The subtle trick Showtime's "Penny Dreadful is that it is far less about the blood, gore and the specter of gruesome death than the sharp pain and exhilarating pleasure of living, and the terror of feeling alone even in close company. Read our review in the May Picks section.
The "one beer" segment was a cause of controversy and was later banned from airing to due the depiction of intoxication and reckless behavior of the main characters. See more »
[as Plucky drives the stolen police car while drunk]
[pauses to drink from the beer bottle]
how does it feel to be D.W.I.?
D.W.I. what's that?
[takes a drink from the bottle]
[Slurring his speech]
D.W.I., driving while intoxicated.
Well, that's ridiculous I don't know how to drive.
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Today's Lesson: Reading Ir Berry Impertant See more »
The elephant in the room is, this episode's ridiculous
I loved Tiny Toons as a kid, but I don't remember seeing this episode when it first aired (1991). From what I recall, Elephant Issues isn't representative of what the show was like generally. In fact, this "very special episode" cheapens the show by making it look like a silly, forced public service announcement. The episode deals with illiteracy, prejudice and bullying and underage drinking.
The first segment is about Dizzy not learning to read because he watches too much TV. It's always interesting to see a TV show bite the hand that feeds it by attacking television. There may be some humour, but this segment is too heavy-handed and simplistic. The next segment is about prejudice at the school against a HAL-like robot student. This is a fine topic for a cartoon, but the downside is it's totally unfunny.
The third segment is easily the strangest. One Beer depicts Buster peer pressuring Plucky and Hamton into drinking a beer, even though Buster is explicitly depicted as a role model in the earlier segments. The episode shows the three underage cartoon characters drinking, stealing a car, drunk driving, and getting killed. Like the anti-drug Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue from the previous year, I have to question the effectiveness of cartoons like these. I wonder if showing beloved cartoon characters doing this backfires and encourages imitation. But it likely doesn't do anything at all. All it may accomplish is to make light of drunk driving, which is a fatal real-life problem. However, I will give One Beer this- it is funnier and more truthful than Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue. It may exaggerate that sharing one beer will make you unattractive and dead, but there is some truth that more beer can give you gas and put you in a deadly car accident. Overall, I would say Elephant Issues has a noble purpose, but in the end it looks like an episode they were forced to do and shouldn't have been.
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