Married with Children... All Things Episodic


1019  -  The Agony and the Extra C

I'm certain that some writer cooked up this title and then wrote the episode
around it. Despite my suspicions about its origin, however, I enjoyed the
tale a great deal. I was actually watching this with two fellow students and
one of those students' younger (16-year-old) brother and they have now
booked places in front of the TV tonight too; I suppose it's a good
recommendation if the episode hooks nonbelievers into the show. 

Well, here's a rare episode that focusses on Jefferson (and also has no
subplots either). The framing device featuring Bud and Kelly is irritating
and unnecessary - it's very obviously designed solely to get David Faustino
and Christina Applegate into the show, and it's full of plot holes too. Why
do the doctors tell Jefferson they'll operate and then vanish? Why, after
the old man kills himself, does his body mysteriously disappear in the next
hospital scene? How come Jefferson's tattoo seems to be permanently painful?
Why am I bothering to ask these questions when I know there aren't any real
answers? Anyhow, I didn't like that bit. 

Much better is the main plot as told by Jefferson. The scene showing Marcy
and Jefferson at home (btw this is the first time I've seen 9766 Jeopardy
Lane in nearly five years - as far as I know it's not been onscreen since
season six) is surprisingly convincing; I can really see the two of them
living together like that, and the two actors do a good job of one of those
rare scenes without a Bundy in. Al and the NO MA'AM gang are getting to be
one of the series' favourite plot devices but this time I didn't mind...
although I have to complain about decadent American culture. Strip clubs in
the day? Gaahhh...

In fact, looking back, I've just realised that there are quite a few
Bundy-free scenes. Katey Sagal of course just gets a brief cutaway that's
not even interesting, Lucky the dog is boring, Bud & Kelly are in a hopeless
plot device and even Ed O'Neill is only a major player in the nudie bar
scenes. Rare and quite good...perhaps they should've done that more often.
Jefferson and Marcy's anniversary night is a combination of uncomfortable
comedy - I laughed oftenish but I still felt I shouldn't - and straight-off
repetition. The overeating of the dinner, the 'you go hide' and so on are
all fairly standard comedy routines. The only thing to distinguish this bit
is the acting of McGinley and Bearse.

I like the 'pants anniversary'. Hee hee.

Oh well, this is quite a long review. I have to say that this episode is one
of the best S10 that I've seen so far, and with two-thirds of the season now
out of the way I suspect that it might be the best of the season. 

Very good, well worth watching. Rating 8/10.

By Grail


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