Egos, Lies and Dismemberment: “Frenemies” review

Friendship is not easy. Sometimes personalities clash, and tempers flare. Differing political opinions, religious views, and even something as mundane as one’s mood can cause a friendship to break apart.

Sometimes, this can also happen between people who are too alike. People whose egos are the size of planets, because generally, you can only have one alpha per group.

I’ve seen this happen a lot. And before you start making unfounded accusations; Yes, I was generally one of the egos. It’s something I’m working on.

But the collapse of a friendship can happen before you even realize it. Suddenly you say one wrong thing, they react, then you react, then suddenly you hate each other, and you think: “How did that happen, oh wait.”

It doesn’t ever feel good to lose a friend. Never. It feels even worse when you know for a fact that you’re in the wrong. So you stop, and do what you might be afraid to do: Apologize.

Some see it as a sign of weakness, especially American politicians. I don’t see how, but that’s how they see it.

I don’t agree. I just see it as something you do when you’re in the wrong. It can clear the air, and make everything better. It may not accomplish anything, and you might not get anything out of it, but that’s how the world works. You don’t get an award for doing the right thing.

But why do so many people take so long to admit they’re wrong? Egos, typically. And this week on Littlest Pet Shop, two of the show’s biggest egos go head-to-head and try to out-Pinkie-Pie one another. Forgetting why they’re doing it.

Our episode opens with Blythe flipping through a photo album. One of Twombly’s I imagine. But who’s taking the photos in that case? Penny gets nostalgic and Blythe explains the panda first came to the pet shop a year ago tomorrow. How she would know that, I have no idea. But it means it’s Penny’s anniversary. Therefore, party!

Pepper and Zoe both ask to plan the event, and Blythe suggests they work together. Remember what I said about egos? That’s them. Penny’s obviously skeptical, but Blythe waves her off. I mean it’s not like the panda’s been friends with them longer-oh wait-YES SHE HAS! Penny’s the observant one, as you may know.

So our human hero explains her reasoning. They both have different talents that can work well together. Pepper’s sense of humor and Zoe’s sense of style can work together to create an awesome party. Which makes sense, and as long as neither go outside their wheelhouse, they’ll be fine.

But enough of that, here comes a distraction in the form of our resident dancing gecko, Vinnie. He offers to be the entertainment, and shows off one of his dance numbers: the Vinnie-carena.

I beg of you Internet, please don’t. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, good.

But his lack of coordination gets the better of him, and he ends up knocking a tower of canned food on top of himself. He gets out mostly unscathed. I say ‘mostly’ because he lost his fucking tail.

He panics, naturally, but Blythe points out that it’s actually very common. When they’re frightened, geckos can sometimes lose their tails. It’s a defense mechanism to prevent capture by predators. Unfortunately, what they don’t mention is the fact that there should still be a wound, with blood. Not a lot of blood, but enough blood to be noticed. That being said, it is a cartoon, and generally, you don’t see blood in cartoons.

I’ll buy that it wouldn’t hurt, but you’d think he would have felt its absence. It takes him a few seconds to notice it fell off.

But why exactly did his tail fall off? It didn’t happen just because he was scared, did it? No, it happened because he was scared, and his tail mistook its owner for a predator. When Vinnie tried to grab his own tail, it fell off. Bit of a perfect storm. They don’t mention that fear might have triggered it, but it probably did. Since someone simply grabbing his tail probably happens often enough, and this is the first time he lost his tail.

Penny tries to cheer Vinnie up by hitting on him, but Vinnie explains that his tail is the reason for his amazing dance skills. It helps his balance. What balance? Vinnie, did you already forget how you lost it?

Whatever, Russell tries to reattach it, when it disintegrates in his hands. Okay, that’s hilarious. I’m pretty sure that never happens to real geckos, and I’m glad Russell’s as perplexed as I am.

Russell then recruits Sunil to act as doctor, since apparently his parents wanted him to be a doctor. How that was supposed to happen, I have no idea. Best guess, it’s because he’s an indian stereotype.

Enough of that, Zoe and Pepper suddenly reveal the theme for Penny’s party. A High Clown Society Rodeo Tea What?

Of course each of them worked on their own and came up with two different party ideas that are pretty much incongruous. Pepper wants everyone to dress as rodeo clowns, and Zoe wants everyone to dress in fancy gowns and suits and drink tea.

I’m with Zoe, her plan sounds much more fun.

Actually, before we continue, is Sunil a cross-dresser?

I mean, so far he’s only worn a dress in fantasy sequences. But I don’t see why. It’s one of those things that comes right out of left field, and I don’t get it! What’s the joke!?

Anyway, Pepper and Zoe ask Penny which plan she prefers, and she’s indecisive. But Blythe reminds the party planners that they have to work together.

Back to Vinnie and the boys. Sunil decides to use a straw and rubber band as a makeshift tail, but it fails miserably.

Buttercream shows up (ugh) and after doing a ‘doodle in her noodle,’ (which I guess means she took a shit in her own head) she suggests making a tail out of a cookie and vanilla frosting. So they take a chocolate cream wafer cookie, and strawberry frosting (because Buttercream’s an idiot), and paste it on his ass.

It works! That is until Buttercream eats it because she’s a moron.

Can we get rid of this character!? She was fun at first, but now she’s just annoying. I really hate her!

Actually, don’t just get rid of her, have her brutally murdered by Russell. The irritating git deserves it.

Oh, can’t do that on a kids show? Fine. Just get rid of her.

Oh, she has too many fans? Well, they’re morons. But fine, here’s a compromise: Bring back Sugar Sprinkles. You bring back Sugar Sprinkles, I’ll deal with a bit of Buttercream. Sugar’s aloofness will compensate for Buttercream’s annoyingness.

Back to Zoe and Pepper, Blythe starts helping them out with the party. Zoe asking her to adorn the table cloths and Pepper asking for a rodeo clown outfit, including a ten-gallon cowboy hat. She could fit inside a ten-gallon hat, so I don’t know what she was planning on doing with it.

Blythe notices that the two idiots aren’t working together. But she doesn’t actually do anything about it, because she’s stupid.

Back to Sunil, who was just given a lab coat by Russell, who, for some reason, thinks that’s all he needs to be a doctor. I thought Russell was supposed to be the smart one.

Cue fantasy sequence confirming Sunil knows less than nothing about medicine. Since all that happens is Sunil starts playing a few musical instruments, and Vinnie grows a peacock tail.

Bit of a non-sequitur. I’ve seen jokes on the internet that made more sense than this.

I mean, the peacock tail is absurd, but that’s sorta why it works. But why did he use musical instruments? Sunil never displayed any musical interest, so why did he use them in his fantasy sequence?

Now, if he pulled off a few magic tricks, it would have made sense. But he didn’t, so it doesn’t.

Back in reality, Sunil gives Vinnie a pencil tail, causing a comedy sequence and this:

Which is awesome.

They try a measuring tape tail, and I have no idea how that was supposed to work.

Then a soda bottle tail, which blows up.

Back to the party, Zoe’s setting up teacups when Pepper rolls in a bale of hay, apparently containing a lead brick. You see every time it rolls over, the ground shakes. That makes no sense, regardless of Pepper’s strength.

Penny notices them as they start to argue, and talks to Blythe, who’s still oblivious to the crisis.

You see, this is why faith is bad. When one has faith that someone will do something, and something will happen, they start to ignore or reject evidence to the contrary. Such as Blythe refusing to believe that Zoe and Pepper are self-centered egotists.

It seems this episode of Littlest Pet Shop is pro-atheism. And I like it like that.

Vinnie walks in through the dumbwaiter, still moping about his tail.

Suddenly, Blythe gains a few dozen IQ points and suggests that Vinnie try dancing without. That’s right, she finally says something smart in this episode.

She also shows off her own mechanical improvisation skills, which is one of her previously established superpowers. She makes a pair of tapshoes, adding thumbtacks to a pair of doll shoes fit for a gecko.

So Vinnie gives it a shot, and finds that despite his previous declaration, his tail was actually holding him back.

He goes downstairs, and interrupts Pepper and Zoe’s fight to show off his skills, managing to woo both of them… or something.

Ladies love the dancers don’t they? Then why am I single?

Bah! Whatever. It’s party time!

So, the two still haven’t found a way to merge their parties, so they literally drew a line in the pet shop, separating them. Russell and Sunil get roped into Pepper’s party, literally; and Minka and Vinnie get lured into Zoe’s.

Actually, in all honesty, given the personalities of the cast, I’d think the reverse would happen. Vinnie and Minka would gravitate to the rodeo, and Russell and Sunil would join Zoe. Well, Russell at least, he’s the more sophisticated one.

But they are literally forced to join the opposite sides, so I guess it’s fine.

Blythe walks in and is not particularly amused. They were supposed to have one party for Penny, not two parties for themselves.

And that’s the part no one actually admits. These soirees were created by Zoe and Pepper based on what they liked. Which isn’t a terrible way to do things. Typically, one might assume what they like would be the same thing their friend would like. It’s not a bad starting point. But when other ideas come into play, and their friend seems to like them; one should either try to incorporate the ideas, or try to adjust their own ideas to be incorporated into the plans of another.

What they are doing, is competing with each other; and with no regard for Penny, who is supposed to be the guest of honor. Zoe and Pepper planed the parties for themselves, not the panda. And giving Penny a cowboy hat or a crown doesn’t change that. Nor does adding bamboo to a cake.

The funny thing is, they could have worked together, and merged themes. With Zoe handling all the food, and Pepper handling everything else. It would have worked. It would have been a bit awkward, but it would have worked.

Anyway, it’s at this moment that Zoe and Pepper start fighting once again, and straight up ignoring Penny. So guess who just walks away, and starts moping in one of the play structures.

Blythe intercedes at this point, and if it were me, I would have just asked them why they didn’t work together, while pointing out that Penny seemed to enjoy elements of both parties. There was no logical reason for them to be at such odds, and if someone pointed that out, they would have seen how foolish they were, and apologized to each other, and Penny Ling.

No, instead Blythe just asks them to say something nice about the other.

Well, they do, and in the process reveal that they are actually jealous/envious of each other. I know the feeling.

So they make up, and everything’s right with the world. But first, Pepper mentions they forgot all about Penny Ling’s role in all this, almost as an afterthought.

Yeah, this pisses me off a bit. They should have been taken down a peg, and told off for being so egotistical. But they weren’t. The pricks.

They lure Penny out of hiding, and she declares she loves both themes, in the most cheesy way possible, and everyone hugs. If you ask me, Zoe should have said, “Oh, okay, not sure how to make that work, but we’ll figure something out.” Rather than just cheer and hug.

Oh, wait, not everyone hugs. Where’s Vinnie!? Oh, now he’s hiding too. The lizard explains that he can’t dance anymore because, horrifically, his tail grew back. Turns out he did not expect that.

I’m with Vinnie. Given his reaction at the beginning, you’d think Blythe would mention that it’d grow back; just as a reminder, to cheer him up.

But, Vinnie’s moping, since he was a better dancer without.

Well, if that’s the case, rip it off again. But just from an aesthetic point of view, he’s better off with a tail. His round ass just looked weird.

What’s odd though is that it grows back in a day. I looked it up, normally it takes months, at least, to grow back a tail. So turns out Vinnie also has a superpower, accelerated healing. It’s nowhere near Wolverine’s level, since the tail would have grown back regardless, but it still counts. Must’ve gotten it when he was at the dump.

So, that’s two superheroes in the cast. But Vinnie loses out, since he only has one power, and not two.

So, to cheer the moping gecko up, Penny tries hitting on him again. But, this time, it actually works. He begins his big number, which he dedicates to his tail. Dude, a panda was hitting on you, dedicate it to her!

Penny shoots Zoe and Pepper with a cake cannon, and the episode ends.

I’m a little disappointed we didn’t see the throw-a-pie-at-Zoe booth, or the skunk-dunking tank.

Wasn’t that fun!? Friends fighting and making up, and a story about the biology of superpowered geckos.

This is a strange show.

Next week, we have a very special episode, where we meet a Shivers, the squirrel, whom the gang keeps trying to kick out of the shoppe. So, next week’s episode will feature an annoying git everyone hates. I’m taking this personally.

Hey, I just remembered. The Biskit Twins can teleport. So Vinnie is actually the fourth superhero in the cast, not the second.

See ya next week!

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