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I agree with the kid: "Well Done, Mike"!!!
RAISING HOPE - MY TAKE ON FRIDAY'S FOURTH SEASON PREMIERE EPISODES
Episode #1: "DEJA VU MAN"
I agree with the "Amigos De Garcia" kid: Well Done, Mike!
I was so worried what was going to happen to "Raising Hope" after making the mistake of watching the first couple episodes of "The Millers" because it was allegedly "from" Greg Garcia. (When in reality I've noticed that Garcia only wrote some version of the original episode and didn't direct any they've all been directed by James Burrows to look and [with the incessant canned laughter] just like all of his other inane multi-camera
But as soon as I saw Mike Mariano's name come up on Friday's Premiere episode my hopes were indeed raised, as Mariano wrote or was otherwise involved in some of my favorite "Raising Hope" and "My Name is Earl" episodes.
And I was not disappointed! Not only because of all the times I literally laughed out loud at the clever humor (from "The Barber of Nates-Seville" to "it tastes like the ocean threw up in my mouth"!), but because of the intricacy and warmth of the story itself.
And for his (and everyone else's) courage involved to not treat the gay biological parent with kid gloves but as a real person! For that, ultimately, is giving gay people far more respect that treating them in a condescending matter (as has so often been done on other shows) by acting like they all are perfect. When in reality, they are just as flawed as human as the rest of us.
In being willing to show that, there is ultimate acceptance.
Episode #2: "BURT BUCKS"
Alas, I found the second half-hour episode a bit of a disappointment. The basic idea was fantastic, but the execution was lacking.
First, the writing wasn't nearly at the Mike Mariano/ Greg Garcia/ Bobby Bowman level even in general dramaturgical and comedic terms. But that isn't what bothers me the most after all, I know it is humanly impossible for them to write all of the episodes [as much as I wish they could!].
No, what is worse are the very specific misrepresentation of what alternative currencies are all about misrepresentations I fear could actually do significant damage to an important tool in improving people's lives.
For instance, having Burt repeatedly claim that the primary advantage to bartering (or, later, Burt Bucks) is "eliminating the middle man", and then having such elimination (so to speak) almost immediately cause somebody an injury.
And then shortly afterwards having it strongly implied, in a nonsensical manner by the placement of various peoples names on the board (and thus how Burt connects them) that his alternative currency system is a sleazy system on the order of a pyramid scheme.
Note that this is all done before Burt (or anyone else) has done anything even slightly unethical with the currency system itself! It is only after Bart decides to print up extra (unearned) Burt Bucks that he does something wrong.
Now granted the episode gets this part right, showing how it just leads to massive inflation, to the point (as in WWII era Germany) it would take a wheel-barrel full of currency just to buy a loaf of bread.
(Of course, it wasn't too realistic that things would get to this point in such a small community before people stopped accepting Burt Bucks, but that's okay in a
But then a couple of more major distortions are depicted. First, we are lead to believe that it cost a gargantuan amount of money to print up all those Burt Bucks, when it probably would have cost less than a hundred bucks. (Or less if he had access to a computer just the cost of the ink and
Now I realize this was done to permit the "owe the Chinese" joke, but that's a lot of distortion for a small payoff. For of course we don't owe the Chinese so many billions for printing currency for us (our government does that all too well itself), but for all of the products we have bought from them, such as hi-def TVs and such. (I have an old TV by the way as I refuse to buy a new TV until they are made in the USA).
Now, if the episode had been hilarious and heartwarming one might be willing to forgive all of these horrible economic distortions but lets face it, it wasn't. I think the only time I laughed out loud was when Virginia (I think) told the guy he had to apologize to his mother (as up to then we didn't know they were related). And even that is kind of a formula joke.
Now granted I am biased as I have written several articles explaining the nature of currency and the advantages of alternative currencies (see link to a couple of examples below), as well as having the middle section of a contest-semi-finalist screenplay take place in an obscure community that has virtually replaced the use of dollars with a local currency. (And, okay, yes, I wish one didn't have to be a member of the WGAw or have an agent before one can get a spec RH read teleplay
But all of that aside, the main point is that all of the horrible misrepresentations of alternative currency systems (and basic economics) in this episode is likely going to make it tougher for those like me to get communities to try alternative currencies.
Fortunately, I have a solution! Since Tyler /"The Crabman" (Eddie Steeples) has long been known (since the "Earl" days) to be a wise and just man, how about having an ongoing bit for the rest of series whereby people occasionally pay for products and services here and there around town (subtly, without calling attention to it, it's just an accepted part of life) with "Darnell Dollars"?!
Whatta ya say, Mike? If you're reading this how about it?!
0 938316572 2013/11/07/bitcoin#comment-1122588536
Awesome. Never too late to start.
Been watching this since its underdog days on tv. This show has just got better with time. Its one sitcom I can count on for a few chuckles every episode. The characters really grow on you. Love the way they vacillate between hope and resignation... the unpredictable laugh-aloud situations... and the surprisingly sophisticated execution. I believe it to be a most unpretentious delightfully tongue-in-cheek social commentary. Among my top 5 sitcoms of all time. Frasier ALWAYS comes first :-)