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GRChereck

S02.E11: N-E--NEW Y--YEAR'S E--EVE

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Jimmy convinces Maya to go on a much-needed night out together where they drink through Maya's urge to rush home to the kids. Back at the house, Ray and Kenneth avoid being alone with their dates, while JJ, sidelined by a broken wheelchair, ends up getting more excitement than he expected. Meanwhile, Dylan spends her night trying to win the affection of the new family dog.

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The dog: Pepper, male. So I was right about him being the service dog that Dylan had requested -- the fact that he was kicked out of the training program may explain why JJ was able to get him so relatively quickly... :D

The Dylan/Pepper plot was the sweetest; I guess it makes sense that, for a dog that's been trained to respond to others' needs (even if he doesn't always follow orders exactly), he's put off by Dylan at first because she so rarely expresses her own needs.

Nice follow-up on Kenneth/Joyce (1x23 and 2x3) -- apparently, he'd kept setting up a date with her only to keep postponing it until he'd backed himself into a corner, so to speak (putting it off until literally the last day of the year). Her emotional neediness may have kept him from wanting to take a chance on her, but funny that it took her physically making a move on him for him to appreciate what he could've had. And nice parallel story for Ray/Taylor, with him being too nervous to make a move on her but not wanting to admit that his nervousness was his main obstacle; even with his Astronomy Club mates and all her friends there, I don't think that took too much away from the main character dynamics, and I love that this episode still made room for Ray/Kenneth interactions.

For all of JJ's development this season, I was a bit disappointed that he was mostly so passive here, though I guess that couldn't be helped given his situation (and I appreciated how he said he didn't want to hold his parents back from their planned date, which seemed fairly true to his character in light of his conversation with his mom in the season premiere). 

As for Jimya, I thought their plot was sort of a rehash of 2x9, with Maya having to manipulate Jimmy into accepting something she knew he wanted by making him believe she wants the same thing -- except that, instead of him learning to speak up when he wants something and accept things that are just for him (a lesson that was apparently forgotten this time, though I suppose old habits are hard to break, plus he DID get pretty stupid-drunk tonight...), it was Maya who learned that it's okay to want to let yourself go sometimes. Hopefully, maybe they can try the date-night thing again sooner or later... (Also, I hope we get to see Jimmy's mother soon!)

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I enjoyed the episode, but I also agree with Jimmy having to be tricked. He can just have fun writers, let him. Something that still drives me crazy during the episode is not known about JJ unable to speak or his handicap. It makes the girls look stupid, that they can't put two and two together. 

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On 1/4/2018 at 8:56 AM, readster said:

I enjoyed the episode, but I also agree with Jimmy having to be tricked. He can just have fun writers, let him.

Oddly enough, I seem to recall he has been allowed to have fun before without manipulation / trickery -- but even then, in each case he had to be surprised with it when he was in most desperate need of cheering up: In the s.1 Halloween episode, when he was heartbroken about the kids bailing on the family-costume tradition Maya let him to do things on her "dead to me" list; in the s.1 finale, Dylan treated him with a quick trip to beach after he broke down over the airport-restaurant being closed during their Miami layover; and in 2x6, after Maya found out how he's spent the past 16 years still beating himself up over "the Vegas thing," she took him on a trip back there to help him finally get over his guilt. :)

So yeah, another reason I'd love to see another date-night for Jimya -- not only so Maya can cut loose for real, but also so Jimmy can be fully aware of what's going on and they can both be on the same page as to what they want.

 

On 1/4/2018 at 8:56 AM, readster said:

Something that still drives me crazy during the episode is not known about JJ unable to speak or his handicap. It makes the girls look stupid, that they can't put two and two together. 

That's another thing that bugged me about that. :\ (Also, I may have missed a line somewhere, but I had to wonder why even without his power-chair he couldn't still use his board and pointer to communicate... ETA: Not to mention his push-chair...) Plus, the silence-mistaken-for-profundity gag was already done quite well not that long ago on s.1 of 'The Good Place' (with Jason/"Jianyu").

***

Meet the newest cast member, Cosmo:

Edited by GRChereck · Reason: clarity; additional thought
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Dylan and Pepper were so cute! Also, spin the dog seems like a MUCH more fun game than spin the bottle. 

"We promised we would be honest about two things. Our feelings, and our chances at top tier schools." Ray really was just so lucky to find Taylor, the two of them are truly made for each other. I thought their plot was a bit awkward, but also cute and funny. 

Also love how Taylor's friends are happy to see any boy, even if they're a bunch of dorks. "BOYS!!!!" 

Good, solid holiday episode. 

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On ‎1‎/‎3‎/‎2018 at 9:12 PM, GRChereck said:

the fact that he was kicked out of the training program may explain why JJ was able to get him so relatively quickly... :D

I love the idea of them getting a dog that flunked out of the training program.  He fits right in with the craziness that is the DiMeo household!  What a sweet dog too.  Now they won't be lying to their landlord when they say he is a service dog.  He/she doesn't have to know that Pepper didn't  actually get certified!  

 

On ‎1‎/‎3‎/‎2018 at 9:12 PM, GRChereck said:

I was a bit disappointed that he was mostly so passive here,

I think he was really loving the attention from the young ladies.  He looked a little annoyed at first, but later on he appeared to be  enjoying the attention. 

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16 hours ago, ChitChat said:

I love the idea of them getting a dog that flunked out of the training program.  He fits right in with the craziness that is the DiMeo household!  What a sweet dog too.  Now they won't be lying to their landlord when they say he is a service dog.  He/she doesn't have to know that Pepper didn't  actually get certified!

I love that Pepper didn't end up being merely some cute prop in this episode -- he got to show he could be just as funny and weird as the rest of the family. :D And yeah, JJ's acceptance of the service dog (despite not wanting one only for himself -- he simply lets his parents and siblings use him much of the time, too) does pretty much resolve any questions we may have had about the family getting around any possible lease violations.

Another thing I've thought about: As impressed as I am with the service-dog storyline so far, I wonder whether it might have been brought in as a response to any accusations that the show was trivializing or mocking the idea of service animals (particularly in these 1x17 scenes, "JJ's Joy Ride" and "JJ Saves the Day"). 

(Also, elsewhere I was reading a recap that complained about how the dog being a Golden Retriever was such a tired cliche -- saying something to the effect of, 'what is this, 1997?' -- but after a quick Google search, I figured the reviewer must not have been aware of the fact that Goldens are among the most common breeds used for service work...)

16 hours ago, ChitChat said:

I think he was really loving the attention from the young ladies.  He looked a little annoyed at first, but later on he appeared to be  enjoying the attention.

JJ did seem to have a great time by the end, there. :) (Plus, that makes what, three kisses he's had this season now?) And while I had to wonder what if he'd wanted to eat or had to go to the bathroom without being able to tell anyone, it was just for an evening, and I recall he has spent longer in similar situations -- when he went to the Mall by himself in 1x17, and in the time-lapse-montage cold-open of 1x22 when he apparently sat at the dining room table all day doing nothing but trying to unbutton his pajama top.

***

A couple observations about Taylor: 1) I found it a little puzzling at first that she would go from telling Ray "It's way too soon for that!" when he said "I love you" in 2x6, to wanting to get more physical with him just five episodes later, but then considering what happened in the closing-tag of 2x10 (Taylor was revealed to be all the more attracted to Ray because her mother didn't want her seeing him again) her change of heart is certainly understandable; and 2) the reveal that she and her pals attend an all-girl's school would likely explain a lot of their behavior in this ep (Ray: "Any boy to them is like a water fountain in the desert!"). (Also, good to know that Ray hasn't had to worry about Taylor leaving him for a male classmate, since she doesn't have any.) :)

Edited by GRChereck · Reason: clarity
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On 1/6/2018 at 1:50 PM, GRChereck said:

Another thing I've thought about: As impressed as I am with the service-dog storyline so far, I wonder whether it might have been brought in as a response to any accusations that the show was trivializing or mocking the idea of service animals 

Personally I don't think so. In JJ's case, I think he simply feels that he already HAS enough help, via Kenneth. Many individuals who have service animals likely depend on them solely, or mostly. We know that JJ likes to be as independent as he possibly can, so having a full-time helper AND a service dog (not to mention Maya as a mom!) probably seemed like a bit of an overkill to him.

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4 hours ago, SnarkySheep said:

Personally I don't think so. In JJ's case, I think he simply feels that he already HAS enough help, via Kenneth. Many individuals who have service animals likely depend on them solely, or mostly. We know that JJ likes to be as independent as he possibly can, so having a full-time helper AND a service dog (not to mention Maya as a mom!) probably seemed like a bit of an overkill to him.

That was my thinking, too. Since once you reach that age, you want to try the least support possible while in the most supportive environment possible to see what works for you.

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I liked this episode. I loved the Maya-Jimmy subplot. Usually in sitcoms you can't see what the lead couple sees in each other with them you can. I love their dog. I think JJ doesn't like the dog because service dogs respond to verbal commands and JJ can't speak. Ray annoys me because he tries to pretend to be someone he isn't.

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20 hours ago, kathyk24 said:

I think JJ doesn't like the dog because service dogs respond to verbal commands and JJ can't speak.

You can easily teach a service dog nonverbal commands, such as hand gestures.

On 1/6/2018 at 1:50 PM, GRChereck said:

I love that Pepper didn't end up being merely some cute prop in this episode -- he got to show he could be just as funny and weird as the rest of the family. :D

Same! I did wonder, however, how on earth they got Pepper to keep moving away from Dylan? I mean, I'm sure the dog has nothing against the actress in reality, LOL. Did they maybe spray her with something unpleasant, or have the others lure him away with treats, or what?

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22 hours ago, kathyk24 said:

I loved the Maya-Jimmy subplot. Usually in sitcoms you can't see what the lead couple sees in each other with them you can.

Well put. :) They're a real partnership (and I think they're so damn cute together, too). <3

2 hours ago, SnarkySheep said:

I did wonder, however, how on earth they got Pepper to keep moving away from Dylan? I mean, I'm sure the dog has nothing against the actress in reality, LOL.

I read a comment from Cedric on his InstaGram that the dog (Cosmo) had no problem with Kyla -- he's just that good an actor. :D

Edited by GRChereck
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9 hours ago, SnarkySheep said:

Same! I did wonder, however, how on earth they got Pepper to keep moving away from Dylan? I mean, I'm sure the dog has nothing against the actress in reality, LOL. Did they maybe spray her with something unpleasant, or have the others lure him away with treats, or what?

Probably a very high value treat

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On 1/4/2018 at 9:56 AM, readster said:

I enjoyed the episode, but I also agree with Jimmy having to be tricked. He can just have fun writers, let him. Something that still drives me crazy during the episode is not known about JJ unable to speak or his handicap. It makes the girls look stupid, that they can't put two and two together. 

This and the episode in the grocery store are why I still don't fully get why JJ doesn't want a device that he can make speak.  I get the part about a human interpreter sounding more human, but he can so easily be left helpless.  And since he has to depend on other people for so much, I would think he would want some independence with regard to speech.  Do they make a speaking board that he could choose to turn off and use as a laser board if he wants so he could alternate?

On 1/4/2018 at 11:20 AM, GRChereck said:

I had to wonder why even without his power-chair he couldn't still use his board and pointer to communicate..

Agreed.

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8 hours ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

Agreed.

Especially since JJ did use his board-and-pointer in this scene:

I'm not sure why he didn't want to keep them after that... Unless, like a lot of sometimes sullen and snotty teenagers, he was in such a foul mood over not being able to do something he wanted (he'd been invited to a party), he was just like, 'If I can't have that, I don't want anything' or whatever; plus, it was only for (I'm guessing) no more than a few hours, so he might not have been hungry or needed to use the bathroom during that time.

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On 1/5/2018 at 9:22 PM, ChitChat said:

I love the idea of them getting a dog that flunked out of the training program.  He fits right in with the craziness that is the DiMeo household!  What a sweet dog too.  Now they won't be lying to their landlord when they say he is a service dog.  He/she doesn't have to know that Pepper didn't  actually get certified! 

I like that the dog failed out, too, but it does not solve the landlord problem IMO. The dog is not a service dog and therefore the family is breaking the terms of their lease. Just a throwaway line about the landlord being fine with a pet after all would satisfy me. I just really don't like the appearance of passing off a pet as a service dog. It can hurt real working teams.

On 1/6/2018 at 1:50 PM, GRChereck said:

I love that Pepper didn't end up being merely some cute prop in this episode -- he got to show he could be just as funny and weird as the rest of the family. :D And yeah, JJ's acceptance of the service dog (despite not wanting one only for himself -- he simply lets his parents and siblings use him much of the time, too) does pretty much resolve any questions we may have had about the family getting around any possible lease violations.

Again, I don't see how this solves the landlord/lease problem.

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I know, but Pepper is not a service animal. He failed out of the program. Pepper is not exempt.

 

Because no good organization would release one of its dogs (pass or fail) without checking that the family could provide a good, legal home for it, I will just assume something unseen happened with the landlord giving the OK to Pepper.

Edited by dcalley
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I just assume the landlord doesn't know. A lot of houses are managed by a rental company rather than a person, sometimes not even in the same state.

Edited by Nordly Beaumont
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4 hours ago, Nordly Beaumont said:

I just assume the landlord doesn't know. A lot of houses are managed by a rental company rather than a person, sometimes not even in the same state.

They also can have a property managers, who as long as the rent is being paid and they can pay their property taxes, don't really care. 

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On 1/20/2018 at 1:59 AM, dcalley said:

I know, but Pepper is not a service animal. He failed out of the program. Pepper is not exempt.

 

Because no good organization would release one of its dogs (pass or fail) without checking that the family could provide a good, legal home for it, I will just assume something unseen happened with the landlord giving the OK to Pepper.

 

 

On 1/20/2018 at 10:29 AM, Nordly Beaumont said:

I just assume the landlord doesn't know. A lot of houses are managed by a rental company rather than a person, sometimes not even in the same state.

 

According to the most recent episode (2x17, "A-C--Action"), the family have simply been hiding Pepper from the landlord -- probably because they knew they wouldn't be able to get away with just saying he's a service dog without the landlord demanding to see some sort of license / certification. :\ (Granted, they probably could've made this clearer earlier; but I guess it was being saved for the latest plot development, the prospect of the family losing their home to a neighbor who wants to expand on his own property.)

Edited by GRChereck

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