Lizzie McGuire

Season 2 Episode 22

Dear Lizzie

0
Aired Unknown Jan 24, 2003 on Disney Channel
9.0
out of 10
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29 votes
2

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Episode Summary

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Gordo, editor of the schools "E-zine," reluctantly makes Lizzie the website's advice columnist (it was either her or the flaky faculty advisor Ms. Dew.) But she does surprisingly well in the job. After giving great advice to students like Parker McKenzie and Claire Miller, Lizzie's reputation and popularity skyrocket. But soon she gets overwhelmed with requests for help, and some of the advice she gives turns out badly, like when she suggests to Veruca that she stand up to the school bully. Now Lizzie's afraid to give help to others who have asked, like Ethan, Kate and Tudgeman. Lizzie imagines the possible bad results of her advice: Ethan cuts off all his hair, Kate joins the Peace Corps and becomes a menu selection for cannibals, and Tudge becomes a "Dr. Evil"-like villain demanding two billion dollars from President Craft (and First Lady Kate) or he will destroy the world! Lizzie's confidence is badly shaken and she's ready to quit the job, but Gordo wants her to stay on. He compromises with her: answer one more e-mail, he says, then turn in the column. Lizzie takes desperate measures--she goes to her parents for advice! She and her mother are surprised when her dad understands the situation so clearly, and he advises Lizzie to relax and answer the next e-mail as if she was the one writing to herself for advice. After trying this, she feels better and gives the column to Gordo the next day. Gordo tells her she gave great advice to "Confused Guy." Then we--but not Lizzie--find out that "Confused Guy" is really Gordo! He wrote to Lizzie telling her he thinks he may have stronger feelings than he realized before for his best (girl) friend! Lizzie wrote back telling him to simply follow his heart and go with his feelings on this matter. Gordo seems to be on the verge of following this advice and revealing his true feelings for Lizzie--but he stops just short. In the meantime, Matt finds he has another rival for troublemaking class clown, as a boy named Adam is puling all the pranks, getting all the laughs, and being sent to the office by the teacher instead of him. Matt fights back, but this Adam is a tough customer. But with a little help from Melina, Matt once again sets things straight.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Lizzie becomes the website's advice columnist and does very well in the job. A lot of people ask Lizzie for advice (including Larry, Kate and Gordo) and tell her their problems.moreless

    10
    So close but so far away.



    This is an episode where a lot of Lizzie/Gordo fans have been waiting for. Now the main thing I'd like to focus on is the last scene, where Gordo writes an anonymous letter to Lizzie confessing that he likes 'his best friend as more than a friend.' I'm sure everyone who recognizes this situation in real life and every Lizzie/Gordo fan got goosebumps when they were watching this scene. Lizzie said: "I couldn't let confused guy down," when Gordo responded: "You didn't".

    This was the moment where Gordo openly admitted that he liked Lizzie as more than a friend. After this, Gordo repeats the letter he sent to Lizzie. The answer Lizzie gave him was really wonderful. "I wish I could tell you what to do, but I can't. All I can say is just follow your heart, it'll tell you what's right." This is an advice everyone who is in the same position as Gordo should listen to. When Lizzie walks away, Gordo tries to tell her but he chickens out. This shows how hard it is to let your best friend know that you feel more for him/her. He knows if he tells her, nothing is ever gonna be the same. As a finishing touch in this amazing scene you hear the song "Out of Reach" by BBmak, which is perfectly chosen for this scene. If you watched all the Lizzie McGuire episodes and if you're a Lizzie/Gordon fan you'll love this scene. The dialoges are great, the atmosphere is perfect and the music is well chosen. A really must-see for every Lizzie fan!



    Definately 10 ouf of 10!moreless
  • With Great Power There Must Also Come Great Responsibility.

    6.0
    The power to mould the actions of others. With that power there must also come great responsibility. But like with everything else, even the most judicious use of power can have unforeseen consequences.



    Lizzie becomes the advice columnist for the school paper. Some of her advice pans out, some of it doesn’t. And it is with that that I have a problem. The first time someone follows Lizzie’s advice (which was given to an “anonymous” letter writer) and it doesn’t work out the person that sought the advice in the first place is all over Lizzie like a bad rash. The advice, to stand up to bullies, is solid.



    So, the bully had reinforcements and the person was forced to hide in the cafeteria trashcan for an hour. That doesn’t change the fact that the advice is still solid. Some days you eat the bear and some days the bear eats you (like Gordo said, “you win some, you lose some”). The surest method of dealing with an aggressive force bent on conquering you is to meet it with an even greater aggressive force. When the prey puts up too much of a fight the predator backs off. Whether it’s the water buffalo and the lion or you and a bully. Hunt the hunter.



    This episode is singular in that not only does it advance *one* long standing plot thread, but it also subtly develops a *second* one as well.



    But first things first.



    Gordo reveals to Lizzie, by way of an anonymous letter to the advice column, that he thinks of her as more than a friend. This is the most major advancement of this thread from Gordo’s perspective since “First Kiss”. Gordo has known since then that he has feelings for Lizzie, and this episode shows that he’s finally reconciled himself to that. And like in “First Kiss” he’s about to breach the subject to Lizzie but hesitates and backs off. But he has taken the step to some degree, in the veiled letter. Progress. Definite progress.



    As for the second plot thread this episode advances, that would be the “Redemption of Kate”. Note Kate’s “anonymous” letter to Lizzie for advice. She admits that she’s popular, and has great fashion sense. But she doesn’t feel happy. This directly proves what the audience has been able to surmise over the course of the series: that Kate isn’t happy with her new popular self. She misses her old life, with her old friends Lizzie, Gordo, and Miranda. Kate is finally admitting to herself that she’s not happy with her life. And more than that, she’s so unhappy that she’s willing to (anonymously) send a letter to *Lizzie* asking her for help. That in and of itself is important. Who does she turn to with an intimate personal problem such as this? Her former best friend Lizzie. Who is it that has always been there for Kate, even after she’s been pushed away? Lizzie. It would seem that Kate finally realizes who her true friend is. The first step to recovery is the admitting that there’s a problem, which Kate does in this episode. The development is subtle (but tangible) to say the least, but possible repercussions are enormous. In the course of a single sentence Kate’s taken possibly her most dramatic step forward yet in the quest of reclaiming her old life. Bravo Kate.



    This week’s “Where in the World is Miranda Sanchez” Answer Is: Out Sick.



    Miranda is gone from this episode due to being out sick. It’s good that the producers have acknowledged Miranda’s absence from these episodes. While they have a different feel to them, they have been packed with enough guest stars to make one forget that Miranda isn’t there. Miranda’s absence from this episode is much better handled than in “Lizzie’s Eleven”. An explanation of a character’s absence goes a long way towards acceptance of that character’s absence. Miranda’s being gone from this one is handled well, and after the early goings one forgets to “miss” her. So while these “Miranda-Less” episodes haven’t so far been ruined by her not being in them, they do have a different feel. A more “urgent” feel, if you will.



    And let’s give it up for Sam McGuire. Note the stunned look on Jo’s face when Sam figures out and answers Lizzie’s question. It’s like she’s shocked at his insightfulness, and a little bit jealous of his taking care of Lizzie’s worries, as though that’s her sole domain. We saw this same sort of “jealous” bit in “Pool Party” when Sam went and talked to a despondent Lizzie. Like Sam said, he’s “good”. ;-)



    And let’s not forget Larry. This episode (along with “She Said, He Said, She Said) makes it clear that while Tudgeman sees himself as super cool and a great guy to be friends with, he’s fully aware that others don’t see it that way. And like any feeling human being it hurts him. We all have an instinctive want to be accepted by our peers, and when we’re not it leads to turmoil. Tudgeman *is* a great dude (with the best hobbies), and while maybe only Lizzie can see his true character, others *should*.



    As for the subplot, another kid threatens Matt’s supremacy as King Prankster in class. Melina is not very helpful in this one, pronouncing Matt’s reign at an end and urging him to “give it up” while he still has some dignity left. But in typical fashion, Matt is able to come up with a scheme (with Melina’s approval) that bests his rival and propels him “back on top”. We’ve seen this type of “battle of the pranksters” before in other shows, but it is humorous.



    But one does have to wonder where Lanny is at in this episode. Since the subplot takes place in Matt’s class at school, one would expect to see Matt’s fellow classmate and best friend, Lanny (or for that matter Oscar or Reggie). I guess they are “out sick” as well? Man, there must be an epidemic going around Matt’s hometown! *LOL*



    Not only do we get plenty of guest stars to fill the void that is left by Miranda’s absence, but also we get some we haven’t seen in a while. Namely Claire, and Parker (whom we haven’t seen since the middle of Season One).



    But I do have to wonder, am I the only one who noticed that when Matt’s class recited the Pledge of Allegiance that they omitted the part that says “One Nation Under God” by quick panning to Matt, and then back again? Interesting, considering the producers of the show had no problem with mentioning God in “Xtreme Xmas”. More likely than not it was a jab at the recent controversy involving the Pledge of Allegiance and Constitutionality.



    One last note. Did anyone else notice that “Animated Lizzie” sounds different in this episode? Or for that matter, that Hilary sounds different than usual? Was she ill during the filming of this episode? She sounds “stuffed up”.



    Overall this is a very “crowded” ep, but in a good way. We get some major advancement on the two major plot threads of the series, and we get some added comedic bonuses. The developments on the long-standing plot threads alone make this an episode worth watching.moreless
Tonya Rowland

Tonya Rowland

Jasmine Chapman

Guest Star

Sean Marquette

Sean Marquette

Adam

Guest Star

Taylor Colman

Taylor Colman

Maddy

Guest Star

Jeremy J. Bargiel

Jeremy J. Bargiel

 

Recurring Role

Clayton Snyder

Clayton Snyder

Ethan Craft

Recurring Role

Kyle J. Downes

Kyle J. Downes

Larry Tudgeman

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (8)

    • Nitpick: The e-mail address of Lizzie's advice column is dearlizzie@hillridge.e-zine. There isn't really any such top-level domain as .e-zine, so this is not an actual possible address. This isn't really a "goof", as it's most likely done on purpose because any actually-possible address they might use could turn out to be a real person's address, so a fake domain was used similarly to TV shows' common use of phone numbers with "555" that don't correspond to numbers in actual use.

    • Nitpick: When Lizzie is speaking to Gordo on the deck, her hair changes from being behind her ears to over her ears in several shots.

    • Kate says to Larry, "We've already reached our dork quotient for the year" instead of 'quota'.

    • A consequence of showing episodes out of production order: Parker's little sister is running around with Parker's journal, saying "Who's Gordo?" This caused a lot of confusion among those viewers who watch "Lizzie" very closely. They wondered why Parker would be writing about Gordo. In the later episode "A Gordo Story," we see that she does like Gordo somewhat. Only the episodes were shown out of order. "Dear Lizzie," the 30th episode of season two, was shown about a month before "A Gordo Story," the number 15 episode of the season.

    • When Lizzie is deleting Kate's letter on the computer screen, it's actually Ethan's letter that's shown being deleted.

    • Ethan signs his question to Lizzie as "More Than Good Hair." But when Lizzie replies to him, she starts off saying, "Dear Smarter." (The subject of Ethan's question is labelled "I'm Smarter.")

    • Closed captioning mistakes: The name on Claire's letter is given as "Clean Twin" rather than "Clean Tween."

      The name McGuire shows up as "McQuire" briefly.

      When Parkers little sister says "Ooooh, who's Gordo?", the captioning read "Ooooh, whose journal?"

    • When Gordo is talking to Lizzie about Claire's letter, he gives her pen name as "Queen Tween." But later when Claire is talking, she pronounces it as "Clean Tween."

  • QUOTES (13)

    • Mr. McGuire: You're coming to us.... to ask for advice?
      Mrs. McGuire: Intentionally?
      Lizzie: Yes...(A light shines upon Mr. and Mrs. McGuire's face and a chorus of "Alleluia" breaks out)

    • Veruca: But nothing gets out Ghoulash!

    • Toon Lizzie: Dear Lizzie: What do you do when the advice columnist runs out of advice?

    • Ethan (as President): How hard was it to let him [Tudgeman] join pep club?
      Kate: Losers bent on universal destruction do not belong in the pep club!

    • Kate (after cannibals motion for her to step into the pot): Oh, that's so thoughtful! I haven't jacuzzied in months!

    • Larry: Oh, Lizzie! I've been meaning to thank you. Founding the Evil Geniuses Bent on Universal Destruction Club was the best idea you ever had.

    • Melina (to Matt): Stick a fork in you. You're done.

    • Gordo: Dear Lizzie: I think I may like my best friend as more than a friend...What should I do? Signed, Confused Guy...
      Lizzie: Dear Confused: I wish I could tell you what to do, but I can't...All I can say is follow your heart. It'll tell you what's right.
      ...
      Lizzie (noticing Gordo staring at her): "What, do I have something on my face?
      Gordo (looking away): Nah, you're perfect.
      ...
      Gordo: Lizzie, wait! Um, there's something I need to tell ya.
      Lizzie: Yeah?
      Gordo: ...You give great advice.

    • Sam McGuire: It doesn't take a genius to see where this is going. Lizzie, you can't be expected to control every single thing that happens. You just have to give the best advice you can and hope it works out.
      Jo McGuire: (pause) What he said.
      Toon Lizzie: That's the thing about dads. You think they're clueless, and then they just surprise you.

    • Ethan (as President): Why did I marry you?
      Kate: Because I am the best-looking First Lady since, since...ever!

    • Tudgeman: Hi. I'd like to sign up for the Pep Club.
      Kate: Sorry, but we've already reached our dork quotient for the year.

    • Gordo: So what are you gonna do?
      Toon Lizzie: I wanna run home and hide in my bedroom under the covers with hot cocoa and Mr. Snuggles.

    • Lizzie: So, you're looking at the school's new advice columnist, Gordo.
      Gordo: You? You don't give advice, you take it!
      Toon Lizzie: Oh, I've got plenty of advice! Just nothin' I can say out loud.

  • NOTES (13)

    • This episode is very similar in name and content to the episode "Dear Clarissa" of Clarissa Explains It All, the 1992-94 Melissa Joan Hart series than ran on Nickelodeon, in which Clarissa gets her own advice column at school, but then finds out how hard it is to give good advice.

    • Previously, in "Over the Hill," Ethan and Kate were seen in another fantasy segment wearing the same clothes and apparently playing the same characters. In that episode, however, they weren't identified as the President and the First Lady.

    • Continuity: Lizzie mentions Mr. Snuggles, her favorite stuffed animal that she's had since she was a little girl. Mr. Snuggles was first referred to in "When Moms Attack" and has been mentioned in other episodes too.

    • Matt mentions that he hasn't been to recess in three weeks because he's been in detention. In "Those Freaky McGuires" he was in detention for three weeks also, though that was a "record" length of time for one offense.

    • This episode and "Over the Hill" both use the exact same line, "Stick a fork in you, you're done." Melina says it here to Matt, while in "Over the Hill," Toon Lizzie is talking about herself.

    • Music includes the song "Out of Reach" by the British pop trio BBMak, from their second CD Into Your Head (2002). It's played during the final scene with Lizzie and Gordo.

    • Some recurring characters who haven't been seen in a while show up again here. They include: Claire Miller (Davida Williams) who hasn't been seen since "Working Girl," 17 episodes ago; Veruca (Rachel Snow), last seen 26 episodes ago in "Gordo and the Dwaves;" and Parker McKenzie, who hasn't been on the show since "Obsession," 37 episodes ago.
      Also, Mitchah Williams makes his sixth appearance on the show, each time listed with a different character name in the credits. Perhaps in a joking reference to some of his characters (like Kleenex Kid, Chewing Gum Kid, Farmer Kid), he's credited here as Random Kid.
      Characters mentioned but not seen: Miranda, of course; Principal Tweedy.
      Characters with no lines: Jose and Amanda, two students Gordo gives assignments to in the opening scene.
      Further character identification: Adam's last name is given as Burton. Parker's sister is listed in the credits as Maddy.

    • People who asked Lizzie for advice and their psuedonyms: Parker McKenzie (I Want to Be an Only Child); Claire Mller (Queen Tween); Veruca (Fed Up); Ethan Craft (More Than Good Hair); Kate Sanders (Baffled Beauty); Larry Tudgeman (The Captain with No Shipmates); Gordo (Confused Guy). It's not clear whether Ethan, Kate and Larry actually wrote to Lizzie, or if she was just imagining it.

    • When Matt's class is saying the Pledge of Allegiance, the phrase "under God" is noticeably left out. Some viewers think this might be because of a recent controversial Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that declared the Plegde unconstitutional. But we think it may be because Adam burps the final words of the Pledge, and the producers/writers may have thought that it wouldn't be appropriate to do that right after a mention of God.

    • The "Dr. Tudgeman" Larry plays in Lizzie's fantasy where Ethan is the President is obviously a spoof of the Austin Powers films starring Mike Myers and the Dr. Evil character he plays in them.

    • The clapboard shown on the blooper reel at the end of the show gives the date of production as May 22, 2002. In the bloopers, Lizzie (Hilary Duff) is shown sitting at a lunch table in the courtyard with another girl and they are both laughing. That scene didn't make the final cut.

    • Simms Thomas, who plays Ms. Dew, is the mother of Jake Thomas (Matt). She's also known by the name Kim Simmons Thomas. Her husband Bob (Matt's dad) has written a couple of episodes of Lizzie, "Best Dressed for Much Less" and "Bunkies."

    • Lalaine (Miranda) does not appear in this episode. This is the third (and third consecutive) episode the character isn't in. Her absence is explained by her being sick.

  • ALLUSIONS (3)

    • Future Larry: I want $2 Billion!
      This is a spoof of the scene in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999) with Larry as Dr Evil. Many of Larry's actions (the money request, the finger over the lips, and even him saying ciao at the end) are copied from Michael Myers' portrayal of Dr. Evil.

    • Toon Lizzie: Foreign intrigue? Internal affairs? Gonzo journalism?
      "Gonzo journalism" is a phrase first coined in connection with the writing of Hunter S. Thompson (1937-2005) as done for Rolling Stone magazine. It's not easy to define, but it might be described as an "outlaw" brand of writing and reporting with no set rules, usually done on the first draft with no revision. It's comparable to method acting in that the author "lives" the story himself and is an important part of it. Thompson frequently used a fictional framework for non-fictional reporting, and his work often reflected and recounted his drug and alcohol-related experiences while he was working.

    • Kate: Peace Corps here I come.
      The Peace Corps is a US government agency created by Congress in 1961. Its purpose is to aid in raising the living standards of people in developing nations by providing skilled manpower as well as promoting friendship and better understanding between America and people in other countries.

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