My Hairiest Adventure!
When first introduced to Larry (Andrew Bartkiw), he is being chased down by a pack of wild dogs. As this is happening, Larry – as heard through a voiceover – complains about how asinine it is that dogs are considered man's best friend. He then goes on to complain that he has allergies, which only leads me to one conclusion: Larry is a real asshole.
After being chased around by the vicious creatures for a bit, Larry decides to climb a tree to get away from the dogs. Larry’s moment of relief is short-lived, however, as the tree branch he’s sitting on breaks, even though it’s like 13” around. Oddly, though, when Larry lands on the ground, the dogs don’t attack him. In fact, they simply sit there staring at him like he's an asshole. Because he is an asshole, and dogs can sense that kind of shit.
At some point, Larry’s friend Lily (Courtney Greig) rescues Larry from the dogs that aren't attacking him. And thankfully so, as without Larry, I wouldn’t have been given the opportunity to witness the greatest garage band practice scene of all time. We’re talking a keyboard solo performed with a gusto not seen since Elissa in the masterful thriller #HATES.
After the band finishes rocking the afternoon away, one of Larry’s band mates finds an old bottle of tanning lotion. Immediately the band has a serious discussion about how getting nice and tan would really help them make a great impression for an upcoming audition, so they proceed to rub the tanning lotion all over their skin. Because that’s what you do when you find a random bottle of old tanning lotion in a garage.
Soon afterward, Larry notices an inordinate amount of hair growing from the top of his hands. His immediate response is to shave it off; however, the hair almost immediately grows back and eventually spreads up his arms and all over his body. Not that we see his body. I mean, this is a kids show, ya know. Anyway, this newfound hair growth is certainly a concern for Larry, but things get even stranger when his friends begin to go missing. Worse yet, their parents suddenly have absolutely no knowledge of their now missing child’s existence.
Taken from the 26th book in the series, My Hairiest Adventure is a clear nod to the werewolf genre, and like some werewolf tales, there is a clear tie to puberty. Which, in all honesty, seems a little out of place in an episode of Goosebumps. I mean, there’s actually a scene where Larry asks Lily if she’s started to notice any hair growing in strange places after using the tanning oil. If that’s not an inappropriate thing to ask, I don’t know what is. Actually, I do, but I’ll keep that to myself.
Overall, My Hairiest Adventure is a very light episode, in that it’s not all too creepy. Well, minus the whole puberty thing, but that’s a different kind of creepy. If there is one major standout in the episode, however, it’s that Larry is a whiny, angsty, lowlife crybaby. In other words, an asshole. Outside of Larry the asshole and hair in strange places, My Hairiest Adventure is far from a memorable episode of Goosebumps, though it does have one great little payoff that ties in with the shows famous opening. It’s not much of a saving grace, but worthy of note.
Until next time, kiddies, keep your night light on and your head under the covers...