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Lizzie McGuire

Season 2 Episode 30

My Fair Larry

Aired Unknown May 16, 2003 on Disney Channel
out of 10
User Rating
30 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Miranda is psyched about being allowed to have a real "boy/girl" party at her place. She wants to make it the coolest party ever, so she invites Kate, Ethan, and everyone else--except Larry Tudgeman. Lizzie thinks this is unkind to Tudgeman, but Miranda is sure he will only ruin the party. After Miranda hands invitations out to everyone, Larry comes up and asks where his is; she tells him his not invited, she didn't think he'd be interested. Tudge is obviously hurt but tries to act like he has other things to do, namely a Star Trek "Star Fleet" convention to attend. Lizzie feels so sorry for Larry that she devises a plan and enlists the help of Gordo after reminding him how upset he felt when Danny Kessler didn't invite him to his pool party. They convince Larry to let them help him and turn him from uncool Larry into very stylish Lawrence (after a few makeovers that don't work so well!). After sneaking him into the party everyone wants to know who this new guy is, even Kate! Miranda is impressed with the hunky new guy too and has a dance with him; in fact, she seems on the verge of kissing him when "Lawrence" reveals to her that he is really Larry! Miranda is at first shocked along with the rest of the partygoers but then realizes that it was wrong to exclude someone from a party just because they may not be "cool." Meanwhile, the teacher Ms. Chapman assigns Matt and Melina to the "Senior Pals" program as part of a community service project, something the pair are not too thrilled about. They are matched up with Moe and Marge from a local retirement home. At first both couples think their day together will be very long and boring, but it turns out that Moe and Marge are the mirror image of Matt and Melina as seventy-somethings! The foursome then spends the day pulling pranks, making mischief and generally having a fun time, so much fun, in fact, that the "old folks" miss their curfew at the retirement home and the youngsters have to help sneak them in!moreless

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  • Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover!

    Miranda’s got the go ahead from her parents to throw an inter-gender party and she’s bound and determined to make it the best, most perfect party possible. So much so that she’s submerging her natural inclinations. To wit, she invites Kate to her party (though she doesn’t even like her anymore) and takes an effort to *not* invite Larry Tudgeman. This last part disturbs Lizzie. Greatly. But Miranda fears that his presence will foul up the ‘perfect-ness’ of the evening (but even then she tries to assuage her own conscience by convincing herself that he wouldn’t want to come anyway).

    Of course, one has to wonder at this strategy. Miranda invites everyone in the school except one person, Tudgeman, because he’s too much of a ‘nerd’. Yet, as we’ve seen in other episodes (specifically “Election” and “Gordo and the Dwarves”), there’s a whole section of the school that share the same hobbies as Tudgeman. In effect, there’s a whole lot of ‘Tudgeman’s’. Yet Miranda has no problem inviting *them*. To use the vernacular of the day, “What’s up with that?”

    Lizzie brings up the subject of allowing Larry to come to the party no less than three times in Miranda’s presence. And each time Miranda gets surlier and surlier, and more and more adamant that he *not* come. And this brings Miranda’s shockingly bad behavior to light.

    Miranda is in this episode acting just like the person she most reviles: Kate. It’s a move worthy of that guru of shallow popularity. And as such it highlights Miranda’s own role in the triumvir of her Lizzie and Gordo. In psychological terms Lizzie is the Ego, the clearinghouse that decides between the two halves that are Superego and Id. The Superego is the side that controls the higher thoughts. The one that urges intelligence and morality. The Id is the one that councils self indulgence and carnal gratification.

    If Lizzie is the Ego, Gordo is the Superego, whereas Miranda is the Id. Lizzie is intelligent, but Gordo is more intelligent. Lizzie is slightly shallow, but Miranda is slightly more so. Id, Ego, and Superego. All on display here.

    Miranda becomes more and more stressed over all the work that goes into making a successful party. The food, the drink, the music, the invitations, it all contributes to Miranda’s increasingly surly demeanor. Though the episode tries to use this as a reason (in part) to excuse Miranda’s actions in regards to Tudge, it rings slightly hollow. It was a contributing factor no doubt, but Miranda made this decision *before* she started stressing out. Excluding The Tudge was almost her first item of business.

    The actor who portrays Tudgeman (Kyle Downes), does an *excellent* job in this episode. One really feels badly for Tudgeman when he finds out he’s not invited but tries to bravely brush it off. One suffers with him. And more to the point, one becomes angry with Miranda!

    But Lizzie’s conscience won’t be denied. And she enlisted Gordo’s help. Which highlights something else one has noticed of late. It seems that beginning with “Just Friends” there have been a lot of scenes where Lizzie and Gordo (Hilary and Adam) are present and doing something while Miranda (Lalaine) is off somewhere else. While not odd in and of itself, in so far as there was much the same thing in Season One, the odd part comes in that these Gordo/Lizzie twofer scenes were offset by the same number of Miranda/Lizzie twofer scenes. But since “Just Friends” there have been no offsetting Lizzie/Miranda scenes. This reviewer is hard pressed to remember a single scene since that episode in which Lizzie and Miranda (Hilary and Lalaine) are alone. There’s always at least one other person in their scenes. It’s almost as though Miranda’s character (and Lalaine’s presence) has been pared back. Connection with rumors of backstage politics? Or merely coincidence?

    While Tudgeman eventually goes along with Lizzie’s plan to change his physical appearance to get into the party, he is initially reluctant. He makes a good statement, “Tudge changes for no one”. And he’s right. One should not change whom they are just to try and fit in with someone else’s idea of what ‘cool’ is. If you have to change yourself to hang around with someone, then that someone isn’t worth hanging around.

    This innate sense of worth reasserts itself when Tudgeman reveals himself to Miranda (whom it would appear is falling for this ‘mysterious stranger’!). After Miranda displays the signs of falling for ‘Lawrence’ Tudge feels the need to show her that its what’s under the surface that matters. The realization that her ‘Lawrence’ is in actuality The Tudge sets her to screaming. Which in turn leads her to confront Lizzie (and Gordo) and thus, inadvertently, make a scene at her own party.

    But it all turns out well when Miranda admits (publicly no less) that she was wrong to have excluded Tudgeman from her party. And what’s more, she seems to have no compunction about staying coupled up with him! She leads him over to the punch bowl, and stands by him, as the party gets back under way, as though she intends to spend her time with him. She even asks about “Star Flip”! And Larry even feels comfortable enough to call her a ‘geek’ due to her inability to get the term right!

    Now comes the question: where do they go from here? Miranda has shown herself here (and in the past) to be essentially a sensible and good girl. In this episode she has come to realize that there is more to Tudgeman than meets the eye. Sparks definitely flew when she was dancing with Larry. And she appears to be cogent of that fact. She knows what she felt. All the qualities she seemed taken with in ‘Lawrence’ are the very real qualities exuded by Larry. In point of fact it was Tudgeman all along that she was falling for. At one point, in a close up on Miranda’s face, there is even the patented ‘slow motion’ shot! That is always a dead give away that romance in the air.

    Familiar bantering? Standing close to one another? Holding hands? A slow motion shot? Does this mean that there may be a romance budding between the two? And if so, it brings to mind another quandary.

    This episode takes place before the events in “Clueless”, where we see Tudgeman and Veruca share a tender romantic moment. Miranda is absent from this episode, and those that come afterward (straight on through the movie). Presumably the last 6 episodes (and the movie) happen one right after the other.

    But what happens when Miranda returns for the new school year? What will be the situation at that point? Veruca obviously likes Tudgeman in ‘that way’. And from all indications from this episode, it would appear that Miranda could as well. That would make for a very lively long-term plot thread in a mythical Season 3. Can you imagine? Miranda and Veruca vying for The Tudge! It would be a dream come true not only for him, but for any male of any age.

    And both Miranda and Veruca have shown to be scrappy and tenacious. And both look as though they could take care of themselves in a fight as well.

    A ‘love triangle’ centered around Tudgeman would make for an interesting plot thread indeed.

    The concept of Miranda falling for Tudgeman, and the fallout of a possible Miranda/Veruca battle for him is by far the most compelling of consequences to result from the events of this episode.

    But there are the incidentals as well. For one, “Star Flip”?!? Who doesn’t know what Starfleet is? Who in the past 30 years *hasn’t* grown up watching reruns of “Star Trek” (of whichever incarnation)? “Star Trek” has to be the most well known fandom of them all! Even ‘normal’ people are conversant in its lore! What rock have Lizzie and Miranda been living under to constantly profess an utter lack of knowledge of anything associated with the franchise?

    And did anyone else notice Kate after it was revealed who Larry really was? She *still* dug him! I guess for some people the clothes really do make the man!

    And then there was the search for the right ‘look’ in which to smuggle Tudgeman into the party. They go through a retro 70’s look (get a load of the afro!). The biker look. The sailor look. And finally the James Dean knockoff look. But one has to wonder, where did Lizzie get all those clothes? It doesn’t look like Lizzie’s room, and it and it doesn’t have the sci-fi/fantasy memorabilia one would expect from Tudge’s room, so that leaves Gordo’s house. But where the heck did Gordo get those clothes?

    As for the subplot, it revolves around Matt and Melina having to spend time with a couple from a local old folks home as a school project. Matt does make an excellent observation at the outset. How can it be volunteer work when in fact they are being made to do it by the school? His very real question isn’t even graced with an answer, which is unfortunate. It is a legitimate query.

    The two old ‘geezers’ are Mo and Marge, who are basically old versions of Matt and Melina themselves! Right down to the woman of each group being in charge! *LOL*

    Like the subplot in “The Greatest Crush of All”, where Matt learns to get along with someone he starts off disliking spending time with, Matt (and Melina) learn to like spending time with Mo and Marge. It is like they say: our dotage is in fact a second childhood. Mo and Marge ride scooters; play Frisbee, even sneak into their retirement home after hours, all in the accompaniment of Matt and Melina (But what was with the ‘talking squirrel’ bit? Weird!).

    It’s a solid subplot, and in the course of it we even get a guest character (Mrs. Carrabino, last seen in “You’re a Good Man Lizzie McGuire”). But one does hate to tear oneself away from the main plot.

    At its heart, this episode’s main purpose is to act as a sort of ‘high watermark’ for the long-standing ‘Tudgeman likes Miranda’ plot thread that has been percolating ever since Season One. One has to wonder what would have become of it had Lalaine not left the show. As it stands in the “Lizzieverse”, when Miranda comes back from her summer vacation there’s going to be a sticky wicket waiting.

    Overall, it’s the main plot that makes this episode, but the subplot does an admirable job of holding up its end as well. We get some more character development on the Tudge. We get intimations of romance. And we get to see the age-old struggle between the very young and the very old.

    I recommend this episode highly.moreless
Dabbs Greer

Dabbs Greer


Guest Star

Eileen Brennan

Eileen Brennan


Guest Star

Tonya Rowland

Tonya Rowland

Jasmine Chapman

Guest Star

Jeremy J. Bargiel

Jeremy J. Bargiel


Recurring Role

Ashlie Brillault

Ashlie Brillault

Kate Sanders

Recurring Role

Kyle J. Downes

Kyle J. Downes

Larry Tudgeman

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Nitpick: In the scene where Lizzie and Miranda are handing out invitations in the hallway there are two wide angle shots with one, probably the first, being a "flipped" image. In the first shot there is a green banner above the lockers on the left and an orange banner on the right. Lizzie and Miranda are handing out invitations with their left hands and there are two girls in the lower right foreground. But in the second shot the banners have switched sides, Lizzie and Miranda are handing out the invitations with their right hands (also seen in tight shots) and the two girls are now in the left foreground.

    • All the music at the party came from Gordo's CD collection, right? So what is Britney Spears doing amongst his CDs?! [Ed. Although it is likely that some of the music was provided by Lizzie and Miranda.]

    • At the end of the episode when Larry reveals himself at the party, Toon Lizzie's two lines "This is the part of doing the right thing that I always hate." and "This is the part of doing the right thing that I always love." use the same animation.

    • Near the end of the party scene the African American girl wearing a Hawaiian dress is dancing but in the next shot she is behind Lizzie and Gordo.

    • When Lizzie and Gordo are talking to Larry in the hallway at school, you see a girl wearing a red shirt with writing on it and a white sweater walk past them. A few shots later, you see the same girl walk into a classroom behind them. Also, there is another girl with a red shirt and a dark sweater who is behind Larry in one shot checking her locker, but in the following shot she is seen walking past Lizzie and Gordo. Actually, if the entire scene is viewed carefully both girls appear in many different shots.

  • QUOTES (9)

  • NOTES (13)

    • To better show the similarities between Matt and Melina and Moe and Marge, not only do their names start with the same letter, but they also wear similar clothing. When the foursome first meet, Matt and Moe are both wearing red while Melina and Marge are wearing blue. On their second and final visit, Matt and Moe wear yellow plaid shirts while Melina and Marge wear shades of pink with stripes.

    • At the party, Miranda appears to be wearing colored contacts.

    • When Lizzie are Miranda are passing out invitations, you see the bully who would pick on Veruca from "Dear Lizzie."

    • On the August 1st airing of this episode, the blooper reel was omitted and replaced with 10 winners of a "Hollywood Sweepstakes" hosted by Toon Lizzie. The 2 minute clip was a fashion show featuring 10 animated girls walking a runway and the only dialogue was from the MC.

    • This episode also relates to a portion of the film Clueless (1995) starring Alicia Silverstone. The part is when the main character, Cher Horowitz (Silverstone) makes over her friend Tai (Brittany Murphy) to become popular.

    • Continuity: Both Lizzie and Larry mention their date from the episode "Scarlet Larry" and Lizzie reminds Gordo of his not being invited to Danny Kessler's party in the episode "Pool Party."
      Jo mentions her world famous beef stroganoff which we first learned about in the episode "Working Girl."

    • Stunt doubles: Larry Rippenkroeger (for Moe); Marian Green (for Marge).

    • The clapboard on the blooper reel seen at the end of the show gives the date of production as April 25, 2002, about thirteen months before its premiere on the Disney Channel in the USA.

    • Music includes:
      *"Forever Young" by the German synth/pop band Alphaville. This is one of the many remixes of the popular dance track from 1984. It's heard when Matt, Melina, Moe and Marge are out together having fun. (It's not to be confused with two other popular songs of the same name, one a 1974 Bob Dylan song and the other a hit for Rod Stewart in 1988.)
      *"I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman" by Britney Spears. It's from her third album Britney, release in 2001, and was also featured in Spears' film debut in Crossroads (2002). This ballad, part of an effort by Spears to move past her teen idol image, is heard at Miranda's party when she and "Lawrence" are dancing together.

    • The title to this episode is taken from the musical comedy My Fair Lady (1964) starring Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn. Harrison portrays snobbish phonetics (speech sounds) professor Henry Higgins who makes a bet with a visiting colleague that he can take a Cockney flower seller, Eliza Doolittle portrayed by Hepburn, and transform her into someone who would fit perfectly into the upper-class of English society. However, the movie was based on George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion (1912). It's a Cinderella story in which Shaw wanted to demonstrate the absurdity of class distinctions by having a lower class girl changed into a counterfeit aristocrat by altering her speech. Shaw holds the distinction of being the only person to receive a Noble Prize and an Oscar for the movie version of Pygmalion (1938).

    • First Aired in Australia on May 7, 2003.

    • What we earlier reported about the original script for this episode undergoing significant changes turns out to be untrue. There was never any storyline about Larry and Miranda at a Renaissance Fair.

    • Characters mentioned but not seen: Parker McKenzie and Danny Kessler.


    • Gordo: Fine, I'll help you get Cinderfella to the ball.
      This is a reference to the film Cinderfella (1960) starring Jerry Lewis. It's an update of the Cinderella story with a man (Lewis) as the hero and two wicked stepbrothers who leave him at home to care for their mother. Lewis is little more than a servant in his stepfamily's Beverly Hills home until his fairy godfather (Ed Wynn) arrives and gives him the charm, grace, and ability to dance. Armed with those he goes off to the ball and wins the Princess Charmain (Anna Marie Alberghetti).

    • Toon Lizzie: Ruh roh.
      This is a reference to Scooby-Doo, originally a cartoon show entitled Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, about a group of young adults and a dog who solved mysteries. Many times, when something went wrong, Scooby-Doo (the dog) would say "Ruh-roh", just as Toon Lizzie did when she thought trouble was coming. There have been several other Scooby-Doo TV shows and movie, a line of video games, and a popular live-action/animated released in 2002, with a sequel planned for 2004.

    • Matt: What's a Can-Can?
      The Can-Can was a dance which first appeared in Paris around 1822 and is likely a hybrid of the Polka and Quadrille. In its early years it was danced by both men and women, but eventually only women performed it. In the dance, women kicked their black silk stocking clad legs high into the air, something that was quite risqué for that time. Hence the name "Can-Can" which in French meant "scandal" and was the reason it was considered indecent and thereby outlawed for a number of years.

    • Melina: "Hey, we could watch Cocoon, it's about old people."
      Cocoon (1985) was a popular science fiction film directed by Ron Howard, coming in sixth in box office receipts with $76 million. It dealt with a group of seniors who, while trespassing, discover several alien cocoons in a pool while swimming. The effect was that it gave them increased energy and youthful vigor. So much so that they must choose between staying on the earth or leaving with the aliens when they return for the cocoons. The film earned an Oscar for Best Visual Effects, Don Ameche won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor and Ron Howard earned a best director award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Horror Films, USA.

    • Gordo: "Just play it cool, like you're Luke Skywalker sneaking into Jabba's palace."
      This is a reference to the film Return of the Jedi (1983) in which Luke, having not completed his training as a Jedi, attempts to rescue his friend, Han Solo, from the vile gangster Jabba the Hut, with a little help from his friends.

    • Larry: "I have a Star Fleet Command meeting anyhow."
      Star Fleet Command was the military force in the United Federation of Planets in the 1960s TV series Star Trek and the movies years later. It was tasked with "going where no man had gone before" to "explore strange new worlds" and to keep in check the hostile Klingons and Romulons.