Friday, September 27, 2013

Season 1, Episode 9: DisHonor Student

I don’t know if it’s because I could perform it in my sleep or what, but the Small Wonder theme song just seems louder than the rest of the show.  Yes, I listen to it every single time.  It may be sickingly sweet, but sometimes it’s the least offensive part of the show.  Anyway, let’s get to it.

Jamie comes home from school and brags about how he set a new school record: he threw four touchdown passes and won the game.  Oh, boy, Jamie is Al Bundy before Al Bundy existed.  That’s a story he’s going to tell his kids over and over again, because I’ve seen every episode of Small Wonder – there’s no way in hell he’s telling them about the times he tried dating, or the times he had Aunt Vicki fight his battles for him.  Joan’s like, “Yeah, I don’t give a crap – you do your homework?”  And Jamie’s like, “Fuck, why do I tell you shit?”

Joan and Jamie walk into the other room, and there they find Ted programming Vicki.  I swear to Mike if they program her to wax on, wax off just to show off her panel, I’m out.  Well, as it turns out, Ted spent a week programming Vicki to speed read.  He explains it with all kinds of made up buzzwords – I mean, seriously, he threw in the phrase “in the V.I.C.I. mode”, which is the weirdest reference to Vicki I’m sure I’ve ever heard – which prompts Joan’s catchphrase, “That makes sense.”  No, I’m with you on that one, Joan.  That was the most confusing shit I’ve ever had to hear.  Vicki repeats it, as if to say, yes, Ted is full of it.  Well, Vicki reads the newspaper to demonstrate her skills, and reveals that the football game next week is blacked out.  This disappoints Ted and Jamie because they’re into football this week.  Joan says that if Jamie does well on his book report and Ted cleans out the garage, she’ll buy them tickets to the football game.  Um, what?  Can’t Ted just buy them without strings?  He has a job.  Is there a housewives’ union I don’t know about?  Is Joan getting a fair wage for spending so much time in the kitchen?  Is that why she never leaves?  Either way, Ted must forget he has a job, because he and Jamie agree to the terms.

Jamie’s pleased with the timing in which his dad has programmed Vicki to speed read because despite being told like 90,000 times already, he has the idea to have Vicki do his homework for him.  The report apparently consisted of all 55 chapters in the book and was so very detailed that Jamie ends up on the honor roll.  How does only one book report get you… you know what?  I give up on this show having any logic at all.

Jamie’s parents aren’t complete dumbasses, so they figure out Jamie used Vicki pretty quickly – he covered his bases and made her say she didn’t know anything about it, but didn’t make her unlearn the facts.  Jamie’s parents confront him with the good news, but he lies right in their faces.  Jamie apparently never learns any lessons for long.  Crap, his ego’s bound to return soon, too.

Ted decides to force a confession out of Jamie, but Joan is like, “let’s just wait to see if he tells us the truth on his own.”  Because if they didn’t do that, it’d be a really short episode.  Ted agrees.

Oh, my god.  Jamie is so lazy, he makes Vicki pace for him.  Anyway, he does feel a little guilty about lying to everyone, but he really wants to go to the football game and he doesn’t know what to do.  Vicki computes Jamie’s problem for him, and tells him to go to the football game first and then confess to the crime.  Well, I guess programming a robot with morals was just a little too much for Ted Lawson to handle.  Jamie obviously thinks this is a genius solution.  However, Jamie’s teacher comes over and suddenly the guilt becomes too much for him and he confesses everything.

Jamie’s teacher is impressed with Vicki’s intelligence, and when she tries to ask about her education everyone skirts around the issue.  It’s the first time they’ve had this issue, actually.  It won’t be the last.  Hot damn, I think we’re only one episode away from when they fix a lot of the problems Vicki being Jamie’s “cousin” creates long term.  For Jamie’s punishment, Ted decides he’s still going to take Jamie to the football game, they just have to have bad seats.  I wish I were making this one up.  Broken teapot: no TV, no basketball, no allowance.  Use Vicki to do your homework and then lie about it: slap on the wrist.  These life lessons are just…  Oh, this is the second episode without Harriet.  Man, that sucks.

That’s it for this week.  This is the shortest review ever.  It was an episode that didn't really do a whole lot.

Firsts: Jamie essentially gets away with something, Vicki’s intelligence is complimented by an educator

Friday, September 20, 2013

Season 1, Episode 8: The Fearless Five

I’m just going to jump right into this review, like ripping off an adhesive bandage.

This episode starts off freaking adorable!  Joan and Vicki are making cookies and Joan tells Vicki that it reminds her of making cookies with her own mother, and she’s glad she gets to do it with her robot, who she loves as much as a daughter.  I dare anyone to watch the scene and not go “D’aww!”  No matter how you feel about the show, if you cannot appreciate the adorableness of this scene, you have no soul.  At least Joan doesn’t see Vicki as a slave.

Ted comes home and gives Joan a flower, which Vicki then puts in the cookie batter because she was told flour goes in the milk.  Oh, those misunderstandings.  Ted thinks it’s adorable, though, because even though he has no soul, even he can appreciate how adorable that entire scene was.  Then he asks Vicki what else she learned from “Mom”, so maybe he’s finally starting to warm up to the little girl he made.  So Vicki insults his mother.  Ted tells Joan it’s not nice to tell Vicki such things, and I’m amazed he hasn’t mistreated the robot yet, like trying to reprogram her to worship his mother or something.

Jamie comes in and checks on the cookies, which I guess Joan is making for his club.  Jamie is running for president, and he expects to win because he bribed all the members with cookies and other things.  When Joan calls him out on it, he says that when you win, it’s called lobbying.  Ten year olds do not know that much about politics.  I’ve been ten years old.  When I was ten… I just didn’t even care about real world politics.  I cared about cartoons and books.

Vicki helps Jamie take the cookies out to the boys in his club, so he introduces his “cousin”.  I can’t wait until they adopt her.  It makes everything so much easier.  Anyway, Reggie is one of the club members, so this is the first instance of continuity – he may not have been the first recurring character to be introduced, but he is the first one to actually show back up again.  So, after devouring the cookies in seconds, the boys decide it’s time to have a meeting of the He-Man Woman-Hater’s Club, and one of the boys is just downright aggressive about saying No Girls.  He’s also very fat, so with that attitude, I see two high school outcomes for this character: it’s an utter nightmare, or he gets his shit together and becomes a jock and that attitude becomes an asset.  You know, I lean heavily towards the second one.  Almost all fat kids in the 80s became jocks in high school.  They didn’t even have real Internet to distract them with back then, so exercise was a valid form of distraction.

Vicki, probably because of all of the positive attention she got at the beginning of the episode, happily goes back into the house without a hint of passive-aggression.  I think this is the longest Vicki’s gone without being passive-aggressive towards anyone.  Anyway, as soon as Vicki’s in the house, Reggie calls the election to order.  Jamie’s running against Fatty McAttitude, and Jamie has a whole speech prepared in addition to all the bribes he gave out, and McAttitude only offers pickled pig’s feet if he wins.  Just… what?  Like, would it have killed the writers to make it closer at all?

It doesn’t matter because there’s a last minute candidate – the neighborhood bully!  Like, seriously, the bully just waltzed into Jamie’s backyard.  I don’t know in what culture this is acceptable, but even as a kid, I could have called my parents outside and they’d have made the bully leave.  I don’t even understand what’s happening here.  Anyway, his whole speech is, “Shut your whore mouths, I already said I’m the president, and this is a dictatorship democracy.”  That’s the level of understanding I had about politics when I was 10, too.  The bully is a more realistic child than anyone else in the show.  That lovely speech, coupled with the threats to kick anyone’s ass who objects, makes the neighborhood bully the new club president.  Shocking, I know.

His first order of business is to raise the dues from $0.25 a week to $1.00 a week.  In exchange for the dues, he won’t murder anyone in the club in their sleep.  Then, after telling them that the dues are due the next day, he steals Jamie’s baseball glove for absolutely no reason and leaves.  Just… what?  I fail to understand any of what just happened.  Can we go back to scenes of Joan and Vicki being adorable?

That night, when Jamie is going to bed and Vicki is chilling in her cabinet, Ted and Joan come up.  Ted asks Vicki if she’s okay, but he doesn’t actually care.  Vicki, however, still loves positive attention, and gives Ted exactly what he wants to hear – Jamie’s not okay because of the bully.  Joan explains when they knew something was wrong, and Ted gives advice that pretty much equates to “suck it up, everyone has bullies.”  I would love to see Ted be Ted in 2013, I really would.  Joan would have taken Vicki and Jamie, and Harriet Brindle for good measure, by the end of the pilot episode.  Anyway, suck it up also has the advice of “don’t fight”, and apparently the Lawsons are thinking that when Jamie gets murdered they’ll just build a robot version of him anyway.  Even Vicki knows this is bad advice, but the parents stand their ground.

The parents go to leave, but Ted is like, “You know what, Joan… just give me a sec.”  Apparently, after giving that very parental speech, Ted remembered he’s alpha as fuck and decides to teach Jamie how to defend himself.  However, Vicki’s still there and women aren’t allowed to be alphas, so he tells her to fake sleeping.  When is Vicki just going to murder him and make it look like an accident?  Anyway, after some weird advice and not actually showing Jamie anything, the commercial break happens.  There might be women in the audience, and you wouldn’t want to accidentally teach them anything that would make them alphas, after all.

Actually, no, it just turned out to be the worst timed commercial break of all time and after the break Ted’s like, “I don’t want you fighting but you should be able to defend yourself.”  You just said that!  Whatever, he then proceeds to show Jamie how to kick the shit out of a clown toy, because it’s like defending yourself against bullies, I guess.  Except Ted is Ted, so the clown toy turns out to be the superior fighter.  Ted just lost alpha status to a toy – that’s gotta hurt.  Anyway, after making sure Jamie has good form or whatever, Ted leaves, again reminding Jamie that it’s only for self-defense.  I guess even in the 80s where they could make sex jokes every 37 seconds, they felt a responsibility for not teaching kids that violence was okay.

Jamie gets Vicki out of the cabinet and says he’s going to show her how he’s going to deal with the bully, because Jamie is a marginally better human being than Ted.  He then proceeds to beat up the clown toy, becoming the new Lawson family alpha male.  That’s just what a recovering ego addict needs, something more to feed his ego, but Jamie doesn’t let the fact he’s better at beating up toys than his dad go to his head.  I’m so proud of him, overcoming his addiction like that.

The next day, the bully comes back and Jamie’s friends fold and pay him off because they don’t have spines.  Jamie, however, says he’s not going to pay.  I bet Jamie’s parents had Vicki hide his money.  There’s no way he has more of a spine than Reggie just because he beat up a clown doll.  Jamie stands up to the bully, and everything goes the way it’s supposed to!

Just kidding, Jamie gets a black eye.  I’m not going to say that’s the fakest black eye I’ve ever seen, because I’ve seen way faker on Clarissa Explains It All, but that is definitely one of the strangest.  Jamie tells Vicki all about it, and how his mom is going to get mad that he fought, and Vicki channels Clint Eastwood.  Gosh darn, Vicki’s adorable.  Anyway, Jamie decides to give the bully the money so he doesn’t get murdered in his sleep, but he’s going to give it to him all in change.  However, while Vicki’s counting out the dollar, some of the change falls to the floor and even goes under the bed.

For some reason, it wasn’t until Vicki lifted the bed that Jamie remembered that Vicki was strong.  She’s a freaking robot, Jamie.  Whatever, we already learned that intelligence is not a genetic trait of the Lawsons.  Anyway, Jamie teaches Vicki how to fight, and he thinks that Vicki can save the neighborhood from the bully.  He takes Vicki outside and pisses off the bully, even saying that Vicki can take him.  When the bully starts laughing, because getting your ass handed to you by a woman is funny, Jamie tells Vicki to do her thing and she lifts him.  Like, what was the point of teaching her to fight if she didn’t murder that guy?

The bully isn’t a complete dumbass and learns to fear Vicki, so he says he’ll do whatever Jamie wants.  Just… what?  Oh, why does this show hate women so much?  Anyway, Jamie demands that the bully give the money back, which he not only does but he throws in some of his own, too.  Honest bully paying interest rates – you just don’t see that anymore.  Well, that was Jamie’s only real demand.  He tells the bully to leave and never come back, but that could have gone without saying – you think that dude is ever going to want to be in the same vicinity as Vicki again?  Before he leaves, though, the bully accuses Vicki of being on steroids, which is fair.  No human little girl could be as strong as Vicki otherwise.

Jamie’s parents find out Jamie’s been fighting, but Jamie was like, “Well, I tried sucking it up like you said, and that didn’t work.”  He tells his parents that the bully was scared off, but never officially says that Vicki was involved, even though I’m sure they figured it out from the rest of the story where Vicki was elected the president of the He-Man Woman-Haters Club, which has decided to make an exception for girls who can punch holes in doors.  Vicki, for absolutely no reason, decides to prove she’s the new Lawson family alpha and punches a hole into the kitchen door.

This one was actually not that bad.  The adorableness at the beginning must have melted my heart.

Firsts: Joan and Vicki adorableness, the bully, Ted gets beat up by a toy, a recurring character recurs, no Harriet

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

Friday, September 6, 2013

Season 1, Episode 6: Lights, Camera, Ego!

Tomorrow, September 7, is the 28th anniversary of the first episode of Small Wonder.  I just kind of wanted to throw it out there.  My love of pop culture and all that.  Well, let's get to this episode, which aired like a month later.

We start off with Ted programming Vicki.  What super important skill is she going to learn that motivates the plot this week?  To catch flies.  I’m starting to think this is an episode that needed time filled.  Jamie comes home soon after Vicki shows off her new skill and shows that he’s the original karate kid and catches a fly himself.  Dang, guys, Jamie isn’t all useless.

Jamie announces that in school they were assigned some social studies project and he and his friend Reggie were going to make a movie about creatures from another planet.  Finally!  Reggie finally is going to show up.  Jamie announces that the aliens are robots and that Vicki could play one, which leads to Joan’s catchphrase, “That’s cute.”  Ted is reluctant to let Vicki participate at first, but he figures since he did build her to be a slave help other humans out, he agrees.

Reggie soon comes over, and is like the third person ever to use the front door.  Isn’t it convenient how people always seem to know which room the Lawsons are in?  Jamie introduces Reggie to his family, still calling Vicki his cousin.  Reggie goes to shake hands with Vicki, but she doesn’t know what she’s doing, and Reggie’s eyes pop out of his head.  I get that Vicki’s strange to outsiders, but that’s no excuse for overacting.

Jamie volunteers Joan to make the costumes for the movie while he and Reggie go up to his room.  Knowing Jamie, they’re going to read comics and not do any work at all.  I’m not saying that Jamie is lazy, but… wait, no, that is exactly what I’m saying.  Jamie is lazy.

Oh, wait!  I’m surprised that they’re actually working on it.  I’m not that surprised that Reggie’s doing the actual work, but Jamie is coming up with ideas and really, that’s about all you can expect from Jamie.  That, and catching flies.  Jamie refuses to let Reggie get a word in edgewise, until he needs to decide how many robots they should have in the movie.  Reggie says there should only be one or else they’ll blow their budget.  Reggie is too smart for this show.  However, Jamie is Jamie and is upset that they can’t have a cast of thousands.  Joan, Reggie, Harriet, and Vicki need to have their own show that’s just them, and Brandon Brindle can visit sometimes.  Seriously.

Vicki comes up with a plate of cookies for the boys, and she throws it on the desk.  She was told to give it to them, and in the first episode she dropped the breakfast in bed because of that command, but, you know, a part of me really hopes that Vicki’s just sick of being the family slave and is acting out, just a bit.  Reggie’s like, “Wow, that’s a little aggressive,” and Jamie plays it off like Vicki clowning around.  Then Vicki gets into the cabinet.

This is the most perfect, “what the shit?” face I have ever seen.  Almost makes up for the overacting when he first met Vicki downstairs.  Jamie says that Vicki’s just practicing being a robot and the cabinet is her rocket ship, and Reggie acts like he buys it, but Reggie totally doesn’t buy it because he has a brain.

Jamie goes back to talking about the movie and everything he’s going to do, but Reggie’s still on the rocket ship the whole time.  Reggie calls him out on it, because Reggie ain’t got time for Jamie’s shit.  Jamie’s like, “You’re in it, shut up, you don’t see Vicki complaining.”  That’s when Reggie puts together that Vicki is a robot, but Jamie’s like, “She’s method acting.”  No, Reggie is a genius and he’s figured it out.  For the rest of the series, I choose to believe he’s humoring the Lawsons and not pointing out that they’re morons.  Reggie even asks what happens if Vicki has to go to the bathroom, and Vicki says she’s not programmed to go to the bathroom, and his reaction is gold.

That’s the face of someone who realizes he’s best friends with a moron and just didn’t know it.  But he plays along and says, “We better make this movie quick!”  Which is a fair reaction – on the off chance Jamie isn’t a dirty liar and Vicki isn’t a robot, holding it in that long could be tragic.

After kicking Vicki out of the room, Jamie keeps going on about his ideas for the movie, and Reggie’s like, “Dude, this is supposed to be our movie.  You’re not even doing any actual writing so shut up and let me have some input!”  Jamie’s like “suck it,” and Reggie’s like “you suck it” and Reggie wants to know what his contribution to the movie is, and Jamie’s like, “You bring the money, dumbass.”  Oh, Jamie.  You’re going to be voted most likely to be murdered by a “loved” one.

Even the work-ophobic Ted is contributing more than Jamie to his own project.  Jamie comes out and Ted asks what Jamie thinks and Jamie’s like, “This is the best you can do?”  Dude, your dad did work for you.  You don’t know what a sacrifice that was for him.  Be grateful.  Of course, this is Jamie, the most spoiled brat on the show, and he starts bossing his dad around more.  Seriously, Ted, you can build an army of passive-aggressive yet obedient children – cut your losses and dump Jamie at some orphanage.  Ted’s like you could help out, and Jamie’s like, “Um, no I can’t, I’m Jamie Lawson, I don’t do shit.”  In all fairness, Ted, he learned that behavior from you.  Maybe you should have been less alpha in the past.

Harriet comes over and wants to know what Jamie’s doing, and Jamie’s so lazy he makes her guess instead of just telling her.  After she figures out they’re making a movie, she asks if she can be in it, and he says no because they’re not making a horror film.  Harriet’s too good for him.  Plus, Jamie, you wanted more than one robot, and here you could have had two.  You really are just useless.  Harriet’s a good sport, though, because she’s absolutely perfect compared to Jamie, and asks if she can at least watch, and Jamie still blows her off.  Ted, who maybe feels bad about that whole door slamming incident a few episodes ago, tells Harriet that she can watch, but she has to be quiet.  Harriet admits that’s probably not possible and happily skips off.  Harriet’s really under-utilized these past few episodes, but then again, this show hates women so I’m not that surprised.

Look how darling Vicki is!  Ted calls her a perfect robot, and Vicki repeats it like she’s happy that someone in the family is finally saying something nice about her.  Sorry, Vix, he meant a perfect robot for the movie, but no, you know, you deserve this moment.  Of course Jamie complains about the costume.  It’s Jamie.  Don’t expect him to do anything right ever.  I’m still surprised he caught that fly.

Reggie comes over, and Jamie feels that he can boss people around more properly now and starts yelling at everyone to do stuff.  Reggie finally speaks up about how unfair Jamie is being, and his parents and Vicki agree.  It’s like a mini-intervention for Jamie’s ego.  Of course, Jamie’s ego is too big for him to hear it, and he quits.  Choosing to not enable his brattiness a moment longer, they let him.  They’re not going to enable you anymore, Jamie.  At least, not for the rest of this episode.

The family finds Jamie up in his room and tell him he’s been really unfair to his best friend.  It’s really funny that Reggie’s his best friend but this is the first time the family’s met him.  Not that it matters, Jamie’s like, “I’m over Reggie.”  They try to explain to Jamie why his ego makes him Stalin-esque, but he’s still not in a place where he can hear it.  They offer Jamie one more chance to rejoin the movie, and he’s like, “No way, movie’s off.”  And Ted’s like, “No, it’s not.”  Jamie’s like, “But I quit!”  And Ted’s like, “Good luck with that, the rest of us are going to have fun now,  ‘k bye.”

True to their word, Jamie finds Reggie and the Lawsons in the backyard filming the movie without him.  Jamie caves and wants to be part of the movie again, so out of love, they tell him he can be part of it, but he has to be the gofer.  That’s hilarious.  That’s exactly the slap in the ego Jamie needs.  Of course, Jamie’s like, “But I was a director this morning, I can’t be a gofer!”  Oh, I’m starting to wonder if he is going to learn his lesson in just 22 minutes.  Jamie’s ego might be a problem he’s going to have to work hard to overcome for years.

Jamie begs for a part in the movie, so they put his foot and his hand in the movie.  I have to give it to the Lawsons, they are not enabling Jamie.  Jamie wants an important part, so Ted makes him bend over and slaps a “The End” sign on his ass.  You gotta love tough love.  It’s what finally leads Jamie to his breakthrough in realizing he was an ass and he treated everyone like dirt, so he apologizes for his shameful behavior.  I would love to say that this is the first step in improving Jamie’s character, but it’s really not.  He’ll go back to being self-absorbed soon enough.

Firsts: Reggie, Jamie accepting that his ego is a problem