Warning: this episode may be offensive to humanoids.
The Jetsons are attending a shuttle launch. Even in the future where you can practically drive your car into space, it's still fascinating to see them send a rocket there. This particular one was going into unknown regions, and being piloted by a trio of lazy humanoids who were presently "out to launch." Oh God. In the midst of all this excitement, a familiar robot cat shows up, arousing Astro's ire and making him give chase. Elroy goes after them, and wouldn't you know it, Astro chases the cat right onto the shuttle. Elroy goes inside too and is astounded by all the gadgetry and computers, amazed at what $50 billion could buy. Launch time comes quicker than expected due to impatient Dr. Fritz Farout. Meanwhile, George, Jane and Judy search frantically for Elroy and Astro. They witness the launch, and lament the two were not there to see it. Once the shuttle is in orbit, it is discovered the humanoids missed their flight and it was instead manned by a boy and his dog. Imagine the family's surprise when they hear. Jane demands they bring them back at once, but such was easier said than done. Rather than the good doctor fessing up, the decorated Colonel Chuck Upchuck comes in to deliver the news...and leave it to Judy to start flirting at a time like this. Anyway, Colonel Upchuck...yeah, I know...tells them that the the shuttle is on auto-pilot, the entire mission programmed into it's navigation computers, and splashdown would not occur for another five years. Five years? So he'll be a little late for dinner, says George. Seriously, though, they were very worried for Elroy and Astro's safety, and really begin to miss them. But it's not as bad as it sounds, folks. Elroy and Astro manage just fine aboard the shuttle, they're warned not to touch the abort button, for that would shut down the CPU and catapult the shuttle into deep space. Remember, they are NOT to press the abort button...gee, I wonder if they're going to press the abort button. But anyway, they are soon deemed intergalactic heroes. Instantly media whores burst into the Jetsons' apartment to get interviews and cold, hard facts, when who should come in to chase them all away but Elroy's new, self-appointed, greedy-as-hell manager, Mr. Spacely. His aim was to introduce a new junior sprocket line, which would apparently contain Elroy's picture on each sprocket. He even appoints George as vice president of distribution. So while all this talk of child exploitation is going on, Elroy and Astro receive word that due to budget cuts and complaints from angry parents, they were going to bump splashdown to 9:00 tomorrow. They're so excited, they bounce off the walls...and bump right into the abort button. Surprise, surprise. The nose cone, which our heroes occupied, is jettisoned and shot out into deep space. As if that weren't bad enough, they were heading for...The Black Bowl! A giant, gaping void shaped like a bowl in which no life can be sustained. Looks like this is the end for Elroy and that dumb dog who can't stay out of trouble.
Don't worry, they barely graze the surface of the bowl as they bounce off and slingshot back to their own galaxy. As George and Jane return from the movies, they find Mr. Spacely and his humanoid band waiting for them. Good news. The shuttle splashed down and our heroes were home, but even better, Mr. Spacely had Elroy's autobiography 'My Life in The Black Bowl' (ghostwritten by Spacely) published and has sold the movie rights. But what about the guests of honor? Well, Elroy and Astro are unharmed, but this experience has made them feel older and wiser...MUCH older. A crouched, bearded Elroy hobbles in followed by Astro in a similar condition. Apparently that trip through deep space caused a time warp and abolished Elroy's metabolism, so now instead of celebrating his 9th birthday, he'll be celebrating his 90th. Land sakes! Well, to make matters worse, Judy comes in to welcome home her brother by noticing his present state and saying, "I told you not to play with mom's hormone cream." What a moron! Anyway, they receive a call from the space program's medical center, wanting to run a test on Elroy, to study his aging process. So they all go down to the lab, elderly Astro and Elroy in tow. As soon as they get there, that stupid robot cat returns, causing Astro to chase it, and Elroy to chase him. They wind up in a centrifugal force chamber which somehow reverses their aging process and returns them to their regular ages (deus ex machina, anybody?). So all is well again, and Spacely is out millions of exploitation dollars.
This has got to be one of the worst, or THE worst episode of The Jetsons. The writing is just terrible, the story is predictable, it's just all around stupid. It had potential, however. It should have focused more on Elroy and Astro in space. If they didn't always have to make Elroy such a pussy, maybe it would be more entertaining to see him in peril. The Wrong Stuff is appropriately named. It sucks the big one. Just stay away from it. I love The Jetsons, but I hate this episode.
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