Monday, July 23, 2012

Janine's Genie

Episode 12 – Season 1

I’m a fan of the original Janine and any episode that features her more is due to be one of the better ones.  This would be one of them although it’s a bit sillier than some of the previous episodes it’s still funny enough to be worth watching multiple times.  She’s also in uniform which for any die hard Real Ghostbusters fan is fun and exciting.  These writers, Jansen & Menville, are doing mostly decent for now but will they be able to keep it up?  They seem to enjoy writing Slimer into the show as much as they can which usually translates into the weaker moments in the show in my opinion.

One extra crispy Ghostbuster coming up!
Here we go.  The guys get a call to begin the episode as Peter warns Slimer to stay away from his watermelon before he leaves.  I wonder what is going to happen, argh!  Janine throws a fit about not being able to go out on calls so the guys decide, on a whim, that she can.  Who answers the phone or takes care of walk-in clients if she went though, Slimer?  That’s why you’re a secretary Janine.  Luckily it turns out to be not horrendous.  As they arrive at the scene of the ghost phenomena Janine is in full uniform dashing out of ecto-1.  Did she change in the ride there?  I bet those are some interesting deleted scenes somewhere in the vault.  As the ghostbusting begins Janine asks, “What do I do?”  That’s a reasonable enough question but I love Winston’s answer, “BLAST THEM!”  He’s so scientific isn’t he?  Janine stumbles into Egon and gets a bit lovey-dovey then accidently fires at Peter narrowly missing him!  I love the “Whoa!” exclamation by Peter!

She eventually captures her first ghost and goes banana’s.  Peter meanwhile remarks she almost caught her first Ghostbuster as well!  The theme music was rolling too which lifted the scene very well.  As they wrap it up Janine is aiming her gun inadvertently at Peter as he jumps out of the way hysterically while Janine says, “Is he ever serious?”  The comedic interaction of those two in this scene is really funny.  Janine mentions that this call has made her a full-fledged Ghostbuster as Winston replies, “Nobody becomes a Ghostbuster overnight.”  Didn’t you Winston?  Am I missing something here?  Peter gets excited as it’s “Bill time!”  His response to the client suddenly emerging from hiding is priceless!  This really is one of my top scenes in this series.

Can words describe this guy?
The old man who owns the building doesn’t have any money to pay but offers to let them pick one of his old antiques as payment.  Janine jumps at the offer and accepts.  Can you guess what she picked?  An old lamp the guys tease her about of course.  I usually could care less about Slimer but he’s eating the watermelon when they get back.  Nothing special about that except the fact Slimer is spitting out the seeds.  I’ve seen this green goober eat pencils so why spit out a seed?  Slimer gets chased away by all four of the guys upstairs as Peter discovered he ate his watermelon.  Why would the others even care or give chase?  It’s this tiny side event involving Slimer that’s lame but Janine Is now alone with her new lamp.  She rubs it to clean it a bit while ‘wishing’ she was the boss.  Surprise!   The ghost, I mean ‘genie’, inside has the actual power to grant wishes so now she actually is the boss.  The ghost genie looks funky and as Janine leaves he begins to release his pals from the lamp.

Peter is punishing Slimer by means of a spanking.  The other three guys watch on.  It’s a lame attempt at including Slimer in the episode.  Who spanks a ghost?  Peter usually would rather blast him or yell at him to get lost.  It’s these ‘dumbed’ down moments that I hate although Peter requesting a mitt before he spanked the green turd is mildly funny.

Another call has come in from the airport and the guys all line up in front of Janine hailing her as their boss.  Before they leave Janine cashes in her second wish that Egon fall in love with her.  She is sure breezing through these wishes isn’t she?  You only have one left Janine!  They all race off as Janine drives wildly out of the firehouse.  The ghost genie then releases all his buddies from the lamp and begins to take control of the firehouse.

Hope you brought enough traps!
In ecto-1 on the way to the airport Slimer is in a car seat with a steering wheel pretending to drive.  Can we give the Slimer stuff a break yet?  Hasn’t this episode filled the quota for this crap yet?  It’s a bit funny but it’d be better as a poster or something, not included in the scene.  It’s like Slimer is their dead little child who ate too many boogers in his living existence.  Would they actually buy Slimer a car seat with a steering wheel?  Crap maybe Ray would he’s like that.  Egon goes on a flirting frenzy with Janine that is silly enough to be chuckle worthy.  At the airport Slimer sniffs out the ghosts they’re after like a hound dog.  How much more can we take?  Use the PKE meter!  They would but Egon is immobilized by love and the others apparently failed to bring theirs.  I guess we are out of options except for Slimer, how sad.  Peter attempts to lure the ghosts out of their hiding with a joke, “Knock, knock.”  The ghost answers with the appropriate response ‘Who’s there?’  Peter continues, “Dishes.”  The ghost plays along.  Peter finishes with, “Dishes the Ghostbusters!  Come on out!”  It’s funny and it’s a visually neat scene to see all the ghosts.

Quirky and a bit wacky but it entertains.
They all head off in pursuit of the escaping ghosts while Egon is still in a state of being love struck.  Janine takes the PKE meter and notes that the signal is fading fast.  Peter keeping us entertained as usual states, “So is Egon.”  Sometimes these small jokes really hold together the episode.  They follow the ghosts onto a plane and while searching for them Ray blurts out, “Anybody seen a ghost?”  I wonder if that’s a tribute to the first movie.  The ghosts take over the plane and begin to take to the skies.  The scene is entertaining as the ghosts start a food fight and get into mischief with some of the passengers.  Naturally the Ghostbusters must stop them.  The theme music triggers which extends to new lengths as the Ghostbusters fly the plane all over town.  Whether or not they’d actually be able to fly it after the ghosts bailed is up to you but it’s not too bad a scene.  The ending is the best as they are all sitting in seats on the ground; it’s like something out of Looney Tunes which I also enjoy.

Inter-dimensional surgery?
The finale has the Ghostbusters discovering the source of the ghost activity is from that blasted lamp!  Janine decides to cash in her final wish to make the ghosts return to the lamp.  The ghost genie refuses and admits to lying about the whole genie act.  He just wanted the Ghostbusters away while his spirit friends entered our world.  Can we fault the ghost for that?  I suppose so since they’re up to no good!  Ray comes up with some rigged ghost traps that will attach to the lamp to reverse the flow of the escaping ghosts back into the lamp.  How that works is beyond me but its creative enough to seem that it would fix things.  Janine braves all in an attempt to correct her blunder by going into a very hostile firehouse environment.  It’s a cool character moment for her as she tries to finish what she accidently started.  The ghost genie tries to stop her as she smacks him away, “Outta the way creep!”  I don’t know why but that’s a funny line at this moment.  It transforms into a mutated, shaved, dog-like creature that I wouldn’t want barking up my tree.  Egon, Winston and Peter blast it as Janine attaches the cables and saves the day.

It wraps up nicely as the lamp disappears in a snap and the wishes enchantments with it.  It’s a fun episode with exciting situations but lack the mysterious evil spirits with hidden agendas and the sort.  I’d say this would be a good first episode to watch for many new viewers.  The only thing I’d change is taking out all the terrible Slimer moments or at least limiting them to one.
Rating: 8 of 10


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