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Mission Hill Episode Capsule

Episode #4
 "THE BIG-ASS VIACOM LAWSUIT" ( Or, "Andy vs. The Real World")

Some information taken from TV Tome

Production Code:  3950-04

Original Airdate:  June 9, 2002 (Cartoon Network Adult Swim)

Written by:  Ben Kull

Directed by:  Christian Roman

Synopsis:
Kevin accidentally stumbles upon a box of mysterious videotapes in Andy's closet.  Jim then tells him the story behind the tapes as they begin watching them; last year, MTV filmed an episode of 'The Real World' in Mission Hill.

At first, Andy and Jim hate it when the network comes in and ruins their neighbourhood, with boom mike operators and cameramen wandering everywhere to film the people from the house.  Andy decides to go in and sabotage the production, but when his efforts cause one of the housemates to get hurt, the show hires him as a replacement.  Andy accepts, and is soon swept up in the show, which alienates him from his friends and neighbours.  When he tries to escape, he finds himself trapped.

Then, it's up to his friends and neighbours to bail him out with an elaborate scheme.  They succeed in grabbing Andy and all the tapes.

Back to the present, the tapes are now being watched by the whole neighbourhood, who have gradually wandered into Andy's apartment.  When Andy finally arrives, he is humiliated in front of everyone, who burst into an intentionally uplifting (although ineffective) chorus of REM's "Everybody Hurts" in an attempt to cheer him up.

Notes
- What do the signs say:
    -Zarathrusta's Spokes, a sign on a building seen a few times through the episode.

-"The Real World" is of course, the long-running MTV reality show that follows a group of young people living under one roof.  Each season takes place in a different city.

-At the beginning, Andy is wearing Kevin's SAT score T-shirt, which Kevin was seen wearing in episode 1: "THE DOUCHEBAG ASPECT" (Or, "Pilot Episode").

-Jim asks Kevin if the box of videotapes is drugs, which is one of many drug references Jim makes throughout the series.

-One year ago:
    -Across the street from the apartment, in the building where "The Real World" was being filmed, there was a smoke shop called "Scuby Snacks."  It has since closed and the building has become run-down.  This is likely a reference to the cartoon Scooby-Doo (particularly the "Scooby Snacks" that Scooby ate) and the drug references that some fans like to associate with the show.
    -Jim's beard was not fully grown-in yet.
    -Natalie was still pregnant, though she gives birth while "The Real World" is being filmed.

-When Natalie calls for a second cab, her mouth doesn't move.

-The MTV executive on the phone says "Leave 'em all in Hawaii I'm through with them."  In 1999 (the year Mission Hill started), "The Real World" was set in Hawaii.

-The MTV attorney called Andy a cross between Eddie Vedder and Chuck Barris.  Vedder is the lead singer for the band Pearl Jam.  Chuck Barris is most famous for hosting "The Gong Show" and writing the book "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind."

-Andy mentions a competition with "Road Rules", which is another MTV show.  This one is about a bunch of twentysomethings in a Winnebago, sent out on the road and filmed along the way.  The two shows have crossed over into competition specials several times.

-The TV cameraman watching Andy sleep late mentions it was 'duller than Ruthie's alcohol counseling."  Likely this is a reference to Ruthie Alcaide, a cast member on "The Real World: Hawaii", who had a drinking problem.

-Andy tells Jim that messing with his mike is messing with Viacom, which is the corporation that owns MTV.

-When Gus points a gun at the MTV crew, he says "Say hello to my little friend," which is Al Pacino's most famous line from the movie Scarface.

-In the big applauding crowd scene near the end, you can see Bill Oakley (just to the right of the couch in the green plaid shirt) and Josh Weinstein (in the top right corner in the blue jacket).

-Scheduled to air on October 15, 1999 (the WB showed a promo during the credits of Kevin's Problem). After the series was pulled, the official website for Mission Hill said this episode would be "coming this spring to the WB." It didn't come that spring, and it didn't come that summer either. 

-For two years, the dirty title was withheld from msnhill.com... for obvious reasons. 

-When Andy says, "Come on, I'm not MTV material. Hell, I'm barely WB material", it is a reference to the WB, the original network of Mission Hill.

Music
-"Ape self prevails in me still" by Quasi is played during the montage of MTV interrupting the lives of the Mission Hill residents.

-"Everybody hurts" by R.E.M. is played when the roommate from 'The Real World' is taken away in an ambulance.  It is also sung by the show's cast at the end of the episode.

-"Begin" by Lambchop is played as Andy, now a cast member, walks into the house to the rest of the cast talking about their feelings.

-"Who's afraid of elizabeth taylor" by Joan of Arc was playing as Andy was in the confessional booth.  You really can't hear it playing but it's there.