Monday, January 19, 2009

Adventures in Care-a-Lot Episode 23

Tour de Farce
In a stunning move on the show editor's part, the first story features McKenna, rather than the second.  We open on her riding her bike around Care Square, openingly wondering how her bike could be making so much noise when her crash quota is still under three.  Unbeknownst to her, Funshine chucks a sunball at her head, but rather than knock her over, it turns her bike all sparkly.  Surprise jumps out of hiding to compliment Funshine on his good guy qualities, and McKenna, wanting to show off her sparkly bike, invites Funshine and Surprise to go on a ride with her.
As usual, word of the bike ride spreads to half of Care-a-Lot, and more bears show up than expected.  McKenna is not phased by this, though, and suggests making the ride a bigger trip.  It's quickly transformed into a picnic at Rainshine Meadows, and as the bike-riders get set to go, Share notices Grumpy walking around in the background.  Funshine goes over to invite him along, but Grumpy cuts him off before he can get three words out.  He wants nothing to do with bikes and bikeriding, garnering stares from the others, who are unable to fathom the thought of not liking bikes.  Grumpy goes off on a rant against bikes and then storms off toward his garage.
Everyone else is surprised at this, especially since Grumpy apparently loves picnics.  Any further musing on the subject is cut short by Oopsy haphazardly riding around on his bike, ending with him crunching the back of McKenna's bike.  She's about to fix it herself when she realizes that if Grumpy fixes it, she can use her feminine wiles to coax his reason for hating bikes out of him.  So it's off to Grumpy's garage.  Naturally, Grumpy initially sends her away, but even he can't resist her puppy-dog eyes attack (a little flattery doesn't hurt, either).  As Grumpy gets down to work, so does McKenna.  Grumpy insists that he's too busy to go bike-riding, but when McKenna mentions the picnic, he starts to reconsider.  But only for a minute.  He jumps on the defensive and fixes her bike in record time.  Rather than leave, McKenna tells him that she was a lateblooming bike-rider, and as she suspected, this hits a nerve with Grumpy, though he tries to hide it.  She confesses to her own embarrassment at not knowing how to ride which gives Grumpy the courage to do the same.  Seems he's tried for so long that he's tired of trying anymore (how'd none of the other bears know about this, then?).  McKenna promises to help him this time, and with her support, he's sure to do it!
As the two of them leave the garage, Grumpy tells McKenna not to tell anyone else that he doesn't know how to ride.  Predictably, everyone else is standing outside his garage, but they promise not to tell, either.  Grumpy is not reassured by this, and reneges on the whole deal.  But everyone insists that it'll be so much fun if they all help him, so Grumpy grudgingly agrees.  He promises to give anyone who laughs his "grumpiest grimace ever," a threat he has to put into action immediately, as everyone laughs at it.  Only Oopsy actually notices, though.
A little later, Grumpy emerges from his garage covered in padding; his attempt to "eliminate the 'ouch factor,'" as he puts it.  And thus begins a montage of Grumpy 
learning to ride, mostly crashing (at one point, Funshine comments, "That's what helmets are for"), and flying through the air way more than is necessary.  Most of the teaching is done by McKenna and Funshine, with everyone else acting as a cheering section.  After one crash too many, Grumpy is ready to give up, insisting that he hasn't learned anything.  But McKenna points out the marks Funshine made each time Grumpy tried riding, showing that progress is being made.  Grumpy's enthusiasm is renewed, especially when Funshine suggests Tenderheart and himself keep up with Grumpy on the bike to keep him from crashing this time.  
At first this plan works, until Grumpy mysteriously disappears off the bike (which mysteriously keeps going without him).   Turns out he got caught in a tree branch while no one was looking.  As he fumes, the peanut gallery wonders whether he's reached the last straw, but in direct contrast to their thoughts, he announces his dedication to not giving up until he shows the bike who's boss!  For some reason, he feels the best way to do this is to bike down some stairs.  With his eyes closed.  What?  The others compensate for Grumpy's foolhardiness by using their belly badges (and occassionally their own bodies) to keep him from harm.  At one point, Surprise creates a jack-in-the-box that flings Grumpy through the air, but fortunately he lands right where he started, none the wiser.  He celebrates his mastering the art of bike-riding and while the others are glad for him, they're pretty worn out from keeping him on the bike, although they don't let on.  But they have enough energy to bike off into the sunset, with Oopsy going off course, naturally.

So much Grumpy cuteness!  Especially in that scene between him and McKenna.  I feel his pain for not being able to ride a bike, though.  Still, why did he think riding down stairs would be a good idea when he kept falling over on solid ground?

Bad News
And bad it is.  I really didn't like this episode, mainly because I felt that it was a mistake to use Share in it (Trueheart fits, though).  The story begins with Trueheart and Share bored out of their minds and half-asleep.  Oopsy shows off his new bell and wakes them from their stupor, but they're still bored.  A bell starts to ring, but it's not Oopsy's this time; it's the Care-a-Lot Fire Brigade!  There isn't any fire, though, just a twinklet stuck in a tree.  Share, Trueheart, and Oopsy excitedly follow after the truck and watch as the twinklet is rescued, as is its rescuer.  Later, Trueheart and Share are still talking about the twinklet rescue, and decide that everyone in Care-a-Lot should hear about it.  Share suggests having it announced in Care Square, but nearly swallows a bug in her efforts to demonstrate her idea.  Trueheart has a better idea: since she runs the Care-a-Lot website, she'll make a news section for it that they can keep updated.  But since it takes more than one story to fill a news section, the two of them go off in search of some news.
Their first stop leads them to Grumpy's latest invention, a machine that will do your yardwork while serving you drinks, which Share promises to make the headline (favoritism, eh? ^_~).  They also interview Cheer, who debuts a new kind of rainbow.  With the story of the fire brigade already set, they call it a day on reporting and upload the stories to the website.  And to guarantee everyone sees their reporting, they have Grumpy build a huge widescreen monitor to display the stories in front of the library.  Those reported on are impressed with the stories, and Share and Trueheart can't wait to write more articles.
As they sit in the library, Trueheart and Share notice Bedtime walking around in a daze, and they follow him out of the library and watch as he wanders through shrubbery and right on top of Funshine.  Funshine tells them that Bedtime's just sleepwalking and that it's not a big deal.  Trueheart and Share feel otherwise, and snap a pic.  As they run off to update the website, Funshine warns them to keep Bedtime's embarrassing secret to themselves (but if he sleepwalks all over Care-a-lot, how is it a secret?), but they're already out of earshot.  As they hurry along, they find the sweet shop in a state of disarray, the result of Love-a-lot and Harmony's attempts to speed up a smoothie.  They get a photo of the sticky shop, unaware that the other bears have only gone to get cleaning supplies.  They also get a shot of Grumpy's latest invention lying on its side, an apparent failure (in reality, just blown over by the wind).
Not content to just have their stories displayed on a huge monitor, Trueheart and Share call everyone's attention to the latest reports (including Share's extra-annoying "Extra! Extra! Hear all about it!" =_=).  Those libeled quickly jump to their own defense (except for Bedtime, who is still sleepwalking), but Trueheart and Share defend their stories as being exactly what they saw, and therefore true.  Funshine and Cheer try to explain why their stories were a bad idea in the first place, but Trueheart and Share are having none of it, and go off in search of more news.  And what a scoop they find!  Oopsy, leaving Share's garden with an armful of flowers!  Naturally, they get this up on the website ASAP, and they don't even have to make any announcements before the news starts spreading all over town (even surprising Oopsy himself).
Share and Trueheart pounce on Oopsy, who tells them that he was just pulling some weeds for Share since she's been too busy reporting to tend her garden lately.  Neither bear believes him, until Cheer magnifies the image from the report, showing without a doubt that Oopsy really did have weeds and not actual flowers.  Share starts to give a heartfelt apology, but Funshine can't let her (and Trueheart's) actions slide without reprimanding her for not checking the facts.  The two would-be reporters learn the error of their ways, and report one final story: they won't be reporting any more stories!  Which is definitely good news.

Bonus Screenshots:

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