Jack & Jill
Under Pressure

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Tumbleweed: D | Grade It Now!
Under Pressure

Elispa sits on her couch riffling through a fashion magazine when Mikey walks in with a giggling Amazon, who on second glance turns out to be Showgirls' Elizabeth Berkley. What's that noise in the background, you say? Just the death knell sounding for her career. "Hey, Elisa, this is Gabby," Mikey says. Gabby says, "God, this place is amazing," looking like a case study for botched orthodontia. "We're subletting it from a friend of a friend who knows Donald Trump," Mikey says, earning toothsome laughs all around. Before Mikey and the Beaver hasten upstairs for a soulless one-night stand, Elispa blurts, "Your highlights are amazing! Where do you get them done?" Am I way too circumspect about etiquette, or is it totally wack for a woman to call attention to another woman's dye job in front of her date? Someone start a forum on this, please. "My guy Howard," gushes Beaver. "He's a genius. I could give you his number if you want." Elispa babbles about how she's been conthidering lowlights, and Beaver insists that auburn "would be awesome with [her] skin." Mikey, experiencing separation anxiety from cheap sex, mopes, "I've got skin." Elispa, looking Smurflike in a turquoise hooded sweatshirt, apologizes for stealing Mikey's friend, but it's too late: Beaver wants to know where Elispa got those righteous pants. Elispa brags that she has another pair in velvet, and Beaver demands, "Show!" They adjourn to Elispa's closet while Mikey sits there with a thought bubble over his head that says, " ''''' '''' ''''' ''''' ?!"

Cinema Miserablo: Ferret, Barto, Jack, and Jill on a tension-fraught movie date. Throughout this scene, there's a single trivia question freeze-framed on the movie screen, offering a metaphor, perhaps, for the stagnant triviality of this show. Barto and Ferret consume popcorn, and it occurs to me that it's a rare scene in this show when Ferret isn't chewing on something. Doesn't she have any other tricks? Burrowing, digging, dam-building? Must her every appearance be prefaced by a languorous shot of her busily munching mouth and flabby liver-lips? Last I checked, ferrets don't fall into the category of ruminants. Nevertheless, mouth full, Ferret regards Barto with a hooded gaze. He asks what's wrong; she says nothing, then wheels around and hisses, "Except why didn't we have sex last night?" Barto says he was just tired, and Ferret asks if he's sure. "Yeah, I'm pretty good at knowing what tired feels like," Barto says. And even better at knowing what stoned feels like, I bet. "It's not like us," muses Ferret. "I was thinking maybe it meant something." Meanwhile, the Clarinet of Imminent Impotence runs rampant on the soundtrack. "Like what?" asks Barto, smooching her forehead under her vermilion headband. "You're right: we're fine," Ferret says. "We're better than fine," Barto says, attempting a virile tone. "We'll just have to do two nights' worth tonight," brays Ferret, with one of those hair-raising smiles where suddenly her head is replaced by a wall of teeth. "Exactly," Barto says, looking like a man who has stared into the abyss -- and seen the abyss's huge, scary teeth. Hey, how did the Yeti gain admission to a movie theater? Oh, wait, it's Jack, her hair looking like a decade-old shag carpet. Jill is there, too, with his Converse hightops propped insouciantly on the seat in front of him. "I know I didn't say it back, okay?" he says. "What do you mean 'back'?" Jack quibbles, "I thought you said it first." "I said, 'I want you,'" Jill says. "Ohhhh. 'Cause I never would have said it if I didn't think you had," Jack whines. Jill says, "Oh," without inflection. "So why don't I just take it back? Then everything will be all normal again," Jack suggests. Jill says, "Okay," looking like his heart isn't in it. "I feel so much better!" blathers Jack, rolling her eyes and presenting her ski-jump profile for Jill's admiration. "Me too," he agrees listlessly. They both stare at the frozen trivia question, sneaking worried glances at each other.

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Jack & Jill




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