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Rex Morgan, M.D., and Mark Trail, 8/2/19

Have the soaps gone soft on us? Here we are with a couple of certified villains, and now we’re being asked to, like, sympathize with their motivations, which aren’t abstract evil but rather arise from the socio-economic superstructure in which they — like us — find themselves embedded. Oh, boo hoo, credentialing institutions dangle the prospect of fulfilling and renumerative careers that they can’t deliver, leaving thousands of idealistic young people burdened with debt! Waaaah, small businesses in this country are finding it harder and harder to compete in the marketplace and end up in a downward spiral of indebtedness that they can’t ever escape from! At least Mark, Doc, and Leola are watching JJ’s meltdown with rightful suspicion. Don’t come literally crying to us because you blew all your money on vehicles with an unusual number of wheels, JJ!

Mary Worth, 8/2/19

Somehow, the sight of JJ blubbering about his small business loan isn’t the funniest thing in the soap opera comics today. No, that honor goes to Dawn and Hugo’s date at the Bum Boat, where the strained, manic quality of their “flirting” reads as if each of them is wearing a wire and has been told to keep the other talking long enough that they eventually say something incriminating. Anyway, do you think Hugo knows about Billy Big Mouth Bass? Pretty sure this is Dawn’s big opportunity to finally impress this irritating euro-splainer with something America has that France doesn’t. We can’t deliver universal health care, but if you want easy access to an animatronic mounted fish that sings, the United States is the country for you!