“We live in the sixth floor, of the Stanten building, in a men’s public restroom”
This episode marks an exciting moment for Tim & Eric’s Bedtime Stories in that we see them returning to the same characters and sitcom structure from their “Just 3 Boyz” short from Funny or Die Presents, bringing Zach Galiafianakis along with them. It’s fascinating, and a smart idea to see this show act as a conduit to continue underdeveloped characters or ideas they’ve played with in the past. I know I probably wouldn’t be the only one wanting to see a full “It’s Gert!” installment down the road. But whether you’re familiar with these “characters” or not, this episode is just pure, vintage Tim and Eric silliness, from top to bottom.
In “The Bathroom Boys” we see this sitcom idea (which is based on a poem by J. Jayson Poryk, we’re told) being twisted even further than what was done in “Just 3 Boyz” with an absolutely nonsensical plot, like something resembling Bosom Buddies, or, you know, Three’s Company. Here we see Tim, Eric, and Zach working as three bathroom attendants that turn the place where they work into their home “when the coast is clear.” We even get fictional creative staff and crew credits being played over the beginning and ending of the episode. There’s even Jack Knight, as the Super, and just to be clear, this is the super of the bathroom, not the secret living arrangement they’ve got, but someone just making sure that nothing fishy is going on in the bathroom.
This episode is not that different from when these three last played with this idea, as overused sound effects and production values are indulged in to ape what sitcoms do. I’m even surprised there’s not an obnoxious laugh track punctuating everything, too. There’s a lengthy underwear check in the opening minutes that has a more precise rhythm and editing to it than anything from the “Hole” episode, which also plays with this sort of thing.
Absurdity continues to double down on itself as the trio have security cameras in place to alert them when someone is approaching the bathroom so they know when to turn it back from their home into a bathroom. We even see things like pants being sewn to completion in the limited time they have before the Super comes in to check on things. This is all moving swimmingly until Zach is running low on mints in the turndown portion of the bathroom attending job and Tim and Eric are humiliated accordingly (“GOTTAGET THE MINTS!”). Again, elaborate editing is used as well as switching tonality on a dime and it gives this beyond stupid story extra energy and power and I’m on board with it.
At a Zim Mart, Zach meets a wonderful British woman who wants to go on a date with him, and opts to even bring her two sisters with her to their place, with the hope of great prospects and fun, even, as succulent eggplant parm is prepared for all. Tim and Eric seem to hit it off much better with their dates, while Zach’s refuses to pork him on the first date.
There’s some fun, different stuff going over all of this, while Zach tries to have a serious conversation with his date as Tim and Eric almost become animals as horse and other beast noises are imbued over their actions. Basically every motion they do is hyperbolized and over the top, as things are slowed down as the show sees fit, adding more surrealness to it all
While all of this is a lot of fun and it’s working far more than it isn’t, the episode essentially doesn’t have an ending as the Super comes to check in on everything, and as soon as he’s fooled, the episode ends. We don’t see the rest of the date. We don’t see if the girls were into this sort of charade. It’s just ended and this definitely feels like an episode that would have benefitted from being a full twenty-two minutes. Eagleheart’s third season had random twenty-two minute installments in a season that was primarily eleven minutes, and it’d be nice if Bedtime Stories could also adopt this approach as they see fit. The hackneyed, suddenness of the ending is also a jab at the sitcoms they’re lampooning, so there is at least some justification for it, I’d just have preferred more of an actual ending.
Oh well, I know J. Jayson Poryk and Arnold P. Poryk are smart guys and know what they’re doing with their characters. They’ve been doing a good job at keeping “The Bathroom Boys” fresh after all.