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Judge Parker, 1/14/09

If the Dixie Julep story has taught us anything, it’s that Judge Parker loves a violent blonde. But hopefully, as this story unfolds and we watch Sophie wreak a righteous, Carrie-style vengeance against snooty cheerleaders and everyone else who ever wronged her, we’ll learn that sometimes, the violent blondes are violent for a reason.

It’s worth noting that this storyline is part of Sophie’s continuing transformation, from a pantsuit-wearing prepubescent superbrain to a surly teenager with a hair-trigger temper. Said transformation has taken 14 months of real time, which is actually halfway realistic, but (and hopefully Uncle Lumpy can come up with the exact number) only about six days of strip time, which is less so. It’s possible that this shockingly rapid onset of puberty is precisely what’s causing her erratic and aggressive behavior.

Herb and Jamaal, 1/14/09

Having seen Jamaal trying to bust a move on Yolanda for much of the last four years, I can see why he doesn’t understand how Herb came to have a wife … or a daughter, for that matter. But a mother-in-law? “Gee, Jamaal, I don’t think I ever implied that my wife was grown in a lab.

Apartment 3-G, 1/14/09

Hey, look, after three months, we’ve returned to Lu Ann in South Dakota! Last we saw her she was reconnecting with Cody Styles, and now she’s … reconnecting with Cody Styles. I’m beginning to form a theory about Apartment 3-G’s singular failure to follow Lu Ann’s prairie adventures: the producers have been unable to hire locals for extras at poverty rates, discovering to their surprise that these hardy midwesterners still have too much dignity to appear in this comic.