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S01.E14: V-A-L-- VALENTINE'S D-A-- DAY


Drogo

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Maya's Valentine's Day gift for Jimmy involves help from his old roommate and her ex-fiancé. Meanwhile, Ray tries to find out the identity of his secret admirer; and JJ's task of delivering romantic messages is a tall order for him and Kenneth.

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  • 2 weeks later...

While I thought the previous episode ("Sick Day") was more sweet than laugh-out-loud funny, it went deeper than I would've expected -- it ended up using its standard-sitcom "family gets sick" plot to meaningfully explore the various familial roles among these characters and the day-to-day nitty-gritty of their lives. I especially enjoyed getting a good look at JJ and Dylan's one-on-one dynamic (in the context of his figuring out how to be, in "[his] own way," the protective big brother to his little sister), as well as Jimmy and Maya discussing their division of labor and each ultimately having a renewed appreciation for what the other brings to the table.

On the flipside, "Valentine's Day" didn't go as deep as I thought it would into J&M's background -- we still don't know what brought Maya from England to America in the first place, what Jimmy was studying in grad school or anything like that -- but I'm glad we finally got at least some backstory about how they got together, and I found the episode mostly cute and fun. :) Plus, Ray/Dylan is one of my favorite dynamics on the show (loved the callback to Ray's crush on Emma Watson), and tonight I thought the pair had another great subplot.

Also: 1) I love that J&M's song was the Buzzcocks' "Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)," and 2) interesting casting of Ken Marino as the ex-fiance/roommate, considering how John Ross Bowie (Jimmy) punched out Marino's character at a wedding in the final episode of Party Down

Edited by GRChereck
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I loved it Don't question us is so simple and sweet. I adored JJ the chocolate addict it's a great way to show that he can be flawed and likable. I really want to meet their grandparents. I hated the opening scene when Maya had the kids lie about their ages that's tacky.

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9 hours ago, kathyk24 said:

I really want to meet their grandparents.

If they end up doing a Mother's Day ep in May, depending on how long the casting process takes for them, I think that would be as good a time as any to bring in or at least mention Jimmy's parents*, and possibly Maya's. :) I've noticed that the "Dead to Maya" list** on the wall (which I hope they never paint over :D ) says both "mentioning my mother" and "mentioning your mother" -- I, for one, would love to know the story behind that! 

(* - I had thought "Thanksgiving" would be a good time to give some of that background, too; I found it a little odd that Jimmy and his brother never really said anything about their upbringing or their parents, and that their whole conflict seemed to stem from just the past 10-13 years of Billy bragging about his success while helping out Jimmy's family with money. But I suppose that early -- only 7 eps -- into the series, I could understand the writers not wanting to dig that deep just yet...)

(** - Also, I noticed that, in "Halloween," Jimmy had written "male baths" twice, but Maya only crossed off one of them while he was taking one.)

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I would like to get more backstory on the family too. What was Jimmy studying in school? Was he in college when he and Maya met? When did Maya move to the US? What were their thoughts when JJ was born?

That all being said, I did really enjoy the episode. Maya trying to do nice things for Jimmy and failing was pretty funny, and their attempts at finding their spark.

I really just like this show a lot. It gives me warm fuzzies, but without being cloying and sappy.

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1 hour ago, tennisgurl said:

I really just like this show a lot. It gives me warm fuzzies, but without being cloying and sappy.

It really is a sweet show. I like the relationship between Kenneth and JJ. And no, a grown man cannot wear a halo.

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Another fun episode!  I did not like Dylan catfishing Ray; that was just mean.  However, I did like how she told her parents her evil plan, Maya said okay, and Jimmy questioned it while still typing in the passcode.  Jimmy is awesome!  And then Dylan made up by forcing the girl to dance with Ray.  She will make a great wingman.  This show is definitely my favorite, even when it's silly.  Maya's and Jimmy's smiles as they ran from the dance?  Priceless!

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I, too, was curious as to how JJ opened the boxes, unwrapped the candies, and ate them.

Assuming for a moment that this show is reality, I bet I know JJ he did it. He most likely moved towards the chocolate by hurling his body sideways such that he almost tips over or falls out of his wheelchair. JJ knows better than to do this trick in front of others because it will appear to them so precarious that they will beg him to never it again.

Edited by MaryHedwig
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6 hours ago, MaryHedwig said:

Assuming for a moment that this show is reality, I bet I know JJ he did it. He most likely moved towards the chocolate by hurling his body sideways such that he almost tips over or falls out of his wheelchair. JJ knows better than to do this trick in front of others because it will appear to them so precarious that they will beg him to never it again.

Then unwrap the chocolate with his mouth?

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Weren't they just sitting in little loose tiny soft paper cup type things? They weren't the tightly foil wrapped kinds, IIRC. Scoop with his tongue or grab with his lips. Suck those babies right down.

Getting the lid off the box would be the hardest part.

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If JJ is anything like MY kid  (they are both very smart), I'm sure he has some sort of "secret skill" (probably several) that he practices when no one is around and that he can use when necessary. For my kid, he pretended like he can't do something, someone (usually my dad...) "feels sorry " for him and does the task for him.

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I just described a desired skill to my oldest's PT only to have her ask him and watch him do it perfectly.  Funny how I had to help him do it every time at home.  I can totally picture JJ doing whatever it took to get the candies!

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21 hours ago, possibilities said:

Weren't they just sitting in little loose tiny soft paper cup type things? They weren't the tightly foil wrapped kinds, IIRC. Scoop with his tongue or grab with his lips. Suck those babies right down.

Getting the lid off the box would be the hardest part.

I was thinking they were like Reese's PB cups, but then I realized "Oh wait... boxes of candy have them in loose paper."

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Perhaps I missed something during the course of the show so far, but can JJ not use his hands? I don't get why there is the question of how he opened the candy box. Sorry if this is a dumb question or offensive, not knowing much about his condition.

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Right, JJ can't use his hands (I think I read that the actor who plays him can). JJ can operate his wheelchair, but they've shown Ray feeding him pizza, Jimmy pulling his shirt over his nose for him when Kenneth sneezed, and when he got drunk on Halloween the other kids held the cups of beer for him. (I just had a little mini Speechless marathon...)

My conclusion on how JJ ate the candy? Magic~  Like when Kenneth showed up at the door fully dressed as Stevie Wonder, closed the door and ten seconds later opened the door and was in regular clothes! I don't think there was meant to be a logical or realistic explanation. He sees candy, wakes up and doesn't see candy! Loved when the last one just disappeared into his mouth and he just looked at Kenneth like "I DON'T KNOW!"

Edited by Nordly Beaumont
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JJ has limited use of his hands from what we have seen, I believe - enough so he can use a finger or two to move the chair.

 

Oh, and remember, in the pilot, when he gave his version of the finger!

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One more observation about this episode...

How perfect was J&M's how-we-fell-in-love story here, considering Jimmy's advice to Ray in "Halloween"?

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I think there's one more thing you have to try. [Sighs] Let [Jillian] go. When you find the right person, you're not gonna have to work so hard 'cause she'll see in you what you see in her.

When I first saw that scene, I thought he was definitely hinting at something about himself and Maya there. (It's worth noting that the credited writer on "Halloween," Niki Schwartz-Wright, is also one of the credited co-writers on "Valentine's Day;" so it wouldn't surprise me if she already had the backstory from the latter episode in mind while working on the former...) 

Considering that Maya was willing to break off an engagement to someone else as soon as Jimmy simply admitted his love for her -- though, judging from her comment about having felt that she and Ethan "weren't right for each other," I got the sense that maybe she had quickly settled for Ethan because she had wanted to stay in the States (if she had been on a temporary visa or something) and never thought she would find anyone else who would take such an interest in her, or else maybe their attraction had been mostly physical / superficial while she had ended up connecting with Jimmy on a deeper level -- I can see what Jimmy meant by knowing she was right for him, because it hadn't taken much effort on his part for her to reciprocate his feelings. 

Edited by GRChereck
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  • 2 months later...

I've seen JJ swinging his arms around at least once - it could have been a goof that got by.

I enjoyed seeing this one again - great work from all, and they puncture the sentiment with a great joke, in this case Ray inexplicably missing from the futuristic family photo.  ("Do I die?")

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12 hours ago, 71dude said:

I enjoyed seeing this one again - great work from all, and they puncture the sentiment with a great joke, in this case Ray inexplicably missing from the futuristic family photo.  ("Do I die?")

Hehe! :D

I just remembered we haven't really had a Ray/Dylan one-on-one plot since this one... The catfishing definitely represented a new low for her, yet when she saw what being in love brought out of him and what a "catch" he could prove himself to be if a girl gave him a chance (as well as how badly it hurt him to be rejected), she seemed to experience a real turn-around in how she sees and treats him. (As to how long she can keep it up, we shall see...)

I'm just glad this was a rerun tonight; my ABC affiliate kept cutting in with severe-thunderstorm reports, including during the last few minutes. :\ I had hoped to see whether, in the last ad break, they would show a promo for next week's new episode (I know 'The Goldbergs' had one for their next new ep)...

Edited by GRChereck
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5 hours ago, 71dude said:

I've seen JJ swinging his arms around at least once - it could have been a goof that got by.

With JJ's limited mobility, how did he magically gobble down that last chocolate with Kenneth right next to him? Not to mention the other dozens of boxes. LOL. The chocolate on his face would suggest diving for coconut creams. 

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22 hours ago, Bobbin said:

With JJ's limited mobility, how did he magically gobble down that last chocolate with Kenneth right next to him? Not to mention the other dozens of boxes. LOL. The chocolate on his face would suggest diving for coconut creams. 

Telekinesis!

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