St. Patrick’s Day is winding down, and I felt it deserved a special article. That feeling developed right around the time I discovered the subject of this article actually existed. So I hope you’ve had your fill of corned beef, chugged down a shamrock shake and didn’t suffer through a debilitating potato famine, because it’s time to watch a very special episode of the The Twilight Zone!
No, no, not that Twilight Zone, I’m talking about the 80’s revival version. Don’t remember it? Well you should probably consider yourself lucky. Today’s episode is called “The Leprechaun Artist.” I assume it’s about a leprechaun with a passion for creating beautiful watercolors. Oh wait…it’s a play on the term con artist. Rod Serling is rolling over in his grave.
Here are your links:
I’m going to skip right over the theme song; it’s an abomination and an insult to the classic era’s version. We meet three kids in rapid succession, ensuring we won’t care at all about them. The only interesting one is the kid reading a boudoir magazine. I’m not trying to sound pretentious, that’s really what he’s reading.
Also important to note, one of the actors in this episode is named Cork.
The kids all meet up and ride their bikes out to their secret clubhouse, which appears to be hidden away inside a construction yard, and appears to have been created out of the body of 1974 Pontiac Bonneville. It was the 80’s, this kind of thing was normal and accepted.
While they’re arriving at the tree house, we’re treated to the trademark Twilight Zone narration, which, much like the theme song is an affront to good taste and decency. They were smart enough not to attempt to replace Rod Serling on screen, but they do attempt to mimic his voice. In theory, it’d be a nice homage to the series original creator. In practice, it’s blasphemous tripe. Here’s the narration, word for word.
Consider for a moment if you were a leprechaun, making your home under the roots of trees or in the hollows between rocks. Wouldn’t you want to get away from it all now and then? A winter in Pismo Beach? A summer trip to Disneyland where no one would even notice you? But if you really were a leprechaun, where else would you vacation but in the Twilight Zone?
No, the only thing I’m considering is turning this nonsense off. For journalism’s sake, I’ll press on. The kids dick around the clubhouse for a bit, before they hear someone humming a tune. The boys look down and spot a leprechaun, merrily strolling by. Upon seeing the boys, he promptly freaks out and runs away.
Upon seeing this, the boys do the only logical thing and run after it. It really says something about about a kid, when their first instinct is to chase a clearly terrified midget. I blame the parents, or maybe the schools. Anyways, we’re treated to what is can only be described as a live action Lucky Charms commercial, until the boys finally tackle him, and carry him off back to their clubhouse.
The leprechaun, realizing he’s been bested, and no doubt embarrassed by that fact, quickly offers the boys three wishes, so he can be on his way, as he’s on vacation. Apparently he’s in the states to visit family. That point is driven home when he starts stripping away his stereotypical leprechaun clothes to show he’s wearing a hideous Hawaiian shirt.
After a coin flip, it’s decided that the kid who was reading Boudoir would go first. His name is Buddy, but I’ll be calling him Boudoir Buddy instead. Double B takes his time thinking of a wish, before finally settling on X-Ray Vision, so he can “You know, look at girls and stuff.” Ah, the dark days before the internet. The other two kids decide to take a day and think about their wishes, much to the chagrin of the leprechaun, who isn’t allowed to leave until he’s granted all their wishes. The next day, Buddy’s is excited to find out his X-Ray vision is working, and quickly pervs on some girls boarding a school bus.
Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to have the ability to control how much he sees, leading to some undesirable side effects.
Back at the clubhouse, we learn that the leprechaun has reversed Buddy’s wish now that he’s seen the error in his ways. Next up on the wish train is JP, who decides to wish that all three of the boy’s parents have to do exactly as they say. It’s such an ingenious wish, nothing could possible go wrong! Now let’s see what goes wrong. Back at his house later that evening, JP asks his mother for $20 for some records and she obeys. He then commands her to make him pizza for dinner, and she again obeys. Everything is working out great, as long as you look past the fact that his mother now pertinently looks like this.
JP is thrilled by the results, and goes to see how Buddy is faring with his parents. He’s not having quite as good of a time, as his parents appear to be unable to leave their car. Instead of taking a moment to think about how odd that is, Buddy instead makes his father bark like a dog and his mother sign the star spangled banner. Then he leaves them doing that while he and JP head back to JP’s place for a party. Boudoir Buddy is a terrible person.
The party turns out to be a bust, as the boys learn that their parents can only do what they say, and need to have every step of every process explained to them in detail. It leads to a oh-so-hilarious sequence where JP has to explain to his mom every step of cooking frozen pizza. Really, it’s gut busting stuff. It also shows that JP is perfectly capable of cooking his own goddamn pizza and is obviously just a lazy little shit. Needless to say, he’s just as upset about his wish as Buddy was, so it’s back to Leprechaun.
The leprechaun, whose name is Sean McGhoul, reverse JP’s wish and still allows them to have one more. Speaking of names, you know who still doesn’t have one? The last kid. We can’t go a full review without having a name for him, so I’ll just head over to Wikipedia and name him after the first random article I come across. DiGiorgio Corporation! Wonderful stuff. Anywho, DiGiorgio decides he wants something real, something he can touch. He settles on a fast, fancy automobile, with unlimited gas and a driver who can drive without being told what to do. There’s no way this one can fail! With all the wishes granted, Sean McGhoul disappears, and the boys go outside to check out their sweet new ride.
They immediately jump in for a joy ride, commanding the driver to go faster and faster. Soon the cops give chase, and the boys realize that a driver who doesn’t need to be told what to do will also not listen to them, and will go as fast as he damn well pleases. The boys of course freak out, and we hear DiGiorgio’s actual name for the first time in the episode, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to call him that. The chase eventually ends when the limo skids out in sandbank. The driver mysteriously disappears, which really doesn’t make any sense as they wished him into existence and didn’t ask him to leave, and the kids are apprehended and taken to the police station. Just as it looks like the boys are doomed, Sean McGhoul appears and makes it all go away, because he “likes the looks of them.”
The boys happily run out of the police station and give us a magical 80’s moment, where we freeze on them jumping for joy. It’s almost enough to make me forgive this episode. Almost.
Well, it’s incredibly depressing that an episode like that got produced under the Twilight Zone banner. If it were an episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark? Or Amazing Stories, I’d have no problem with it, but I just can’t accept it as a Twilight Zone episode. The stupidity is cranked up too high and the sense of wonder and mystery just isn’t there. If you want to see what a Twilight Zone episode is supposed to look like, check out some of my past reviews and then wash away the memory of this one with a green beer.