Married with Children... All Things Episodic
0105 - "Have You Driven a Ford Lately?"
"Hey, come on, honey. After all, I was a guy before I met you." (Steve)
I'm intrigued by a plant. Throughout this season the Bundy household has
been filled with several more plants than would later be present, and in
this story there is a plant between the coats closet and the front door. It
wasn't there in "But I Didn't Shoot the Deputy" and I can't be bothered to
check back, but I'm fairly sure this plant comes and goes like nobody's
business. I have no idea why, but I suspect this plant has some deeper
occult significance. At last, however, the children have a role of some
kind. David Faustino is still clowning around in a pre-adolescent fashion,
and therefore delivering his lines in an unvarying tone of bouncy laughter,
while Christina Applegate just about manages to prove she can act even with
hair that is coated in what looks like killer peroxide.
"As soon as Steve goes to sleep tonight I am going to smash that car into
little bits. Except for the ashtray. I have other uses for that." (Marcy)
The plot of this episode is the first in a long line of similar MWC stories,
such as "If Al Had a Hammer" or "Heels on Wheels", or "Hi IQ"; Al and
Steve/Jefferson have a task to perform which the women resent and/or do not
understand, then produce comedy by their ineptitude or by having
ridiculously OTT dreams about the results. It is enhanced a little by
location filming, albeit a very simplistic use of such for Al and Steve's
dream sequences; as an entry into the canon of this sort, though, nothing
makes the first part of the episode particularly stand out from the others.
Indeed, "Hi IQ" was better with the Handyman's Workbench 5000. The
continuing character development of the first season helps, and Marcy's
sexual shyness is very funny (especially knowing her later behaviour, and
with Al's taunts).
"You know, there's something about a stick shift." (Steve)
"Yeah, I don't know what, but there it is..." (Al)
The end of the episode is interesting because it is the first time we've
seen Al being a loser, and indeed the script fails to take any notice of the
fact. Given that his dreams have been fading ever since he first bought the
Dodge ("Requiem for a Chevyweight"), and so on - I know I'm working on
retroactive continuity there, but it seems that at this point Al is still
not the loser that he was due to become in later tales.
Enjoyable tale which points the way to many later episodes. Rating 7/10.
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