Thursday, June 16, 2011

1.24: The Ballad of Molly Turgis

Yes. According to my copy of The Hooterville Handbook, this episode aired as the 26th. But, according to the DVD, it is the 24th made. Hmmm...As I don't have stuff ready for The Deputy, I'm going to put Molly here and we can deal with Orders of Things later.

"Oh, shed a tear for Gertrude!
At the bottom of the sea!
Oh, shed a tear for Gertrude!
And shed a tear for me."

This is the first of the completely loopy episodes. That's possibly why they postponed it a bit.

Molly Turgiss is a local legend in Hooterville. The locals call her "You Know Who". If you say her name, something will fall off the wall, shatter or...something will fly across the room and hit you in the behind. Mr. Douglas nails it: "Poltergeist". Molly was an ugly girl who grew up to be an ugly woman. Apparently, the townsfolk taunted her out of town. Now, her spirit punishes the people of Hooterville through random annoyances. I love how she keeps driving people's cars away and parking them illegally in different towns. Such a very simple but oh-boy-funny! idea.

I started watching this show back in 1985 in the middle of the sixth season. When the show looped back to the start, I still loved it to pieces but...this was the first episode I watched where I thought "Oh, here's that show I started watching." And, after watching the world of GA go up around the Douglases, I was as with it and as invested as they were. So, when they mention a "legend" and a possible ghost...I was anxious to see what happens.

It's not a hoax. Not an imaginary story. This isn't Molly's daughter doing something. It's Molly. The ghost of a very ugly woman who throws things at people who say her name. I'm glad Jay & Dick followed through and made it a real supernatural thing. Although, should I have expected less?

Lisa saves the day by applying an inordinate amount of make-up to Molly. In the end, she leaves town and goes wherever...maybe to haunt Crabwell Corners? But, a thought always occurs: The folks in Hooterville are good country folk with an odd bend to them. Did they really hound this woman so horribly so long ago that she left town and, possibly, killed herself because of it? (They don't say that but that's where these stories generally end.) Could you see Mr. Kimball's dad or grandad laying into Molly? Maybe Mr. Ziffel or his dad but not Mrs. It's a casual bit of legend that adds a touch of darkness to the town. Could Hooterville have been a much darker place that changed its ways after the Molly Debacle? "Hooterville: The Early Years" Well, we do know how the town started but that's another episode...

Solk Fongs! Mr. Douglas collected folk legends and made them into folk songs throughout college. He used to travel around the country and get them down for posterity. That is awesome! But, for a man who loved the countryside and farming so much, should we have expected anything less? I love Lisa's general confusion (in fact, everyone's) over why Oliver would do this. One of the few times that Oliver is actually completely right. Those legends should be preserved. Maybe Oliver's songs aren't the best but he's trying. I love the thought that he's planning on doing a small impromptu concert of his solk fongs for the folks over for dinner...including his song for Molly. Which isn't very good but not without its charms.

Solk Fongs get their own credit in the closing roll! Excellent. The playing with the credits has now commenced.

I think this episode shows off the charms of GA at its most effortless. The scenes flow and the show moves. There are laughs and lovely bits of weirdness. (And, Molly's appearance in the mirror for Oliver is rather frightening.) Great episode. Brings me a lot of joy.

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