Thursday, October 1, 2015
Every Haunting Hour Ever #17: Catching Cold
Original Airdate: April 9, 2011
Director: Peter DeLuise
Do you remember when the first Diary of A Wimpy Kid book came out? I do. Since then, the book has turned into a series with a boatload of sequels. The book itself was a rather humorous look at the perils of middle school life without all the swearing and suicide that would happen in a real life middle school. The book got a movie adaptation, which wasn't all that bad and captured the spirit of the book rather well. Now I know what you're thinking. Why am I saying this? Because in today's episode, the kid who played Rowley in the Wimpy Kid movie is the main character.
After getting a taste of the amazingly delicious Kreemy Kold ice cream, Marty (Robert Capron) becomes obsessed with catching the mysterious "Kreemy Kold" ice cream truck that seems to haunt his neighborhood, but always manages to elude him. The local mailman tells Marty the story of a boy named Jimmy Jeffries who was just as obsessed as he was and caught the truck, but vanished and never returned.
The first thing that I like about this episode is that although the allegory for addiction is painfully obvious, it doesn't seem too preachy. This could've easily turned into a cheesy and dumb episode but what makes it work is that they actually show and talk about the addiction, rather than claiming addiction is bad without going into why. For one thing, it's actually quite terrifying to see Marty, who is a lazy but nice kid, slowly becoming obsessed with having his fill of Kreemy Kold ice cream, which is the ice cream equivalent to Kobe beef. The episode also goes in a more psychological approach when it comes to Marty becoming an ice cream addict and the obsession gets to a point where it ends up consuming his life and gets him kidnapped by the Kreemy Kold truck.
The other thing that I like about the episode is the build up. The episode starts off as an innocent "Kid wants ice cream from a truck" scenario and becomes an uneasy situation when the mailman talks about a kid called Jimmy Jeffers who became obsessed with Kreemy Kold like Marty. As Jimmy is talked about and Marty becomes more obsessed with Kreemy Kold, the episode becomes more intense and frighting. It all leads up to the appearance of Jimmy Jeffers, who is now all grown up and has been stuck in the truck for nearly 30 years. I gotta give the episode kudos for making Jimmy seem as scary as possible. From his messy appearance to his broken sanity and repetition of the phrase "It's all you can eat!", he's truly a character to fear.
If I had one issue with the episode, I think it would be the ending. Like in Game Over, the ending is kind of predictable but it doesn't detract from the scariness of the episode.
Overall, Catching Cold is a terrifying episode that actually conveys the dangers of addiction a lot better than your average anti drug or alcohol PSA. To be honest, it may be one of the best episodes of season 1 if not the entire series.
Overall Grade: A