Monday, April 11, 2011

Ducktales, Season One, Episode Thirty-Seven: "Ducks of the West"

So the idea is that Scrooge's Texas oil wells have dried up and he and the kids go down to investigate. Scrooge bets away his entire fortune to a JR-Ewing-parody (when I think "JR," I think, Gaddis, but that's neither here nor there) and then they have to stop a "ghost" who was the one diverting away the oil to a nearby ghost town.

I'm not gonna lie to you: this episode caused me physical pain with its stupidity. Scrooge will go broke if the oil doesn't start up again? In spite of the fact that, as the series (let alone the comics) has made abundantly clear, he has all sorts of other business concerns? He's willing to gamble away his entire fortune* without even knowing the details of what the contest will involve? And then, having done this (and not having bothered to question the incredibly obvious tricks that JR used to cheat), he has barely any noticeable reaction--instead he's more concerned with finding the missing oil, which wouldn't be his anymore anyway? And then, after finding said oil, JR conveniently morphs into a good guy and just gives back his whole fortune, no further action needed? Seriously, was this episode written by people with severe head injuries?

*Reminding me of his insane decision to give his entire fortune in exchange for a lentil concern in that batty-ass Romano Scarpa story "The Lentils of Babylon."

There were a few small things I liked about this episode: Scrooge's affectation of a Texas accent is pretty hilarious, and I enjoyed his foreman, Wildcat's, laconic "yeps" and "nopes." Oh, and the "ghost" buffalo that the kids save is pretty cute. But that's all. This is not a good episode; it harkens back to the bad old days of "The Duckman of Aquatraz" and "The Money Vanishes."

Stray Observations

-I badly wanted some of the bits with oil wells to segue into a There Will Be Blood parody, if only this episode didn't appear twenty-odd years before that movie.

-Know what's good? The Wall of Voodoo song "Call of the West." What's this have to do with the episode? Not much, but I'm trying to forget the episode, so you'll have to forgive me.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think JR was a bad guy to begin with, not much different from Scrooge himself (as I remember him randomly raising rents and refuse to lend money to fix something because the same broken thing cannot serve as guarantee). Well except for the cheating part.