Married with Children... All Things Episodic


0506  -  Kelly Bounces Back

"I'm going to handle this in the traditional Bundy way. With swift and
blinding violence." (Kelly)

If we were going to artificially split MWC into three periods, early,
middle and late, I'd have to choose the start of the fifth season as
being the big point when everything starts to change. In earlier
episodes we've seen the development of a "special" season premiere, the
introduction of Psycho Dad and "four touchdowns in a single game", of
Al-as-baseball-dude and now the other characters get a look in with
Kelly-as-model, a plot strand that is the basis of her entire character
for the subsequent six seasons. It's a little disappointing, however,
that the model school is so casually glossed over, as it could have been
fun to see Kelly transformed from schoolgirl slut into famous model,
erm, slut (!). Instead there's an instant jump of three months to the
point where she is looking for her first campaign. It's not totally
convincing, of course, since in Rock'n'Roll Girl she got to be in a
video, so clearly has past "experience". Then again, it's an early
example of the old MWC any-excuse-for-fabulous-babes policy, so who am I
to protest the start of yet another tradition?

"I know you models like to watch your weight. Care for a...Bud Lite?"

Another famous line! Oh, alright, I'll get to the big question. Is this
episode any good if you ignore the fact that Tia Carrere gets her first
acting job here? Well, yes, since she's only in a few scenes and is
basically as faceless as Tiffani-Amber Thiessen was in What Goes
Around Comes Around last season. Since her fame followed later - indeed,
the models' judge gets a round of applause as a cameo star but I've
never heard of her (again), she's not relevant to the episode. The
infamous "Bundy Bounce" isn't too entertaining; this is an OK kind of
script that gets considerably enlivened by the acting of the regulars,
who are of course perfectly fluent in their parts by now. It's a big
indication of how far Christina Applegate and David Faustino have come
since the pilot episode, particularly Faustino. Of course, it's
Christina's episode and she carries it very well, right up to the swift
and enjoyably freeze-framed dénouement.

"Gee, your honour, I don't know where that shotgun came from..." (Al)

The B-plot can probably be dismissed as just that, a subplot that's not
too relevant to the main episode and indeed is quite predictable. It's a
precursor of the worst of later MWC, ironically, pushing Al towards
self-parody as he becomes desperate without his remote control.His
reaction in You Gotta Know When to Fold 'Em was much more believable
than this wide-eyed slobbering mania, and indeed funnier. Peg's hurt
protests are likewise much better in, say, The Stepford Peg than in this
one. It's difficult to find sympathy for her because she quite obviously
doesn't do anything useful at this stage in Bundy life; it's similarly
hard to identify with Al's "predicament" as it's so ridiculous. See next
episode for something much better, though hardly more believable!

FF the Al/Peg scenes and you've got a good, enjoyable tale.

Rating : 6.

By Grail


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