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Gil Thorp, 7/14/10

Hey, Gil Thorp! We waded through like six months of baseball season because we were all psyched for summer, and you know why? Because summer is when awesome things happen in Gil Thorp! Awesome things like Kaz kicking ass and Marty Moon getting grifted and Milford students saving grown-up ladies from stalkers and and little girls getting into fistfights and Kaz chillin’ in his dojo! What we specifically don’t want is the same stuff we get during the school year, namely Gil doing a half-assed job of coaching today’s youth in some sport or other, which appears to be what we’re getting. Still, it’s kind of amusing to see how limited his set of coaching techniques is. “So, let’s do some laps to build up your endurance!” “But coach, this is golf, and…” “I SAID LET’S DO SOME LAPS!”

Mary Worth, 7/14/10

At last, the drama in this Mary Worth plot has been revealed! It’s been a week since Jenna and Mike got high on the beach, and he apparently hasn’t returned her calls or emails or texts or whatever other forms of misspelled communication she’s been bombarding him with. Tonight it’s time for her to mourn, alone with her circa-2003 Danger Hiptop and her bottle of fortified ketchup wine; tomorrow she seeks out and destroys the person responsible for her emotional devastation (Mary).

Funky Winkerbean, 7/14/10

One of the striking features about Funky Winkerbean over the decades has been that its title character had receded in importance in favor of Les Moore, who bore the brunt of the strip’s grimness but still, despite terrible psychological damage, managed to remain mildly optimistic (if creepy). But since the most recent time jump, it seems to me that Funky’s narrative focus has come back more often than not to Funky. And why not? He’s an angry, bitter recovering alcoholic on the verge of relapse, who’s managed to screw over or alienate his son, his mentor, and at least one wife. This time travel storyline actually started out sort of whimsical and interesting — I’ve had a lot of people writing me to say that they can’t believe that they’re looking forward to seeing how it turns out — but naturally it’s quickly come to this, a prematurely old man wandering about his own past, raving like a crazy person about Elvis’s corpse, and unleashing a string of metaphors whose incoherence (his issues are baseball-playing sharks on a road?) can’t mask his essential awful self-loathing. The sad thing is that in his current state he’s probably still happier than he’ll be if he wakes up in the present.

Apartment 3-G, 7/14/10

Oh, how convenient of Kat and Kitty to list all the people who helped further the humiliation of our gals, right here on TV! It will make it easier for police to link what might otherwise seem like an unconnected series of brutal stranglings committed by an unknown assailant’s ultra-powerful “quoting fingers.”