Monthly Archives: March 2009

The one about lying or tardiness or something about Circus Burger

I am distracted in writing the synopsis for this particular episode because I am currently viewing another episode where Cliff has apparently tucked his sweater into his slacks and has bloused it out and now I can’t concentrate. 

In any case, back to the episode titled “Theogate: The family sets up a mock court to try Theo for tardiness” which is really about lying or track meets or making fun of Circus Burger employees or whatever PICK A TOPIC, WILLIAM H. COSBY, ED. D.

OMG, now Theo is dressed like Dracula with a soul glow wig.  This has to be the most distracting episode of all time and its description is merely “Cliff searches for a drill he borrowed.”

SO, back to another quality episode featuring family role playing in order to humiliate a child into correcting negative behaviors by engaging those he/she trusts and loves most in life into shaming him/her. 

The episode begins with learning Vanessa is in the school production of South Pacific which is so terrible that it only has a one-night run; therefore, it is imperative that the entire family get there immediately and on time to get the best seats for throwing tomatoes during Vanessa’s key scene. Inexplicably, Bud and Peter are also being dragged to this nightmare production.  The family is trying to dash out the door and are delayed because they are waiting on Theo who finally comes running in with Cockroach in tow, something something about still needing to grab food from the kitchen because they didn’t get enough Circus Burger to eat after the track meet something something Clair is super pissed about Theo being late something something Theo just ran out of the kitchen with two rotisserie chickens.

WHAT IS GOING ON NOW. Peter has come into the kitchen wearing a red button down shirt over an orange button down shirt over a plaid flannel shirt with all the sleeves  rolled up.  Strangely enough, he looks like Clair.

Anyway, the family gets home post-performance and Vanessa is bitching because everyone got there late and missed her one scene and Cliff and Clair are all pissed that they skipped Theo’s track meet to see Vanessa and didn’t even get to throw tomatoes at her so that was an evening totally wasted.  Clair keeps thinking that something is up with Theo’s tardiness and that he’s telling her half truths and Cliff is all, seriously, why don’t you go sit at your tiny writing desk by the front door and pretend to do lawyer stuff with that pencil and the only legal book you own. 

The next day progresses and the principal calls the house for Theo and Clair is now angry about Theo’s supposed lying or maybe she’s still pissed about his tardiness, who knows, Bill has introduced too many story lines to keep track. What I do know is that never have I seen an episode featuring any of Clair’s clients so I guess she has plenty of time to investigate her own children and design a mock court to shame them into learning life lessons.  We come to understand that Theo is clearly lying about Circus Burger and why he didn’t, in fact, get to eat after the track meet, and then there is some other business about


him making up some story about his track coach’s marriage being on the rocks and, whatever, he’s totally going to keep lying to Clair to mask the truth that he was masturbating in the Circus Burger bathroom to the vision of Cockroach in a running singlet and that was the real reason he didn’t get to eat.

Cut to the mock court with Cliff as bailiff, Vanessa as judge, and Rudy, Peter and Bud in the jury, Clair as prosecution and Cockroach as defense.   So, the charges run from tardiness to lying about being tardy to lying about the track coach to Cliff not previously revealing to Clair that he told Theo he’d buy him a car if he ran track to Theo admitting he and Cockroach made fun of a Circus Burger employee until she cried, END CASE, Cliff hates being a bailiff, Clair spent 8 hours prepping for this family trial with her pencil and legal book, Theo is promising to apologize to the Circus Burger girl and everyone forgot this episode was supposed to be about tardiness or more importantly the rumor Theo started about his track coach’s failing marriage.


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The one with hoagies and the HMC

Claire is off at Hillman, probably giving some lecture on the direct correlation between the expensiveness of clip-on earrings and increased perceptions of intelligence and power by your peers.  Meanwhile, Cliff has decided to dump Rudy off on his parents for a slumber party where they decide the best way to spend the evening is to dress her in 1940’s evening wear and teach her outdated jive lingo.  Denise invites Vanessa to go hang in the Village with her and her NYU friends but insists they have to ‘dress funky’ to fit in which in 1985 apparently translates loosely into dressing like androgynous Depression-era newsies.  Theo is again lying to himself about being obsessed with his best friend Cockroach by naming to Cliff the 15 girls he has obsessive crushes on.  Cliff decides to initiate an evening of the Huxtable Men’s Club (HMC) which entails eating hoagies and watching westerns on TV.  Cliff runs out to buy some hoagies and Theo immediately puts on one of Claire’s nightgowns to settle down in front of the TV.  Some girls from school come over to hang out with Theo and talk about Whitney Houston and moisturizer,  Cliff comes home and gives Theo some money to take the girls out for hoagies so he can have both his and Theo’s sandwiches to himself, Theo is real sad about having to put on pants, and then Cliff gets a call to deliver a baby which will undoubtedly smell like salami and spicy mustard.

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