Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The Sarah Silverman Program: "Doodie"

TV ReviewsAll of our TV reviews in one convenient place.

After the one-two-three punch of abortion, sexual deviance, and racism provided by The Sarah Silverman Program's first three episodes of the season, the bets were off: What taboo or hot-button issue would the fourth episode gleefully exploit? Terrorism? Homosexuality? Gay terrorists? Well, SSP fans, none of the above. Episode four reprised some season one-style wackiness. There was even a musical number!

Sure, there was the usual Brian-Steve b-plot–Brian tries to prove he's interested in politics ("I know lots of politics!")–but this week's episode thankfully lacked the forced feeling of its predecessor. Sarah and Laura get on their favorite TV show, Cookie Party, hopefully to win money to buy their mom a new headstone. (Mrs. Silverman's grave was robbed, her skeleton raped, and her headstone purloined. The necrophiles also took her pelvis bone and "what they thought were her boob bones," according to officer Jay.)

But their plan brings to the surface the resentment Laura feels for her woman-child older sister and, in particular, Sarah's obsession with shit. The episode's funniest moment came in a flashback, where Laura sits by her mom's deathbed while Sarah stands in the front yard, waving shit on a stick to passing cars and yelling "Doodie!"

Laura Silverman's basically stuck being Sarah's straight man, so it's nice to see some character development, especially when it exposes the resentment lurking just below her cheerful exterior. I could foresee the SSP taking her fantasies to increasingly psychotic levels, all without changing her ever-helpful demeanor. Just as Sarah's the unknowing misanthrope, Laura could be oblivious to her own subconscious madness, with their co-dependent relationship keeping it all at bay.

But really, should any show that devotes a song to the color of dogshit be psychoanalyzed? Sarah and Laura sing a duet about how dogshit in the '70s changed colors–from brown to white when it dried–a phenomenon they don't see anymore. Really, it's a wistful song about those forgotten totems of childhood…again, though, no need to smarten it up. Dogshit, ha ha.

As usual, this episode delivered a few laugh-out-loud moments and an array of silliness, mostly for the better. And some of the funnier parts were almost throwaway gags, like when Brian tries to prove to Steve he's politically minded by stammering free association: "Abraham Lincoln…Kuwait…" Actually every time Brian tried to be political was pretty funny, though the dude who played the mayor looked like he just stepped out of the beginner's class at Second City.

Overall: Solid. Grade: B


— Sarah on her obsession with shit: "If you deconstruct something, it's not funny anymore." Are we ruining the comedy by talking about it here?

— The animation recalls Acceptable.TV, which makes sense: Sevan Najarian did animation for both shows, Acceptable co-executive producer Rob Schrab directed this episode, and that dude from Who's Gonna Train Me? played one of the Mustangs.

— "Wanna go shave each other's balls?"