ANOTHER PERIOD Review: “Harvard”

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This was a great episode of ANOTHER PERIOD, using the past to satirize the present as Lillian attempts to procure a condom for sex for pleasure— “like a man!”—and Albert Einstein (Matt Gourley) visits Bellacourt Manor in hopes of impressing the Commodore, only to discover that the real brains in the family might be Beatrice. Every subplot was pretty hilarious, especially Dr. Goldberg’s. He’s actually Canadian, and if his secret ever got out, people would treat him like a dangerous foreign terrorist. All in all, the show was firing on all cylinders this week.

The episode opens with Blanche crying while pouring tea, a sight so funny that even Hortense joins Lillian and Beatrice in laughing at her. Lillian declares that “Men who don’t think women are funny ought to watch Blanche deal with her problems!”. Beatrice thinks Blanche is pregnant. She turns out to be right, and Hortense comments that she should’ve have used a condom. Lillian is shocked to learn that she can “have sex for pleasure without squatting at a child” and faints from happiness as “Hallelujah” plays.

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When she wakes up, she wanders through the manor, getting turned on by various sculptures, before noticing Frederick and his Harvard buddies. Yes, Frederick, the biggest idiot of them all, went to Harvard. His friends are equally dim-witted. Frederick leads a rousing chant of “H-A-R-VARD”, but when he asks what that spells, it’s just shrugs and blank stares all around. One is unemployed, but Frederick says he can get him a job writing at the “Simpsons Review”, as graduating from Harvard practically guarantees a job working there. Sick burn on The Simpsons writing room, Another Period! Lillian of course doesn’t care about their intelligence level—she just wants to have sex.

But getting a condom proves to be difficult. She recruits Garfield to buy some, as she reasons that you have to have a penis to buy something to put on a penis, but he chickens out at the drug store. Lillian decides to ask the cashier herself, but he is absolutely shocked and offended that a woman would want to have sex for pleasure, calling her a whore. Another Period brilliantly satirizes the absurdity behind treating men and women who want to have sex for pleasure differently by having Lillian ask him, “I’m a whore because I want to have sex? Don’t you want to have sex?” He replies, “Of course I want to have sex. I love sex, it feels so good. On my penis.” But she’s a woman, so unless she wants to have sex with him the alley, she better get out.

A eyepatch-wearing commoner named Eunice (Kate Micucci) tells Lillian where she can find condoms, and they go to a back alley Planned Parenthood-type place. Lillian immediately greets the owner as “Abortion Deb”, but Deb insists that a better name would be “Healthcare Deb”, as abortions are really only 3% of the medical procedures that they perform there. Lillian’s not interested in a conversation about women’s rights to reproductive health care, so she takes the condoms and leaves.

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Unfortunately, (or fortunately, because those guys were idiots), every Harvard man turns down her offer of sex for pleasure. Garfield timidly asks her to use her condom with him. She turns him down, scathingly telling him that he’s a servant and she’s a queen, striding down the hallways with her confidence restored. In a talking head, Garfield sweetly tells us that a good servant always knows what his master needs. Aww! Garfield propositioned Lillian for sex in order to help her gain her mojo back. So sweet.

Beatrice’s storyline is also hilarious. After giving us little hints that Beatrice might not be as dumb as she seems, we learn that she’s basically a genius who acts dumb so she can stay with her one true love, the idiot Frederick. Albert Einstein visits the manor because he wants access to the Commodore’s trove of magnets, but the Commodore has a plane for those magnets. Once refrigerators take off, he wants to put a magnet on every fridge. Einstein doesn’t get it, but the Commodore is truly ahead of his time.

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Einstein is about to leave when he sees that someone finished his equation that he left on a chalkboard. It was Beatrice, who also gives him the idea that time is relative. Her scientific insights this episode are made all the more hilarious by the fact that she glides around the manor on roller-skates the whole episode. No one has ever looked smart on a pair of roller skates. Einstein begs her to come to Zurich with him, but once Frederick learns that she might be leaving and begs her to stay, Beatrice reverts back to her old self, sadly telling Einstein that “sometimes dogs can be horses but horses can never be dogs”.

Beatrice was right about another thing—Blanche really is pregnant. She had sex with someone in the mental institution. Peepers brings that man, Virgil (Adam Pally), to the manor, but he saw their relationship differently. Blanche thinks that they made love; he thought that he raped her. It’s a tricky subject to approach in a comedy, but Beth Dover’s acting as a woman on the edge is superb. Peepers quickly thinks of another solution—Blanche can marry Dr. Goldberg, thus ensuring that the Canadian can stay in the country. With that, everything is back to normal at Bellacourt Manor, but I can’t wait to see what crazy antics they get into next week.

TB-TV-Grade-A
Season 2, Episode 7 (S02E07)
Another Period airs Wednesdays at 10PM on Comedy Central

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lives for two things: spreading the “Superstore” gospel and themed “Law & Order: SVU” marathons on USA.
Twitter: @jtrof

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