713/Virtual Reality II
When Ira walks in and finds Paul and Jamie eating breakfast in robes, he wonders if they are depressed. That's because according to Ira, "depressed people wear robes". But Paul assures him that they are not depressed. "Not thrilled, but not depressed either". And they're especially not depressed when they learn that their investment in Virtual Reality (from the second season #216/Virtual Reality) has paid off fairly handsomely. Paul thinks the money should go straight into the bank and Jamie and Ira both want to re-invest - this time in a machine called the "Life Predictor". As it seems this machine is supposed to predict the future, based on mathematical probabilities from information entered into a computer. After the first prediction comes true, Paul and Jamie both happily re-invest. But when they ask for a second prediction, they have second thoughts and become very sceptical. That's because the machine has predicted Jamie will end up in bed with Mark McGwire (Major League Baseball's home-run king from last season). They have been given the opportunity to meet him because when the first prediction came true Paul and Jamie saved the life of McGwire's agent. In spite of the odds against this second prediction coming true, it somehow does.Also, Ira's luck with women hasn't gotten any better. His latest girlfriend has decided to become a man.
Hey, what a fun episode this one was/is! For the first 1/3 of this one I was beginning to think how it was too bad they weren't able to re-create the fun of the earlier episode, #216/Virtual Reality. But by the time it was over, the show had succeeded wonderfully. The plot moved along nicely to it's logical conclusion, Mark McGwire, put in a nice performance, and even the side plot with Ira's latest girlfriend was funny. Of course Mabel is still missing in action, but outside of that, it was quite entertaining. There were two things, of many, that I found particularly noteworthy. First, was the way the "virtual reality" representation of Paul and Jamie was so accurate. Sure, in t.v land you can do stuff like that, but enjoyed the attention to detail that this showed. Secondly, I'd have to say the performance of Mark McGwire was actually good. I don't mean to say that he's either an idiot or that he'll be giving Robert De Niro any competition. But for what he had to do, he did quite well. You could also see that he was having a fun time playing the part. That was obvious in the tag at the end of the show.
After what appears to have been a bit of a dip in the quality of the stories over the last 2 months, this episode showed they're back on track. That's what I was hoping would happen and with any luck at all this return to the early season lightness and fun will carry through to the end of the season. I must also note that this episode was even more funny as I watched it the second time while writing this review. I must also add that if Mabel is missing for much longer, then someone needs to put out a missing persons report. The lack of acknowledging her existance is still bothersome. That aside, I'd have to give this episode a marginal 8.5. It was as much fun and amusing as the first "Virtual Reality" episode.