Friday, September 13, 2013

Season 1, Episode 7: White Lies

Oh boy, guys.  This is only the seventh episode and I’m starting to lose steam.  I don’t hate the show and I never will, but man… being forced to notice every detail so I can review it is taking a toll on my soul.  My two year old self is screaming, “Why do you hate me?!” and my adult self is wondering why I have to review the first season at all since the show gets better as it goes on.  I just have to make it to the season finale.  If I can make it to the season finale, I can get through the entire series.

Anyway, let’s get to it.  So this episode starts in the kitchen, but for once, Joan isn’t slaving over anything.  In fact, Vicki’s slave training seems to be nearing completion as Vicki is cleaning up after Ted and Joan while they laze around.  Vicki then drops the dishes into the sink as hard as she can.  I swear she did that on purpose.  It’s passive-aggressive behavior.  I would say she just needs to sit down and talk to them about how she hates being mistreated, but not only would they not listen to her, Ted would reprogram her to never speak again or something.  Joan says something to Ted about maybe needing to fix Vicki’s passive-aggressive tendencies, and Ted’s like, “it’s not my fault you’re a woman and can’t program her properly.”  Then he asks Vicki to pour him coffee, and she does – she just doesn’t stop.  Love that passive-aggressive robot.

Jamie comes into the kitchen bouncing a basketball, which gets him properly yelled at because apparently the Lawsons are going to try this parenting thing now.  I don’t know what they did for Jamie over the past 10 years, but the last episode was the first time they did anything right.  Anyway, the bouncing of the ball is pretty pointless because Jamie wants to discuss his allowance.  Why do you need a basketball for that?  Only Jamie.  Jamie wants a cost of living raise in his allowance so he can save up for a bike, and I’m pretty amazed Jamie knows what cost of living raises are.  When I was 10, I had no clue.  I mean, I obviously had heard of them before, I just didn’t know what they were nor did I care.  It’s only after Jamie’s allowance proposal gets blown off that he brings up wanting to play one-on-one with his dad.  Like, could he have started with that?  Well, Joan is the one that pipes up and says Ted is busy, and I’m like, “Sweet, Joan’s finally making Ted do something.”  Jamie actually is mature about it and asks if he can teach Vicki to play, and Ted’s finally warming up to not mistreating Vicki so he says it should be fine as long as they keep a low profile.

Oh, Ted.  It’s like you’ve never met Vicki.  Of course, on the way out, Jamie bounces the ball.  They are seriously setting up something because, again, no point.  He was like two feet from the door – he could have waited two feet to start dribbling.  Ted threatens to put his foot up Jamie’s ass if he doesn’t stop, and I’m like, “Woah.  Ted just channeled Red Forman.”  It was truly odd.

Jamie teaches Vicki how to play basketball, but decides that’s not good enough, and he teaches Vicki to dunk.  You know, despite the fact that he’s too short to dunk.  Vicki takes to it very quickly.  How quickly?


Right after that impressive feat of athleticism, Harriet comes over with her cousin.  Have we ever seen this cousin before?  No.  Will we ever see him again?  Not likely.  So I’m not going to bother to actually learn his name.  I’m going to call him Bippy.  Jamie asks Bippy if he wants to play one-on-one despite the fact, you know, there’s four people.  They can’t play two-on-two?  That’s going to kill him?  Fun factoid:  I learned to be really good at one sport when I was a kid.  That sport was basketball, so I’m super-insulted.  (For those of you haven’t noticed all my entries are signed Amanda, I’m a lady-type person – which is why I get so angry that this show hates women!)  Well, Bippy is definitely related to Harriet, because he’s like, “No way, easy win for me, shrimp-o.”  Overconfidence is definitely a Brindle trait.  So Jamie decides to shut Bippy’s stupid mouth and asks him to play against Vicki.  Bippy’s like, “I ain’t playing no girl,” and I already hate Bippy, even though he fits right in with this show.  I’m surprised he didn’t become the runaway star.  So Jamie puts money on it, because no one can resist a bet, especially when they think it’s the easiest bet they ever won.

Bippy agrees and is so overconfident, he says Vicki can have the ball first and then doesn’t even get on the court.  I don’t know if you know how basketball is played, Bippy, but it tends to work out better if you actually play.  Not that it matters, because Vicki automatically slam dunks.  Bippy is like, “what the shit, she’s three foot nothing” and Jamie’s like, “I told you she’s good.”  Apparently, they were also only playing to one basket, because Jamie takes the money he won in the bet.  There’s filler, then there’s this bullshit.

Bippy decides it wasn’t fair, even though he doesn’t really support that argument at all.  Maybe that, you know, they should have made rules before he just let Vicki on the court?  Harriet defends her cousin and says that Jamie should give him a chance to win his dollar back, and Bippy agrees to this for Jamie as he takes the ball.  Uh – it’s Jamie’s money, shouldn’t he agree to this bet first?  Jamie does agree to the bet, but decides they need to play an electronic game in the house instead because screw trying to play basketball for real.  Bippy bounces the ball as they enter the house, because of course he does.  It’s the only thing Jamie’s really been bitched at for, ever.  Now Jamie’s all about the rules and asks Bippy not to bounce the ball in the house, but when Bippy won’t stop, Jamie asks for it back.  So, of course, Bippy throws the ball and breaks a teapot.  Oh, sitcoms.

Jamie decides the solution to his problem is to glue the teapot back together.  Yep.  I can see that going just perfect.  Episode over!  No, wait, that’s going to backfire.

I’ve got to interrupt the flow of the review to show you this adorableness.  It happens chronologically between point A and point B, so this is a great spot to bring it up – Joan actually feels bad that Vicki has to stand around and watch them eat, so she taught her to sit down and fake eat so it’s less cruel.  Joan is too good to be a Lawson.

Well, Joan decides to make tea for lunch, because of course she does.  Joan notices the teapot leaking, and then to drive the point home, this happens.

Of course it does.  Ted also immediately notices the teapot was glued together because of course he does.  Ted blames Jamie for breaking the teapot, and the circumstantial evidence of Vicki claiming to not know anything about Jamie gluing the teapot back together doesn’t look good.  Because… well, you know.  Jamie admits he did glue the teapot back together, but it was Bippy that broke the teapot.  His family believes him and the whole thing was a misunderstanding and they all live happily ever after.

Oh, wait, no, that doesn’t happen.  Ted asks Harriet if Bippy broke the teapot, and she of course covers for her cousin and Ted chooses to believe Harriet over Jamie.  Ted and Joan go overboard with the punishment they dole out to Jamie.  No TV, no basketball, no allowance.  I get the first two, but damn, no allowance?  That’s grounds for a kid strike.

Jamie decides to use Vicki’s tape recorder to get a message to his parents, but before he can say anything, Harriet and Bippy come over.  Bippy confesses to breaking the teapot and Vicki catches the whole thing.  They play the recording for Joan and Ted, but instead of admitting fault, they blame Jamie for breaking other things in the past.  Jamie can’t even catch a break.  They do ultimately decide to let Jamie off the hook, probably because, you know, he didn’t actually commit the crime.  The end, for reals this time.

Man, an episode that made me feel bad for Jamie.  What is this world coming to?

Oh, the end credits said that the actor who played Bippy was David Glasser.  He grew up to be a producer.  He worked on such films as Agent Cody Banks and Agent Cody Banks 2.  Actually, he was executive producer of Assassination of a High School President, which is a pretty solid movie.  You should watch that one.

Firsts: Harriet’s cousin, Vicki slam dunks, I actually feel bad for Jamie


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