Smile Time

Episode Report Card
Strega: A+ | 11 USERS: A+
Angel's A Puppet.

The Smile Time theme begins again, and the camera moves slowly over a television to show a little girl happily watching the show. Polo steps toward the camera and announces that this will be "an extra-special best show ever" if the audience helps. He tells the kids to get up and walk to the TV. Not that the satire of children's television isn't enough in itself, but it seems worth pointing out that there's a very different kind of programming where audience members are invited to stand and put their hands on the screen. The girl puts her palms against the screen, and Polo coos, "Let it all go! After all, it's Smile Time!" Offscreen, Angel says, "No, it's not."

Polo jerks away and we cut to the set. Angel is crouched on top of a doghouse as he adds, "It's time to kick your ass all the way back to hell." He raises the sword as Polo growls, "You!" Angel leaps down, and Polo punches him.

The show's crew continues to point the cameras and carry props around in a trance while we hear the sounds of battle.

As Ratio and the girl-puppet watch, Groofus whines, "Hey man, you're ruining the show!" And then his head is sliced off with an axe. Ratio tweets and falls back into a box as Gunn says, "Working on it." Polo knocks Angel's sword away and throws him inside the doghouse. Gunn leaps into the fray, and Polo shrieks and then calls, "It's a full-scale attack! Ratio! The nest egg!" Ratio -- who has teleported from inside the box to over by the cameras in five seconds, oops -- tweets and runs away, tweeting at every step. Angel reaches out of the doghouse and pulls Polo inside.

Wesley and Fred enter the "Don't" room, and Wesley hands Fred his messenger bag before he starts chanting in Latin. The egg starts to slide open, and Wesley gets all Indiana Jones as he orders Fred not to look at it. Then Ratio grabs Wesley around the neck and yanks him back. Wesley tells Fred to keep reading as he struggles to get away from the giant, fuzzy blue, uh....Is Ratio a puppet or a costume? Because he does have feet, but he doesn't have an articulated mouth.

Back on the set, mayhem is ensuing. Gunn is about to axe Polo when the girl-puppet launches herself at Gunn. Johanna thinks that the puppet broke Gunn's neck, because there is a snapping sound when the girl lands, and she twists his head, and then he does a super-cool midair spin before he crashes to the ground. Maybe his brain implant lets you snap his neck without hurting him anymore. I don't know. Anyway, he lands, and he's fine, except then the girl races back to him and stretches her hands out, hissing, "Gimme those pretty eyes!"

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