Review: Duncanville “Stan in the Place Where You Live”

 

Overview (Spoilers Below):

It’s almost time for the PSAT’s at Duncan’s high school, but he’s not almost ready to take the test. When he informs Annie about his intention not to go to college, she freaks out and makes a secret plan with her no good brother Stan. Duncan ends up skipping the test and going to live with Stan, but he quickly learns that the drop out life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be when he earns the ire of the entire town.

Our Take:

This week’s episode of Duncanville is kind of crazy. Duncan skips out on his PSAT’s to go live with his uncle Stan, and along the way learns that living free and easy is harder than it looks… only it was all fake because it was all part of an elaborate scheme cooked up by Annie in order to show Duncan the error of his ways?!

Before we get to all that, though, the episode opens up with a seemingly disconnected scene showing the family’s reluctance to enter the creepy attic. It’s pretty funny by itself, especially once Santa gets involved, but felt a little random once the PSAT plot kicked into gear. However, it does come back around in a little side story involving Jack and the girls in  their quest to appease Annie and not get thrown out of the house themselves.

The main plot gets incited when Duncan expresses his dissatisfaction with test taking. It’s pretty relatable stuff for anyone whose struggled with the pros and cons of college, which makes it easier to root for Duncan here. He may be a dummy, but this time at least his idiocy isn’t entirely off base.

Once Stan enters the picture, things get pretty loopy. It’s fun to see the comedic chemistry that Duncan has with a man child like Stan — his ongoing bit about not understanding how they’re related it classic Duncan. The eventual tipping point is also pretty great, as Stan takes Duncan to a Farmer’s Market to scam rich people and the two of them wind up making big bucks by having people ask Duncan the easiest questions they can think of and laughing as he gets them wrong anyway.

The big reveal happens when Duncan is chased by an angry mob (led by the mayor, no less) and has to call Annie to get him out of trouble. It turns out that the entire thing has been staged in order to get Duncan to see that skipping the PSAT would lead him to an unideal place in life. Duncan accepts that Stan and the Farmer’s Market folks were in on it quick enough, but starts to question things when the entire student body was in on it as well, even faking taking the test. This entire episode was kind of silly in that way, and I kind of love that, but also it almost could make sense in-universe because it was all planned by Annie… so of course a few things don’t quite add up!

All in all, Stan in the Place Where You Live is a pretty great episode of Duncanville. From Annie’s PSAT schemes to Jack being left out of everything from the family calendar to the plot itself, this week was a bit of a breath of fresh air. It may boast a few more twists and turns than your average episode, but what doesn’t change is that it still manages to hit a decent number of funny bones along the way.

Caleb

graphic designer, writer, and animation addict. when i'm not writing words about my favorite shows, you can usually find me skulking about on Twitter. if you want, leave a comment or send me a tweet; i'd love to chat!

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