by Gus Brunetti
"All you need to do is tell people what a terrific actor I am, 'cause I can't do it believably."
Tobias was supposed to be on the show only for a few episodes in the beginning and then leave, no more than a husband for Lindsay to dump and start as a character. The producers, however, saw the potential Tobias had and decided to keep him. This episode shows exactly why this was a wise decision.
Mr. Fünke is one of the most oblivious characters ever created. He's so unaware of his surroundings that we may say he's the most self-centered character in the show, and we're talking about a show where *everybody* is as self-centered as can be. And yet, he's the least self aware of them, too. We, as spectators, can see what's happening; he lives it out in a completely different way. The tension between reality and his perception is the source of 97,6% of the jokes surrounding him, if I did the math correctly.
An apt title: all Tobias wants is a new start, one in which he's an actor. He can't help but express it in the most ambiguous way possible, that is, that license plate of his. It's no "analrapist", but it's pretty close. The problem is that, much like Lindsay thinks that looking different is change, Tobias believes that saying something with conviction makes it true. It's no wonder they got married.
What he fails to see is that he was offered a new start by Lucille 2, and didn't take it, even though it would pay him enough to, at least, feed his new girlfriend. Poor DeBrie. Granted, he saved her a few times, and deemed himself as her rock ; he was unable to give up his unrealistic dream to make a real living. She, on the other hand, was willing to prostitute herself. Bad turn for someone who has a Law degree.
I realize now that what I wrote sounds like a really frustrating drama, but this episode has been the funniest in the season so far. I've seen it three times and have laughed at certain parts every single time, such as Straight Bait and the entrapment for copyright infringement, even though they blurred the Fantastic Four insignia.
Bits and pieces
- It hadn't occurred to me that they swapped spouses at Swappingans.
- The intro parody with John Beard was really good.
- How funny was it that Lucille Austero, played by Liza musical legend Minnelli, can't sing?
- I loved the "cold shoulder" gag.
- It made me grind my teeth seeing Tobias tear the pages of that book, even if the book was Eat, Pray, Love. Poor books, they deserve more care.
- Speaking of the book, both he and Lindsay never finished it, because they believe they found the answers they were looking for. That easily.
- The airplane movies were Fantastic Four, Jane Junk, Homeless Dad, and Love, Indubitably.
- Did the footage from the Fantastic Four movie come from Mystery Science Theater 3000?
A few funny lines
Lucille 2: "You know, the doctor said if that bird had gotten through my second layer of makeup, it could've done permanent damage to my skin."
Tobias: "There you go, India clean".
My yoga instructor told me stories of India. Yuck! And that came from a person who loved it and went back.
Doctor: "This man here broke his skull in two places. Once outside the airport and once in the elevator."
Narrator: "She did six of these movies, and after lunch, did three more."
DeBrie: "You watched Straight Bait?"
Tobias: "Oh, just 2, 4, and 9."
Patron: "They're the Ambiguously Gay Duo."
Tobias: "Oh, I assure you, there's nothing ambiguous about me."
Three and a half out of four Feinbergs.