April 26th, 2015, 7:30 PM, FOX
Gene creates his own band, the Itty Bitty Ditty Committee – comprised of himself (on keyboard, natch), Tina, Louise (both on soda cup and straw), Regular Sized Rudy (on cymbals), Peter Pescadaro (on electrified recorder) and Darryl (on vocals). Darryl gets into the process of being in a band, and when the gang scores a gig playing at Lenny DeSteffano’s party they go into intense rehearsals. Unfortunately, Gene’s innate laziness, lack of technical musical talent and his inability to imagine the whole band as a real and whole entity unto its own inspires Darryl to learn everything Gene already knows and kick him and his sisters out of the band in less than a week’s time. After a failed lesson with music teacher Miss Merkin, a despondent Gene vows never to play his keyboard again. His moping results in him telling his sisters to get rid of his keyboard – and when they seemingly burn it Gene has a late revelation, which leads to his sister reintroducing him to his creativity. Meanwhile, Linda has a gross rash that horrifies everyone around her, which forces her to grow out her armpit hair. When Ron and Hugo show up to inspect the restaurant, they force Linda to wear hairnets under her armpits, and a humiliated Linda and Bob to try an assortment of folk remedies to cure Linda’s rash so she can shave her armpits once more.
Belchers from the womb to the tomb; that’s this show’s rightfully popular and honest rallying cry. The best part of the Belcher clan’s multiple travails is how they’re willing to cling to that belief, and how much they’re willing to stand up for each other and protect one another. This episode is, more than ever, about the show’s joyful tendency to encourage everyone to let their freak flags fly; that it ultimately ends in a dance party on the street outside the restaurant is fitting and heartening. Most of Gene’s musicianship and songwriting have been seen in an affirmative light until this episode – it’s interesting that the show chose to take a look at his decisions as a musician and show us that, while he might not be the best keytarist in the world, he still has worth and value; an important message.
As for Linda’s subplot – it was basically gross-out humor, no more and no less. Hugo and Ron show up to facilitate the plot but never get to see Linda shaking it with her armpit hair loose and free – it’s a dangling, unanswered thread that sits annoyingly out in the open. There’s some bizarre body shaming thrown in about women who don’t choose to shave. But in the end it folds pretty nicely in to the overall theme of being yourself and doing what you want with your body, your talent, your mind.
The Belchers ultimately belong exactly where they end up – on their quirky little street, making folks just as quirky as they are dance along. Thank heavens for that – and that we get to share their wonderfully ridiculous adventures every week.
An excellent episode about self-discovery and being true to yourself.