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S04.E09: Hip To Be Square

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In an effort to stay connected, Katie and Greg look into activities that they can enjoy as a couple. Meanwhile, Anna-Kat has her own hurdles to overcome when Franklin shines at square dancing and she fails miserably. Plus, Tripp struggles with the idea of Taylor going away to college.

Original air date: 11/29/19

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I cracked up and had to show my husband the scene with the Russian dash cam videos as that's one of his "interests".  I think this episode drove home the point of the role reversal in Katie and Greg's relationship.  Kind of reminds me of my own parents.  My mother was a big baseball fan, meanwhile my dad wasn't into sports at all.  In many ways Greg and Katie remind me of them.  I'm really digging this show this season.  Whatever was messing it up last year has obviously been worked out in a positive direction, and that's great because so many shows these days seem to be suffering from bad writing.  That said, I REALLY hope Taylor gets into Carnegie Mellon and goes, regardless of how Tripp feels about it.

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22 minutes ago, Yeah No said:

I cracked up and had to show my husband the scene with the Russian dash cam videos as that's one of his "interests".  I think this episode drove home the point of the role reversal in Katie and Greg's relationship.  Kind of reminds me of my own parents.  My mother was a big baseball fan, meanwhile my dad wasn't into sports at all.  In many ways Greg and Katie remind me of them.  I'm really digging this show this season.  Whatever was messing it up last year has obviously been worked out in a positive direction, and that's great because so many shows these days seem to be suffering from bad writing.  That said, I REALLY hope Taylor gets into Carnegie Mellon and goes, regardless of how Tripp feels about it.

I agree, the show has really been on fire this season. Sure, there have been still a few problems here and there. However, unlike last year, almost ALL the episodes are pretty funny and make sense. Right now it does look like we will get another season of AH while FOTB is finally ending after this season. So, I'm hoping they give Taylor a big "wake up" call if she does go to school, because she seems to be that cliche teen that thinks once she isn't living with her parents. Like will be great. 

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Continuity! In season 1 episode 18 when Katie thought Oliver was gay, she was enthusiastic about the idea that she can go on a mother-son gay cruise with him if he really was gay and mentioned it multiple times in the episode. In this one, she brought up the same thing after Cooper talked about Oliver not being ready to say "I love you".

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Best line: “Looks like the mother-son Pride cruise to Mykonos is back on!”

Poor Anna Kat. Franklin ditching her like that was uncharacteristically savage, but his apology Voit ball (with a bow tied around it!) was cute.

I’ve had more than my fill of Taylor singing (and Meg’s awful “acting”). She’s the weakest character/actor on the show and I hope she has fewer scenes when she goes off to college.

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3 hours ago, link417 said:

I’ve had more than my fill of Taylor singing (and Meg’s awful “acting”). She’s the weakest character/actor on the show and I hope she has fewer scenes when she goes off to college.

I'm no expert but would her singing even get her into a prestigious music program (one site I found ranks Carnegie Mellon #15 out of the top 25 colleges for music)? I don't know about the actress, but as far as I know the character has never so much as taken a voice lesson, let alone studied music (does she even read music?). Also she's portrayed as so all-around dumb that it's a huge suspension of disbelief to buy that she'd have any chance of getting into CM at all, even for a silly sitcom. (Never mind how they're gonna pay for a $55K/year school.)

Edited by ams1001
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3 hours ago, ams1001 said:

I'm no expert but would her singing even get her into a prestigious music program (one site I found ranks Carnegie Mellon #15 out of the top 25 colleges for music)? I don't know about the actress, but as far as I know the character has never so much as taken a voice lesson, let alone studied music (does she even read music?). Also she's portrayed as so all-around dumb that it's a huge suspension of disbelief to buy that she'd have any chance of getting into CM at all, even for a silly sitcom. (Never mind how they're gonna pay for a $55K/year school.)

She's a passable singer, to my untrained ear, but there were also some flat notes in the video she was getting ready to send off to Carnegie Mellon. I'm not really sure how a character who's been depicted as not just not bright but actively disinterested in learning ("Books are for nerds, nerd.") is supposedly going to be ready for a school like that. 

I think one of the things helping to turn around this season is the kids are now old enough to carry more of the plot -- this episode spent a hefty amount of time on all three of the kids and their partners, and relied less on Katie waging war on another mom. It's a good change.

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1 hour ago, jmonique said:

She's a passable singer, to my untrained ear, but there were also some flat notes in the video she was getting ready to send off to Carnegie Mellon. I'm not really sure how a character who's been depicted as not just not bright but actively disinterested in learning ("Books are for nerds, nerd.") is supposedly going to be ready for a school like that. 
 

That's the problem, they have not only "trapped" Taylor in this role, but giving Trip to be just as dumb is not funny.  Even more, they are trying to have both Greg and Katie think Taylor is going to go to college. When she leaves lit candles in cars, can't remember to take a gas pump out of a car before driving away and then acts like she is also illiterate. Just no. 

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21 hours ago, ams1001 said:

I'm no expert but would her singing even get her into a prestigious music program (one site I found ranks Carnegie Mellon #15 out of the top 25 colleges for music)? I don't know about the actress, but as far as I know the character has never so much as taken a voice lesson, let alone studied music (does she even read music?). Also she's portrayed as so all-around dumb that it's a huge suspension of disbelief to buy that she'd have any chance of getting into CM at all, even for a silly sitcom. (Never mind how they're gonna pay for a $55K/year school.)

Yeah, the real Carnegie Mellon and its students should be deeply insulted if Taylor gets in on the show. Carnegie Mellon is Randall (and Beth) Pearson's alma mater on This is Us!  The academic requirements for the music program cannot be so low as to allow Taylor to gain admission!

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45 minutes ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

Yeah, the real Carnegie Mellon and its students should be deeply insulted if Taylor gets in on the show. Carnegie Mellon is Randall (and Beth) Pearson's alma mater on This is Us!  The academic requirements for the music program cannot be so low as to allow Taylor to gain admission!

Yes! I thought of that after I posted. Imagine Randall, Beth, and Taylor in a study group together... 😆

Assuming it's anything like my (small, rural, liberal arts) college, you first have to get into the school itself, then get into the music department separately. It's not a major you can just decide to declare whenever you make up your mind (like I did with English as a sophomore), and even if the music department would take you based on your talent, if you don't qualify for the school otherwise based on grades or some other criteria, you're out of luck.

Edit: now imagining a fanfic of Beth and Taylor as college roommates...

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2 hours ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

Yeah, the real Carnegie Mellon and its students should be deeply insulted if Taylor gets in on the show. Carnegie Mellon is Randall (and Beth) Pearson's alma mater on This is Us!  The academic requirements for the music program cannot be so low as to allow Taylor to gain admission!

Katie Mixon (the actress playing Katie) went there. If she isn't bothered by the idea we shouldn't worry what imaginary characters from This Is Us think.

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Nobody talking about cooper and Oliver finally becoming a couple.

Remember Cooper saying Oliver was “precious cargo” earlier this season?

Annie Kat giving Oliver the coming out to your family pamphlet. 

And now they’re telling each other they love each other. It’s so cute! 

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On 11/30/2019 at 5:00 PM, link417 said:

I’ve had more than my fill of Taylor singing (and Meg’s awful “acting”). She’s the weakest character/actor on the show and I hope she has fewer scenes when she goes off to college.

I agree.  I know that teens have dreams about being the next viral singing sensation (do I sound old?), but I am getting tired of the caterwauling dreams of sitcom characters such as Taylor, and Erica on The Goldbergs.  I feel the same when the House Hunter franchise has "musicians" on the show and we are treated to a short concert. Ugh.

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My heart went out to poor Cooper telling his girlfriend he loved her only to be dumped, and trying to save face by saying he was about to say the same thing. But his friendship with Oliver was the perfect salve for that wound. It was also hilarious that Katie and Greg thought Cooper was talking about Oliver. Also hilarious, Cooper thinking more people than you think have bowling alleys in their basements. 

My heart sort of went out to Tripp, a little bit, when we found out he was just using his general stupidity to purposely sabotage Taylor's audition. It's kind of poignant, in a way, that he knows people will just chalk anything up he does to him being dumb.

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On 11/30/2019 at 7:10 PM, ams1001 said:

I'm no expert but would her singing even get her into a prestigious music program (one site I found ranks Carnegie Mellon #15 out of the top 25 colleges for music)? I don't know about the actress, but as far as I know the character has never so much as taken a voice lesson, let alone studied music (does she even read music?). Also she's portrayed as so all-around dumb that it's a huge suspension of disbelief to buy that she'd have any chance of getting into CM at all, even for a silly sitcom. (Never mind how they're gonna pay for a $55K/year school.)

I'm not an expert either...but generally speaking, when someone applies to these kinds of programs, be it for music, dance, art, whatever, it's not enough to be good. You have to be FANTASTIC...and even then, people get rejected, as there's only so much space in the program. And these are people who have taken lessons and practiced, every day since they were like 4 years old.

Also, as mentioned, her grades are terrible. Has anyone ever explained to Taylor that college means more of high school subjects, not just singing all day and following her interests?

My biggest question: what exactly does Taylor expect to DO with that $200,000 degree if she should have it? Become the next Beyonce? Because she seems to have no idea about her future other than she "really likes to sing," and for that, IMO you need just plain luck more than anything else. Is she planning to teach? Work in the industry? as odds are, she will NOT become rich and famous singing. Taylor has no clue and nobody seems inclined to explain it to her.

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On 12/1/2019 at 7:40 PM, AdorableCooliver said:

Nobody talking about cooper and Oliver finally becoming a couple.

Are they, though?  Or is it just a straight guy bromance thing?  I'm leaning toward the latter but YMMV.

7 hours ago, SnarkySheep said:

I'm not an expert either...but generally speaking, when someone applies to these kinds of programs, be it for music, dance, art, whatever, it's not enough to be good. You have to be FANTASTIC...and even then, people get rejected, as there's only so much space in the program. And these are people who have taken lessons and practiced, every day since they were like 4 years old.

Also, as mentioned, her grades are terrible. Has anyone ever explained to Taylor that college means more of high school subjects, not just singing all day and following her interests?

This is very timely because my nephew by marriage's long time girlfriend just got accepted to Carnegie Mellon for nursing and we're all scratching our heads because she's not known for her great grades or any other merit based qualification to get her into a school like that.  Plus she's also not known for her work ethic and is known for changing concentrations a lot, so we're wondering how long she'll last in the program.

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Some of these elements remind me of Fox's "The War a Home", with a dad sabotaging daughter's college application because for all of his bluster he doesn't want her to leave home, and son's best friend (Rami Malek!) secretly gay and in love with him. Characters are only as they are written to be, so it's unwise to try to analyze them. That said, my guess is that the boys saying I love you was meant sincerely, but in the beer ad sense, at least for Oliver. It may mean more for poor neglected Cooper. In high school I very much loved my best friend, but it turned out to be in a sibling sense, not romantic. TV shows do like to tease, like with Sue's guy friend in "The Middle." As for Oliver and Cooper, place your bets, but don't bet the rent.

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6 hours ago, Bobbin said:

That said, my guess is that the boys saying I love you was meant sincerely, but in the beer ad sense, at least for Oliver. It may mean more for poor neglected Cooper. 

Exactly...

IMO Cooper wanting to tell Charlotte he loved her was a direct result of his neglected upbringing more than genuinely loving the girl after a few dates. He probably got all excited to have someone want to spend time with him, poor guy. 

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It's my experience that children of wealthy parents who went to college are so expected to go to college that it really doesn't occur to them to make a major plan for their life before committing to college.   That is one of the things college is for.   

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1 hour ago, bybrandy said:

It's my experience that children of wealthy parents who went to college are so expected to go to college that it really doesn't occur to them to make a major plan for their life before committing to college.   That is one of the things college is for.   

That was true in my working and lower middle class neighborhood in NYC 45 years ago too.  College was where you figured out what you wanted to study and why at my university you weren't required to declare a major until the spring of your sophomore year.

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I don't care for Taylor's singing. Her voice is good enough, but she doesn't enunciate at all when singing. It's a style that seems to be getting more and more common where the singer is more concerned with how the note sounds rather than the actual song. If she is really interested in musical theater, where much of the story is told through the song, she will need to enunciate better.

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