Split Decision (1983)

Posted by Mrs Giggles on April 2, 2019 in 2 Oogies, Idiot Box Reviews, Series: The Hitchhiker

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Split Decision (1983)
Split Decision (1983)

Main cast: Jackson Davies (Jake McElhaney), Audrey Landers (Priscilla Packard), Judy Landers (Frances Packard), Marlane O’Brien (Barb Atkinson), and Nicholas Campbell (The Hitchhiker)
Director: Ivan Nagy

Split Decision comes out almost ten years before Split Personality, but there are enough similarities in the basic premise to warrant a comparison. Both episodes from very distinct TV series feature a man trying to bamboozle twin sisters only to meet an appropriately bad end, because the sisters just don’t know how to share.

In this instance, we have Jake McElhaney, a real estate agent who is about to lose his job due to poor performance, attempting to make one last ditch at saving his job by persuading twins Priscilla and Frances Packard to appoint him as the agent to sell their house. Both ladies are daughters of a late magician, who also taught them how to be the perfect stage assistants, hence these women are prone to breaking out into “Ta-da!” antics as if they were still on stage when they are not clad in all kinds of clothes meant for stage rather than real life. Don’t worry, folks, while this episode doesn’t have any explicit sex scene, it compensates by making sure that these ladies are not wearing a bra and viewers won’t miss that fact.

This episode is inferior to the similar Tales from the Crypt episode for several reasons.

One, for a comedy, this one is tonally off as it’s hard to view the sisters as anything but clearly unhinged sorts without any hint of menace like the sisters from the other episode. Therefore, there is hardly anything scary in this episode, so the over the top denouement feels out of place in an episode of otherwise mundane antics of unhinged women and desperate real estate agents.

Two, this episode lacks any memorable punchlines or moments for a comedic horror episode.

Lastly, and this is the biggest issue: the episode gives away the denouement way too early in the episode, when it has the sisters explaining to Jake, complete with a doll that can be bisected on the vertical axis, that they don’t share, they just split the things they like in two. There is a long way more for the episode to go, so gee, I wonder what the “shocking denouement” will be… Way to kill the suspense of the episode, people!

Oh ya, this episode also features the original hitchhiker actor, Nicholas Campbell, for some reason when they took out his scenes in the previous two episode and replaced them with the new guy’s. Looking at Mr Campbell, I can see why he is replaced. Page Fletcher is hotter and he wears tighter jeans while Mr Campbell wears baggy ones – I agree, good move, case closed. Sadly, I can’t say the same about this episode.

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