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Episode 202: Family Challenge

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Dinosaurs
Air Date September 25, 1991
Written by Tim Doyle
Director Bruce Bilson
Familychallenge

Fran accuses Earl of not spending enough time with his family. When a meteor crashes through the roof of their home, destroying the television set, Earl begs the family to try their luck as game show participants in an attempt to win the grand prize of a big-screen TV. Earl bones up on obscure areas of knowledge, but is humiliated when all the questions focus on television shows. The family only gets 5 points and loses badly, but goes home with the consolation prize of a 13 inch set.

Story

Fran wants to talk to the family during dinner, but the rest of the family would rather watch TV while eating. An enraged Fran throws the TV to the ground. With one set broken, the others watch TV in the living room. A DNN news report interrupts the show by announcing that a metor has been spotted; said meteor abruptly lands on the television set. The next day, the Insurance Agent comes to look over the damages. Although Earl has meteor insurance, the agent informs it only counts as a meteor while still in space, and when it reaches the earth's atmosphere, it becomes a meteorite, and is not covered.

With no television, Fran sees this as an opportunity for the family to talk about their day at the dinner table. A bored Earl leaves the house, and goes to the Meteor Tiki Lounge to watch TV. Roy tells Earl what he missed, and a depressed Earl fears that he will never be able to afford another TV, even one like the bar's set. However, Earl sees a commercial for a game show, The Family Challenge, and learns that the prize is a 90 inch television set. He goes home telling Fran that she was right about the need for the Sinclairs to do more as a family, and suggests that they compete on the game show, without mentioning the prize.

Earl has the family practice, writing up three categories on a chalkboard. Ethyl wants to participate, and Earl only lets her join when he learns that she is an expert on ancient history questions (because she was there). While they quiz each other, Earl realizes that they aren't very good at the game, and that television has limited their acquisition of knowledge.

The family spends a month practicing for their appearance, and Earl starts to enjoy spending time with the family, no longer caring about TV. When they appear on the game show, they compete against the Nielsen family, a family of mammals who spend all of their free time watching television. After host Buddy Glimmer interviews the families, he presents the categories, all of which have to do with TV. Baby foolishly presses the button after a question is asked, but the Sinclair's lack of TV access has caused them to forget about television. Eventually, the Neilsens are in the lead, and Fran finds out that Earl's original motive for being on the game show was to win a television set. However, Earl tells her that he enjoyed spending time with his family, and would never trade the time they spent for television. He also says that if he had another chance to win that TV, he wouldn't take it.

At this point, Buddy informs Earl that since they are way behind, they get another chance to win the set. Earl gets his choice of either answering a TV-related question that he has no chance of winning, or battling Mr. Nielsen in a sudden death round. Earl chooses to answer the question, which has to do with the life lesson that was taught on a TV show last night. However, Earl tells Buddy what he learned, that television shows come and go, but family is always there for him. Earl doesn't win the 90 inch set, but the family gets a consolation prize: a 13-inch set. Soon, the Sinclairs are back to watching TV at the dinner table.

Supporting Cast

Notes

  • Taping date: July 31, 1991
  • The shows Pangea's Funniest Home Injuries and Pangea's Second Funniest Home Injuries' are parodies of America's Funniest Home Videos. and America's Funniest People, which aired back to back on ABC at the time.
  • "The Family Challenge" is a parody of Family Feud.
  • The categories are: TV Last Week..., TV Last Night..., TV..., TV... , TV Potpourri..., and Families on TV...
  • The credits for Pangea's Funniest Home Injuries lists Polly Smith, BC. as head of wardrobe, David A. Caplan and Brian Lapan as Executive Producers, and Tim Doyle as Term Writer.

Seen on TV

Pangea's Funniest Home Injuries', followed by Pangea's Second Funniest Home Injuries.
DNN Special Report
Commercial: Dinosaurs Sports.
The Family Challenge

Video releases


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The Golden Child I Never Ate for My Father

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