714/Uncle Phil Goes Back to High School
Uncle Phil has decided to return to school to get his high school after 63 years. He wants to finish school so he can attend the prom. However, in typical Uncle Phil fashion, he turns out to be both the class clown and trouble-maker. For instance, he has a different re-counting of MacArthur's leaving the Phillipines (he claims he was there). He's also a big flirt who makes friends with the Principals secretary. But because he's having so much trouble fitting in he gets discouraged and wants to quit. But Paul and Jamie talk him into staying, if only because he must go to the prom. At the prom Uncle Phil doesn't like the new music and makes a big hit with his suggestion of something different.
Also, Lisa has new breast implants and Paul can't keep either his mind, eyes, or even hands off of them. He even tries calling a radio psychologist (Dr. Kathy) for advice on whether or not he should confess his interest in Lisa's breasts to Jamie. Dr. Kathy just laughs and says he needs to take that to his grave. That may be a little hard to do as Jamie was listening to the show. She actually doesn't get upset. In fact, she makes fun of Paul's distraction.
It's never boring to see Mel Brooks repreise his role as Uncle Phil, and this one was no exception. The plot was a little thin, but it was a typical Uncle Phil episode where Brooks is allowed to have a great deal of fun. In this one he hit's the ground running and in every scene he's in he steals the show. I guess that should actually be expected.
It was also funny to see Lisa and her new breasts. The funniest part, of course, was Paul's reaction to her. I was a little shocked to see Paul and Jamie freely touching Lisa's breasts. Not so much because of what they were doing, or even that Lisa would not only allow it, but encourage it (that's to be expected). What I was more surprised by than anything was that they were doing it so freely on prime-time network television. I guess I shouldn't be that surprised these days, but that was a new one on me. Fortunately it was handled with a fair sense of humor and not in a crass, tasteless way, so that made it funny. It was a little uncomfortable, but not terribly. As to my opinion on Lisa's new breasts, let me put it this way: they were nice, but I'm a leg man. In other words, they didn't really do much for me, though that's not a complaint.
Overall this was a fairly entertaining episode. It was Mel Brooks' show from top to bottom and frankly his appearance was almost the only thing that saved the show. I laughed, but I have seen funnier "Uncle Phil" episodes. I do have a couple of complaints, but they're fairly minor, and don't detract much from my overall impressions of the show. First: the plot was exceptionally thin. There was no explaination for why Uncle Phil was returning to school (or why he left in the first place) outside of his desire to go to the prom. And Paul's fascination with Lisa's breasts never really gets him in trouble. It was a very superficial plot. Thank goodness it was an "Uncle Phil" episode. My second complaint is getting to be an old one: where was Mabel? I'm starting to think her and Murray have been kidnapped. Not having Mabel as the center of a show is one thing, but to not even acknowledge her existance is hard to believe. Anyone else notice this? Be honest, how many of you have almost forgotten the Buchman's even have a kid?
I give this episode a marginal 7, mainly because of the thinness of the plot. I give Mel Brooks' performance a 9 (1 point off because he seemed at times to be on the edge of forgetting where he was in the dialogue) and admit my rating of this episode wouldn't have been this high without him in the show. Upon 2 subsequent viewings of this show, it's not gotten any funnier, but neither has it gotten any worse. In my opinion, this was an episode which should have been much better, but what started off as promising, just never fulfilled it's potential. You would think after almost 7 years of doing this the staff would have a better sense of how and where to take this show.