In nine years, I will be 41 years old. Perhaps at that time, a time at which I will most certainly be evaluating my life (41 seems to be a good age to do that, as opposed to 32, when I pay attention to nothing except basic emotions like hungry and sad), I will come back to SuperYouTube and watch Franks and Beans episode 41, “Chariots of Mire”. I wonder what type of reaction I will have to this, an episode that features a number of common F&B tropes. Perhaps I will remark at the already dated cultural references, or note the effort we made for special effects. Maybe I’ll look back and say, hey, I still have a little bit of hair here, and punch a window.
In any case, “Chariots of Mire” does in fact show off some of the best of Franks and Beans. If you watch this episode and hate it, well, then chances are you might not like too many other episodes. Except for “Mailbag/Bloopers” or “The Sandwich”, which lots of people like. Whatever. What I’m trying to say is that this episode of the show features a lot of things that I like: physical comedy, irreverence, quick timing and callbacks to previous jokes. And shouting.
Let’s tackle the first topic. Did you see what I did there? I used the word “tackle” in reference to a scene in which I bowl over a wagon full of, well, leaves and things. Wow. In filming this, I learned that it is really hard to purposely fall over things. This is why, no matter how many times we tried (and we did several takes), I still braced myself before ultimately tumbling over.
Our music for this episode is, of course, the classic “Chariots of Fire”, which has been used for comedic effect to the point that it’s almost certainly used for that purpose more than it is in a serious manner. It’s also very tough to find without a laugh track when you’re searching the Internet for a sample. Music tends to add something intangible to a video, something that can’t be recreated with just ambient sound, and this is an extreme example of it. And it gave me the opportunity to add in two more Franks and Beans favorites: word parodies and running. I really do run a lot in this show.
Larry in bed, and the implication that he sleeps fully clothed (and later, the line “let’s go!”), is a reference to our sort-of popular (it depends on how you define “popular”) first episode, “High School”. The reference to Avril Lavigne was about as random as they come…I wanted to think of a pseudo-celebrity that neither Larry nor I particularly liked, and her name was one of the few I thought up and was considering. Plus “Avril Lavigne” sounds funny to say. Also, here’s a funny “Weird Al” Yankovic video featuring Ms. Lavigne:
I enjoy that this episode, in contrast to basically everything before or after, features a fairly honest critique of Avril Lavigne. She wasn’t really relevant at the time we filmed this episode, and she REALLY isn’t relevant now, but seriously, what was up with her image? She’s a preppy blonde Canadian (hi, Lauren) who suddenly pains her fingernails black and wears socks on her arms and now she’s punk? Come on, Michael.
The Oreo callback is one of my favorite sequences of the entire show. “Hey, last cookie!” is a fairly generic line, but the callback to the “Chariots” music, the quick pace and Larry’s disinterested reply really makes is work for me.
Our “NO!” ending is a pretty good one, if you can make out what the heck I’m saying. Basically, Larry is waking people up, and I’m not happy about it. It may not seem like much, but I do get to say the line “for crap’s sake!”, which makes it all worth while.