Boston Public
Chapter Two

Episode Report Card
admin: D | Grade It Now!
Wherein Fyvush Finkel says, "Look at my knockers!"

The hallway at Winslow High School. That is, it turns out, the school's name. I know this only because I visited the website, not because anyone ever mentions the name of the school. Harvey "Loose" Lipschultz and Scott "Anthony Heald" Guber come striding out of Scott's office in mid-conversation. "Where are they now?" intones Anthony "T-1000" Heald, with the steely gaze and stiff posture that will have me making Robert Patrick and Terminator 2 jokes for the rest of the season. Also, that is a question one will no doubt be asking about much of this cast next fall. Anyhow, it turns out that, in a show of solidarity against the unfair undergarment mandate imposed upon Dana "Ho-lita" Poole, none of the girls in Harvey's class are wearing bras. Principal Steve joins the purposefully-striding brigade in time to catch this, and asks, "Is Dana Poole wearing a bra?" I'm not sure why that matters, since Steve's little gambit has clearly backfired. Anthony Heald points this out, morphing his liquid metal hand into a finger pointed squarely at Steve-arino. Harvey says, "Yes, but it's one of those giant push-up kind. It's a mockery!" Principal You've-Gotta-Handle-This tells Lipschultz he's gotta handle this, and when Harvey takes issue with his tone, he reminds us that he is the Principal. "I'm the Principal," he says, "I'm entitled to a tone." Harvey says, "Is it because I'm Jewish?" Oh god. Okay, not all old Jewish men are obsessed with perceiving anti-Semitism everywhere. Only some of them.

Left to their own devices again, Anthony Heald tells Harvey to try a different tack with his students, and "inspire them to wear a brassiere." Then he absorbs several rounds from Arnold Schwarzenegger's shotgun, and melts into the linoleum floor.

Luckily for the cameraman, the next conversation crucial to the plot happens nearby at this exact moment. Milton "No Re" Buttle spots Internet-savvy student Cheryl Holt "from the blue" at her locker, and goes to confront her about mean things on her website. (My girlfriend: "Who's she supposed to be? Daria?" Heh.) I'm just alarmed that it's episode two, and they're already recycling plotlines. It may be disguised as "continuity," people, but it's not; continuity implies forward motion, and this is the same scene again: "It's parody." "No, you crossed the line, Cheryl. Freedom of expression does not cover vulgarity." Um, yes it does. Anyway, blah blah, he looked up the law, and her parody would have to have artistic value, and apparently it doesn't, so he's going to get an injunction. Personally, I always thought the obscenity law said something about legally obscene material being "utterly without redeeming social importance." By contrast, "artistic value" is a pretty subjective measurement. Furthermore, parodying authority figures has fairly self-evident social importance, because whether or not one has the right to do so is a good litmus test for whether or not one is living in a truly free society. But: Whatever. Milton wants his injunction. Cheryl snots, "Oh, right, you're going go out and hire a lawyer on a teacher's salary." Wow. Smack her. Anyway, just as Milton is about to show Cheryl what obscenity really is, Principal Steve grabs him by the arm and drags him down the hallway. To get Steve on his side, Milton shows him Cheryl's latest travesty. It should be noted, incidentally, that neither now nor in the first episode does Milton have his computer connected to a phone line, or indeed to anything at all, when he looks at the website. I suppose it's possible that he's downloaded the material to his hard drive, but why would he do that? Especially because it appears that this time Cheryl has created an animation depicting Milton defecating into his own mouth, with the caption, "Milton Buttle reloads for his next lecture." Nice.

This time, we get opening credits. Which contain the worst opening-credit music ever. I mean that. The music sounds like something George Harrison might have composed while hungover, using the sitar sound and the automatic drum function on one of those small keyboards from the 1980s. The cacophony of vaguely instrumental noises that results has an utter lack of any discernible melody, which seems to parallel the tangled mess of plot lines on the show, which also has no discernible "melody," if you will. Okay, so that, too, was my girlfriend's observation. Whatever.

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Boston Public




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