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S01.E08: Christmas 1972

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The Kids Are Alright

Christmas 1972 (Season 1 | Episode 7)

8:31PM | ABC

Mike oozes with jealousy when Peggy's successful brother Tom drops in for Christmas. After Tom gives the Clearys an extravagant Christmas gift, pride prevents Mike from taking it—putting him at odds with the rest of the family. Meanwhile, Timmy mistakenly receives $100 from his great-aunt for Christmas and contemplates whether he should do "the right thing" or keep it. Elsewhere, Eddie forgets to get Wendi a Christmas present and panic sets in.

Original Airdate: December 11, 2018

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Peggy was being extra mean by coming right out saying her brother was better than Mike. Mike was right that he could also be living it up if he didn't have a family to support. This was the first time Peggy's attitude really got to me.

On a lighter note, I liked how Adult Timmy said that Wendi's jacket lasted one year but his mom got a fancy box to reuse for years to come. 

Edited by Snow Apple
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There were some funny parts (Peggy's detective work on who got the 100s; the Adudas sneakers) but I thought this was one of the least funny eps.  

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Yeah this was sort of grim. I get that things are tight but wrapping Tim's action figure in tin foil and calling it a gift is taking it too far. Peggy is a good seamstress and Mike is a good woodworker. Surely they could come up with *something * better.

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I liked Timmy running down which older brothers he might be able to talk to about his $100 bill: Frank was a total narc, Joey would murder him in his sleep and steal it, Lawrence would go Charlie Church and guilt him into giving it back or donating to something moronic. So that left Eddie, not greedy or evil or snitchy or godly. No distinct personality whatsoever!

Also got a laugh out of this being the worst Christmas of Mike's life, including the time he walked into the kitchen and pushed up against Lawrence thinking it was Peg.

Come on, Eddie! It never occurred to him that Wendi would expect a Christmas present? Although his cluelessness did give us the completely believable roof excuse.

My sister and BIL have been touring independent living facilities and she was excited to tell me that one of them had a soft serve machine. That desire is ageless.

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4 hours ago, Snow Apple said:

Peggy was being extra mean by coming right out saying her brother was better than Mike. Mike was right that he could also be living it up if he didn't have a family to support. This was the first time Peggy's attitude really got to me.

On a lighter note, I liked how Adult Timmy said that Wendi's jacket lasted one year but his mom got a fancy box to reuse for years to come. 

That reminded me of Christmas past when any good box or bag or wrapping paper was reused over and over. 

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5 hours ago, Snow Apple said:

Peggy was being extra mean by coming right out saying her brother was better than Mike. Mike was right that he could also be living it up if he didn't have a family to support. This was the first time Peggy's attitude really got to me.

Having grown up with a sarcastic mother in a family of all boys, I gotta say that bit between Mike and Peggy didn't come off to me as her being mean-spirited. I think this was Peggy's way of telling Mike he was being ridiculous and needed to get over himself. 

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9 hours ago, Snow Apple said:

On a lighter note, I liked how Adult Timmy said that Wendi's jacket lasted one year but his mom got a fancy box to reuse for years to come. 

I liked how we could see her use her foot to sneakily move the box under the couch when no one was looking. My other favorite part was when Timmy was looking for a place that no one would ever check in a million years, he picked the family bible... only to find out that Eddie had the same idea. The reveal that the aunt gave both red heads extra money for luck was adorable.

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5 hours ago, Mmmfloorpie said:

I liked it but does this mean the show is off until after Christmas now?

I noticed that ABC is re-airing the Pilot next Tuesday.  I hope they re-air as many of the episodes as possible during the break and pick up some new viewers.  I'm looking forward to watching the repeats and have family members who missed the first few episodes and are excited to see them.

This Christmas episode had a lot of funny bits.  I think the scene with Timmy talking to the baby Jesus while the bird was pecking at his hand (that wasn't a sign!) got the biggest laugh out of me.  I also loved the conversation after Timmy found Eddie's hundred dollar bill in the bible, and the resolution that their great-aunt was betting on red was perfect! 

It was also great to see Peggy dancing with her kids and then sneaking out the side door of the garage and not missing a beat in joining Mike to reprimand the kids. Haha!  I also loved her kicking the May Company box under her seat.  We used to reuse those boxes too.

Fun episode. 

Edited by AnnaRose
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1 hour ago, Rockstar99435 said:

I liked how we could see her use her foot to sneakily move the box under the couch when no one was looking. My other favorite part was when Timmy was looking for a place that no one would ever check in a million years, he picked the family bible... only to find out that Eddie had the same idea. The reveal that the aunt gave both red heads extra money for luck was adorable.

It might just be my tv, but the whole show seems to be shot through a harvest gold filter. If you had asked me which two boys were redheads, I couldn't have told you. Almost everyone in the family looks sort of strawberry -blondish to me.

But I agree with all of the above.

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I liked Peg telling Pat to be careful with the May Co. box because the corners were falling apart, but she still planned to use it again anyway. 

Edited by hoodooznoodooz
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4 hours ago, SoMuchTV said:

It might just be my tv, but the whole show seems to be shot through a harvest gold filter. If you had asked me which two boys were redheads, I couldn't have told you. Almost everyone in the family looks sort of strawberry -blondish to me.

LOL, I see what you did there!  Harvest gold as opposed to avocado green, right?

I love this show but the mom is ridiculous sometimes.  Selling out on her kids like that after she danced with them was something my Mom would NEVER have done.  She would have told my Dad straight up that the TV stays and that's that.  She would take my side in this.  But I get it that Peggy is not really a "liberated" woman just yet.

This episode really deserves being watched a second time.  There were so many lines to catch, like the reference to the can of Shasta, LOL.  This episode more than most was a real walk down memory lane for me.  Like the comment that Wendi's jacket would only get another season of wear - Yeah, that's because fringe jackets were going to go out of style soon.  It makes me remember how fast fashions changed back then, and the fringe vest I had around that time.  And the old RV, that was priceless too.

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I enjoyed this episode. It wasn't the best, but at least we know the show is happening in 1972!

I sort of feel for the actor who plays Lawrence. He was such a big part of the pilot but has since been relegated to the background. He appears in group scenes and has the occasional line, but not sure he's had his own story (except maybe the fruits and veggies thing). There are so many characters to service, so I understand, but I would love to see what he's actually doing now that he's dropped out of seminary. You would think the parents would be more hard line that he get his act together.

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1 hour ago, anna0852 said:

On the one hand I agree about Lawrence but on the other hand it kind of works. People tend to get lost in big families. 

I agree.  Although I have to admit, I do love what Lawrence (and the actor who plays him) brings to this show.  I think his cool, laid-back presence is essential, even though his part has been limited in some episodes.  I expect we'll eventually have an episode with more focus on him.

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On 12/12/2018 at 9:54 AM, 2727 said:

Come on, Eddie! It never occurred to him that Wendi would expect a Christmas present?

That leads me to believe he's never seen Mike give Peggy a gift.

Was the saw a surprise gift for Mike?  Would Peggy have really spent so much money on her own and have arranged to have it delivered? I assume Mike goes in the garage frequently.  Why pose it as a gift then (instead of a useful purchase), thereby making the gifts for the kids look even more feeble?

Edited by ItCouldBeWorse
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On 12/12/2018 at 6:59 AM, Snow Apple said:

On a lighter note, I liked how Adult Timmy said that Wendi's jacket lasted one year but his mom got a fancy box to reuse for years to come. 

I think a well-made suede jacket belonging to someone in California who is no longer growing should last a lot longer than a year unless treated very carelessly.

13 hours ago, Yeah No said:

Like the comment that Wendi's jacket would only get another season of wear - Yeah, that's because fringe jackets were going to go out of style soon.  It makes me remember how fast fashions changed back then, and the fringe vest I had around that time.

Ok, I'll buy that explanation!  If Peggy noticed, she would probably make a snarky comment about how rich Wendi's family must be for her to stop wearing an expensive garment that still fit (or any garment that still fit, really), just because it had "gone out of style"!

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 Like the comment that Wendi's jacket would only get another season of wear - Yeah, that's because fringe jackets were going to go out of style soon.  It makes me remember how fast fashions changed back then, and the fringe vest I had around that time

In 1971-72 I was in 6th grade, and I had a fringed leather vest that I loved.  I stopped wearing it to school because the boy that sat behind me would try to braid the fringe, and I would get so upset.  Looking back, maybe he had a crush on me??  Don't even remember his name or if we continued on through Jr. High and High School together.  But, I loved that vest!

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4 hours ago, AnnaRose said:

I agree.  Although I have to admit, I do love what Lawrence (and the actor who plays him) brings to this show.  I think his cool, laid-back presence is essential, even though his part has been limited in some episodes.  I expect we'll eventually have an episode with more focus on him.

Without spoiling an upcoming epidode, IMBD has a pic of an episode coming in the spring that seems to indicate a focus on Lawrence. The episode is titled Vietnam.  

One thing that does bug me - the wig for Lawrence was so much better in the first episode. Why can’t they do that now that they have been picked up?  

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2 minutes ago, Bteam said:

Without spoiling an upcoming epidode, IMBD has a pic of an episode coming in the spring that seems to indicate a focus on Lawrence. The episode is titled Vietnam.  

Wow, maybe he gets drafted.  The selective service ended in January of 1973, so if the show wants to do an episode about that it has to be now. 

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On 12/12/2018 at 3:30 PM, SoMuchTV said:

It might just be my tv, but the whole show seems to be shot through a harvest gold filter. If you had asked me which two boys were redheads, I couldn't have told you. Almost everyone in the family looks sort of strawberry -blondish to me.

But I agree with all of the above.

I thought the harvest gold filter made the show look like pictures and family movies I have from the early 70s.  I was really impressed with the film editing folks for mimicking old film.

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Also got a laugh out of this being the worst Christmas of Mike's life, including the time he walked into the kitchen and pushed up against Lawrence thinking it was Peg.

Did anyone else notice that Lawrence started regrowing his facial hair after the episode he got mistaken for a girl on a date with Eddie? LOL.

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I liked Timmy running down which older brothers he might be able to talk to about his $100 bill: Frank was a total narc, Joey would murder him in his sleep and steal it, Lawrence would go Charlie Church and guilt him into giving it back or donating to something moronic. So that left Eddie, not greedy or evil or snitchy or godly. No distinct personality whatsoever!

I really liked that this show switches up the sibling interactions- most of the time we see Timmy with Joey or the 5th son (I'm still blanking on the ones younger than Timmy) but yeah, it was cool to see him interacting with Eddie.

13 hours ago, wetmoregal said:

 Like the comment that Wendi's jacket would only get another season of wear - Yeah, that's because fringe jackets were going to go out of style soon.  It makes me remember how fast fashions changed back then, and the fringe vest I had around that time

Oh, I thought that meant those things fell apart pretty fast. Suede seems like an extremely hard thing to care for. I did remember Winnie Cooper's suede jacket on season 6 of the Wonder Years, which is set at the same time.

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On 12/14/2018 at 2:35 AM, methodwriter85 said:

(I'm still blanking on the ones younger than Timmy)

Will is the reader, Pat has the glasses (and hernia scar), and Andy is the baby.

Edited by ItCouldBeWorse
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On 12/12/2018 at 6:14 AM, VartanFan said:

There were some funny parts (Peggy's detective work on who got the 100s; the Adudas sneakers) but I thought this was one of the least funny eps.  

It was probably one of the least funny to me too, but I still laughed at a few things, the Adudas sneakers being one of them. This reminded me of my best friend growing up. Her parents got divorced when we were kids, and she and her siblings lived with their mom. When her mom went back college they were pretty poor. We were adults before her younger brother stopped complaining about the Cuckamonga jeans their mom bought him in Jr. High because they were a good deal!

I also cracked up at Timmy asking for a sign with the bird pecking him, and I liked seeing Peg playing around in the garage with the kids and sneaking out the side. It was nice seeing her interact with the kids in a fun way (at least until she turned on them!). ;-p

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I hope we see some school shenanigans. I'm curious to learn if the boys attend parochial school & if some are altar boys.

Edited by rhys
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On 12/19/2018 at 1:57 PM, Rockstar99435 said:

Timmy and Joey were both altar boys in the first episode, so I'm sure the older boys were when they were younger.

Surely they won't turn that into a plot point.  Yikes.

The shot of Timmy standing stone still in the garage during the inquisition about the $100 bills was perfect.  And then when it was demanded that he come out of there, you could hear the slow, trepidatious tap tap tap of his shoes. 

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I'm pretty sure at least one old Gimbels box was still in circulation at my husband's grandparents' house more than a decade after the store shut down.

I was curious if I missed anything from Eddie to indicate that he also got $100, so I rewatched the scene where the kids get their red envelopes. Eddie looks like he might be deep in thought at one point, but then we just see him picking his teeth with the envelope.

I was sure the money was going to fly away at the nativity scene, or that someone would see Timmy taking the money back out and tell his parents.

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I found the reference to “The May Company” funny-because I remember what a big deal it was to get something from May :). And there was one Tiffany’s box that was still circling the family for a good 20 years, leaving disappointment in it’s wake.

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