Episode three begins with an extreme dirt bike race that Billy is partaking in, and this is a pretty funny scene. Given how I feel about this character, this is the funniest he has been in my eyes. He does horribly, pedaling dead last and attempting some BMX tricks, causing him to wipe out in epic fashion, but is still awarded a trophy for participating. I laugh at this, in this day and age where we hand out awards to children for simply breathing, any opportunity to aim barbs at this super safe and sorry method of child raising should not be passed up.
During breakfast, Alice states that she wants to sit out gym class, because the entire exercise is just the hot popular girls showing off their bodies and making the other girls feel like crap, setting up the secondary plot for this episode. Meanwhile, Rip opens Raquel’s paycheck and is under the misconception that it’s a mistake, as her check is much larger than his, apparently by a whole bunch.
This makes Rip naturally inadequate that his wife is making more money than he does. And it doesn’t help that Raquel is very successful at completing her duties than Rip is at staying on the road. Now this is promising. Despite feeling a little stiff in terms of subtly and delivery, this episode presented us with three story lines to follow. The family dog pile at the end of the scene seemed right the hell out of nowhere.
The next day at the track, Rip reports to his pit crew that they have been on the losing end of the races lately and decides that today is a new day to start some winning!!
Sure, a gag that you’ve seen straight out of Looney Tunes about fifty times, but man, I can’t stop laughing at it. Rip Smashenburn really does own this show.
It’s gym time at apparently the high school with the most generous grant possible to afford a beach for a bunch of sophomores. Don’t mean to nitpick there, because this establishes the secondary plot taking shots at something that spiraled out of control for about five years. Curvy, polygonal babes!!!
Pardon me while I go slightly off topic. Now, I’m a warm-blooded man who doesn’t mind looking at the female body, even in regards to fictional, animated ladies, and the video game universe is full of curvaceous vixens, but during that brief period (circa PS2 and Xbox) the powers of the seventh generation software allowed developers to fully render a woman’s body without jagged edges and the physics of 3-D bouncing boobies would ensure that men could combine the luxury of playing a video game while staring at half-naked women. It was the shut-in equivalent of strippers and hot wings!! I grew up playing Night Warriors: Darkstalkers’ Revenge, a game that would almost guarantee you would get slapped in the face with a tit, thanks to the combined efforts of Felicia and Morrigan. It was still a fun game to play with solid controls!!
I might delve into this hypothesis another time, but this lazy, low common denominator mentality has allowed the Dead or Alive series to plateau as it left a percentage of hopeless male gamers (the ones who sent death threats to PSM because Valkyrie Wilde: Full Frontal Assault wasn’t a real game. look it up, it’s worth a laugh) were willing to play a mediocre fighting game in the hopes of a nip slip or fog-covered ass crack!! and if I might seem a bit curt in blatantly singling out DOA with this, I present exhibit B cup, Red Ninja. A choppy, sluggish game with some of the worst controls and muddy pixels I’ve ever encountered on the PS2. This absolute debacle is even more shameless than DOA, at least that’s playable!! Red Ninja attempted to sucker in male gamers by giving this half-naked kunoichi a skill called (and I couldn’t make this up) Seduction Stealth Kills!! And I quote:
“A seduction stealth kill is also possible to perform on a single enemy: during such an attack, Kurenai will perform a vaguely suggestive activity and when the enemy approaches, will drag him down and kill him.”
Roughly translated: By this horrible game so you can watch a polygon feel herself up!! Sure, other games use blatant simulated sex to sell (Fear Effect 2 Retro Helix and the Bloodrayne games. Hell, copies of Bayonetta probably aren’t allowed in Salt Lake City), but those games are fun to play!! If I want boobs at a low frame rate and horrible load times, I’d download porn on my old Windows 95 Compaq. Sorry about that, back to the synopsis. The rendering on Tiffany looks terrifying. She looks like a zombie.
Somewhere, Turbo coaxes Billy into going to a drug store to get some remedies and promises to give him a trophy upon completion. Billy, naturally accepts. Still don’t care about Turbo or his poor contributions to this series. Raquel, meanwhile, lands another treasure (a uranium monkey. For some reason, monkeys were a recurring theme in Game Over), but feeling her accomplishments are becoming too obvious, she hides it from Rip.
In school, the volleyball bimbos ask Alice for clarification on what she meant by not being an object of boys’ fantasy and that they have the freedom to be an individual!! Gag to follow…
Billy returns with the provisions Turbo asked for and Turbo hands him the uranium monkey as a trophy with “Went to the Store” Post-It noted on the side of it. Rip comes in and notices the treasure and Turbo tells him that Raquel has been hiding her success from him out of pity.
Back at school, the volleyball sack-o-doorknobs greets Alice:
Now it’s on!! Alice really began to warm up to me at this point. She really makes me think of Lisa Simpson in high school, to a degree, and it’s too bad that this whole thing was a one episode gag. I find these three idiots amusing. Predictable, but amusing.
Later that evening, Rip challenges Raquel to a game of one-on-one b-ball (Eeesh, I’m using too many hyphens in this post) and after some taunting, she easily dominates him. Seeing him struggle, Raquel misses an easy layup on purpose and Rip quickly notices, calling her out on it. This is a pretty amusing scene and it highlights whats great about Pat Warburton as comedy voice actor. It may be the same voice over and over, but man is it funny. I should be able to add the video shortly, it’s worth seeing.
Now that Billy has begun wearing Alice’s hoodie, she begins a plan to get her identity back. She calls up the girls to go shopping.
The next day, Rip sees a sports psychologist to try to solve his problem.
This is another funny visual gag scene and the wordplay makes it pretty memorable, though the trauma-damaged football player might not be as accepted today, given the deadly string of athlete fatalities lately. Yeah right, like the NFL cares about these people. Go to hell, football.
Billy, wandering down the road, comes across a shop that sells trophies (prior to, there was a Frogger reference, that was pretty amusing). After learning from Ken, the Troll with the Mole, that you can buy a trophy, Billy naturally gets the wrong impression and indulges himself in sycophantism. This brings his subplot to a close, and this will be the only time I type this; Billy was pretty funny in this episode.
Alice has duped the girls into wearing burkas, completely covering everything and later shows up herself sporting a two piece. Apparently, Alice has the skin tone of a lamprey and weighs approximately 35 lbs. And her hair just kind of looks like that. Yeah, keep the hoodie on, lest you be mistaken for Peter Pan. Alice’s message to the girls is essentially you can make an object out of yourself, but you always have a choice. This completely flies over their heads and they immediately strip back down to bikinis and frolic about. Mission failed.
Back on the race track, Rip is doing his damnedest to win this time, until Raquel finally confronts him and looks to iron the misunderstanding out. This follows up with a really cool racing scene.
The episode ends with the Smashenburn family playing a board game in the living room and all is right with the world.
IN CLOSING: This is my favorite episode of the series. It had a structured, more consistent flow as opposed to the previous episode. Each of the subplots were established in the first five minutes, almost all the jokes were great, and very little felt unnecessary or wasted. Episode Grade A
Episode Pluses: The DOA Volleyball jab was delightfully entertaining and Alice was great in her role as strong, independent woman attempting to mentor morons. This episode also hit several more archetypical sitcom subtext like peer pressure and self-expression/individuality and using those terms in relation to a video game spinoff that objectifies women with all the subtly of a wrecking ball garners more laughs from me.
Episode Minuses: The trophy subplot, while entertaining, was something for Billy to do this week. Turbo is still in this show and hasn’t had a scene I’ve laughed at so far. There was also a pointless scene with Raquel visiting some hermit in the artic that was kind of pointless. The girls should keep their clothes on. Two things hurt this show’s art; facial close-ups and half-naked girls. Amber and Brandy looked decent at least, but Tiffany, the bustiest of the three, looked like she’s 41 pretending to be a college coed!