July 5, 2014

Party of Five 4.24, Fools Rush Out: Make It Work

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , at 2:40 pm by Jenn

There's a lot of smiling in this episode. It's so unnatural

There’s a lot of smiling in this episode. It’s so unnatural

Summary: We pick up where the last episode left off, with Charlie learning that Daphne’s pregnant. He wants to talk about it right there, but she’s still working at a child’s birthday party. At Annie’s apartment, Bailey asks her if she wants to be married to Jay or to him. This is his way of proposing. Annie’s confused, since five minutes ago, he wasn’t sure about them living together. This “crisis” has made him realize that he doesn’t want to lose her.

Julia talks to Claudia from L.A. and learns that she got in…somewhere. Both of them are excited. Julia tells Griffin that she was accepted at Stanford. Unlike before, he’s supportive and tells her she has to go back to school. Claudia freaks out about Jamie’s prom, telling Charlie she doesn’t want to have to deal with any surprises. Charlie agrees and tries to talk to her about sex. Claudia promises that nothing’s going to happen tonight.

At the airport, Griffin and Julia notice a vending machine that sells wedding rings. He figures it must be for couples who can’t stand to leave each other. While he’s distracted by chips, Julia buys one. Charlie tells Kirsten about Daphne’s pregnancy, trying to figure out what he wants. Kirsten’s upset since she can’t have children, and Charlie’s managed to casually impregnate a woman he barely knows. “You really need to find someone else to lean on,” she says. FINALLY!

Jay tracks down Bailey to yell at him for proposing to Annie, since that just makes the whole situation more difficult. He thinks it’s suspicious that Bailey chose now to decide he wants to be with Annie. He himself has recently realized how badly he wants her back, and he doesn’t think Bailey loves Annie as much as he does. If he doesn’t, he’ll be taking Jay’s wife and daughter away from him.

While Julia and Griffin fly home, Charlie looks through Owen’s baby things with a smile. Bailey goes to see Annie and discovers that she and Natalie are packing up their apartment. Annie’s chosen Jay. Bailey realizes that she was never going to accept his proposal. Annie tells him she’s been considering her options nonstop for days, so she didn’t make the decision lightly.

In the same vein, Daphne has been thinking about her situation, and she tells Charlie she can’t figure out how to make having a baby work. Charlie’s willing to work with her, but Daphne knows their futures are both uncertain, so they can’t make that kind of commitment. “This is not a picture of a good mom,” she says tearfully. She thinks she’ll be okay with having an abortion, and she needs Charlie to help her pay for it.

Julia goes over her course options for the fall, trying to work them around Griffin’s schedule so they’ll be able to spend time together. Griffin doesn’t want her to have to compromise anymore. He thinks they should separate. Julia insists that they can make their marriage work; after all, they were happy on vacation.

Griffin reminds her that they were pretending to be people they’re not. Now they’re back to reality, which means trying too hard not to hurt each other. That’s not what marriage should be about. Griffin spent the time in L.A. wondering what he could do to make Julia stay happy. All he can think of is letting her go. They spend one last night together, not wanting to let go.

Charlie tells Bailey about the baby as Claudia gets ready for Jamie’s prom. Bailey demands back all the hours Charlie lectured him about condoms. (Ha!) Charlie says that Daphne’s going to have an abortion, and then they’ll move on like nothing happened. Bailey can tell that that’s not what he really wants. Charlie admits that after his year fighting cancer, he wonders if a baby is his new beginning.

Griffin drives Julia to a meeting at Stanford, where she pretends that her year off after high school was super-duper awesome. Also pretending things are awesome: Bailey, who says goodbye to Annie and Natalie. He finally complains that Annie never gave him a chance – not a chance to be with her, but a chance to get used to not being with her. She made her decision quickly, and now he’s being thrown into a new life.

Claudia and Jamie head to prom, but the school is locked up. They have the wrong date. Womp womp! Julia and Griffin agree to stay in touch, because that worked out so well for Charlie and Kirsten. Claudia and Jamie have a fight through their limo driver, who finally tells them to just dance on the baseball field. Well, at least someone in this family is happy!

Sarah finds Bailey at the restaurant, where he’s trying to avoid going home since Annie won’t be there. He laments that he’s back where he was a year ago. Sarah disagrees: A year ago, he was on probation and had no job. Now he has the restaurant, where he gets to take care of people like he’s always wanted.

Charlie has told Daphne he wants to keep the baby, even though she’s ready to go through with the abortion. He tells her that it’s not about who she is right now, it’s about the person she’s willing to become. If they can commit to having the baby, they’ll make it work together. Daphne’s afraid of taking on more than she can handle. Charlie suggests that she wait until the baby’s born to decide what she wants. Either they’ll raise the baby together or Charlie will be a single parent. They don’t have to know right now how everything will work out.

As Bailey and Sarah repaint Annie’s apartment for the next tenants, he talks about how ready he was to fight to try to keep Annie. He doesn’t know why Sarah’s willing to stick by him after everything they’ve been through. She tells him nothing’s changed – she’s always loved him. Bailey seems to finally be starting to understand what she means by that.

Charlie tells Kirsten that Daphne’s agreed to have the baby, because that’s totally what she wants to hear. She promises she’s trying to be happy for him. He wants his best friend around while he goes through parenthood, and he wants Kirsten to love the baby. Kirsten apparently wants that, too. Julia discovers that Claudia applied to the boarding school Andover, and has now been accepted. Claudia forgot she’d applied, but now she’s thinking of going. Julia warns that being away from Jamie might make them realize they want different things.

Daphne comes over so she and Charlie can tell Julia and Claudia about the baby. She’s sick, so the girls quickly figure out what’s going on. Daphne assures them that even though the baby wasn’t planned, Charlie wants to be a father. They’re happy for him. Now that Bailey gets how Sarah feels about him, there’s all sorts of sexual tension in their apartment. After a minute of looking at each other longingly, they kiss.

Julia helps Griffin move out, wondering what they’ll tell people about their relationship. She gives him the ring she bought as an indication that someday they might work things out. Meanwhile…well, let’s just say Sarah’s no longer a virgin. She jokes that she’s underwhelmed by the experience she spent years waiting for. He’s impressed that she didn’t come across as inexperienced as she is. Charlie and Daphne have an ultrasound and get the first glimpse of their baby. In a rare moment for Charlie, he’s incredibly happy.

Thoughts: Four seasons down, two to go!

I love how everyone in the family experiences life-changing events at the same time.

I can’t believe two people want Annie. She’s so annoying! But whatever, she’s gone and I never have to think about her again.

Someone needs to tell Julia that she doesn’t always have to stay friends with her exes. Actually, someone should tell Charlie that, too.

’90s music alert: the Cranberries’ “Dreaming My Dreams.”

June 28, 2014

Party of Five 4.23, Fools Rush In: The In-Betweeners

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , , at 1:14 pm by Jenn

This is Natalie's father. I KNOW!

This is Natalie’s father. I KNOW!

Summary: Bailey’s moving forward with his plan to move in with Annie, while Sarah tries to find another roommate for the house she’s spending the summer in with her friends. A waiter at the Salingers’ restaurant does something nice for her, and Sarah asks Bailey for more information about him. She thinks he might like to stay at the beach house. Bailey’s like, “His name is Eric. He’s probably a jerk.” (No, seriously, this is his response.)

Daphne tries out a tear-away valet outfit on Charlie, who’s disappointed that she didn’t actually get a job as a valet. As Barney Stinson learned, it’s tough dating a stripper. Griffin’s stuck at the guest cottage, with his bum leg, and Julia’s tired of babysitting him but still feels obligated. Charlie and Daphne have dinner with Paul and Kirsten, because that’s not an awkward setup at all. Paul and Kirsten are a little intrigued, but Charlie’s embarrassed.

Claudia and Jamie study together, and he uses 200 words to try to ask her to prom. She thinks he’s asking her to have sex, which she’s definitely not ready for yet – she doesn’t even have her learner’s permit yet. When she realizes what he really wants, she accepts. Annie clears out some closet space for Bailey, though now he’s a little less excited about how many things are changing. To try to make himself more confident, he answers the phone “Annie and Bailey’s residence,” but the caller hangs up.

Griffin races an old woman to the cashier at a grocery store, but loses. He’s rewarded, though, when he’s revealed to be the thousandth customer of the month and gets a trip to L.A. After dinner, Daphne tells Charlie she’s upset that Kirsten and Paul were so fascinated with her life. Charlie points out that if she’s not okay with her job, she can quit. She shoots back that he’s the one who’s ashamed to be dating a stripper. She wishes he’d defended her.

Bailey learns from Eric that Sarah invited him to be her new roommate. Bailey tries to scare him into backing out by telling him that Sarah’s tough to live with. Charlie and Paul go play racquetball together, and seriously, they spend too much time together for people who have been with the same woman. Paul talks about his bachelor party, which featured a stripper; Charlie’s never been to one. Paul assures him that most are tamer than he thinks, and the guys leave the stripper alone.

Bailey picks up Natalie from school, making sure that she’s okay with him moving in. She just wants to make sure he’ll always kiss her good night even though he’ll be staying in the apartment. Nearby, a man watches them from his car. That’s not creepy at all! Griffin tells Julia about his L.A. trip, which will have to take place this weekend if he doesn’t want to have to wait another three months. He’s excited that something good is finally happening. Julia can’t go, though, and doesn’t think Griffin should travel with his injured leg. He’s mad, so she says she’ll try to change her schedule.

Charlie tracks Daphne down at a bachelor party in a bar, where she’s trying to keep a guy’s hands off her. Things get tense, and Charlie steps in to be Daphne’s white knight. The guy’s a jerk and Charlie ends up hitting him, then rushing Daphne out. As Bailey, Annie, and Natalie are being domestic, they get a surprise visit from the man at Natalie’s school. He’s Natalie’s father, Jay.

Daphne blasts Charlie for ruining the bachelor party, which might get her fired. He can’t believe she’s not grateful to him for saving her. He basically orders her to quit stripping. Bailey listens uncomfortably as Sarah gives Eric a tour of their apartment, so apparently Bailey didn’t scare him off. Sarah’s more interested in Jay’s sudden arrival anyway. Griffin and Julia head to L.A., trying to ignore the amorous couple behind them on the plane and the loving gay couple seated next to them.

Claudia’s currently the only happy Salinger, as she looks at prom dresses. Charlie warns her not to let her expectations get too high. At his first prom, his date had an allergic reaction to her corsage and wound up at the hospital. Then he was vomited on and had to pay for his rented tux. Now Claudia isn’t so happy anymore. In L.A., a guy tries to flirt with Julia, but Griffin scares him off. However, the guy’s cheesy lines inspire Julia and Griffin to have some fun mocking him.

Daphne storms into the Salingers’ house to tell Charlie that she’s still mad about him crashing the party, but she’s a little grateful for the way he tried to protect her. However, he needs to back off and let her live in the moment like she always does. Julia and Griffin keep goofing off, pretending to be foreigners who have just met. They even end up kissing.

Bailey sits around all day waiting for Annie to come back from spending time with Jay and Natalie. He can’t believe that she wants to hang out with Jay after she tried so hard to keep him away from their daughter. Annie, however, thinks that since Jay has moved to be closer, has gotten a job, and has been in AA for eight months, he’s a new person.

Bailey thinks Annie will eventually get back together with Jay. He also thinks Jay is just putting on appearances, and reminds Annie of the bad things he’s done in the past. He’s worried that he’ll lose Annie and Natalie. Annie promises that Natalie will stay in Bailey’s life, but she needs to make sure her daughter has what she wants.

Sarah tries to comfort Bailey, but she also needs to know when he’s moving out so Eric can move in. Bailey admits that he’s dealing with things he’s never had to deal with before – divorced exes with custody and child support issues. All he wanted was to move in with Annie, but now he’s on the outside. He’s decided to stay put for now until the Motts sort out their issues.

Kirsten tries to gauge the seriousness of Charlie and Daphne’s relationship, promising that she’s not going to express her opinion about them being together. Charlie tells her that he knows it’s weird, but it works for them. They’re both in between things right now, but they’re both okay with it. In L.A., Julia and Griffin are the closest they’ve been in months to the way their relationship was when they first got married. They don’t want to go home the next day.

Jay shows up at the restaurant to thank Bailey for everything he’s done for Annie and Natalie. But now he wants his family back, so he’d like it if Bailey would go away. He reveals that he never signed the divorce papers. He’s going to ask Annie to take him back. Charlie tracks Daphne down at another party, though this one is a kid’s birthday party, and this time Charlie just wants to know why she hasn’t been in touch. He’s confused as to why she wants space. He bugs her until she reveals that she’s pregnant. Kirsten is going to be so ticked.

Thoughts: As you can see from the picture, Jay is played by John Slattery from Mad Men. That’s right, Roger Sterling was on Party of Five.

Daphne can unsnap her bra with her teeth? I’m pretty sure that’s physically impossible.

Sarah, you don’t want to live with Eric. He has no personality.

’90s music alert: Fastball’s “The Way.”

June 21, 2014

Party of Five 4.22, Opposites Distract: We Belong Together (But You Don’t)

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , at 1:26 pm by Jenn

Why are they still sharing a bed if they hate each other?

Why are they still sharing a bed if they hate each other?

Summary: Claudia and Jamie are officially dating, and Charlie thinks it’s cute. Claudia’s less enthusiastic since Jamie’s already at the “I love you” stage. Daphne arrives to tells Claudia that she’s directing and starring in a charity production of the musical version of Pygmalion (which is not, as Claudia thinks, My Fair Lady, since they couldn’t afford the rights). Daphne and a friend wrote all the songs, and the proceeds go to strippers who need health insurance. (Kids, this is what we did in the ’90s, before Kickstarter.)

Bailey takes Natalie with him to get Annie from rehab. Things are immediately awkward for the sort-of-still-together couple. Julia meets up with Justin and fills him in on everything that’s happened in her life while he was at school. Justin wonders why she’s bothering to give Griffin a second chance. He suggests that he and Julia have sex to even the score. She thinks he’s joking, but he’s probably partly serious.

There’s more awkwardness for Bailey and Annie. This is fun TV. She says she wants to take things slowly, but once they start making out, that seems to be out the window. Daphne’s lead drops out to play Papa Smurf in Smurfs on Ice (awesome), so she begs Charlie to take his place. He tells her he’s too busy trying to find a job. Daphne guilts him by reminding him that it’s for charity.

Sarah starts to make plans for the summer, which would take her away from Bailey for months. She notes that he probably won’t even notice, since he’s so busy with Annie, but he admits that he’s not sure where things stand between them. She’d rather have sex than talk. That’s not really what Sarah wants to hear.

Over at the guest cottage, Griffin tells Julia he’s going to a friend’s cabin for a few days so he can avoid her family for a little while. She suggests that they go away together, but he wants time apart. Claudia and Jamie help Charlie with his lines while he gets ready for a job interview. Claudia can’t believe he’s doing a musical with a “lunatic.” (You watch your mouth, Claudia!) Jamie says that sometimes you meet someone who changes your life.

Justin suggests a weekend full of activities for him and Julia, such as kidnapping squirrels and training them to be pets. Griffin shows up and is angry that Julia didn’t tell him Justin was back. Oh, yeah? Because you didn’t tell Julia that you slept with Rosalie. Shut up, Griffin. He decides to stay in town. Bailey and Annie: still awkward. She admits to Sarah that they’re both afraid of doing or saying the wrong thing. Then she starts talking about sex with Bailey. Poor Sarah.

Julia asks Justin not to talk badly about Griffin since she’s trying to fix things with him. She doesn’t like the idea of being divorced at 19. Justin notes that that’s just like her: She never wanted to fail anything in school either. He assures her that no one will love her less if she admits she made a mistake. (And by “no one,” I’m pretty sure he means himself.) If they’re going to stay together, Justin wants it to be for a good reason, not because leaving would look bad.

Julia’s clearly still adjusting to Daphne’s personality, and could be a little nicer. After Daphne leaves, Charlie asks Julia to be honest about what she thinks. Julia thinks Daphne isn’t being realistic about what Charlie needs (namely, a job). Bailey sides with Charlie, noting that sometimes people who don’t seem like they fit together actually do. He does agree that Daphne’s wacky, though. Julia obviously has issues with people judging other people’s relationships when they’re trying to make them work.

Bailey and Annie are awkward some more after sex, though he’s just happy they’re talking to each other. They’re trying to be honest with each other, even if that means they criticize. Annie confesses that she wasn’t sure Bailey would be there for her after rehab; after all, he ditched her before. He reminds her that he only left because she wouldn’t get help before. Annie thinks he wanted to rescue her.

Griffin tells Julia he’s skipping their next counseling session, so she finally asks him if he really wants to fix their marriage. He makes snarky comments about Justin and how Julia’s confiding in him. She asks him why all their conversations lead to fights. “Why don’t you go ask Justin?” Griffin asks. Shut up, cheater.

At a rehearsal, Charlie questions a song where Henry Higgins can hear Eliza but not vice versa. Daphne thinks he’s just nervous. She explains that he’s singing about a man who’s such a jerk that when he’s with the woman he loves, he thinks she hates her. Charlie snarks that they’ll never end up together. Annie asks Sarah if Bailey said anything about their relationship after he left her place the night before. This leads to more sex talk and more discomfort on Sarah’s part.

Griffin finds Justin at the coffeehouse and orders him to stay out of his and Julia’s lives. He doesn’t have a vote on what happens. Griffin thinks Justin loves that they’re having problems, but Justin points out that those problems are Griffin’s fault. He wonders whether Julia has any reason to stay in the marriage. He encourages Griffin to go on his trip and stay gone.

Claudia visits Daphne backstage on opening night of the musical, saying that Daphne and Charlie don’t seem like a good match, but Claudia likes them together. Daphne doesn’t really appreciate being called “not exactly the girl next door.” The show goes well, though Daphne won’t talk to Charlie backstage, Jamie keeps trying to kiss Claudia in the audience, and Bailey thinks the story is sad.

As soon as the show is over, Daphne picks a fight with Charlie over him not thinking Henry and Eliza should be together. She knows he’s really talking about the two of them. They bicker in between curtain calls until she storms off. Bailey asks Sarah if Eliza reminds her of Annie, but Sarah’s finally done letting them talk to her about each other. She drags Bailey to Annie’s apartment and tells them to talk to each other. “If that doesn’t work, try again. If that doesn’t work, get over it,” she huffs.

When Julia gets home after the musical, she sees that Griffin has moved out. “I have to leave him, don’t I?” she asks Justin. Justin’s like, “That’s only what I’ve been saying for the last 40 minutes.” Julia can’t believe that they’re just six months beyond their vow renewal. She’s not sure how to just stop being married. Justin promises to help her through it and not think badly of her for not keeping her marriage together.

Griffin gets drunk at an airport bar while waiting for his delayed flight. He’s joined by a couple who just returned from their honeymoon. Griffin talks badly about marriage, provoking a fight with the groom. He ends up with an injured leg and has to call Julia to get him from the police station. Sarah sees Bailey’s empty bed at the apartment, which means he spent the night at Annie’s place.

Claudia tries to hide the newspaper from Charlie so he can’t see the review of the musical. Daphne gets good feedback, but the reviewer doesn’t get what her Eliza would see in Charlie’s Henry. He begs Charlie to cling to his day job. Jamie comes over, and Claudia finally tells him that he needs to slow things down a little. They’ve only been together two weeks, and they’ve seen each other every day. Their relationship would be more fun if they were able to miss each other sometimes. “Go away so I can miss you,” she begs.

The actors gather before another performance, and Charlie says that he hopes people who read the review don’t talk themselves out of coming to the show. When people sway your opinion, you miss out on things that could make you happy. Daphne’s very touched to know how much he likes her. Stuck at the guest cottage again, Griffin tells Julia he’ll ask his father if he can move in while he recovers from his injury. Julia notes that that must mean she’s the last person he wants to live with.

Charlie tells Julia that the job he interviewed for wanted a two-year commitment, which he wasn’t ready to give. He knows he got a second chance after his cancer, so he wants to see what else – and who else – is out there. Julia gets that he means Daphne. Charlie asks Julia to give her a chance, or at least keep her opinion to herself if it’s negative.

Bailey and Annie are doing a lot better, which means now, instead of listening to them complain, Sarah has to watch them be happy together. She announces that she’s going away with friends for the summer. Bailey reveals that he may move in with Annie and Natalie, so he and Sarah should ditch their apartment and Sarah can find another place to live in the fall. Oh, yay, just what she wanted!

Thoughts: A charity musical for health insurance for strippers. How can you not like Daphne?

Sarah takes care of Natalie for a month. Annie gives her a mug and talks about sex with Sarah’s ex. That’s totally a fair trade.

The musical scenes make me wish Matthew Fox got to do more comedy. Not more singing, though. Please, no more singing.

’90s music alert: Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel,” because ’90s TV shows were unaware that she had any other songs.

May 17, 2014

Party of Five 4.19, Go Away: “Once That First Bad Thing Happens”

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , at 3:18 pm by Jenn

This puppy is very happy for Charlie

This puppy is very happy for Charlie

Summary: It’s time for another episode of Griffin and Julia Are Awkward Around Each Other and Should Just Break Up Now. She presents him with Rosalie’s “something’s happening” note***, and he pretends he doesn’t know anything about it. Since he told her he was at the movies, Julia asks what movie he saw. Griffin doesn’t reply. She tells him that the next time he uses a friend as an alibi, he should inform that friend. Griffin admits that he was with Rosalie, but says they’re just friends. Julia notes that he wouldn’t lie about his whereabouts or stay out until 2 a.m. if they were just friends.

The next day, Charlie undergoes tests that will tell him whether or not he’s in remission. It’ll take a couple days for the results to come back, and his doctor tells Bailey and Julia to find a way to get him to relax and distract himself while he waits. While Julia gives Griffin the silent treatment, Sarah tries to convince Bailey that Charlie’s results will be good. Annie visits, on edge because she’s trying not to drink, and Bailey snaps that she can’t rely on him the way she is.

Charlie’s doctor calls to tell him there was an irregularity in his CAT scan, so he’ll mean more tests. He worries that it means he’s not in remission. His doctor says it’s possible but unlikely. Charlie points out that getting cancer at the age of 28 was also unlikely. (Which…no, but okay, Charlie.) Julia hangs out in the house while Griffin hangs out in the “guest cottage”; when he comes inside, she suggests that he move out. FINALLY.

Charlie’s anxious about his test results, so Bailey advises him to get out of the house for a while. Charlie wants more than that. Julia remembers family trips to a cabin in Tahoe, and she, Bailey, and Charlie decide to spend some time there. Claudia declines their invitation, wanting some alone time. She says she’ll ask Kirsten to come stay with her and Owen. Because Kirsten doesn’t have a life or a husband or anything that doesn’t involve the Salingers.

The older Salingers head to the cabin and immediately get into a routine, reminiscing about the time they spent there as kids. Back at the house, Claudia gets an application from a boarding school in Massachusetts and tells Kirsten that she sent for it. At the cabin, Julia and Charlie start a snowball fight with an unsuspecting Bailey. Sarah visits Annie to see how she’s doing with Bailey out of town. She knows what Annie’s going through since she went through it with Bailey. Annie tells Sarah to find someone else to help.

Griffin goes to see Rosalie, reporting that Julia kicked him out. He complains that Julia has misinterpreted what’s going on (she hasn’t) and that she’s done some equally bad things (she hasn’t). “Nothing’s entirely the other person’s fault,” he says, delusional. Rosalie tells him she wants him. The older Salingers read horrible books and decide not to call home to check on their other siblings. Those other siblings are currently playing hide and seek with Kirsten, who wants to know why Claudia’s running away before she knows Charlie’s condition for sure.

Natalie goes to Sarah to report that Annie fell asleep on the floor and can’t be woken up. At the cabin, Bailey and Julia remember the first time Charlie babysat them at the cabin. They had an “indoor laser-beam snowball war.” Charlie doesn’t think that’ll distract him this time around. He confesses that he had to have additional tests done because something was found on his CAT scan. He wishes his life were still simple enough that he could just be afraid of the dark.

Sarah has Natalie make coffee while she soaks Annie in the bathtub to revive her. Kirsten tells Claudia that she needs to talk to a new therapist so she can discuss her fears. Claudia admits that she’s scared about Charlie dying, and she doesn’t want to be okay with it. After her parents died, she tried to get back to her normal life, but she’s not going to pretend she’s okay with losing someone else.

Julia and Bailey are upset that Charlie walked away from his life to come to the cabin and pretend he’s okay. Because neither of them is doing the same thing, of course. Bailey confides that Annie’s drinking again and he feels bad for leaving her while things are so bad. He knows self-preservation is good, but he feels guilty. Before their parents died, Bailey was rebellious; afterward, he turned into an adult overnight. He wishes he could have been someone else so he didn’t feel bad about taking care of himself instead of Annie.

Julia wonders if she would be different, too, if their parents had lived. She feels like she’s in a rush to do everything. Before, she was always looking to the future. Now, she wants everything right away because she doesn’t know what tomorrow will bring. Julia feels like she’s stopped thinking things through. Bailey’s surprised to hear that she regrets getting married so quickly, because Bailey hasn’t been paying attention. She didn’t think what getting married actually meant; she just loved Griffin and accepted his proposal.

Sarah tries to get Annie to promise that she won’t try to drive Natalie anywhere, or try to cook something. Annie says she hates herself for acting this way in front of her daughter, but that just makes her want to drink. She’s not even in good enough shape to get herself to a meeting. Sarah suggests that she try rehab. That would require finding someone to look after Natalie, whose father isn’t in any better shape. Annie blasts Sarah for thinking that everyone can afford the kind of help she needs.

Rosalie invites Griffin to stay with her, but he’s afraid of what could happen. Then he talks himself into accepting since Julia had to have known where he would end up when she kicked him out. (I think she expects you to end up in divorce court, Griffin, so do whatever you want. Also, shut up. I’m sick of hearing from you.)

The phone rings at the cabin in the middle of the night, making the Salingers worry that something happened back home. Fortunately, it’s a wrong number. Charlie remembers that the phone always used to ring late at night because their parents always needed to get in touch with each other. After they died, middle-of-the-night phone calls became emergencies. For 24 years, Charlie thought things would always turn out well, but he doesn’t think that way anymore.

The next day, Kirsten tells Claudia that despite her years of graduate work in child psychology, she doesn’t know how to help. She sometimes tries to figure out how she would feel if she had to go through her day knowing Charlie was dead. It’s a way of preparing herself in case it actually happens. But she knows that they won’t really be able to live with that reality unless it happens, so they need to tell themselves he’ll be okay. Claudia doesn’t like dealing in hypotheticals.

As the older Salingers prepare to leave the cabin, Julia tells Bailey that she used to think about how, when she turned 30, she would have lived longer without her parents than with them. After that, anything that happened would be up to her. But why is she waiting until then? Bailey regrets bringing Charlie to the cabin, but he was glad to relive some happy times (though he doesn’t want to return). It was strange to revisit a place they used to enjoy before their lives fell apart. “Once that first bad thing happens,” everything is different.

As soon as he gets home, Bailey goes to Annie’s apartment, promising that he’ll be around from now on. But her apartment’s empty – she went to rehab. Sarah has another surprise for Bailey: They’ll be taking care of Natalie while Annie’s gone. Julia goes to the garage to tell Griffin that she’s not sure what she wants to have happen, but his affair was probably partly her fault. (Um, I’m sorry?) She believes him if he promises he didn’t sleep with Rosalie. She’d like him to come back home.

Charlie meets up with Claudia, Owen, and Kirsten at the house, so they’re all there when they get a message from his doctor. She asks Charlie to call, giving her home phone number. He goes up to his room to be alone when he calls. When his doctor gives him his test results, he starts crying…but out of happiness. He’s in remission.

Thoughts: Doesn’t Annie have a sponsor who can help her?

“Why are you doing this?” Because you cheated, you jerk.

Charlie and Julia throwing snowballs at bailey is the cutest thing I’ve seen on this show in a long time.

“Stop trying to help me! I don’t have the money to be helped!” Shut up, Annie. Sarah’s a saint to put up with you. She doesn’t even like you! Also, now you can never be mean to her again, since she’s taking care of Natalie.

’90s music alert: Sarah McLachlan’s “Building a Mystery.”

Test to see if someone has a soul: Play the last scene of this episode. If the person isn’t moved, yell, “What’s wrong with you?” and splash him/or with holy water.

May 10, 2014

Party of Five 4.18, True or False: “Something Is Happening”

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 1:10 pm by Jenn

Looking good, Griffin

Looking good, Griffin

Summary: Claudia’s actually doing schoolwork when Charlie approaches her to talk about the problems she’s been having. He made her an appointment with a psychologist. He wants to be clear that even though things are okay now, they might not always be. Bailey tracks down Annie after a brief, unplanned separation, and she tells him she’s been sick. However, her phone has also been disconnected. He gives her a present for her second anniversary of being sober.

The next day, Julia again brings up going to Bailey’s classes for him. After all, Bailey is a unisex name, so as long as the professor doesn’t know what he looks like, she’s safe. Griffin doesn’t like the idea of her going to school instead of working, especially since she’ll be taking a night class and they’ll have to spend even more time apart. But he can see how excited she is, so he tells her to do it. Plus, he has an excuse to work late and make overtime (and, of course, hang out with Rosalie).

Claudia and Charlie have their first appointment with the psychologist, who encourages Claudia to tell people when she needs help with the sentence starter “I need you right now because…” Claudia tells Charlie that she needs him to take her out driving, since she’s in driver’s ed. In Bailey’s lit class, Julia feeds answers to another student, then starts giving them herself. They’re reading Madame Bovary, and the professor asks if they’re supposed to condone the title character’s infidelity.

This segues nicely into Griffin and Rosalie at the garage, where he tries very hard to keep things platonic and not send any messages he doesn’t want to send. But Rosalie calls him on asking her a lot of questions anyway. Charlie takes Claudia driving and tries to talk to her about recent family happenings, but she’s not very good at multitasking. He’s carsick anyway, and I don’t think it has anything to do with his cancer.

Sarah asks after Annie’s health after Bailey says she’s sick; he questions whether something else is going on with his girlfriend. Sarah mentions that she gave Annie an extension on her rent last week, but she’s been taking Natalie to school in a cab. Julia comes home late, having gone out with some classmates, and is really excited about getting to talk to people about literature again. She admits that she wishes she’d gone to college. Griffin’s bitter because that means they wouldn’t have gotten married.

Annie comes to Bailey’s apartment in the middle of the night, having locked herself out of her place, supposedly while taking out the trash. She doesn’t want him to come back to her apartment with her. Later, Bailey finds empty bottles in the trash. Charlie asks Claudia about driving again, but she tells him she’s going to go with Sarah. Bailey and Sarah agree that Annie’s probably not sick, but instead is drinking again. She encourages him to talk to her about it, for Natalie’s sake. He’s worried about making a false accusation, but Sarah’s sure they’re right.

Griffin works late, then accepts an invitation to dinner from Rosalie. Meanwhile, Julia sits in on another lecture about Madame Bovary and infidelity. She thinks the seeds of Madame Bovary and Rodolphe’s affair are planted earlier in the story than everyone believes – from the way they interact, “it’s just really clear something’s going to happen.” At a diner, Rosalie assures Griffin that having a burger together doesn’t mean anything’s happening. Then she writes on her placement, “Something is happening.” After a pause, he kisses her.

Bailey questions Claudia’s driving lesson with Sarah, but Claudia tells him no one else is well enough or has enough time to take her out. She hasn’t actually asked Sarah yet, by the way. Annie shows up and Claudia asks for driving help, but there’s no way Bailey’s going to let Claudia get in a car with someone who’s probably drinking. After Claudia leaves, Bailey calls Annie on her strange behavior. She takes offense, but he just wants her to be honest so he can help her. She storms out.

At her next appointment, Claudia struggles to talk to her psychologist about what she would confide in Charlie about in the past. She admits that he used to make her feel better. The psychologist guesses that Claudia doesn’t talk to him much anymore because she doesn’t want to bother him with her problems. She points out that he’s still the same person. He might miss Claudia talking to him as much as she does.

Julia reads Madame Bovary at home, then starts to tell Griffin how she feels about the book. She used to hate Emma for having an affair, but she thinks Flaubert is too hard on her. Griffin’s more concerned by the consequences Emma faces for being unfaithful. Claudia asks Charlie to take her driving, and he happily accepts. Julia’s professor is impressed with her paper on Madame Bovary, but is confused because Bailey did so poorly in the class before now. She admits that she’s not Bailey.

Griffin and Rosalie make out in a storeroom at work. Go away, both of you. She invites him to her place, but he’s still thinking about Madame Bovary. He hesitates to take the next step in an affair, but can’t resist. Claudia and Charlie go driving, then go to a restaurant afterward. He suggests getting her a car once she gets her license. Claudia gets teary, worrying that he won’t be around as she gets older.

At an AA meeting, Annie’s supposed to get a cake to celebrate her two-year anniversary, but she’s not there. Bailey goes to see her afterward, and this time she doesn’t hide that she’s drinking. (Fortunately, Natalie’s not there.) Annie says this is the first drink she’s had, but Bailey doesn’t believe her. She tells him that she can’t face going the rest of her life without drinking, since nothing will get better. She offers him a drink, but he easily refuses.

Claudia tells her psychologist about the time she spent with Charlie, and how he made her feel better. “That’s what you wanted me to say, right?” she asks. Julia’s professor tells her she can’t keep coming to class since she’s not enrolled at the school, but he’d like to hire her as a research assistant while he works on a book. As his assistant, she’s allowed to sit in on his class. Julia’s ecstatic.

At the house, Claudia tells Charlie that her psychologist thinks she needs more things to do, besides just spending time with Charlie. They won’t be able to go driving much anymore. Julia tells Griffin about her new job, and he’s all, “So I’ll have to find something to do during all those hours you’re gone? Oh, no, whatever shall I do?” She borrows his jacket and heads to the library.

Annie goes to the restaurant to apologize to Bailey, wanting to make sure he isn’t going to leave her. She blames her relapse on the fact that he hasn’t been around much recently, because of family issues. She had to find a way to cope. Bailey’s like, “Well, that’s not healthy.” Annie yells at him for talking her into dating when she knew it wasn’t a good idea. He also got her to quit her job and convinced her to tell Natalie about their relationship. So how can he not be the center of her life now? Bailey assures her that they’re not breaking up.

At the library, Julia finds Rosalie’s “something is happening” note in Griffin’s pocket. Meanwhile, Griffin goes to Rosalie’s place to complete his transformation into cheating husband.

Thoughts: ’90s music alert: “Sunny Came Home” by Shawn Colvin.

I just saw Ever Carradine in an episode of Supernatural, soI kept expecting Rosalie’s eyes to turn black. It didn’t help that Julia describes Emma “vomiting up black putrescence”…like a demon being exorcised!

Bailey gives Annie a gold star necklace because he thinks she deserves a gold star. Okay, that’s really sweet. Misguided, but sweet.

Yay, Charlie’s not a jerk in this episode!

Bailey, GET OUT OF THAT RELATIONSHIP before she drags you down with her.

April 26, 2014

Party of Five 4.16, I Give Up: No More Pretending

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 2:51 pm by Jenn

Nope, sorry, I don't buy it

Nope, sorry, I don’t buy it

Summary: Kirsten’s at the Salingers’ house to get snorkeling equipment before she goes on vacation. Charlie ribs her for taking his stuff while he’s sick, because Charlie’s kind of a jerk now. Claudia gets him to sign something for school; he doesn’t look at it, but Kirsten does, seeing that Claudia got an F on something. Charlie tells her not to do it again.

Bailey’s in class, struggling to answer a professor’s question, when he’s saved by the ringing of his comically large cell phone. It’s a restaurant-related call, but he asks the caller to help him out with the professor’s question. While Charlie battles a cold, Julia finds the ad Griffin placed in the paper selling the bike shop. She thinks the placement is perfect since it’s right next to a lingerie ad. It doesn’t really matter, since they won’t get anything from the sale, but at least they’ll be out of debt.

At school, Claudia leaves class after a pop quiz she didn’t take. Griffin meets with a potential buyer who he soon learns runs the franchise that contributed to his garage’s downfall. Griffin doesn’t want to sell to him, but he doesn’t have much of a choice. Kirsten and hubby Paul are packing for their trip when Charlie calls to ask Paul a medical question. His cold is getting worse, and his symptoms worry Paul. He tells Charlie to go to the hospital to be on the safe side. Kirsten goes to meet him.

Annie asks Bailey to speak at Natalie’s school for career day, so he rearranges his school schedule. Kirsten calls to tell him about Charlie. Griffin tells Julia he doesn’t want to sell to the franchise guy, but she points out that he’s taken money from worse people. Sarah interrupts to tell them that Charlie’s in the hospital (she heard from Kirsten, who called the apartment looking for Bailey). The Salingers rush to the hospital, where Kirsten tells them Charlie might have pneumonia.

In the morning, Julia, Bailey, Kirsten, and Paul gather at Charlie’s bed, and Paul tries to ease everyone’s worries. At school, Claudia uses Charlie’s hospitalization to get out of class. Griffin meets with a guy who appraises everything in the garage to figure out how much he can make on the sale. If he sells all his tools, which he wasn’t planning on, he could get a lot more money.

While Claudia skips school, Bailey and Julia take a few seconds to try to catch up on each other’s lives. Charlie’s doctor wants to change his radiation schedule – stop it now and extend it in the future. Charlie’s not happy to have to spend more time in treatment, especially since he only had a couple weeks left. He’s also mad that his doctor didn’t warn him about possible complications like this.

Griffin meets with the franchise guy, now more willing to sell to him. Bailey’s struggling in one of his classes, but he doesn’t have time to worry about it because of all his other responsibilities. He tells his professor he’ll turn in his late paper when he gets the chance. Julia brings Owen (hey, it’s Owen! He’s still alive!) to the hospital to visit Charlie, but Charlie’s in a bad mood and doesn’t want to see him. He just wants to be alone.

At the house, Julia tells Bailey that Charlie’s depressed, which isn’t going to help his recovery. Bailey thinks it’s reasonable for him to be in a bad mood while he’s sick. Claudia begs off of going with Bailey to see Charlie, lying that she saw him last night. Besides, she needs to focus on her schoolwork.

Kirsten visits Charlie; she and Bailey both sneak in food since Charlie hasn’t been eating well. Paul isn’t surprised at all to find his wife there. Bailey has Paul look at Charlie’s chart; he’s recovering but doesn’t seem to feel better. Paul confirms that he’s improving, not addressing the fact that Charlie’s clearly depressed and no one is doing anything about it..

Kirsten thinks he’s acting weird – he’ll say that something is a good sign, but he seems to be downplaying things. She thinks Paul is trying to keep her from spending so much time with Charlie, especially since she delayed their vacation to stay with him. Paul denies her accusations but says that there isn’t anything Kirsten can do for Charlie. Kirsten replies that Charlie’s depressed, and if there’s anything she has experience with, it’s that. She wants to stay until he’s doing better.

Bailey tries to talk to Charlie, but again, he wants to be alone. He doesn’t want another visit from Owen either. Claudia spends the day at the movies. At home, Bailey tells Julia that she was right about Charlie being depressed. He thinks someone in the family should always be with him since the nurses don’t know how to help him. Julia notes that this means a lot of juggling of responsibilities. Bailey has already made a decision to ease that: He’ll quit school.

Julia objects, but Bailey says he’s barely present at school anyway, and is only doing the bare minimum. Julia argues that his education is important. He tells her he’s sick of acting like he can handle everything. It’s easier to let something go and admit defeat. Griffin completes the sale of the shop, but in a nice turn, the franchise guy offers to give him a job.

Bailey and Julia take Charlie some white-noise tapes, so they clearly understand how to take care of a depressed cancer patient. Charlie tells them he’s sick of people trying to cheer him up. He’s tried positive thinking and it hasn’t worked, so he’s done pretending things are going to be okay. Instead, he wants to be able to feel peace about whatever happens.

Griffin tells Julia that their money troubles are over, at least in terms of Howie and the garage, and that he was offered a job. He can’t believe the franchise guy thinks he would want to work in the shop the guy drove him out of. Julia points out that they need money, and Griffin could work on bikes, which is exactly why he bought the garage in the first place. Griffin can’t hear her over all his pride.

Charlie’s doctor reports that he’s doing very well and will be able to go in a few days. He’ll also be able to go back to his original radiation schedule. Later, Bailey notes to Julia that Charlie should be happier about getting such good news. Julia thinks that’ll come later, when he’s out of the hospital and his life is back to normal. The two of them talk about how one of them is always panicked while the other calms him or her.

Julia thinks that things need to be as normal as possible, so Bailey shouldn’t quit school. If things are still bad once Charlie’s better, he can get some help. Julia will even go to classes and take notes for him. Bailey’s decided he’s done with school altogether, and gets what Charlie said about being done pretending. That’s what happened with Griffin and the shop, after all.

At their place, Kirsten tells Paul that she’s decided not to go on their vacation. Paul doesn’t want to go on his own, since that’ll make him look like a jerk, but he’s also a jerk if he tries to get Kirsten to go. He can’t keep himself from wondering if Kirsten still has feelings for Charlie, considering their history. Kirsten admits that she doesn’t know how she feels about Charlie, but she cares enough not to be able to leave town while he’s sick.

Annie visits Bailey at the hospital, giving him the late paper she typed up for him. He’s very appreciative of her kind gesture. Claudia intercepts a message on the answering machine from her school, reporting her for skipping classes and demanding contact with an adult. Of course, she erases it.

Julia and Bailey find Charlie in better spirits, but it’s not all good: He wants to write a will. No matter how okay he is with whatever happens, he needs to make sure his family’s taken care of. He actually feels good about planning for the worst. Charlie would also like a visit from Owen and Claudia.

Griffin takes the job at the shop and reports for his first day of work. He meets a new co-worker, Rosalie, who’s sympathetic toward him having to be an employee at the place he used to run. Claudia has “school,” but Owen goes to visit Charlie, who’s very happy to see him. The reunion is more bittersweet for Bailey and Julia, who understand what could be in their future.

Thoughts: No way are Griffin and Julia debt-free. NO WAY. They don’t have credit cards?

Paul’s kind of a saint. Look how long he went without saying anything about Kirsten hanging out with someone she almost married. Poor guy.

Really, Charlie? You didn’t read any literature saying you might get sick?

’90s music alert: Sheryl Crow’s “I Shall Believe.”

This was the point where I started losing interest in the show in its original run. And honestly, it was mostly because of Charlie. I didn’t want to watch The Ongoing Adventures of a Sick Jerk every week. I really wish they hadn’t written him this way in this storyline.

April 19, 2014

Party of Five 4.15, Here and Now: It’s Not You

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 2:54 pm by Jenn

Natalie's dolls lead interesting lives

Natalie’s dolls lead interesting lives

Summary: Sarah and Elliot are studying, or at least that’s what they’d be doing if she wasn’t trying to make out with him. He’s totally not interested. Bailey comes home and Elliot takes advantage of the distraction, then heads off to work out with him. Griffin wants to stage a big reopening for his bike shop, and run a commercial. It’ll cost a couple thousand dollars, but he’s willing to spend the money to save his business.

While they’re working out, Elliot asks Bailey about his relationship with Sarah, and how they never slept together. Sarah comes to collect her boyfriend, since he’s been gone longer than expected. Annie and Natalie arrive as well, but that doesn’t make Bailey want to leave either. At the house, Charlie gets a visit from Kevin, who’s just gotten test results but hasn’t opened them yet. The results will tell him if he’s in remission or if he still has cancer.

Griffin and Julia brainstorm details for the commercial while Claudia looks for items for a school time capsule. Better luck getting a good plot next time, Claud. Griffin suggests Julia to appear in the ad since “motorheads” like sexy women. She likes that he thinks she’s sexy, so that’s one problem of theirs fixed.

Bailey and Annie clip coupons while Natalie uses two of her dolls to reenact Bailey and Elliot’s interactions. Annie thinks Bailey’s okay hanging out with Sarah’s new boyfriend because they’ve both moved on. Bailey notes that Elliot and Sarah haven’t had sex yet. Natalie starts singing “Bailey and Elliot, sitting in a tree,” making Bailey wonder if there’s a reason Elliot hasn’t slept with Sarah.

Charlie and Kevin go out to a beach so they can have nice scenery when Kevin finds out his fate. Fortunately, the news is just as good as the view: Kevin’s in remission. There’s hugging, and somewhere, Natalie changes the names of her dolls. Julia puts on some skimpy clothes and helps Griffin with the commercial; they’re both awful. “I’m just glad to be doing a shoot where the actors keep their clothes on,” the cameraman says.

Kevin shows Charlie a computerized version of one of his chair designs, then suggests that they go into business together on design software. After all, they’re both going to end up in remission. Bailey tries to gauge whether Elliot’s gay by quizzing him on interior design terms. Bailey is clearly an enlightened man of the ’90s. Now he’s confused, though, because Elliot isn’t much help in the decoration department, and he likes sports and hates musicals. Well, then, I guess he’s straight!

Claudia’s classmates present ideas for contributions to the time capsule, but Claudia hasn’t thought of anything. She appears to be having a bit of an existential crisis. She admits that she doesn’t know what matters to her right now, let alone what will matter in 2026. Her teacher assigns her to write herself a letter to help her figure it out.

Julia and Griffin are in a good mood thanks to their successful commercial shoot, so they take advantage of an empty house. Charlie and Kevin go to treatment together (Kevin still has six weeks to go despite being in remission), and Kevin talks about how the success rates of treatment for Hodgkin’s are 75%. Charlie’s clearly wondering if he’ll be one of the 3/4 with Kevin.

Elliot goes by the restaurant to ask Bailey why he was asking weird questions earlier. Hilariously, they have the conversation at a small table for two in front of a fireplace. Elliot admits that Bailey’s suspicions about him might be right: He thinks he might be gay – “like you.” He thought Sarah would help him figure things out.

Elliot guesses that Bailey is treating Annie as a beard the way he’s treating Sarah like one. Bailey calmly tells Elliot that it’s cool if he’s gay, but Bailey isn’t. He was just trying to figure out if Elliot is. Now Elliot’s confused again. Back at their apartment, Sarah tells Bailey to stay away so she and Elliot can have a night alone.

Annie pressures Bailey to tell her that her boyfriend is questioning his sexuality. Bailey wants to leave that up to Elliot. Sarah announces that Elliot called to say he has something important to discuss. Bailey thinks he’s going to come out, which Annie notes is definitely not what Sarah thinks is going to happen tonight. Bailey doesn’t want to ruin her good mood, so he keeps quiet.

Kevin is totally into his new business idea, but Charlie’s much more reserved and practical. Oh, and also shortsighted, since he doesn’t think anyone will want to design furniture on a computer. Griffin and Julia meet with someone at a TV station about running the commercial, but he thinks they’re pulling a prank, since it’s so horrible. He lets Griffin know that he got exactly $2,000 worth of an ad.

Bailey comes home to learn that Elliot dumped Sarah but was crying too hard to explain why. She demands that Bailey tell her Elliot’s reason from breaking up with her. Claudia tells Charlie that her teacher liked her letter so much that she’s putting it in the time capsule. She’s also going to read it at the assembly when the time capsule is buried, then in 2026 at her class’ 25th reunion. She asks Charlie to come to the assembly. Charlie’s offended that she can think ahead 25 years.

Griffin shops his commercial around to various stations, but gets the same response he did at the first one. He’s not surprised that he’s failed at something once again. He still plans to stage the reopening though; he’s determined to be successful. Julia points out that they’re out $2,000, which they had to borrow in the first place, and they wound up without a usable commercial. Their money problems are killing them. “You’ve gotta get rid of the shop,” she announces.

Griffin turns her orders around on Julia, saying that once again she’s not supporting him. Julia denies this, saying that the shop is ruining their lives. Griffin refuses to quit. She tells him she’s not going to work a bad job to finance his dying business venture – “I’m done.” She’s only a few months late in getting there.

Sarah confronts Elliot at the coffeehouse, having learned from Bailey that he might be gay. She’s furious that he made her feel like something was wrong with her while he was lying about who he was. Elliot says he was just trying to figure things out, and he thought Sarah would be able to help him come to some conclusions. “You made a pass at my ex-boyfriend,” Sarah replies. She’s mad that she finally found a great guy, and he doesn’t want to be with her.

Sarah continues that Elliot might not know for sure that he’s gay. Elliot says he knows (which is weird, because wasn’t he confused just a day ago?). They bond over not being able to understand men. Griffin’s reopening is completely lame, and Julia tries to comfort him by telling him it’s not because of him, it’s because of his competition. He notes that he used to have $100,000, and now he doesn’t, so he obviously did something wrong.

Sarah tells Bailey that she’s thinking of placing a personal ad because she can’t find a boyfriend. (Isn’t Elliot only the third or fourth guy she’s ever dated? Calm down, Sarah.) Bailey suggests that they go see a movie together, since they haven’t for a while. Sarah remembers that the last time they did was right before he told her he slept with Callie. Besides, she has plans with Elliot to see Oliver – he lied to Bailey about not liking musicals.

Kevin asks Charlie about his business idea again, not sure why Charlie is really against it. Charlie admits that he can’t look that far into the future like Kevin can. They no longer have cancer in common. Since Kevin is in remission, Charlie thinks his chances of recovery are now worse. If three out of four people recover, Charlie might be that fourth who doesn’t. “You took my place,” he says.

Claudia skips out on the time capsule-burying assembly, so her teacher reads her letter for her. It talks about how it doesn’t matter what’s important right now, and how people should make good memories. Meanwhile, Sarah and Elliot hang out together, Bailey and Annie have sex, Griffin puts his shop up for sale, and Charlie does some sketches. Claudia’s letter states that nothing lasts forever, so we have to wait and hope for the future.

Thoughts: I love that the first person to figure out Elliot’s gay was the seven-year-old.

Griffin should have spent some of that commercial money on a hairstylist.

Bailey lives in San Francisco but has apparently never met a gay person (other than Ross). Though I like that he didn’t freak out when he thought Elliot was into him. No gay panic for the Salingers!

Claudia has a goth classmate with this idea for the time capsule: “This is a picture of me as Mother Death from the Vampire Festival, and it should definitely go into the time capsule because, well, I really like the idea of burying myself and then rising from the dead in 25 years.”

But Sarah, isn’t it better to be dumped not because your boyfriend doesn’t like you but because he doesn’t like any women? It’s the epitome of “it’s not you, it’s me.”

April 12, 2014

Party of Five 4.14, Of Human Bonding: Other People’s Problems

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 1:11 pm by Jenn

I don't know why your brilliant plan didn't work, Bailey. Everyone loves badminton

I don’t know why your brilliant plan didn’t work, Bailey. Everyone loves badminton

Summary: Charlie’s at the hospital for treatment, chatting with a fellow patient named Kevin who claims that having cancer makes him more attractive to women. After all, women like movies about guys who have cancer. Charlie admits that he almost looks forward to coming to treatment because he gets to spend time with people who understand what he’s going through.

While Julia starts an office job, Sarah asks Elliot about his sexual history, hoping that her lack of experience won’t be a disadvantage. It sounds like a moot point anyway, since they’re having trouble finding time to spend together. Bailey buys Natalie a badminton set, looking for a way for them to bond. Natalie isn’t appreciative, and Annie doesn’t like her attitude.

Julia finds a new co-worker, Jeannie, crying in the bathroom because her husband wants to go to a basketball game on their anniversary. They’ve been married ten years and Jeannie is totally over all of it. That doesn’t help Julia feel better about where her marriage stands. Sarah takes her car to Griffin’s garage for some repairs and asks for some relationship advice. She’s confused because Elliot’s no longer trying to get her into bed – is he losing interest? Griffin worries about what that means for him and Julia.

Charlie’s late getting home from treatment, which worries Julia and Claudia. It turns out he’s at a batting cage with Kevin. Kevin admits that he’s always avoided seemingly dangerous activities because of fear of injury, but now that he has cancer, he’s more adventurous. Bailey buys ice cream to try again to win Natalie over. Annie tells him to stop bribing her and give it time. Bailey points out that they’re letting Natalie call the shots, which Annie didn’t want.

Charlie finally makes it home, and his sisters bug him about disappearing. Griffin tries to get romantic with Julia while she’s doing laundry, but she’d prefer if he would help her with her chores. She points out that they’ve barely talked in the past few weeks, so he’s going to have to do something else to make her want to have sex.

Kevin makes breakfast for the Salingers before he and Charlie go fishing. They also plan to go camping, which Julia and Claudia object to because of all the horrible things that could happen or the ways Charlie’s health could worsen. Charlie puts his foot down. Bailey’s latest bribe is hockey night at the restaurant, and this is the one that cracks Natalie’s resolve. (Though maybe it’s the promises of grilled cheese and a Shirley Temple.)

Julia and Jeannie bond over their husbands only having sex and electronics on the brain. They decide to have a girls’ night together. Hockey night is a success, both with patrons and with Bailey and Natalie’s relationship. Sarah doesn’t want to go, so Elliot tells her to go do something else while he hangs out with Bailey and Griffin. Bailey ruins things with Natalie by accidentally singing a song her father used to sing. Annie tells him to stop trying to be Natalie’s father.

Julia and Jeannie wind up at the restaurant as well, and things between Julia and Griffin are super-awkward. (Also, Griffin is unable to display basic human manners.) Fed up with their wimmin-folk, Griffin and Elliot split to find fun somewhere else. Charlie and Kevin get ready for their fishing trip, though Charlie’s realized that some of Claudia’s fears about their remote location and possible illness are reasonable.

After some time at the restaurant, Julia, Sarah, and Jeannie go out to find something else to do and stumble across Griffin’s bike outside a strip club. Yep, that’s where he and Elliot went to escape their significant others. Julia is very displeased with her husband. Once they’re back home, Julia points out that Griffin didn’t do a very good job of hiding where he was; was he trying to hurt her? Griffin says he was just trying to get away, and this isn’t the first time he’s gone to a strip club. (Ohhh, wrong answer.)

The next day, Sarah confronts Elliot as well, but he’s a little more apologetic. Part of Sarah’s problem is that he went to look at naked women he doesn’t know but he doesn’t seem to be interested in seeing his own girlfriend naked. Natalie wanders off and Bailey finds her in the laundry room, trying to call her father. Apparently he changed his phone number and didn’t give the new one to his daughter. Natalie’s understandably upset.

Charlie and Kevin meet up again at treatment, having called off the fishing trip. Kevin isn’t upset since he knows Charlie needs to take care of himself. Jeannie thanks Julia for their night out, praising her for just walking out on Griffin at the strip club. She wishes she’d stood up to her own husband before last night, when she announced that it’s over. Julia’s all, “You can end a marriage? That’s an option?”

Annie tells Bailey that the situation with Natalie and her father makes her feel helpless. Bailey says it makes him angry since Jay’s bad decisions keep hurting Natalie, and she takes it out on Bailey. Annie keeps defending Jay, blaming his behavior on his alcoholism. She claims that no one’s better off without a father.

Claudia rents Charlie A River Runs Through It to make up for his missed fishing trip. She and Julia continue mothering their brother, who pulls a Jeannie and tells them to back off. They tell him they just want to make sure he’s okay. Charlie asks if they would leave him alone if he said he was okay. They’re great when he’s feeling bad, but they hover when he wants to do something that makes him feel good.

Charlie continues that Julia and Claudia make him scared to take a chance. They caution him against doing anything that could make him feel worse, not thinking that he could actually feel better instead. Julia’s fine with Charlie doing something new, but she feels like she’s the only one taking his illness seriously. She’s the one sacrificing so he can go out and have fun. Charlie tells her that when he’s in bed, he’s not living – he’s “just waiting.”

Bailey tells Natalie that he knows how she feels not having her father around since his is also gone. He knows that their fathers still love them and think about them. Natalie can hold on to her good memories of her dad, and Bailey will never try to take his place. Charlie wants to do something with Kevin, but Kevin’s health isn’t good enough right now for an adventure. Charlie offers to just hang out instead, though Kevin encourages him to go have the adventure on his own.

Julia tries to talk to Griffin, who turns things into a fight. She’s fine with that since it means they’ll at least be communicating. They admit that they’re not even sure why things are so bad. (I think I have a few ideas…) Sarah thinks she’s finally worked out what’s going on with Elliot: He’s nervous because she’s a virgin, and he doesn’t think she can be fun. She suggests sexy clothes to solve the problem. Elliot admits that he’s not as experienced as she thinks. He’s a virgin, too.

Bailey looks in on Natalie while Annie’s putting her to bed, and she asks if he’ll be there when she wakes up. He promises he will. Then she sings the song her father used to sing her. Julia and Griffin go to bed silently. The next day, Charlie goes parasailing by himself.

Thoughts: Bailey, trust me, low-fat, sugar-free ice cream is no way into a child’s heart.

Way to make laundry even less sexy, Griffin.

Annie, shut up. “You’re doing too much. You’re doing too little.” You and Claudia go whine to each other and let everyone else have fun. P.S. Natalie is absolutely better off without that sorry excuse for a father.

April 5, 2014

Party of Five 4.13, Parent Trap: Deal With the Consequences

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 1:25 pm by Jenn

The Salingers need to look at this polar bear cub and chill out for a while

The Salingers need to look at this polar bear cub and chill out for a while

Summary: We open with Bailey and Annie’s bedroom talk, so…great. Fortunately, Natalie interrupts and tries to get into bed with her mother. Annie hasn’t told her about seeing Bailey, so she doesn’t want Natalie in the bedroom. Bailey has to hide under the bed while Annie reads her daughter a story. Julia runs the house some more, again, assigning Griffin to pick Owen up from daycare. Griffin objects since he’ll have to close the shop. Everyone notices that Claudia is dressed up.

Charlie goes to the doctor to get medication for a rash, but the doctor isn’t very sympathetic. Bailey tries to take care of stuff at the restaurant while talking to Annie on the phone about how they can have a sleepover that night. He can’t, though, since he has to work. She’s annoyed that he works so much and goes to class during the day. Way to be understanding about his situation, Annie.

Claudia takes her new look to the coffeehouse to apologize to Reed for their fight***. He tells her to let it go, then notices her weird hair (which is supposed to be curled, but isn’t really). Griffin has to take Owen to the garage because Claudia wasn’t at the house to look after him. Griffin has money problems, which is totally brand new and not a boring storyline at all. He also can’t get much done with Owen around.

Kirsten takes Charlie to an herbalist to get treatment for his rash. The herbalist immediately diagnoses both his rash and his Hodgkin’s. He offers some remedies (but only for the rash, not the cancer, unfortunately). Annie shows up at the restaurant during the dinner rush, hoping to spend some time with Bailey when he has a minute. Bailey doesn’t have a minute. He also wants them to sit Natalie down and tell her about their relationship. Annie refuses, not wanting to introduce Natalie to someone who might not stay in her life.

Owen comes home with a new vocabulary thanks to things he’s overheard at the garage (“you owe me money” and “damn”). Charlie makes tea with his new herbs, stinking up the house. His sisters think he’s being messed with. Bailey’s finally ready to spend some alone time with Annie in the morning, but she has stuff to do. He convinces her to rearrange her schedule to spend some more time with him.

At school, Claudia slips a note into Reed’s locker. At the house, Julia catches Griffin leaving for work without saying goodbye; he came home late and they didn’t get to talk. He tells her that he wants to talk to her at the end of each day, but Julia has so much to deal with. Clearly, the honeymoon’s over. Julia wants to make sure they never go to bed angry.

A couple of girls find Claudia’s note and giggle over it. It turns out one of the girls swapped lockers with Reed. Reed catches them and tells the girls to leave Claudia alone. Kirsten visits Charlie, who tells her that the herbs haven’t helped his rash. He’s frustrated that he has to put up with something he has no control over. He’s starting to wonder if the radiation treatment is as useless as the herbs.

Julia goes to the garage to help out with some administrative work and stumbles across Griffin’s ledgers, seeing how much he owes. Griffin wants to use the money Howie’s stashing with him to pay off some debts without Howie knowing. Julia knows that’s a horrible idea. Griffin tells her to support him or “just stay home.” Yeah, the honeymoon’s definitely over.

Bailey learns that the thing Annie rescheduled to spend time with him was a job interview. He thinks that was a horrible idea and tells her not to do that again. Annie snaps at him for getting mad at her for trying to make time to be with him. Obviously she’s also mad that he won’t do the same for her, but whatever, shut up Annie.

At the coffeehouse, Claudia thanks Reed for coming to her rescue. He’s read her note and wants to make it clear that the two of them aren’t going to be anything more than friends. Claudia thinks that eventually they will be. After all, Jane Eyre and Rochester made it work. Reed’s like, “Sweetie, that didn’t really happen.” She wonders if he asked to trade lockers to get away from her.

Julia, Griffin, Claudia, and Owen have a silent, awkward dinner at the house. Claudia leaves the table early so Griffin turns on the TV. The next morning, Claudia refuses to go to school, but Julia’s so busy that she doesn’t do anything about it. Charlie reads a book. (No, really, that was apparently significant enough to devote five seconds to.)

Annie decides that it’s time to tell Natalie about her relationship with Bailey. She feels like sneaking around with him is too similar to how she snuck around when she was drinking. Bailey worries that she’s doing this for him, but Annie wants to do what AA taught her: take responsibility for her choices and deal with the consequences.

Kirsten drops by the house again and finds Charlie meditating. Both of them are surprised at this new behavior. He read an article about a plant in Mexico that cures cancer in mice, and he’s so desperate that he’s considered finding out if it works for humans. Kirsten notes that at least he’s distracted enough not to scratch.

Howie visits the garage and asks for a check for the bulk of what’s in his and Griffin’s account. He’s not too pleased with Griffin’s attempts to say no. It’s time for Annie and Bailey’s big talk with Natalie. Annie starts by saying that Bailey’s going to be spending more time with them; he already eats dinner with them a lot, and now he’ll be sleeping over. “You’re not my daddy,” Natalie tells Bailey.

Griffin answers the phone at the Salingers’ and learns that Claudia skipped school. He tells her she can’t avoid her responsibilities because of a fight with a boy. Charlie’s sick and Julia’s working hard to keep things under control. Julia overhears and yells at Griffin for yelling at Claudia. She tells him he’s like his father. Charlie shouts for everyone to shut up because he’s meditating. Claudia tries to talk to him, but he’s too busy.

In the morning, Bailey takes donuts to Annie and Natalie, but Annie doesn’t think it’s a good time for him to be around her daughter. Charlie’s rash is gone, and he thinks meditating is what cured him. Julia wonders if it was the detergent she’d briefly been using. Womp womp! Now that Howie has taken back his money, Griffin has to give up all his fancy garage equipment.

At school, Claudia tells Reed that she’s okay just being his friend. He notes that she takes everything wrong – anything nice that he says is interpreted as more than just a gesture of friendship. Charlie tells Kirsten that he really thought his meditation had cured him; it made him feel better about going to radiation today. He finally felt in control of something, and capable of beating cancer. Kirsten doesn’t think the details matter.

Griffin wants to discuss Julia’s accusations, but he’s still mad about how Claudia skipped school, so I don’t think this is going to go well. Julia remembers how Griffin acted one time when he came over after a fight with his father. He complained that his father made others feel bad because he had a bad day. Griffin says the situations are different, somehow. Then he reveals that Howie took his money back and Griffin lost his equipment.

Griffin continues that Julia doesn’t get how hard things are for him. But Julia does, because she completely understands being 19 and having real adult responsibilities. She knows they both want the other to fix things. Julia has to go back to the house to tend to Owen, and she asks Griffin to come with her, but he wants to go to bed.

Charlie meditates again, and Julia tells him it’s helping. Natalie won’t come out of her room while Bailey’s in the apartment, but Annie’s sure that she’ll eventually adjust. She and Bailey find it ironic that they went through all this to spend more time together. They try to figure out when they can spend more time together, but they still have busy schedules. Meanwhile, Julia’s lost time with her partner, too.

Thoughts: If your relationship has advanced to where your boyfriend is spending the night, yeah, you need to tell your kid. You should probably tell your kid before your boyfriend starts spending the night.

Bailey: “What am I supposed to do with 25 pounds of salmon?” Serve it to your customers? I mean, I’m no restaurant manager, but I imagine your chef might have some ideas of what to do with fish.

One of the giggly girls is soap actress Tamara Braun. Her teeny ’90s pigtail buns are scary.

“Will you guys shut up? I’m meditating!” made me laugh.

March 29, 2014

Party of Five 4.12, Empty Shoes: “Grow Up and Do Your Jobs”

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 1:11 pm by Jenn

Maybe Owen would eat Bananas Foster?

Maybe Owen would eat Bananas Foster?

Summary: At the restaurant, Charlie meets with a man named Bancroft who’s tasting food for a big anniversary party. Julia’s gotten a job as a server and is interfering more than Charlie would like. While Charlie’s berating her for acting like she knows how to manage things better than he does, he gets sick. He winds up in bed, though he tells his siblings that he’s having a normal reaction to his treatments.

Julia worries that Charlie won’t be able to work at the restaurant while he’s in treatment, because the smell of food makes him sick. Julia offers to run things for him, but Charlie needs her to run things at the house. She’s also the only person other than Charlie who has a driver’s license. Julia notes that she and Griffin need money, but Charlie wants Bailey at the restaurant. Bailey accepts his assignment. Claudia’s sad that she can’t help out more.

Julia tries to deal with Owen, who’s being picky about what he wants for breakfast. The only thing he wants is oatmeal, which they don’t have. At the restaurant, Bailey immediately has issues: He’s short on waiters, they’re out of fish, and the place is booked. He’s also trying to juggle schoolwork with his new responsibilities.

At home, Julia brings a bunch of problems to Charlie, who quickly gives her solutions. Later, Bailey does the same, disagreeing with Charlie’s negotiations with Bancroft. He also wants to change the restaurant’s policy on specials, since the waiters have trouble memorizing them. Charlie’s done with him and tells him to do whatever he wants, which is a horrible, horrible idea.

Claudia and Reed hang out at the coffeehouse, where she helps him with a paper and he encourages her to eat better. She appreciates the break from her family issues. Then she takes things a step farther, telling Reed that she loves him. He manages to not run screaming from the coffeehouse, so points to him. He just goes back to working on his paper.

Julia and Bailey both sneak into Charlie’s room, looking for various things, and accidentally wake him up. It’s a good thing, since he’s able to direct them to what they need. They try to offer him movies and CDs and a ride with Griffin, but Charlie just wants to sleep. Bailey questions Julia’s decision to let Owen have popcorn for breakfast.

At school, Claudia unloads her concerns on Reed, telling him that he’s the one thing she has that distracts her from all of them. He decides not to tell her whatever he was going to tell her (probably that he doesn’t want to be more than friends). Sarah stops by the house to ask to borrow something for Charlie for a theater-production class. Charlie thinks Bailey sent her over to “entertain” him. Sarah really does have a design project, though, and just wants to use his drafting table.

Bailey’s restaurant problems continue, partly because Julia’s been out running errands. She’s missed the beginning of her shift and snaps at Bailey for replacing her. She reminds him that she has extra responsibilities right now and needs some slack. Then the waitress who replaced her gets mad that she’s going to be moved. Guys, I’m getting the impression that Bailey is bad at this.

Claudia and Reed play video games at his place, and he asks how things are going at home. He decides to let her stay for another game. Things at the restaurant have calmed down a little, but Julia hasn’t mastered Bailey’s new system for the specials, so she’s screwing up her orders. She yells at him for trying to change things because he doesn’t know what he’s doing. She reminds him that it’s still Charlie’s restaurant.

At home, Charlie takes a look at what Sarah’s been working on for her class and decides to help her out. Claudia falls asleep on Reed’s couch while watching a movie. Bailey also falls asleep working at the restaurant after hours. Julia comes home late and rejects Griffin’s attempts to have sex. (Way to read the room, Griff.) Julia complains that she keeps getting told to do things but is never consulted for her opinion.

In the morning, Charlie’s in a better mood than he has been, still looking at Sarah’s project. His mood changes when Claudia admits that she spent the night at Reed’s. Sarah chastises Bailey for neglecting his responsibilities at the apartment building. Then he gets an earful from Julia, who’s upset that she’s been taken off the anniversary party.

At the house, Julia complains to Charlie about Bailey, who then comes in to unload his problems on his brother. Charlie tells them to shut up and stop dragging him into their issues. “Grow up and do your jobs,” he tells them. Bailey’s the manager, so if he wants to do something, he should do it. Julia needs to shut up about her tables and worry about Claudia’s behavior.

Charlie then goes to the basement, where Sarah’s seen the changes he made to her project. He’s changed the entire design, actually, and tells her it wasn’t working. If someone tried to build a set based on the design, it would actually kill the audience. Sarah appreciates the adjustments and asks for more advice.

Julia calmly approaches Claudia to ask her to help out more at home, and especially not spend the night at Reed’s again. Claudia already has plans with him that night, which means she can’t watch Owen, so now Julia’s in a bind. Bailey works the anniversary party while Julia deals with rude customers (though she’s not exactly polite herself). Claudia waits for Reed at the coffeehouse, but he doesn’t show.

The restaurant’s running low on bananas for Bananas Foster, which means Bancroft is probably going to be upset. Bailey gets a flash of inspiration and tells Bancroft that everyone’s eating the Bananas Foster, implying that it’s safe and boring. He just got a shipment of exotic fruit and recommends serving that instead. Bancroft falls for the ploy.

Julia makes a fuss over a poor tip from her rude customers, and if she weren’t working for her brother’s restaurant, I guarantee she’d be fired on the spot. At the end of the night, Bancroft comes to the kitchen to praise Bailey’s success as Charlie’s substitute. He gives him a generous tip for his troubles, then says he’ll be back next year.

Instead of taking a moment to celebrate, Bailey fires Julia, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to her. He points out that she hates the job, and it’s obvious to the customers. Julia says it shouldn’t matter whether she likes the job or not – she needs it. At home, Griffin’s upset over Bailey’s treatment of Julia, especially since she’s done so much for the family, but Julia doesn’t want her job back anyway. She admits that Bailey was right.

Bailey handles some apartment issues, then has breakfast with Annie, catching up on what she’s been doing while he’s been so busy. She enjoys hearing how he’s been dealing with problems at the restaurant. She’s proud that he was in charge on the restaurant’s highest-grossing night ever. Bailey admits that he hasn’t given Charlie the good news, but Annie thinks he should, since Charlie will be able to relax knowing that Bailey can run things without him.

Charlie works on Sarah’s project some more, putting on some finishing touches he’s always wanted to add to a project. He tells her about how much he enjoyed his classes before he had to drop them to help Joe at the restaurant. At school, Claudia tracks down Reed, who says he didn’t think they had definite plans the night before. He tells her, a little harshly, that he likes her and wants to help her, but he doesn’t want to be her boyfriend.

Bailey chats with Charlie, purposely not telling him anything about the restaurant. Charlie asks for news, so Bailey tells him that the anniversary party went horribly. They definitely need Charlie at the restaurant. Charlie reveals that he heard from Bancroft, who praised Bailey’s work. Bailey again makes it clear that it’s still Charlie’s restaurant, but Charlie tells him that until he can come back, it’s Bailey’s.

Claudia tries to talk to Reed, but he ignores her. He finally tells her that things are too intense for him to spend time with her. Bailey does his thing at the restaurant, proving that he’s learned a lot and can be a success. Julia tries to get Owen to eat something, but he’s being picky again. She also can’t get Claudia to talk to her. Finished with Sarah’s project, Charlie pulls out one of his old designs and gets to work on it.

Thoughts: Owen has developed a bit of an attitude, and I love it.

’90s music alert: Cake’s “The Distance.”

You know who should be in charge? Of, like, everything? Ross. Ross is the only person on this show I would trust to take Charlie’s place.

Oh, Reed. You’re trying, but you’re a jerk. Claudia deserves so much better.

Next page