The 3rd and 4th episodes of Season 2 of VeggieTales in the House, now available on Netflix! In “The Silly Ray,” Larry uses his silly ray on Bob, and in “The Camp Out,” Bob loves s’mores a little too much.
“The Silly Ray”
On Netflix, underneath each episode, there is a little synopsis of no more than two sentences (which I try not to copy directly when making my own for these reviews). Obviously, with such limited space, there’s only so much it can say about what the episode is about, but these are still usually fairly accurate for an eleven-minute cartoon. That being said, however, I had assumptions when I read the synopses for these two episodes – and I ended up being pretty wrong!
“The Silly Ray” starts with us getting a first look at Mayor Archibald’s office, which seems to be on top of a dresser of some kind, out in the open. Petunia (his secretary?) informs Archie that he’s down in the polls because the citizens think his speeches are boring. It’s revealed that Bob is Archie’s speech writer, and when he comes in to deliver the next speech, Archie throws it away and instructs him to write a silly speech – or he’ll be fired.
Bob goes home immediately, albeit worried that he won’t be able to do the job. He’s suddenly trampled by a group of Veggies on their way to his home, as Larry has decided to throw a pool party today. (I didn’t even know they had a pool.) Bob is upset by this because 1) Larry didn’t ask permission and 2) he needs to concentrate on his speech. It’s not really clear why they still can’t have the pool party, since the pool is outside and thus shouldn’t disturb Bob. I suppose he might want to join in, too, but he doesn’t say that.
Bob sends the Veggies away and tells Larry about the new speech and his lack of silliness problem. He bemoans the fact that he can’t just “zap” himself silly. Lightbulb moment for Larry, who darts off to get a “Silly Ray” he invented. (Bob: “It seems kind of convenient that I need a silly ray, and you already invented one.”) He tells Bob that he’s been wanting Bob to be sillier for a long time, and asks if Bob wants to try it. Now, here is where my assumptions for this episode were off: usually in these kinds of “personality-switching” episodes, the change is accidental or without consent. But here, Bob agrees to try the ray out.
Predictably, he begins acting just like Larry, bouncing off the walls, riding his bike on the ceiling, and laughing all the while. (Larry: “My life just got awesome!”) Silly!Bob settles down long enough to scribble down a nonsensical speech for Archie, then he and Larry go flying off through town (with Bob’s “mop-copter”), to be silly. They deliver Archie’s speech, which goes over amazingly well with the citizens listening, despite being nothing but a list of non-sequiturs.
Back at home, Silly!Bob reinstates the pool party, and all the Veggies come back for the fun. Madame Blueberry questions Larry about Bob’s new personality and asks if Larry misses the old Bob. He says no, but of course, right at that moment, things start to turn sour. Silly!Bob decides it would be “silly” to take the water from the pool and flood their entire house. Everyone goes home since now there’s no place to swim, and Larry dives into their house to stop Bob. (Logically, this makes no sense, since their house has no fourth wall. But I digress.)
Not surprisingly, Larry realizes that Silly!Bob is too silly and that he ought to be zapped back. After ending up in the Larry Cave, Silly!Bob takes LarryBoy’s car and goes on a joyride through town. Somehow, Larry manages to drain their house before he returns, and Larry sulks for awhile that he’s no longer the silly one. While we know that status quo reigns supreme and that Bob must be returned to his old self, in-universe, I’m not sure if Larry’s motivations are entirely pure. Why does it matter that Larry isn’t the silliest? And after all, Bob seems happy, and if he gave consent to be zapped the first time, shouldn’t he have to give consent again? In any case, Silly!Bob returns and Larry blasts him with the ray. Boring!Bob is back, and Larry couldn’t be happier. The episode drags a bit at this point, like it was a little too short and they had to do some padding. Archie bursts in, begging Bob for another silly speech, and though Bob protests at first since he’s not silly anymore, Larry offers to help him write it. And they do.
“The Camp Out”
For this episode, based on the synopsis, I thought it would be about the Veggies going camping and Bob getting upset that everyone is eating all the s’mores. And that did happen – in the first thirty seconds. It’s a very confusing, rapid-fire beginning, to be honest, especially since it’s pretty important for expository reasons. Because everyone ate all the s’mores last year and Bob didn’t get any, he’s decided to go camping all alone this year, so he won’t have to share the s’mores with anyone. Larry wants to come along, but Bob insists that he wants to be by himself, just he, himself, and his s’mores. Larry reminds Bob of what he always says when he wants Larry to share his pizza, Hebrews 13:16 –
“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”
Bob insists that since he’s alone, the verse doesn’t apply. But of course, Bob is only by himself at the campsite for a few minutes. To be fair, it’s kind of nice to see Bob happy (without a silly ray), and he hums to himself as he gathers firewood for a fire to make s’mores. Larry and Bacon Bill then show up, despite Bob telling Larry to stay home, and so do Petunia, Madame Blueberry, and Ichabeezer. Bob angrily moves his tent and supplies around the entire back yard (at least, I think that’s where they are) in effort to get away from everyone. When he’s finally and truly alone, it’s night, and so Bob begins his personal s’more-a-thon.
Radishes (who had seen the s’more supplies earlier) and Motato pop out of the bushes nearby and steal the s’more right out of Bob’s invisible hands. In the morning, the other Veggies see a distraught Bob sobbing over the loss of his s’mores. He confesses why he wanted to be alone while camping, that he was upset that everyone had eaten all the s’mores last year and he hadn’t gotten any. He says sorry for pushing everyone away. The Veggies, not knowing about this, also apologize and offer to help get back the supplies from Motato. So Bob realizes the error of his ways, I guess? I’m not really sure what the lesson here is, except a blanket one of sharing being important.
They dress up as pirates (since Motato and his Radishes are dressed that way) and come up with a plan to get the s’mores back. When they find Motato, they sing an extremely silly, s’more wordplay-filled song about “the Isle of S’moria,” an island made entirely out of chocolate, graham crackers, and marshmallows.
Motato falls for the ruse, steals their fake map, and heads off to find this mysterious Isle, leaving the supplies behind. Bob then offers to make s’mores for everyone. And he does.
These were fun if bizarre episodes. It’s nice when Bob gets the spotlight, but here again it’s highlighted that the writing alternates between having him be the Boring One or the Selfish One, made even more obvious since these two episodes were back-to-back.
What did you think? How do you help your children understand when it’s a good time to be silly and when it’s not, and about sharing even when you don’t want to? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Images: VeggieTales in the House from Big Idea Entertainment, DreamWorks Animation Television, and Bardel Entertainment