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043: Back to School
StarStar
September 10, 1988

Leslie seems to have trouble with telling the truth. 'Over-Exaggeration' seems to be her middle name.


Characters
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Character
Actor
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# 42
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Production Team
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Paul McCusker   Phil Lollar   Male Missing
Paul McCusker   Phil Lollar   Bob Luttrell
Writer   Director   Sound Designer


Review
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Written By: Chandler

Leslie delights in tall tales. In fact, she's sitting in Whit's End telling one to Anne when she sees her friend Cindy. Rushing off, Leslie intercepts Cindy and asks how she's doing--they haven't seen each other for awhile. Cindy gives Leslie a rather cool reception and says that she's going off to do stuff with Krista. Disappointed, Leslie heads back to Anne only to find out from Whit that she's left. Noticing that Leslie seems down, Whit asks how her first week of school went. Leslie says it was terrible and then describes it.

On the first day, her mom yells at Leslie to wake up and then gives her grief when she tears a sleeve on her dress. Whit comments that Leslie's mom doesn't really sound like that, but Leslie says it sure seems like it sometimes. This is actually a complaint of mine about this show. Although Leslie's exaggerating is stressed, the truth about the situation is only hinted at, never really given. For example, Leslie's teacher, the so-called Mr. Gutwrench, being mean. Ok, so maybe he didn't really assign a ten thousand-word essay or demand that a student win the Nobel Peace Prize, but is he really a cruel teacher with the last name "Gutwrench"? I finally had that question answered a few years back when I heard "It Sure Seems Like it to Me". Leslie's teacher is really named Mr. Garrison, a kind, conscientious man who talks something like Mr. Dierdorf in "The Twilife Zone". Nothing at all like Leslie described him. I haven't heard "It Sure Seems Like it to Me" since and a lot of people probably never have, so they wouldn't know the sharp contrast. I think that aspect should have been explored a bit more.

I do enjoy Leslie's description of the crazy school bus driver. I absolutely love the part where the driver tells the policeman that he was slowing down by driving sixty-five when he was supposed to be driving thirty. But who knows what the bus driver is really like. Same with the man in the hallway--sure, he sounds like Percival Fenwick; but maybe he was just rendered scary by Leslie's overactive imagination.

A comment on the sound effects... Those pencil scratching sound effects in Mr. "Gutwrench's" class sound like they are breaking land-speed records. I'm not sure I could type that fast!

Listening to this show, I'm always amazed how Leslie is so completely ignorant of the parallel that is drawn between her friendship with Cindy and her friendship with Anne. It's actually similar to the storyline used in "Something Cliqued Between Us" --someone wants attention from someone else and ignores their real friend. Leslie complains about Cindy giving her the cold shoulder but then turns around and gives it to Anne. Although Leslie's been friends with Anne all summer, Leslie tells Cindy that they should be best friends without Cindy having any other friends. As Jared's statement in "Something Cliqued Between Us" sums it up so perfectly: "Why do you care so much about the spam in your brother's eye when you have a hog in your own?


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