ANOTHER PERIOD Review: “Joplin”

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When I saw in the episode description of this week’s that it would be parodying Kanye West through the character of Scott Joplin (Cedric the Entertainer), I was excited. Kayne’s a pretty easy target for parody, but this episode didn’t live up to the promise of that premise, mainly because the other storylines weren’t that strong. Joplin arrives at Bellacourt Manor with his wife in tow, an Armenian princess who’s a star, but no one knows what she does, boasting about immortality and speaking in the third person, to help Lillian and Beatrice record a hit song.

Cedric the Entertainer as Joplin is amusing, but maybe parodying Kanye wasn’t the best idea after all. Real life Kanye is much more outrageous and unpredictable than this version, and it seemed like a missed opportunity to have a Kim Kardashian parody in the episode, but not give her any lines, especially since Kardashian’s fame is the exact thing Lillian and Beatrice are chasing. Another Period has been described as Downton Abbey meets Keeping up the Kardashians, after all.

Predictably, Lillian and Beatrice are horrible singers, but Joplin is impressed by one member of the Bellacourt family: Mayor Cutie, Lillian’s dog. He uses her barking on the track, which immediately becomes a hit, resulting in a sold-out concert and driving Lillian to new depths of jealousy and despair. Lillian goes to the concert and tries to get Mayor Cutie’s attention, even jumping on stage to join in with the barking, but is roundly booed out of the venue. Lillian cries in front of her mirror when Mayor Cutie shows up. Mayor Cutie defecates on her chair, which is the last straw. Lillian beats her up, strangling her and throwing her against walls, murdering her. Lillian is an awful person, but an extended scene where she kills a small dog was a bit too dark.

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Meanwhile, Peepers is dealing with a crisis of his own. Ever since he hooked up with Dodo in the carriage, he’s been unbelievably horny. He pops a boner over a special delivery of a new kind of butter, horrifying poor Garfield. He suffers from wet dreams, so he asks Hamish to castrate him. Hamish instead takes him to a bordello, where he meets the madam, played by the always hilarious Michaela Watkins. This episode wasn’t my favorite, but hearing Watkins describe sex to the virgin Peepers as “you point, thrust and pow pow until your dick pukes” almost redeemed it for me.

We also learn that “baked Alaska”, the topic of Lillian and Beatrice’s horrible song, is an euphemism for anal sex, which seems about right for those two. Peepers can’t go through with sex, so the madam introduces him to jerking off. This he likes, and he masturbates while watching Garfield churn butter. Once again, poor Garfield.

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Blanche and Dr. Goldberg get married and he takes off for their honeymoon to the Poconos alone, as she has to work. When he returns home, she begs him to consummate their marriage. He refuses, not because she shares a bed with Flobelle, but because the fact that she’s pregnant turns him off. He keeps imagining the baby attacking him from within. He finds a solution—cutting a hole in a sheet and having sex through the sheet. Very, very short sex, but Blanche is overjoyed that she’s officially married.

“Joplin” felt like a misstep for a show that’s normally a spot-on satire of 21st century culture through the lens of the past, but perhaps the show bit off more than it could chew when attempting to parody a man whose real-life antics always seem to be funnier than whatever writers come up with. Cedric the Entertainer felt a bit wasted as a guest star, and after a standout episode for Rikki Lindhome last week, it was disappointing to see Beatrice side-lined for most of this episode. Hopefully next week the show will return to its normally reliably hilarious form.

TB-TV-Grade-B-
Season 2, Episode 8 (S02E08)
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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