Episode 12: "Neurostim" - Edison is investigating a certain population segment (low-income) who is in the process of bankrupting themselves buying Zik Zak food products. It turns out that Zik Zak has developed a new entertainment/advertising/marketing gadget: the Neurostim bracelet that sends images and impulses directly to the consumer's brain without them having to watch television. The Zik Zak engineers have developed a souped-up Neurostim for Edison - totally overwhelming his personality - to keep him from breaking the story. Theora and Murray have to enlist Max's help to re-imprint Edison's memories on his own brain, which Max is not inclined to do since Edison yelled at him for stealing his airtime.
Episode 13: "Lessons" - Apparently the Max Headroom Show was yanked from Network 23's line-up for a while, but rioting by the hoi polloi brought it back. (It is possible that back in the 1980s when this show aired, it was pre-empted for a while and this is their meta-commentary on its return.) It's the Annual Sky Clearance, an event when the Zik Zak Corporation shoots down all its obsolete satellites, causing debris to rain down upon Earth. There are carnivals and sales to celebrate, and everyone walks around under metal umbrellas to protect themselves. While Edison and Theora are enjoying the Fringe carnival, a bunch of Metrocops, led by the Network 23 Censor Department, bust a secret school that has been teaching Fringe-dwellers to read via pirated educational shows that are only available through pay-cable. Edison and Theora get involved when one of the secret teachers gets separated from her child - plus they're very curious as to why the Censors are involved at all. [Note: I dozed off in this one - kinda slow.]
Episode 14: "Baby Grobags" - The new fad in childbirth is "baby-bagging," an ex-utero/in vitro program by which parents can donate eggs and sperm, screen for genetic abnormalities and pick their baby's sex, then have the child grown in a lab and delivered full-term without the need for actual pregnancy. (Man oh man - sometimes this silly show just has a window into the future!) Theora's friend Helen goes to pick up her new baby from the Ovi Vat company but the baby is missing so Theora and Murray go undercover as prospective parents. It seems that rival Network 66 is brokering deals with greedy parents and buying the Ovi Vat children who turn out to have extraordinarily high IQs for their new ratings-blockbuster, "Prodigies," and Helen's baby got mixed up with one of these children. Also, Ovi Vat is illegally growing other babies for profit. In other news, Network 66 tries to woo Bryce away, promising him oodles of money, tech and live parrots (Bryce likes parrots).
Strangely, for a show entitled Max Headroom, Max himself is turning up less and less as these episodes go on - he was totally tangential in E14, just offering some commentary outside of the plot before the show would go to commercial break. I liked it better when they worked him into an episode's plot more but I guess there's only so much you can do with a CGI head in a box.
1 day ago