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  1. Was Skipper the doll that featured insta-grow boobs by cranking her right arm around a few times? Or was that a special edition? Or am I totally inventing a memory from those 70s? I fully expected the Demi/Kristian scenes to fade to a fuzzy cam and include Wells pouring water over them to get them wet. Show should have checked out the SNL Vanessa Bayer/Kristen Stewart hawt girl on girl action to really get it "right." Barring that, they could have at least played Pittburgh Slim's "I Like When Girls Kiss Girls" as background. You know, real cutting edge bravery...
  2. Thank you, @Aerobicidal. My band really needed a stunning, amazing, season ten worthy name! We take the stage in tight mustard colored pants and our instruments include crab legs (played only by those with shellfish allergies) and the delightful wobble woosh of Aaron's gently tapped and set swinging jowls and a medley of Joe's sniffs. We rock the damn house. Also....hydroplaning mushrooms....Lordy, Lordy, honey, smack me with a spun honey wand and show me the beekeeper. You rock my world. Oh, and Fred got F'd. What kind of consolation prize is it to have him, a creator of refined sugary and pretty things, knuckled under the knobby thumb of Christina Tosi? You know, the one who dumps Fruity Pebbles and candy rocks into a cake batter and then dusts JUST the top (elegant!) with go-go pixie dust? Not that Candace would be much more pleasant, but damn, at least she knows how to frost a damn cake.
  3. Or someone who, for some reason, thinks a side ponytail is rockin' adorbs. Renee, Suzanne Somers called. She says, 'oh, hell to the no, bitch, I'm the only blonde legally obligated to put my hair into ponytails like a three year old. If you're not hawking a Thighmaster, you need to put your hair up proper and leave the toddler grand supreme hairstyles to the pros.' Seems the producers have decided that shellfish allergies are really great dramatic viewing - season ten is so amazing that it's no longer enough to, say, ask a vegetarian to kill a live crab/lobster and season TEN has far more stunning stunts than asking a blind woman to handle a live crab. Dah-ham. Cue the fireworks exploding over the ambulance next, mebbe? If they're looking for someone to consume all that leftover crab? Call me. Too much crab? Da fuq?
  4. So...after someone finished explaining how vitally important a hairstyle was to finish a look and Marni walked right on sporting a messy old maid knot so tight she squinted...was the irony intentional or just unfortunate? I can't tell how much this show deliberately pokes at its viewers. Also wasn't sure how much everyone was paid when Marni completely "saved" a look by pushing the strap-sleeves down over the shoulders. I was kind of hoping all those vapors the judges were suffering were going to turn out to be a joke, but it does appear this show really wants Marni to happen for some reason.
  5. Dear Tessa - A woman's body is not a "situation." You are not the Hermione Granger of the class, love. Now please take a seat or two. Or get therapy. Or, as Hester the Jester's hat says, "Plz Die." Thank you.
  6. The Songbird Drinks at Midnight (also, at 1am, 2am, 3am….) And We Interrupt Your Weekly Pearsoning for a Very Special Supporting Character Backstory OK, so the gang’s mostly all there with Nicky and Kevin has a plan to save him, but then… Randall: OK, I gotta bounce. I just remembered I have a wife who lost her job or her mom or her favorite sweater or something. Kate: Yeah, I’m outtie. I’m pregnant! Kevin: Everybody hates me!! Nobody ever listens to MY ideas! Rebecca: I do! Kevin, I’ve left Miguel behind again so we can have some super special mom/#1 bonding! Oh, goodness, Nicky, you have Jack’s eyes…may I pluck them out and hang them on a chain for my rear view mirror?’ Kevin: *sulks* Anyway, Nicky is led to the promised land of a VA center, but he says, ‘nah…I like my trailer better.’ And Rebecca gives him some stern talking to about Jack, of course, and Nicky says, again, ‘OK…I’m going back to my trailer now.’ Kevin comes with him to replace a tile in the ceiling because Nicky has never heard of a stepstool and isn’t tall enough to reach. Or, he’s been too drunk to think anything other than, ‘oh, cool, waterfall….wait, waterfall…there were falls in Nam, right…drink more…whiskey….’ Kevin and a bottle of whiskey have a standoff. Whiskey wins. Kevin takes a slug and stares moodily out of the window of Rebecca’s car. And because the writers think that a character staring moodily out of a window is a new and novel way to jump into a flashback…here we go… This is Kevin. He is mad. Kevin is mad at dad. Dad is in a bad mood. Dad can’t take Kevin to get his baseball card autographed because mood so his MOM has to take him instead. The blight on this poor kid’s soul! There aren’t enough tears in the world some days. Anyway, MOM threatens to screw the whole thing up and take them out of line to get lunch but Kevin curls up in a fetal position and screams, ‘you’re the worst mommy in the whole world.’ Rebecca says, ‘OK, fuck you, I’m going to get myself a nice hot Auntie Anne’s cinnamon pretzel while you roll around on this filthy floor. Sucks to be you.’ Rebecca learns that Kevin is actually a rather crafty stalker and wannabe celebrity assistant, having researched the baseball player’s options for entertainment in the new city, should he be traded. Baseball player says, ‘yeah, your kid needs to work on getting me the list of girls and booze and drugs for my after game. Now leave me alone. Brunettes are not my thing, honey.’ Anyway, so we’re back on the addiction roller coaster storyline for Kevin and pretty soon he’ll be telling Zoe the same thing he told Sophie and that ride will come to a complete stop amid tears a-plenty. And then maybe Kevin will move into Nicky’s trailer and they can spend their days swallowing whiskey to mask the pain and patching the ceiling from time to time. I call a spinoff. Two Guys and a Leaky Trailer (but not the fun meth kind of trailer). Meanwhile, even though she presumably has to fly back to the West Coast, Kate’s in a car with Randall and I guess they can take a jog past their old house (which will be nothing like their old house because crockpot but hey, surely digging in the old DIRT might feel good!). Who needs to worry about changing flight reservations? Silly, silly reality. Kate is either really moved after meeting Nicky or so daft that after meeting her Drunk Uncle, Vietnam Vet Version, she starts nattering on about The Sequin Fight. Yes, it needs its own article, it was that EPIC. I’ve been to drag shows, Kate. You don’t know shit about epic sequin fights. Anyway, the memory stuck in Kate’s peabrain like a piece of KFC gristle in her teeth is something like this: the day (Everyone Hates) Kevin was to get his baseball autograph, St. Greasefire sits home with Randall and Kate instead. Milo has studied Mommie Dearest, the film, and tries his best Dunaway impression and tells them not to make a mess. With sequins and paper and a million other little crafty sparkly things as they make homemade Valentine’s. Sure, that’ll end well. For the record, Dunaway in a full face of moisturizer, wielding a wire hanger, is truly legendary, so I’m in no way invested in seeing Milo play tortured Dad. So, St. Greasefire leaves the kids on their own and goes out to the…garage?...to pump iron. Ooooooh, ladies! Tightie whitey undershirt Milo time!! Me, I’m wondering who the hell pumps iron in JEANS? Where the hell are the zubaz or Richard Simmons shorts? Or even sweatpants? I mean, Kate and Randall? If you see a man doing bicep curls in an undershirt and jeans, you can be assured that he is, at least, a dumbass who should be left to experience a Darwin award by dropping a dumbbell on his head. Hmmmm….maybe that’s how he REALLY died (or asphyxiated himself doing abdominal crunches while wearing jeans) and ain’t nobody going to bring THAT shame to light. Anyway, maybe because he’s lifting in jeans that cut off his circulation, St. Greasy is crabby now and when he sees a messy table, he….children, hide your eyes, St. Daddy Jack is gonna blow…yells. And throws a plate. My God, Vietnam has no end to its pain. Oh, yeah, and they ordered pizza. But not just any pizza. It’s a PEARSON pizza. With a topping that everyone likes! Genius!! I’ve never heard of such a thing! Now every Valentine’s day, the Big Three Narcissists order a Pearson Pizza and have a sequin fight after Red Leader dresses up like Jack, puts Nicky’s stabbed out eyes in his head, and yells at them. It’s hawt and full of feelz in thirty minutes or less. So, Jack has a temper fit and the kids cry and look scared and then Jack starts throwing sequins. Yay! Sparkle! Now, I haven’t made homemade Valentines in a while, so I’m not an expert on the size of sequin dispensers, but good lord almighty, what kind of a VAT do they have that this flinging of sequins goes on for what seems like hours? Or are we now also trapped in Kate’s perfect little pretty pony memory? God help us. Kate, meanwhile, is still babbling happily about the sequin fight and Randall, desperate to shut her up, decides that stopping by their old house is just the thing. The random, smiling family now living in the newly constructed house is first, like, ‘um….OK, we’re busy, please go, bye.’ But then their moppet approaches the car with big eyes and asks, winsomely, ‘do you want to see my room?’ Kate says, “It’s not your room, BITCH! It’s MINE! MINE! Sequin fight! Sequin fight!” Randall, “Kate, I’m an elected official now. Not that you’d ever know it from how little it’s impacting my life, but I’m only allowed a certain number of crazy, broken down relatives, OK?” So the moppet leads them into the house for a full Pearsoning. The family sends silent pleas for help to the cameras as Randall and Kate wander around and yammer about the Great Sequin Fight. Randall gently breaks it to Katie Girl that, hey, ya know, dad was actually kind of a bastard that day? Kate marvels at this feat of ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder.’ Huh, she thinks, how’d I forget my dad smashing a plate against a wall? Are my traumatic memories so easily suppressed with a shower of sequins? What does that say about me? She then uses this newly acquired wisdom to instruct Tobe Babe that their child will actually have the PERFECT childhood, full of doing whatever said child wants. Just like….wait for it…St Greasy! Tobe Babe says, ‘oh, so you want to spoil our kid and make sure it grows up to be like you? Will that finally make you STOP trying to turn me into your daddy-o? Cos, if so, I’m in like Flynn!’ Randall returns home and gives gifts of hotel lotion. Dude. You’re an elected official now. Looks are everything. Don’t give your kids the freebies from the hotel and expect it to be like Christmas, OK? Although, maybe he also helped himself to the lightbulbs from his hotel room and, first thing, he’s finally going to replace those burned out bulbs in St. William’s old apartment complex to instantly stop crime. Well. I can totally see why a two-parter was necessary for this Feelz-a-Palooza. And let’s just get the next one over with while I’m here. More wine. More Baked Cheetos (shut up, DON’T JUDGE ME, I have to get my feelz from somewhere and a nice orange powder chased by a pinot gris is about my only option, all right?!) Ohhhhh kay, it’s time for Supporting Character Filler episode. OK, I’m hoping for the mystery of why in hell Beth puts up with Randall and in-laws with egos that rival a certain president’s, but I’m guessing this is going to be titled something more like, ‘My Name is Beth. I am Helpless Over my Pearsoning.’ “HI, BETH!” As it turns out, this was actually a nice palate cleanser. I don’t have much to snark on this ep, but I will say that this show has crashed the bar through the floor if the best I can say about the ep that features the most talented actors on this show is that it was OK to watch. Not the most original story in the world (young dancer has to give up dream because Life), but it is remarkably refreshing to watch an hour of anyone but the Pearsons. I give all credit to the acting and even these writers can’t screw up with Phylicia Rashad as Tiger Mom. Also, JACK, if you’re watching from heaven in your tightie whities, THAT is how you parent and support a talented daughter without convincing her that the world should totally stop when she enters the picture because she’s so awesome. Because, see, we get invested in Beth’s success because we see her WORKING for it. Also, the anvils were of the lighter variety, which my aching head appreciated after the solid hour of being Wile E. Coyote I just endured. If I didn’t’ know this show, I might have gotten my hopes up that maybe we’d see more of how being the sole black dancer for a long time in her dance school affected Beth. But that’s not this show, so Beth magically reconciles her past (with support of her Pearson husband, of course) by waltzing into a dance studio, totally wowing the random teacher/owner who happens to be walking by as Beth freestyles a dance that made me feel guilty about even the baked Cheetos and made my knees hurt. Beth announces, like a goddess on Olympus, “I want to teach!” Well OK, then. That was easy. Make it so. The End. However, the seeds are there for a spinoff. Ditch the Pearsons, Beth. Be free. You know you want to. I want you to want to. And you don't want me to keep sounding like a Cheap Trick song, do you? I haven’t seen many promos for this show touting how I MUST WATCH for the amazeballs kick in the feelz lately. Is the hype finally waning? Have they pumped every last ounce of promotion into this mess and are now ready to quietly close the patient on the table and call it? Is it time to harvest whatever viable characters are left in a spinoff? Will it go quietly or will it put up a sequin fight? Meanwhile, back to hoisting the anvils back into place and regreasing St. Jack’s hair. Next time: sushi and pinot noir, maybe. Guess which I’m looking forward to more? Cheers.
  7. Episode (lost count...when, when, will this END?): "Dear Writers....Pssssssstttt....You Picked the Wrong Pearson as Main Character!" Before we get to that oh so powerful moment of the three Pearsons stalking a trailer like a trio of righteous zombies… Jack gets postcards from Nicky delivered to his work. What? Huh? So he’s been pretending Nicky is dead and hasn’t been in contact, but somehow Nicky, living all alone as a drunk demented hermit in a trailer with no internet, natch, gets the address of his workplace? Oh, fine, whatever you need to do, show, to get St. Jack’s face on camera. I can’t actually read the postcards, but I think one of them says “Jack P. is a fugly slut.” Also, Beth has a little thing called a life. Specifically, a few job interviews. You know, so she can stop being so jealous of Randall? Well, she’d kind of like Randall to stay around and, I dunno, support her, but he tells her she’s amazeballs and also hot in heels and besides, he has three full weeks before he has to get to work as a councilman (uh…that’s three more weeks that the noble poor folks have to go without lighting, so thanks for nothing, wunderkind) so geez, please, woman, get thee back on that bass, k? Five minutes in and one Randall speech complete. Sigh. Hmmm. Maybe I should mute the teevee and listen to Nine Inch Nails as a soundtrack and make up my own dialogue? Eh, cat on lap, full wine glass…nevermind. Kate leaves Tobe Babe behind to play with his new figurines and flies out last minute because again, money grows on trees for these people, and apparently it’s no biggie to fly during the early trimesters of a high risk, $20,000 pregnancy. Come ON, show, do you know how many women I know who cancelled vacations and business trips once they found they were pregnant and needed to fly? But this is Queen Kate we’re talking about and she’s probably hoping this new uncle of hers has the undershirt Jack sported in Nam that she can use for a diaper or a Pinterest-inspired hat? As they get into the car, Kevin asks Randall how he’s so calm about finding long lost uncle. Randall says, “well, when you find out your mother has hidden the truth about your birth father from you your entire life and you get an Emmy for that, you’re cool.” Me: Bwahhhhh ha ha ha ha! Me: Meeee-OW, Randall! Cat on lap: Don’t bring me into this, human. After a few minutes of Big Three yuk-yuk, tee-hee in the car that tries so hard I just want to give in and make a donation already to make it stop…here we are at the trailer and the zombie Pearson apocalypse is going to start. Yeah! Kevin starts doing everything but kicking in the door because braaaiiiins…oh, nevermind, no brains. It’s just Nicky tottering up the drive with a brown bag of booze like the drunken Mr. Gower in the unborn George Bailey version of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Nicky tells them to skedaddle, but Kate is Strong and plunks herself down and informs him that Kevin has flown halfway around the world and his girlfriend ate a BAT so that he could solve the Scooby Doo mystery of the missing necklace. Nicky looks at them blearily, hoping this is a hallucination and the prelude to a merciful blackout, and then says, ‘you’re Jack’s kids all right.’ I know, Nicky, I feel your pain. Back to Nam to rehash the same damn scenes that were clichéd and stupid the first time. They have not gotten more poignant or feelz-y with time, in case you were wondering. Nicky is stoned out of his mind, also crazy from the pain and suffering of war (he’s kinda weak like that), so SOMEBODY is going to die in a horrible way. Like, a lot of fish. Nicky throws a grenade into the water and ka-boom! Fish heads…fish heads..yummy, yummy fish heads… Damn. War is hell. But if you think THAT’S reaching rock bottom…you’ve never watched an After School Special. Of course the poor Vietnamese kid gets blown up because he reaches for the grenade and then Nicky drops it and is too much of a loser to push the kid out of the boat so he saves himself and the writers put their trademark flourish on the imagery (“close up: child size flip flop floating, upside down…maybe change to black and white film and color the single sandal red? Oh, Schinder’s List already did something like that? Well, there were no Pearsons in that movie, so it doesn’t count.”) Oh, Nicky, you’ve done it now. Superman is PISSED. He TRIED to save you, dumb ass. He travelled around the world to find you (whoa…his son would also travel around the world to find him….that’s some deep stuff, there…) and now you’ve gone and screwed up the rescue mission. Be gone, Nicky. So…this is all to reveal that St. Jack is actually an asshole. Well, show, I kinda figured that out, but you go on with your big “OMG” moments. Does this mean no more gratuitous shots of Milo in anything tight and white? More importantly, is this the reason he doesn’t want to wash his hair? Shampoo makes him feel too good or something? Nicky has apparently never had the chance (because it’s against federal law to write, ‘it was an accident, you sanctimonious douche’ on a postcard) to tell St. Jack it was an accident. St. Jack visited once, said ‘no talking about Nam!’ and then said, ‘I have a good life.’ And, to prove it, he shows Nicky a picture of his family. Now THAT is being best. Ya know, Jack, there are less, um, ‘noble’ ways to tell your brother to go piss in the wind. You, too, could pick up a pen and postcard. “Dear Nicky – You are the James Stenbeck of my Oakdale. Everyone thinks you’re dead and is better off for it. If you show your face near my perfect life, I will be forced to meet you in my driveway as I slowly, soulfully, shirtless, wipe down a random car part.” Anyway, Nicky finds out about Jack’s death by Crock Pot and immediately bursts out laughing at the melodramatic irony of it all. No, wait, sorry, that was me. Actually, what happens is the Big Three go away and come back and walk slowly up to the Trailer of Despair as an emo guitar plucks out a water-torture slow version of Genesis’ “Superman.” They edge their way inside to find….don don don…music change to “Janie’s got a gun.” Oh, NO, I never would have guessed he’d be SUICIDAL…. But wait! He’s not dead! Randall picks up the gun and Kevin delivers a Jesus/Jack-shoulder touch and the Big Three fireman-carry a sobbing Nicky to the car and feed him raisins and tell him he’s headed to a wonderful land of Pearson, where problems disappear with one speech and guitar riff! Plus, if he follows The Pearson Program, he might even be able to play Pilgrim Rick next Thanksgiving! Off they go to the bouncing tune, “Oh, Mickey.” Oh, fucking hell, that was only part one?! Zounds…more secrets to be revealed in part two? Like, the secret cookie recipe from Red Leader? Well, show, the secret you ACTUALLY revealed is that you’ve been focused on the wrong damn character. Where has old Nicky been? The actor is fantastic. And if you hadn’t confused “sanitized” with “complexity”, well, you could have a helluva story there. If you hadn’t been so hamfisted with planting “reasons” Nicky fucked up (he was a sensitive lad, abusive dad, bad luck, driven crazy by war and an addict so OF COURSE the tragedy is not that an innocent kid gets killed but rather, Nicky becomes a blight on St. Greasy’s life)…well, you’d have something called an interesting character arc. But we don’t want that, do we? Nah, it’s all about how St. Jack’s life was ruined and the guilt HE carried around because he wasn’t perfect. Christ on a cracker, show, we really need more dramas featuring asshole average white guys with wilted little god-hero-complexes? Hokay, so part II will be Nicky engaging in re-enactment therapy using the Star Wars figures and then Rebecca will say, “you know, Jack wasn’t perfect. he couldn't even wash his hair.” And Red Leader will toss his lovely, styled locks and say, “duh!” And then Randall will take everyone down to the good poor folks to listen to jazz as they finally put light bulbs in the damn lights so the poor folks will stop getting attacked but then Kate will think the glow of new lights is St. Jack’s halo and climb a ladder, hand outstretched, moaning, ‘brraaaaiins…banana ice creaaaaaaammmm..” and then she’ll fall and Kevin will propose to Zoe in the ambulance. I really am wondering how much longer this show is going to hump along…I haven’t seen nearly as many ads telling me that I HAVE TO WATCH and get shanked in the feelz. But I have a bad feeling it’s not going away anytime soon, so…more wine…more happy cat on lap….it could be worse…
  8. Episode # (too many) - Random Strangers Strike Back Aaaaaand, we're back with our weekly Pearson pity party. Over the break, our fearless writers have devoured every holiday card (the ones with gold-guilded script, no cartoons) for material and have returned to their cubes to dutifully produce one-note, fake vanilla sentimentality cookies, re-gifted fruitcake and hollow, waxy chocolate Santas nabbed from clearance bins on December 27th. I admit - I'm rotten with jealousy. I want a job where I am paid handsomely to fill in "Family Drama Mad Libs" all day. Anyway. Let's begin with the Two Faces of Kate. Kate has two personalities. She's either Queen for a Day or Yogurt Bitch. Lucky, lucky, Toby. So, Kate decides it's time to get the nursery ready for The Bay-bee That Will Fix Everything. Lucky baby. This means, "babe, you have to sell your toys." If I were Toby, I'd throw a gallon of Banana Cream Pie Lite Yoplait all over that supposedly loving face, but Toby is (still wants sex however he can find it) in twue wuv with the awesomeness that is Katie Girl, so he boxes up all of his things and, crafty devil, writes "DNS" on his box of Star Wars figurines. Kate needs a character flaw, the writers decide, because she's too amazing a goddess right now, so they make her a complete dunce and she says, "oh! DNS! DONATIONS! Yay, babe, thanks!" So, poor old Tobe Babe comes home and finds his Star Wars figures have gone bye-bye for about ten bucks. Because Kate is so useless she doesn't understand anything unless Saint Greasy Daddy gave it to her, and St. Greasy is apparently either too dense to have missed the entire Star Wars phenomenon, or he claims the light sabres give him flashbacks to 'Nam, so Kate is a one in a million idiot who doesn't understand the value of Star Wars figurines. But no worries, Tobe, she's a Pearson. She's strong! She's Been Through Stuff! She somehow stalks the buyer's name and address as well as finds out the party schedules of whatever home Gabe (said innocent college student purchaser) is in and shows up there with Tobe in tow. And she takes a massive dump in the beer keg whines her laundry list of woes to Gabe, who looks at her like, "is this Aidy Bryant doing a personal Saturday Night Live skit at my party? AWESOME!" For a minute, I'm sure Metz is going to crack and burst out laughing, that's how ridiculous she sounds. "My daddy died in a fire....I have no toys to give the Bay-Bee...." But no, she keeps it together and Gabe, clearly a Stormtrooper in the making and part of the Empire, strikes back and says, "suck it, stooopid." Somehow, he gets away without even seeing the ghost of St. Greasy or St. William appear to smite him with a speech, so score one for the empire of random strangers! Whoo! You know what I think? I think that Bay-bee is doomed. I think that the writers will decide to write in yet another house fire and this time, copy from Little House on the Prairie and have Kate, dressed as Slave Leia, use the Bay-bee as a battering ram to smash a window. My mind goes to evil places when I'm bored. Meanwhile, Tobe realizes that the secret to a happy marriage is to replicate something St. Greasy did for Kate. So, because show, he simply must bring a photo of the stadium to some unsuspecting stranger in a hobby shop and magically recreate the stadium that St. Greasy made! He poses the Star Wars figures Kate has thoughtfully purchased on eBay (money, you say? Pish tosh!) in a Hallmark moment, including Luke manhandling Leia in the center/QB pose. Tobe! That's his SISTER for God's sake! Or were you so enamored with the Ewoks that you missed that? Gah...bad Star Wars fan! Bad! Yogurt Bitch cries, so Tobe calls her BROTHER to ask about the nature of the tears. Oh, this is a relationship that needs so many self-help guides...anyway, good tears for Yogurt Bitch, so all is good in this cozy little slice of Pearson. That was just....unpleasant. Moving on. Randall and Beth are still fighting, as evidenced by Randall sleeping on the couch of doom. Randall assures Beth he'll listen to Heather Has Two Mommies or something in the car as evidence that he's still capable of thinking of someone other than himself. But...don don don....he listens to campaign news instead and learns that the poor folk are questioning why his family isn't with him. What kind of family man is he? So, back he goes to tell Beth that she's a jealous hater and needs to get her act together because she has nothing else in her life that matters, so, damn, woman, come be on my arm at speeches. Beth walks out, because the writers can't have a non-Pearson giving a reality-check speech to any of the precious Pearsons. But OK, maybe she's for real walking out and onto her own spinoff? "I Survived the Pearsons?" Please? So, I know this will come as a shock, but the Councilman is really a bad dude. He drives under the influence. And Randall is handed the smoking gun evidence - no prop is more electrifying than an office envelope. I know, right? Excuse me while I rub the anvil imprint off my head. A troubled Randall shows up at a bakery because random New Year's Eve tradition of blueberry pie that he forgot. Come on, writers, be best. Check your character logs. You know someone with a 12-page cranberry sauce recipe has some long and tiresome Emmy-submission speech about the origins of said ritual. The blueberries match St. Greasy's eyes? Well, I'll just chalk it up to a holiday miracle: the writers missed a chance to Pearson us with blueberry pie. Probably under the gun to finish up this schlock and someone eating a blueberry muffin said, "yeah, blueberry pie...that'll bring the feels!" Anyway, the hero of this episode is the bakery owner/worker who says, "no, we're out...move along...next." She is Yoda and Ben Kenobi and Luke Skywalker rolled into one. Is her action figure available on eBay? Randall runs into the preacher from church and now the writers have had coffee and read inspiration from Harriet Lerner's "The Dance of Manhood" because now we're getting a whole lot of pontification on what makes a "good man." Are you kidding me? I could have watched a Charlie Brown special and gotten a more powerful message. I for damn sure would have used up more Kleenex. I still can't listen to "Snoopy Come Home" without becoming a puddle. Sorry, I got distracted again... The preacher gives Randall the last blueberry pie (Miracle on 34th St!) and Randall dumps the envelope of evidence that the councilman is Bad and then goes home to ring in the new year with a fresh Pearson diatribe. Me, if I'm watching CNN NYE like Beth and kids are, I want to watch Don Lemon get drunk and proclaim/slur his readiness for a relationship. I don't want my wife to stand in front of the teevee and talk about how important family is to her. Sit down. But Beth remembers that her role is to support the great Randall and reassure him that he's a great man and also give him an opportunity to show off his abs. So, Randall wins and he's great and I'm sure at the first snowstorm, he'll show up at the poor house with a shovel and leftover blueberry pie with his wife and kids working a hot chocolate stand. maybe Beth will spike her hot chocolate and she and Jae will flee the scene? Beth and Jae: a New Hope. Blergh. That was also gross. And finally, we have Kevin and Zoe. The most interesting thing about this storyline is John Stamos on a keychain. Zoe is the one character who still has a good spidey sense about these Pearsons and is no hurry to unpack her things once she's given the key to the kingdom, so to speak. I mean, she's a serious documentary producer and gorgeous, but sure, she'd be all over some former sit com star who constantly relays plots from other television shows. That's endearing, and also self-destructive because it reminds me that time spent with this show is time I'm not spending watching the other, better shows mentioned. Plus, it's a pet peeve of mine when I'm talking about something and the other person responds immediately, as if they've discovered the key to life, 'THAT'S EXACTLY LIKE THE SEINFELD [could be others, but usually this is the show] EPISODE WHERE...." Shut up. I'm talking reality here. But Zoe isn't just your average commitment phobe. And her dark past doesn't just involve childhood sexual abuse. She broke up with someone over EMAIL. Yeah. There's a lot of work to be done to get her fully indoctrinated into the world of Pearson, but Kevin does it in one speech. So, she'll unpack and she loves him. And that is how a Pearson resolves the age old dilemma of "How to Get Someone from Commitment Fear to Commitment Fervor!" Well, at least that was just boring. And now: [dramatic music] everything that's come before, everything we've seen, all the tears, the memories, the moments, the blueberry pies and lost Star Wars figurines and banana ice creams and dead dads and basslines and baybees and gay children....it's all led to THIS....don don don.... Wait, what? It's led to the three Pearson brats walking up to a trailer? Oh, Nicky. RUN! They're coming for you! They know you're in there. They know you're a raging nut case and want nothing to do with the world, but boy howdy, that's catnip to these disciples of Pearson. I mean, Zoe risked contacting her ex boyfriend to find you! Oh, lord, so THIS is what it's like to actually feel sorry for a character on this show. Poor Clark Kent. The burning question then, is how many speeches will it take for Clark Kent to suddenly turn sane and rejoin the Pearson's world? Will it become a tradition to hike to his old trailer every year? Is he hiding a new blueberry pie recipe? Does he have a treasure trove of Jack's old gum wrappers that Kate can give the bay-bee? Is he a reclusive movie critic who wrote the 4% of rotten reviews for Kevin's movie? I know. I can't wait, either.
  9. THANK YOU. I am quite over the punchline of "those power hungry, desperate, insincere women, amirite?" Second or third the nomination of Beck's impression of McConnell as the highlight of the night. It was perfect and I almost rolled out of bed laughing. "Gen Xer will just sit back and watch it unfold." Ha! But we'll sing "conjunction junction" as we watch, thank you very much. Pete D. and the singer of Blood Wolf Moon have the exact same smile - takes up entire face and full of teeth. Except I don't think I would start squirming if the lead singer were to appear on WU. Pete had an appearance or two that were funny and grounded, but now....well, I'm glad he has Mulaney in his life. Something about the Kool Aid sketch just irritated me. I'm sure Gillette is more concerned about marketing than any genuine effort to challenge the idea that manly man chestbeating raw meat chowing dudes would do the world a lot of good if they'd check themselves every once in a (blood full) moon, but the sketch played to me like the very idea of moving away from the social norm of "boys being boys" had...well, gotten someone's knickers in a twist. Maybe I missed the actual point of the humor of that one. I loved Cecily in the "bad man" sketch. Her voiceover was so over the top, like someone trying out the scolding for the first time and just letting all hell break loose. I need a "leave me urlone" urn. I have what I refer to as "resting therapist face*" and I would love to have an urn with me on the metro or bus and bring it out when someone starts yammering at me to say, "oh, this route was my twin sister's favorite...she loved the window seat...I'm just going to open the window a bit and let her experience it forever..." *And I'm not a therapist. People think I look like a 'nice woman.' Which I also am not, but I'm also too Midwestern passive aggressive to say, 'please leave me alone.' I've tried resting "B" face, but I look sleepy. :(
  10. Aw, thanks, @laurakaye. You can come back and take your exam anytime. I forgot one important confession: I did cry while watching. I KNOW, right? All of a sudden, tears just welled up and I'm sniffling on the couch because there's this really heartwrenching, gripping, must see...movie preview. Smart move, whoever bought air time to show preview of 'Welcome to Marwen' during this show. Another reason the snark recap is a bit off - I had to google the story behind the movie while the Pearsons were expressing their angst glands...
  11. Isn't this what parents do when they fret that their child will never, ever have a poopy in the potty? That got old two minutes after Jan., 2017. However,I will totally hunt down the clip of Steve Schmidt shutting that down now. Because I only watch clips if any of them sound interesting after reading the boards.
  12. Perhaps You’ve Noticed You’re Changing : the True Story of Becoming a Woman (which will really suck when you discover even your own aunt can’t wait to tell others how you’re changing) And The End is the Beginning is the End Again and Around the Beginning is the Middle and Who Moved My Cheese to the End and Began Eating the Middle and Is Anyone Else Dizzy or All We All Just Stoned as Hell and Somebody Call Cracker Barrel and an Explosion and Boom and Beginning Boom Boom Let’s Go Back to My Room and Nicky was a Young Boy….(or, when you’re too fucking lazy to write any kind of title and so decide that stringing together a few abstract words will really make you deep and twisty and feely) I’m not going to try to write this hate snark watch recap as though the two episodes were distinguishable from each other. They just blur together in one lump of warmed over congealed cliché casserole, so let’s dig in and pick out the gristle from the gravy. Toby is, of course, freaked out by a girl becoming a woman and so skedaddles back to the kitchen to play a game of 20,000 Pyramid: “Uh…full moon. Uh…you know…a monthly thing, Like rent, only moodier?” Men, amirite? Anyway, I want to know how exactly Kate explains the menses to Tess, because the conversation is apparently so engrossing that she doesn’t hear Tobe Babe surfing across the kitchen on the turkey he drops and steps in and apparently so long that Tobe Babe has time to drive his (apparently silent) car to a Cracker Barrel and pick up Thanksgiving dinner of biscuits and bacon and a piping fresh side of homophobia (This is Us: we will make a character gay and then happily take money from a notoriously anti-gay sponsor for product placement. Is irony a feelz?) Kate finally returns to the kitchen after explaining the mysteries of wings vs. no wings and the need to ignore all the tampon commercials that promise that yes, you can wear a white bathing suit and do flips off a diving board. Kate gets starry-eyed over her hunka hunka dreamboat not because he’s brought dinner but because…gosh, it’s just what her daddy Jack would do and TobeBabe earns a gold star for being like Jack. Tobe Babe runs for the garden and stuffs Randall’s mint up his nose in hopes that it’s not actually mint, just so he can pretend for a while longer that having a bay-bee will make this alllllllll worth it. Or maybe he stuffs down the extra bacon grease gravy boat in hopes that the next heart attack will actually work. In any case, he realizes that Tess’s starting her period is the last thing he needs to freak out about. Speaking of mint…Randall and Beth and family go to a soup kitchen to dole out meals. Beth doesn’t want pictures because this is totally not a political event, even though I don’t think they’ve ever considered giving up the Pilgrim Rick routine before Randall ran for bestest landlord ever. I hope Randall didn’t make cranberry sauce because…mint? Really? Anyway, Beth and Jae-won get in a fight over the appropriateness of using a soup kitchen as a political stunt (which has never, ever been done and people would be horrified to discover that soup kitchen volunteers don’t always come with hearts of pure gold). It’s a vaguely interesting argument and the two actors are easily in the top three actors of the show, but of course, this means the attention is off of Randall, so here he comes to scream, “She’s my WIFE. I call nepotism!” Excellent politicking, Randall. Now you’ve pissed them both off and they’re going to write each other in. Young Randall gets cute with his college essay and explains that you can meet over 8000 people a year or something so how can you pick just one who really changed your life? I guess this makes sense if you’re a Pearson and have to Pearson 8000 strangers every year so that eventually someone clones Jack and grows his DNA on a pig’s ear or something so that we can fill the world with Jacks and nothing but Jacks and no more need for a demented daddy’s girl to undergo a life-threatening pregnancy to make more of him. Vietnam. Turns out the Woman with Necklace will remain a mystery, as she had the nerve to leave the village without even a forwarding email. Whomp whomp. But fear not, Kevin, there’s another mystery just waiting for you to crack it open so you can drag your girlfriend along for more merry trips to the St. Jack altar. See, turns out Nicky has fab abs, but is kinda fucked in the head. War will do that to a person. Unless you’re St. Jack. My god, do I wish they’d enforced the buzz cut for military enlistees and someone had shaved off Jack’s pile of greasy locks. Anyway, Vietnamese boy gets cut on foot which gets infected and St. Jack decides, why not, I’m a medic, too, and goes into the civilian tent trying to explain to these ingrates that just because he’s in uniform doesn’t’ mean he’s coming to hurt them. I gotta think that there are rules against soldiers wandering into civilian “homes,” but hey, even the Vietnam War must be Pearsoned. In any case, while Jack can do any old thing he wants, he is apparently not allowed to put ointment on the kid’s foot himself. Not without first terrorizing the family further by dragging crazy Nicky into it. Excellent people skills, Jack. So, Nicky freaks out and Jack ends up healing the boy’s leg by rubbing hair grease on it. Then, a boat goes boom. Where’s Nicky? On the boat that went boom. Or so they want you to think….muahh ha hhhh ahhhh….cue the General Hospital music. Is Nicky dead? Or will he end up being the Stavros Cassadine of Philly and keep popping up for every Friday cliffhanger? Mayhaps he skipped out with Bad Townie and now they’re both playing football while on a morphine high and we’ll see Nicky catch a fish in the end zone and the crowd goes wild…those krazy kidz. Also, Tess is none too happy when she discovers Kate told grandma that Tess might like girls. Mostly because Grandma tries, but good lord. Hi, I’m a white straight woman who flushed her dreams down the toilet for a grease fire of a husband…I can so totally relate to you, a black tween whose aunt has told me you may like girls. You know why? Because I had pimples, too. Ugh! Icky! But Stridex comes in a new green tea formula that’s all organic! See? It gets better! Tess plugs her earbuds in and prays that, right after space aliens zap her blabbermouth aunt, they carry her away to Mars, where life would likely make far more sense. Tess also belongs to the top three actors of this dreck and could easily carry an entire storyline that, if the show had any writers capable of…well, writing, would be very compelling. Maybe on Mars. Oh, good gravy. We really have to listen to Randall’s speech? Really? OK, hang on, let me strap pillows to my head because I can hear the anvils creaking on their ropes. I’ll just spare you the delicious suspense. Randall wins! He and his family will be at your doorstep to shovel snow or fix lights or paint park benches or plant mint in the community garden or….wait! The whole community can come together to build a statue of St. William! And then their jobs will be to maintain it! Solved! Take a chance! SKB is taking a chance on an Emmy with this speech, you know! But, alas, apparently the polls are not good. People got food poisoning from the soup kitchen and Randall lost the “who’s hotter? Me or my campaign manager?” contest. Plus, Deja (oh, right, that kid they fostered/adopted and fixed up within an ep or two) wants to see her bio mom and Tess comes out. Beth has a glass of wine and watches St. William’s face appear in the depths. Oh, Beth….it’s time to stop the bassline. So she tells Randall enough of this campaign. It’s bullshit and boring and now that you have an Emmy tape, can we please get back to your rocking in a corner? Those were the good days. But, oh no, Randall says he’s promised the people that he’d clean out their ovens shirtless. To the couch with you, Randall, in deadly slo-mo camera shots so we know Just How Serious This Is. Oh, yeah, I forgot. Jesse and William had a romance. They spent Thanksgiving together. Jesse lies about being an investment banker or something and then William invites him over for some music and AA slogan fortune cookies. You may laugh all you want, but, though I don’t give rat’s junkyard behind about this story, it was again unexpectedly kind of enjoyable. Sort of an interlude between the soliloquies and angst of the most entitled people ever, the anvils and barf-inducing cheesiness and the congratulatory pats on the back* you can hear the writers giving each other. You know a show is bad when the conversations at intermission in the lobby are more interesting to listen to. Ohhhhhh, boy, I almost forgot. Kate goes for an interview as a teacher without a college degree or experience. But she likes kids. And she was bullied. So she’s found her life’s calling and is going to go back to school to whip out those credits she didn’t complete all those years ago and begin a real big girl career!!!! I don’t want to waste any more keyboard strokes on that hot mess, thankyouverymuch. Um…oh, OK, yes, there’s the “going to see her” mystery. Revealed! Or IS IT?! “We’re going to see Randall’s mother,” says a world weary Beth. Also, they’re going to play pin the tail on the donkey. Because…yeah, normal. Now, these clever writers want you to THINK it’s Rebecca of the pimple pain that they’re going to visit. But can you figure out who they’re REALLY going to see? It’s a trap! It’s your final exam question! Because oh sweet lord, this is the FINALE!!!!! “Randall’s mother” refers to: A. Kate and TobeBabe’s bundle of joy, named Randall instead of Jack because Kate feels badly about her DNA crack from eons ago and now there’s a boy named Randall with Jack’s DNA and life is perfect, but Kate went crazy from sniffing Randall’s mint and now she’s all Requiem for a Dream or the woman in the Cars’ “Drive’ video – insane and drawing on walls with knees bent at an awkward angle. Anyway, Tess still isn’t ready to see that tattletale fink, but she knows there’s no other way to get Randall out of her office, so off they go to pretend Jack is still alive and bringing banana ice cream to his little princess. TobeBabe dresses up as Jack and Miguel has died of alcohol poisoning. B. Randall was a young Cracker Barrel worker just minding his own business when one day he was TobeBabe’ed into throwing together a last minute Thanksgiving feast for some terrifying psycho who kept muttering about full moons. He was employee of the month for that, until his mother, who owned the store, discovered that the meal would be delivered to a house with gay AND bi cooties. Her son disgraced, Randall’s mother vowed revenge on the hideous rainbow family, and rigged the polls so that Randall would drop out, broke a few more lights in William’s old building, and showed up at every one of Kate’s Adele-o-grams with general burn in hell signs. She’s on her deathbed and her son has been visited by the ghosts of St. William and St. Jack and she’s ready to sell the restaurant with the proceeds going to President Pearson’s campaign, but only if the family shows up to accept the check and she can beg forgiveness. C. It’s Rebecca. Duh! The show’s not THAT clever. D. Randall is Jesse’s alter ego – his drunk alter ego. Jesse falls off the wagon and it’s not long before “Randall” comes to play, creating chaos at a soup kitchen by throwing himself on a piano in a clang of chords as Randall, who is elected president but still works in the soup kitchen himself, tries to pry him off. “Randall” confronts Randall and weeps as he recalls his mother’s dreams of running for office, but never finishing high school. Randall thinks, bares his abs, and has an idea! What if the Pearsons tracked down this woman? What if Kate tutors her to get her G.E.D. and then she’d be qualified to run as Randall’s running mate? Up, up and away! SuperRandall is off, but Tess, whose profession involves both helping people and diagnosing psychosis, recognizes that this is one more delusion of her father’s (he never went back to plain old anxiety – the Pearsons even have to have the best, most grandest delusions!) and wants no part of seeing this poor woman. E. All of the above. What, you think they wouldn’t do that?! F. None of the above. Tess, Beth and Jae have all quit this bullshit and will be starring in their own show, which has locked out every single producer and writer of TiU. Damn the lawsuits…full quality ahead! Happy Grease Free Holidays.... *"Pat on the back" is the G-rated version of how I would describe the self-congratulatory behaviors of the show's producers/writers. Hey, I don't want to get in trouble with Cracker Barrel...
  13. Sometimes, I Eat Bats. Because I've Been Hurt and the Bats Are Tasty and Finally This Clown Might STFU About This Necklace Bullshit Zoe scorns two tourists who are clearly not in Vietnam for the Right Reasons. She can tell this because eating an authentic bat dish sharpens her poseur detector to superhuman accuracy. The tourists are so dumb they don’t even know the shame they’re bringing on themselves by visiting a public market, but they’re not so bad that Kevin misses his chance to get a Scooby Dooby clue and identify the necklace that Scum Tourist Lady is wearing as….the one and the same as the picture! Don don don!! I’m more interested right now in choosing pink or red nail polish, but the next time I pay attention, it’s apparently a very big deal that The Necklace is not a one-of-a-kind, priceless gift presented to Jack by the Four Immortals. Oh, you poor meddling kid. There is no ghost. It’s a projection of a cheap souvenir that any lowly peon might have picked up. Hey, Kev? Please tell me you were prepared for just a titch of disillusionment when you came to Vietnam to find out “the truth.” Nope, the guy can’t even handle re-seeing The Necklace, so god only knows how much he’ll drink when he finds out stuff about actual human beings. Zoe, meanwhile, could really use her Wrong Reasons vision to say to Kevin, ‘um….seriously, you came to learn about your dad in a WAR and you’re crying over a cheap necklace? Dude. Just. Stop.’ But Zoe pukes up her bat, so I guess she’s lost her super powers of observation. Anyway, this gives Kevin a chance to find her while she’s in a bathtub and declare that he’s falling in love with her because she carries snacks in her purse. Now, if I’m puking up bat, I’ll thank you to leave me the fuck alone and leave the proclamations of love until later, but Kevin is a Pearson and his feefees must be heard. Zoe could be bleeding out from Ebola and a Pearson would want to talk about how it makes them feel even more in love because that blood has DNA and could help bring on more little Jacks. He tells Zoe that whether she opens up to him or not is inconsequential because that’s par for the course of earning a tab at the Cantina for Non-Pearsons trying maintain a grip on reality. Well played, Kevin, because the writers are throwing darts at a trauma bullseye trying to pick something to make Zoe Insta Sympathetic. They actually landed on Abduction by Tourists and Locked in a Souvenir Shop with Vampire Bats, but decided that was too believable and instead selected Father Sexual Abuse. And he lives in China, for some reason. If you’re getting a feeling of déjà vu because you’ve seen countless Lifetime movies or Bachelor episodes about women who Can’t Fall in Love with the Right Man because childhood trauma….well, you’re not wrong. You’re probably bored shitless and whistling as you file your toenails and thinking maybe she’s hallucinating from the bat still and maybe the next day she’ll say, ‘what? No, my parents are normal. It’s just you.” So, that relationship is Pearsoning right along… Sometimes, War is Hell and It's Hard to Tell a Good Man from a Bad Man, but a Man's Gotta Ask a Man for a Ride on a Moped Anyway When a Man is Stupid Enough to Walk Through a War-Torn Country Where He Isn't Wanted Meanwhile, the writers are still breathing the pages of their copy of “the Things they carried” and calling it “Tim O’Brien collaboration” and we’re back in ‘Nam, where Jack arrives to save poor old angry Nicky, who is busy flashing his abs and shouting at the clouds in his head. There’s a wall with graffiti on it. I can read the word “HELP” but not what’s beneath it because Jack is in the way so I’m just going to go with “HELP – I’m Tim O’Brien and they won’t let me out until I confess my feelz!” Nicky earns my undying love for saying to Jack, “Jesus, man, superman was just nickname.” Bwahhhhh hahhhh ahhhhhh! But Jack sees that Nicky is clearly off his nut to be talking such nonsense, so off he goes to talk to the CO and, here we go…the sob story for the ages. Nicky just wants to save spiders. Won’t someone think of the spiders? The CO is, thank god, not impressed, and then tells Jack to hump it back to camp. So….Jack is now on his own, wandering through Vietnam? Uh….I’m no expert, but that seems really stupid. But I suppose there’s no other way for Jack to encounter the mysterious Bao and ask for a ride on the moped. He’s got a real good head on his shoulders, this guy. I’m in a war-torn country where I’m not wanted and the enemy could be anyone, so how’s about I just wander up to a stranger in hopes of hitching a ride and expect him to comply out of recognition that I’m a Good Guy because I have a machine gun? I can totally see how Jack progressed so quickly…can you hear the eyeroll with that? OK, good. Bao stops at a village and tells Jack to wait. Bao, nobody tells a Pearson to wait. Jack starts walking around the village with his gun at the ready (He’s a good guy, so this is OK) and discovers Bao unloading bags of cans, which are used in homemade explosive devices. Jack asks Bao if he’s a good guy or a bad guy. Well, isn’t THIS insightful? I hope Bao says, ‘I could ask you the same question,’ but that would involve….I don’t know, complexity? Not playing a war for cheap jingoistic heroics? Bao doesn’t answer, so we all know where this is headed….he drops Jack off and tells him to walk the rest of the way to his camp, after Jack points out where his camp is (again with the genius military mind). Jack arrives in camp and then, turns out, the CO has followed him in a copter and tells him, ‘you know what? Your brother has a screw loose, but at least he’s not a total moralizing idiot. He stays. You go home.’ Sigh. No, the CO has been bitten by a spider and sees the error of his ways and hands Jack his cape and his brother, too, for safekeeping. For two weeks. More than enough time for the evil Bao to plot their demise. I refilled my wine and got a book of Bao Phi poems ready to read in order to regain lost brain cells, so the artful time warps miss me and I’m afraid I have no idea when or where this happens, but Bad Townie (I think) gets Squirrel killed by throwing a long pass with a football and then the Woman with the Necklace is seen creeping through camp and we hear ‘whump whump’ but it’s not a helicopter, it’s a giant bat coming to swoop Nicky away and leave the rest to carve necklaces out of Bao’s moped parts. This place has a lot of Bad Men. I’m skeert for Jack. Sometimes...I Realize That My Life is a Britney Spears Song. And Rather than Kill Myself and Compete with that ABC Show, I Hoard Champagne Bottles So I Can Kill Him Softly by Asking Miguel to Open All of Them in the Middle of the Night Accccccckkkkkkk!!!!!! (To quote Cathy for a self-effacing minute). That’s not all, folks. We still have the Jack/Rebecca story of driving to L.A. to test Rebecca’s mettle and talent as the next big thing. My god, this hour is taking FOREVER…. Did you know a Vietnam vet and a woman molested by her dad have similar issues opening up to people? Yeah, I could have guessed that, too, but it’s better to have an anvil in my lap with KEVIN IS JUST LIKE REBECCA – DRAWN TO LOST CAUSES TO FIX THEM WITH LOVE! OK, I feels a headache coming on from impact, so let’s just get this over with. Jack stares moodily out the window the entire drive. Rebecca looks vaguely sick and worried, but of course, a shirtless Jack puts all doubt to rest as well as his relentless “charm” (aka, setting down compliments and flattery like a cheap cheese plate….mmmmmm….cheese to go with wine…yes, please…..ooops, sorry, back to the greatest love story ever told). Rebecca’s friend has landed a poor girl’s Pretty Woman set up and Jack freaks out when someone pops champagne and Rebecca thinks maybe this whole Vietnam thing can’t be solved no matter how lovely a singer she may be, but her friend says she can totally see why Rebecca is so smitten (probably just trying to get Rebecca out of L.A. so there will be less competition for washer and dryer commercials). Anyway, Jack has mysterious “friends” to see - aka, unload his guilt on Squirrel’s parents so they can take a minute from their loss and console him and tell him he’s still Superman and everything is ducky, no worries here. Besides, they have photos of their other children and those children will grow up to be dumb tourists and one day help Jack’s own son discover that his taste in necklaces sucks…the universe really isn’t kind, Jack, to control freaks like you who keep insisting that people pay attention to how good you are. Someday, people like me will mock you on an internet forum. You’ve been warned. If Mandy Moore had even a scrap of depth as an actress, I might be mildly interested in her Sophie’s Choice storyline. Man or art? Flip the middle finger to the one agent and get thee to whatever club will have you to start crooning and risk never seeing shirtless Jack again? God, feminism is hard. But no big deal, Rebecca decides. Fun trip, mostly, except for the PTSD stuff, but I’ll fix him, I’m sure. No dramatic tension for me, thanks. I'll realize that my true power comes from singing to the man I love (Dear Cosmo, Breakthrough! I made my guy cry!!!!). Jack can cry all he wants, but honestly, I'm not even buying "Pittsburgh Good." Maybe "Three Rivers, Michigan, adequate." So, we hope you enjoyed your breathing room without Kate and Randall this episode – maybe that’s why the hour took so damn long. No Misery Olympics or The Best Little Boy in the World to break things up. Fear not (or get that cold duck ready early, your choice) – the vainglorious Pearsons are all in for Thanksgiving, when Pilgrim Rick returns from the dead with a turkey stuffed with bat and sage dressing and reveals that Jack was infertile due to the long ride on Bao’s moped and that Kate and Kevin were conceived from Miguel’s frozen sperm, so ain’t NOBODY got Jack’s DNA! Suckers! Plus, see Ricky’s death by irony set to an emo guitar version of “the itsy bitsy spider.” And if you spend the day in a bathtub to recover from all the nausea…well, you’ve been warned.
  14. I'll have a seat at your table. My reaction was definitely more "WTF" than "kumbaya." And not because I didn't think the joke was in poor taste and horrible, but because I really didn't need or want a lecture in the middle of a freaking comedy show, thankyouverymuch. And can we stop bringing Pete Davidson on to WU as a chew toy now? It's getting really uncomfortable and it's definitely not funny. Same - I liked his monologue so much better than any singing or cameo appearances by the beloved past cast members. At least I got to hear the full monologue and appreciate its awkwardness instead of sitting through endless squeeing at the sight of, say, Wiig or Fey or Fallon. And he was fantastic as the pilot. Perfect. "Windspeed at....er....ah.....er.rrrrrrrrr....." And, "Just tell us we're not going to die!"
  15. Gooooood morning, Vietnam. This is a two-fer because pretty much the same things happened in both eps, so I'm conserving my energy and board space. My thesaurus, when I looked up 'insufferable', read: "Come on, you look up this word about a million times after watching This is Us. Don't you know the synonyms by now? Do you need Clippy to return and ask whether you're writing a letter?" Anyway, Jack is dead so now the apparent compelling storyline is the hardiness of his unbearably insufferable gene, which we can see passed on in all of its blunderbuss wonder to the three Pearson offspring (no worries, Randall - that gene will find you. It will broadside your DNA with a long speech about how it needs to be there). Here we go: Kate Well, the universe finally gave Kate a break and she's pregnant, but, our jagged little pill still can't quite get the hang of emotional adulting down very well. Kate is currently "affording" her five-figure minimum medical miracle by delivering sing-o-grams part time. She shows up at an office to sing an Adele tune as a birthday present. Um, if my colleagues hired someone to sing an Adele song without arriving with a cake and champagne, I'm snipping that department credit card in half. But, whatever, if you hate your office colleague and want them to have a gloomy birthday, Kate's your gal! Adele called during the show and said, 'Thank you, show. My songs mean nothing because my dad didn't die a tragic death from crock pot. They're so much more poignant when sung by someone with a voice so average that musically inclined viewers mute their televisions so they don't ruin their own vocal cords screaming 'make it stop!!!!' I'll just send Kate Pearson on tour for me from now on and kick back with some honey tea, thanks." The bastard office worker who arranged this sing a gram apparently thinks the same thing because, oh no, out he comes to tell Kate Pearson that she's better than Adele and should be up there shaking that thang with her power vocals. Kate's husband, Tobe Babe, is currently a little under the weather what with flushing his crazymeds down the toilet and having an episode with his name on it already devoted to the Pearsons, so Kate has been missing a chance to back up the misery truck and dump. *Beep* *Beep* *Beep* Here we go: My dad died! My husband is in a video arcade! My mom hates me! And I'm fat! I coulda been a contender but I was such an unironically bitter little fuck as a kid that I can't even pretend to be a normal person now! I put the music away because I *have an average voice and no drive* was sad but now every time I walk into a room or open my mouth, everyone hears a trombone: "whoooooomp, whomp...." And they sing the SNL "Debbie Downer" skit theme at MY birthday, at which I have to eat carrots instead of cake! Don't you give me a compliment, Mister, unless you're ready to follow me around and repeat it over and over!" Office worker: My boss is getting married next week and I was going to order a Nine Inch Nails sing-a-gram with hemlock punch but why don't you just show up and marry him instead? I'm just trying to make everyone here miserable enough to quit so I can take over and get my own spinoff, k?" Anyway, Kate meekly taps out a few notes on the piano, but an agent doesn't instantly appear at her door along with her dead dad so she's, again, mired in the hopelessness of it all. But this is supposed to be about TobeBabe and Why He's Depressed. It doesn't take long before we discover that, shock, it's his parents's fault, what else? Because they're not dead, they're just constantly screaming at each other loud enough that Tobe Babe turns on the fan (must be one helluva fan to drown out the Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf redux). Yadda yadda yadda, poor kid stuck trying to adult too early and that's how you end up playing video games and fat and divorced and very horny. Good god, Tobe Babe, I'd curl up under the covers, too. Audio had a better backstory. Speaking of the dog, something's off there, too. Kate takes him for a walk and he walks over to a garbage bag sitting next to the garbage can (how convenient) and I think, 'oh, cool, he's going to Scooby Doo this show and start wolfing down the remains of a body and solve a murder mystery.' Nope, he digs around and eats...a rock. Who in hell puts a ROCK in a garbage bag? And what dog swallows a rock when there are presumably tastier ways to almost die? Chicken bone, anyone? Gah! But no matter, Kate takes the dog home and tries to feed it rubbery undercooked bacon ( the fuck?) and Audio says, 'bitch, please, can I go to the rainbow bridge now? I've had enough of this shit.' But Tobe Babe snaps at Kate and asks what the hell she's thinking letting a dog roam off the leash (cos, er, I don't think that's allowed in most public places, and we don't need a ticket on top of everything else). So Kate takes the dog to the vet and realizes she doesn't know what to do, so she calls her evil mom who says, 'take a deep breath and hope for the best.' Kate drags Tobe Babe's depressed ass out for a walk and tells him, in the speech that had me laughing harder than any SNL skit in recent memory, "all this stuff that happened to me? I'm strong as hell now!" Oh lordy. OK, writers, when you realize you've painted a character so one-dimensionally awful, there really isn't an easy way out of that. For sure, simply having the character decide to say "I'm strong" isn't convincing anyone. Dollars to donuts says they pull a Shonda Rhimes and, as Kate gives birth, show will start flashing "#KATESTRONG" on a chyron. Now, when Rhimes did this, at least her character was getting shot at or drowned or electrocuted or dumped or whatever other tragedy she dreamed of for Meredith Grey, but hey, again, Meredith doesn't know the pain of crock pot death. Anyway, Audio shits a brick and the universe delivers another break to old sad trombone. I tell you - these plot twists... Oh, wait. This is TobeBabe's story. I forgot his Emmy submission. He shows up at a pharmacy to demand a refill on his meds. If you're playing the "which extra will bear the brunt of a Pearson-Braverman style raise the rooftops sermon" game and you guessed the pharmacist, well, you can refill your meds as a prize. TobeBabe is not so lucky. Maybe it's because he insists on telling his lifestory to the poor pharmacy tech who says, 'sir, you do have a refill...if you've been on anti-depressants for years, you for sure have at least several months of refills available...no need to fall apart here, sir...I can simply call your doctor and request a refill....oh, christ, you're going to make this a thing, aren't you? OK, I'll just stand here while you mug for the camera. Good luck on that Emmy...." KEVIN Takes Zoe the maneater to see St. Greasy's Vietnam contact, 90-Days and Footless. I don't see maneater in Zoe - I just see a woman sussing out whether Kevin has any depth whatsoever and, if so, whether he's capable of comprehending that racism includes microaggressions and what those can do to a person's self-esteem and trust. They visit 90-Days and Footless, but I admit I was actually more engrossed in reading various twitter feeds and articles about black hair care and the "subtle" racist and ignorant comments/questions/assumptions black women face about their hair. So I was struck more deeply by stories of black women who still have white people ask whether they can touch their hair or learning that stores will keep black hair products under lock and key than the purple heart and pictures, but the upshot is that, of COURSE, the Vietnamese woman who was almost assaulted by Bad Bad Townie is shown in a photo looking lovingly at St. Sergeant Greasy and WEARING HIS NECKLACE!!! DON DON DON!!!! Zoe tells Kevin about the store clerk (who I thought might be another target for a Pearsoning, but nope, she's the racist extra) and then Kevin gives her the silk pillowcase and Zoe says Kevin is worth it, but she needs a night alone. Oh, Zoe. Now you've done it. No Pearson ever EVER will stand for being told that their sig other wants to get the fuck out for a while and go hang with Miguel at the Star Wars cantina. Worse, you tell Kevin that he should stop obsessing about the picture. Oh, nooooooo, Zoe, why did you do that??? Kevin, of course, hears 'stop obsessing' and sees a red flag and like a bull, he charges into Zoe's retreat and says, "I know you said to stop obsessing, so let's go to Vietnam!" Zoe, if you are a maneater, now's the time to bring that out. Otherwise, you will be Pearsoned. RANDALL Oh, good God. Beth gets exactly one line of "I don't feel great, I was fired, remember, and I have my first interview today." Randall: "You'll do great. Anyway, about ME!" Randall is trying to Pearson his way into politics via a barbeque and he hoses it up by interrupting the barbeque (you don't do that....I'm a midwesterner and I know this) to tell the great unwashed that they're being played by the current councilman who has no respect for St. William's old neighborhood. St. William appears in everyone's barbeque sauce, but to no avail...the downtrodden aren't interested in listening to how great Randall is, even with awesome barbeque, so they leave. BBQ owner sits Randall down and says, 'well, Mr. Perfect, do YOU know how to schmooze via baseball tickets to save a business or two? Because that's kinda how it works in politics." Now, this could actually shape up to be an interesting storyline. Because BBQ guy is right. But, This is Us, and subtlety is dead along with Jack and William, so of course the councilman humiliates Randall at a church and, oh, no, it all looks lost for Randall and his determination to turn nostalgia into a political career....until, wait, what is this? He has lunch with Kevin at an Asian restaurant and Kevin is flashing the Adoring Vietnamese Woman Beholds Her Protector photo and I'm cringing thinking, 'oh, shit...I don't THINK they'd do this, but if they have someone at the restaurant point and say, 'Aunt Sally!' I'm done for real.' They don't, so you're still stuck with me, but holy crap, I was seriously worried for a minute. But I needn't have been. There's talk of wallpaper and peeling it off to discover paneling and Kevin says he has 'Something in him' that needs to be peeled off. Kevin, that's a medical problem. Go see TobeBabe's pharmacist about that. Anyway, turns out Korean Americans love Kevin and Randall does some econ weather math and says, 'waaaaaaiiit a minute...look at this place called Koreatown! It's the perfect setting for an intersectionality story, isn't it? I failed to Pearsonize the poor black crowd, but Korean Americans already love the Pearsons! I cannot screw this up!" Oh, but he tries. A cynical Korean American political operative tells Randall that, hey, again, we're kind of over the whole savior thing, so could you just shut up and let the Manny talk? This is an epiphany for Randall, as shown by a slight frown on SKB's face and momentary restraint of the manic smile. Randall recalculates the econ weather and it's kind of like a combo of Rocky/Goodbye Mr. Chips/Mr.Smith Goes to Washington/Snoopy comes Home. Randall says he's going to listen to them. Beth says: yeah, good luck with that. Deja rolls her eyes and Annie asks Uncle Kevin to come pick her up again because her house is really going to suck now. Randall returns to his campaign HQ and finds Steve Kornacki from MSNBC at the big board. No, but he does find the cynical Korean American political operative (who, I must say, is most welcome eye candy) who says that Randall's speech (and his moisturizing routine) have inspired his 70-ish grandmother to register to vote and so now he's all in for Randall for President. Attention politicians: if you want to rally Korean Americans, be sure to use lotion on your hands. All of this is to point out that Randall didn't need to learn to box because he is smart. But that doesn't stop him from running up those steps and bouncing around at the top. You know he and the councilman will step into the ring at some point, right? BETH Is the actress who is really so much better than all of this dreck and I wish to hell her agent would rescue her and give her her own show. The fall and rebuilding of the superwoman as human, let alone a black superwoman, done with nuance and minus any Pearsons would be so awesome. But no. Beth realizes that jobs are hard to find and she's been a bit out of the loop on the marketing of girl scout cookies, so now her kids think she sucks so no more 'perfectly imperfect' Beth. But, hey, here comes Randall with his soft hands and says, 'eh...come work for me, woman. Get me elected." Ah, Beth. It was lovely seeing the seeds of a possible interesting story for you, but you're in Pearson world, so let's get back to it, eh? MIGUEL Red Leader #5 drags a random piano off the street and to Rebecca's apartment. Yeah, I don't have a clue how that would ever happen, either, but Miguel is trying to honor his pinky swear with St. Greasy and Take Care of Greasy's Family. And what doesn't say helpful like showing up with a random piano? And fixing the fridge so that Rebecca, like a housewife from 1950, keeps opening and shutting the door, marveling at this new wonder called electricity. And then, when Randall comes home from prom alone because racism, launches into an attempted Pearsoning about how he knows exactly how Randall feels because he was called Ricky Ricardo and so instabond, right? Randall says, 'dude, if anyone's going to blather on and on, it's going to be me.' Sorry, Miguel. I'd still totally watch your show if you got your own spinoff. REBECCA She and Miguel deserve each other because neither can live up to St. Greasy's standards and he's always friggin' right. Rebecca isn't thrilled when St. Greasy returns with a black eye because he's boxing because of Things He Won't Talk About and Rebecca tries to say, honey, it's 1980 something. Therapy is all the rage. Give it a shot, eh? Because I am not going to be Every Boxer's Girlfriend as played by Heidi Gardner on SNL. Hangdog St. Greasy mumbles, OK, but then of course he later insists that it helps him and Rebecca says, 'you're right. I'm a shrew. I'm sorry. Besides, now I can giggle like a girl and put on boxer gloves and it's kind of cute!' It's probably the inept makeup and overly calm (read: 'old') demeanor, but old Rebecca seriously looks so much more at peace than young Rebecca. The serene smile says, "I am so done giving a shit about any of you ungrateful brats and so loving my life with a non overbearing man who knows how to wash his hair." At least, I tell myself it does. Next week: Don't watch. Vote. Thank god.
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