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709/Farmer Buchman

Show Outline

Documentary by Paul Buchman

Mr. Wicker drops by the Buchman's to ask a favor. He wants Paul and Jamie to take care of his roof garden while he's out of town for a few weeks. At first Paul and Jamie resist, but after being reminded of the repairs Mr. Wicker has promptly made, and that he considers the Buchman's his favorite tenants, they give in. At first Paul acts timid and like he'll never understand or get into gardening (he's "agriculturally challenged"). Soon though, he's found out what Mr. Wicker meant when he told Paul that farming soon becomes a part of you. He even gets excessively worried about the care of the garden. Also, Jamie gives Paul's latest film a bad review - at one point saying it's "oh my god dull". Paul takes this really to heart, thinking that if Jamie doesn't love his work she somehow loves him a little less. This point is especially made apparent (at least in Paul's eye) when they run across a fellow filmmaker Stan Friedus (played by Robert Klein) at the market and Jamie lavishes praise upon his film. And while they are talking to Stan they find out about a toy that Stan's kid Gunther has which seems to have a magical calming effect on kids. After Paul and Jamie find out they've accidentally taken the toy, Jamie schemes to keep it. It carries them to criminal extremes.



There were many funny parts to this episode, but before I praise this one for even one more sentence, I must say I'm particularly disturbed by Jamie's behaviour. Her desire to keep what isn't her's then later actually plotting to steal the toy from the baby's crib is terrible. She's shown evidence of being a thief at heart in other episodes (taking all the quarter's from the washing machine in "The Magic Coin", keeping the taupe sweater, having stolen a spoon from Paul's mother, and even taking Paul's copy of the Sunday paper when he met Jamie) but this was really bad. In my opinion it casts a very negative light over what was in many ways a wonderful episode. I've even received email expressing how awful this was. I have to agree.

But if we can forget about the negative behaviour of Jamie, it was otherwise a fairly funny episode. I enjoyed the toy that Stan had for Gunther, the "fluvenhuven". It was also good to see Mr. Wicker back again. It's been awhile since we've seen him and we still have no idea where he's been. I did enjoy this episode, but Jamie's continuing to be a thief has left a bad taste in my mouth about this one. In fact, I'm so displeased by her actions that I cannot give this episode any higher a rating than a 4.5 (out of 10). It's not because I truly disliked the episode, or that I'm tired of the show. It's just that I cannot stand to see Jamie stealing anything, let alone a child's toy. That's a new low, even for Jamie.