Joe Superstar

superstar

Season 3, Episode 11

Fall is fast approaching and if I’m to capitalize on the invigorating chill in the air and maybe, I don’t know, find a job or something, then I need to finish this project upon which I so impetuously embarked way back in April.  That means three more episode summaries to finish up Season 3 and a brief synopsis of the major events that occur in the god-awful, shark-jumping fourth season.  We’re in the homestretch now, so let’s waste no further time (and wipe that grin off yer face, Mole, you know damn well you’re gonna miss these comfortingly apolitical visits to Hillside High).

We open at The Avalon where things get weird right oot of the gate, as Who Farted approaches Jake who’s busy studying at a booth.  To my recollection, these two haven’t exchanged a single word up to this point, so let’s see what the fuck this is all aboot.

WF:  Hi, Jake.

Jake:  Oh, hi.

WF:  Homework for breakfast?

Jake:  Right.  Eat your biology, it’s good for you.  I should have finished yesterday but I kinda ran oot of weekend.  If only there wasn’t so much other stuff to do — you know, watching ball games, hanging oot at the mall.  Anyways, I’ve still got 15 minutes.

I guess now we know why they hadn’t exchanged a single word up to this point.  It turns oot that Who Farted is trying to pry some verbalized jealousy oot of Jake aboot Matt and Courtney’s PDA at Dylan’s concert, a rare solo gossip-gathering mission.  Brooke’s friendship may be a thing of the past, but I guess old habits die hard.  Of course, this attempt to shake some drama from Hillside’s resident Zen master is a bust, right down to having to weather a mild scolding for acting like “Catherine”, a character in Courtney’s stupid play that apparently bears striking similarities to Brooke.  I wonder if John Binkley ever considered suing Jerry Seinfeld for the blatant theft of his intellectual property when the most celebrated sitcom of the 90s introduced the plot of a TV show that was nearly identical to the TV show it inhabited.  Anyway, the fact that Headband created a character based on Brooke seems to excite Who Farted just as much as if Jake had broken down crying over Courtney’s new relationship with Matt.

excited

Good Lord.  In the student lounge, Dave is practicing his lines with Courtney.  Imagine the most wooden, emotionless actor on earth performing a scene wherein he needs to somehow act like a significantly more wooden and emotionless actor, and you’ll have some idea of why I am at this moment cursing cruel fate for the fact that I have an electric oven.  After delivering the same line several times with all the emotive gusto of Stephen Hawking, he throws up his hands and sighs, “I can’t do this!” while Headband compliments and encourages him, incredibly managing to keep a straight face.  She tells him that “nobody expects you to be Mel Gibson or anything,” and now I’m starting to wonder who on Fifteen’s writing staff was so obsessed with Australia’s aging anti-Semitic hunk.  For a show that makes relatively few pop cultural references, they sure do name drop Mel an awful lot.

Emerging from the girls’ locker room, Brooke walks past the table of two kids that are gushing aboot how great Dylan’s concert was.  Naturally, she can’t resist nosing into their conversation and tendering her less than flattering opinion of his performance, but the girls just ignore her as they get up to go to class.  Of course, this little display of public humiliation causes the dreaded Roxanne to just fucking materialize oot of thin air carrying a rucksack of insult to add to Brooke’s injury.

Roxanne:  Was it something you said?

Brooke:  Beg pardon?

Roxanne:  Don’t worry – they’ll all start paying more attention once they find oot you’re a star.

Brooke:  Roxanne, you’re making even less sense than usual.

Roxanne:  Haven’t you heard?  You’re gonna be famous!

Brooke:  What are you babbling aboot?

Roxanne:  Courtney’s play.  Apparently, there’s this character – her name’s Catherine.

Brooke:  Why should I care?

Roxanne: ‘Cause the character’s patterned after you!

Brooke:  What?

Roxanne:  That’s what I hear.  A hypocritical, mean spirited witch.  Should be lots of fun!

Okay, so in the last episode, Matt told Courtney he thought Dave would be good for the part of the brother since the character is shy.  Now we find oot that Roxanne also has significant advance knowledge of Headband’s theatrical debut.  What the fuck?  Did Courtney post the fucking script on the bulletin board next to Arseman’s vivisection poster?  And even if she did, don’t these little douchebags have anything better to talk aboot?  I’m starting to gain enormous respect for Deadpool’s terroristic approach to these insufferable retards.

Ah, finally something into which we can satisfyingly sink our teeth.  Courtney is at her locker when Ashley breezes by, trying to avoid eye contact.

Courtney:  Hey!  I’ve been looking all over for you!

Ashley:  courtney.  hi.

Courtney:  Where have you been?

Ashley:  oh, i just had…something to do this morning.

Courtney:  And all weekend?  I called you a few times.  I even left messages, but you never called me back.

Ashley:  i was pretty tied up…down at the public library, studying.

Courtney:  Well, why didn’t you let me know?  I would have come with you.

Ashley:  i didn’t want you to.  i mean…it was all really boring.  i just figured you had better things to do.

Courtney:  Listen, um, aboot Friday night…the concert.  Look, I’m really sorry if I didn’t get much of a chance to talk to you – I guess I was just sort of wrapped up in, you know, the excitement, the music—

Ashley:  —matt.  yeah, the concert was great.  i’ll see you later.

Courtney:  Sure.  Um, how aboot we meet at lunch or something?

Ashley:  actually, i’ve got a lot of homework to finish.

Courtney:  Well, what aboot after school, then?

Ashley:  i don’t know.  maybe.  see ya.

Jesus, for a girl who tries so hard to be inscrutable, Pinky sure does work oot of the exact same playbook every time she feels betrayed by Shit Drapes.  I feel like we’ve watched this scene before.  More than once.  Whisperina wafts off to class but when Courtney turns around, she finds herself face to face with a stone-faced Brooke who proceeds to rip her a new one for writing a familiarly one-dimensional bitch into her play.

Brooke:  This is slander with malicious intent!  I could sue you!

slander

Courtney reacts with the obligatory paraphrased disclaimer that any similarities between characters in her play and real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

In the boys’ locker room, Matt and Jake spend a few minutes illustrating why guys are infinitely better than gals at dealing with the fact that exes move on.  I’m not so sure this applies IRL, but as a TV trope, it’s unquestionable.  In keeping with this time-tested stereotype, Jake selflessly expresses concern aboot how Ashley might have felt upon witnessing their public smoochery at the concert, but Matt assures him that Ashley has no interest in him whatsoever.

In the student lounge, Courtney, Dave, Arseman, Jake and the as-yet-unnamed Russ are clearing furniture oot of the way to facilitate a rehearsal of Headband’s play.  As Courtney symbolically mounts the director’s chair, Arseman and Dave proceed to compete over who can deliver their ham-fisted dialogue more robotically.  It’s a stalemate.  I really don’t possess the requisite lexical aplomb to make you understand how torturously bad this is.  If John Binkley consciously set oot to find the most terrible actors in Vancouver to play the most terrible actors at the fictional Hillside High, then color me impressed.  Courtney yells “cut!” and directs Arseman to stop holding back and fully embrace her role as “a real witch” before instructing them to start again from the top.  For some fucking reason known only to Binkley and God, Arseman’s interpretation of this constructive criticism is to resume speaking her lines in an emotionless monotone, but this time with a British accent.  Luckily, she doesn’t get very far before Brooke storms into the lounge and threatens legal action over the inclusion of the slanderous Catherine character in Courtney’s play.  Oddly enough, she manages to do so quite viscerally withoot the slightest hint of a British accent.

rehearsal

Ashley enters The Avalon and sees Matt sitting alone at a table.  She stands in the middle of the café wringing her hands like an idiot until Matt finally calls oot to her.  Drinky Crow tries to make friendly small talk with his ex, but it’s immediately clear that she’s in full-on bitch mode.  Amazingly, Matt’s too stupid to put two and two together and ascertain the obvious source of the enormous stick up her petite derriere, but Ashley The Inscrutable certainly isn’t going to shed any light on what’s troubling her, at least not until she’s had her fill of being mysteriously moody for several more days.

Jake storms up to Brooke at her locker and reams her oot for the scene she made during the rehearsal.  They yell at each other for a spell, until Brooke’s lip begins to quiver as she looks Jake in the eye and asks with seeming sincerity, “What is it aboot me?!  What did I do to make you all think I’m so awful?  I’m not a horrible person, you know.”

jake puzzled

Dylan enters the school carrying his guitar and is immediately set upon by Arseman and a gaggle of unknown kids showering him with effusive praise for his shitty performance at The Avalon.  Some girl in glasses with ludicrously oversized frames tells him that he “looked like Bono”, to which Leather Jacket replies, “Sonny Bono?”  Hm.  Maybe Chris really did have a point aboot the need to drag his former band mate into the nineties.  Extricating himself from the crowd, Dylan walks over to a table with Arseman as Chris lingers behind them at the lockers.  He asks Sassy Pants for her honest opinion aboot his concert and she obliges with the vaguest musical critique ever tendered just as Chris strolls up to the table.

Chris:  Look at this – Joe Superstar.  Next stop, MTV.

Christ At The Cracker Barrel, somebody really needs to teach these morons how to talk trash.

Have you ever had a festering sore that you just couldn’t stop obsessively picking at, no matter how grotesque the ensuing wound might prove to be?  Courtney sees Ashley doing homework in the lounge and makes her second attempt at friendly conversation with her bestie that somehow goes off the rails even quicker than the first.

bitch ashley

Courtney:  Hey!  What are you doing here?

Ashley:  homework.  i just figured it would be a good place…you know, no interruptions.

Courtney:  Sorry.  Look, um, how aboot you tell me what’s wrong?

Ashley:  nothing’s wrong.

Courtney:  Well, then, how come you’ve been avoiding me ever since Friday night?

Ashley:  i’ve just been busy…and friday night has nothing to do with it.  (painfully pregnant pause)  alright.  it’s true.  i just couldn’t stand it.

Courtney:  What do you mean?

Ashley:  seeing you and matt together.

Courtney:  What?!  But you said that—

Ashley: –i know what i said.  i said i didn’t care aboot him anymore.  when i saw the two of you together, i just knew that wasn’t true.

Courtney:  Oh, no, don’t tell me this!

Ashley:  i know it isn’t fair.  i know i’ve got no right to feel this way…but i just can’t deal with it!

Wrong, Ashley.  You have every right to feel that way, you’re just a horrible shrew for making such a public display of it.  There’s a difference.

Courtney bounds down the stairs and finds Matt loitering at his locker.  As they greet one another, Matt affectionately caresses her shoulder causing her to shrink from his touch like he has leprosy.  Unfazed, he asks her if they’re still on for their planned trip to the mall to “admire the CD players and fantasize aboot having enough money to buy one”.  FOR THE THIRD FUCKING TIME THIS SEMESTER, Headband drops the unexpected bombshell on Drinky Crow that “This just isn’t gonna work.  Us.  You and me going oot together.”  By way of an explanation, she lies that it’s too soon after breaking up with Jake to start dating anyone else before tearing up and fleeing his presence.  Hey, Matt, remember this Big Book gem from your time in rehab? “If we were to live, we had to be free of anger.”  Should you experience a moment of clarity and realize that Bill W. was a charlatan withoot any logical approach to the problem of alcoholism whatsoever, I understand Deadpool’s eager to buy you a beer.  I heard him say so.  I’d take him up on it, if I were you.

Chris is playing pinball at The Avalon when Arseman approaches.  They proceed to snipe at each other for a while before Arseman turns to leave.

Chris:  Hang on.  When me and Roxanne get our band together, then you’ll hear some music.  We’re gonna blow Dylan right oot of the water!

Arseman:  I’ll tell him you said so.

Chris:  And you can tell him something else, while you’re at it.  Tell him to enjoy the glory while it lasts.

Arseman:  Meaning what?

Chris:  Well, we’re talking aboot Dylan, right?  He’ll find a way to mess it all up.  He always does.

chris pinball

Later at the Avalon counter, Matt is filling Jake in on having been dumped by Headband yet again. Although I get the impression that there’s some pretty priceless stuff in their dialogue, I can’t linger on this scene long enough to get the full gist of it because the dueling stripes on the shirts they’re wearing are literally giving me vertigo.

stripes

I know this has been a long one, but good things come to those who wait, my friends.  Dave is getting books from his locker when Deadpool rounds the corner.

billy threat

Billy:  There you are!  I figured you’d drop by after basketball practice, so I thought I’d drop by, too…just to say hi.

Dave:  Hi.

Billy:  So, I hear you’re the big actor now.  Wanna be a star, Dave?

Dave:  Guess I’m giving it a shot.

Dave starts to walk away, but Billy blocks his path.

Dave:  Listen, you want something?

Billy:  Yeah.  I want you to disappear.  You get in my way!

Dave:  Give me a break!

Dave desperately tries to flee the scene, but Deadpool positions himself to prevent him from leaving each time.

Dave:  Knock it off, Billy, I don’t want any trouble!

Billy:  Yeah, well, you got it now!  You’ve got big trouble.  LET’S GO!!

Dave:  We don’t have anything to fight aboot.

Billy:  Yeah?  What aboot this?

He gives Dave a shove, knocking him back a few feet.

Billy:  Come on!  You chicken or something?

Dave:  What’s your problem?!

Deadpool slams him into the lockers and in a mocking baby voice asks, “You wanna run home to Mommy?”

Dave:  No!

Billy:  LET’S GO!!!

He pushes Dave hard enough for all the books to fall oot of his hands and puts up his fists.

Dave:  Go ahead, hit me!  Maybe that will make you feel like a really big man!

Deadpool kicks Dave’s textbooks across the floor and splits, leaving his quiver-lipped prey to stare after him in shock.

billy mad

At Dylan’s garage, Leather Jacket is suffering through another of Ashley’s “be cool, stay in school” lectures.  I’m guessing this one is a little less irritating to endure than the others, since after he waits it oot, he nonchalantly informs her that he dropped oot of school this afternoon.

Courtney is sitting alone at The Avalon when Jake storms up to her booth and demands to know what’s going on with Matt.  Apparently, Jake’s pretty pissed off that she used him as her excuse to kick Drinky Crow to the curb, so Headband admits that she lied and tells him that the real reason she broke up with Matt is Ashley.  Black Eye’s not having any of her shit today.

Jake:  So this is all aboot Ashley’s feelings and your feelings.  Well, let me ask you something – what aboot Matt’s feelings?  The guy gets oot of detox, he’s trying to put his life back together, and you jerk him around in circles to protect other people’s feelings?  Well, what aboot Matt’s feelings, Courtney?  Why not try thinking aboot him for a change?!

jake mad

Hell, yeah.  Sleep on that, Shit Drapes.  You know something?  Jake’s alright.  He may even have just risen as high in my esteem as Janice and she was the best thing that ever happened to Hillside.  I wonder how she’s doing.  I miss Janice.  If you’re waiting for a closing joke to tie that all together, I’m sorry to disappoint you but I’m too busy getting misty-eyed over Janice to engage in any further tomfoolery today.

3 thoughts on “Joe Superstar

    1. Drinky Crow was a short lived cartoon on Adult Swim aboot an alcoholic crow. And it’s even better than 3 + 1 and done. I posted episode 12 yesterday, so it’s one more season 3 episode, one self-contained summary of season 4 in its entirety, and probably a final farewell post with links to all 39 episodes in chronological order for those who may come late to the party. But unlike previous blogs of mine, this one will never disappear from the internet. It’s my gift to humanity and my legacy.

      Liked by 1 person

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