The Game Over reviews are back!! Sorry for the delay. I had some technical issues to sort out. Episode 4 continues to experiment with the characters and their chemistry amongst the family, namely Raquel and the obtuse Billy, who is less annoying this time around.
The episode starts with Raquel “at work”, recovering an Ice Monkey statue (I still have yet to understand this show’s setting in correlation with monkeys, but that’s not a big deal…yet.), but is intercepted by her rival, Ransom (or Rensem?) Transom, an archetype Bond movie villain complete with a bowler hat that I’m certain would’ve been around more often had the show been greenlighted for more episodes. I’m actually entertained by this guy.
His whole joke is breaking the third wall and blatantly explaining the context of his witty remarks after failing or succeeding. Game Over experimented with various character types used as a play on video games, which ironically hinders their ability to connect with the audience, but because Rensom isn’t, he actually works. After a brief exchange, Raquel subdues him and returns home to encounter The Changs, the Smashenburns’ neighbors, who have been so far to be unlikable. This doesn’t change:
There’s nothing wrong with a catty neighbor, some can add quite a dynamic to your sitcom, whether they’re nice like the Flanders, or the Souphanousinphones in King of the Hill, whose bias of the Hill family and their friends were rooted in being of a higher financial bracket, yet still managed to be good people at heart. Dark Princess is not only a bitch, she’s a Mega Bitch!! It would be one thing if this were for an antagonistic comedic effect, like Mrs. Lovejoy, who hid her snarkiness behind a thin veil of politeness, but here it’s just…mean!! Really mean!! They probably didn’t say this kind of stuff during the Inquistion!! What the f**ks her problem!? She’s about as pleasant as violently wedging a cheese grater into your underwear!
So after being torn a metaphorical new one by Dark Princess, Raquel takes it upon herself to be more of a traditional mother and volunteers to help Billy out with his play, which he seems slightly more puzzled at than annoyed.
“Because that’s what moms do, Pookums”
“Other moms. Not you.”
This amuses me on two levels. 1) The fact that Raquel isn’t aware of how she’s the kind of awesome, ass kicking mother any given teenager would dream of having and vows to be more mother-like and 2) The rest of her family knows she isn’t a traditional mother…and they are perfectly okay with that. Their skepticism in her efforts to be a more doting wife/mom is legit funny. Oh yeah, Turbo shows up and fails to be Bender again. Meanwhile, the second plot begins with Rip taking Alice to the race tracks, but before that, they do that gag where someone is clearly saying something lewd, but they’re censored by the speeding cars.
The guy’s name is Zeke, and he’s clearly a trashball and looks like a random goon from a Streets of Rage game (I’m 100% certain they didn’t even think about that when they poorly rendered this guy. Would’ve been a reasonable video game reference and being a thug from a beat’em up could tie in to his bad boy persona, but here I am again doing the work they should’ve done ten years ago.), but Alice immediately has the hots for him. I could say this is contradictory to Alice’s self-respecting nature from the Basic Win-Stincts episode, but being a neurotic, emotionally unstable teenage girl, I’ll give her a pass. I do want to say that the glamourous perception as to what a bad boy is supposed to be and what a bad boy really is, correlated with what young women perceive as attractive really make me giggle a little bit.
Back to Turbo, who may as well be named Plot C, since nothing he does means anything, is confronted by a blue hitman sent by a casino owner because he owes him money and Turbo predictably stiffs him. Essentially, the goofy looking thug gives him until the third act of the episode to give him the money or he’ll do me the favor of killing Turbo so I never have to see him again. Guess how that works out? If it seems like I’m incredibly dismissive towards this character…it’s because I am.
At the school play, Game Over loosely establishes that Dark Princess’ daughter has a thing for Billy and vice versa. So he’s over the generic anime girl from episode 2 (Godzilla season…NO, I’M STILL NOT OVER THAT!!!) She’s supposed to be a cute 13 year old Asian girl, but because the technology was far from perfected for this kind of medium and it really hits home during close-ups, she looks like an XBox character model that’s starting to glitch up after being stung in the face by a paper wasp.
Raquel shows up with ambition and is greeted by Dark Princess (who is simply dressed more like a monk than a princess) Who proceeds to be a pain in Raquel’s side again, giving her the task of cleaning up children’s vomit with a giant bucket of sawdust.
Back at the race track, Rip looks as if he is about to win a race, but notices that Alice and Zeke are getting a little too close for his liking. Did I mention Patrick Warburton is awesome? I did? I’ll say it again; Patrick Warburton is awesome.
Seriously, he, Chris Parnell, and H. Jon Benjamin are some of my favorite comedic voices. Everything they say is funny. Alice is scolded for blindly falling head over heels for the dirtbag. Nothing new from family oriented sitcoms. Alice’s dynamic with her parents are the only cohesion I’ve seen than any other member of this series.
Things are hitting a wall for Raquel as well, as work and parenthood are crashing into each other at a breakneck pace.
She reports the bad news to Dark Princess and is booted from the play, as well as hurting Billy’s friendship with Dark Princess’ daughter, leaving him upset. Eeesh…
The next day, Rip tries a bit of reverse psychology on Alice, believing if he approves of her relationship with Zeke, she will deem it uncool and won’t date him. This backfires, leaving Rip to follow them in hot pursuit.
At ZED Headquarters, Raquel now has to hear it from her boss that Ransom Transom has stolen the monkey. Things just keep getting worse, but she’s off to correct her mistake…almost immediately.
This is one of the instances where the show is pretty good, and I noticed that when this series is the best is mostly when Raquel is the focal point.
I would’ve like to have seen this resolved by Rip punching Zeke out, so it left this resolution a little flat, but the important lesson was learned and that is really all that mattered.
So it’s time for Billy’s play to start, titled Ninja on the Roof, by the way, and Turbo figures this is a good place to hide from the hitman so two storylines can be resolved in the same scene. I can’t even crack a smile at his scenes, this Turbo is seriously one of the most unfunny characters I’ve scene in a while. Also, Ransom Transom is hot on Raquel’s trail.
So after showing up fashionably late, Raquel saves the day and makes the play’s finale a little better. A very nice resolution to bring things full circle. I also like the play being purposely sung as bad as possible. Every school play I’ve partaken in was about as bad, and had less focus on ninjas. And the rabbi thing…is it just there to be there? I might be running out ways to call this character completely useless.
After Alice and Rip have a talk about trust, the episode concludes with Dark Princess and Raquel making amends and Billy gets knocked off a roof for trying to cop a feel.CONCLUSION: This was another pretty solid episode that I got some good laughs out of. The Ransom Transom character was entertaining, Rip is always funny, Billy was toned down considerably in obnoxiousness which helped him be a more relatable personality. Plot B with Rip and Alice probably could’ve used more meat on it’s bones, but had enough of the formula to tell it’s story and Zeke getting some kind of comeuppance for putting his daughter in danger would’ve suited better. I’ve already said enough about the failure that is the Turbo character, but unfortunately the next episode is chocked full of him and I am not looking forward to THAT. The video game gags were reduced to a first person shooter joke inserted just for the sake of it. EPISODE GRADE: B-
Next Episode is Into The Woods, which has a cameo by rapper Common!!
Game Over, including this full episode, can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZNEsibju69wAWkJIzKVEm6-h0mZmIBfU