Jack & Jill
Under Pressure

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Under Pressure

The previews now comprise a full quarter of the show's running time. To describe them is basically to recap the whole season. But that's why I make the big bucks, so here goes: Jack and Jill practice non-critical CPR on each other before copulating in a greenhouse. This sets in motion a series of events that leads to Jack sharing noodles with Jill -- while said noodles are still in her mouth. Meanwhile, Barto and Ferret-Face have issues, but Barto's "not ready to lose [her] yet." Mikey falls for his girlfriend's roommate Lucy, which enables him to go shirtless for the bulk of an episode. He calls her his "girlfriend" in front of Elispa "Amish much?" Cronkite, tells Jill she makes him "wanta move forward," and the next thing you know, Lucy's curbing him with her recyclables. As a consolation prize, Elispa asks Mikey to move into her new Shaker Shack, since her old crib has rats.

Open on the night sky, and those two perennial stargazers, Jack and Jill, lying on a heap of moldy blankets on the roof. If the stars hate them as much as I do, they may be in for an asteroid shower. Jack goes on a schoolmarmish tangent about the Pleiades, in a baby-talk monologue designed to captivate us with the anal, yet whimsical, straight-A student she must have been. She claims the Pleiades "used to walk the earth but Orion kept hitting on them so Zeus turned them into birds so they could get away. That's how they ended up in the stars." Jill gives a snorting "I don't know you" laugh at the fact that she knows ephemera about Greek mythology. "The constellation is also the Subaru logo," Jack whispers. Jill looks delighted to learn that even the stars are branded. Gee, this moment would go down well with a CD changer full of Warner Brothers recording artists. But I digress. "You are a strange, strange girl," Jill says, even though all she did was rattle off a product placement and a variety of astrological facts she could have gotten out of Ranger Rick. "I like you," Jill adds and Jack says, "I like you too," with her eyes all squinty. They both say "I --" at the same time and then "what?" Jack tells Jill to go first, and after a beleaguered silence, he says, "I . . . think that's the Big Dipper. Legend has it it's a ladle." Jack stares cross-eyed at the sky, clutching Jill's putty-colored sweater with one clawlike hand and smirking dreamily. The truth about Romeo? He doesn't like girls.

It's anyone's guess why the Honeynut Cheerios bumblebee has confined his base of operations to one barbershop in Italy. What kind of demographic is that? How much cereal can one elderly barber really buy? What that bee needs is the global marketing savvy of a Joe Camel. Get those youngsters before they grow teeth and they'll be yours for life. Oh, the show's back on.

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Jack & Jill

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