Terms of Endearment (Drawn Together episode)
Infobox Television episode
Title=Terms of Endearment
January 25, 2006(supposed to air December 8, 2004)
Writer= Sam Freiberger and Bill Freiberger
Caption = Foxxy as a minstrel show stereotype.
Production = 106
"Terms of Endearment" is the fifteenth episode of the animated series "
Drawn Together". It was produced for the first season; however, it didn't air until Season Two due to controversy surrounding its satirical portrayal of the horse riding accident that crippled Christopher Reeve, who passed away shortly before the series premiered.
In an effort to boost ratings, the producers demand that Clara and Foxxy begin taking showers together.
Captain Herowastes no time taking advantage of this, using his X-ray visionto spy on them in the shower. When Clara finds out, she becomes angry and demands that he stop. Foxxy is turned on by it, though, and allows Captain Hero to use his X-ray vision on her whenever he likes—an offer which Hero gladly takes her up on. Unfortunately, the prolonged exposure to the radiation gives Foxxy a brain tumor. Out of grief, Captain Hero decides to strip himself of his powers so he can no longer harm anyone in that fashion ever again. Unfortunately, by doing so, he becomes paralyzed from the neck down (since apparently that happens to all superheroes who lose their powers), confining him to a wheelchair which is propelled by blowing into a tube.
Shortly thereafter, Foxxy's radiation poisoning causes her to begin devolving into a
minstrel show mammy archetype caricature, causing agents from the bureau of Cartoon Political Correctness to arrive and take her away to a cartoon erasement camp. Hero realizes that Foxxy must be rescued, but unfortunately, he is now powerless to do anything. Not willing to give up, he leads the other housemates to the cartoon erasement camp where Foxxy and other politically incorrect cartoon stereotypes are being held.
When they get there, the housemates discover that
Mickey Mouse(whose name is always partially bleeped) is leading a plot to eliminate all "offensive" cartoon characters in order to make the universe the "happiest place on Earth." To this end, he has all the housemates captured, and forces the mutated Foxxy to walk the plank into a pit with giant erasers. Despite his best efforts, Captain Hero is unable to save Foxxy, who is erased out of existence. But all is not lost, as Hero has one last idea up his sleeve. By rolling extremely fast in his wheelchair, Captain Hero is able to reverse the rotation of the earth and undo all of the terrible events that transpired in the episode. Naturally, though, Hero being Hero, he takes things way too far and turns time all the way back to the big bang (which wasn't that big) and the beginning of the universe. A millennium or so later, he is back at the "Drawn Together" house, and now has complete control over evolution, which he takes advantage of by causing all of his fellow housemates to be made entirely out of breasts—before he realizes that he prefers asses, and must now start all over.
Musical number: "
Shortnin' Bread", which Foxxy sings shortly after she begins devolving. Also, in the erasement camp, the black stereotypes sing Stephen Foster's " Camptown Races". Both songs are commonly associated with minstrel shows.
Notes and inside references
Christopher Reevedied shortly before this episode was supposed to be aired during the first season, resulting in Comedy Central deciding not to air it for over a year. When it finally made it to air, one key scene was altered. According to Executive Producer Bill Freiberger, Captain Hero originally lost his powers by falling off a horse (a parallel to Reeve's accident), but Comedy Central had the scene changed. [http://forums.toonzone.net/showthread.php?p=2045372#post2045372] " [The scene in which Hero falls off a horse] was completely animated but the network wouldn't let us air it. They thought it was too harsh (although it really wasn't). In the scene, Hero climbs on a horse. The horse rears up and Captain Hero gently slides off the horse and directly into the wheelchair. After we lost the use of that shot, we tried to have the sound of a horse whinny inside the Pillow Fort of Isolation while Hero was giving up his powers. The network nixed that as well. However, there is the sound of a horse whinny over the "Double Hemm" production logo at the end of the episode."
** The horse whinny would be heard over the Double Hemm logo in all subsequent second season episodes as well.
** The episode was almost banned a second time when Reeve's widow Dana announced she had a terminal illness shortly before the episode's rescheduled airdate. Strangely, though, after the episode aired,
Comedy Centralhad no problem rerunning it a week after she died.
** The scene appears in its entirety in the DVD version of the episode.
* In the Season 1 DVD release, there is a picture on one of the disc sleeves of Foxxy and Clara showering together with
Ling-Lingon the floor scrubbing himself nonchalantly. In the foreground, Toot is relieving herself at a urinal, furthering the idea that she is a hermaphroditeas was suggested in " The Other Cousin" when she displayed an erection while licking Ling-Ling. The picture, however, does not depict a scene that actually appeared in the show. In the show itself, Clara and Foxxy use Ling-Ling as a loofah, which he is quite happy about; Toot does enter the bathroom at one point, but she is not shown relieving herself.
* According to DVD commentary, the rhinoceros is voiced by episode writer Bill Freiberger, who co-wrote the episode with his 12-year-old son Sam.
Jess Harnellvoices the African-American man Foxxy meets in the truck. Though his name is not given, the DVD commentary reveals that his name is Malcolm Exposition, a pun on Malcolm Xand exposition, referring to both the character's race and his role in providing the episode's backstory.
* This is the second time Spanky peeing blood has been referred to on the show. The first was in "
Requiem for a Reality Show" when Spanky threatens Wooldoor, telling him, "You'll be lying at my feet in a pool of your own blood—and my urine. Which also has blood in it—but it's "my" blood!"
* Though this episode, as noted earlier, was produced during the first season, some minor alterations were made to make it consistent in style with second season episodes. The show begins with a
cold openlike second season episodes; first season episodes began directly with the opening titles. Also, the on-screen captions were dropped. The show had ceased including character-identifying captions on screen beginning with the preceding episode, "Super Nanny."
* Each cell in the erasement camp is devoted to a specific racial
stereotype. The cell for Mexican stereotypes holds the mice from the Speedy Gonzalescartoons, and the Eskimocomes from the " Merrie Melodies" cartoon " Frigid Hare". Many of the characters in the cell devoted to black stereotypes are drawn to resemble characters from " Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids"; this cell also includes a woman who resembles Aunt Jemima. The Native Americans in one cell are generic representations of Native American characters in a variety of older cartoons, including "Looney Tunes" and "Peter Pan". The Asian stereotypes come from a variety of sources as well, including both "Looney Tunes" and World War II-era propagandacartoons.
* The title of this episode is taken from the famous tearjerker film "
Terms of Endearment" starring Shirley MacLaineand Debra Winger, the point of reference being that both the episode and the film are centered around a woman stricken with cancer.
* In the episode's opening sequence, Wooldoor explodes by eating
Pop Rocksand drinking Coke. This is a reference to an urban legendthat consuming Pop Rocks and Coke at the same time will make the stomach explode and cause death; this rumor has traditionally been attached to the actor who played Little Mikeyin the Life cereal commercials. In actuality, though the combination can be somewhat painful (as seen in the test of the myth on " MythBusters"), it is not lethal. Additionally, John Gilchrist, who played Mikey, is alive and well. [http://www.snopes.com/horrors/freakish/poprocks.htm]
* While Foxxy is unconscious, the housemates entertain her with a game of Win, Lose, or Draw. They draw a picture resembling the
movie posterfrom "Jaws", but the answer is actually " Yentl", a movie which starred, and was directed by, Barbra Streisand. The joke pokes fun at Streisand's reputation for being power-hungry and difficult to deal with.
* Wooldor's use of a
tricorder, as well as his line "sadly the medical community doesn't do any research on tumors," is a reference to ""Fact|date=April 2008. In the Enterprise episode "Stigma" [http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Stigma S02E14] , T'Polsearches for a cure for her pan'aar syndrome, an illness stigmatized on Vulcan, and has to hear the same sentence.
* Princess Clara's assertion that Foxxy was just asking to get a tumor because of her loose morals and skimpy outfits satirizes a statement often made in
rapecases, suggesting that it was the victim's own fault she got raped because of her provocative dress and behavior.
* Captain Hero's Pillow Fort of Isolation is a parody of Superman's
Fortress of Solitude.
* Spanky's line, "The horror!" is taken directly from "
Apocalypse Now" (which was itself referencing Joseph Conrad's " Heart of Darkness", where the line originates).
* The cartoon erasement camp is a parody of
Nazi concentration camps.
* While Ling-Ling is assisting Wooldoor in finding a cure for Foxxy's condition, Wooldoor responds to Ling-Ling's concerns about the ethical issues of
cloning, paralleling the real life debates over the practice.
* The scene where a horribly mutated Foxxy bursts out of Ling-Ling's back crying, "Kill me!", and Wooldoor subsequently destroying it with a
flamethrower, is a parody of the movie " Alien Resurrection". The way the face forms is a parody of the "birth" of the namesake monsters from the movies " Gremlins" and "".
* When Captain Hero turns back time by reversing the rotation of the Earth, Spanky is unable to remember which
Supermanmovie is being referenced. The movie in question is the original "Superman".
* The sequence in which Mickey Mouse is introduced opens with a parody of a famous shot from the second "
Star Wars" movie, "", in which Mickey assumes the role of Darth Vader.
* The legendary Disney character
Mickey Mouseis depicted as a villain in this episode trying to rid the world of all its politically incorrect cartoon characters, a satirical jab at the perceived lengths to which the company will go to sanitize entertainment, and the ironythat they commit such self-serving, insensitive acts in the name of making everything more wholesome. Many interpret it, more directly, as a stab at their suppression of perceived racist stereotypes in their older films, such as " Song of the South", which for many years Disney has attempted to distance itself from, refusing to release it on video or DVD in the United States. Similar to this is Disney's censoring of Sunflower from "Fantasia" [http://www.thememoryhole.org/arts/sunflower.htm] , or the complaints over the singing crows from " Dumbo". A reference to "Song of the South" occurs when the man in the truck with Foxxy calls her "Brer Foxxy", referring to the character Brer Fox.
* Mickey Mouse is never fully pictured on screen, only in shadow, and part of his name is always bleeped out (though the part of his name that is bleeped is never the same from one line to the next). This is a play on Disney's reputation as one of the most litigious companies in the entertainment industry, and the belief that the slightest of references to one of their trademarked characters (Mickey Mouse in particular) will incur a lawsuit. It should be noted that under trademark law, the holder must defend all unlicensed uses of the trademark.
* Mickey's line about how he will make the universe "the happiest place on Earth" is a word for word duplication of the phrase
The Walt Disney Companyuses to promote the Disneylandtheme park.
* When Wooldoor says, "You ask me if I have a God complex... I "am" God," it is a reference to the movie "Malice".
* When the housemates arrive at the place were Foxxy is being kept, they find a guard on patrol. Hero asks Xandir to "take care of that son of a bitch", and moments later Xandir appears with an outfit looking like
Sydney Bristow, making a clear reference to the dramatic plot used on the tv show Alias. Fact|date=April 2008
* The plot device of a superhero giving a close friend or loved one cancer accidentally has been used in several comic books, most notably
Alan Moore's graphic novel " Watchmen".
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