Lizzie McGuire

Season 1 Episode 25

Facts of Life

0
Aired Unknown Oct 12, 2001 on Disney Channel
7.7
out of 10
User Rating
36 votes
3

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

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Facts of Life
AIRED:
Hoping to win a trip to Miami, Lizzie, Miranda and Gordo team up to enter the school's "Fact-athlon." Their rival team consists of Kate Sanders, Larry Tudgeman and Claire Miller. But things start to look a little bleak when the faculty advisor Lizzie and company chose is replaced by substitute teacher Mr. Dig. But to their surprise, Mr. Dig manages to turn studying into something fun and interesting with his unusual approaches. By the time the competition starts, Lizzie's team is confident while Kate, Larry and Claire are feeling the pressure. But Kate's team beats Lizzie's team badly when there are too many questions about dates and names rather than "how and why" problems. Kate and her teammates gloat over their win and Mr. Dig is ready to leave his job at the school because he thinks he let the team down, But Lizzie, Gordo and Miranda convince him they they actually did learn a lot and that they had a good time doing it. Kate, Claire and Larry return from Miami limping, bugbit and sunburned. Also, Matt and Lanny want to start a rock band. After they audition a bunch of kids playing everything from trombone to Jew's harp, they settle on drummer Rick Marotta and begin rehearsals, which sound pretty bad. Mom and Dad try to talk Matt out of holding a backyard concert, but Matt is determined to do it. When the concert date arrives and the band plays, they actually sound decent. Sam and Jo are proud of their son, but Matt now has a "been there, done that" attitude and the band is already history.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Lizzie, Gordo and Miranda try out for the fact-a-thalon but their team advisor has left.So Mr Dig has taken over. But he makes them learn in a reality way. But at the fact-a-thalon the other team including Kate Claire and Tudgeman actually studied ad won.moreless

    10
    Gordo and Miranda were singing in the choir. But Gordo wasn’t singing out of pure pleasure, he was singing out of pure pressure. Gordo had been studying for days on end so he had to relax some how. When Lizzie walked into the room, she was holding a flier about a fact-a-thalon that she wanted to enter with Gordo and Miranda. If they won they would win a free trip to Miami. They had to have a team advisor. But their’s had left the country. So they were left with Mr. Dig he had a different way of learning so they did experiments instead of work work work. The opposite team, Kate Claire and Larry did the opposite of Lizzie, Gordo and Miranda. At the fact-a-thalon Lizzie, Gordo and Miranda got crushed by Kate Claire and Larry.



    Meanwhile Matt and Laney have started a new band but at first they sucked but they became better and better so that even people from the street came to watch.moreless
  • The FACTS!

    6.0
    Hoping to win a trip to Miami, Lizzie, Miranda and Gordo team up to enter the school's "Fact-athlon." Their rival team consists of Kate Sanders, Larry Tudgeman and Claire Miller. But things start to look a little bleak when the faculty advisor Lizzie and company chose is replaced by substitute teacher Mr. Dig. But to their surprise, Mr. Dig manages to turn studying into something fun and interesting with his unusual approaches. By the time the competition starts, Lizzie's team is confident while Kate, Larry and Claire are feeling the pressure. But Kate's team beats Lizzie's team badly when there are too many questions about dates and names rather than "how and why" problems. Kate and her teammates gloat over their win and Mr. Dig is ready to leave his job at the school because he thinks he let the team down, But Lizzie, Gordo and Miranda convince him they they actually did learn a lot and that they had a good time doing it. Kate, Claire and Larry return from Miami limping, bugbit and sunburned.



    Also, Matt and Lanny want to start a rock band. After they audition a bunch of kids playing everything from trombone to Jew's harp, they settle on drummer Rick Marotta and begin rehearsals, which sound pretty bad. Mom and Dad try to talk Matt out of holding a backyard concert, but Matt is determined to do it. When the concert date arrives and the band plays, they actually sound decent. Sam and Jo are proud of their son, but Matt now has a "been there, done that" attitude and the band is already history.moreless
  • Schoolhouse Rock.

    6.0
    Lizzie wrangles Gordo and Miranda into a school fact based quiz show for a chance to win a trip to Florida.



    Meanwhile, Matt and Lanny put together a music band.



    This is a fairly typical ‘filler’ episode. But it is interesting on different fronts.



    For starters, kids do learn a ‘lesson’ of sorts. That there is more to learning than memorization. But beyond that, the interesting bits are incidentals. Such as finding out that Kate is not stupid. She really shows her intelligence in studying for the contest. She displays an ability to learn. In short, she’s smarter than her cheerleader persona makes her out to be. One gets the feeling that this ‘studious Kate’ is an aspect of her true personality; the one she showed when she was Lizzie’s friend. Being a cheerleader one would think her flighty and empty headed (the normal stereotype), but that is not the case.



    Once again, Tudgeman is cast into his role as occasional antagonist to our trio. And notice how neither Kate nor Claire scruple about using his smarts to their advantage. They are more than willing to team up with him if it’ll get them something they want (in this case a trip to Florida).



    And about that trip. It seems odd, the lack of participates in the competition. The prize is a trip to Florida, yet only six kids enter? One would think the whole school would have been clamoring for a chance to compete for that.



    As for the subplot, Matt and Lanny form a ‘backyard band’. Their ‘open audition’ for a third member to join them is a funny bit. But the most hilarious part is the ‘Special Guest Star’ they have in this episode—drumming legend Rick Marotta! The presence of a ‘Special Guest Star’ is always welcomed, but this episode also has the added bonus of the humor inherent in the idea that he, Rick Marotta, is trying out for a kid’s backyard band! Not only that, but he brags to musical legends Steely Dan that he got the gig! *LOL* And the fact that he has needs of antacids after listening to Matt and Lanny during practice is another sly bit of humor. Not only can Sam and Jo not stand their caterwauling, but it gives their own drummer heartburn as well!



    After a week of horrible rehearsals they debut to a stunningly decent sound. But a word to Jake Thomas. Unlike Hilary Duff or Lalaine, he shouldn’t be looking at a music career anytime soon. His rendition of “Long Tall Sally” is as flat sounding as a pancake. No tone whatsoever. Worse even than Hilary Duff at the beginning of her own singing career.



    Overall, while there’s nothing particularly ‘special’ about this episode, there’s nothing inherently wrong with it either. Which is what puzzles one as to its popularity, or more to the point, it’s lack of any.



    As of this writing, the TV Tome viewer rankings of the episodes of this series list this particular episode as the least favorite episode amongst the show’s entire run. The viewers have spoken, and they don’t like this episode.



    It has guest stars, it has humor. It even has a musical number. I guess there’s no accounting for taste.moreless
Arvie Lowe

Arvie Lowe

Mr. Digby Sellers

Guest Star

Rick Marotta

Rick Marotta

Rick Marotta

Guest Star

Ivy Withrow

Ivy Withrow

Violin Girl

Guest Star

Daniel R. Escobar

Daniel R. Escobar

Mr. Escobar

Recurring Role

Kyle J. Downes

Kyle J. Downes

Larry Tudgeman

Recurring Role

Davida Williams

Davida Williams

Claire Miller

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (7)

    • Gordo is revealed to be thirteen in this episode.

    • When Miranda and Lizzie are studying at Lizzie's house, Miranda asks Lizzie, "Who was Ulysses S. Grant?" but the closed captioning says, "Who was Ulysses S. Grarant?"

    • When Lizzie says she found out that Queen Elizabeth I was fat, bald, and looked like a clown from a book she read, she must have misread. While it is true that Queen Elizabeth lost her hair during her reign, which caused her to wear wigs as other men and women in that century, and she did wear heavy makeup to cover up scars from smallpox, she was not fat. In reality, she took after her very thin mother, Anne Boleyn. Perhaps Lizzie mistook the Queen for her father, King Henry VIII, who became known for his obesity.

    • When Lizzie, Miranda and Gordo are getting ready for there first study with Mr. Dig after school, Gordo says he took out all the math books from the library, then near the end of the episode Miranda says "We have a library?" Shouldn't she know about the library when Gordo mentioned it? Not only that but in "Gordo's Video" some of the tape Gordo shot was from the library and that episode was filmed before this one.

    • Larry Tudgeman answers the question what is the square root of Pi as 1.98324 that is wrong, the square root of Pi is actually 1.772453.

    • A scholarly goof: Tudgeman gives an answer to a question as Marc Antony's fleet at the battle of Alexandria in 12 B.C. Actually, Marc Antony died eighteen years earlier in 30 B.C. Tudge also makes the common mistake of calling him Marc Anthony, rather than Antony, causing Miranda to ask, "Marc Anthony the singer?"

    • When Matt is reading off a list of Rick the drummer's credits, he pronounces Linda Ronstadt's last name as "Ronstand."

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Lizzie: Whoa. What happened to you guys?
      Kate: I got bit to death by sand fleas.
      Claire: I stepped on a stupid sea urchin.
      Larry: I got so sunburnt my teeth hurt.

    • Kate: Ohh, look at Lizzie studying. You guys really think you can beat us?

    • Gordo: I think we should study the old-fashioned way, you know, where you read books and memorize facts.
      Miranda: Where you turn into an old, worried man at 13?

    • Toon Lizzie: I wonder if the Glee Club is ever going to perform a song that wasn't a big hit during the Civil War.

  • NOTES (12)

    • This episode can be found in the paperback novelization book, Lizzie for President.

    • Characters with no lines: Mr. Stoyko, the faculty adviser for Kate's team, is seen in the courtyard, hallway, and in the audience at the competition.

    • During the auditions for Matt and Lanny's band, the little girl with the violin is attempting to play the Allegro by Shinichi Suzuki (1898-1998). Dr. Suzuki was famous for developing a system that teaches children to play musical instruments.

    • Lanny speaks! Well, once again, not really. But just like in "Random Act of Miranda," he makes a small but audible noise if you listen carefully. This time he makes a sound when he and Matt are laughing at Sam McGuire's memories of the band he used to be in. When Lanny starts to laugh, he makes an exhalation of air that is quiet, but it's there.

    • Character mentioned but not seen: Ms. Trimmer, mentioned as a possible faculty adviser for Lizzie's quiz team. Also, Sam McGuire's cousin ReRe and their pal Stucco, bandmates with Sam in his old group Midnight Sam & the Love Patrol. Cousin ReRe (or maybe it's ReeRee?) is mentioned in several episodes, but here he is shown for the first times in a still photo montage of Sam's old band, though we don't know which one is him and which is Stucco.

    • A Madonna lookalike is pictured with Lizzie, Miranda and Gordo in the still photo montage that appears after Miranda says "Madonna loves Miami!"

    • Filming dates: April 9-13, 2001. This is one of the few Lizzie episodes that doesn't have a clapboard with a date on it at the beginning of the blooper reel.

    • Some of our users tell us they think Hilary Duff sounds ill with a cold at the beginning of this episode.

    • During the scene with Lizzie, Miranda and Gordo dressed in old English costumes and also during the blooper reel, the music playing is an arrangement of an except from "Water Music" by George Frideric Handel, one the great composers of the 18th century.
      Also in the costume scene, Gordo portrays King Henry VIII of England. He tells Miranda he will have her executed for not providing him with a male heir to the throne and then will marry Lizzie. In reality, this really happened. Henry VIII was frustrated with his second wife Anne Boleyn because they had not had a male child and he wanted to marry Jane Seymour. So he had Queen Anne falsely charged and convicted of witchcraft and adultery, for which she was beheaded in 1536. Jane Seymour shortly thereafter became the third of Henry's six wives. (BTW, Jane, who was never crowned as Queen, finally did give Henry the son he wanted for so many years. But she died only two weeks after their son's birth and less than a year and a half after their marriage. Many historians believe Jane Seymour was the wife Henry had the most affection for. The son became King Edward VI.)

    • Gordo, Miranda and other students sing "Camptown Races," written by Stephen Foster, regarded as the greatest American songwriter of the 19th century.

    • Jake Thomas sings "Long Tall Sally," a 1956 hit (reached #13) for Little Richard. This rock classic by a legendary performer was often used by the Beatles to end their live shows.

    • Rick Marotta has been a professional studio musician since the 1970s, playing drums with dozens of well-known rock and jazz musicians including (as mentioned on the show) Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, Steely Dan and John Lennon plus Jim Croce, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Aretha Franklin, Hall & Oates, Bette Midler, Stevie Nicks, Diana Ross, Roxy Music and Carly Simon.

  • ALLUSIONS (3)

    • Episode Title: Facts Of Life is the name of an Old Sitcom from the 70's.

    • Mr. Dig: I was good enough to tutor Christina Aguilera in Spanish. I was good enough to tutor the governor of Michigan in economics. I was good enough to tutor Ben Affleck about Pearl Harbor.
      Christina Aguilera was one of the most popular female teen pop singers in the late 1990s. She was born in 1980 on Staten Island, NY and in 1992 got her break in show business as part of the cast the Disney Channel's The New Mickey Mouse Club. In 1999 Christina released her debut album Christina Aguilera and in 2000 she won a Grammy for Best New Artist. Also in 2000 she released a Spanish-language album called Mi Reflejo which meant Christina had to learn the lyrics phonetically since she didn't speak Spanish.

      The governor of Michigan Mr. Dig referred to could be none other than John Engler. He was first elected in 1990 and served three straight terms. During his tenure Gov. Engler was known for cutting taxes 32 times, reforming welfare, downsizing government, and implementing the biggest road repair and rebuilding plan in state history.

      Ben Affleck is one of the best known actors in the entertainment business today. He was born in 1972 in California, but was raised in Massachusetts. Ben has been acting most of his life, but the supporting roles didn't lead to much of a career until he and friend Matt Damon wrote Good Will Hunting (1997) in which they would play the lead roles. The film made the two previously unknown actors very famous by earning nine Academy Award nominations and winning two. More blockbuster films followed, including the 2001 release of the epic Pearl Harbor which deals with the events leading up to the surprise Japanese attack and the US entry into World War II.

    • Mr. Dig: "Time to understand physics, bodies of unequal weight fall at the same speed."
      This is known as the Law of Falling Bodies and was discovered by Galileo around 1590.

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