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Friday, April 03, 2015

"The Canister"

Can you believe that it has been ten years since the sitcom "Everybody Loves Raymond" aired its final episode?  It doesn't even seem like it was that long ago! 

Of course, it could be because the show is still in syndication and probably will be until the year 2030.

Now, even though it's been a decade since the show aired, a lot of people from that show have gone on to do great things.  Ray Romano has appeared on "Men of a Certain Age" and "Parenthood".  Patricia Heaton is one of the stars of "The Middle".  And Brad Garrett seems to be in almost every single Disney movie ever made these days.  "Finding Nemo", "A Bug's Life", "Planes" I missing any?

And you know, for what it was worth, the show did have some great episodes.  Who could forget the time in which the family went to Italy?  Who could forget the love quadrilateral with Robert, Amy, Stefania, and Robert's ex-wife?  Remember when Robert's girlfriend ate a fly?  Or the time Marie made a sculpture that looked like a diagram you might see in sixth grade sex education class?  The show had some funny storylines, and I can see why it lasted ten years and over 200 episodes.

So, why am I bringing up the show "Everybody Loves Raymond" during Easter Week in this blog?

Well, it's quite simple.  Would you believe that in all of the sitcoms that have ever been made that very few Easter themed episodes have been made?  You can find episodes for Christmas, Halloween, and even Valentine's Day fairly easily, but try finding an episode about Easter and it could take you quite a long time.

Fortunately, "Everybody Loves Raymond" made not just one Easter episode, but two.  And in today's edition of the blog, we will be having a look at one of the two episodes.

The episode that we'll be discussing today will be the one entitled "The Canister", and it was the nineteenth episode of the show's fifth season.  Original airdate:  April 9, 2001.

The episode starts off quite calmly as the Barone family makes plans to have Easter dinner together.  On the guest list is Ray, Debra, their three children, Robert, Marie, and Frank.  And Marie is determined to make this Easter the greatest one ever.

But of course like every sitcom, there has to be some conflict in order to make the episode flow, or else it would be quite boring.

In this case, the point of conflict happens to be a little yellow canister - one that one may use to store sugar, salt, or other spices.  It turns out that Marie needs it for Easter preparations and she can't seem to locate it anywhere in her house.  Her first instinct is to go and ask Debra if she borrowed it - after all, Debra and Ray live right across the street!

But Debra claims that she never had the canister.  This causes a little bit of an argument between the two and Debra is angrily insisting that she never took Marie's canister, despite Marie's insistence that she did.

Eventually, Marie concludes that Debra must be telling the truth, and she offers Debra a heartfelt apology, which floors both Ray and Robert!  After all, Marie is the type of mother-in-law that most people dread having.  Argumentative, condescending, and never being wrong about ANYTHING!

But with the apology made, things go back to normal, and Debra is feeling pretty proud of herself for standing her ground with Marie...

...that is until Debra and Ray's daughter Ally comes into the living room holding the canister causing Debra to have a full blown panic attack!  You see, Debra did borrow the canister after all, and Ally believed that the canister would be a great container to store her crayons for her colouring book.

Of course, with Ally being in possession of the canister, Debra is now freaking out.  She knows that the right thing to do is return the canister, but if she does, Marie will become even more sanctimonious and even more judgmental, and that would be absolutely unbearable for her.

I can honestly say though that I completely understand Debra's point of view.  I imagine that all of us have been in a situation before where we all have been accused of something that we claim we didn't do...and then having to eat a big slice of bitter humble pie when we come to the conclusion that yes, yes we did do what we were accused of doing, and now we feel bad because of it.

Been there, done that.

Of course, in any of my situations, none of the people who have confronted me have been as manipulative or excruciating as Marie Barone.

(Can you tell I'm NOT a Marie fan?  A Doris Roberts fan, absolutely.  A Marie Barone fan?  Never.)

But what's interesting about "The Canister" isn't the way that the episode plays out, but how the episode ends.  You see, the relationship between Ray and his father could be considered prickly at best, and Frank Barone has never really been considered Mr. Congeniality.

But while I won't spoil the ending for you all...there is a moment between Frank and Debra that will really make the episode worth watching.  And Frank does something that shows Debra just how lucky she is to have him in her corner.  It's both really touching...and really hilarious! 

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