Clone High S2, Eps. 5-6 Review
If it’s not apparent yet, it’s safe to say that Joan of Arc is the main focus of the Clone High revival’s first season. Of her peers, she got the best deal from getting thawed out after 20 years. She’s popular, dating the hottest guy in school, and has friends who share her progressive ideas. It seems like she’s got it made now, but she doesn’t. Even if she’s one of the saner clones at Clone High, she’s still a teenager in a parody of teen dramas. Suffice to say, she’s proven to be as capable of screwing up as the other clones. And this week, she screwed up not once but two times.
As a side note, the show’s moving forward with the overarching plot points.
A Very Musical Episode of Clone High
Musicals and I have a contentious history. Having grown up watching the films of the Disney Rennaisance on VHS, most of which had song and dance numbers, I have high standards. The downside is that bad musicals induce high levels of cringe. The reason that’s a problem is because the first episode is a musical one.
When Harriet’s favorite trashy drama announces they’re coming to town for talent scouting, she wants to put on a play to impress them and ropes Joan into the lead role. That proves to be a huge mistake, as the two best friends come to blows over creative differences. Harriet wants to put on a sexy, trashy, fun musical. Joan, who hates all of that, changes things to make this esoteric-thinker piece. Chaos and drama ensue, and a lot of property gets destroyed.
It proved hard to get emotionally invested in the conflict of the episode or find it funny. It doesn’t help that the focus of Harriet’s play is Twister: the game. It’s silly, even by Clone High standards, and a little hard to believe that someone as smart as Harriet would come up with that. To the show’s credit, it does a good job of showing that Joan’s attempts to alter the play put her in the wrong, and the opening number is a fun jab at how musicals use songs to convey information. And create a big mess.
It’s not until the end of the episode, though, that the important stuff happens. Firstly, Harriet takes over as the lead, has to kiss JFK, and it makes their hearts skip a beat. Secondly, their play burns down the diner they set everything up at, the Grassy Knoll. Both carry over into the next episode, with consequences.
Joan, Your Nostalgia is Literally Killing You!
In the aftermath of the Grassy Knoll’s destruction, everyone mourns its loss…for all of five minutes. Then a bigshot CEO says he’s buying the land up and building sustainable housing. Since the diner wasn’t that high-quality, no one objected…except for Joan.
As Joan reveals to Abe, she has a silly-sounding, nostalgia-based condition called Psylly Legs. Basically, whenever she’s overly nostalgic for the past, her legs go wild and start kicking everything. If she doesn’t fix it, she’ll die. And since the Grassy Knoll’s the only link left to her pre-frozen life, she needs it back.
It should be notably ironic that, of all shows, it’s Clone High talking about the dangers of the nostalgia trap. Clone High is, by definition, nostalgic. The whole reason the show returned after twenty years of oblivion was nostalgia. Maybe they did it because they thought said irony would give their message of not letting nostalgia blind you to what the future can hold more weight. However, other shows have done a better job of conveying that, like Rocko’s Modern Life in its special, Static Cling.
The Joan-Abe-JFK Plot Thickens
The big consequence of this week’s episodes is how it ultimately affects the ongoing love triangle of Joan, Abe, and JFK. JFK and Harriet kiss once more in secret to see if there is a spark, only to realize there isn’t. They ultimately confess to Joan, who, after a dramatic show, forgives them. However, Abe lets slip that he saw the kiss but didn’t tell Joan despite promising not to keep secrets from her. Feeling betrayed, Joan chooses to break off her friendship with Abe altogether and move on with her new friend group.
Thus, the episode comes to an end with Abe now a friendless outcast, watching the others relax at the rebuilt and upscaled Grassy Knoll while he’s all alone. This is good. It’s starting to address the overarching drama of the show! Now, all the show has to do is not ignore the shift in the status quo and continue to address it in the remaining episodes. With the season halfway over, now’s the time for it to start ramping up the drama! Otherwise, this revival will end up falling flat on its face.
At least Scudworth remains a treasure.