Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Ahhhhhh - it’s the age-old story – Mother gives dog to boy. Dog wants to become boy. Dog forces the world to accept him as a boy in spite of all social, physical and scientific protests to the contrary.

How can you go wrong with an age-old winning formula like that?

I do not WISH to be a dog.
From the very first episode, Teacher’s Pet was a cut above other cartoons. Spot’s weekly (sorry) daily (hey – it’s a modern cartoon don’t forget) longing to become an ordinary boy like his owner were a metaphorical parable for the human condition in post-modern consumerist society. But let’s ignore that – it was funny.

Spot’s first day at school – dressed-up to look like a schoolboy (obviously) – appeared to be in trouble from the off when one kid sniggered “Hey – look at that weird kid running along on all-fours like a dog!”, at which point we saw an actual weird kid running along on all-fours like a dog.

This writing was clever enough to disguise its punchlines, and consequently made me laugh again and again.

No wonder then that Spot (or Scott) and his owner Leonard repeatedly credited their audience with the intelligence to understand patterns of human behaviour – their writers obviously did.

Finally this great show came to an end with Teacher’s Pet – the movie, in which Spot was finally granted his wish to become a human.

Another movie called Teacher's Pet
Hmm. A tough call that one. While the series had always featured the (obviously ridiculous) characters in believable real-life school situations, the movie needed to facilitate Spot’s transformation into another species – something that had no place in the believable world so far established in the show. Cue a mad scientist with a machine, straight out of a movie:

Go ahead caller - I'm listening
That said, I can forgive this. The comedy was as intense as ever, with Spot in one scene required to pretend to be his entire made-up family, and songs so complex that they goad you into rewatching the tape again and again and again.

The ending, in which Spot finally accepts that his role in the universe has in fact always been to be a dog, was a little disappointing, from one so determined, but I guess this was the best way.

I’ll miss Spot and Leonard. (and Mr Jolly, and Frank Costanza)

No I won’t, there are tons of reruns I haven’t seen yet.

I say I say I say - that dog really DOES have no nose

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2 comment(s):

At 6:12 am, Blogger KlownKrusty said...

Boy, the writers really phoned that idea in, huh? I bet they'd let anyone write this show!!!

 
At 3:20 am, Blogger Steve Goble said...

Admit it - you envy that mouse.

 

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