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ElectricBoogaloo

S06.E12: The Magic Motor Inn

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In a selfish move to avoid Jessica's wrath once SAT scores arrive, Eddie convinces Evan that coaching from former classmate and spelling bee champ Simryn is exactly what he needs to finally win the state spelling bee. However, when it backfires and Evan begins to spiral, Eddie gets some much-needed wisdom from Simryn's dad. On the other side of town, Jessica and Louis convince Emery to get a job only to be shocked by what he chooses.

Original air date: 1/24/20

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It was strange to see Jessica be so disciplinary and rough with Emery. That rarely happens.

The indian family Evan and Eddie visited were lovely, Simryn was just adorable. I am curious to see if the spin-off manages to actually happen.

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Jessica was horrible this episode. If nothing goes her way, she would rather go the whole 9 yards. It was another Jessica doesn't get called out on her behavior story bit. It seemed recycled, too. As for the family spinoff, ABC wants wackiness and I don't think the executives would give this episode much thought.

Edited by Robert Lynch
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5 hours ago, Harvey said:

It was strange to see Jessica be so disciplinary and rough with Emery. That rarely happens.

The indian family Evan and Eddie visited were lovely, Simryn was just adorable. I am curious to see if the spin-off manages to actually happen.

I came here to see if that was a back-door pilot.  I love that family.  I hope so!

I felt so uncomfortable seeing Emery with his shirt off and me noticing that he's got a nice physique.  I felt dirty afterwards lol. I totally forgot that that store did that back then.

I keep getting my timelines mixed up in this show.  I got confused when Trent was on a cellphone.  

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6 hours ago, Harvey said:

The indian family Evan and Eddie visited were lovely, Simryn was just adorable. I am curious to see if the spin-off manages to actually happen.

Was this meant to be a backdoor pilot? I agree that an Indian family seems to be the next logical step for ABC. 

Edit: Found this article from Deadline from last October. It looks like it was an attempt to start a potential spinoff from the show for next season. 

Edited by Phishbulb
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9 hours ago, Harvey said:

The indian family Evan and Eddie visited were lovely, Simryn was just adorable. I am curious to see if the spin-off manages to actually happen.

Yeah, I was going to say I liked the Simryn character, and that it was too bad the show was ending because she would have made a nice recurring character.  I had totally forgot that this was a pilot-type episode.  I liked the rest of the family too.  If they do successfully get the show on the air, I bet that motel sign will be a recurring joke.  

I was a little surprised Eddie scored 1500 on the SAT, I kept expecting it to be some sort of error.  Like on The Middle, where Axl's score got mixed up with another kid.

Also noted the "Yeah" song was featured in this episode, when Eddie was talking about working on his tan.

Jessica wasn't too horrible either, IIRC.

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3 hours ago, Whimsy said:

I totally forgot that that store did that back then.

Except they never would have hired Emery. They were notoriously racist in who their store models could be. No black, asian or hispanic. 

I also immediately thought spinoff with the other family.

I still don't know how this show is going to end. Eddie off to college maybe?

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1 hour ago, lynxfx said:

I still don't know how this show is going to end. Eddie off to college maybe?

That is the only thing I can think of. Maybe they can take a lovely vacation together, I am sure they will end on a positive note.

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I loved the new family, especially the dad and his fascination with magazines. And the motel setting provides for a lot of potential storylines. I hope this gets picked up.

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Heheheh...Isn't the actor that plays Emery 15 years old or something? Don't worry about it! I forgive you. 

I think he should play a biopic on Jackie Chan since he so much resembles him it is almost uncanny.

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2 hours ago, lynxfx said:

Eddie off to college maybe?

Isn’t he only a junior? If he just got his SAT scores before Spring Break it would be past most schools application dates.

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2 hours ago, fishcakes said:

I loved the new family, especially the dad and his fascination with magazines. And the motel setting provides for a lot of potential storylines. I hope this gets picked up.

They're all so unnaturally good looking though.  Especially the mother and the daughter.  They look like models.  It's kind of sad that they have to be *this* beautiful to be hired.  

I know the father from somewhere…. 

I looked it up.

I must know him from Whiskey Cavalier:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vir_Das

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1 hour ago, biakbiak said:

Isn’t he only a junior? If he just got his SAT scores before Spring Break it would be past most schools application dates.

I’m pretty sure that in tv-land, you can get your sat scores and go off to an ivy a few weeks later, but yeah, good point. 

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45 minutes ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

They're all so unnaturally good looking though.  Especially the mother and the daughter.  They look like models.  It's kind of sad that they have to be *this* beautiful to be hired.  

Heh. The shallow part of me likes that actors are more beautiful than regular people since if I want to look at regular people I can just go to Target. Also, it's a slightly shameful hobby of mine that whenever actors portray real people, I have to find a picture of the real person to see how ugly they are.

Edited by fishcakes
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It might be nice to see a show with Eddie at college wherever Nicole is. I miss Nicole. They could do a time jump.

I also love the idea of a show about the motel family.

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Simryn and her parents are good actors, but I can't say that the writing for them was funny.  None of the new characters were distinctive enough and the set-up didn't provide an intriguing scenario to make viewers want to see more.  I haven't watched many backdoor pilots before, but I don't think this was an effective one, though I would love a new sitcom about a South Asian family.

I don't find it believable that Eddie would suddenly do so well on his SAT's without any effort.  On paper, it's an interesting plot point for a character like Evan to be frustrated that he needs to put effort while others don't, but he gave off a prodigy vibe to me previously so I can't say that was too believable either.

This episode continued the course of making Emery into an airhead.  

 

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4 hours ago, biakbiak said:

Isn’t he only a junior? If he just got his SAT scores before Spring Break it would be past most schools application dates.

Just looked it up and he started HS in the 4th season so yes just a junior. For some reason it feels like he should be graduating by now. Honestly I find it hard to recall anything significant from the last couple seasons.

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2 hours ago, Camera One said:

Simryn and her parents are good actors, but I can't say that the writing for them was funny.  None of the new characters were distinctive enough and the set-up didn't provide an intriguing scenario to make viewers want to see more.  I haven't watched many backdoor pilots before, but I don't think this was an effective one, though I would love a new sitcom about a South Asian family.

I don't find it believable that Eddie would suddenly do so well on his SAT's without any effort.  On paper, it's an interesting plot point for a character like Evan to be frustrated that he needs to put effort while others don't, but he gave off a prodigy vibe to me previously so I can't say that was too believable either.

This episode continued the course of making Emery into an airhead.  

 

Correct! It just seemed too unbelievable for Eddie to reach that status.

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7 hours ago, Robert Lynch said:

Heheheh...Isn't the actor that plays Emery 15 years old or something? 

I was actually thinking that he wasn't buff enough to be an Abercrombie model.  But I guess this was "Abernathy".  Plus he seems kind of young for such a position.  Still, Emery is the kid who was line dancing in the bar while still a minor, so who knows?

As for Emery becoming more of an airhead, maybe he's decided to follow more in the footsteps of his older brother Eddie.  He may have decided social pursuits and his own interests have more relevance than his academic pursuits.

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9 hours ago, lynxfx said:

Except they never would have hired Emery. They were notoriously racist in who their store models could be. No black, asian or hispanic.

So true. Unless you looked like you were a lacrosse player named Chad, you were not getting hired to be a greeter there. The hid all the non-white employees they deigned to hire in the stockroom.

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I'm okay with the show not reinforcing the racist idea that an Asian guy can't be a sexy crowd-draw.

It's a little unsettling that they had a 15 year old in that role, but I think the point was to reinforce that Jessica really messed up, and that Emery is on a roll with rebelling against his upbringing. He's been kind of depressed and secretive and making choices all season that say he's not interested in following a path EITHER of his parents would approve of.

I think Louis made a mistake by not inviting him to join the restaurant. I know that's Eddie's place, and Emery wants to distinguish himself as an individual, but he clearly suffers middle child syndrome and would benefit from some parental attention of the non-scolding sort.

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2 hours ago, possibilities said:

I think Louis made a mistake by not inviting him to join the restaurant. I know that's Eddie's place, and Emery wants to distinguish himself as an individual, but he clearly suffers middle child syndrome and would benefit from some parental attention of the non-scolding sort.

I vaguely remember that Louis did offer, but Emery said no.

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21 hours ago, Robert Lynch said:

Correct! It just seemed too unbelievable for Eddie to reach that status.

It’s one of the few things that is actually similar to the real life  source material. Though this episode also referenced restaurants being Eddie’s thing.

Edited by biakbiak
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5 hours ago, Robert Lynch said:

How many episodes so far?

There are 3 episodes left. But the last one will be longer than the usual 20 minute format.

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7 hours ago, possibilities said:

Emery is on a roll with rebelling against his upbringing. He's been kind of depressed and secretive and making choices all season that say he's not interested in following a path EITHER of his parents would approve of.

Well, they'd better bring that storyline in for a conclusion quick if they're going to.  Not many episodes left.

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On 1/25/2020 at 4:39 PM, Camera One said:

I don't find it believable that Eddie would suddenly do so well on his SAT's without any effort.  On paper, it's an interesting plot point for a character like Evan to be frustrated that he needs to put effort while others don't, but he gave off a prodigy vibe to me previously so I can't say that was too believable either.

 

On 1/25/2020 at 7:14 PM, Robert Lynch said:

Correct! It just seemed too unbelievable for Eddie to reach that status.

 

3 hours ago, biakbiak said:

It’s one of the few things that is actually similar to the real life  source material.

Yup, this is what actually happened to Eddie in real life. It's not that surprising to me though. Sometimes kids who are very smart don't get good grades because they're bored at school. Keep in mind that doesn't mean every kid with a 2.0 is secretly a genius!

And as Simryn's dad pointed out, scoring well on one standardized test isn't a super useful skill. Yeah, Eddie got a 1500 on this SAT but his grades aren't great so it's not like this is a guarantee to get into a good school. And how many more standardized tests are there once you're done with high school? GRE, MCAT, LSAT. And again, a good score isn't good enough to get you into a good med school/law school/grad program if your grades aren't good too.

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40 minutes ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Yup, this is what actually happened to Eddie in real life.

The real Eddie was in a gifted program and took college courses in the summer.  To me, the Eddie on this show is practically a different person.

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14 hours ago, Camera One said:

The real Eddie was in a gifted program and took college courses in the summer.  To me, the Eddie on this show is practically a different person.

I never read the book, but that's good to know.  I did hear the real Eddie became disenchanted with the show and disassociated himself with it.  Anyway, the problem with his SAT score is that there's nothing with the way this character has been presented that makes us believe this was possible.

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3 minutes ago, rmontro said:

I did hear the real Eddie became disenchanted with the show and disassociated himself with it. 

He wanted them to include real things that happened like his dad hitting him and his brothers. The network did not think that child abuse was appropriate for a sitcom.

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2 minutes ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

He wanted them to include real things that happened like his dad hitting him and his brothers. The network did not think that child abuse was appropriate for a sitcom.

To be fair, I could see that, and it certainly doesn't sound like Louis as depicted.  Would make for a very different type of show.  I guess they could have had "a very special Fresh off the Boat".

Is the book good?

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3 hours ago, rmontro said:

Is the book good?

It was interesting, and Eddie can definitely write, but you might end up hating almost everyone in his family. We talked about the book here a few years back when the show was new.

 

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On 1/26/2020 at 4:57 PM, Camera One said:

I vaguely remember that Louis did offer, but Emery said no.

Emery said the restaurant was Eddie's place, and Louis backed down too fast-- he should have said there was room for both of them, and that he'd love to have Emery there as well, and generally made it more of a welcome. The way he backed off immediately and said Emery was right (probably right) made him seem like a nervous kid asking for a date and backing down in embarrassment when rejected, not like a dad who really meant it about the offer and was trying to mentor his son.

I agree it's probably too late in the series to really fix it, but the show has always given way more focus to Eddie and Evan than to Emery.

Edited by possibilities
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The Magic Motor Inn family was cute, but I didn't find them interesting enough to carry on their own show as presented during Friday's episode.

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On 1/25/2020 at 2:34 PM, rmontro said:

I was a little surprised Eddie scored 1500 on the SAT, I kept expecting it to be some sort of error.  Like on The Middle, where Axl's score got mixed up with another kid.

 

On 1/27/2020 at 2:05 PM, rmontro said:

I never read the book, but that's good to know.  I did hear the real Eddie became disenchanted with the show and disassociated himself with it.  Anyway, the problem with his SAT score is that there's nothing with the way this character has been presented that makes us believe this was possible.

There's no way that someone with Eddie's math skills (as portrayed on the show) got a minimum of 700 on the math portion of the SATs. Not even if he guessed randomly. He's never been a "natural" and he didn't suddenly become one. That's just an annoying plot decision. Plus, there's be no "saving" the score. Jessica would know that other kids in Orlando had received theirs, and, anyway, the school gets a copy.

So Jessica didn't care about Emery getting a job until he used the gift cards he had prudently saved to buy clothes that fit him?

 

Edited by ItCouldBeWorse
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12 hours ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

 

There's no way that someone with Eddie's math skills (as portrayed on the show) got a minimum of 700 on the math portion of the SATs. Not even if he guessed randomly. He's never been a "natural" and he didn't suddenly become one. That's just an annoying plot decision. Plus, there's be no "saving" the score. Jessica would know that other kids in Orlando had received theirs, and, anyway, the school gets a copy.

So Jessica didn't care about Emery getting a job until he used the gift cards he had prudently saved to buy clothes that fit him?

 

Yeah, that was a bit out there.

 

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Have we seen that Eddie is bad at math before though? I'm not counting his performance at the Mathletes thing, since he was being deliberately stupid to embarrass Evan. They've portrayed Eddie as academically lazy but not dumb, so it didn't surprise me that he'd do well on a standardized test like the SATs.

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I thought the show established that for years he didn't try at all in school, and during those years got mediocre/bad grades. Then in the past few, he tried. And immediately got straight As. That jives with fine SAT scores to me. The whole "natural" bit was overstating it since if that were so, he'd at least have averaged Bs during that entire time he plain wasn't trying. But they did bother to establish him doing well in school the past couple years, so his turning around and scoring well seems very reasonable to me. Then again, maybe my perspective is skewed since no one I knew in high school actually prepared for the SATs and we all scored very high. 

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