JLUCast: This Little Piggy

FW All-Star Ryan Daly joins Chris and Cindy to discuss JLU’s most ridiculous adventure, written by Paul Dini! Circe turns Wonder Woman into a pig, and only the magic of Zatanna, and the power Batman’s darkest secret can save her!

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Clip credits:

Clips from Justice League Unlimited “This Little Piggy”. Justice League Unlimited theme by Michael McCuistion. “Am I Blue” written by Harry Akst and Grant Clark, sung by Kevin Conroy

44 responses to “JLUCast: This Little Piggy

  1. I imagine if a real stage magician did the “Reach in and pull someone into the rafters from the audience” trick, the person who would have been pulled out of the audience would have been a crewmember in disguise.

    Having actual sorcery as an option means that the audience member could have been a magical entity, or an illusion.

    Given the closed caption spelling, it does seem like it was an ordinary audience member, though.

    1. Yeah, I think it was intended to be an actual audience member an not a “plant”. I got taken in by the old “plant” routine at the Indiana Jones Stunt Show at Walt Disney World/Hollywood Studios. I was picked from the crowd, as was another person, but that fella happened to be part of the show! Of course I was pretty gobsmacked and nervous about the whole affair too!

      1. Also, I guess she really does have to go for the Sorcery at this point to keep the act going, as the setting’s grown to a point where people with powers are well-known.

        Stage magic would probably have to work harder to be entertaining if the answer to the trick could be “Oh, well, the assistant was a shapeshifter who could split himself into multiple pieces” or “He used his ultratech alien living computer to teleport himself out of the chained box before it went into the lava,”

  2. I completely agree with Cindy that Batman was projecting, when he tried to minimize Wonder Woman’s embarrassment by limiting League involvement. He was handling the situation the way he would have liked his teammates to handle it had he been the one turned into a pig. I also agree that Wonder Woman was probably not embarrassed by her predicament. That being said, the fact that Batman was even trying to think about her feelings (even if he got those feelings wrong) is another step forward for his character in this episode.

    Thanks for another incredible episode. The fact that we’ve had two “light-hearted” episodes in a row makes me worry about what may happen in the next one.

    1. Yes, Batman grew a bit as a character in this one. And all it took was the love of a good pig. I mean…woman.

      Don’t worry about next episode. It’s anything but light-hearted! The two back-to-back “silly” episodes were just a case of us following production and NOT airdate order. Had we done that, “Kids Stuff” and “This Little Piggy” would have been spaced a few episodes apart.

      1. Actually, I was worried that the next episode would be horribly tragic to balance out the humor, but it helps to know that the light-hearted episodes weren’t shown back-to-back.

  3. This episode features what may be my favorite Chris and Cindy exchange of all time:

    Chris: “Joss Whedon is, uh…” [searching for words]

    Cindy: [jumping in] “…a toxic jackass.”

  4. I’m 16 minutes in, have read no comments, and Cindy is knocking it out of the park with her insights.

      1. Well, I’ve listened to the whole episode now and really enjoyed it. You and Ryan did very well, too, Chris. (Also, prepared correctly, chopped liver can be pretty good.)

        This one was all about romantic feelings (and doubts and embarrassment and so on). I don’t mean to play into a sexist stereotype, but I just think the woman on the show hit the nail on the head with her observations. I don’t always agree with Cindy. Sometimes I think she reads *a little* more into it than I think is there. But I’m an experienced husband, too, and I try not to quibble over trivial disagreements.

        Anyway, great job on this episode — one that my family unabashedly loves. I had no problem with how far they leaned into the silliness. It was the situation that was silly, and that just happens sometimes. Everyone stayed in character. As long as that’s true and the events in the plot make sense (cause and effect, etc.), I’ll give the creators a lot of rope.

        1. Oh, I get you Captain. Just yankin’ yer chain.

          It’s okay. I don’t always agree with Cindy either. 😉

          Just for the record, the silliness never bothered me either. I just felt like I had to point this episode was an outlier as far as the overall tone of the series goes.

  5. Forget about Bewitched – The plot of this story is incredibly similar to the Green Acres episode “Won’t You Come Home, Arnold Ziffel.” season 3, episode 11. It’s the exact same story (without superheroes, Greek gods and musical numbers.)

    1. As only a casual Green Acres fan, I’m not familiar with every episode, and I can’t recall one similar. Green Acres isn’t mentioned by the crew in the commentary, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it was an influence. Especially with Arnold being a “main” cast member! That show is surprisingly whacky and often meta. I think folks who haven’t watched much of it don’t realize that.

  6. Great episode and great to have Zatanna expert Ryan on. I thought the insights on the characterizations that all 3 of you had were great. Best one I had never thought of was Cindy’s “projecting” insight along with Batman’s ability to be affectionate with the pig but not Diana. Well put!

    Ps I agree w Ryan that the shipping of Bruce and Diana shouldn’t go past flirting (which is good!) for all the reasons cited.

  7. That ineffable invocation of the loquacious, “yadda yadda yadda,” appears both in a League book that Shag covered in his show and also in this JLU episode.
    …Man, this year’s JLMay theme is weirder than I was expecting. I like it!

  8. When I first watched this episode I recall thinking that it was much too silly to hold a candle to the other episodes we’ve received. but after rewatching it a few times, and adding your insights I can find a new appreciation for it. Chris I thought your Mark Hammel impression was pretty accurate and I agree with Ryan – I totally would have loved to seen the Joker and his role added to the episode. Considering it was meant to be so silly, it was interesting to see the character development with Batman, which I thought up to know was somewhat needed and I think helps sell his most defining moment in a later episode. But I do have a few thoughts/questions :

    1) Why is Circe using a crowbar to break into the museum? I mean, she’s transforming humans into animals later on, so I’d think a simple alarm system was child’s play for her. For that matter why is she even breaking into the museum? You’d think she’d be steering clear of any trouble being out on parole, unless the only condition of her parole was not to go after Hipolita? If so that’s a pretty lax parole system…

    2) Why was Circe dressed in a ski mask and black outfit? I guess it was to extend the surprise of who she was but then she reveals herself to Batman and Wonder Woman as soon as they approach her, so who’s she hiding from?

    3) When Circe is describing to Batman what it will take to reverse her spell on Wonder Woman, the pained expression on his face tells more about what is going through his mind than I think it let on. Circe’s words leads to the surface thoughts that she wants to know his true identity but Batman is smarter than that. I think he knows what she’s after and it almost seems to terrify him more than revealing his identity. Which makes it more enjoyable to watch is performance but also how more relaxed he is afterward to crack a smile and say thank you to Zatanna.

    4) Could you just imagine kareoke night in the Watch Tower? 😀

    1. Great questions about Circe! I would guess since we saw she was into adopting the mortal world tropes of a sexy lounge singer, if she was going to break into a mortal museum to steal the Rosetta Stone, she’d adopt a cat burglar outfit, and the tools as well? It’s the only reasoning I can think of, other than the creators just wanted to make it look like a regular thief for the briefest of seconds.

      Karoke night on the Watchtower? Who would want to go on after the singing troubador, Greg Sanders, the Vigilante (Ranger Gord’s ears just perked up).

  9. Impressive podcast most impresses. This was a fun enough cartoon. And I did like them using the hope it with Cirsi being mad at Diana’s mother. I think at this point the was little (had already gone through. So she would be wearing a costume or similar to this than the George Perez expired one that she wore earlier. Batman and Zatana make a good team in this one. It is one of the earlier confirmations of the Batman and wonder would romance. At least in the cartoon. Since I’m pretty sure this was started by Byrne. Since he could not wrap his head around the idea of Diana dating Superman. And in his run when he tried to put her with another average Joe it didn’t quite work. So by generations he had put Diana and Bruce together. In an elsewhere story of course. Still it worked out well enough. I’m surprised Julie Brown wasn’t brought back from this, but it is cool to hear the queen of your game voiceovers in this cartoon. I wonder if she did the voice over in the JLA PlayStation game. Me and my stepbrother beat it. I can’t remember if she was a switchover character or if you had to get her through points. But I remember though not in the main cast Zatna being playable. I am slightly disappointed that they cut the Joker bit. That would’ve been great.

    Weight what? Alpha in the romance? In all my relationships at the relationships of my parents. It’s been equal. Not sure why anyone would want to be in an Alpha and beta relationship? That just sounds a little toxic in itself. And these two work well enough on an equal level at different ways of seeing. And they complement each other well enough. I had to admit I was with people that used to ship with woman and Superman. But I can definitely see that Batman and wonder woman work better together. Lois may be using game but Clark has had other relationships. Laura Lamarr, Lana Lang, the superwoman version that Jimmy wished into existence. Not Clark’s idea. I could go on, but very few characters have romances that are just there high school sweethearts for lack of a better term. I think Barry may have even dated somebody other than Iris was or twice. I don’t know I don’t read that version of the flash. The censoring of that bit where wonder pig is sent towards the meatgrinder. Kind of does go like that nightmare bit in the old Batman cartoon. Where scarecrow makes a world where that girl dies and Gordon goes after Bruce. Where it looks like batgirl may fall to the car to die. But they pull the camera away making it much worse. that’s kind of what happened here to our would have had to go into the grinder.

    The song that at the end was pretty cool. This is more in keeping with the 80s and early 90s version of Batman. Before he became captain grim dark. Any nightclub singing villain works well. The 40s anesthetic works for the two Greek gods. Ah Bankhead with whom she was based on. I was thinking of the mother on Too Close for Comfort. I.E. the woman who played Ted Knight’s mother on the show. Which is not the same person. The only thing I know about Ms. , Bankhead was heard in a not so ready for prime time TV sort of way calling haze of the Hays code and idiot. Which would be the same nowadays: Dave Chapelle or JK Rollins and idiot. Fitting. I just don’t know much about the lady. I think I saw the episode where she was a black widow. But, it’s been a while so I don’t quite remember. This house is the second wait holdup moment of my comment. As for the comment you had about the one Batman beyond episode. If the Ew. Is it about Ras taking over his daughter’s body then yes that is a little weird. Or that his goal is to try to take over Bruce’s body. That I can also agree is being a bit weird. Or that he originally took over his daughter’s body to do this. I’m not sure if she agreed to it or not. Same for the episodes she did. Just that he would allow that to go forward.
    Those would be acceptable reasons to find that as a unacceptable moment. However, if it is because it is a man in a woman’s body. That is causing that particular phrasing. Different phrasing could be used. No one has to like anything they don’t want to. But specifically after all of the wonderfulness of Ricky Javace and Dave Chapelle. Ricky being the funniest because he just had that whole Golden globes moment of telling Hollywood they shouldn’t be telling people how to live their lives. As he a comedian is now telling people what he doesn’t like about their lives. There’s a word for that I think it’s called hypocrisy. And I don’t think that was your intent with the phrasing of EW. And I’m fairly sure that was not your intent or the thing that was making you go OY about that. More than likely it was one of the other issues I mentioned before or something I missed. However I thought I should just mention it. Not that I never want to see a relationship between Batman and Ras. Or RAs and the new Superman I E Jonathan Kent. The son of Clark Kent not Clark and father. I would want to see that either. Since I would hope Jonathan would have better taste. Although this does not put Ras in the bisexual category.

    Since it one time he did date black Canary. And he did choose to kiss Bruce. What if I should say they at this point. Not sure what RAs prefers as pronounced. The Ras seems a bit old-fashioned. This explains why he likes to have his sword fights bear chested. Don’t think it’s Bruce’s thing but he tried. Then again maybe your disdain for the moment was the fact that up to this point he’s been trying to set up Batman with his daughter and now this. Which okay. That was weird. The setting someone up with one’s child and wanting to date them. That part we’re not the man in woman’s body thing. That’s not weird. If it’s not your cup of tea, it’s not your cup of tea. Again I probably would set something except for the host so wonders of media everywhere going on. Things that don’t concern them. Okay sorry for going into that and seeming Lee accusatory. Was not my intent. Was just pointing out my own concerns. People tend to select and that is. And there are several reasons as to why. But one reason could be phrased differently. Moving right along.B’wana Beast thinking he be better served as an African. Is about on the same lines as thinking iron fist would be better as Asian. I.e. Danny RAND. Both of these are stereotypical characters just not put on the races that they were generally be thought of four said stereotypes · these were not exactly be a affirming characters.

    Think I’d much rather see, black bat, the second invisible kid, vixen, Lady Shiva. John Stuart Green Lantern or a multiple of other characters. Then either of those two characters as a character of the stereotypical race that would be associated with those characters. Icon are static shock would be a much better use. In my at least. But, this is my opinion as an outsider. Batwing although a bit derivative, still not as insulting as this guy and iron fist. Kasumi on this cartoon would even be good. I could only has to pay a voice actress for her. Moving on to low-rent zodiac he is definitely the man known as B’wana Beast. I don’t see him as looking like Sratos. Since I would destroy my point since I have the CGI action figure of status. From the new humanity masters of the universe CGI cartoon. Not whatever that thing is that Kevin Smith made. At any rate I’m thinking low-rent zodiac here. With beast man’s powers. Where is only here because he kind of fit what they needed. As bizarre as that is. Also aware that he also appeared in brave and the bold. Voiced by the same man who voiced the Joker from the Batman cartoon. I can see why he is not Zs type. He doesn’t come with enough baggage to fill up an airliner. As her to ex boy friends do.
    Much like her father Z has really weird taste in the people she dates. Since her father once dated Mdm. Xanadu of all people. In the comic book version of the cartoon. Though their moonlighting like back and forth is fun to watch. I don’t think Z would play that tape for the other leaguers though he is her ex. They’re too good of friends for her to do something like that to him that would ruin his reputation in his mind. Wonder woman and her knowing about it. Would be fine with Bruce. The others not so much especially not the flash. Since we know Wally would never let him forget it. Clark would probably mess with them to. Green Lantern would make no mention of it but probably have difficulty making eye contact with him for a minute and then move on. Hawk girl with blast him once about it and move on. John would make no mention of it. And we’ve already seen wonder woman’s reaction. While I can see her enjoying this moment. If she wanted to mess with Bruce she would probably do it when it’s just them to. Or find something else she could use that would ruffle his feathers but not make him go grrr too much.

    This was a fun little episode that does build up this relationship. Adding this in the time when Bruce dashed with her pretending to not be Batman. This does have a decent slow steady build to it. The men in black is a good song, but it doesn’t have the same shock value of having Batman sing it as this does. This is more of a love song. So is not just having them sing, but having him sing such a song. That is completely the antithesis of the creature of the night that Bruce likes to build himself to a peer as. See would be a little shocking that this is way more so. It is like when Harley Quinn saying that one song she sung. Her singing is a little different. But I’m not shocked to see that character singing that song. Seeing the redhead twins singing the Everly brothers song was way more of a shock. It’s like that weird video that a fan made of Batman singing heavy-metal. It’s odd but it doesn’t have the shock value as this song does. So it’s not just that he’s singing, but that he seeing a song you wouldn’t expect Batman to sing it’s Any rate can’t wait to hear the next episode.

    1. On the Ra’s/Talia switcheroo. I don’t think the creators intended to state Ra’s had any desire to be indentified as a woman, or really any romantic interest in Bruce. I think Talia was a means to an end for Ra’s to once again cheat death. I always got the impression he either forcibly coerced her or just straight murdered her for it. He then used Bruce’s relationship with her to lure Bruce and Terry to his HQ so he could then transfer his mind to Bruce’s body, so that was his end game. The whole thing is very mad scientist, Ultra-Humanite-like, and poor Talia was just colateral damage. It was a shocking reveal, and it did induce a body shiver from the implications of a father killing his supposedly beloved daughter to inhabit her body, and use it to prolong his life.

      Sorry if any offense was taken, none was intended.

      And as for the pronuciation of Ra’s, Denny O’Neil himself said BTAS got it right with “Raish”. So I will always say it that way, no matter what other media does! That’s just me personally, your mileage may vary.

      1. Ra’s pronunciation keeps changing from one Batman series/movie to the next, so even they can’t agree. Raish is Arabic, while Ra’s is Egyptian, and so an Egyptian Ra’s al Ghul would mean Sun of the Demon as a opposed to Son of the Demon (weirdly, it’s a pun in English, well almost.)

        Check Google translate, Ra’s al Ghul means Head of the Demon in Arabic. It’s nonsense in ancient Egyptian (which wouldn’t use an apostrophe). So what we have is an English approximation of the sounds in Arabic رأس الغول

        1. O’Neil and Julius Schwartz (who I think actually gave Ra’s his name) always said it translated to “Head of the Demon” so it’s nice to know that they weren’t just blowing smoke up readers’ rears. Also good to hear that “Raish” is Arabic, and therefore probably the correct way to say it! Thanks for the research!

          Oddly enough, Ra’s isn’t in this episode, or ANY episode of JL or JLU!

        2. I’m gonna check this. Those characters look like the first word would be pronounced “Ross” to me. The sh in Arabic is the same character as the one used there (which makes an s sound), but the sh version has three dots over it. I had also heard that Denny had the first word pronounced Hebrew style, to make Ra’s’ origins a little more obscure, and that *might* explain the discrepancy. The problem is, my training is not in Hebrew OR Arabic, but in a Central Asian language that uses the same characters Arabic does. And I am sooo rusty. So I am all kinds of suspect, and I will try to check with better sources tomorrow.

          1. Talked to a native Arabic speaker today. He said it’s “ras” with a short a like in “father.” Also, “ghul” is a monster more than a demon (which is better translated with a different word), maybe similar to our “ghoul,” which I think has a similar origin. It’s big in Egyptian stories. The phoneme we render “gh” in Roman letters is symbolized by an Arabic “ghayn.” It is not an English phoneme. It’s softer than a gee –the same sound you make when you gargle, except you make it only once.

            So my friend had never heard of the Batman character, but he was very interested once he heard the name. There is apparently a recent Egyptian television show of the same name — a crime/action drama. He thinks Batman comics may have inspired it. He showed me a scene online. It looked pretty sweet..

            The scene I want to see:
            New Minion: “Yes, R’as.”
            R’as: “It’s pronounced Raysh!”
            New Minion: “Wait, what? Then you’ve been spelling it wrong for 500 years.”
            R’as: “Impudent dolt! Ubu, kill him!”

  10. I dont REALLY like this episode too much it’s too silly. ANYWAY wonder Woman is’nt ready for Circie to turn her into pig? HUH? that’s like not being ready for Hulk to smash

    1. Thanks for letting us know that at least one viewer DID find this one too silly. As for Circe, she seems pretty mercurial here, so maybe Diana wasn’t sure if she’d turn her into an animal, or burst into a song and dance number!

  11. THat said I do like a few things.
    1. Yay BATMAN WONDER WOMAN romance He’s stuck on Catwoman she’s stuck on Steve Trevor Bah you can both do better!
    2 of course Batman can sing! He’s from a rich family he’s been taking music lessons since he could walk plus purely head canon but Matches Malone does tons of Karioke

    1. So put Rob down for bing a Wonder-Bat shipper!

      Matches Malone and karaoke immediately took me to the “banned” episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold with the Birds of Prey! Good times!

      1. I always imagined Matches Malone affecting a raspier voice than Bruce Wayne — I think his singing voice might sound like to Dr. John or Rolf the Dog.

        He might be a natural at singing Tom Waits tunes — but we all know he would obsessively restrict himself to “fire” themed pop songs!

        I’ll bet his rendition of the king’s “Burning Love” really brings the house down!

  12. i have driven myself half crazy trying to figure out what kinda music Batman likes. I pitched a story one time where Tim drake wants to be left alone so he can listen to Hank Williams on the bat speakers but Batman is a bit tougher

  13. I always imagined Matches Malone affecting a raspier voice than Bruce Wayne — I think his singing voice might sound like to Dr. John or Rolf the Dog.

    He might be a natural at singing Tom Waits tunes — but we all know he would obsessively restrict himself to “fire” themed pop songs!

    I’ll bet his rendition of the king’s “Burning Love” really brings the house down!

  14. There doesn’t appear to be an amphitheatre in Mykonos, but there is Paradise Beach! The last couple of the episodes, and the next, are those that really seems to stick in my memory.

  15. Very late to the game but loved the discussion around this episode. One of my favorites. And I haven’t read all 40 comments before so don’t know if this was said elsewhere.

    I think ‘Jump the shark’ might be the wrong way to describe this episode. That phrase has a negative connotation meaning the show went downhill from there. I think a better phrase would be ‘swing for the fences’. This is bonkers but in a good way, like when a comic inserts a fun rest issue after a grueling multiparter. Given WB is just as famous for Looney Tunes, I think this is perfect.

    Circe always seemed like a Kirby goddess meets Maxima feel more than classic Circe. I love how she has to sort of coerce the applause out of the audience after her big number. She isn’t as good as she thinks. And my favorite bit in the episode is when she keeps trying to say ‘how dare you ..’ to Zatanna while being pummeled by furniture. Hilarious.

    The nods to Bewitched were great, especially the ‘it’s for you Gladys’ line.

    Fantastic all around and loved the discussion between the three of you.

  16. I don’t think any of us on the call thought this episode jumped the shark, but there’s potential for it to have gone “too far”. But really, “Jumping the Shark” isn’t really quite the downhill slide it’s made out to be. Happy Days was still pretty good after the shark jump, until Richie left. After that…yeah, not so good.

    Circe does have a bit of Maxima in her, doesn’t she? And I always forget we DID get Maxima on STAS!

  17. My first attempt to reply kept getting met with a server error, so I just decided to come back to this after a while had passed. Like, a few months apparently.

    This episode was actually sillier than I remember, but I think the silliness of it is more pronounced when you watch these in a batch together (like on home DVD or Blue Ray). If watched as a broadcast, I feel like the more zany tone wouldn’t stick out as much because the span between viewings would be increased, and so the tonal shift wouldn’t be as pronounced. I don’t think this means your comment that the episode was a little “goofy” was incorrect, this just struck me when I pondered the tone in general.

    I didn’t see Batman petting Diana as any admission of attraction to her, or him feeling safe to be more touchy – I just think he understood that she was mostly an animal in mind at that time, and needed reassurance. I’ve had some talks with friends before about how dumb some men are – they’re afraid to even sit too close to another man because of “macho” beliefs, but don’t think twice about cuddling with a male dog or cat. I think the same dynamic is going on here (which works back into the comment about him feeling more safe), but I would guess there’s less thought about it.

    The only explanation I can give for Batman trying to hide what happened to Diana from the rest of the League, aside from utter plot contrivance, is that he guessed the intent of Circe’s curse was to humiliate Diana. Therefore hiding what happened reduced the ring of those who knew, and kept Circe’s revenge from bearing any fruit. And Bruce is very used to keeping secrets, knowing the smaller the pool the more likely it is to stay hidden. I see it as a well intentioned but somewhat boneheaded move that demonstrates his growing love for Diana. Another way to look at this is if Batman had been made into a hog, he would have wanted as few people to know about it as possible because the Batman has a lot of pride.

    I think the intent here was to show that Batman could and would try and solve things for a friend (or girlfriend) with respect to their dignity. Also, Batman has a hero complex when it comes to women.

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