Married with Children


 Episode:    0201 -  "Buck Can Do It"

"How can this be? He tips over when he lifts his leg!" (Al)

This episode is a little desperate, really. In fact, it's about as good as "Poppy's by the Tree",
which is not saying anything at all. The premise of the story is funny, but it all falls down in
terms of action. There is one simple idea - to have Buck neutered or not - and every discussion
revolves around this. Whereas some episodes that have one single idea are excellent - "Al with
Kelly", for example - this one is pretty thin. The interludes with Buck - running off from
Pitman, or heading upstairs with a queue of dogs behind - are the funniest, and Bud putting on
background music is a great touch; the best of these little vignettes, however, is when Peg is
chopping up fruit in the kitchen. Ouch! 

"How does he know? The man spells sex 9-7-6!" (Al)

Unfortunately, nothing can rescue this episode from later on, in what is one of the worst parts
of MWC history, early or late. Namely Al's dream, featuring a man in a strange-looking suit. The
dream-Buck isn't funny, doesn't really have any involvement in the plot, and overall is a waste
of what might have been. It's a pity they hadn't thought of putting in his thoughts throughout
the story as they do in later years; it would have added far more balance and removed the need
for the dream. To spend the whole story discussing someone who basically does not speak and isn't
involved in the discussion just doesn't work in this episode, although of course it has done in
the theatre (Godot, anyone?). The dream just makes it worse. It's not so much surreal as plain

"Keep your daughter away from my son." (Pitman)
"She was probably just lending him a dress!" (Al)

Interestingly, this is an episode where Al wins, even if it is by making what he might consider
the ultimate sacrifice - sex with Peg. Yet the writers make nothing of it, which is perhaps
unfortunate. Occasional episodes where Al wins are often the best because they are surrounded by
so many other failures; the best of these is "All Night Security Dude", I think. This episode,
however, just doesn't work; the discussion drags on too much, the dream is dreadful, and only the 
resolution of the plot has a certain pleasantness to it because Al actually wins. But not by

Rating:  3. 

By Grail


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