Lizzie McGuire

Season 1 Episode 31

Gordo's Bar Mitzvah

0
Aired Unknown Jan 18, 2002 on Disney Channel
7.5
out of 10
User Rating
40 votes
3

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Episode Summary

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Gordo's Bar Mitzvah
AIRED:
Gordo is feeling a little left behind: the girls are going crazy over Ethan Craft, who gets a new dirtbike for his 14th birthday, just like all the "men" in his family have. Even Larry Tudgeman is shaving now, though not very well! Gordo now wishes he had celebrated his bar mitzvah, the Jewish ceremony performed on the 13th birthday that marks the passage of a boy into manhood. Concerned about what makes a boy a man, Gordo takes his camera interviews many different men to get their experiences. He tries several different "manly" things that they mentioned, even going to a tattoo parlor! But he decides they are not for him. He asks his parents why they didn't insist on a bar mitzvah for him. They tell him they trusted his judgment then, and that at the time he didn't think it was necessary or important. But Gordo has made up his mind now--he wants to be bar mitzvahed. The ceremony is held with all his family and friends in attendance. Meanwhile, Mrs. Robinson brings home Matt after she's caught him stealing oranges from her tree once again. When his dad Sam doesn't seem to think he deserves much punishment, Jo McGuire is outraged. She tells Sam she's going on strike--disciplining the kids will be his problem. Sam doesn't prove to be up to the task as a slew of neighbors complain about Matt's bad behavior. But later Matt tells his Mom that his dad doesn't get it: he punishes him for accidental mistakes he made, yet lets him get away with the bigger stuff. Matt asks his mom to take over handing out his punishment again.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • im not exactly a lizzie mcguire fan

    1.0
    i dont like lizzie mcguire as much as some im not obsesed with it and i hate some of the characters especially matt but i hate this episode its soo boring not religously but the fact nothing good happened it was totally not funny and another bad installment for the show
  • Season Ending!

    7.5
    Gordo is feeling a little left behind: the girls are going crazy over Ethan Craft, who gets a new dirtbike for his 14th birthday, just like all the "men" in his family have. Even Larry Tudgeman is shaving now, though not very well! Gordo now wishes he had celebrated his bar mitzvah, the Jewish ceremony performed on the 13th birthday that marks the passage of a boy into manhood. Concerned about what makes a boy a man, Gordo takes his camera interviews many different men to get their experiences. He tries several different "manly" things that they mentioned, even going to a tattoo parlor! But he decides they are not for him. He asks his parents why they didn't insist on a bar mitzvah for him. They tell him they trusted his judgment then, and that at the time he didn't think it was necessary or important. But Gordo has made up his mind now--he wants to be bar mitzvahed. The ceremony is held with all his family and friends in attendance.



    Meanwhile, Mrs. Robinson brings home Matt after she's caught him stealing oranges from her tree once again. When his dad Sam doesn't seem to think he deserves much punishment, Jo McGuire is outraged. She tells Sam she's going on strike--disciplining the kids will be his problem. Sam doesn't prove to be up to the task as a slew of neighbors complain about Matt's bad behavior. But later Matt tells his Mom that his dad doesn't get it: he punishes him for accidental mistakes he made, yet lets him get away with the bigger stuff. Matt asks his mom to take over handing out his punishment again.



    moreless
  • Way To End A Season.

    7.2
    This episode is the perfect cap to Season One. Over the course of the season the characters have grown as people, and potential for the changing of certain relationships (i.e. Gordo/Lizzie) has been laid down. And all of that is reflected in this episode.



    Gordo feels that he’s being ‘left behind’ in regards to growing up. Ethan, even Larry, have had a change of status, looked at in a different light since they’ve taken their respective initiations into adulthood (receiving a dirt bike and beginning shaving).



    This episode gives Adam Lamberg a rare opportunity to show Gordo emotionally distraught. Normally he’s the emotional/psychological rock to which Lizzie and Miranda are anchored. But here *he’s* the one with the problem. Note Lizzie and Miranda’s inability to adequately alleviate Gordo’s mental distress. As Lizzie remarks, Gordo’s the one they came to with *their* problems—how are they supposed to help him with *his*?



    This is most definitely a ‘growth’ episode. Gordo (and thereby the viewers) learn what it means to become an adult. Namely, different things to different people. Learning to drive. Meeting the love of one’s life. Seeing a hero show emotion. Providing one’s own food. There is no one ‘way’ in which to enter the ‘hallowed ground’ of grownup-ville. It’s “different strokes for different folks”.



    After researching the subject as only he can, Gordo opts to commemorate his becoming a man by way of a traditional religious function: the Bar Mitzvah. Which in itself reveals something about Gordo that we didn’t know before—that he (and his family) are Jewish. That’s interesting not only in and of itself, but it adds a multi-ethnic/religious element to the show, which is nice.



    One really comes away with the feeling that one is embarking upon a new stage of adventure. It segues from Season One into Season Two flawlessly. These characters have taken steps throughout the season (like the theme song implies).



    Most notably, Lizzie. We’ve seen the title character go from indecisive and easily cowered to becoming more assertive and able to stand up for herself. Whereas at the start of the season she couldn’t even get up the nerve to talk to Kate, by the end of it she’s able to trade quips with her as well as anybody.



    And speaking of Kate, we’ve seen her go from the one-dimensional ‘foil’ to having a degree of pathos and redemption show up in her character.



    Tudgeman has gone from antagonist to put upon nice guy.



    Miranda and Gordo have experienced what it means to have true friends. And they’ve also learned about affairs of the heart.



    It’s been a season of learning. A season of growth. A season of discovery. But most of all, like the saying goes, “The more things change, the more they stay the same”. While our characters have grown, they still remain the kids we’ve gotten to know and love.



    On some other incidental notes, notice Miranda’s ‘wild child’ peeking out in this episode. She’s all for Gordo’s getting a tattoo. And even after he decides against it, she starts discussing getting one with the owner of the parlor before Lizzie physically pulls her away!



    Also, see that Ethan and Larry are invited to Gordo’s Bar Mitzvah. Isn’t that usually reserved for family members and close friends? If so, what does that say about the two’s relationship in regards to Gordo?



    In regards to the subplot, Jo goes on strike and leaves the parenting of Matt (and Lizzie) up to Sam. The highlight here is that Jo’s plan in actuality backfires. Sam is able to handle Lizzie’s problem (showing he’s not as clueless as she may think he is at times), and his punishments for Matt’s misdeeds are so turned around that Matt gets off extremely lightly for truly heinous deeds, and severely punished for light transgressions! If Jo doesn’t quit her strike Matt may have the whole place down around their ears! So much for teaching Sam a lesson! *LOL*



    All in all, not the worse of subplots.



    In the end, this episode provides the ideal stepping-stone from Season One into the ‘unknown’ of Season Two. It does what very few season finales do: it encapsulates the changes of the season, and lays down the bedrock for the next.moreless
Michael Mantell

Michael Mantell

Howard Gordon

Guest Star

Alison Martin

Alison Martin

Roberta Gordon

Guest Star

Armando Molina

Armando Molina

Edward Sanchez

Guest Star

Kyle J. Downes

Kyle J. Downes

Larry Tudgeman

Recurring Role

Clayton Snyder

Clayton Snyder

Ethan Craft

Recurring Role

David Alex Rosen

David Alex Rosen

David Rosen

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (8)

    • Toon Lizzie: L'Chayim!
      Toon Lizzie uses this Jewish expression which means "to life!" in Hebrew. It's used in the same way that one would use the word "Cheers!" in making a toast in English. It's pronounced "la-KHI-em," roughly.

    • Lizzie and Miranda are wearing very slinky clothes, however, when in a synangoue it is best to wear clothes that are less revealing. So why would Lizzie and Miranda wear such clothes, also considering that both their mothers are wearing more formal clothes. Although one viewer has stated in modern bat mitzvah services, slinky clothes in temple are accepted, especially if you aren't Jewish. There is no proper dress code for bar mitzvahs, except adults normally dress more conservatively.

    • Although Gordo reads the part at the end in perfect Hebrew and it is what is said at a Bar-Mitzvah, it is not however read directly from the Torah. Gordo is seen reading from the Torah, however why would he be reading from it when that part is always read from a prayer book?

    • Nitpick: In the scene where Gordo's family is eating, some of the plates they put in the sink have a good deal of food on them.

    • More of a nitpick: Gordo has his bar-mitzvah a few days after making his video, leaving only a few days for him to study his portion of the Torah. However in, reality it would take him months to learn something like that; normally a Jewish boy leading up to his bar-mitzvah would be studying for quite a few months. Although Gordo is smart enough to learn it very fast, it's doubtful he could do it that soon.

    • The girls act like they know nothing about bar-mitzvahs, especially Miranda ("a bar, like where you drink? At 13?" and they say he's not 13 anymore later on..., "I didn't know what to wear, I've never been to one of these before"). But in "Last Year's Model", they say they were invited to Whitney's bat-mitzvah (the equivalent of a bar mitzvah for Jewish girls).

    • While Gordo is talking to his father about why he wasn't "bar-mitzvahed", they say it's because he's not 13 anymore. That means he is 14+, and still in the seventh grade, which was the gossip he captured about Kate in "Gordo's Video". The show has not signified a change of grade levels yet.

    • Gordo wonders how he will know when he becomes a man, and tells the girls that they will know when they are women because their change is "biological." But surely a smart guy like Gordo must know that there are biological changes for boys as well (which we won't go into here!) which mark the onset of maturity.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Lizzie: Gordo look, there are tons of kids around here.
      Miranda: Yeah and if there weren't, it'd be really weird that we're all still in school.

    • Gordo: Is this like, one of those girl things that I'm not gonna get...or even care about?

    • Larry: Excuse me, pardon me. Hot coffee. Coming through.
      Miranda: I don't see any coffee.
      Larry: No, but the expression parts a crowd like Moses.

    • Lizze: Look Gordo, maybe Larry and Ethan are growing up a little faster than you are.
      Gordo: I don't..even... know how to respond to that.
      Toon Lizzie: At last! After years of conversation, I FINALLY STUMPED HIM!

    • Miranda: Lizzie, were you just going to use Ethan and Larry in the same sentence?
      Gordo: You just did.

    • Gordo: How am I gonna know when I'm no longer a boy?
      Lizzie: I guess you'll just know.
      Gordo: That's not good enough. You guys will know when it happens...it's biological.
      Miranda: Ooh! Creepy! Let's not go there!

  • NOTES (17)

    • This is the only episode in which Lizzie, Gordo and Miranda's parents all appear.

    • This episode marks the first appearance of Howard Gordon (Michael Mantell), Gordo's father, and the only appearance of Roberta Gordon (Alison Martin), Gordo's mother, on the series.

    • This is one of a few episodes that Sam and Jo are shown kissing.

    • Anson Williams appears in the uncredited role of Mr. Lippin, who was the neighbor holding the soaked mail because Matt put the water hose in his mailbox.

    • This episode can also be found in the paperback novelization book New Kid in School.

    • Further character identification: In Gordo's film, "Biker Guy" (Mickey Jones) is identified as Sonny Reid; "Native American Guy" (Frank Sotonoma Salsendo) is identified as Will Rainwater.

    • During the "When I Grow Up..." song sequence Gordo, Lizzie and Miranda are shown behind the wheel of a car. It's likely a 2000 or 2001 Mercedes-Benz S Class, but the distinctive hood ornament has been altered.

    • Tudgeman is wearing his "weekend shirt" at Gordo's bar mitzvah.

    • Gordo has apparently already turned 14.

    • In interviews with Gordo, Sam McGuire says he was fifteen-and-a-half years old in 1976, and Edward Sanchez says he was eighteen in 1974.

    • Music includes the songs "When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)" by the Beach Boys, heard when Gordo is trying to do "manly" things; and "Bad Boys" by Inner Circle, heard when the neighbors are bringing Matt home after he's caught making trouble. "When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)" is one of the many hit records for the Beach Boys, reaching number 9 on the charts in October 1964. "Bad Boys" was first released in 1991, but later became the best-known hit of the reggae band Inner Circle when it was used as the theme song of the syndicated television show Cops.

    • The clapboard seen on the blooper reel at the end of the show gives the date of production as May 14, 2001.

    • Michael Mantell, who plays Gordo's dad Howard, also play the father, David Rayburn, on the ABC Family channel series State of Grace.

    • Sam McGuire mentions that Matt has been in trouble at the Lippins' house, among others. Robin Lippin is the casting director for the show.

    • To our recollection, this is the first time that it's been mentioned that Gordo's family is Jewish. Its also marks the first appearance of his parents (Michael Mantell and Alison Martin as Howard and Roberta Gordon) on the show, and the first time that all the parents of Lizzie, Miranda and Gordo are together in one episode.

    • This episode was first broadcast in the UK and Canada in 2001, several months before its US premiere.

    • Lizzie is called "Elizabeth" for this first time in this episode (by Gordo). [BTW, it's surprising how many Lizzie viewers didn't realize that Lizzie is a nickname for Elizabeth.--Ed.]

  • ALLUSIONS (7)

    • Toon Lizzie: Oh, to be that helmet.
      In the beginning of the episode, all of the girls are admiring Ethan Craft for the new racer gear he wears. When Lizzie is staring at him, Toon Lizzie says the above. This is kind of a take off of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (1594/1595). In the famous balcony scene, Romeo stares at Juliet and talks about how she holds her head in her hand. He then says, "O, that I were a glove upon that hand, That I might touch that cheek!" Romeo wants to touch Juliet, just as Lizzie wanted to touch Ethan.

    • Lizzie & Gordo: All I'm saying is, if they're gonna go to the trouble of remaking a classic movie.... I agree with you, they should have at least used real apes.
      Lizzie and Gordo are talkng about the recent release of the movie Planet of the Apes (2001), a remake of the 1968 original. They would get an argument from some people, both about calling either film "classic" or about using real apes, since the apes in the films could talk!

    • Larry Tudgeman: No, but the expression parts a crowd like Moses.
      Lived around the 15th or 14th century B.C. Israelite leader, prophet and legislator, one of the greatest figures in the Old Testament. He led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, for 40 years through the desert toward Canaan, but he died before they reached it. The Pentateuch describes how the Ten Commandments were given to him by God, and the making of the criminal and liturgical laws of the Israelites. Among his most remarkable feats was the parting of the Red Sea in order to escape the pursuing armed forces of the Pharaoh of Egypt.

    • Jeremy & David: "Da Bears!" "Da Bears!"
      This catchphrase comes from broadcasts of Saturday Night Live in the latter part of the 1990's which featured a running sketch about a group of Chicago Bears "Superfans," a bunch of overweight guys with nasal Midwestern accents who met at a restaurant to drink beer and clog their arteries with high-cholestoral foods while bragging about the invulnerability of their favorite football team "da Bears" and the Bears' coach Mike Ditka (pronounced "Dika" by them). Regulars in the sketch included George Wendt, Chris Farley, Mike Myers and Robert Smigel.

    • 1st Big Guy: "The way Walter Payton cried when they won the game..."
      Walter Payton was one of the greatest pro football players of all time. He gained more yardage than any other running back in NFL history while playing for the Chicago Bears from 1975 to 1987. Although he was a well-muscled physical specimen, his graceful and elusive running style earned him the nickname "Sweetness." Payton died in 1999 at the age of 45 from a rare liver disease.

    • Lizzie: Maybe you're like Peter Pan--doomed to be a boy forever!
      Peter Pan was originally a story and play written in 1904 by J.M. Barrie about a boy who refused to grow up. Accompanied by his magic fairy spirit Tinkerbell, he takes three London children, the Darling family, on an adventure with his band of "Lost Boys" and fights the evil Captain Hook. There have been many, many movie and TV versions of Peter Pan over the years. It's become a tradition for a woman to play the title role rather than a boy. Some of the most familiar versions, usually turned into musicals, have starred Mary Martin, Cathy Rigby and Mia Farrow. The 1991 movie Hook was based on Peter Pan. Miranda also refers to it when she replies to Lizzie, "Clap if you believe!" and "Uh, Tinkerbell--hello!"

    • Gordo: "You read from the Torah..."
      As Gordo explains, this is the holy book of the Jewish faith, the Old Testament portion of the Bible in Christianity.

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