Friday, November 18, 2016
Every Haunting Hour Ever #49: Poof De Fromage
Original Airdate: December 1, 2012
Director: Ken Friss
Writer(s): Erik Patterson & Jessica Scott
Poof De Fromage. From what I understand, this is one of the most infamous episodes of the entire series! In fact, there was a point where I thought this was the worst episode in whole series! After watching Pool Shark though, I started asking myself "Is Poof De Fromage really that bad?" Well, let's not waste anymore time and take a look.
Bobby (Quinn Lord) and his family are housing a French exchange student named Jean-Louis (Vincent Martella) for a year, but a chain of strange happenings make Bobby suspect that his French exchange student may be an alien. He tells him that they are a benevolent species and are trying to save the human race from other aliens that are somewhere in the neighborhood incognito. They find out that the aliens are pretending to be cheese puffs.
One of the things I liked about this episode was Vincent Martella's performance. Whenever he's on screen, he seems to be having a lot of fun, even if the script he was given isn't all that great. In fact, I get the feeling that he knew it was kind of a bad script but decided to do his best to work with it anyway. It kind of reminds me of the actresses who played the witches in Hocus Pocus and how they tried to make something funny and enjoyable out of not so funny material.
Another thing I liked about the episode was the concept. So in this episode, the villains are cheese puffs (audience gets up and leaves) No wait come back! It's not as stupid as it sounds! Okay, I might be reading a bit too deep into this, but from what I understand, I think they were trying to tell a cautionary tale about how eating too much junk food is a bad idea, you know, something along the lines of "If you consume too much junk food, it will eventually consume you" with a horror comedy spin put on it. There's even a part in the episode where Jean-Louis talks about what the cheese puffs can do to their victims (i.e draining the victims of their energy, etc). To be honest, a horror story where junk food is the villain does sound kind of interesting to me. I mean, it can do some horrific things to your body if consumed in large quantities and you don't burn it off with an adequate amount of exercise. However, I feel like the execution is quite poor. Which leads me to my next point.
One of the elements in this episode that falls flat is the comedy. For every legitimately funny joke this episode throws at the audience (mainly one involving Bobby asking Jean where the real exchange student is and the episode cutting to a scene that shoes the real student literally tied up at the airport), this episode pumps out at least two jokes that don't work (i.e the scene where Bobby and Jean show off their burps and a scene where Jean reads Bobby's mind and finds out that Bobby farted). I understand that this is a kid's show but if you look at episodes like Best Friend Forever, you'll see that this show is capable of pulling off some funny jokes without relying too much on cringy bodily humor. Speaking of humor, I think the humor in this episode works best when it focuses on Jean-Louis doing something like holding a potato up to his ear like it was a phone because stuff like that is so bizarre, that the audience has no choice but to laugh at it due to how absurd it is.
Overall, Poof De Fromage is an awful episode. But to be fair, it's kind of...entertainingly bad and if I'm being honest, I think this episode has a lot more going for it than something like Pool Shark. If this episode were retooled though, I think it could've been something much better.
Overall Grade: C-