Ever noticed how some shows have basically the same plotline? And what’s even more bizarre than a PSA type episode with a boyfriend dying from injuries sustained while driving under the influence (Clueless and Growing Pains), is an episode about really intense capture the flag with odd rules. I guess it makes sense in a way because these shows both involve a group of people isolated from mainstream society. So maybe that’s some strange Lord of the Flies coping mechanism?
Let’s see who did it better, shall we?
Hey Dude: War
As it turns out, the only requirement for being head of staff at the Bar None Ranch is winning a game of Capture the Flag–except if capture the flag was more like Manhunt and involved finding the flag in an undisclosed location. The two teams stay up until dawn and look for the other teams flag and the first one to run it up the flag pole in the morning wins.
Everyone is divided into the red team and the blue team, but basically all you need to know is that Ted and Brad are competing for senior staff status. Everyone else is cool just letting the duke it out and supporting them as teammates for whatever reason. I would have been all like:
When Melody decides she’s better off just going to bed, the Blue Team kidnaps her and tries to get her to tell the Red Team’s secrets. They plan on using music-torture, Noriega-style, to get her to talk. But she really doesn’t care about the game at this point, so she tells them right off the bat that they booby-trapped it over the fireplace in the main lodge.
Meanwhile, the blue team has hidden their flag in the lining of Ted’s coat, which is pretty brilliant, if you ask me. Finally, both teams obtain the other’s flag and race to the flag pole. But when they arrive, Ted and Brad collide into one another and are knocked out cold. In the meantime, Mr. Ernst (owner of the Bar None) runs the American flag up the flagpole. The kids decide to share Senior Staff Leadership and walk off arm-in-arm.
Salute Your Shorts: Capture the Flag
Let me start of by saying that I want to play Camp Anawanna’s version of Capture the Flag. This is intense. But we’ll get to that. First off, everyone at the camp has to tryout for a position on Ug’s team. He’s challenged another counselor, and the loser will have to dress up like Madonna and sing “Material Girl” in the cafeteria. So there’s a lot riding on this. Donkey Lips (I can’t believe they let that name exist in children’s television) wants to be an attacker, so it’s a really underdog story.
Now, Camp Anawanna doesn’t play your typical capture the flag. They’ve got bunkers. They’re decked out in war paint. And best of all, they use water balloons as ammunition. Ug communicates with team captain, Budnick, via walkie talkie and a VHS Camcorder attached to Sponge’s helmet. It’s kind of like Vietnam but in a fun way.
Donkely Lips doesn’t get to be an attacker though, and he’s left behind has Budnick leads the charge across the hill. (By the way, your favorite Anawanna kids are the red team and they’re playing against the blue team). But it’s a trap! They’re heavily attacked by water balloons.
The retreat behind a log, while the blue team slowly stalks them on the offensive and things get very:
Meanwhile, Donkely Lips and Z.Z. have dug a trench and captured nine members of the blue team. (But isn’t that like the entire size of the red team?) Pinsky talks them into saving the rest of the red team, while he stays behind to watch the prisoners.
But it’s only when Donkey Lips can overcome the tire obstacle course (his kryptonite) that barricade the other team’s flag that the red team can return victorious to camp.
So, I want to try this new thing. I’m calling it “Friday Face-Off” where I compare two similar episodes and you pick your favorite. Then on the following Friday, I’ll reveal the winner and the next face off.