What if we just made the same drink, over and over again?
Perhaps that simple conceit was the seed for ROX #40. A quarter century later, I can only puzzle over the evidence.
We'd all been living together in that big house on Dunn for a couple months, but ROX #40 is the first episode that shows us hanging at the crib. J mixes a drink on the back porch, and then we circle through the neighborhood, eventually coming back for another round, again and again. J mixes the “Apple B.J.” five times in all.
It's kind of like an impromptu dance. The themes of circularity and cyclicity just keep coming back up, with variations. There's a structural elegance to this episode that I still find compelling, with form and content producing an overall unity of effect. The spinning camerawork might eventually induce nausea, but that only reinforces the sense of becoming inebriated. J certainly does a good impression of getting drunker as the show progresses. In this case, at least, it's an act. We'd have been well and truly sloshed if we were drinking real booze, but for once our claim of “simulated alcohol” was true.
The true mind-altering ingredient was of course cannabis. The herbal infusion was administered midway through the show, resulting in a boisterous improvised jam session. If the cigarette lighter motif doesn't tip you off, note that we're sitting around a hookah in the middle of our living room. Kelley commandeers the camera at Andrew's apartment for a meditation on shapes that feels downright trippy. (Note the formative nomenclature: Kelley and Andrew would become known as Worm and Mr. G, respectively, in just a couple episodes.)
Again our interest in the sheer ugliness of modern life is on display, but this time it finds a surprising counterpoint as we stumble... [More...]