One recycled plot in sitcoms is the group staying in a cabin in the woods or somehow being in the wilderness. Sometimes there’s an avalanche, other times there’s a villain that holds them hostage or tries to rob them… anything that adds conflict and drama to the situation. Oftentimes they decide to go into the wilderness in the dead of winter, which is nonsensical, and something that blacks simply do not do. Then they end up running out of food or heat, are cut off from civilization, and someone exclaims “I don’t want to die!” Despite the ridiculousness, I do remember chuckling at some hilarious moments in these episodes, and will probably watch them again the next time they are on TV One.
Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: “Boyz In The Woods”
Synopsis: Uncle Phil (R.I.P.) decides to take Carlton and Will camping. They end up getting lost, and have no camping equipment or supplies because Will secured the equipment to the wrong car. The car phone has no signal. Carlton and Will panic (“I don’t want to die!”). They end up on foot and come across a cave and a duffel bag full of money (part of some radio station scavenger hunt). They burn most of it, Will puts some in his pants.
Carlton (distraught and delirious): “For a long time it gave me nightmares having to witness an injustice like that. It was a constant reminder of how unfair this world can be. I can still hear them taunting him: ‘Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids.’ How come they just couldn’t give him some cereal?”
The Wayans Bros.: “Boyz In The Woods” (yes, again)
Synopsis: Pops misses hanging out with the boys, and wants to take them camping like he did when they were young. After trying to get out of it, Marlon and Shawn reluctantly go. Marlon ends up inviting Dupree, T.C., and a few girls, and Pops’ feelings are hurt. Pops leaves the cabin in the middle of a snowstorm, and Shawn and Marlon go to find him. The three of them are in a cave when an avalanche occurs, trapping them. Marlon and Pops: “We’re going to die!” Spoiler: They don’t die.
Funniest scene: Pops’ facial expression after Marlon slaps him. You can tell he wants to break character and crack up laughing.
Living Single: “Kiss of the Spider Man”
Synopsis: There have actually been a few “Living Single” episodes where one or more characters go to a cabin or into the wilderness. In this ridiculous story, Max defends an environmentalist/accused murderer (played by Giancarlo Esposito), and ends up falling for him. He owns poisonous spiders, and suspicion is renewed when it is found that the deceased was killed by a poisonous spider. The clan goes to Esposito’s cabin to save Max, and it is revealed that his assistant is really the murderer.
Funniest scene: When the assistant emerges from the bathroom armed, Regine yells “Gun!” and falls to the floor. She doesn’t get up. In a reunion special, she said that she just didn’t feel like being in the scene anymore. Hilarious.
The Jamie Foxx Show: “Uncle Junior’s Cabin”
Synopsis: Since the employees are stressed out, Uncle Junior and Aunt Helen offer them a weekend getaway at their friend’s cabin (?). After saying they don’t want to go because they want private vacations, it ends up being Jamie, Fancy, Silas, Braxton, Cameron, Junior, and Helen in the cabin. They get snowed in, the bridge is out, they have no food, heat, or supplies, and Jamie (the only one with a cell phone??) forgot to charge his cell.
Jamie: “Braxton, why don’t you get that breath kicked up and jump start the fire?”
Martin: “The Cabin Show”
Synopsis: There were a few “Martin” episodes where they were in a cabin or ski lodge or in the wilderness. This time, Pam, Gina, Martin, and Tommy stay in a cabin, and take a hike through the woods. Pam sprains her ankle, Martin volunteers to take her back to the cabin (so he can watch the Pistons game), and they get lost. Pam and Martin exchange jokes about her winter fur and bad breath, and his big ears and short stature. We all know the jokes.
Martin: “You know when I said your breath smelled like old bus seats?”
What shows did I forget?