Tales From the Darkside 310: Deliver Us From Goodness

Okay, finally - a title where I have no idea what the episode is going to be about! Even the opening image, of a plate being set for a fancy dinner party offers no clues. Come on, Tales, surprise me!

It turns out that the show is taking place in the home of a man running for mayor - they've invited a prospective supporter over for dinner! As they get settled in the manager complains about his allergies - will that be important? Then it's time for dinner - the manager explains that in order to get elected, the whole family has to be presentable and positive. This might be problematic in the case of the odd-looking and gawky daughter-

When the mother starts talking about the value of supporting men who would strive for greatness she's suddenly underlit-

Which turns out not to be just a director's flourish, as the other characters comment on it. She plays off the comment, and doesn't even answer questions about heavenly music that plays whenever she speaks. Things get even stranger when the manager complains about the meal, and states that he'd have preferred fried chicken. The wife's wish makes it so, and a buck of KFC drops onto his plate.

Faced with the supernatural, the manager takes his leave in the fastest way possible. Who can blame him? The next day the family still hasn't received a satisfactory answer about the whole 'magical powers' thing. The daughter talks about the salacious adventures of her friends' parents, but her super-classy mother won't be phased. She will, however, use her magical powers to transform her daughter's clothes into that of Cleopatra after a miscommunication.

This, understandably, freaks everyone out, and the father is finally willing to talk openly about the situation - he points out that the mother promised that this sort of thing 'wouldn't happen any more'. What's that kind of thing? Apparently she doesn't even know!

She goes to visit a local priest (since it's not a 'methodist' kind of problem), who is understandably skeptical. After seeing the effects of her powers for himself, though, he's excited to get to the bottom of things. He interviews her about her opinions, and comes to the conclusion that she's so classy and humble that she must actually be a literal saint! She's not happy about it, given all the problems her nature is causing her for family. This leaves her with only one option - start sinning so that god won't be so happy with her!

Her solution? Set up a Buddhist shrine in her living room! Yeah, that seems a little weak to me as well. Her daughter has a better suggestion, if she's just looking for an idol to worship:

Oh, Bruce - I could see a religion springing up around your memory.

The mother starts swearing and telling off her meddling mother - thereby checking the first four of the ten commandments off a list.

Now that's a supportive family. They even made a chart! Hopefully she won't have to kill anyone or cheat on her husband, though.

When god continues to not forsake her she moves on to killing insects, then balks at the 'sixth' commandment, the one about adultery - I put that in quotes because they're using some bizarre version of the ten commandments where they've merged 'no other gods before me' and 'don't make graven images' into a single commandment, which is just crazy. What's the new commandment? I need a better look at that list.

She skips on to stealing her daughter's clothes, and then lying about it! She does some quick coveting, but it doesn't work - the chorus of angels continues to sing. Well, that's just one sin left - seduce a priest! Naturally the priest isn't really on board with this idea, so she's foiled.

In the next scene she makes a comment about doing all the sins, though, which makes me wonder if they went through with it off-camera - that's certainly not the way the scene was going, though, so who knows? She's brought in a friend to act as a sinning consultant, and discovers the problem right away - the mother isn't enjoying the sins at all, and she's not doing them for herself!

All she has to do is start taking pride in her accomplishments, and god will no doubt start judging her harshly. They make up a series of signs proudly boasting of her status as a saint, and then plan to go around town boasting of her holiness. It's this arrogance that finally gets rid of god's favor - which then switches over to the friend who helped her get rid of her sainthood. More because the episode needed an punchline than for any reason that makes sense.

Ah, the old harmless comedy episodes. You're always fun, but never fantastic.

No comments: