We’re in the homestretch now, folks, and guess what? The last twenty weeks (or thereabouts)? Just a dream…MAYBE. “Interviews clogged her brain”…no, that was all the grit settling in your head while you slept, dingus.
The “it was all just a dream” trope is possible the hoariest, moldiest trope of them all, and if it was anyone else, I’d wonder how the writer in question could possibly live with the shame of having resorted to using it. But this is BatHam we’re talking about here, so, you know.
Great Moments In FW Arc Recap History
August 3-10, 2008
Summer apparently turns sixteen, attends a party at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit where she spent the first weeks of her life, and watches a video made by Lisa. She learns about the horrors of cancer, PSA screening, and teen pregnancy in one take.
I don’t hate Summer based on recent history, oh my heavens no. It goes way, way back. I don’t even remember the one noted above, but they were all more or less like that. BatYam saw Summer as being the “anti-Les” as a teen…good at sports, confident, gritty…but with her mother’s wisdom and beatific insight, too. Very much like Lisa, but different than Les in every way. And it was pretty much the whole gag.
In a way, Summer is the perfect microcosm of Act III itself. He developed a premise with all kinds of possibilities…the Anti-Les with a heaping side of Lisa…then went absolutely nowhere with it. By the end of her early Act III run, she was a bland basketball nerd who’d mention Lisa a few times a year, and very little else. As always, the premise was just too ambitious for him, and he quietly let it die. After she appeared in 2013’s legendary Frankie bio-son date rape arc, she was barely even a background character until she reappeared this year. It’s almost like he suddenly remembered her, felt guilty, and wanted to make up for lost time. Lucky us.
Link To Today’s Banality
I’ve often joked that if BatYak’s glacially-paced little “stories” moved any slower they’d start unfolding backwards, but I never thought it’d actually happen. But here we are, witnesses to his most brazen labor-saving contrivance yet…starting already in-progress arcs from the beginning again. He just did it with the Bull arc and now he’s doing it again by pretending that Melinda is just arriving at Funky’s house now, even though we all know this not to be the case. This isn’t just another nit-picky continuity error, he’s omitting entire story lines and just starting them over again like they never happened, which sort of defeats the entire “serialized” format itself.
I did enjoy the askew lampshade, traditionally used to symbolize disorganization/squalor/disarray and/or askewicity. It’s a delightful little touch, one that really drives home the point of how Melinda is unpacking and moving in after just arriving from Florida. It’s unusual to see such attention to detail in a story that just totally ignored literally every other detail. Melinda’s brutally downbeat response to Funky’s musty old attempted gag is classic Batiuk too, as having her crack a smile might be construed as a development in their vaudevillian mother-in-law/son-in-law relationship and God forbid he lets any character growth slip through quality control, as it could invalidate his CK contract and force him into the book signing circuit full-time. And no one wants that.
Since Batiuk went dialogue free in today’s strip (the better to further pad out this dreary story arc), I’ll be only slightly less lazy than he and just contribute a few lines of my own.
“Consarn it, here’s my joy buzzer! Wanted to use it on that actor feller!”
“Hope to God the cyanide table hidden inside will still do the job after all these years…”
“A crummy commercial? Son of a bitch!”
by HAnzMFG |
April 7, 2016 · 10:37 pm
HAnzMFG here, looking at today’s strip, and wondering: Does Tom Batiuk ever actually read aloud what he writes for dialog? Does it really count as a pun if you just slowly spell out a homophone? If an inoffensive “joke” is uttered in an old guy’s apartment and nobody smirks at it, was it even told?
Alas, we don’t even know if the cops have been called. Cindy happily introduces herself as if nothing’s unusual about harassing and entering an old man’s apartment via window after initially being denied entry at the front door.
But thank you, Cindy, for at last cutting to the chase, and sparing the long story of Buddyblogs and fading beauty and absurd discriminatory workplace firings. We’re here for what’s really important: the story of an old B-movie actor, who is possibly going to be press-ganged into Stan Lee-ing in an equally bad remake. Excelsior!