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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The Sarah Silverman Program: "Bored Of The Rings"

Illustration for article titled iThe Sarah Silverman Program/i: Bored Of The Rings
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Illustration for article titled iThe Sarah Silverman Program/i: Bored Of The Rings

With a mere six episodes in its first season last year, The Sarah Silverman Program didn't have a lot of time to establish itself, though it delivered what it promised: a half-hour approximation of Silverman's racy stand-up, abetted by a supporting cast of indie comedy's usual suspects.

Although some critics argue Silverman's reputation for pushing the envelope is overstated, it's hard to argue with the abortion-themed season premiere, "Bored Of The Rings." In it, Sarah gets duped into joining a church group she thinks protests the killing of babies. She doesn't get the abortion angle until she waves to her "abortion doctor" outside the clinic the group is protesting.

"You've had an abortion?" asks one of the group members, aghast.

"I've had abortions," Silverman responds, then gets a quizzical look on her face. "Abortia?"

Turns out she's had three, which she reminisces about in a montage made hilarious by Green Day's sappy "Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)." Silverman's protest signs should have alerted the group, though, that she didn't get it:


— You've come a long way, baby, but now someone wants to shoot you in the face!


And that's not even the most offensive part of the episode. (That arrives later, when Sarah uses a suction-abortion machine on Steve Agee.) After leaving the protestors, Sarah realizes they're planning to blow up the clinic–where her sister, Laura, is volunteering. After failing to get help from her neighbor Brian Posehn–who's busy serving as dungeon master for a D&D; marathon–she heads down to the clinic to stop them herself.

After confronting the bombers, Sarah learns they'd planned to blow the building up at 5:30 a.m., when nobody was there–but that only incenses her further, because the loud noise would wake her up. As they argue, Posehn and his gang of geeky D&D; nerds storm the building haplessly, injuring only themselves in the process. (One shoots an arrow that inadvertently goes up Steve Agee's asshole.) Officer Jay, who was supposedly protecting the building with partner Paul F. Tompkins, rushes into to nab the bombers. The day has been saved!

But there's the matter of the arrow up Steve's ass. Laura, a nurse, isn't trained to treat that, so Sarah gets an idea when she sees an abortion-suction machine. "Hello, old friend," she says, grabbing it. In seconds, Agee's in the stirrups, with the suction machine up his ass, tugging at the arrowhead (at 29 times the force of a home-vacuum cleaner–thanks, AbortionTV.com!).

Finally it comes out, and the episode ends as usual: Sarah sits in bed with her dog, Doug, talking about the day. In case you think Silverman can't possibly match that episode for offensiveness, know this: Episode No. 2 centers on her licking Doug's asshole. Sarah Silverman is back, ladies and gentlemen.

Grade: B+

Duly noted:

— "I may like abortion, but at least I'm not a bore, son!" –Sarah to church group

— Hopefully Paul F. Tompkins will return in future episodes, though The Sarah Silverman Program is practically becoming Mr. Show II.

— Seriously, an abortion montage set to "Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)"? That pretty much rules.

— Posehn's nerdy D&D; shirt: "You are not the DM of me!" Everyone at his D&D; party drinks Tab, a call-out to last season's Tab-themed episode.


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