Kennedy High. Shop class. That's right, shop class. Quite a schedule these kids have: Biology about twice a day, three lunch periods, Feminist Theory, French, Sassy Black Female Thought For White Teens, Tai Chi, and now Shop. Now Mr. D, the cardigan-wearing, basset-hound-faced man who teaches shop, isn't your average Kennedy High teacher. The kids love Mr. D. And not just because he's the only shop teacher they've ever had who still has all his digits, either. This man has got the otherwise apathetic student body of Kennedy High pushing the boundaries of craftsmanship and feeling good about themselves. Brooke and Sam are carving a couple of those wooden mallards you see advertised in the back of the New Yorker with their very own hands. Harrison is using one of those big-ass professional sanders, and Josh and Sugar Daddy are playing with a table-hockey set they made themselves. Mr. D looks on with pride at his beloved students, and they react to him like a flower to sunshine. Mr. D has a couple of announcements: 1) Design concepts for final projects are due on Friday, and 2) Mr. D. would appreciate it if everyone called him "Miss Debbie" from now on, because tomorrow he begins dressing like a woman to psychologically prepare himself for a male-to-female sex change operation. Reaction shots galore. Okay, so much for this shop teacher having all his digits.
Credits. Okay, when I complained about the parents being in the credits even though they are never featured much in actual episodes, I didn't mean for you all to give them more screen time so their appearance in the credits would be justified. I wanted them to be removed from the credits and the show.
Harrison comes home from school and finds that the WB had a little money left over after canceling Brutally Normal and Zoe dot dot dot, so they hired Alley Mills to appear yet again as Harrison's lesbian mom. Alley Mills, star of eighties sitcom The Wonder Years = late eighties/early nineties reference number 1. Harrison's mom's been fired from her job as a pharmacist for being a lesbian. Mrs. John is asleep in front of the TV and explains that she dozed off in front of an Oprah re-broadcast. That's got to be a shout-out to me. Harrison tells his mom she's got to get another job because all she does all day long is "watch game shows." Oh, that's funny. The reason I try to stay employed at all times is so I can pay the rent and buy food. Then again, those lesbians always know how to stretch a buck. Harrison gives her a print-out he made from the web of some job listings. Mrs. John promises to make a few phone calls, but it doesn't look like it's going to happen. Having been on that unemployment couch myself, I have to say that Alley Mills has the post-employment depression schtick down.
The Kennedy cafeteria. Cue (what else?) David Bowie's "Changes." Miss Debbie, formerly Mr. Don, enters wearing a brown "Cathy" wig, a violet and burgundy housedress, a hospital-green cardigan, and pearls. It's not a pretty sight, but Miss Debbie looks so happy in her new outfit that I just want to jump through the TV screen and offer to carry her cafeteria tray for her. Everyone reacts with disdain. "This is so Crying Game, I can't believe it," says Sam. Crying Game = late eighties/early nineties reference number 2. "Dude looks like a lady," says Harrison. "Dude Looks Like a Lady" by Aerosmith = late eighties/early nineties reference number 3. Miss Debbie overhears Harrison but keeps her head up high. Harrison realizes that Miss Debbie heard him and feels bad. Over at the Blondes' table, they're trashing Miss Debbie as well. Adam is back, and he's sitting with the Blondes. Brooke is especially freaked by Miss Debbie's transition and plans to drop shop class. "I say drop Mr. Doubtfire's class and avoid the nightmares," says Nicole. Mrs. Doubtfire = late eighties/early nineties reference number 4. Sugar Daddy tells everyone that he had a nightmare last night that he was wearing a Florida housewife's muumuu. Mary Cherry enters and reveals to the Blondes that her mother, Cherry Cherry (Delta Burke, star of Designing Women = late eighties/early nineties reference number 5), is going to be substitute teaching home ec.