too much typing—since 2003

5.17.2004

laugh-outlawed Sunday?

If nothing else, Fox should get some credit for apparently being willing to leave its nasty editorial pawprints off its comedies - at least, its popular comedies. Because, apparently, Sunday night was Impending Police State night at Fox.

The Simpsons started it off with Bart, temporarily deafened by a dubious vaccination shot, inadvertently mooning an American flag (courtesy of a donkey - wait a minute, maybe Fox did interfere a bit...). From the resulting accusation of anti-patriotism, the show spiraled into a farcical but pointed satire of with-us-or-with-the-terrorists "patriotic" oneupmanship.

And then Malcolm in the Middle presented evidence-manufacturing FBI agents embroiling Hal in a corporate scandal, as a result of which he lost nearly everything he owned in a government confiscation (sans trial), and he was subject to house arrest via one of those ankle bracelets. The vicious whimsy of the guy controlling how far Hal could go from the bracelet's control unit was wonderfully done. The secondary plot, featuring a jilted Reese run off to join the army, not only featured the usual screaming martinet of a drill sergeant but, more pointedly, presented Reese's realization, that things worked much more smoothly if he stopped thinking and just followed orders, as the sweetest moment in that sergeant's military career. Although the episode was surely written well before the prison torture scandal was revealed to the public, the specter of "just following orders" was rendered particularly grim by its current context.

1 comment:

Dave said...

[Inside the Kwik-E-Mart, two of Apu's babies are fighting]

Marge: “Uh-oh. Punab and Umar are fighting!”
Apu: “No no. Those are their pre witch hunt names. Their new names are Freedom, Lincoln, Condoleezza, Coke, Pepsi, Manifest Destiny, Apple Pie and Superman.”