Hello, Spongey here.
We’re continuing my TV crusade, and we’ve got another interesting one. It’s…another episode from Dog with a Blog. Yep, we’re visiting Stan for a 3rd time. I wouldn’t do this if these episodes didn’t mostly deserve it.
Though to be honest, I shouldn’t have done Stan Stops Talking. Should have saved it for another time, that will be revealed in due time.
I certainly didn’t expect to talk about this show more than once, but then again, it is a show full of surprises. It has the dumbest title and concept ever, yet it had a few episodes that are kind of complex and emotional.
Yeah, if you didn’t read the Stan Stops Talking review …that seriously happened.
This Disney Sitcom is still stupid, as per usual, but it really is more than meets the eye. But of course, we’re not here to praise it. See, you may remember my review of the episode Freaky Fido. It was…mediocre to say the least, with mean humor and a bad moral.
I’ve found another…not so good episode. Yeah, usually I won’t go after 2 bad episodes of a show if I’ve done the example episode, but I really wanted to get into this one. It fails in a very different way than that one, and it really deserved a review.
Here’s the main reason. Typically is a bad episode has two plots, one of them will be decent. Review It Up is a good example and some of other targets do this as well. But today’s target….is not an example.
Both plots kind of suck and that’s why I’m reviewing this one. If just one of these weak plots existed, I could let it slide but with two bad plots, it needed a review. Not to mention that one plot is…incredibly baffling, even more so than Freaky Fido.
Before we began, I need to set the stage a bit. This episode is part of a story arc, and it’s actually part 1 of the conclusion. You might recall from my Freaky Fido review how I talked about Nikki. She was some girl like Tyler liked and while she was fine with him at the end of he debut, she randomly hated him in Freaky Fido for some reason.
And that’s part of the problem with this episode, or at least it’s follow up. Later on, Tyler started dating a girl name Emily, who is quite a bit like him being a skater girl who he shares more in common with then Nikki.
I quite liked them as a couple, more so than Nikki. But of course, her presence means we needed a love triangle plot. But hey, that’s fine. As annoying as those plots can be, maybe they can can pull it off well.
Or maybe they can create a perfect example of how not to do this storyline. …Let’s just get into it.
This, is Love Ty-Angle
Writer: Micheal B Kaplan
He’s one of the creators of the show. Make that of what you will.
The episode starts in the kitchen as Ellen (the Mom) presents a Cat to Bennet, the Dad. She’s cat sitting for a friend and since they have a dog, I’m sure this will turn our well. Avery comes in and points this out, but Mom says there is nothing to worry about.
By the way, this is the subplot. Yeah, I guess the main plot was a tad too heavy to open the episode on.
Avery points out the last time Stan met a cat, and after a Family Guy cutaway, they all get worried and decide that Stan can’t know about the cat. After the intro , we see Tyler and Emily hanging out and being pretty pleasant.
Naturally, Nikki comes in at this moment to drop something off, and intrude on their fun. Of course, she acts nonchalant but it’s obvious she disapproves of this girl. Yes, most of the episode is made up of it, like in most Love Triangle plots.
I’m just questioning how she suddenly likes him again. Avery notices this and takes her aside.
“I think I like Tyler”
“But Tyler’s been chasing you for years, and you were never interested…”
Her excuse is that now she Tyler isn’t chasing after her, she sees how “Great” he is. Here’s a line from Freaky Fido:
“That will change when you see me roll over and play dead”
“That might help”
I’m not buying this.
They just kind of drop this for some dumb Chloe joke, and we cut back to Tyler and Emily as Emily is catchy on to Nikki’s jealously. Tyler assures her that she has nothing to worry about, as Nikki was just the chick he went after dozens of times. That…doesn’t help.
“I don’t want you hanging out with Nikki anymore”
That’s …unreasonable for a mostly stable and okay character. Oh, but we’re talk about her at the end.
Not wanting to ruin their relationship, Tyler goes along with this. He talks about this with Avery and Stan and Avery says Tyler has to man up and gtell Nikki they can’t be friend. Guess how well that goes.
Now back to the subplot. Stan suspects something is off, and he sneaks around until he eventually catches the family petting the cat. He trips and he is caught…and then it just cuts to later without showing how they reacted to that. Whatever.
Speaking of reactions, Stan’s reaction to a cat being in the house is not exactly the best. Avery points out that this cat has done nothing, but Stan says that it’s just natural for Cats and Dogs to hate each other.
“It’s like the Red Rox and the Yankees!”
So yeah, this plot deals with Stan’s…cat racism.
We’ll…get into that mess later. For now, Stan tries to get the Cat out but, say it with me now, the cat came back. He even wakes to see that he slept with the cat.
…Not like that.
“How can something so wrong feel so right?’
Anyway, Tyler tells Nikki the news and while she takes it well, she tries to get him to dump Emily and maybe go out with her. It takes him awhile to catch on to her hint (He’s…the dumb one) and when he does, we get a quirky “cut to commercial” sting.
After the break, Stan freaks out about the fact that he might like a cat. He tells Avery about this just as Tyler breaks his news. It’s awkward for everyone. Stan is sort of pushed aside so Tyler can debate on who he wants to be with.
Oh yep, we’re doing that and …well I have words about how it ends. Tyler lists out the pros and cons of each
PROS: Things are great with Emily, Nikki’s the one he’s always wanted, Nikki is Nikki.
CONS: Nikki was never interested and maybe she’s just after him cuz hes is unavailable
Hmm…Interesting points. Keep all of this in mind, because it’ll be very important later.
He goes to Bennet and Ellen for help and of course they are of no help. Ellen is especially…um weird. After this semi Montage, Tyler calls a meeting to announce his choice. Well, that was fast.
Actually, he doesn’t say it not cuz he plans to tell the girl first. So he heads down to the park and picks…EMILY!
“I choose you”
…Insert obvious joke here.
But yeah, good choice! This episode is gonna end on a …yeah, something stupid happens.
‘You’re such a jerk”
“I can’t believe you were thinking about dumping me”
…But in the end he didn’t. That’s all that matters.”
“But I choose you”
“I thought everything was going so great between us”
“It was, that’s why I choose you. Nikki’s a dream girl, I don’t know if I can even trust her. What we have is real, it’s safe and comfortable”
“I don’t wanna be with someone who doesn’t think I’m his dream girl”
“Your being really cool about this-“
She threw a rose at you.
“That’s because I’m cool”
Then she leaves…never to be heard from again, in this episode or the series…as of this writing.
….I’m gonna be tone it done here because my full rant comes in after the next couple scenes. …But yeah, this is…um…let’s talk about it.
Words cannot describe how contrived this is. Now, I will be fair for a moment. Usually, I would actually praise a scene like this. This kind of situation typically ends with the girl going “yay” and crap like that. But instead they try something…realistic, for lack of a better word.
After all, in real life this pretty much means the boy isn’t really thinking about either girl really wants, and they are just prizes to be won. Emily kind of has a point….but it doesn’t work. Because the way it’s worded makes it painfully obvious the writers just didn’t want Tyler with Emily.
Oh, we’ll get into that in a sec though. Like I said, the full rant comes in a bit. And we’re not even done with either plot yet, so let’s go on the scene in the B plot where the …seams starts to show.
Since Stan is a cat lover now, he invites all the neighborhood cats over. Don’t ask he got them there, but instead ask how no one else noticed their cats leaving. Anyway, the cats are driving him crazy.
“Their entitled and think their better than everyone. It’s like living with a bunch of sorority girls”
Chloe sees all this and makes a comment.
“Today in school we learned that you have to judge people by who they are. Not by the color of their skin, or what country they come from”
…And they just dropped the bomb. Remember how in Wizards only Fools, I said I would looking too deeply if it wasn’t’ for that one line reference religion? This is the same thing. They pretty much compared Stan’s situation to racism, meaning this is what they were going for.
And how does Stan respond?
“You mean I can like one cat as an individual but I don’t have to like all cats as a group?’
I’m just going let that line sink in for you, and remind you that someone got paid to write that.
After a joke, we move onto the main plot, as Tyler decides that Nikki is his back up. Nikki doesn’t seem to have an issue with Tyler choosing her…but he she does an issue with her being the back up.
“You’re such a jerk”
Okay, this makes sense. I’m fine with this. I even like how this is kind of a downer ending….which has a happy ending in the next episode, but I’ll get to that. So yeah, Nikki leaves and now Tyler has no one.
“What do I do about Nikki?”
“Nikki’s the one you want”
…You picked Emily first but you actually want Nikki? Then why was she the backup?
“It’s always been Nikki”
That’s not quite the end of the plot yet. The final scene has Tyler going home and having this exchange with Dad:
“Hey, one piece of advice I forgot to give you yesterday. Make sure the girl you pick never knows that there was ever a doubt”
“Thanks, and watch out for that mailbox that hit you last week”
“It’s a little too late to be telling me that now”
I share that cuz it was actually pretty funny.
Okay A plot over, RANT TIME.
There are a number of problems with this ending overall, especially now that you know that Nikki is the one he (spoilers) ends up with and wants. Let’s think about it for a moment. Tyler has a lot in common with Emily and has some decent chemistry with her.
When it comes to Nikki, they have very little in common and like Tyler said, Nikki didn’t really seem to care about him until he was taken.
And he ends up with Nikki, and he claims it was always her even though he really has no reason to like her outside of her…being Nikki. The episode itself lists reason why Emily was better…and yet they still go with Nikki.
And the entire last in contrived to make it so he ends up going for Nikki. …YOU DON’T DO THAT. When writing a plot like this, you don’t just put him with someone he obviously has little in common with. And you especially don’t make the big scene contrived to make this happen.
The next episode basically wraps up this story by having Tyler make up with Nikki and the whole thing goes into how special they were…even though they only had like one episode with them acting okay to each other, ontop of all the other stuff I brought up.
Yeah, he has a girl he obviously has more in common with yet they latterly make up crap just to put him with the person the writers want him to be with, making the other girls existence pointless!
…Oh god, it hit me. This is…bad fanfiction. Yes, really. This is exactly the kind of crap you see in bad shipping fanfiction. And it’s in an actual TV show written by real writers who should know better!
…Yeah I don’t like this plot very much. But enough of THAT rant, how does the B plot, and the episode as a whole, end?
Ellen’s friend comes to pick up the cat and Stan is sad to see her go. He says goodbye in a a cheesy fasion and..the cat attacks him.
“Yeah, I hate cats”
Okay you know what? I’ll save the rant for the end, cuz it’s a doozy!
There’s so much wrong with this episode that it’s insane. As a viewing experience, it’s not too bad. It’s typical Dog with a blog stupidity that I can enjoy with a few good jokes here and there. But both plots have baffling endings that make this episode really…not good.
The main plot makes all the mistakes Love triangle plots tend to make, and the ending feels like bad fanction. It throws away logic just to put Tyler with the girl the writers want him to be with. I know I can’t expect great writing from a Disney Sitcom but writing this bad is never excusable.
Oh, and guess what? After this arc, Tyler and Nikki only appears together a couple of times…and in a recent episode they break up off screen.
Yes, so this entire crappy plot was POINTLESS!
I would calm down but now we have the B plot…which is even worse. It has a great set up, with Stan learning …not to be Racist, essentially. They even compare it to racism and put in that dumb line. But then they have all the cats, including Whiskers act like assholes, and it ends with Stan hating cats again.
In other words, the episode pretty much says Stan is racist…and lets him stay racist. …Those are some REAAAALY unfortunate implications. Actually, it’s not because they STATE that it’s like judging people based on skin color.
So yeah, the episode lets our main character be racist. I’m not saying it’s sending a bad moral, it’s just a horrific lack of oversight. But at least with the main plot, I can see how they thought that this worked. Here, I can’t see they thought that ending was a good idea. Dog with a blog isn’t exactly a learning show but if you’re gonna bring this subject up, you can’t do it this badly.
That’s all I got. We have a plot that feels like fanfiction, and a plot that has bad implications. Both plots had good intentions but got very muddled in the excection. It’s just as bad as Freaky Fido, just for having two plots with bad ending.
It’s weird that I got…pretty angry while writing this even though this one of the tamer things we are tackling. I don’t hate the writers or anything, they just…made a mistake to say the least.
…This episode sucks, good night.
What’s next for our TV quest? …Well, I can’t think of a good hint so…it’s Jessie. …This is going to be fun.