It’s a Pet Shop Blitz: “Feud for Thought” review

One thing that strikes me about Broadchurch is that it seems no one gets along with anyone. In almost every episode, everyone is fighting with everyone else! We have feuds between families, family members, former colleagues, and whole professions!

And it very rarely seems rational.

I’d say ‘never’, but the show opens with a child being murdered, so a bit of animosity between the characters can kinda makes sense.

But that was two whole series ago. Can’t they get over it!? Can’t we all just get along? Can’t we get over our petty little differences and learn that we’re all humans, wanting to make the world a better place?

This even happens in the real world! Take France and England! They may not go to war anymore, but they still constantly find ways to get on each other’s tits! Russia and the US still glare at each other from across the Pacific Ocean. And then you have the middle east, where you can throw religion into the mix and holy fucking hell! And all these feuds are pointless, and juvenile, and they all just need get the fuck over it!

And that’s the lesson that framed another episode of Littlest Pet Shop! All about conflict, and conflict resolution!

We open by establishing Twombly’s video game habit.

This I like, because you rarely see anyone over the age of 40 playing video games, which is something that perplexes me. It’s a fantastic art form and a major part of our modern culture, and yet many people just shun it from their lives. I just don’t get that. Games are great, and they’re fun, and they can often be quite enlightening! Why would you deny yourselves that!? To me, someone who never plays video games is like someone who never watches films, or never reads books, it just makes absolutely no sense!

Anyway, this isn’t relevant to any other point in the episode, so let’s move on to more important stuff. Like the Biskits, who are having a bit of an argument because for the very first time, Brittany got a higher score than Whittany on a test, and that angers Whittany for reasons.

I don’t know why she cares, but whatever.

So now, Whittany demands that Brittany hang with “her own kind.”

Um… who?

Well, it just so happens she means “the smart kids.”

Again… who?

Them? Really? I mean, let’s be honest, I’ve never seen Jasper as an intellectual powerhouse, same with Sue. Blythe isn’t an idiot, but she’s no genius. And Youngmee… well, she’s an asian stereotype, so she’s amazing at math. But no one else is.

Oh sure, relatively all four of them are fucking geniuses next to the Biskits, but that’s not saying much.

So now, Brittany starts hanging out with them, even though they don’t want her to. Which tells me she’s either oblivious to their annoyance, or she doesn’t care. Likely the former.

Anyway, it’s worth pointing out the reason for their annoyance.

Brittany: Girl-whose-name-I-don’t-remember, I’m only saying this because we’re like [blech] alike now, but that top is a fashion crime against humanity.
Youngmee: …Thanks…
Brittany: Like, sure. Bee-tee-dub, as a group, we smart kids could definitely use a serious fashion upgrade. And by ‘we,’ I mean ‘you.’

That’s right, she keeps insulting them, while causing bizarre forms of chaos, like mutating Jasper in the middle of chemistry class.

Okay, she actually didn’t mutate Jasper, she just created new life, because it quickly slides off the kid’s face, and crawls off-screen before I can get a good shot of it.

I hope he gets his own spin-off.

Anyway, she’s driving them fucking nuts, with her inadvertent insults, and I think I know why she keeps doing it. She’s not being mean (this time). She genuinely thinks she’s being helpful. And it’s all due to her gigantic ego.

Brittany wants to be a part of their group, mainly because she thinks that’s where she fits in. But her ego is stopping her from adapting to the group. Instead, she wants the group to adapt to her, because she genuinely believes her outlook is the ideal.

Hell, this isn’t even the first time she’s done this. Remember when Brittany and her sister met Blythe? They told her that her designs were shit, and then asked if she wanted to hang out with them.

I genuinely think they thought they were being nice. I genuinely think they thought that’s how one acts nice. Hell, for a while, that was me. Pointing out people’s faults and weaknesses, so they could try to improve them. Then I learned that one should at least be nice about it, and probably not bring it up if they don’t ask you to. But it’s something that Brittany, and I assume Whittany, haven’t learned yet.

So the point is, she’s annoying the hell out of Blythe and the three stereotypes. And it gets worse once Jasper informs them that he accidentally let their weekend plans slip out.

What plans? Well they were planning to go to “The Dock.” Which I’m guessing is some type of amusement park. And they’re all certain that if they have to deal with her for a whole day, on their day off, their sanity will break. So they need to end this. But how?

I got an idea: Tell her off! Tell her she’s an annoying sack of helium, and to leave them alone! She’s said much worse things to you guys over the years!

But that, oddly, doesn’t cross their minds. Then again, if they did do that, she’d probably have an emotional breakdown. Though why they would care is beyond me.

Anyway, since they’re not going to give Brittany a good bollocking, they’re screwed. Until Blythe finally gets a bit of inspiration, while advising the pets on their own problem.

What problem? This problem:

Meet Whiskers and Sideburns. Two new koalas at the day camp who fucking hate each other. How do we know this? Because they spend most of the time rubbing their cheeks together while growling. Which, aside from the growling, seems more romantic to me. I mean, honestly! Would you rub your cheek against your mortal enemy?

But that’s all they do for most of the episode. Just stare at each other and growl. They don’t try to physically harm each other, they just growl. And that seems to me to be a bit disingenuous. If you two really hate each other, why not try killing each other!?

Hell, their owners do the same thing, and it makes even less sense!

At least with animals you could argue: Well, they’re animals, that’s how they normally express derision. But with humans, we have this tool called language (which the animals also have in this universe, by the way); and with language, we can express exactly why and how we think someone is a bell-end. A better approach to displaying a mutual contempt such as this would be to have constant glaring, and occasional dirty looks, while having every single sentence they speak insult the other person/koala. Preferably a variety of insults and not the same ones over and over again.

Of course, the koalas do start insulting each other. But only after they each pull out their own piece of chalk (while growling) so they can each draw one half of a line dividing the pet shop in half (while growling).

See, they can work together.

And the reason they drew this line is because they each intend to draw one particular half of the main cast onto their side. Insisting that these animals, whom they never met before, don’t socialize with anyone on the other side of the line.

Yep, that’s the natural response. Laughter, before explaining that they’re not part of your goddamn feud, and you’re not going to drag them into it!

“This is serious!” – Two Koalas

No it’s not, it’s a massive joke, you just happen to be the butt of it.

But they actually end up getting dragged into this horse shit! And I’m honestly not sure how! I mean, it starts with Whiskers intimidating Russell, which naturally works because it’s fucking Russell. But then Whiskers says that Sunil, Pepper and Penny “have chosen to follow a koala who is a devious criminal mastermind.” Now, this is three kinds of bullshit, and Russell should’ve picked up on at least two of them. First of all, they chose nothing, they were just on that side of the room when the two shit-stirrers arrived; and secondly, what makes anyone think that these koalas are leading anyone!? They just arrived, and suddenly they’re in charge!? Bullshit!!!

The third one isn’t revealed until later in the episode.

But no one calls them out, and the entire group gets sucked in!

This makes no sense!

But eventually, Sunil and Vinnie (of all pets) start to clue in that this in not on, which is revealed through a joint fantasy sequence set on the moon for some reason.

Also, if they were talking in reality, I think the two koalas would throw a fit. So how they were even able to communicate is beyond me. I’m guessing their friendship is so strong they have some type of mental link or something.

Anyway they go to Blythe to help end this. And she opens by asking what caused the fight to begin with, but they don’t have an answer. And when the pets finally confront the idiots on this, they can’t give an answer either. Apparently, whatever caused the fight happened so long ago, or was so fucking minor, they forgot. They’re basing their feud on legitimately nothing. So, once they realize that, they decide to just end it.

Sadly, while they do this, they don’t admit that they’re both idiots!

Anyway, that whole plot-thread was pointless. But it does inspire Blythe to come up with a solution to the Brittany problem: She decides to get the Biskits to make up by reminding them of what brings them together: The fact that they both hate Blythe!

Do they? Because from what I remember, the writers devoted nearly half an episode to the idea that Whittany didn’t actually have a problem with Blythe, it was only Brittany that had something against her and Whittany just went along with it. And I’ve talked about this before: From what I can tell, they don’t actually hate her, they just don’t know how to be her friend.

But for the purposes of the episode, this little plot-thread works pretty well. Especially when you consider the Biskits’ shit memory and emotional immaturity. They just forget that they don’t actually hate Blythe.

Anyway… Blythe’s plan! She gets them together in ersatz-Central Park, and then stages a long slap-stick sequence which involves her appearing to lose control on a skateboard, before wiping out in a dumpster.

So the Biskits have a laugh at Blythe’s expense. But the point is, they do it together, and have finally made up.

And with that, the episode is over. Which means it’s time for a final verdict:

While this episode was by no means terrible, half of it was pretty pointless. The plotline in the pet shop, while thematically connected to Blythe’s plot thread, is stupid and irrelevant. It’s not made entirely clear why the main cast gets roped into the feud, or why the koalas even want them to be part of it. I guess they want the conflict to be validated, so they get others to agree with them over the other. But they don’t even explain why exactly they hate each other, they just say, ‘that guy’s an asshole,’ without giving further information! A few details should’ve cropped up at that stage. In fact, as the two of them started throwing insults at each other, it seems odd that they wouldn’t try to defend themselves. Instead they just sit there and take them. If the insults were vulgar, that might’ve made a bit of sense, mainly because there is no defence to a vulgar insult, only a counter-attack. But they weren’t vulgar. Mainly because this is a kid’s show, and that kind of language isn’t allowed.

And why exactly would the main cast of seven very close friends, suddenly turn against each other so vehemently!? Okay, there’s the bullshit lies that Whiskers and Sideburns start telling. But these two are complete strangers to them. Why would they trust a complete stranger over an old friend!?

The only thread that interests me here is the thread with the Biskits. They end up fighting over test marks.

I never thought of them as valuing intelligence in any way. I guess everyone values it to a certain extent, I mean no one likes to be called an idiot. Still, the fact that this is what causes their schism is kinda interesting. I mean, I’ve always said Whittany was the smart one, and I think it’s great that the show confirmed it. I guess the fact that Brittany scored higher caused Whittany to feel threatened of losing the one thing that made her unique (or at least separate from her sister): her intelligence. Which is why she reacted the way she did. And this is something I’d like to see more of: plot threads covering the differences between these two characters, because it’s not really done that often. Most of the time, they act like one entity, which isn’t on. So let’s clarify: Whittany’s the smart one, Brittany’s the nice one. Yes, neither of them are very smart, or very nice, I’m talking relatively here.

So yes, one thread, interesting; the other thread, ridiculously contrived. That pretty much sums up the episode. And I guess, after all that, there’s nothing left to talk about, save for that one ending scene that’s too stupid for me to care about.

I said we’re done!


One response to “It’s a Pet Shop Blitz: “Feud for Thought” review

  1. Yeah – Not gonna lie – I outright hated this one. Easily the worst in the series, IMHO – but still, good and insightful review from you as always.

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