Monday, July 30, 2012

Play Them Ragtime Boos

Episode 16

The Ghostbusters are on vacation and heading to Louisiana in ecto-1.  They choose to visit a backwater town where the locals are being hypnotized into dancing by ghosts from 1942 playing jazz.  The event is forcing unstable time shifts.  The Ghostbusters lack their equipment since they left it back in New York City.  Can they find a way to silence an old jazz band with musical powers? 

A positive for this episode is that Slimer is practically non-existent in it.  The negative would be that the writer’s failed to capitalize on that.  It’s another low animation budget episode that hardly entertains and makes you hate the tune of ‘When the Saints come marching in’.

Homeless people avoid this place
As the Ghostbusters drive to their destination Peter mentions how badly he wants to go to Mardi gras but that’s not surprising.  Ecto-1 spins out of control but gets straightened out by Winston’s incredible driving as they continue forward.  Ray reads the brochure of the hotel they’ll be staying at and as they arrive the place is literally in shambles.  It looks like crap.  Peter snatches the pamphlet out of Ray’s hands, “This brochure was printed in 1925 Ray.”  How do you not notice that?  How do you even have a brochure from that long ago?  Ray’s often cluelessness amazes me.  A blond woman approaches them and speaks with an awful accent.  Peter suddenly decides that this terrible hotel will suit them just fine.  Is it because you’re attracted to the woman Peter?  Why do the other guys agree to stay there?  I’d hop in ecto-1 and move on.  Upon entering their room Winston says, “I know some roaches in New York that wouldn’t stay here.”  I think that might be the funniest line of this episode!  The room is dreadful but they decide to stay anyway.

Does this guy look familiar?
Malachi and his ghostly jazz band begin playing at midnight.  They draw in people from the town including Ray to come dance at their gazebo.  The guys watch Ray sleep walk outside while Egon yammers off some very wacky scientific jargon.  He does that quite often in this episode and I felt it was overdone.  He also claims Ray is possessed.  How could he know that?  There were no supernatural visuals to give it away.  It really looked like Ray was sleepwalking.  The guys follow Ray out to the street to see what’s going on when Peter says, “So why did Ray get invited to this party and we didn’t?”  The delivery of the line is funnier than the actual line, thanks Lorenzo Music.  Egon notices that the ghosts are shifting time with their supernatural music.  I don’t know how that works and it’s kind of lame.  The people begin to change cloths to different eras.  The blond woman throws some pixie dust onto the jazz ghosts and they disappear.  Better than a proton pack!

The woman explains that Malachi was a fantastic jazz player from long ago and has come back to play his music while turning back the clock.  He is apparently stuck in 1942 and wants to play ‘When the Saints come marching in’ for all eternity.  He must be stopped I’m sick of hearing that song loop!  They find out that the woman is into voodoo and that’s how she was able to stop the ghosts earlier.  I’d say it’s very convenient that the guys strolled into town precisely when these jazz ghosts started becoming so powerful.  I’d prefer it actually been a call and Peter wanting to stop off at Mardi gras on the way but oh well.  They decide to call up Janine and have her ship their proton packs to them.  If they were driving ecto-1 down here anyway why not bring the packs?  I’m sure there would be room. 

Malachi & his band
Later the guys are walking along and Winston says, “So this time warp stuff is a problem huh?”   I wonder if it is, come on Winston can’t be that stupid.  Ray adds an interesting notion, “Time is what keeps everything from happening at once.”  There is something about that line that is neat.  They approach Malachi and their cloths start to change while they jump around in time.  I haven’t the foggiest of how all this happens.  Eventually they randomly arrive back in the present, lucky for them.  Ray and Winston decide to head to New Orleans as their equipment should be there by now.  Egon busts out his spare PKE meter which he always has!  You can count on him to be somewhat prepared at all times.  He figures out that to beat the musician ghosts they’ll need to counter with some of their own music.  They could also use the proton packs that should be arriving shortly, either way Egon.   

He likes his work
They run into a snag when Ray and Winston inform the others that there equipment was shipped to Hawaii.  Janine I love your sense of humor but was that really necessary?  I doubt it was her but you never know.  The Ghostbusters are at a loss of what to do.  They decide to go to the convention that they originally planned on when they arrived to get parts to build a proton pack and trap.  At least from what I piece together that’s the plan, it’s not entirely as easy to follow as most episodes.  It’s cool to see Ray working on the equipment back at their hotel.  Peter always has something to say too, “Come on Ray there are guys at NASA that can do this on their lunch break.”  Really guys at NASA can make ghost busting equipment?  I know it’s a joke to make fun of how long it’s taking to make the proton pack but NASA?! 
  
Later on Ray sports his new proton pack and fires upon the ghosts but the pack overcharges quickly and explodes.  It would have been neat to have the theme music briefly for that moment but we are denied.  The part when Egon suggests for Ray to remove the pack is so calm and collective that it’s a strange experience to watch.  The pack is going to explode you guys should be in a panic or at least excitable mode!  After it goes boom Peter says, “Nice work Ray remind me to let you fix my stereo.

Can words describe this?
Egon has the last chance at stopping Malachi.  He uses a portable handheld computer device to program instruments to counter the music the jazz ghosts are sending off.  It’s silly but it’s the only option they can try.  Egon suggests all they need to do is provide air for the instruments not actually play them.  The woman gets in one shot, “Mr. Venkman seems to have plenty of that.”  She is referring to the air, ha-ha!  Before they head out Egon slams all jazz music fans by claiming rock and roll can defeat it.  The ridiculous factor lifts off and the Ghostbusters become the music busters as they change cloths and send off riffs against the jazz ghosts.  It’s not a total loss as you get to see some wacky outfits the guys wear.  They vanquish the spirits with a final send off and restore time to its proper place.  In the end Peter rushes onto a bus to New Orleans to catch Mardi gras which is over he just doesn’t realize.  The others get a free trip to Hawaii to compensate for the mix up with their gear.

One aspect I like about this episode is the Ghostbusters are away from the regular environment of New York City and never appear in their standard jumpsuits.  It’s neat to see how they must conform to circumstance to save the day.  It’s also great that Slimer is only in one scene.

Rating: 6.5 of 10
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