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Thursday, December 6, 2012

'The Goode Family' The Complete Series: Even Gooder Than Remembered

The Goode Family Poster

This review may get my home pelted with cage-free organic eggs, but watching Shout Factory's complete series DVD set, which is being released on January 8, 2013, of the 13-episode 2009 animated comedy "The Goode Family" prompted anger that the series did not last longer. A Christmas wish is that it be revived in the same manner as "Family Guy" and "Futurama."

I do not intend to offend anyone but wish to communicate both that "Goode" is an excellent show and that my personal experiences show that that series expertly lampoons a very influential segment of the American population.

Mike Judge, who brought us the cult classic film "Office Space" and the anti-"Goode Family" hit series "King of the Hill," produced this show about fanatically liberal and progressive couple Gerald and Helen Goode. These folks make Green Party members seem like Tea Baggers.

"Goode" is incredibly awesome and does an even better job at depicting folks to whom I refer as beret wearing poseurs than Judge did regarding providing a look at redneck life in "King." 

For the record, I consider myself a moderate and reasonable individual who strongly believes that this nation needs a viable moderate and reasonable political party but ain't holding my breath waiting for that to occur.

I will add that Whole Foods' macaroni and cheese is a contender if I ever need to choose a death-row meal, that I prefer the high quality snacks at Whole Foods to more mass-produced products (including the two boxes of Twinkies in my freezer), and that I interrupted writing this view to shop at LL Bean's website.

The main difference regarding "King" and "Goode" is that rednecks seem to have a much better sense of humor about themselves than extreme liberals. As I demonstrate below, "Goode" is spot on and has a wonderful sense of humor regarding fanatical environmental and social conscious views.

The pilot, which centers around wife Helen trying to bond with teen daughter Bliss about sex, includes a scene in which Helen shops at the Whole Foods clone "One Earth." A hilarious shot in that scene shows the price of seemingly identical apples increasing dramatically as their level of organicness supposedly increases. Of course, Helen purchases the most expensive ones.

The scene ends with a highly embarrassed Helen earning evil stares from the checkout cashier and other customers because she forgot her reusable bags. Rather than use paper bag, Helen juggles (and drops) her purchases in her hands.

This scene reminded me of driving across the entire city of Denver during rush hour with a friend, who is very active with the Green Party, to get lettuce at a Whole Foods because he refused to shop at a traditional grocery store.

Of course, my friend refused to get a bag any time that we shopped during the visit. This once involved him juggling (and dropping) items.

Similarly. Trader Joe's cashiers always insist on cramming my paper bags so full that they inevitably break. I have also had requests for plastic bags, to better keep frozen items cool, met with looks that suggested that I made an unwelcome sexual advance.

Closer to home, there have been a few times when another friend's car has come incredibly close to running out of gas late at night because he refused to buy gas from Mobil Exxon because he disagreed with some of their corporate policies.

Another episode has husband Gerald Goode campaigning for a Public Broadcast Radio (PBR) station in his community. He succeeds to learn that this NPResque organization is just as ruthless as openly commercial radio stations. A PBR representative trying to explain that a 30-second corporate sponsorship message differs from a radio ad is hilarious.

I regularly listen to NPR and attended a wonderful live recording of  that network's "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me." However, I have patronized many "corporate sponsors" because I wanted their products independently of their support for public broadcast. 

I also love the "Car Talk" guys' references to their "shameless commerce" division.

Additional terrific episodes include one in which Gerald inadvertently acquires a group of immigrant day laborers and Helen accidentally exploits a third-world refugee. Judge follows this one up with Helen and Gerald getting inner-city kids pummeled by posting their artsy photos in their school.

An additional great theme is the subversive acts of Bliss, who is the Marilyn Munster of the group, and her redneck maternal grandfather. Seeing this pair gleefully throw out disgusting and embarrassing items to torment a visiting guru who lives on items from garbage cans is fall on the floor funny. 

An episode in which Bliss and Grandpa operate a joint fake ID business is equally funny. They recognize that her friends can drive at night and that his friends can buy beer.

The bottom line is that this is an excellent show that is rarely, if ever, syndicated that is well worth owning. The deleted scenes and unaired scripts are nice bonuses.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "The Goode Family" is welcome to email me.