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Episode 14: Airdate: Tuesday April 3, 1990

The Sketches

Recurring Characters

Bobby & Laura

Bobby's Parents

Bobby’s Parents

Review!

Episode 14 is a Kevin heavy episode, which seems fitting given the Kids finally convinced him to join twitter (@kevinthekith) and as of the publishing of this he’s almost up to 4K followers! The Kids regularly call Kevin “the funny one” because he’s accidentally funny and in this episode he shows both his comedy chops and his flexibility working with the other Kids. He plays against Scott and Dave in two very different sketches. Dave and Kevin play off each other by bouncing back and forth. Dull Death is the perfect contrast of Dave taking no nonsense and giving no sympathy to a friend who clearly has died multiple times before, to Kevin who is experiencing something that any other person would find immensely interesting and getting no reaction in return.

For those that know of Jack Harkness and his secret, are his recountings of death boring? Once someone has died and come back a couple times would you want to still hear about it?

While Dave and Kevin bounce off each other, Kevin and Scott compliment and contrast each other. They never conflict but I don’t feel the same give and take as you do with Dave and Kevin. Nothing wrong with their style it’s just different. At times it almost seems like Scott is acting more like Kevin who is then playing a character, rather than creating something from scratch.

If my memory is correct, this is the first time we see Kevin and Scott paired up in a sketch without a third Kid. The editors are parodies but, (and I’m sure my editor friends will correct me if I’m wrong) editors this tyrannical do exist to some degree in real life. Maybe they can’t actually rip up fire hydrants in here but they can do so in books if the story calls for it. The names are clever, a play on the words will and won’t, and their outfits are entirely opposite each other except for the wigs. I should also point out that the wigs are horrible in this sketch, almost to the point of dragging me away from enjoying it.

From editors to teenage love, we’re back with Bobby and his parents only to find out that Laura broke up with him! Oh, young love! Bruce does over dramatic teenager almost too well, if his book is any indication I’m sure he’s drawing from his childhood at some point. I admire his acting ability to not corpse (break out of character) when he’s going off the rails each time his parents mention Laura’s name. The Kid with the most songs gets another one and it’s right up there with the poetry song we heard when Bobby and Laura first met.

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As an aside, does Laura look familiar to you? That’s Nicole de Boer aka Ezri Dax on Deep Space Nine and Sarah Bannerman on The Dead Zone!

I love Dave’s mother character, she’s so quiet without being a pushover. Contrast that with Mark’s father character with his minimal lines saying so much just by standing up and then sitting back down when the mother gestures for him to do so. His monotone, “I don’t like anybody” could have been met a number of ways and instead it’s just acceptance. this is a wife who has dealt with this quite sometime. Without over-analyzing the family dynamic too much it’s easy to see that Bobby isn’t scared of his father; this is a family where Mom reigns supreme both in discipline and support. Knowing the Kids didn’t have the best experiences with their dads I wonder if this is on purpose?

The Editors come in to break the scene and tote away the parents, this is my favourite kind of linking sketch.

Both the “I lied” sketch and the “I’m a Cat” sketch show Mark monologuing in different ways. Although we see the rest of the troupe at the end they’re only there to bring about a “Cats-esque” vibe to the whole thing. This is one sketch I’m completely fine with not seeing during the live show. The cat sketch is good and Mark’s hair is excellent but now in the age of the cat meme seems all the more relevant. Now I just need to see a cat doing this sketch as a human. I would have never placed Mark as a cat person, he seems too bouncy to be a cat. Maybe Scott as the cat, given Scott has always owned cats.

One of my favourite group “Vox pop” sketches is My Routine. It reminds me of A Bit of Fry and Laurie sketches and all the wonderful things British comedy can provide. Just the perfect amount of strangeness mixed with their own individual personalities and all finished by them all ending the same way. You could argue that they’re all successful in their own ways, except maybe Bruce’s character who seems more hobo than actual golfer. Kevin is the most successful and of all routines his is the most normal. The only odd thing about his is that he goes down to the morgue to read his newspaper. Otherwise he’s successful and stays in shape and helps Mark’s pyromaniac character.

Mark, however, should get an award for happiest burn ward patient. How many painkillers did they give him?

Schoolroom rounds the episode off nicely and with an appearance from Bellini! Bellini makes an appearance in this episode playing a student, one of those “blink and you’ll miss it” lines at the end.

“I can make it four, Mr. Bellini!”

Dave and Scott are playing “teacher” and “his girlfriend” but I like to think these two characters sparked or were the foundation for Francesca Fiore and Bruno Puntz Jones, lovers that will be introduced later on in season 2 also played by Scott and Dave.

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It’s hard to tell when this is set, presumably around the Cold War given the references and the ‘accent’ that Scott is putting on, but despite knowing nothing about the time period or place we can really engage in the story. The sketch is very quotable and shows a twist to Dave’s acting ability, his ability to switch back and forth with and without a stutter. The stutter isn’t played for laughs but his boring voice and topic is and it’s done well. So well in fact that Kevin’s student character falls asleep with his hand up and then slowly brings it down later in the sketch. We can always rely on Scott to bring in the drama and this has great melodramatic lines to play with, like this one after Dave tries to keep going comparing their love and the Cold War and fails:

“Darling! Don’t talk to me of thermodynamics, talk to me only of love.”

Swoon.

The Editors quickly come in to edit themselves out (how very tidy!) and episode 14 comes to an end. I’m curious whether or not this was meant to be a Kevin-centric episode or if it just happened that way. The past few episodes have been relatively balanced, with the exception of Bruce, and now we have Kevin in almost every scene. I’m probably created conspiracy where there is none… thoughts? As always leave them in the comments!


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Watch on youtube? Please purchase the box set when you are able. (amazon.com/amazon.ca/amazon.co.uk [NTSC])

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