Sometimes it can be tough trying to draw water from the bone-dry
nostalgia well. Detailing the various ways in which "Sinbad" is
more like "Badbad" may work for the chumps over at I-Mockery, but
this is Progressive Boink, dammit. We don't just shoot for the moon;
we aim directly for God's scrote. That way if we miss we still have
a chance of clipping Jesus' two favorite disciples. Also, I'm pretty
sure I overheard them in the bathroom talking jive about your mom,
and that's something for which I just won't stand.
With that in mind I set forth searching for the perfect adjective with which to describe today's subject. It was a pretty tough perquisition considering my personal vernacular extends only about five words beyond "lame" and "wicked lame". In the end though, I'm pretty confident that the word I settled upon is the one most suited to embody all that needs to be said about what I'll be discussing with you, dear reader.
That was a convenient segue if you don't mind my saying.
So yeah, "My Brother and Me". A television series so forgettable that only a few dozen people bothered watching and even less care enough about to remember. To put the show's significance into relative terms; if the universe were a giant body, the positive impact My Brother and Me left would fall somewhere in between waking up with a particularly confusing case of morning wood that one time it slept over the bizarro universe's house and it's scorching bout with diarrhea following a three day bender; during which nothing but sun-baked cans of PBR and anything served "buffalo" style were consumed.
Watching any given episode of "My Brother and Me" could be likened to taking a course in "HOW NOT TO WRITE SCRIPTED COMEDY." Although with the recent cancellation of "Arrested Development" I'm not so sure if mainstream America is ready to move past such complex plot points as "I need to be in two places at the same time! This calls for a wacky scheme," or "I can't believe my parents grounded me the night of the big event! This calls for a wacky scheme," quite yet. Every single episode was a veritable encyclopedia of hackneyed plots and contrived dialogue. Hell, I'd maintain the opinion of "My Brother and Me" being the most formulaic television show in history if it weren't for fucking "Smart Guy". In fact, I'm pretty sure the Smart Guy writers just snatched old "My Brother and Me" scripts and find/replaced words like "the" with words like "cosmic blackbody microwave radiation" to fit the program's premise. Then with three superfulous weeks and a novelty oversized check left over, spent the rest of their time playing skee ball. They never did get that Easy Bake Oven they'd been pining for.
Before I get into specifics, I'd like to note that each of the show's three main characters had both a formal name and a nickname. I'm not sure if this was done to up the show's urban credential without alienating the primarily white audience, or because they were all moonlighting as front-page authors for Something Awful.
Alfred "Alfie" Parker
Depending on who you'll ask, Alfie recieved either top billing as "My Brother" or secondary credit as "Me". Having been cast directly from one of those Feed the Children commercials they'd air regularly during daytime TV, he'd find artistic motivation in being promised basic human necessities such as clean water and a polio vaccine upon the successful completion of a scene. His role on the show consisted of treating his little brother like absolute shit for 20 minutes before realizing the error of his ways and proving that despite their minor tiffs and quibbles, brothers stick together to the end and can always resolve any differences they may have over a friendly game of Fuzzie Wuzzie.
Most episodes focusing primarilly on Alfie centered around his inherent tendancy to be a complete asshole with no working concept of what it meant to be a team player. After being cut by the basketball team for making Kobe look like a regular Passing Pete, for instance, he spends the remainder of the episode sulking like a little bitch and failing to accept the fact that he'd be playing if he weren't such a ball hogging douche. Sure, in the end he resolves to try again next season with a reinvigorated sense of propriety, but its not like I'm going to forgive a guy for slaughtering a puppy just because he decides to go vegan afterward.
Derek "Dee Dee" Parker"
Dee Dee looked like what would happen if you beat Taj Mowry's face in with a shovel and glued a Brillo pad to his head. He's that one gullible kid we all knew growing up who'd fall for anything you'd feed them no matter how ridiculous it may have sounded. You could tell them that the world's most delicious chocolate came directly from a cat's asshole, so they'd grab a spoon and head directly for the litterbox. You'd laugh for a while, but as the kid persisted in shoveling down bite after bite of cat shit, you'd just feel bad on account of his being such a fucking dunce.
Despite there being an established comic book store the kids would hang out at, after running away from home Dee Dee chose to hide out at school. What the fuck? I doubt anybody felt bad for him after that bull-dyke bounced him like a bad Welfare check in the show's final episode.
Milton "Goo" Berry
One of the cardinal rules of scripted comedy states that no matter how popular the lead character may be, under absolutely no circumstance should they ever have more than one recurring friend at a time. Will had Jazz, JT had Richie, Corey had Shawn, DJ had Kimmy and Alfie had Goo. There are of course exceptions to the rule which I'll take time to outline before moving on, but for the most part this manifesto is written in stone.
While a main character may have more than one friend, it should be made obvious that he shares more of a bond with one over the other; with the second friend acting as more of a friendly rival or lovable buffoon (The Slater/Malph Conundrum).
Any instance concerning the main character having a falling out with their friend will result in comical sequences during which he or she seeks companionship from a younger sibling and his or her group of friends. The exception to this rule is when the best friend starts running with a bad crowd (Shawn Hunter's Anomaly).
Another ancillary friend may be introduced to showcase the consequences of poor decision making without having to sacrifice the integrity of a principal character (The Kathy Santoni Clause).
At any time during a series' run, one friend may be written out of the show only to be replaced immediately by another sharing the same characteristics as their predecessor. Although rare, the same rule holds true for the primary antagonist (The Honeycut/Windchester Quagmire).
Along with being Alfie's best friend, Goo was as close to an antagonist as the show ever had. Most of the problems Alfie and Dee Dee found themselves facing usually came as a direct result of Goo's machinations. Despite being nothing more than a blatant Eddie Haskell ripoff, Goo will forever be remembered by young and old alike for Goo Punch; a drink featuring his likeness after an apparent mishap with a stick of Willy Wonka's three-course gum.
Harry White and Donnel Wilburn
Dee Dee's two friends. Harry's role on the show was to remind us of how lame white people actually are in comparison to the brothers and the sisters. We drive like this, y'see. Donnel will go down in the annuls of history for his memorable catchphrase "DON'T HOLD YOUR BREFFFFFFF," which upon being uttered would drench the home viewer in a veritable tidal wave of saliva. After a few episodes most of us wised up and kept a towel on hand, just in case.
As the older sister, Melanie was around to make snide comments about how "BOYS SURE CAN BE A DRAG," and, "ANYTHING MEN CAN DO WOMEN CAN DO BETTER!" She'd probably burn her training bra if her chest weren't as concave as Sephiroth's northern crater.
Six's black counterpart. She was also the primary benefactor of the Ugly Funky Foot Fund.
Despite an initial run of only thirteen episodes, it wouldn't be out of the ordinary to find Nickelodeon devoting over half of its allocated weekend programming time to airing "My Brother and Me" reruns ad nauseum. I'm relatively sure this was due to some joint scam being perpetrated by both Nickelodeon and the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports in an attempt to bore kids into going outside and getting some exercise. That or they had some binding obligation to air a twelve hour minimum of minority themed programming, and since in 1994 "Cousin Skeeter" wasn't yet a sparkle in the NAACP's collective asshole, they were pretty limited on options.
Speaking of the NAACP; "My Brother and Me" was actually presented with two image awards for excellence in African-American programming. Both of which came in the years following the show's demise. I guess a show can win an Image award and still be painfully insulting so long as it insults everyone and not just black people..As is evident by the fact that years later they'd helm a campaign to pull the greatest concept in recorded history off the air after only three episodes.
Sometimes it isn't even worth getting out of bed in the morning.