Best Frienemies

There’s a crucial difference between an adversary and a friend. Friends have a tendency to help you in any situation, regardless of how it might affect them.

Adversaries do the exact opposite.

How the hell could these lines blur?

Well, sometimes perception is everything. You may think someone is being mean or animus, or that they’re out to get you. When they may be the closest ally you will ever have.

In my personal experience, this has happened many times. Not just on the internet, as I’ve explained before, but in real life as well.

Once I had the unfortunate experience of having a prick as a roommate; he was a violent, arrogant, moronic bigot. I mentioned him before, and he’s since gotten his ass evicted by refusing to talk it out with the landlord. When the landlord asked to speak with him, he said he’d rather rest up for partying later that night.

I’m not sorry to see him go, but there is one thing to note: I actually tried to get along with him. I tried to help him. I didn’t want to see him evicted and I didn’t try to get him evicted. That was what everyone else did.

I was probably the closest thing he had to an ally in the entire building. But for some reason, he thought I was out to get him. He saw me as an enemy. And I had every reason to hate this guy, but I don’t hate. Pretty much as a rule, I don’t hate. I’d be a right ass if I did.

Maybe I need to pick a more a more universal analogy… The second half of Portal 2. Hey, that’s actually apt in several ways. Props to Jonathan Coulton for doing the impossible and writing an even better finale song than Still Alive.

Though I’m sure not everyone has played Portal 2. There must be another! AH! Littlest Pet Shop!

Last week’s episode was all about our favourite mephitis comedienne, Pepper. Her comedy idol, Old Bananas, is coming to visit the pet shop for some unexplained reason.

I know this isn’t the first time they’ve had a celebrity in the shop, but last time, Shahrukh visited incognito. A celebrity animal would probably have people specifically hired to take care of them, and not just get dropped off at an animal day camp.

Anyway, when Pepper hears the good news, she’s ecstatic. But who is Old Bananas? Well, he was apparently the star of a sitcom called That’s My Orangutan, which was actually a variety show. So why Zoe called it a sitcom, I have no idea. I don’t see any situations. Unless the sitcom was about an orangutan that starred in a variety show, ala Home Improvement.

Anyway, I have to say, Pepper looked pretty cute as a kid.

Kid Pepper

As a teenager, bit less so.

Teenage Pepper

But who ever looked good as a teenager? I mean, except for myself of course.

Moving on, Pepper gets a bit preemptively star struck, but more than that, she’s hoping her routine will get the Old Bananas seal of approval. I understand completely. There’s no better feeling than finding out someone you look up to actually likes something you created. I would be so happy if K.A. Applegate, or M.A. Larson, or Larry Niven, or Yahtzee Croshaw looked at something I made and told me it was good. Nothing would make me happier. So I understand Pepper’s enthusiasm.

But, an innocuous comment from Zoe triggers panic in the skunk. Is her routine good enough to impress the comedy giant? Time to polish the act.

Meanwhile, as Blythe is looking for a hammock for the ape star, she finds a trunk labeled Kung-Fu Quilting. Turns out it was a sport invented by someone named Anna Twombly. Yeah, she finally gets a first name!

Russell approaches Pepper and questions the reasoning behind her desire to get Old’s approval.

Russell: You believe that getting some kind of crazy endorsement from a TV primate you’ve never even met will mean you’re a great comedian?
Pepper: Well, when you put it that way it sounds almost silly.

First off, how would the endorsement be crazy? Second, I don’t think it would mean anything in and of itself. But it would be a grand signal. A significant sign that she is good at what she does. That’s all you need! This isn’t just any stranger, he’s one of the comedy greats. His approval means something!

So, Old arrives, and Penny tells him about Pepper’s skills. He’s skeptical.

So, I said last time that they were probably gonna parody some famous comedian, and they don’t. Or, if they do, it’s one I’ve never heard of. I’m thinking… Maybe Don Rickles… But the comedy styles don’t match up at all.

So, yeah. Old lives up to his name, and acts less like a comedian, and more like a bitter old man.

Pepper is already on stage when he walks in, and she’s dying. Not a chuckle in the house. Which embarrasses her to no end when she finally notices who entered the room.

After the ape starts talking down to Pepper, he takes over and gets quite a few laughs before taking a nap. I say he gets ‘a few laughs’ because the pets do laugh, but I didn’t find his jokes particularly funny. However, that’s me.

Meanwhile, we’re back to the B-Plot, as Blythe does some research on Kung-Fu Quilting, and finds Twombly’s fingerprints all over it.

Cue montage of Twombly’s past, backed by some shitty pop song. I hear it was supposed to parody The Beatles, but I don’t see it. Not even close.

So what is Kung-Fu Quilting? It’s basically performance art. She makes a quilt, live, on stage, while doing kung-fu moves.

So, Blythe asks Twombly about Kung-Fu Quilting, and she’s pretty apathetic about it. She’d rather pretend the whole thing didn’t happen, and just move on. There’s a story here, a dark one.

Back to Pepper, who’s surprised that Old isn’t exactly like he is on TV. Proving that, despite Zoe’s song during the premiere, Vinnie’s not the stupid one.

Russell gives a brief inspirational speech, and Pepper decides to give it another shot. She’s gonna make Old laugh! And she drafts Russell to be her stage partner.

She tries a new gag involving a pie and a bowling pin, which she messes up when Old starts heckling her. Oh, if only a parody of Jimmy Carr was around to teach her the true meaning of comedy.

(Warning: this isn’t exactly appropriate for kids.)

Meanwhile, outside the pet store, Blythe asks Twombly for some details on Kung-Fu Quilting. Seems she invented it while laid up for a few days. But others adopted it, and challenged her superiority. Turns out it was a real martial art, where people fight and everything. They just fought while quilting.

Then, during her final match, she had a major injury, and decided to retire.

This apparently destroyed public interest in the sport. …Kay…

So Pepper continues to try to impress Old, but he just grows bored. At this point, she probably presumes he has something against her. I probably would. All those attempts and not even a chuckle. Then again, Old has probably seen it all before.

Blythe goes up to Twombly again, still interested in Kung-Fu Quilting. Why didn’t she do all this at once? And why does Twombly know anything about Astrophysics!?

Then Twombly makes an interesting point. She was good at Kung-Fu Quilting, but she wasn’t happy. Her true calling was at Littlest Pet Shop. I feel the same way Twombly. I’ll tell ya. I’m good at math and computer programming, but it’s not really what I love. My passion is in writing. Pure and simple.

Blythe tells Twombly that she would surely love to learn Kung-Fu Quilting. Which gives the old shop owner pause for thought. Then, Blythe runs off to watch Pepper’s routine.

The human’s arrival gives Pepper her second wind, and she brings the house down. Finally getting a laugh out of Old himself. He gives her his seal of approval, saying she’s even funnier than him, which confuses her.

You see, his bitterness and heckling was actually just his method of toughening her up. Showbiz ain’t easy, and he wanted her to know that. So what seemed like animosity, was actually love. It’s funny how that works isn’t it?

The episode ends with Twombly opening a dojo within the shop, teaching Kung-Fu Quilting. This better play in a future episode. Plenty of opportunity here.

Following on from this, is this week’s episode.

We all know Twombly’s obsessed with collecting antique doorknobs right? Well, as she’s online, bidding on one particular specimen, she’s suddenly angered when Fisher Biskit out-bids her. She doesn’t take it very well, but that’s not important right now.

Meanwhile, Blythe is walking down the street, when the Biskit twins decide to intercept her, and foist their job (to distribute flyers for an open house their dad is hosting) onto her. She takes the flyers and gives them all to Twombly, who decides to go the party, and see if Fisher is treating the doorknob properly. Blythe tags along.

So while they’re out, Roger ends up looking over the shop, and decides to do some fixing up. He’s also accident prone, which plays well into the B-plot. You see Sunil and Vinnie get way too into a horror film, and assume Roger’s howls of pain are actually coming from a werewolf. Who they assume, for some reason, is Russell.

So the two confront him, and Russell explains they’re confusing werewolves with vampires. I would point out the misnomer of calling a hedgehog a werewolf, but Sunil actually corrects himself, and starts using the term, hedgewolf. So that’s good.

Zoe ends up deflecting the accusations away from Russell, and onto herself, since she loves howling at the moon. She is a dog after all. Then Russell explains that dogs are distant relatives of wolves. Which isn’t actually true, they’re close relatives of wolves. In fact, dogs are the results of a couple million years of the selective breeding of wolves.

Anyway, Russell says that if anyone’s a lycanthrope, it’s Zoe. Well, if there was any truth to my theory that Zoe had a crush on Russell, it’s dead now. Nice going little guy, you missed out on some hot canine tail.

So, at the House of Biskit, Twombly and Fisher meet, and apparently they know each other quite well. But by reputation only. Twombly has a reputation? Oh… right, the Kung-Fu Quilting. Actually, I don’t think that’s it. There’s something else. But what?

Twombly starts searching for the doorknob, but can’t find it. Then, for some reason, Blythe spots the Biskit twins and decides to ask them. Which is odd, since earlier she was actively trying to avoid the two of them.

The twins mention that a new doorknob was installed on Whittany’s bathroom door. Twombly runs off, Whittany spills a drink on Blythe’s dress, and Blythe decides to follow so she can clean up.

Twombly searches the halls, and to her horror finds the doorknob is being used as (GASP!) a doorknob!

Fine, it’s a work of art, but it doesn’t mean you can’t use it for the function it was designed for!

So, Twombly starts channelling Golem, and absconds with the doorknob. Once that happens, Blythe goes through said door to clean up, not noticing the missing knob for some reason.

So, Blythe starts cleaning up the mess when Whittany arrives and starts yelling at Blythe for using her bathroom. But as Blythe is about to leave, the doorknob comes off, since it wasn’t connected on the other side. They’re trapped… together. Oh, the horror. Blythe suggests a game to pass the time. But Whittany refuses… for some reason.

Back at the pet shop, Vinnie and Sunil are still acting crazy, accusing all the girls (and Russell) of being monsters. Russell’s the only one who manages to maintain his sanity.

One ad break later, everything has fallen apart. The natives have gone feral, and are at each other’s throats. Well, except for Russell, who screams “You all know there’s no such thing as werewolves right!?” But that convinces no one.

The gang suddenly hears a violent howl outside. Roger screaming in pain. Vinnie and Sunil’s imaginations go into overdrive, and a big Thriller-esque musical number starts up. Very entertaining, I must say. One of the best of the entire series.

Back in the bathroom, we get a very interesting scene. Whittany starts ranting about how perfect she is, and says everyone wants to be her friend, except Blythe… apparently. She then explains that she’s always mean to Blythe because Brittany doesn’t like her, and they need to maintain solidarity… or something.

Holy shit! Is this character development I hear!? This is so great! The two of them end up bonding, and sharing jokes. Apparently Whittany never had a problem with Blythe.

This does conflict just a bit with the fifth episode, when Blythe was friends with them, but broke it off when she realized how mean they were being. I guess Brittany’s perspective regarding Blythe developed after this episode, but Whittany was still relatively okay with the fashionista.

Then, downstairs, Brittany can suddenly sense “a disturbance in the force.” Heh, she’s a Star Wars nerd!

She starts to search for her sister, and finds them locked in the bathroom. She makes it her mission to free her sister from the horror of being near Blythe.

Back at the pet shop, Russell calmly explains that the reason they think he’s a werewolf is because he’s an animal. They all are! And they all have wolf-like attributes. Not only that, werewolves come out at night, and it’s daytime.

Well, that ended that subplot. But at least we’ve confirmed the identity of our designated skeptic. Russell remains my favourite Littlest Pet Shop Pet.

Back at the party, Twombly is searching for Blythe when she notices the congregation outside Whittany’s bathroom, and hears that the two are trapped within. She acts all innocent as she returns the doorknob.

So the two newly formed friends are finally free, and Brittany is shocked to see them laughing together. So Whittany 180s, returning to her old persona and kicking out Blythe.

Oh, Blythe, you can’t be that surprised. She needs to keep up appearances. Which is the real lesson of the episode. Even though Whittany acts like she hates Blythe, that’s all it is, just an act. Deep down she wants them to be friends, but when she has to choose between her sister, and her friend, her sister wins.

And that’s what connects them. Old Bananas and Whittany Biskit both project an aura of animosity, but deep down, they really care. Their motivations are different. But does that really matter? Probably…

Old was being selfless, Whittany was being selfish.

But there’s also a hint that Whittany feels a bit broken up over this. She’s certainly conflicted.

Nonetheless, we have two characters whose exteriors betray their emotions, which I find interesting. Looks can be deceiving people. For instance, I may look like a lazy ass who just forgot to post last week’s review, but I was really planning this the entire time. I knew there’d be a connection between the episodes. I’m not lazy, I’m ahead of the curve!

Also, Easter fucked up my sleeping patterns.

Next week, a very special episode where Vinnie loses his tail, and somehow this becomes a big deal. He’s a gecko! His tail can easily regenerate. Relax people!

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2 responses to “Best Frienemies

  1. Why do you read so deeply into a show for little kids? I get MLP but this show is nothing like that. It’s just made to sell toys man.

    • My Little Pony was also made to sell toys. The motivations behind its creation are irrelevant. What matters is whether or not the show is actually good. I think it is.

      Now, why am I reading so deeply into it? Because its fun! You know what fun is right?

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