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S02.E20: Just Say No

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As the presidential election approaches, Erica finds herself strongly supporting candidate Walter Mondale. After learning Beverly always votes for whomever Murray tells her to vote for, Erica sets out to educate her mother and goes horribly wrong when Beverly favors another candidate. Meanwhile, Barry wants to appear on an athletic game show to prove his prowess after losing a wrestling match.

 

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I thought this was the weaker of the two shows tonight, but I did enjoy the Barry/JTP scenes.  Having spend some time growing up in the Philly area, I smile every time they mention WaWa's on the show.  I didn't think there were any in Florida, but I just checked WaWa's website** and apparently there's one 160.2 miles away (in St. Cloud).  

 

** don't judge...I'm feeling particularly unproductive at work today.

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What felt off to me about this episode was that there were two very distinctly dated items that separated by a number of years. American Gladiators (which was pretty awesome) premiered in 1989. And the 1984 presidential election was in, well 1984. Disparate dating of events never really bothered me, but this time it jumped out and took me out of the episode.

 

Separately I enjoyed the story-lines.  Together it didn't work for me. And maybe all these years later, I am still saddened by Mondale losing so spectacularly.  I was one sad 7 year old.

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This was the first time the time descrpancy bothered me, and the two parts of the episode had little interaction so they could have chosen something else.

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I was hoping beyond anything, that the "Reveal" at the end of the episode was going to have an actual America's Funniest Home Videos submission that Adam F. Goldberg had submitted back in the late 80s early 90s. For someone with as much home video footage as he appears to have, I have to believe he actually sent some in.

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I've watched this ep twice and still have it on my DVR. The first JTP scene had me in stiches. I tried to relate the "it's a constant numbness, yo" line to a friend and could not do so without laughing. "No nerple will be left unpurpled!" The ladies' storyline was a bit weak (so Erica's only interests in the last two years were shopping, clothes... and um, hello, MUSIC according to the last few episodes?!?), but Barry's was hilarious enough to make it a personal favorite. And the tag with the doobie-tampon was ridiculously awesome.

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Meanwhile, Barry wants to appear on an athletic game show to prove his prowess after losing a wrestling match.

 

I guess they wrote that episode description off an early version of the script or something ...

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The fluctuating timeline bothers me more in some episodes than others, but this one was pretty glaring. The episodes that revolve around specific historic events (Charles and Diana's wedding, opening of Al Capone's vault, etc.) are the ones with the most obvious flaws. This episode appears to be set in the fall of 1984 since it obviously revolves around the 1984 election and presidential debates. Some of the biggest discrepancies:

American Gladiators aired from 1989-1996.

America's Funniest Home Videos didn't begin airing as a weekly series until January 1990.

Public Enemy's first album wasn't released until 1987.

I like the show but sometimes they include things that happened just too far apart, especially when things from the 90's start getting mixed in.

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I still don't mind the mixing, although stuff in 89 is certainly questionable and 90 is even more of a problem, of course.

 

To be fair, if we don't take the "nineteen eighty-something" verbal tag so seriously and simply go by Real Adam's AGE, then frankly we have to do some real mental adjustments. 

 

Real Adam was born April 2, 1976.

 

That means that the episodes tossing in EARLY 80s references are actually the less credible ones, since Real Adam would have been 4 years old for the earliest of them.  14 for the oldest of them.

 

Sean Giambrone is 15--16 in May--and I guess was 14 when the show started shooting.  Playing a kind of amorphous 12-16 year old range, arguably (although that's harder to hide as the other kid actors start to look taller and older even if Sean's age is somewhat disguised).  So there's already a strong indication to lean towards the late 80s, and even the early 90s, for it to make any sense with Adam F. Goldberg's actual life.


BTW: The real Adam graduated from High School in 1994.  Depending on what grade you THINK fictional Adam as portrayed by Sean is you could try and figure things from there, if we were all that hung up on any vestige of reality here...

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Sean Giambrone is 15--16 in May--and I guess was 14 when the show started shooting.  

He is?  Wow, I am shocked that he still has such a high pitched voice at his age.

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I tried to relate the "it's a constant numbness, yo" line to a friend and could not do so without laughing. ... And the tag with the doobie-tampon was ridiculously awesome.

That was one of my favorite lines, and I loved and laughed out loud at the tampon. Of course I knew what it was before the text confirming it. Hilarious. I also liked Bev's bleeped "I *#%^&* hate drugs." And some random kid yelling "You suck!" to the principal at the debate.

 

I was a little feminist and was excited, at 7/8, that a woman was running for VP. And I was saddened that my parents didn't care about elections. I liked the Erica story as a result.

 

CCrbUq1UIAAwOHF.jpg

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It took me a second viewing to realize that the leader of the rival posse was Bradley Cooper - and yes, that Bradley Cooper. He apparently grew up in that area and is the same age as Adam.

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Heh. Bradley Cooper's wikipedia page says he grew up in Jenkintown and went to a rival private school to the real Adam Goldberg's private school. I also went to a  totally different rival private school, but am older than both by 4 years. So maybe he really WAS a member of a gang trying to muscle into the JTP's Wawa parking lot territory (a precious, precious territory all over Philly and its environs in the 80s and early 90s.)

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On 4/21/2015 at 11:33 AM, dcalley said:

 I also liked Bev's bleeped "I *#%^&* hate drugs." 

The parents using F bombs around the kids always seems unbelievable and out of character to me.  You'd think a Super Mom like Bev would never.  My slacker mom didn't even use that word around us as kids, ever.  

I just started watching this show a month or two ago and have really enjoyed it but this episode was the first one where I thought, "Ok, they're running out of funny stuff."    

I wish they'd broaden Erica's style horizons.  She wears virtually the same hair, makeup, jewelry and clothes styles each episode.  There was so much more to that era than those giant string-art earrings and bright shirts and pastel eye shadow.  We never wore lip color, where I lived.  That was as passe as girdles.  Clear gloss, if anything.  I guess at least we saw Heather Locklear with the feathered hair that virtually all of us wore in high school then.  We got perms a lot then, too.   

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1 hour ago, Winston9-DT3 said:
On 4/21/2015 at 11:33 AM, dcalley said:

"I *#%^&* hate drugs." 

The parents using F bombs around the kids always seems unbelievable and out of character to me.  You'd think a Super Mom like Bev would never.  My slacker mom didn't even use that word around us as kids, ever.  

We have heard his real parents being bleeped in the videos they show at the end of the episodes.

Edited by biakbiak
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