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Early Mr. Richfield from Dinosaurs

minor muppetz

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Lately, I've been thinking about Mr. Richfield in the first few episodes of Dinosaurs, and is it just me, or is he a bit nicer in these?

In the first episode, he seems to be his nicest to Earl (without it being a trick to benefit him) for the whole series, even if he still has a grumpy attitude towards him. Yeah, he doesn't want to give Earl a raise and orders him to quit, but seems like he could be a reasonable (if greedy and grouchy) authority figure. Earl seems to get his job back easily at the end, and when Earl does come back, asking for severance pay (something I had trouble comprehending until recently - did Earl qualify for severance pay? was Earl trying to get that only to be rehired or had he already been rehired and was asking for this?), he seems indifferent to Earl and cares more about his new assistant, and doesn't react harshly to his assistant putting Earl down for a raise. When Richfield hears about the raise, he just asks "how much", sounding more out of curiosity than anger or dread that an employee is getting paid more.

In fact The Mighty Megolasauras is not the first episode I saw, I know I saw Hurling Day first, can't remember how many others I saw, but I had already associated Richfield with being mean, even after seeing just one episode, and as a kid when I first saw Mighty Megolasauras I thought it was weird that Richfield seemed nicer. But even then, he also seems a little nicer in Hurling Day as well (even if he's shown to be more angry and mean).

He does shout at Earl to get into his office, and talks about how he's so superior to Earl, but also genuinely respects him due to how he's about to hurl his mother in law, pointing out that that is his day, one that Richfield acknowledges he can't take away from Earl and would if he could. It would have made an interesting direction if Richfield tried to find a way to hurl Ethyl and take that away from Earl.

I wonder if this was a case of charactierization marches on or early installment weirdness. Could Richfield have been intended to be more of a jerk with a heart of gold, before deciding to make him not just a mean, greedy boss, but also irredeemably evil and a regular karma Houdini? I feel like Arthur Rizzic should have continued making appearances in that form, Richfield's assistant, he could have been like a moral compass, but would that have contradicted the theme of corporations being evil? And even then, would it have been a nice change of pace to have an in-charge character (and I'm talking about Arthur Rizzic here) who is more nice and ethical in a world where most bosses are corrupt?
 
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