I used to own this town Now it's all turned upside down I wish I could figure out Do you think? It's just a phase I'm going through? — Opening Theme
Local high school jock Tommy Dawkins (Brandon Quinn) has nothing to worry about until he's bitten by a werewolf. Not knowing what to do, he befriends the local effeminate genius goth Merton Dingle (Danny Smith) and together they team up to fight the weirdness and monsters that pour into the town of Pleasantville, even though almost everyone believes that their protector, "The Pleasantville Werewolf", is viciously dangerous. The second season added a third friend to the cast, Lauren 'Lori' Baxter (Aimée Castle).The series lasted from April, 1999 to April, 2002. A total of 65 episodes in 3 seasons. An incredibly lighthearted show that essentially existed to parody shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Charmed, and replace their Wangst with lighthearted slapstick and goofy wordplay. A Canadian production, it ran on the Fox Family Channel and YTV.
Provides examples of:
Action Girl: Kickboxing classmate Lori Baxter, who shows up after the first season.
Balloon Belly: In one episode, Merton drinks a strange nectar (given to him by man-eating spider-people, no less) that causes him to rapidly gain weight. By the end of the episode, and thanks to a convenient time-skip montage, he's back down to his normal size.
In another episode, Tommy gains weight and gets a small one of these.
Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: It turns out that Corey Feldman, the actor who played Edgar Frog in The Lost Boys, is a real vampire! So is his costar Corey Haim; apparently some interesting things were going on backstage of that movie...
Brought Down to Normal: In one episode, Tommy gets his lycanthropy extracted from him. He enjoys it for a while, until he realizes that the process is making him weaker and weaker until he would die. Oh, and that the doctor that did the extraction was planning on using the... extraction to create a werewolf army to take over the world.
There's also an episode where Tommy is mysteriously sent to a "What if?" dimension in which he was never bitten by the werewolf, and also tore his ACL removing him from the football team and putting him in the glee club. A rival football player was bitten instead and quickly proves to be a bad werewolf. Tommy quickly is rebitten to save Lori and Merton and realizes that being the Pleasantville Werewolf is better than the alternative.
Even Tommy can pile on the pounds and get fat and does so in one episode, though he loses it by the end of the episode.
City of Adventure: If it's paranormal and dangerous, it'll show up in Pleasantville. Right down to its nice sounding name, it's a very transparent expy of Sunnydale.
Continuity Drift: In the episode with the cat girl, Merton mentions that he's only allergic to cats, sneezing whenever the titular cat woman appears. In the episode with the hell hound, he's sneezing whenever he's near the dog.
Continuity Snarl: On three occasions Tommy meets other werewolves. Each of these three appearances completely contradict the others regarding werewolf society (although this is Lampshaded in one of the episodes, in which Merton is surprised to find that the female werewolf Tommy meets, unlike the last group, has no desire to turn him evil).
Crazy-Prepared: When Merton is turned to stone by Medusa, it is discovered that Merton has prepared tapes to be viewed should anything happen to him, where he explains how to cure him of any supernatural fate that might befall him, even going as far to use title cards so that the tapes can simply be fast forwarded to the applicable cause of death. Unfortunately, after hours of fast forwarding, it turns out being turned to stone is not covered on the tapes. Also note that the potential causes of death the tapes cover include Celine Dion.
Not quite as impressive, but still:
Tommy: Okay, so he's a hellhound. It's not his fault; can't you do something? Merton: What do you think, I have a kit to purge evil spirits from a dog?! *beat, smirk* Because I do.
Apparently there were dark suspicions about the neighbor's dog.
When he "suits up" to go up against Vampire!Corey Haim. He even lampshades this when he points out that the headband might be a bit "too effeminate".
Cursed with Awesome: He may not be able to touch silver, or even think of kissing his crush without inadvertently transforming, but his powers come in handy both with fighting evil and scoring touchdowns.
Curse Cut Short: A demon is opening a portal to hell and before he can say hell, he's interrupted by Lori's cry of "Hello!"
Plus they usually avoid saying hell outright at all. This is especially noticeable in episodes with demons; often Hell will be Hades, or the Underworld.
Merton is quite fond of swearing. See:
Merton: Anytime you wanna come over and kiss my a— Tommy: Hey!
Merton: We, and by that, I mean [Tommy], are gonna deregulate all over your sorry— (his voice is then muted by the universal remote-wielding villain of the week. It's still extremely obvious what his mouth says).
Damned by Faint Praise: Merton combines this with Stealth Insult. "I think you combined the articulation of Arnold Schwarzenegger with the emotional range of Jean Claude van Damme." Tommy doesn't get it.
Demoted to Extra: Recurring characters Tim & Travis gradually received less screen time as the series progressed, to the point that one of left the show and the other was only mentioned once afterward, purely to explain where the other was.
Dirty Communists: One episode featured a Russian operative going back in time to prevent the break-up of the Soviet Union; he succeeded, resulting a Crap Sack World where the Soviets had conquered the US and Pleasantville had been renamed Pleasantgrad.
"Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Danny Smith, who played Merton wrote and sang the theme song. This is referenced twice, in one episode Merton is seen composing said song, and in the last episode, he appears during the opening and remarks "I wrote this!"
In the pilot episode Merton's sister flat out states "Hey, Merton, if you're done downloading nudie pics of Sabrina The Teenage Witch, dinner's ready."
Tommy tells Merton that part of him wants to tell Lori he's a werewolf. "And I wonder what part of you (pelvic thrust) that is."
Merton goes looking for a way to reverse a spell online. The method he finds fails, and the website claims he didn't want it badly enough, leading him to yell "You don't understand how bad I want it!" just as his sister walks in. "I thought Mom and Dad blocked those sites?"
Merton talking about trying to impress a girl he likes with money: "I just want her to know, I've got a big wad and I'm willing to blow it all on her!"
"Tommy, she's got balls." (bowling balls).
"How does Merton excite you?" Lori, when trying to get Tommy to change into a werewolf, followed by denial from Tommy.
G-Rated Drug: Time travel for Merton in the episode with the watch. The guy that gives him the watch tells him the first try is free. After that, Merton's intelligence is slowly sapped with each use of the watch.
Groin Attack: The first time Merton and Tommy face Butch, Tommy can't seem to transform and he decides that he'll just handle this as himself. Merton promptly kicks him between the legs, forcing him to change. "Just in case."
I Am Your Father: He's not literally Tommy's father, but he is the werewolf that bit him, making a joke based on the Darth Vader Halloween costume he was wearing at the time.
I Am Not Weasel: "Hey, I ain't fightin' no bear!" (This was said to Tommy...who is most certainly NOT a bear.)
Not to mention that in both of the alien episodes, he's mistaken for a "dog beast of Kardak", followed by a "What are you doing here?"
Idiot Hero: Tommy was flanderized into a full-on dunderhead in the second season, though he was a stereotypical jock in the first season and had his moments of sheer stupidity. (Like when Merton had nearly all his intelligence stolen by a villain, but he still managed to outsmart Tommy.) A character guessed that Tommy was a werewolf and refereed him being "special", prompting him to relive grade school memories of being forced to join the reading group that met in the basement.
Imaginary Enemy: Vince, Merton's psychotic and extremely jealous imaginary friend who comes back after Merton goes through his childhood toys and proceeds to sabotage Merton's real friendships.
Imaginary Friend: Vince, Merton's imaginary friend who comes back after Merton goes through his childhood toys.
Imagine the Audience Naked: Tommy suggests that Lori imagine she's naked just before they have to give a presentation together. When Lori corrects him, he points out that there's a hot girl in the class and he wouldn't be able to concentrate.
Knight Templar Big Brother: Even though she is openly humiliated by his existence, Merton is viciously protective of her when he finds out she is going on her first date.
Lampshade Hanging: Besides the Running Gag of "Hey, this plot is just like that movie." Tommy once asked Merton to explain how Butch, a character from a 50s 'educational' film, could jump out of the projection. Merton tries to come up with some convincing Techno Babble but only confuses himself, to the point where he doesn't know where he is anymore.
Not to mention that when the season three premiere continued from where the season two finale had ended, Lori and Tommy's actors' hairstyles had changed and Tommy mentions this
Mr. Fanservice: There's Merton, the cute nerd with spiky hair who dresses all in black. Then there's Tommy who's very good-looking already and who's werewolf form gives him spiky hair, a goatee, sexy side burns, and tiny fangs. So girls can take their pick, cute and tiny, or big and manly.
Mr. Seahorse: Merton thanks to an alien, complete with shout outs to Junior and Alien. The alien herself is the one to bring up the latter, when he asks how the birth is going to work.
Merton: Remember when the alien burst out of John Hurt's stomach? That was disgust...ing.
New Neighbours as the Plot Demands / Remember the New Guy: Usually related to Merton in some way: there's Allister Black (his sixth grade rival in D and D), Hilary Choates (his sixth grade love, with whom he promptly breaks up), and Bucky Ophendale (a guy he testified against and sent to juvie).
Never Say "Die": Averted — the cliffhanger for the first part of the Manchurian werewolf plot ends with Merton deadpanning: "We're going... to die."
Our Werewolves Are Different: Eat wolfsbane before your first full moon after being bitten, and you don't become a werewolf. If you don't, you can still bite someone who has, and be cured by ingesting their werewolf antibodies. And apparently only specific types of werewolves are capable of creating new ones. And where there's an entire Syndicate of evil werewolves that can't, Tommy can.
In addition to werewolves, there is also French exchange student who is a werecat.
Our Vampires Are Different: While "normal" vampires do appear, one episode features special vampires, who only feed on werewolves.
They are normal vampires, it's just that they thought all werewolves were evil, so they figured it was more moral to eat them than to feed on people.
Perky Goth: Merton. Although more like "spastic, hyperactive" goth.
Power Trio: Tommy = Ego, Merton = Id, Lori = Superego.
Put on a Bus: Stacey Hanson, Tommy's main love interest, gets into college early and is replaced by Lori Baxter. (A case of Real Life Writes the Plot; the actress playing Stacey decided to leave the show to attend college herself.)
Travis Ekhart "picked up a trade" in the final season.
Reality Subtext: Tommy's werewolf form was a bit more drastic (as evidenced in the pilot), but the actor playing him had an allergic reaction to the glue used, to it had to be toned down to the more subtle appearance.
Recycled Set: The bookmobile, which from the outside looks like a typical bookmobile. But inside it turns into a generic spacious room with rows of shelves, and wooden doors you'd see in their school. Of course you could say A Wizard Did It considering the show.
Refugee from TV Land: Butch. Merton and Tommy are aware that this makes no sense even by the standards of the world they live in, but it happens anyway.
Reset Button: An episode centers around a watch that could wind back time. Eventually the watch is destroyed, which resets the events of the entire episode, which of course included Stacey discovering Tommy's secret and revealing she was okay with it.
Running Gag: Merton would keep commenting how this week's plot was just like some movie; when asked what happened, he'd give a real world answer, e.g. the director's later career. His exasperated audience would demand to know about the movie, only occasionally giving in to the urge to shake him. At one point, Merton starts detailing his experience with a cute girl in the movie theater, causing even more annoyance "the MOVIE! the picture movie!!"
In an episode where a Terminator-esque robot disguised as Merton appears, Merton references the movie and Tommy and Lori, for once, know what he's talking about. Merton seems disappointed that he doesn't get to derail.
Tommy even gets in on the act in the Wonderful Life episode, where he gets to pull this on Merton:
Merton: I find it absurd that you'd mistake my meaning, but I was talking about the movie! What happened in the movie?
Also, Merton tends to ask the Monster of the Week (especially when they're about to kill him), "So, you're a (Insert monster here), what's that like?"
The Evil Werewolf Syndicate has almost no problem taking new leader Tommy's order of "Stop being Evil". At least, until Merton sends the previously mentioned werewolf-eating vampires at them, causing the only survivor to plot revenge.
Although the survivor does show no signs of trying again after he is defeated and let off with a slap on the wrist.