Thursday, September 3, 2009

T-Bag and the Pearls Of Wisdom: Pilot

Woot, there are embeddable YouTube videos! The sound quality is appalling, but since it's a miracle that someone actually shared this episode with the modern world, I'm not going to be too picky. Plus, this is the very first episode, so I don't have to waste time giving you any sort of back-story.

Sally Simpkins, dressed in the cute pink overalls I remember oh-so-well, walks into the game shop where T-Shirt works and asks him if she wants to hang out with her. Um, doesn't she remember that he's T-Bag's right-hand man? I know he's got some good in him, but I wouldn't exactly be seeking him out for a playdate. T-Shirt says that he can't; he's too busy working. While helping him clear a bunch of stuff off the table, Sally finds a magical board game called the Pearls of Wisdom. She decides that the best thing to do when dealing with a crazy, life-of-its-own board game is to roll the dice -- and surprise surprise, they come up with three Ts. (Not an easy feat when playing craps, let me tell you.) With the aid of some truly craptacular special effects, Sally is teleported into the board game! Oh noes!

Sally is now at a harbour of some sort, when the friendly Captain Cockle happens by. He says to her, "Ooh, you'll do, yes, you'll do nicely," and I'm sorry, but ew. Children, when a strange old man comes up to you and says anything like that, RUN. Don't think twice, just fucking run away before he drags you into his kidnap van. Sally, who apparently has never heard of stranger danger, sticks around as the captain offers her a peppermint. NO! Sally, this man is sizing you up, saying that "you'll do", and luring you with candy! Don't take it! Get the fuck out of there!

Captain Cockle goes on and on about the seven seas and whatnot, and perhaps it's the crappy sound quality, but I don't understand a word he's saying. Neither does Sally, but not even this guy's crazy babbling gets her to leave the scene immediately. Captain Cockle tells her that the world has gone topsy-turvy, and Sally actually enquires as to what he's talking about. I wonder if she does this with every pamphlet-toting, soul-saving Jesus freak she comes across on the streets. Oh, and Captain Cockle knows her name. STALKER!! I know he's a good guy and everything, but this isn't really giving kids the right message, if you know what I mean.

The Captain begins to tell Sally what happened to him last night -- apparently, he was in town when he saw a woman looking lost. Because he's a skeevy old man, he decides he's going to, uh, help her on her way. The woman says she's looking for somewhere to stay, and he tells her she can stay with him. Of course he bloody well does. After he offers her a cup of tea, the mystery woman finally accepts. Get it? Tea? I think we all know how this is going to turn out.

In the lighthouse (where Captain Cockle lives), the Captain is going on and on about his old sailing stories, and the lady is bored stupid. Then he randomly pulls out a pot plant from a trunk. Um, right. How it manages to stay alive inside a trunk is a miracle. The lady is hypnotised by this biology-defying pot plant, and Captain Cockle is so worried, he goes to fetch a doctor, leaving this crazy lady alone inside his house. Why is everyone in kids' TV shows so damn trusting?

The woman throws Captain Cockle's trust right back in his bearded face, because she locks him out of the lighthouse. Apparently he spent the night roaming the streets, until he came upon Sally. Wow, that's sad, and I suppose a much better stranger danger warning. He offers her a peppermint again. I wonder if they'll come in handy later on, say, in the final episode when he needs something that looks like the pearls to trick T-Bag into thinking he destroyed them? Only time will tell.

Sally asks Captain Cockle what sort of plant it was that made the mystery lady all crazy-like, and he says it was a T-plant. Sally's like, "Holy shit, T-Bag's back!"

Back at the shop, T-Shirt returns to see that Sally's gone missing, and the board game is now laid out on the table. He's like, "Oh, crap."

In the lighthouse, T-Bag is fondling her T-plant (it's really the only way to put it), calling it her "evil weed." Whenever she touches it, we cut back to T-Shirt in the shop, and eventually he disappears and teleports in the lighthouse. T-Shirt breaks into a random confession whereby he tells this insane lady that he went to some sort of T-academy before working for T-Bag. (As in Tallulah.) The new T-Bag's like, "She's my sister, now tell me more about this plant." T-Shirt tells her that the plant is magical, but won't say any more because he remembers how EVIL Tallulah Bag was. Tabatha tells him that Tallulah disgraced the whole Bag family by being so EVIL, and if only there were a way she could right all of Tallulah's EVIL wrongs. Don't fall for it, T-Shirt! It's a trick!

T-Shirt's like, "No way, bitch, I'm not falling for that one," and T-Bag convinces him by saying (and I quote), "Oh please, I'm GOOD!" Ohh, you're good, you say? Well then sure, I don't see why not. Have some magical tea. Of course, the second she drinks it, her clothes change into that EVIL burnt-orange ballgown thing she wears. See, T-Shirt, this is what you get for being an easily-led dumb shit.

T-Shirt realises what a terrible mistake he’s made, and tries to leave, but she magics him into staying. And whose fault is that, T-Shirt, huh? The boy appears to be under some sort of trance, and T-Bag's orgasming over her brand new powers. Which, you know, is a fair enough reaction. I'd be pretty jazzed too if I could control anything and everything by simply pointing my finger. I wouldn't have to go all the way to the kitchen to get some chips, for one.

T-Bag and I apparently think alike (she's kind-of win, so I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing), because she decides she'll use her new powers to conjure up some cake. Instead, she gets a snake. Okay, T-Bag, I daresay those powers of yours need a bit more honing. T-Shirt tells her to "think it away," and when she tries to, she accidentally thinks T-Shirt away. Good. He's not exactly useful, now is he?

Sally has just finished telling Captain Cockle all about the horror that was Tallulah Bag, and he's freaking out slightly. Suddenly, T-Shirt appears out of nowhere and scares the shit out of them both. Hee! Sally calls him Thomas, and he replies, "I'm T-Shirt, loyal tea caddy to Her Majesty." Hmm, I need to get me one of those. He yells out (hoping T-Bag can hear him) to "beam me up, Scotty." Because who doesn't love a Star Trek reference when they're three years old? Sally admits that they're all in big, big trouble.

T-Bag finally gets rid of the snake, and gets her cake. Yay for T-Bag! Then she gives T-Shirt some of her magic. Um, for what fucking reason, T-Bag? T-Shirt seems to be borderline retarded, and you're going to make him superhuman? Bravo for logic!

Sally tells Captain Cockle that if T-Bag is as powerful as her sister, then the world is her oyster. Captain Cockle clicks. (Fun with alliteration!) Before he can fill us in on his brainwave, T-Bag appears before them. (Her teleportation skills still need a little work.) She calls Captain Cockle the "bore of the century" and then demands to know who Sally is. Sally says, "you'll find out soon enough." Say what you want about Sally, but bitch has got an attitude and a half.

Sally mentions that she knows Tallulah. The current T-Bag grandly says, "she was my sister," and Sally awesomely snarks back, "well she had a habit of bossing people around," mocking the way T-Bag talks. Damn, this girl has some huge cahones. I would so not be talking like that to an insane woman who just appeared from thin air. (Still eating her cake.) Captain Cockle asks T-Bag to at least give him his stuff back, and she conjures it up. Which is kind-of nice of her. Good work with the evilness there, T-Bag. I’m quaking in my boots.

When T-Bag leaves, Captain Cockle goes to his trunk and takes out a little bag of something. (The cynic in me thinks it's drugs, but the three-year-old in me remembers that it's the pearls.) He gives Sally a clock-type thing with nine little round holes where the pearls sit. He doesn't tell her a whole lot, which is kind-of baffling, considering. Plus, what was the purpose of him knowing her name before if he didn't know anything else about the situation? What an odd show.

T-Bag returns to her new T-room, and uses her magic to add in some new furniture. T-Shirt says they ought to do the "saucer trick", which is where she uses the saucer to see what Sally's up to. Good work, T-Shirt, you braindead little traitor. She sees that Sally and Captain Cockle are trying to put the pearls onto the clock thing. T-Shirt's like, "What are they doing?" and T-Bag doesn't care. Way to be an evil genius, T-Bag. It's actually T-Shirt who insists that they get down there. I can't believe fucking T-Shirt is the brains behind this operation. What is the world coming to?

Captain Cockle finally does some explaining. He says that once all nine pearls are in place, "the light of wisdom will shine out of the north, the south, the east and the west," and all the evil in the world will go kablooey. Man, if I had that kind of crap in my possession...let's just say I can think of seven ways to abuse that power just off the top of my head. Sally tells him to hurry up and put the last pearl in place, but of course, T-Bag and T-Shirt arrive to spoil the party.

Captain Cockle manages to put the last pearl in place, and T-Bag starts to fade. Ah, early nineties special effects. Of course, since this is only the first episode, there's no way we can destroy our villain already! T-Bag manages to grab the last pearl, but it burns her. Oh noes! T-Bag uses her magic to make all but one pearl disappear, and she's like, "Eh, that's enough evil for one day" and buggers off home. Captain Cockle rejoices in the fact that they have at least one pearl, but Sally laments that the others have been destroyed. The Captain's like, "Nuh-uh, you can't destroy the pearls of wisdom!" Sally realises that it's her job to find them all, like always. She acts like this is a big huge chore. Look Sally, save humanity or don't save humanity, just don't fucking bitch about it.

T-Bag's watching the whole thing unfold on her magic saucer, vowing that Sally aka "Miss Perfect Pants" will not have an easy time getting those pearls. It's a good enough threat, but I don't know if overalls can be classified as pants. End of episode.

Ohh, I totally remember the previews at the end! Allow me to give you a word-for-word transcript of what the narrator says, because it's just to deliciously lame:

"In the next episode, Sally travels west to find the next missing pearl."
(Or perhaps the first missing pearl, Narrator?)

"Will T-Bag get her hands on it first?"
(Hmm, I'm gonna go with 'no'.)

"Is Sally really a bank robber?"
(Again, 'no' seems like the right answer here.)

"And who is the mysterious stranger who rides into town?"
(Well, uh, it sure looks a helluva lot like T-Shirt. Mystery solved.)

Wow, that was so not as exciting as my three-year-old self remembers. How is it possible that this was my favourite show? Kids really are like little crack addicts.

In the next crack-like post, we take a trip to everyone's favourite street...Sesame Street!

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