Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Michael & Michael Have Issues: "Shit Bag House"

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While not as finely tuned as "College", "Shit Bag House" is another solid outing for Michael & Michael, one that makes liberal use of the show's supporting players. Showalter is having difficulty with his lease, so he's homeless for a week and sleeping on the office couch. Against his better judgment, he decides to take Black up on an offer to stay out in Connecticut at the Black house—only to learn that the family's anal about wearing shoes indoors, not knocking when they enter rooms, missing family game night, and fake-spanking the children while goofing around. What a bunch of tight-asses.

Black waits until the middle of the night to eject Showalter from the house, with not even a ride to New York City. Showalter bounces back and begins a series of pranks on the Black house—toilet paper on the trees; writing on the garage doors; dog poo smeared on the door (though as Showalter points out, we don't know what type of poo it was). Black decides to get Showalter back by catching him in the act, but instead unmasks Kumail taking a dump into a bag. Showalter couldn't even muster the energy to do the pranks himself.

A lot happens tonight below the surface. Black tells Showalter that his house has no rules, then lays them on one-by-one, a smug smile hiding the seething anger brewing up within (it works wonders when he tells Showalter that the kids had to take cold baths cuz Sho used up all the hot water: "Don't even worry about it, they're barely crying anymore"). Showalter counters with his own patronizing tone when Black explains the mysterious vandalisms, and the two of them get into a near-whispering argument over the logistics of getting dog poo into a bag. After some of the more outrageous confrontations over the last few episodes, this subtler moment provides some nice tension before the big police/Kumail scene.

And like I said, the supporting cast gets some nice jokes in as well. Kumail being smitten by Black even when handing off a bag of poop: "I made it for you!" Black's wife overreacting to Showalter's fake spanking. Marla snooping around the office when Showalter brings a girl in, then the look on her face (of sheer determination) when she realizes she's watching a Michael Ian Black sex tape. Some weaker sketch segments are the only things that wore "Shit Bag House" down—a one-joke Snoozys bit where Black air-humps on the beds to test them out; a documentary about Derek, who has clown-sized feet; British people say fork, and it sounds like fuck—but there's still some great stuff here.

Grade: A-

Stray observations:

  • "He probably got scared because he's not used to being hit… because we don't hit our kids."
  • Showalter clearly doesn't have any sort of friendship with Black's wife, as evidenced by him ducking out of the hello kiss.