Season 1, episode 27: “Gordo and the Dwarves”

And we’re back to lame episodes I hate! 

Lizzie gets a package in the mail from Gammy McGuire. Rolling her eyes,  she complains to Gordo and Miranda that her grandma can’t remember her birthday so she just sends her presents every few months just in case.  I don’t see how that’s cause for complaint – frequent presents seem like a good thing – but more importantly, are they making fun of Gammy’s dementia again?

Lizzie opens her present and discovers the game Dwarflord: the Conquest. Not giving even a shit about her grandmother, she tries to chuck it directly in the garbage, but her mom insists she play it just once.

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The trio plays what can best be described as “what people who have never played D&D imagine D&D to be like.” Lizzie and Miranda hate it but Gordo loves it.  You see what’s coming, right?  This is just going to be a retread of episodes like “Obsession.” Gordo is going to get so into Dwarflord that he ends up being a Bad Friend to Lizzie and Miranda and they’re going to confront him and he’s going to be a dick until he apologizes for being a Bad Friend and they accept his apology instead of saying “You know what Gordo? You can go fuck yourself.”

Sure enough, in the very next scene, Gordo tells Lizzie and Miranda he’s ditching them after school to play Dwarflord. When they’re surprised, he says they just don’t understand because girls don’t appreciate gaming. Ugh, fake Dwarflord girls, am I right?

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It’s often frustrating how accurate Gordo is as a character. There are thousands of geek-gatekeeping, friendzone-bemoaning assholes like Gordo in the world (though the writers don’t seem to realize that that’s a bad thing). We never see that level of specificity for the female characters, who instead often feel like vague caricatures of middle school girls. For instance, Lizzie and Miranda talk about going to the mall several times this episode and many of Cartoon Lizzie’s daydreams are about Ethan Craft even when it’s not all related to the scene. Girls on this show like fashion, shopping, boys, and boy bands, and strive for popularity – that applies to every female character Lizzie’s age, no matter who they are. Compare that cliche profile to Gordo’s characterization.  Gordo has so much specificity in his personality that you’d think he was the protagonist. Most of these episodes are actually written and directed by men, and it shows.

Matt and Sam climb a tree to watch a bird’s nest for an incredibly vague school project of Matt’s. Matt gets bored but Sam continues hanging out in the tree.  Miranda’s dad comes over and wants to hang out in the tree too, so Sam and Mr. Sanchez hang out in the tree for the rest of the episode.  I don’t understand this subplot.

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Miranda, vacuuming, calls Lizzie, who is also vacuuming, to discuss how hard their homework is. Why are they both vacuuming while doing homework? They each alternate between having a book and a vacuum in their spare hand in this scene. Also, why wouldn’t they turn off their vacuums while on the phone? Naturally, this is all for a dumb gag. The girls call Gordo to ask for help on the homework, but he’s playing Dwarflord with the school club. Tudgeman puts a spell on the phone and both Lizzie and Miranda’s vacuums die. What the fuck?

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Soon enough, Gordo is completely obsessed with Dwarflord. The entire club walks around school in full costumes every day, by the way, but we’re supposed to believe that Gordo was surprised to learn that the school had a club and also supposed to forget that we’ve never seen any of these characters in full costumes in school.

At one point Gordo asks Lizzie for cash to buy lunch after spending all his lunch money on Dwarflord cards –  then he immediately spends her money on more dwarf-lord stuff.  Holy shit, this is a drug metaphor!

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Lizzie and Miranda stage an intervention, but Gordo screams that he can quit Dwarflord anytime and just doesn’t want to. When he storms out, Matt says that Gordo’s a “dwarfhead” in a long bit of Dwarflord-as-drug comedy and says he’ll help Gordo get off “the dwarf.”

Mrs. Sanchez tries to get her husband out of the tree in a scene that mostly serves to show that the Sanchez marriage is as bad as the McGuire one. She says her husband left his cellphone at home so she couldn’t contact him, he says “ugh” when he sees his wife and refuses to get down when she says she’s got chores for him to do, they yell at each other in Spanish, and she finally says that she’s going to go spend money on his credit card. Wow, it’s been a while since we’ve gotten an episode about wives being harpies and husbands being dummies.

Weirdly, Mrs. Sanchez is dressed in that funky way that they dress Mrs. McGuire, with a similarly crazy hairstyle. Why does this show style the adults like their children?

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Lizzie, Miranda and Matt spy on a Dwarflord Club meeting. Some kid is guarding the door, which makes no sense because why would someone join the club just to guard the door, and Miranda flirts with him to distract him so they can steal his costume. Miranda is an interesting choice for the seductress in this scene, as she’s rarely looked less straight.

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Gordo emerges from the club’s meeting room to use the bathroom and proclaims, “It’s off to the watering hole, my half-badger brethren!” Oh, hey! I think that clip was on a Lizzie McGuire commercial that Disney used to play all the time. I suddenly remember hearing Gordo say that a million times.

Lizzie, Miranda, and Matt kidnap Gordo and take him back to Lizzie’s house for a very weird scene. First they torture him by screaming “Dwarflord!” while ripping off Band-Aids they’ve stuck all over his arms. “This is aversion therapy,” explains Matt. “The thing you like causes you pain.” Then they show Gordo a video of a bunch of old Lizzie McGuire clips, which doesn’t make any sense because no characters were filming those moments, and some behind-the-scenes photos from the same shoot as the one Lalaine just Instagrammed for a recent TBT. 

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Since I just moved I’ve uncovered many of👆#ThrowBacks

A photo posted by Lalaine Vergara (@thelalaine) on

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

This whole scene was bizarre, and I think it was supposed to be even weirder, because at one point you glimpse a pic of a scantily clad model in Lizzie’s hand. That was never explained, so I guess they cut the part where they tortured Gordo sexually as well, which is probably for the best.

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Gordo watches the video for about thirty seconds, then snaps immediately and screams that he wants to start enjoying life again. Mr. Sanchez and Mr. McGuire fall out of the tree.

I don’t have much to say about this one. This episode was dumb.

Notable fashion moments: Every single fashion moment was notable. This one was bonkers.

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Other interesting tidbits: If you think this show would be above making a joke about little people in an episode about dwarves, you’d be wrong.

5 thoughts on “Season 1, episode 27: “Gordo and the Dwarves”

  1. In that pic, Miranda’s mom’s hair looks nearly identical to Jo’s. If Jo McGuire has the hairstyle then it’s a quirky character trait. But when other moms have the same hairstyle it stops being something unique to that character and becomes something weird and we have to assume that this is a popular mom hairstyle in this universe.

    I’m enjoying reading this every week. I’ll be sorry when you finish. Hopefully when you complete the series you’ll add a few more posts of general commentary of the series as a whole or commentary on Disney and Disney shows at that point in time, etc.

    Like

    1. Mom Style in this universe makes no sense. If Jo were an artist like the mom in The Princess Diaries, I’d let it slide but it makes no sense for this mom – much less two moms.

      Thank you for reading! I would like to write some more general commentary pieces at some point. I have so many thoughts about this series, sadly.

      Like

  2. I just stumbled upon this blog, and I want you to know that you are hilarious and your reviews are spot-on! I was in middle school when “Lizzie McGuire” originally aired on Disney Channel, and I always thought the actors were terrible, Kate was horribly miscast, and Lizzie was an angsty brat. As I got older, I figured “Lizzie McGuire” couldn’t have possibly been that bad, but your blog has confirmed that in fact it really is that bad. You’re doing the lord’s work reviewing this trainwrecks of a show! Thank you!!

    Like

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