"Joplin" - Another Period Review

Chad White

Another Period
Season 2, Episode 8

Why won't you leave me alone, Devil's pole?

Players: Lillian, Beatrice, Dr.  Goldberg, Blanche, Peepers, Flobelle, Garfield, Hortense, Hamish

After almost an entire season of the show essentially ditching its original premise, Another Period returns to what the show started out as. The logline for the series had to be something like “A wealthy family tries to become famous” or whatever but that was ditched in favor of more character expansive episodes. Ever since last season’s “Modern Pig” and its sequel in this season’s “Tubman,” Another Period has turned into a different beast. It wasn’t a bad change, per se, but the new format (for lack of a better word) did take away from the show’s original premise. Now, with “Joplin,” the show is returning to form.

Cedric the Entertainer guests as the episode’s title character, Scott Joplin, who is an entertainer of sorts. He’s hired by Lillian and Beatrice to help them get famous for having a talent (something that had never been done before apparently). After they sing a song, the two are discovered to be upstaged by Lillian’s dog -- or their “sister” -- Mayor Cutie. It’s pretty unbelievable that that they didn’t get famous for screeching lyrics like “Baked Alaska! The treat that we want! Do it in the back and not in the front!”

The rest of the episode doles out screen time for everyone else in a pretty even fashion. In a continued story from last episode, Dr. Goldberg marries Blanche but he leaves her to go on a solo honeymoon. He returns to his wife only to have her request that the two consummate the marriage. He admits that he’s disgusted by her pregnancy -- an irrational fear of the baby attacking him while he’s inside of her --  but concedes to doing it through a sheet (a custom of his Jewish heritage). Oh and poor Flobelle. She has to make eye contact with Goldberg the entire time. It’s interesting, though, that they’re continuing this thread (one of many). Blanche is one of the most auxiliary characters and yet she’s been in more episodes than some of the main family.

Another story has Peepers really attracted to butter. Apparently, this is tied to the time he and Dodo hooked up. Just thinking about either things gets him riled up with horniness. After a wet dream, Peepers asks Hamish for help who then takes him to a bordello. Peepers decides on the house mother (Michaela Watkins) to get busy with him. She teaches him how to masturbate and it all rounds back out at the butter. Peepers has got to be one of the more compelling characters to write for. His backwards ways of thinking make him all the more entertaining to watch.

The threads don’t really tie together this week. Lillian’s murder of Mayor Cutie does open up some possibilities of new pets though. Peepers married Goldberg and Blanche but went off on his own. Flobelle had her two scenes. Hortense popped up (and had the meanest of passing mentions as she was barely considered a sister after Mayor Cutie). And Dodo is still nowhere to be found.

Should you watch “Joplin?”

Even with this getting back to season one’s roots, this episode is still as good as the rest of the season in which it lies. It wasn’t as memorable as the last two episodes but it did have its moments. Cedric the Entertainer’s Scott Joplin didn’t get as much screen time as he should’ve had. And the stories themselves came off as jumbled. All in all, it was another solid episode that didn’t reach the heights of its predecessors.