Writer: Clifford Fagan
Director: Fred K. Keller
Original air date: September 1, 1989
Oh, dear Goddess. In the cold open, Mr. Ernst is shooting a promotional video for the ranch, and this part involves Danny riding up while dressed as an “Indian” and welcoming the potential guests. He’s talking in stereotypical broken English, and there’s stereotypical “tribal” music playing (as part of the episode’s score). Hmmm, what does this remind me of? Oh, yeah, Zack’s class presentation.
After the credits, Brad is frustrated over having to apologize to a customer that a burger was heated incorrectly. Brad doesn’t like how the food is prepared here. What bothers Brad is serving people, smiling, and apologizing when she’s not sorry. I can totally relate. I’m not in food service; I’m in retail. I’ve heard food service is worse. Anyway, this ties back nicely to episodes 03 and 05.
Brad and Melody discuss this for a while, and then Melody talks about meeting a guy at the mall yesterday. I like this. It indicates these characters have time off the ranch (even if we don’t see it). Melody was demure toward the guy; she was playing it safe, because he might have been a weirdo. That’s a level of analyzation that I rarely see characters do, so I’m happy to see it here – especially since it’s an example of the relaxed, casual dialogue that is usual for this series; it has nothing to do with the story, but it adds to Melody’s character instead of just padding the episode.
A girl arrives. Ted (and Melody a bit) is taken by her. Brad isn’t pleased to see her, though. She’s Kimberly Carol, a girl that Brad goes to prep school with. Brad hates Kimberly and wants to see her chopped up into feed for swine (yes, she actually says that).
After a three-episode absence, Lucy arrives to tell the girls to get back to work. She also rags on Ted a bit for his crush on Kimberly. She also relays info that Mr. Ernst wants to make Ted a “video star”. Ted goes off in excitement.
Melody offers to take Kimberly’s table for Brad, but Brad declines.
Kimberly Carol is played by Kari Ann Kulvinskas. “Hey Dude” was her first acting gig, which was followed pretty soon by her second and last acting gig: seemingly a bit part in the TV movie, “Not Quite Human II”. Remember that series of films with the android named Chip, created by a scientist played by Alan Thicke? Yeah.
Kimberly is the stereotypical, snobby rich bitch. She keeps putting down “Bradley” – especially after she finds out that she works in “this horrid little desert pit stop”, which her parents had to bribe her to join them at. This exchange between rich, privileged white girls goes on for over a minute. Basically, they hate each other. Oh, and apparently Brad is “rude”. Punch her, Brad. Punch her hard.
At the swimming pool (the first that we see of it, and it’s the actual pool of the Tanque Verde Guest Ranch), Danny is Kimberly’s personal bitch, and Melody is disgusted at Kimberly’s behavior. We learn Kimberly used to sit behind Brad at school, so she could copy her tests. This leads to a cute gag between Melody and Brad that I won’t spoil here. Kimberly also tried to scare Brad’s friends away by telling them that she had a contagious disease (this leads to another cute gag).
Later, Brad is cleaning up some stray hay. Kimberly comes by and says Kimberly shit. She pisses Brad off when she mentions the supposed reason that Mark Johnson left Brad for Kimberly (too athletic, not feminine enough). They get into it, and Brad scares Kimberly off the bale of hay.
Mr. Ernst motivates Ted by threatening his job, which might be illegal, unless there’s one of those awful “and other duties as assigned” clauses in Ted’s contract.
Kimberly comes by to ride a rose and pesters Brad for information regarding the horse.
Brad also feels she and Kimberly are a lot alike. It also drives Brad nuts that she’s been accused of being spoiled and snobby. Lucy points out Brad’s good attributes and tells her to go easy on herself. She also says this is more about Brad hating parts of herself than Kimberly. We don’t get to see what Brad is like back home, so all that we have to go on is what the characters say in this episode. I don’t really buy it, mostly because I haven’t seen Brad behave anything like Kimberly. Kimberly is just horrible.
Later, Brad catches Kimberly just as she’s about to leave and returns Kimberly’s bridle, despite Kimberly initially not recognizing it. The two of them talk for a bit, and Brad offers up something that’s not exactly an apology (but it’s all that she can give). After a bit of hesitation, Kimberly accepts it.
Over in the corral, Ted is upset that Brad is making up with Kimberly, but Lucy suggests maybe it’s more about Brad losing some anger in order to like herself a little better instead of wanting Kimberly to like her. I’m still not sold on the whole “Brad sees the worst of herself in Kimberly” message that the episode wants me to believe.
Brad doesn’t want to jump, because she doesn’t like to swim (callback to episode 02), and Melody doesn’t want to appear in a video in a bathing suit. Mr. Ernst goes over some video trickery and assure Brad that she doesn’t actually have to jump in. We’re also informed the camera isn’t waterproof, and the whole promotional video could be destroyed. Foreshadowing, perhaps? Also, why does Mr. Ernst keep the entire thing on one tape? Isn’t he going to have it professionally edited later on? For that matter, why isn’t he having it professionally taped?
This episode was okay, but Kimberly was way too cartoony, and Brad doesn’t seem the least bit like her. There’s also the confusing message of making peace with your adversary (by offering a non-apology) and letting go of anger in order to like yourself more.
Kimberly stole Brad’s boyfriend, and she’s never held responsible for that!
It’s nice to get a bit of info on Brad’s life from back home, though, and it was nice to see Lucy again. But where was Cassie?