Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Preachy and Puerile by Paul Constant:

Quick: You’re writing a play about the characters from Peanuts as teenagers. How do you begin? If you answered, “With a monologue delivered by a shell-shocked Charlie Brown about the bloody death of a rabies-stricken Snoopy,” you shouldn’t be allowed to continue writing your script. And if the rest of the play features a pothead Linus tricking Sally into giving him head, and a homophobic, obsessive-compulsive Pigpen, you should be forced to read all 50 sublime years of Peanuts—17,897 hand-drawn strips—from end to end before you’re allowed access to a word-processing program ever again. Bert V. Royal’s Dog Sees God has the depth of an after-school special and the vapid characterization of a B-movie teen sex comedy. It vacillates between those two poles—shame-faced moralizing and dumb, horny naughtiness—and never once manages to find sure footing.