Episode Title: "How Bleen Was My Kelly"
Production Code: 1005
Reviewed By: Nitzan Gilkis
Episode description: While researching for the part of Madame Curie at the Trumaine lab, Kelly invents the color 'bleen' (a mixture of blood and spleen), which turns out to be a wondrous hair restorer with a horrible side-effect. Meanwhile, Al and Peggy try to find someone who is even more worthless than Al.
The first words that come to mind after watching "How Bleen Was My Kelly" are "what a waste". The episode's plot holds some genuine promise: Al, against his will, being forced to initiate what he considers "vile, unspeakable acts no man should have to do" with his wife. Unfortunately, we get exactly three jokes about that, leaving the rest of the episode to wallow between a dreadful subplot, overlong lab scenes (including a completely superfluous clip) and a token appearance by the "No Ma'am" gang. Not exactly your recipe for successful comedy...
Kelly: You'll never guess what I
Bud: A better game would be guessing what you haven't got. I'll take 'virginity' for a hundred dollars...
Kelly: Well, that's funny... Nobody will take yours for less than a thousand.
"Jumping Jehosophat, I'm a hunk! I'm a dude! I'm a hunky dude!"
To start with the good though, the aforementioned three jokes are easily the episode's highlights. Al's panicky "who said that?!"s when Bleen's side-effects are first revealed, his absolute hysteria while being dragged upstairs by Peggy, unable to resist, his "make tender love to wife with lights on" memo during the garage meeting - all leave much to be desired. There are also some great sight gags, namely the wigs. I don't know about y'all, but I always crack up at the sight of Ed O'Neill in a long-haired wig. He can be delivering the lamest lines, or just standing there saying nothing at all, I'll still laugh. And here he not only wears one in half the scenes, but also tosses it around, plays with it and fondles it every chance he has, and seems to really enjoy having it on. The other guys' Bleen-induced coiffures are also a riot (Griff's afro and Jefferson's waist-long mane in particular... the latter must've cost thousands!), and even Lucky's mop raises a smile. And while some typical S10 lamers manage to trickle through (e.g. Ike's Kenny-G-invented-the-G-spot line, or Kelly's "skience" and "s'chool" malapropisms), the script generally maintains a much better than average funny lines/crappy lines ratio, with more laugh-out-loud moments than you might be used to from this season (Bud's "brothel slip" and the scientist's description of Alcorodentology - quite an original idea, you must admit - are the first examples that spring to my mind, but by no means the only ones).
Peggy: Al, if you're gonna come
in, could you shut the door?
Al: Peg, if you're gonna live here, could you shut your mouth?
Professor Bundy tries to find an antidote...
On the downside we have the stupid "Black Or White"-style Bud-morphing-into-a-whole-bunch-of-things-including-a-can-of-sausages clip, which may be visually impressive but is completely devoid of laughs (well, except maybe when Kelly mouths "hi, daddy" when Bud turns into Al). Shame the writers didn't use those three minutes for, say, further exploration of Bleen's side-effects (have I mentioned already what a waste I think this was? *g*). In addition, "How Bleen Was My Kelly" suffers from a bad case of MWC's infamous Weak Subplot Syndrome. I mean, if you're gonna make a top-of-the-line computer inexplicably appear in the Bundy living room (only to vanish by the next episode), you better have a damn funny idea to justify it - which is not what the writers had here. I admit, they came up with some pretty laughable occupations with supposedly bigger wages than Al's ('Eskimo blubber chewer'? What were they smoking?), but it still gets boring fairly quickly to have one family member go "hey, try X" and the other one check the computer and respond "they make way more" (with slight variations) - which is basically all that happens in this storyline. And were any of you the least bit surprised (or amused) by the identity of "public loafer number one"? Thought so...
Al: [to Bud] You put something I
don't have into something I don't understand.
Peggy: You know, that reminds me of our sex life.
Al: That's putting something I have into something I don't like.
"Bleen made me so horny, I'm gonna rent me 101 dalmations. And I don't mean the movie"
Overall, however, the 'good stuff' outweighs the bad, making "How Bleen Was My Kelly" one of the better season ten episodes (however much that's saying). Sure, the plot is almost completely detached from reality, but that's nothing new for MWC; and if you can get past that, you'll find lots here to enjoy.