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S01.E08: Integration Therapy

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I'm so happy that giant sheepdog is still around. So fluffy!

I liked the karaoke scene, that was a lot of fun. And, I was happy when Drew made up that contract stating that he and Gina have to get together once a month for dinner while she pays him for the car he got her. That was sweet. 

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For a minute, I thought Drew's ex was going to bring him to their friend's dinner as her plus one. I'm glad she didn't though because it seemed obvious to me from the beginning that the reason Drew doesn't have a lot of friends is that he can be prickly and awkward, but it's also his attitude. I'm guessing when they were married, his wife dragged him to all those parties and BBQs and that he moaned about it whenever she insisted that they invite some people over for dinner. I bet that when he was at parties, he just let everyone else talk and never tried to join in.

I'm not saying he deserves to have no friends, just that he doesn't seem to want to make the effort, which is why it's no surprise that their married couple friends are still friends with his ex and not him. When he said that people promise to stay in touch and then don't, I wanted Gina to ask him how much of an effort HE made to stay in touch with all of those people. Friendship doesn't automatically happen. It takes effort. I remember my freshman year of college, I made a huge effort to stay in touch with a lot of my high school friends. I called, I wrote, I stopped by their houses when I was home for Christmas and summer vacation. The effort was definitely not reciprocated by everyone because it took work. Some of my very close friends didn't bother which really hurt and disappointed me. That's why I understood Gina being so upset when Drew basically said he didn't think they would stay in touch after his surgery.

It was nice of Gina to invite his dialysis friends over so that they would have the opportunity to see each other outside of that room. Even though it started out awkwardly, I was glad that they all ended up having fun. And it only took eight episodes but we finally got to see Tony Award winning Annaleigh Ashford really SING! Maybe they won't all be BFFs for the rest of their lives, but at least now Drew knows that they are friends, not just people he sits in a room with.


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Drew's explanation of how friendships come and go rang so very true for me. In most sitcoms, people have tight-knit groups of friends, often people they've known since childhood or college, or they are besties with work friends. I am the kind of person whose friendships hinge on the shared situation of the moment and almost never last beyond that. I also appreciated that everyone was having fun with Gina, but they really connected with Drew when they shared deeper concerns. It fits both of their personalities.

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Its sad that Drew's ex "got" most of their friends in the divorce, and that sad but from what we know about Drew and his ex that sounds like what I would expect. It sounds like she made an effort to stay in touch with people while he just sort of shrugs and said "well people grow apart" and that was that. I doubt he made as much of an effort, which is both because of his personality and also because he has had a lot going on, between the divorce and being sick. Its understandable, its hard to stay in touch with friends when you aren't all conveniently located right around each other, but its not impossible if everyone makes the effort. 

Its nice that Gina got Drew to try and hang out with his dialysis buddies, and that it ended up going well even after Gina left. Even if they do drift apart, its a nice thing to know each other beyond being the people you get med treatments with. 

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1 hour ago, tennisgurl said:

Its nice that Gina got Drew to try and hang out with his dialysis buddies

comedy gold: "You can turn renal failure into renal success." This show is truly about people who see the glass as half-full versus the people who see it as half-empty.

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ams1001: I was thinking that. And there's really no excuse for these writers, since the Smithsonian National Zoo's baby panda was born on August 21 to a fanfare of publicity. (Watch him on the webcam!)

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Drew being a therapist, when his own social/emotional life is a mess and he's not really doing much about it, is an interesting choice. I have in fact known therapists who were trainwrecks in their personal lives, but for a tv show to throw that out, and not really comment on it directly, is an interesting choice.

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This episode cemented my love for this show. It started out kind of rough but has gotten better with each episode. I hope it sticks around. I love that we get a bit of each pairing/group in most episodes: Drew and Gina obviously, his dialysis crew, her senior citizens and occasionally her wacky work friend thrown in, and a smattering of the ex and/or daughter, without it feeling disjointed. I enjoyed the "worlds colliding" of this episode with the dialysis group at the house interacting with Gina, and more of Damon than a sassy comment here and there. Even with the painful secondhand awkwardness of the restaurant encounter, I can honestly say I enjoyed every minute of this one. If it lasts, it can hopefully fill the hole in my life when Mom and Superstore leave me!

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