Space Dandy: The Gallant Space Gentleman, Baby review
An episode entirely concerned with finding that special someone, and the introduction of one of the best alien species we’ve seen yet
“Where does one find a dandy man in the vast outreaches of space?”
Love is universal. It’s a constant. Everyone wants love, whether you like it or not. It’s why Dandy goes to Boobies (whether he wants to admit it or not). It’s why we throw countless hours away watching stupid sitcoms and romantic comedies. We all can empathize with the age-old story of finding your other half. Even the simple premise of Space Dandy itself is more or less a reflection of this idea, only the new, rare species that he’s searching for are aliens, not true love.
So it only makes sense that an episode preoccupied with this topic would almost transform itself into a sitcom analog. The narrator is a lot more heavy-handed and expository this time, as if speaking down to a sitcom audience. Broadness is indulged in as Dandy and co. pretend to be women at one point (with no costumes whatsoever), and the most glaring example, that there’s actually a laugh track present throughout this outing! Hacky jokes are made as an unseen crowd guffaws as everyone continues to get sucked into this black hole of love.
It’s almost like they’re trying to simulate what it’s like to watch an episode of something like Friends, or rather, Space Friends (Space Joey was never given a fair shot…) as everything is so on-the-nose. The episode even ends with Sir Gentle Nobre (who fits into the sitcom parallel by neatly acting as a guest star or celebrity in the entry) and Honey saying, “See ya later! Tune in again, okay!” At this point everyone is fully aware that you’re watching a sitcom.
This week everyone just wants love and to find a dandy, whether it’s over food, their job, or their hard wiring. Even Dr. Gel mentions that he’s a lover, not a fighter (who inexplicably is disguised as a wrestler early on in the episode for some reason? Is this a hobby of his that we’ll hopefully see more of?). I never tire of how each week the phrase “dandy” seems to be integral to the plot of the episode, like how here women are just wanting to find a guy who’s gentle and dandy. That should be enough to work off of. It’s a refreshing change of pace however as Scarlett and Honey nearly take the center stage time this around, and it’s nice to see the show utilizing its female cast effectively, for once (although that it’s over the idea of love and romance is a little reductive).
So the Aloha Oe crew embarks on Planet C’est La Vie, where they encounter Sir Gentle Nobre, who may just be the nicest dandy you ever did see. Gentle Nobre is part of a species that is part cloud (Cloudian, natch) that pilots a pink cloud around. Of course, not every Cloudian’s cloud is pink, but rather, the species’ feelings and emotions are reflected through the color of their cloud and how this—but this is obviously something you already know and don’t need explained, at least according to the Narrator.
I was pretty into Sir Gentle Nobre, due to the nearly minimalistic approach the series takes with him. He’s billed as an inherently romantic person (I mean, his cloud is pink for God sakes!) that a running laugh track continues to make him seem gentler and more charming, but there’s a nice, sinister undertone coursing through all of this. Cloudians by nature are known to take lonely women back to their ship to show them a good time, and when Nobre takes Scarlett back to his planet with him, it’s immediately after she drunkenly stumbles into him, somewhat out of it. I wouldn’t even be surprised if that rose tea that he’s so concerned with serving was actually loaded with tranquilizers.
More of his artifice continues to be peeled off when the explanation for the episode’s laugh track is even credited to be courtesy of Ambienciens, invisible cloud aliens that Gentle Nobre has hired to flesh out (so to speak) his locale and add weight to what he says. It’s interesting to have Scarlett be in this position with him, as she states that her job is being paid to doubt people, so she should be the least inclined to buy into this manipulative Cloudian species, and yet the power of love and flattery is strong. Nobre’s even able to win Dandy over with the simple offer of “Brandy for a dandy?”
It’s nice to see the episode not outright vilify Nobre, instead leaving it up to your interpretation, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he returned after the reveal that Honey is actually his half-sister (and therefore, half Cloudian). The episode would really love to tell you more about this backstory on Honey, or rather, Lady Nobre, but, in typical Dandy fashion, the Narrator prematurely cuts himself short. The episode was running long, and, well, you know how it is.
I’d be just as quick to say that this piece of development for the Boobies waitress would be immediately abandoned, but hey, there’s a reference this week to that time everyone was a zombie! An event that led to everyone’s deaths, so who knows what’s fair game at this point. Although it’s nice that some continuity record is being maintained. But is that not a lot like love? Sometimes you want more details than you have. Sometimes the details aren’t important. You’ll remember the past sometimes, and other times you’ll forget it. It might even feel like it’s getting cut short before you’ve gotten everything you need. But at least we don’t have to worry about what color our cloud is to the judging masses around us.