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Context Recap / LexxS02E05

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1'''Season 2, Episode 5'''²!Lafftrack²²In flashback, two one-person military craft engage in a WWII-esque dogfight in space. The pilots are the last surviving citizens of the planets Leester and Liber, which were destroyed in a war over whether and which planet was faking its TV ratings. The Leesterian forces the Liberian to crash into a small celestial object which once served as a production studio; however, the Liberian survives, detaches the unwieldy gun from his craft, and manually shoots down the Leesterian, who also crashes onto the surface. Both pilots are injured but alive. While the Liberian struggles to control his gun so that he can finish off the Leesterian, the latter crawls toward a signal tower. He reaches it and punches some buttons, then suffers a fatal shot and dies. The signal that he activated, proclaiming Leesterian programming greatness and denigrating Liberian shows as "crap," flashes across billboards over the studio. Screaming in outrage, the Liberian collapses and also dies.²²In the present, the Lexx intercepts the signal, and Xev insists on investigating it. Stan, Xev, and 790 take a moth down to the surface, where they find the pilots' desiccated bodies and a series of doorways that lead to shows in which people on the studio can participate. Xev decides to play in ''Boys' School.'' Since only one person can participate in each show at a time, Xev hands 790 off to Stan, who doesn't want to get involved. Neither Xev nor Stan pays attention to the brief warning that people who fail to get good ratings "may become a part of our studio audience."²²Stan starts walking back to the moth. Along the way, he gets tired of 790's complaints and throws 790 under the ''Talk Time'' door. Before he can reach the moth, a sign lights up featuring the scantily-dressed women from a show called ''Girl Time.'' Stan walks through the door.²²''Girl Time'' turns out to be a sitcom, likely intended to have pornographic potential, about two beautiful young women, Slinka and Yoyo, and their disapproving apartment manager, Mr. Beetle. As in the other shows, all the permanent actors are androids. Stan attempts to play along with their double entendres, but fails to elicit much laughter from the studio audience; a meter indicates how good his "ratings" are. He gets demoted from prime time to an afternoon soap opera set in a hospital, then to a children's morning show where he is forced to wear diapers and endure insults from a clown named Farty.²²Xev is initially more successful: Her sexual innuendos and good looks earn high ratings from the studio audience, and the studio promotes her to her own show, where she sings and dances while surrounded by shirtless young men. Unfortunately, when she falls into a confessional mood and begins discussing the sadder aspects of her life, the ratings drop, and she suffers progressive demotions as well.²²²Stan's ratings on the morning show are too low, so he gets sent to ''Specialty Show,'' the cybernetic host's favorite program, where failed guests are decapitated by androids dressed as police and their severed heads kept artificially alive to act as the laugh track. The executioners seem unable to deviate from their script, and pay no attention to Stan's pleas of innocence.²²790 moves from ''Talk Time'' to a game show, but still fails to receive sufficient ratings. He is also put through the decapitation machine; however, since he was only a head to begin with, it makes no difference.²²The TV programs featuring the crew are beamed into the cryostasis chamber, where they trigger Kai's pod to open. Kai takes a moth and goes to rescue the crew. Beginning with ''Girl Time,'' he walks through the same procession of sets as Stan, winding up on ''Specialty Show'' just in time to replace Stan in the decapitation device and tell Stan to find Xev.²²Now separated from his body, Kai joins the rest of the severed heads, including 790. Kai has figured out that contestants are judged by the amount of laughter that they generate, so he prompts 790 to help him game the system by laughing at Xev, who is now trapped in a boring exercise show. Their efforts fail, and Xev is also sentenced to execution.²²Stan wanders back through the sets, looking for Xev. He force-feeds a balloon to Farty the clown, causing Farty's circuits to short out, and winds up back in the soap opera, where he finds Kai's body with one of the android's head attached. By guiding Kai's body, Stan is able to destroy Xev's executioners just before she would have been decapitated. Eventually, Stan, Xev, and Kai's body locate the studio audience. Xev takes back 790, and Kai reattaches his head to his body.²²Back aboard the Lexx, the group discusses its adventures. Xev says that she felt "special" when she was on TV; Stan counters that none of the androids was "really alive" anyway. Kai observes that "[b]eing alive isn't everything" before his pod closes over him.²²The Lexx sails away. Unknown to the crew, Mantrid drones descend on the studio and destroy it.²²!Tropes found in this episode include:²²* AbsurdlyHighStakesGame: Participating in any of TV World's programs is this, since poor ratings will be punished with [[AFateWorseThanDeath A Fate Worse Than Death]].²* AndIMustScream: The studio audience consists of decapitated but fully conscious heads, trapped in small boxes and forced to watch the studio's shows until their life support fails.²* ArtificialGravity: TV World is several times smaller than the Lexx, yet nothing floats away.²* BlackEyesOfEvil: The main host has these.²* TheComicallySerious: Kai's deadpan reactions to the ridiculous plots of the programs he reacts to.²²---> '''Kai, while in a sitcom:''' "I am not funny."²²* ConfettiDrop: A non-celebratory example-- a bucket of confetti sits over the door of the ''Girl Time'' set. Stan gets doused; Kai activates it without getting hit.²* DeceptivelyHumanRobots: While the android "actors" have very human exteriors, their programming seems limited to a few stock phrases and gestures.²* DepravedKidsShowHost: Farty's "brand" appears to be a combination of [[ToiletHumor Toilet Humor]] and guest humiliation.²* DoubleEntendre: Several. The studio audience seems to find these particularly funny.²---> '''Slinka and Yoyo, in unison:''' "We need a new roommate!"²---> '''Stan:''' "Do you have any openings?"²---> ''(Cue background laughter.)''²* TheEponymousShow: ''The Xev Show.''²** BadGirlSong: Xev sings about her frustrations as a Cluster lizard and a love slave.²** HotMenAtWork: The extras are all fit-looking guys dressed in skimpy cowboy-ish costumes (bandannas, hats, chaps, fringed bracelets), only with no shirts and their briefs exposed.²* EjectTheLoser: When Stan's ratings on the kids' show prove too low, he's dropped through a [[TrapDoor Trap Door]] into an execution chamber.²* ExcitedKidsShowHost: Farty may be a [[JerkAss Jerk]], but he certainly seems enthusiastic.²* FanserviceExtra: The guys in the background of ''The Xev Show.''²* FairCop: The same models of android that play Slinka and Yoyo double as cops on ''Specialty Show.''²* {{Filth}}: It's heavily implied that ''Girl Time'' can turn into porn if the contestant does a good enough job of playing along.²* GameShow²* HardWorkHardlyWorks: Xev refuses to keep performing in the exercise show because it won't change anything-- as a love slave, she already has a perfect body.²* HotTeacher: Seems to be what ''Boys' School'' is going for, and Xev certainly fits the bill when she gets cast in it.²* HypocriticalHumor: Stan rants about Xev not learning from their track record as explorers... then falls for the ''Girl Time'' ad.²* LaughTrack: Averted; despite the episode's title, TV World prefers a live (or possibly undead) studio audience.²* LosingYourHead: Kai not only does okay without his, but he's apparently able to sightlessly attach an android head to his body.²* {{Mouthscreen}}: The in-universe cameras shoot close-ups of Xev's lips.²* PantyShot: Xev gets this a couple of times, when climbing out of the moth and when teasing one of her "students."²* PublicExecution: A staple of ''Specialty Show.''²* PullingThemselvesTogether: Kai, when reunited with his body.²* RobotClown: Farty.²* SoapWithinAShow: ''Heartbreak Hospital.''²** TheAlcoholic: The doctor's wife accuses him of drinking... [[HypocriticalHumor while she waves around a half-empty liquor bottle]].²** LoveTriangle: The guest plays a doctor involved in a love triangle with an alcoholic wife and a patient with an implied history of political intrigue.²** MakingLoveInAllTheWrongPlaces: According to the doctor's girlfriend, they made "torrid love" in the bathroom of an embassy and in a sewer.²** MurderTheHypotenuse: The doctor's wife tries to stab his girlfriend.²** SayMyName: It's ridiculous enough when the doctor's girlfriend says, "Oh, Doctor Stanley Tweedle!," but the silliness goes [[UpToEleven Up To Eleven]] when she addresses Kai, who hasn't bothered to give his name.²---> '''Patient:''' "Oh, Doctor Where's Stanley Tweedle!"²** YourCheatingHeart: The doctor is running around on his wife.²* SeriousBusiness: Two planets obliterated each other over TV ratings.²* SetBehindTheScenes: Most of the episode takes place in an extraterrestrial TV studio.²* ShowWithinAShow: Several, in different genres.²* SlutShaming: The apartment manager from ''Girl Time'' and the wife from ''Heartbreak Hospital'' do this.²* SmarmyHost: The main TV World host. No matter how dire the punishment that awaits a guest, the host always makes it sound like he thinks the studio's doing them a favor.²* StudioAudience: Its amount of laughter determines whether guests live or die.²* StylisticSuck: Every single show the crew wanders into is ''terrible.''²** BadBadActing: All of the android "actors."²** SoUnfunnyItsFunny: TV World's sitcoms.²* TalkShow: Xev and 790 wind up on different talk shows.²** ProudBeauty: One of the talk-show regulars introduces herself with the line, "I have nice breasts."²** TackyTuxedo: One of the regulars wears an incredibly shiny, artificial-looking suit.²* TeacherStudentRomance: Xev propositions one of her fake "students."²* ThingOMeter: Shows how much the audience is laughing at a contestant.


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