Oz
Junkyard Dawgs

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Aaron: B- | Grade It Now!
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The Pest Savant at the End of the Universe

It's melting! It's melting!

Yeah. Sorry. I really didn't want to make that joke while doing Oz this season, but if you live on the East Coast (and your car has rear-wheel drive like mine), then you know exactly what I'm talking about. God bless salt and all its many splendiferous uses. Mmm, salt.

We open with the expected Augustus Interlude, which means that, as usual, the Hill is alive with the sound of sucking. Our Theme Of The Week? Junk. Yeah. I'll say. Augustus does a pretty poor riff on George Carlin's famous "A Place For My Stuff" bit, and then before I can even get settled in my comfy new Aeron chair, Poet starts smacking me in the face with a product placement. Ow. "Yo, Hill's book, man," he tells Reggie as they lounge about in their pod. "He writes good [sic]. Make [sic] me a little jealous." Reggie -- like everyone else on the planet -- is clearly no fan of Patti, because he couldn't care less about Hill's book or any other. He just wants his pudding pops. Sadly, the boys have no money, because "the bookbinding business went bust," and the Italians have been blocking their drug sales. Poet chooses to respond to this turn of events by impersonating Bill Clinton, which leaves him vulnerable to so many perverse and disgusting cigar and semen stain jokes that I actually just got brainlocked trying to choose one.

And speaking of "brainlock," here comes another Crap-Ass Crime Flashback. It's finally time for the long-awaited Ashley Hamilton to make an appearance, and he does so by chowing down on a brownie while simultaneously smoking two sensimilla sticks. The cops soon arrive, and the ludicrous slow-motion shot of Grasshley running through a frat house bedroom to rescue his precious marijuana plants is pretty much the quintessential definition of "public access production values." Heh. Even the costumes are fucked up. One of the cops has a hat that's bigger than his entire head. Grasshley tries to swallow the evidence (because nothing says "innocent bystander" like having a serrated marijuana leaf stuck in your teeth), but it's to no avail. Prisoner number 03B-563: Stanley Bukowski. Convicted January 16th, 2003 of Possession and Distribution of Illegal Substances. Sentence: Fifteen years. Up for parole in ten. Oh, and "Bukowski"? Whatever. At least it's better than "Ferlinghetti."

When next we see Grasshley, he's hanging around the phones in Em City, displaying his Don Johnson-wannabe stubble, a massive hoop earring, and a truly mind-bending mohawk/mullet that's been dyed red and greased to high heaven. You know the new guy must be low on the totem pole, because he doesn't get to use his own private phone like Keller does. You also know that he's low on the intelligence scale, because he strikes up a conversation with Poet and Reggie about starting a drug-smuggling business while the Italians are standing not three feet away. Oh, yeah. This guy is gonna last. Using the same powerful molecular chemistry skills that have allowed his hair to defy both gravity and also the entire known spectrum of visible light waves, Grasshley has developed a method of cooking pot brownies that seals in all the home-cooked flavor while also preventing any pesky odors from alerting the drug-sniffing dogs. "They're double-fudge, too," he adds. "With extra icing for effect." Wow. How does Martha Stewart not know about this? Grasshley and Poet seal their new distribution deal with a very loud and very public high-five, while in the background Chuck Zito tries furiously to draw his facial features into a steroid-enhanced rictus that roughly approximates "suspicion."

Yay, Schillinger! God, I can't believe I just typed that. This show has clearly warped my already highly fragile sense of morality. Go Aryans! He's delivering the mail, and after Grasshley picks up his freshly-arrived box of brownies, we're treated to a special effect that -- like everything else on this show -- is basically just a distaff hillbilly cousin of something that Six Feet Under or The Sopranos has already done better. In this case, it's the Bong-Cam, which on Oz consists of an underpaid grip shaking the camera while an underpowered TRS-80 adds in a post-production blurring effect. Also, are we really supposed to believe that in a mailroom where not even a third-rate spank rag like Swank can go unmolested, no one would have nibbled on even a single brownie? And if they had tried them, and they experienced the same "kick-ass body buzz" that Grasshley is now enjoying, are we really supposed to believe that they wouldn't have just eaten the entire box themselves? Or at the very least used the icing as a lubricant for their next gang rape? I mean, come on. Let's try to be at least a little realistic here, okay, Tom?

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