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I will always love Trey and Matt for getting away with this, the last truly great April Fool's day joke before all the Lawyers made us stop.
I still treasure the bloodthirsty reaction by South Park fans on April 2, some of whom actually cared about finding out who Cartman's father was after the season finale and who felt gypped that they didn't get their precious closure. Parker and Stone, on the other hand, knew the truth -- character development sucks, and nobody but the trivia geeks would remember the details in two weeks anyway. Instead, they gave us this silly collection of Terrance and Phillip fart jokes, then answered the cliffhanger weeks later with an answer too preposterous to satisfy anyone at all.
It was then that we knew the cold truth -- Comedy Central was their playhouse, and the rest of us merely Butters and Pip on a play date, simply to be tolerated but not to be let near the toys.
A show about humor and adventure, without either.
After too many bad memories, I took to skipping this episode each time it showed up in the Season 2 sequence. I recently watched it again just to remind me why. I've always considered this the worst ST:TNG episode (with the exception of "Shades of Gray," which barely counts as an episode at all).
I keep listening to the clunky dialogue and thinking of the script red-penciled by the author's Writing 101 teacher: "SHOW, DON'T TELL!" From Deanna Troi's pronouncement, and everyone else's constant elbowing reminders about what a charming, dangerous rogue Okona is, to Guinan's explanation about how funny her droid joke is (it isn't), to the who-cares resolution to the conflict, there isn't a plot point that isn't highlighted and triple-underlined for our edification, and there ain't a believable moment in any of it. Unfortunately, Bill Campbell, a charming actor in other circumstances, is too puppy-dog huggable to be the center of the machinations of the plot. On the other hand, it could be that no one short of John Barrowman (Jack Harkness from "Doctor Who") could pull of this underwritten placeholder of a role.
(Zero points, by the way, to the Data subplot. While I think Joe Piscopo stopped being funny decades ago, he and Brent Spiner had nothing to work with here. Although the Jerry Lewis bit was funny in a stupid way.)
On a good day, you may be able to think of this as a charming little homage to a lesser Original Series episode. Me, I'd rather skip ahead to "Time Squared" or "Q Who."
What's Opera, Doc? (1957)
Bugs and Elmer, for the ages
This may not be the funniest Bugs Bunny cartoon; it relies on your knowledge of the dozens of Bugs-vs.-Elmer cartoons that precede it (if you're new to WB cartoons, start with "A Wild Hare") and a smidgen of Wagner knowledge doesn't hurt. But for an animation fan, "What's Opera, Doc?" may be the best seven minutes you're liable to spend. It'll take you several viewings to take in the vast attention to detail by Chuck Jones, Maurice Noble and their team. The singing by Blanc and Arthur Q. Bryan is first-rate, and the character animation yields some great moments, including a surprisingly touching death scene from the wabbit. If you haven't watched this cartoon since you were a kid, take another look.