15. “The Unbearable Like-Likeness of Gene”
(Season 3, Episode 8)
As I’ve said before, Gene is the main character the writers have focused on the least and, as a result, there are few classic Gene-centric episodes. “The Unbearable Like-Likeness of Gene,” in fact, is the best one, with the writers handling his preteen emotions here as well as they’ve always handled Tina’s teen emotions. Not yet as far into puberty as Tina, Gene’s problem is a desire to not hurt anyone’s feelings, which becomes a major obstacle when he’s asked out by Courtney Wheeler (voiced by David Wain), an annoying girl he doesn’t like. Now in a relationship with her, he can’t bring himself to call it off, which becomes even more difficult when he meets her jingle-writing dad Doug (voiced by John Michael Higgins), whose recording studio entices Gene.
While dealing with feelings that everyone can relate to is an advantage, “The Unbearable Like-Likeness of Gene” works so well mostly because it’s hilarious, highlighted by Wain’s performance as Courtney, one of the show’s great guest appearances.
Best moment: When Doug writes the greatest song of all time.