lead into what I genuinely think is not only one of the best moments from this special, and not only one of the best moments in the “new” series, but one of the best moments in the history of the entire franchise.  The Doctor tells the Master:

“You’re a genius.  You’re stone cold brilliant, you really are.  But you could be so much more.  You could be beautiful, with a mind like that.  We could travel the stars.  It would be my honor, ’cause you don’t need to own the universe, just see it. Have the privilege of seeing the whole of time and space.  That’s ownership enough.”

One of the things I really liked about RTD’s run, and which I haven’t given him credit for before, is his interpretation of the Doctor/the Master relationship.  Instead of a classic superhero comic-style rivalry, the Doctor-Master relationship is presented as a friendship gone sour but has not faded, because one of the friends has become seriously mentally ill and self-destructive.  I’m almost sure that this just reflects RTD’s desire to depict the Doctor as a pacifist saint, but honestly? It’s a really interesting take on the archenemy relationship that frankly, as an aspiring writer myself, I’m jealous of.

Of course, my good will doesn’t last long, as we revisit one of my biggest sore spots:  Donna.  How is Donna going to get out of being pursued by a planet full of Masters when she’s beginning to remember her adventures with the Doctor, which has the potential to kill her?  Well, she just releases some Time Lord energy, which knocks out her out and her pursuers and apparently ends the risk that her brain would melt.  The Doctor himself explains what happens for the Master’s and our benefit:  “Well, you see, Russell wrote himself into a corner like he always does…”  Oops, I mean, he says, “Do you think I’d leave my best friend without a defense mechanism?”  So that’s that, I guess.  (The only good thing about this bit is that it causes the Master to blurt out, “He loves playing with Earth girls!”)

Anyway, the two aliens from last time save the Doctor, which leads to a really awkward “Simpsons” reference (“Worst rescue ever!”) and they escape on the aliens’ ship, but the Doctor is for once left without a clue as to what to do.  Meanwhile Bernard Cribbins is again visited by the woman in white, who as always does nothing but say a bunch of cryptic things.  However, she does say, “I was lost, so very long ago,” which means she is totally Susan, no matter what RTD says.  Back on Earth, the Master decides to take advantage of the fact that his consciousness is echoed more than 4 billion times over and finally find out if the drumbeat in his head is real or not.  Needless to say, it is, and he uses the technological resources at hand to create a link to its source.

There’s a lengthy scene where Bernard Cribbins and the Doctor talk about his death, and Cribbins convinces the Doctor to take his gun and tells him that, if killing the Master will free the human race, he should make the choice that is best for humanity no matter what.  I don’t have much to say about this scene, except that both Cribbins and David Tennant sell the hell out of it.  Still, like the “Time Lord Victorious” stuff from The Waters of Mars, the Doctor’s fears about his mortality and breaking his ethics just aren’t earned.  Anyway, the Doctor is freed from his malaise when he figures out what the Master is doing and is terrified by the mere prospect of the Time Lords breaking out of the time-locked Time War.   The Doctor steers the ship to England right in the face of a barrage of missiles that the world’s Master-controlled armies fired, requiring the two aliens and Bernard Cribbins to get behind the ship’s guns and do what is one of the most subtle references to another major sci-fi franchise possible.  

eoftstarwars

Not inspired by anything in particular, we swear!

Surviving the barrage, the Doctor makes a personal crash landing into the mansion, but he’s too late for about the sixth time in this special.  The link is opened, Gallifrey is becoming visible in Earth’s sky (enough that Gallifrey’s gravity should tear the Earth apart, but hey let’s just say Gallifrey hasn’t completely materalized yet or a wizard did it or something), and the Time Lords led by Rassilon are breaking through.  Two of Rassilon’s Time Lords are forced to walk around with their faces buried in their hands since they were the only two who voted against Rassilon’s plans, and one of them is the lady in white.  The other one is…well, the show doesn’t even give any hints, but let’s say it’s Romana.  The Master tries to pull on the Time Lords what he did to humanity, but – in a nice nod back to the omnipotence of the Time Lords in their first appearance in the “old” series – Rassilon with a wave of his hand is able to reverse what the Master did to humanity.  The Doctor tells the Master that along with the Time Lords he brought back the various eldritch abominations spawned in the Time War with admittedly fantastic names like the Horde of Travesties and the Nightmare Child and the Could-Have-Been King.  Rassilon announces it doesn’t matter since they’ll simply allow the rift in time created by Gallifrey’s reappearance to destroy the time vortex, devastating all reality and allowing the Time Lords to transcend the material universe as pure consciousness.  This was the plan, the Doctor tells the Master, that prompted the Doctor to end the Time War through any means possible in the first place.

Armed with the gun, the Doctor oscillates between shooting at Rassilon and shooting at the Master.  Of course, it’s not clear what good shooting a bunch of regenerating Time Lords will do, but hey, it’s Drama before Logic.

eotoftimedoctorwithgun

For maximum nerdage, compare this scene to when Batman had to hold a gun on Darkseid in “Final Crisis.”

However, the Doctor regains his ethical bearings when he looks into the face of his mother Susan and instead just shoots the machine powering the link.  Rassilon wants to take the Doctor with them to their fate, but the Master intervenes and uses his super-powers to knock Rassilon and the Time Lords (and himself) back into the Time War.  So, yeah, that’s the end of the promised “return of the Time Lords.”  The Doctor doesn’t dwell on the ramifications of condemning his own species for a second time (well, so he thinks!), but is instead relieved that he didn’t have to regenerate after all, until he hears Bernard Cribbins knocking from inside the radiation gate…

eofdoctordies

What a twist! (Actually, it’s not that bad a one…).

To be honest, I’ve read at least three different plot summaries and I really don’t have any clearer an idea of what exactly happens in this scene and why.  Just accept that the Doctor exposes himself to tons of radiation in order to save Bernard Cribbins’ life.  Luckily, the regeneration process is slowed, just because, giving the Doctor time to ride around in the TARDIS and say goodbye, or at least check in on, most of his old companions.

Now I think when I first saw this, this was the part I hated the most.  I’ve softened up on it, although it does still strike me as pretty self-indulgent on RTD’s part, especially after we already got closure to his run with Journey’s End.  And it’s still a little…iffy that the only two black companions, Martha and Mickey, end up married.  As is the fact that we still don’t get one more scene between Donna and the Doctor.  I can understand why fans found it way too mawkish, but like I said last time I can see why from the Doctor’s perspective it’s like dying.  Plus, given that from the start one of RTD’s main themes has been mortality and the challenge of accepting inevitable change, it is a nice bookend to his run.

…By the Crown of Rassilon, I’m…I’m being positive.

eotdontwanttogo

I don’t want to have a fetish for fezes.

Really, this is still far, far from being  among my top Doctor Who stories.  It’s an improvement over the first part in more than a few respects, but the plot still carries so much it collapses in on itself, the characterization of the Doctor is often put front and center and yet it’s sloppily and hastily built up, and the story just doesn’t make sense sometimes (even by Who standards).

And yet, it does capture some of what made RTD’s run work.  Like I said to begin with, I prefer Moffat’s approach and interpretation of the Doctor.  Still, to be honest, even though I started this series on “new Who” to criticize RTD, writing these posts has actually given me more of an appreciation of RTD’s run.  It might be an oversimplification, but whereas Moffat is more focused on plot RTD is usually more interested in character.  RTD may not always handle characterization with a daft hand, but one of the criticisms of Moffat’s tenure that I agree with is that RTD’s care for that kind of storytelling is largely absent.  Case in point:  Amy Pond is put through the ringer by finding out that she was not only deprived of a chance to raise her child but finds out that a middle-aged woman she encountered a few times is her daughter, but aside from one or two really brief scenes we never actually deal with the emotional ramifications of all that for Amy.  With RTD, we might not see exactly why the Doctor is suddenly worried about dying or about his potential for megalomania, but it is dealt with on an intimate scale that adds something valuable to the franchise.

So can there ever be peace between the RTD-boosters and the Moff-fans?  Maybe, maybe not, but talks don’t have to break down as badly as they did between the Daleks and the Cybermen.

eotsarah

And of course RIP Elisabeth Sladen.

Advertisements
Standard
Doctor Who Write-Ups

Doctor Who – The Underwater Menace (1967)

underwatermenaceThis time the TARDIS lands on a barren volcanic island.  The crew except Jamie who remains confused and incredulous (remember, he is from the 1700s) excitedly talk about what they might find, with the Doctor hoping they’ll come across “prehistoric monsters.”  Unable to even guess where and when they are, the Doctor scans his diary, while Polly produces a bracelet she found on the beach with an inscription referring to the Olympic Games in Mexico, leading her to suppose they are sometime past when they first left with the Doctor.   Just when they get their bearings, they’re captured by men who take them to a complex of caverns under the ocean floor.

At first their welcome looks like a warm one.  They’re led to a room where they’re fed a meal made from plankton, which the Doctor enthusiastically eats.  This inspires Polly to remark that she’d never seen the Doctor  so excited over food before, only hats.  Unfortunately, the five-star treatment is just part of a sacrificial ceremony for the goddess Amdo, presided over by a head priest Lolem.  The Doctor asks Lolem to see a Professor Zaroff, who the Doctor knows had invented a method to create elaborate foods out of just plankton.  Lolem is nonplussed, but the Doctor convinces a servant to smuggle a note to Zaroff himself, claiming that if the Doctor is killed an important secret will die with him.  Just when the Doctor and the companions are about to be submerged in a pool of sharks to appease Amdo, Zaroff intervenes.  The Doctor is forced to admit he has no secret, but insteead that he hoped that a great scientist “wouldn’t want a modern scientific mind like mine sacrificed to a heathen idol.” Zaroff is amused by the Doctor’s audacity and decides to make him an assistant.  The companions are also saved, only for them to be enslaved with Ben and Jamie sent to labor in some mines and Polly condemned to a surgery that would turn her into a “fish person” so she could work on the city’s underwater crops.  Luckily the Doctor learns about Polly’s planned fate and manages to shut down the power, enabling Polly to escape and hide.

In Zaroff’s lab, the Doctor explains that he knew about Zaroff’s research into food production and thought like the rest of the world that Zaroff had died 20 years previously.   Zaroff explains that he had instead stumbled across this society and  leads the Doctor to the conclusion that the underground city is what remains of Atlantis, which the Doctor believed up until then was only a myth, and explains that although the continent of Atlantis was flooded and sunk into the ocean some survivors discovered expansive underground air pockets, in which they were able to rebuild their civilization.    The Doctor is surprised that a scientist like Zoroff could be accepted by a society that still practices “ancient temple ritual and idol worship” (geesh, what is up with the Doctor’s anti-pagan bias in this episode?), but Zoroff explains he won not only their respect but political power by promising to lift Atlantis above the ocean.  As Zoroff explains his planned techniques for doing so, the Doctor realizes that if Zoroff carries out his plans the Earth’s crust would be deeply damaged and the entire planet potentially destroyed.  Here the Doctor comes to the uncomfortable conclusion that Zoroff is insane as he childishly chants “Bang!  Bang!” and is thrilled at the prospect of single-handedly destroying the world (see Choice Quotes below).

With two shipwrecked sailors who were enslaved by the Atlanteans, Jamie and Ben manage to escape their captors.  Likewise the Doctor flees Zoroff’s lab by “accidentally” mixing some chemicals that create a literal smoke screen.  Free, the Doctor overhears a priest name Rolem express skepticism about Zaroff and tries to enlist his aid.  Rolem offers to take the Doctor to the king of Atlantis, Thous (and the Doctor is pleased to be given a ceremonial hat for the purpose).  The Doctor bluntly tells Thous that Zarloff is “as mad as a hatter,” but Thous is unconvinced since Rolem and the other priests had endorsed Zoroff and his plan to restore Atlantis in the past.  Thous and Zaroff hand the Doctor and Rolem over to the tender mercies of Lolem. Luckily Ben, hiding behind a statue of Amno, tricks Lolem and the other congregants by having them bow and convincing them that the “sacrifices” have been snatched away into thin air.

Reunited with his companions, the Doctor, exploiting the fact that even Zaroff’s plankton-based food cannot be stored for long, sends the two sailors to convince the fish people to revolt and refuse to provide the city with food while he and the companions capture Zaroff.  Disguised in the marketplace as a performer, the Doctor and Polly trick Zaroff into thinking he’s “discovered” the Doctor and lures him into a trap.   While the Doctor, Jamie, and Ben go to Zaroff’s lab to disable the equipment he needs to literally shatter the Earth, Zaroff tricks Polly and Rolem and kills the latter while escaping. Zaroff tries to get Thous to have both the Doctor and the rebellious fish people executed, but Thous refuses, finally realizing Zaroff’s madness.  It is, as one might expect, too late;  Zaroff has gained the loyalty of some of Thous’ guards who turn against the king and stand by while Zaroff shoots him.

The Doctor decides the only way to stop Zaroff now is to flood the lower caverns of Atlantis, including Zaroff’s lab, and evacuate the people in that area to the higher areas. However, the encroaching flooding and the fish people’s strikes only delay Zaroff. The Doctor goes to confront Zaroff and convinces Zaroff’s technicians and guards to abandon him. Undeterred Zaroff tries to activate the device that will penetrate the Earth’s crust anyway, but the Doctor and Ben trick him into moving away from the controls and trap him behind a barrier. The Doctor tries to save Zaroff from being drowned, but a fallen rock blocks access to the lab, and he and Ben scramble to reach the higher reaches of the cave complex.  Thous has survived and reached higher ground.  He becomes convinced that Atlantis can be revived even after the disaster “without gods and without fish people.”

The Doctor, the companions, and the sailors escape back to the volcanic island on the surface.  As they leave (without the sailors) in the TARDIS, the Doctor boasts that he can pilot the TARDIS to wherever and whenever he wants, he just always chose not to.  To prove it the Doctor says he’ll fly the TARDIS to Mars, but suddenly something causes the TARDIS to go out of control.

Continuity Notes

On the note he sends to Dr. Zaroff, the Doctor signs his name “Dr. W.”  It’s shades of when WOTAN called the Doctor “Doctor Who” in The War Machines, even though that was the only time in the whole series where the Doctor is actually called “Doctor Who.”

This is just the first of several Atlantises that will show up through the show’s run.  Needless to say, they don’t exactly gel together.

It’s perhaps also worth noting that this is the first “Doctor Who” episode with a pretty explicit anti-religion message.  It won’t really be the last.

Sign of the Times

Polly takes the reference to the Olympics in Mexico as a sign that they are somewhen in the future (Polly and Ben having boarded the TARDIS in 1966, by which point there had never been an Olympics competition in Mexico). For the serial’s 1967 audience it would have been a somewhat contemporary reference, since it had been announced that the 1968 Olympics would take place in Mexico City, placing this series (as Polly guesses) sometime in the 1970s.

Choice Quotes

This one’s a doozy:

Doctor:  Just one small question: why do you want to blow up the world?
Zaroff:  Why? You, a scientist, ask me why? The achievement, my dear Doctor. The destruction of the world. The scientist’s dream of supreme power!

Comments

There’s not too much to say about this one.  It’s pretty fun and well-paced, especially compared to some of the serials from the last couple of seasons, but it’s definitely not one of the better Second Doctor adventures.  The real selling point of this series is Joseph Fürst’s performance as Dr. Zoroff in all his cheese-and-ham, scene-chewing glory.  In hindsight it’s just amazing to see a mad scientist villain who makes Davros appear reasonable.  The sets are as always low, low budget, but they do convey the sense of a foreign society and the “fish people” look somewhat horrific, even though they are the subject of a long series of dull scenes that just show them swimming around.  Still, if you want to go out of your way to watch the four episodes of this series (three of which are lost but available as reconstructions), it might be worth it to see the glorious Dr. Zaroff – but little else.

Standard
Holidays

My Favorite Christmas Special: It’s a Bundyful Life

I swear I ain’t got nothing against Christmas, but I do have a lot of animosity toward Christmas entertainment.  It’s not just the saccharine yet vague moralizing, although that is part of it (especially when I’m subjected to traditional Christmas music), but how all the things that really define most people’s Christmases are ignored or at least whitewashed with a sugary paste.  You know, things like the orgy of consumerism in the name of a holiday supposedly commemorating the birth of a man who urged his followers to give away all of their possessions, or being forced to spend your time off work or school with people you’re connected to only through accidents of biology.

That’s not to say I can’t enjoy a Christmas special that is more on the puppies and rainbows side, like A Charlie Brown Christmas (although even that dealt with Christmas-time consumerism), but…I have to say, my own favorite Christmas special of all time was from Married…with Children, an epic two-parter titled “It’s a Bundyful Life.”

 itsabundyfullifepeg

At least it does start off happy, with eternally cursed working man Al Bundy achieving a rare victory where, thanks to setting up a special Christmas club account at the bank, he can actually adequately provide for his family.  “So in addition to our annual Christmas feast at Denny’s, this year we’re getting presents,” he gloats.  Maybe in the United States’ current economy such jokes have a little too much bite in them, but I always liked the North Korean-style level of poverty that became more and more part of the show’s humor.  It just helps the image of the Bundys’ existence as the Dark Mirror Universe version of pretty much every late 20th century happy middle-class family sitcom.  Helping that image is that neighbor Marcy, distressed that her husband has ditched her for the entire holiday for his overnurturing mother, comes to the Bundys for sympathy.  When Al mocks her as always, Peg expresses some…less than shining sympathy.  “Do you know how many people with lives a lot better than hers commit suicide this time of year?”  Peg asks Al.  Indeed, this is what my loved ones have to remind themselves of.

Peg advises her to have fun at her office party, which happens to be at Al’s bank, even without her husband around.  Unfortunately, when Al is late, Marcy had already taken Peg’s advice too far and we end up with Evidence #7818 as to why Married…with Children’s Marcy Rhodes deserves to be remembered as one of the greatest characters in American sitcom history.

itsabundyfullifemarcyparties

More than just an obvious take on It’s a Wonderful Life, “It’s a Bundyful Life” is a riff on the age-old sitcom trope of where the beleaguered patriarch of the family just can’t fulfill the materialistic desires of his family, but the family get their presents at the end regardless, or they discover “the true meaning of Christmas” (hint: it actually isn’t Jesus), or they find something else that gives them perspective like a stray dog or a homeless family.  It is, after all, what The Simpsons did with their first televised episode, and they were more straightforward about it than you might expect.  What I love about this special is that it doesn’t even hint at the slightest possibility that sentimentalism could win out over materialism.   As Kelly wisely puts it, “Christmas without presents is like Thanksgiving without pizza.”   The closest the Bundy family comes to a kind moment is when they decide to reciprocate Al’s upcoming gift-giving by “regifting” his own possessions (in a rare moment of mental clarity, Kelly decides to wrap up Al’s toothbrush, since he never uses it).   Meanwhile Al is either genuinely terrified of how his wife and children might retaliate, or afraid of failing even the smallest crumb of responsibility as the Bundys’ breadwinner, or both.  “Daddy is not stupid enough to really believe that you love him,” Peg admonishes her children when they try to curry gift-giving favor with Al.

Of course, the situation does call for a whacky sitcom plan.  This being Married…With Children, Al’s zany scheme involves starting a fake day care business and keeping the children imprisoned.  It does make you ponder Bud and Kelly’s upbringing.  

itsabundyfullifeunclealsdaycare

Of course, like almost all money-making sitcom schemes it doesn’t work , but the whole episode is just a stretched-out set up to Part 2 – blatantly so, which is the big flaw with the special.  This does,, however, allow the second part to jump right to business.  Al shocks himself while trying to fix some Christmas lights (the eternal bane of clumsy American dads) and meets his reluctant, and indeed outright horrified, guardian angel, played by Sam Kinison.

For those of you who were not culturally conditioned in the ’90s, Sam Kinison was a Pentecostal preacher-turned-comedian who, tragically, died of a car accident in 1992.  He tends to get confused with Bobcat Goldthwait, because…well, they have similar heights and builds, and their distinctiveness comes from voice quirks, I guess.  Detractors to Sam Kenniston might say that his style was his enraged shouting and screeching, but honestly he had a working class aura that perfectly fits the gritty and militantly anti-suburbanite feel of Married…With Children to a ‘T’ standing for ‘trash.’

itsabundyfullifealandsam

From this point on, the show is actually surprisingly faithful if succinct in its retelling of It’s A Wonderful Life.  Al was never born and Peg married a businessman named Norman Jablonski, but (okay, they just didn’t want to or couldn’t build a new set, what do you expect) they live in the same house and Bud and Kelly were still conceived the way they are in reality – more or less.  Actually, everything is reversed.  Peg is a strict but loving mother who actually enjoys cooking, Kelly is a chaste poet and college student, and Bud is old-fashioned and chivalric.  They don’t demand anything for Christmas, but Norman does promise that they will be moving into a mansion.  Hey, it’s still the ’90s, so upgrading from a two-floor house in the Chicago suburbs to a mansion isn’t completely unbelievable.

And maybe I’m reading way too much into what is just an episode of a notoriously crass sitcom, the lowest of all entertainment genres (at least until reality TV became commonplace), but I don’t think the joke is completely that this is a mirror universe of the Bundys (or the Bundys are the mirror universe version of the Jablonskis).   Peg Wanker Jablonski is chained to her stove and her kids’ schedules in a way Peg Bundy would find disgusting.  Kelly is (she’ll admit) “frigid” and completely unwilling to indulge in the pleasures of the life limiting how much even as a poet she can be said to truly live.  Finally, Bud, instead of futilely objectifying women, now holds them up as fragile beings whose honor has to be constantly defended, which subjects them to as much objectification but precludes Bud from perhaps ever having a sexual relationship with them even more than his original peeping tom ways.    In sum, the Jablonskis are far more successful and more loving toward each other than the Bundys, but they’re also much less free in the purest, most libertine sense.

Hey, if by chance you’re writing your PhD dissertation on Married…with Children, feel free to cite me!

itsabundyfullifealternatebundys

Anyway, Al comes to a slightly more simple conclusion than I did.  “Look at them.  They’re happy.  Not a care in the world.  You think I want that to happen after all they put me through?  I want to live!”  he tells Sam.  Thus we see Al deciding to choose life out of spite.

I don’t know about you all, but that’s a far more valuable moral than even anything the original It’s a Wonderful Life had to offer.

itsabundyfullifefin

Standard