Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Recap: Another Round The Twist -- Toy Love

I was actually planning on recapping an episode of Barney the Dinosaur today, but YouTube seems to have, uh, lost it somehow. I don't get how, all I know is that I was watching the first part not long ago, and now it seems to have disappeared. I guess copyright laws strike again. Fuck you, justice system.

New readers, I suggest you catch up by glancing at any other Round the Twist material on this site. (Trust me, there's plenty.) Old readers, please remember that I used to ship Linda and James Gribble Jr. something fierce. Remember that? Do you? Huh? Well, this episode I'm recapping for you today is the episode where THEY GET TOGETHER. Well, kinda. There's a whole supernatural element to it, but they're totally in LUV.

(And by the way, this is the first episode I'm recapping with the new cast in it. Remember all those familiar faces from my previous screencaps? Forget them. They're dead to you now. This gang is way cooler, anyway.)

This episode begins with Bronson picking his nose. He's very into that at the moment, despite the fact that he's like ten years old, and do ten-year-olds still do that? Fay comes downstairs with a box of junk, and declares that they're going to have a big clean-out. Linda appears and reminds us that she's in love with total nerd-burger Anthony.

Backstory time: in previous episodes, Linda found a book called the Viking Book of Love. Every time someone reads a poem from the book out loud, the person they're reading to (or looking at) falls madly in love with them. Anthony read the book to Linda in the hopes of winning her favour last, and it worked a treat.

The kids go out to the front of the lighthouse to see what Fay's thrown out. A couple of Linda's old childhood dolls are sitting on top of the pile, including a Michael Jackson doll. You had better believe that Michael Jackson jokes ensue. (Example: Fay asks what happened to the doll's nose and chin, and Linda replies, "Fell off.") Tony picks up the other doll, a dirty-faced porcelain girl with a pull-string at the back, and reminisces about how annoying her "cuddle me" shriek was. Linda makes a throwaway comment about how she used to turn on her music box to make Veronique go to sleep. But alas, Veronique remains on top of the pile while Linda rescues her Michael doll. This is doll favouritism, folks, and as we'll soon discover, unloved dolls are much like unloved children -- they go batshit nuts. (That wasn't an intentional Michael Jackson joke, but I can see why you'd think that.)

Seriously. No jokes about this.

At school the next day, Gribbs is showing the Viking Book of Love to Tiger and Rabbit. I can't remember how he got the book, but you just know he's going to use it for shenanigans. Rabbit backs away and reminds us of a previous episode when he read a poem to Nell, and she fell in love with him. Tiger's response:

"It was such a beautiful thing -- you're 14, she's 110. She was so hot for
you, and still you wouldn't let her go the French kiss."

Above: proof that Tom Budge was the best Tiger in the history of the show. Rabbit tells Gribbs to be careful, and Gribbs tells him that he's not dumb enough to read one of the poems. I think he means again, because if memory serves, he read it into a mirror and fell in love with himself at one point. Anyway, he spies Linda and decides to make her his patsy. Dirrty! Gribbs, I would've been your patsy anyday.

In class, Mr. Snapper is rambling on about Shakespeare, and Gribbs speaks up and says that he uses way too many words. On account of him being a writer and everything. He tells Snapper that he's really into the Viking Book of Love right now (the identity of which is concealed using wrapping paper) and asks if Linda could read a poem or two out to the class. Of course she does, glaring at Gribbs the whole time, and Gribbs falls in love. Gribbs and Linda. In love! Twelve-year-old Lorelai nearly fell off her seat when she first saw this. Anyway, Snapper confiscates the book, and Gribbs tells her, "Let's not worry about possessions, now that we've found each other."

Back at the lighthouse, Fay and Linda are getting rid of more junk, when who should appear at the door but Gribbs! Linda tells him to get lost, and he thinks it's great that she's not into hoarding. Then he grabs a fake spider off the junk pile and nicks off. Dang, Gribbs, you hot thing. Linda will come around. You know she will.

We have a little music montage where all the Twists bring their junk back into the house. It seems they really are into hoarding after all, Gribbs. They eventually take everything in...except Veronique the unloved doll! She utters a creepy, "Cuddle me," just to let us know that bitch means business.

In the garage, Bronson is fixing a paper plane with the aid of super glue. On his finger. Which he then inserts into his nose in search of booger gold. Like you didn't know that was coming.

That night, Linda is fast asleep in bed next to her creepy Michael doll. Honestly, why are all of Linda's dolls so weird? The weirdest doll I ever had as a child was Shred, a handsome Ken figurine who became disfigured in a freak lawnmower accident. (Number two on my list of Ways Dad Wrecked My Childhood, just behind the incident where he taped over The Little Mermaid with a stupid soccer game.) Anyway, Linda's busy sharing her bed with Michael Jackson, and I'm busy not making jokes about this, when suddenly she hears, "Cuddle me!" Veronique is back, motherfuckers! Linda screams and screams, and when her family finally get their arses into her room, the doll is nowhere to be seen.

The next morning, Bronson comes downstairs with the neck of his jumper sitting just under his eyes, as though he's trying to conceal his nose area. Strange. Oh yeah, his finger's still jammed up there. Jesus, Bronson, see a doctor or something. Fay interrogates the family as to why they brought in all their "unwanted" crap, and when there's a knock at the door, they all jump up to get it. Holy day, it's Gribbs, ready to walk Linda to the bus stop! He's so thoughtful and gorgeous, in a fourteen-year-old kind of way. Linda obliges, because she's totally falling in love with him too.

You can see it in her eyes.

The whole gang is waiting for the bus at the bus stop, and when Linda pulls out her homework to give to Fiona, she finds Veronique in her backpack! Veronique the insane doll! Infiltrating backpacks! Bitch is one pathological toy. This is nightmare-inducing. This is probably how Sid felt in Toy Story when Woody did that spinning head thing and told him to play nice. Not so funny now, is it, kids? This shit happens to nice people, too, apparently, so you'd better start reminding your My Little Ponies how much you love them before they organise a stampede on your arses.

"We'll fuck your shit up."

Tiger and Rabbit give Linda shit for bringing her doll to school, and play a little bit of keepings-off. Gribbs spoils their fun and gives Veronique back to Linda, telling her that she doesn't need to be ashamed of her dolly. Linda maintains that she's not, but just in case, she runs over to the dumpster and throws Veronique in, yelling, "Leave me alone!" The bullies follow her, and Tiger and Rabbit laugh about how Linda's talking to her dolly. Linda runs off, Gribbs hot on her heels, and Tiger and Rabbit decide to fish around in the dumpster for Veronique. But if you think Veronique can't hold her own against two fourteen-year-old bullies, you're dead wrong -- she latches onto Rabbit's face like a crazed cat or something. It's...well, it's kind-of awesome, actually.

See? Awesome.

At home, Tony and Pete are making apple crumble in an attempt to coax Bronson out of his room. It works, and they realise that super glue + nose-picking = not a fun situation. At least Pete gets to do his David Attenborough impression by chronicalling the daily life of the "elephant man."

Linda goes up to her room and finds her Michael doll missing. She is apparently unhappy with this turn of events, if her screaming, "WHERE'S MY MICHAEL DOLL?!!!" is anything to go by. There is a knock on the door, and Linda, thinking it's Veronique, opens it and yells out, "I will not cuddle you!" Of course, it's Gribbs, complete with flowers and chocolate. (As if you couldn't get more appealing, Gribbsy Boy!) Gribbs is disheartened, but maintains that the two of them can work their way up to cuddling. Funny, too. Surely you can't blame adolescent Lorelai for being head-over-heels in love with this dude.

I still am a little bit.

Veronique takes this opportunity to rush in while the door's open. Crafty little doll. Linda's gone full-on crazy now, and this exchange happens:

Linda: Are you sure you didn't bring her back from the recycling bin?
Tony: Fay?
Gribbs: Is Fay getting recycled?
Linda: I bet she's upstairs.
Gribbs: When did she go upstairs?
Tony: I didn't even hear her come home.

Obviously that poses a serious question -- is a porcelain doll really recyclable? Anyway, Linda rushes upstairs, kicks down her own bedroom door for what I must assume is dramatic effect, and finds the place trashed. Gribbs wonders why Fay would trash Linda's room, and Linda tells him that it wasn't Fay, it was Veronique. Gribbs's rather intelligent respose: "That's a pretty small doll to do all this. Maybe if it was a big doll..." Well, it was intelligent for Gribbs. Linda gets the idea to lure Veronique out of hiding...with the music box she so casually mentioned at the start of the episode.

(By the way, I recognise that music box as a Fun N' Fashion one. I had so many of them because my uncle used to be one of the bigwigs at that particular company. I was even featured on the back of one of their packages, the ever popular Make-A-Fashion-Accessory. It's how I can put 'former child model' on my resume and not be lying.)

Downstairs, Pete and Tony are trying to get Bronson's finger out of his nose. It seems my suggestion of TAKING HIM TO A FUCKING DOCTOR has gone largely unnoticed. Instead they're using that whole 'tie a piece of string to the doorknob thing' that kids use in movies and Babysitters Club books to get their loose teeth out. It does not work. Linda and Gribbs come downstairs, and Linda pushes him out the door, muttering something about how great it was walking down the stairs with him. She totally doesn't mean it...yet. Gribbs feels that they're really connecting.

Linda goes up to her room with a hockey stick to finish off Crazy!Doll for good. And boy, is that doll crazy. It's now wearing a completely different expression, which is nigh on impossible for a doll with a painted-on face to do, and her eyes are glowing red. Yeah, red. This doll has managed to be infinitely scarier than all the supposedly badass vampires in Twilight, and it's only been twenty minutes. (In case you're interested, I totally just typo'd that as 'campires'. Best. Typo. Ever.) Linda menacingly tells Veronique to "cuddle my stick, dolly!" which definitely deserves a Dirrty!, don't you think?

Oh, I'm sorry, did you want to sleep tonight?

Back at the meeting of the Rhodes Scholars, Tony and Pete finally manage to pull Bronson's finger out of his nose with the aid of olive oil.

As Linda's facing off with Veronique, Bronson walks in with the Michael doll. He claims that he was just trying to fix Michaels' soundbox, but I don't know if I'm going to believe him. Cue the heartfelt music as Michael walks (yes, walks) over to Veronique as she begs him to cuddle her. Because that's what this whole thing's been about -- the love between two inanimate obects, not revenge of one inanimate obects over her former human companion. (Suck it, Chuckie!) All Veronique was looking for was to be Michael's Billie Jean! Naww!

Still not making any jokes about this.

And that's the end of this most historic RTT episode. The next one on the DVD is the conclusion of the Gribbs/Linda (Glinda) love affair, which I'm going to have to watch but won't recap for you...well, not today, anyway.


  1. Inquiring minds want to know--will you do a Barney post next? (Don't worry, def. liked this one, too!)

  2. No. Barney's gone. Barney ain't coming back. I'm thinking I'll post a Sweet Valley High recap this afternoon, because I'm waaaaay too tired to do anything else. Sorry if I got your Barney hopes up!

  3. That doll was actually pretty freaky looking, Don't know how I didn't catch that episode in my youth!