Jack & Jill
Under Pressure

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Under Pressure

Elispa hums tunelessly, wearing one of those ghastly Indian-print hippie shirts we all had in high school. I believe we all had her heinous perm as well. Mikey trots down the circular staircase from the Lecher Loft and rips a box out of Elispa's hands. "I was just emptying it," she squeals. "I'll move it into my room," Mikey insists and retreats to the Lecher Loft, leaving Elispa to stand there mouth breathing. What do you know, it's another knock at the door. It's the Gabby the Beaver again, in shiny leather gear with mucho cleavage. Mikey trots down to greet her, then excuses himself to fetch his own bitchin' leather accessories. Elispa blithers, "So you guys are still --" making a hand gesture that could mean anything from "getting busy" to "spinning in a widening gyre toward death." "Yeah, why?" asks turbo-ditz Gabby, and manimal said it first in the forums, but I must repeat that Elizabeth Berkley's resemblance to Mackenzie Phillips is truly staggering. Which can only mean good things for her career. Elispa seems put out that her warning didn't spook Gabby for good. I suddenly notice that she's wearing a black push-up bra beneath her boho smock, demonstrating the kind of sartorial schizophrenia that keeps me on the edge of my seat every week. "But wait, why did you cancel?" she asks. The Beav looks conspiratorially behind her and says there's this other guy -- Todd -- who she's been wanting to bunk with "for over a month!" and he finally asked her out. "He's so cute," Beaver gushes and Elispa adds, "You could get addicted to him," all girlfriend-to-girlfriend, even though we know her biggest addictions are butter-churning and doily-embroidering. Beav exhorts her not to tell Mikey, and Elispa says, "I wouldn't dream of it," just as Mikey bounces up in his Guido car coat. He and Beav lock lips and spin toward the door while Elispa expresses pleasant surprise commensurate with the discovery of an exceptional stain remover. She slams the door on them and leans against it looking unhinged, the implication being that mutual infidelity and casual sex are things she's never encountered in her Pennsylvania Dutch corner of Manhattan.

Gutterball. Jack keeps score as Ferret prepares to bowl again. Barto appears and issues advice, but Ferret tells him to "quit backseat bowling." They bicker back and forth until Barto smarms, "You are looking gorgeous." Jack thinks this is way funny, and issues a gum-baring chortle that nearly dislodges her earrings. Ferret bowls with much hyperbolic physical comedy and scores a strike. Here we learn that for Ferret, victory dancing is synonymous with dirty dancing. She high-fives Jack and approaches Barto with her pelvis canted forward, but Barto seems oblivious to her mating signals -- and, in fact, to her very existence -- prompting me to think, "Girl, get some Tampax and get on with your life." It's Jack's turn and she scurries up in her unwashed denims and heaves the ball underhanded. Despite her efforts to correct its course -- which include grunting, squinting, and crouching like a person in severe menstrual pain (leading me to think, "Girl, get some" -- well, you know what I'm saying), the ball hits the gutter anyway. She does an irksome little jig of frustration just as Jill walks in and says, "I don't think the ball can hear you," with his poor -- nay, destitute -- man's Cary Grant smirk. Pointed eye contact all around until Barto and Ferret take the hint and adjourn to the snack concession. Jill 'n' Jack make halting small talk while Barto and Ferret saddle up in front of a greasy case of revolving luncheon meats across the room.

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Jack & Jill

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