April 14, 2013

Party of Five 1.21, All-Nighters: Who’s Responsible for This?

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , at 5:28 pm by Jenn

Does anyone else want Claudia to buy Toaster Strudel? Anyone? (Someone gets that reference, right?)

Does anyone else want Claudia to buy Toaster Strudel? Anyone? (I know someone has to get that reference…)

Summary: Claudia and Artie are at a convenience store, debating what kind of junk food to get. A man comes in, pulls a gun on the cashier, and robs him. The kids hide and stay quiet but see the whole thing. At the restaurant, Charlie’s coworker/old college friend Dudley complains to him about his ex/neighbor, who just moved out of her apartment. Charlie wants to move in. Kirsten calls and Dudley flirts with her, because he’s that guy.

A police officer talks to Claudia and Artie at the Salingers’ house, but neither kid can agree on a description of the robber. Artie’s a little too excited about being involved in a police investigation. At school, Jill tells Bailey that she’s helping to run a dance marathon. He thinks it’ll be too much for her to handle so soon after she’s started rehab. Jill notes that her doctor says it would be good for her to get involved in school activities.

Julia tries to convince Justin to do the marathon with her, realizing that they’ve never danced together. She also realizes that it’s because he can’t dance. Bailey and Jill hang out, and he again says that he thinks she’s doing too much by helping with the marathon. He makes the good point that it’s probably not the best idea for her to stay awake for 36 hours. Jill accuses him of being unsupportive. He wants to make things up to her with sex, but Jill’s doctor has advised her to stop using sex to solve her problems.

Justin and Julia practice dancing in the Salingers’ backyard, and he makes a move toward getting her naked. Charlie and Kirsten look at an apartment, though she thinks it’s a bad idea for him to move out. He thinks the kids can take care of themselves, and he’ll look in on them every day. He starts packing at home, making Claudia sad. The police want Claudia to come look at someone in a lineup, but Charlie has Bailey take her, because he can’t be bothered. The lineup doesn’t produce the culprit.

Bailey then heads to the marathon and helps out, since Jill doesn’t have all of the details nailed down. Julia and Justin flirt and goof around before things start, then spend the dancing hours kissing. Charlie and Kirsten go to a party at Dudley’s, boring me. Back at the marathon, Will has a great time with his date, a cheerleader Bailey didn’t think he’d be able to get to go with him. Jill gets in trouble because someone spiked the punchbowl, but Bailey takes the blame. She doesn’t appreciate it.

The dancers get a five-minute break, and Justin gives Julia his wallet so they can get some food. She finds a condom inside. Dudley invites Charlie and Kirsten out on a houseboat trip, which Kirsten is extremely unexcited about. Charlie wants to go, despite the fact that sailing and drinking for three days isn’t his kind of thing. Kirsten wants to leave the party, but Charlie won’t leave with her.

Alone at home, Claudia has a nightmare. When Charlie gets back, she’s in his bed with Kirsten. Kirsten chastise Charlie for staying out so late; he grumps that she should have stayed, but she’s glad she was home to comfort Claudia. Charlie thinks he can have an active social life while still looking after his siblings. His solution to Claudia’s angst is to get a new lock for the front door and bolt the windows.

Artie shows up to announce that the robber was caught. He’s disappointed because there won’t be a trial, so he won’t get to testify. Claudia’s just relieved that the robber is behind bars. Julia congratulates Jill on a successful marathon, then asks how many guys she thinks carry condoms in their wallets. “How many guys do you think are having sex?” Jill replies. (All of them, Julia. All of them.)

Will and his dance partner get disqualified for making out instead of dancing. “My tongue was moving! That counts!” he argues. Bailey remarks to a chaperone that the marathon is starting to remind him of a movie he once saw: Carrie. It’s hour 18, and Jill is starting to fall apart. The chaperone suggests that they end the marathon at 24 hours instead of 36. Julia’s starting to get uncomfortable being with Justin, and she suggests that they quit. He doesn’t get what’s wrong with her.

At hour 23, Bailey tries to convince Jill to end the marathon early. She refuses, accusing Bailey of waiting all night for her to screw things up. No matter how things turn out, she wants to be able to say she ran everything. Charlie and Dudley do shots at the restaurant, toasting a lost weekend they once had together. Charlie remembers it less favorably than Dudley does, since they got so drunk that they missed a gig. Claudia has another nightmare – every room in the house is empty, and she can hear Charlie talking but can’t find him.

Charlie spends the night on a couch in his new apartment, oversleeping and forgetting to open the restaurant early for a produce delivery. Julia drops by, noting that he’s officially moved out of the house. She tells him she’ll miss having him around; things weren’t perfect, but they were getting better. Charlie assures her that she can come to him anytime she needs something. Julia takes the opportunity to ask about sex.

Jill skipped school, so Bailey goes to her house and confronts her for being difficult. She tells him that if she’s going to quit using drugs, she needs to feel like she can accomplish things without his help. In other words, if she has a flat tire, she won’t let him change it for her, but she’d like for him to teach her how to do it. Bailey will take that.

Claudia is sent home from school after falling asleep in class and hitting her head on her desk. She tells Charlie about her nightmares, and he’s surprised to hear that they’re not about the robbery. Justin tracks down Julia at the school pool (um, okay then) and tells her he figured out that she’s upset because she found his condom. She says that she cares about him but isn’t quite ready to have sex. He tells her he only has it so he’s prepared; he doesn’t want to rush anything. Right now, he’s getting enough intimacy from their makeout sessions. Then they go skinny-dipping.

Kirsten meets Charlie at the new apartment, telling him she had a debate with herself over whether to get him a painting. If she did, she would be supporting his decision to move; if she didn’t, she would be saying she wasn’t on his side. Ultimately, she got the painting, but Charlie tells her to put it in his truck. He’s realized that he’s already had the life of a single partier, and he doesn’t like that guy anymore. A year ago, no one needed him, and he felt lucky. Now, he just wants to go home.

Thoughts: How in the world did Charlie plan to explain his new living situation to social services?

That robber is an idiot. Pulling a gun in broad daylight without wearing a mask or looking to make sure there were no witnesses? That’s just asking to get busted.

A 36-hour marathon? Yikes. Even the one on Gilmore Girls was only 24 hours.

Justin, the best place to try to get your girlfriend named is probably not in her backyard while other people are home.

Once again, I don’t get why Julia doesn’t go to Kirsten when she has personal problems or questions. I don’t care if I had a gun to my head – I still wouldn’t ask any of my brothers for sex advice.

Owen’s not in this episode, and given the level of responsibility his siblings have been showing, I’m a little worried about him.

March 31, 2013

Party of Five 1.18, Who Cares?: Bailey Do-Right and the Girl Who Couldn’t Be Helped

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 3:00 pm by Jenn

"And this is the one that holds the cyanide capsule, for the day I finally decide to get away from you people once and for all"

“And this is the one that holds the cyanide capsule, for the day I finally decide to get away from you people once and for all”

Summary: Claudia babbles about her 12th birthday, which she thinks should be a big deal because it’s her last as a kid. Julia ignores her and Bailey packs to go to L.A. and find Jill***. Charlie refuses to let Bailey go, but we all know how much authority Charlie has. Claudia worries that Bailey won’t be back in two days for her birthday. Bailey doesn’t think he’s tried everything yet to help Jill. He wants to let her know he cares about her no matter what happens.

Suddenly Bailey’s in L.A., where he easily finds Jill. She doesn’t exactly through him a welcome party. Julia and Nina go to the coffeehouse, where Julia’s musician friend Danny is performing. He tells her everyone loves the song they did together, and he wants them to write some more. Charlie’s business partner Gwen brings by their first check and the news that a buyer wants eight pieces by the first of the month.

Claudia and Artie think her family wants her to stay out of the shed because her birthday present’s there. Apparently they haven’t been informed that Charlie’s using it as a workshop. Danny comes by to try to get a decision out of Julia; he wants to know right away if she wants to write more songs with him. Julia thinks he’s acting weird. Later, Julia shares the news with Charlie that Danny is HIV positive. She notes that he’s doing better than she expected, and his diagnosis seems to have revitalized him.

Claudia pops in to try to guess what Charlie and Julia are planning for her birthday – she thinks it’s either a trip to the zoo or a day on a sailboat. They don’t tell her that they haven’t figured anything out. But I’m sure they’ll get right on it, since Charlie doesn’t have eight pieces of furniture to make and Julia isn’t going to immediately get to working with Danny.

Bailey continues stalking Jill, promising that if they start over, things will be totally different. He won’t judge her or mistrust her. He mentions that he loves her, so now she’s interested. She says she loves him, too, and agrees to go home with him. They leave the next day after she convinces him to take the scenic route.

Julia has stayed up all night writing, and she turns to Charlie for inspiration since she’s not getting anywhere. Charlie is no help with poetic language. The two of them realize they didn’t get anything for Claudia for her birthday. (At least they got a party planner, though I don’t know how they can afford one.) Charlie writes a check and sends Julia to buy something, telling her to avoid Claudia until that night, since she’ll be expecting a present this morning.

The party planner shows up and asks Claudia what she wants to do for her party. Claudia notes that that means she’s really planning her own party. That night, on their way to visit Hearst Castle, Bailey and Jill are pulled over. Jill starts fake crying and tells the cop that their brother just died in a skin-diving accident. “I hope the shark burns in Hell!” she screams. Unfortunately, the cop doesn’t buy it, though he says “the shark was a nice touch.”

Julia and Charlie get Claudia a cake, but her name is misspelled. Artie thinks she should be disappointed that she only got one present, even though it’s a nice camera. Charlie leaves early to go work with Gwen, and Julia ducks out to work with Danny. Danny doesn’t see much in her attempts at lyrics, telling her she’s not listening to the music well enough. Then he makes her miss a call from Justin and tells her she can’t go to bed, even though it’s midnight on a school night.

Bailey and Jill get a hotel room for the night, and the next morning Bailey calls Charlie to tell him his trip was successful. Jill hears him saying he’ll “deal with it” when they get home. She wants to spend another day on the road, and Bailey can’t argue with delaying a return to their real lives. Meanwhile, Kirsten returns home from an out-of-town trip and hears Claudia firing the party planner. Jill and Bailey go to a diner for dinner; he’s eager to get home but she still wants to find fun things to do. She orders wine and Bailey soon realizes that she’s not any better than she was before.

Kirsten tells Charlie that there are no places open for them to hold Claudia’s birthday party, other than the Salingers’ restaurant, of course. Kirsten blasts him for not starting the planning sooner. Charlie tells her his father was never around for his birthday since he was always working. No one ever said he was selfish or a bad father because he wanted to make a good life for his children.

Danny has a recording session, but Julia’s lyrics aren’t ready, so it’s all instrumental. She tells him she has other aspects of her life that are important. Danny doesn’t care. He wants to get songs together, record a demo, and go to L.A. to get a contract. Julia reminds him that she’s 15. She thinks he’s acting like her songs will save his life. She would do anything to help him, but this is too hard. Danny tells her to go do one of her more important things.

Bailey and Jill return to the hotel and he confronts her for drinking, saying it’s like she’s trying to make him mad. She doesn’t think anything will be different when they get home. She compares him to Dudley Do-Right – he always wants to be the hero and rescue the girl who can’t take care of herself. Bailey yells at her to shut up, then calls an end to the argument for the night. When he wakes up in the morning, Jill’s gone.

Danny goes to the Salingers’ to apologize to Julia, who easily forgives him. He confides that he wonders what people will say about him after he dies. He wants people to miss him. If he can make some good songs, he has a better chance of people missing him. He just needs help. If he had to work on the music himself, he would fail, and when he died, no one would care. But Danny knows it isn’t up to Julia and he shouldn’t have acted like it was.

Bailey finally returns home, telling Charlie that Jill split, just as Charlie predicted. He’s realized that there’s nothing he can do to fix things. He tried to help, but he just made things worse. Charlie tells him it’s not his fault. Claudia tries to ignore Bailey, mad that he missed her birthday, and he tells her Jill’s situation wasn’t more important, just more urgent. He got her a palm-tree charm for the bracelet she gets a new charm for every year.

Julia and Danny meet at the coffeehouse and listen to one of his recordings, which she managed to get played on a college station. They dance to it and she reminds him that he wrote the song all by himself. He writes beautiful music, “and when it stops, everyone’s going to miss it.” Claudia has a big birthday party at the restaurant, this time with a cake Julia made. Charlie tells Claudia he’ll have to leave early, but once he’s done with this job, they’ll do something special together.

Julia and Charlie try to cheer Bailey up, but he’s starting to lose faith in his ability to help people. They’re happy he remembered to get her a charm. Charlie advises him to find people who want help and just help them. Later, Artie and Kirsten (who are not good with cameras) attempt to take a blurry family picture.

Thoughts: Isn’t 12 a little old for the zoo? I say this as a 30-year-old who would go to the zoo right now if you asked me, but I’m not having a birthday party there.

Bailey says a couple of tourists thought he was Tom Cruise, and I scoff. But later, when he puts on sunglasses, I can see it.

“I hope the shark burns in Hell!” Jill, why can’t you be like this all the time?

’90s music alert: Sheryl Crow’s “Strong Enough.”

March 26, 2013

Party of Five 1.17, In Loco Parentis: Emphasis On “Loco”

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 9:33 pm by Jenn

"That's not what Goldilocks sounds like! Ugh, Bill is so much better at this"

“That’s not what Goldilocks sounds like! Ugh, Bill is so much better at this”

Summary: Bailey spots Jill talking to a guy at school and possibly buying drugs from him. Bailey approaches the guy and says he’s “looking to buy.” The guy says he can get anything. Justin gives Julia a sketch he drew of her as their English teacher talks about some love poem that coincidentally mirrors their love lives. Kirsten chastises Charlie for not being more of a father to Owen instead of just a brother. Apparently one of Owen’s five words is “Bill.”

Jill tells Bailey that the guy at school was someone she went to a concert with once, and she only met with him to tell him she’s not paying him back for her ticket. It’s not clear if Bailey believes her. At home, Claudia and Bailey admire Justin’s drawing, and Julia admits that they’re kind of dating. Claudia thinks it would be weird for them to kiss since they’ve known each other so long.

Artie invites himself to stay for dinner with the Salingers, then stays so late that Claudia has to kick him out. He admits that he doesn’t like being at home because his parents have been fighting a lot. Charlie takes Owen to some sort of daddy support group but doesn’t want to participate. Julia helps Justin and his mom with a mailing for the homeless shelter where she works; Mrs. Thompson is thrilled to learn that they’re dating because she’s always liked Julia.

Jill shows up at the Salingers’ with a cut on her head and tells Bailey she crashed her brother’s car. (Mark this down as the first mention of Griffin by name.) She’s pretty manic, which causes Charlie to give Bailey an “I told you so” look. Jill refuses to go to the hospital, and Charlie calls her out for wanting to avoid being busted for being high. Bailey realizes Charlie’s right. Jill rants at him for not trusting her.

Kirsten coos over Charlie spending time with Owen, leaving the room before he swaps a picture book for a hardware magazine. Julia and Justin volunteer at the shelter; since she talked him into it, Mrs. Thompson loves Julia even more. Justin is annoyed and jerky. Artie’s still at the Salingers’ (or there again – whatever), planning to keep avoiding his problems as long as possible. Claudia thinks they should do something proactive about Artie’s parents.

Bailey also wants to solve some problems, namely Jill’s. Charlie doesn’t get why. He wonders if Bailey likes that Jill needs help, since he’s always taking care of other people: “Saving her – maybe that’s really about you.” Justin laments that he wants more drama in their relationship; the fact that his parents like her so much makes things too easy. She finds a poem he wrote about her, and I guess his jerky behavior earlier is forgiven.

Julia goes home in such a good mood that even Charlie’s grumpiness and Bailey’s moodiness don’t bring her down. Even Claudia isn’t impressed with Justin’s poem. Kirsten listens on the baby monitor while Charlie tries to put Owen to bed. Then she goes in and fixes everything in five seconds. Charlie laments that he takes care of Owen all the time but isn’t a good “father.”

Bailey tries to get in touch with Jill’s mother, then goes to see her at the hospital where she’s a nurse. She has no idea who she is. In fact, Jill told her that Bailey’s a stalker who’s harassing her because she wouldn’t go out with him. She also said that Bailey would tell her Jill’s on drugs. Mrs. Holbrook argues that Jill can’t be on drugs because she would know, since she’s a nurse.

Apparently Justin’s so happy now that he’s dating Julia that he’s started singing in the shower. Julia tells Mrs. Thompson how they got together and shares the poem he wrote her. Bailey confronts Jill at the coffeehouse, but she doesn’t want his concern since she can’t trust him. Claudia and Artie pull a Parent Trap on his folks, getting them to the Salingers’ restaurant for a meal together. Claudia even serenades them with her violin. It doesn’t work.

Charlie has another frustrating bonding experience with Owen, but it ends on a positive note when Owen starts saying “Dada.” Justin blasts Julia for sharing his poem with his mother. He tears it up and says he shouldn’t have written it. She laments that she almost had it memorized.

Bailey wants Charlie to talk to Mrs. Holbrook, since he has experience dealing with drug addicts. Charlie notes that Bailey keeps giving Jill ultimatums, then not following through. He needs to walk away. Bailey says that’s Charlie’s solution to everything. Charlie doesn’t want Bailey going down with Jill if she gets arrested or has another car accident. Bailey says he doesn’t have a choice. Charlie asks if he’s in love with Jill.

Bailey sees Jill at school the next day, and she looks fine. At the coffeehouse, he runs into the dealer, who says she talked about going to L.A. Julia tries to make up with Justin, telling him that sharing the poem made the experience even better. In middle school, she made a pact with her mother that she would tell her everything once her crush on a guy turned into something. Julia can’t tell anyone at home about Justin, so she told his mom. Justin forgives her.

Artie wants to come up with a new plan for his parents, but Claudia uses the story of a sleepwalking experience to tell him that he needs to accept reality. He thinks she doesn’t understand what he’s dealing with. She promises him that “the hard stuff gets easier.” Julia and Justin hang out with his mom, and when he goes to bed, he encourages them to keep talking.

Mrs. Holbrook comes to the Salingers’ looking for Jill, who didn’t come home the night before. Now she’s willing to believe that Jill’s using drugs. She laments being so busy that she didn’t notice that her daughter was in trouble: “She got lost.” She asks Bailey to tell her about Jill. Charlie gets up with Owen in the middle of the night and tells him a story that sounds like it’s about how their parents met. It ends with their mother telling their father she wants five children.

Thoughts: Justin’s mom is played by Jane Kaczmarek.

There’s one kid at the daddy support group who’s so cute, he puts all other babies to shame. HANG YOUR HEADS IN DEFEAT, LESSER CHILDREN.

Bailey catches Claudia and Artie watching The Exorcist, and Charlie yells for them to turn it off. Claudia: “But her head’s spinning around!” Lacey Chabert’s delivery on that killed me.

There’s a sweet undercurrent to Julia and Mrs. Thompson’s scenes, like they’re mother and daughter, so that you can sense why Julia keeps talking to her even before she tells Justin about it. It’s a nice touch.

The funny part about Claudia and Artie’s plot is that the movie they were supposed to be watching instead of The Exorcist was The Parent Trap.

March 17, 2013

Party of Five 1.15, It’s Not Easy Being Green: A Disaster Waiting to Happen

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 4:54 pm by Jenn

"Ben said all advisors visit their students at home. It's totally normal!"

“Ben said all advisors visit their students at home. It’s totally normal!”

Summary: Julia’s in driver’s ed and is paired to drive with Justin. He wants a different partner, but the teacher won’t give him one since he thinks Justin just wants to spend time with his friends. Justin makes it clear that he doesn’t plan to give Julia a second chance. Bailey and Will study together, but Bailey hasn’t done everything he was supposed to, since he’s been spending so much time with Jill. He promises to do it in study hall, though Will doesn’t trust him.

Kirsten brings her advisor, Ben, home (which is now the Salingers’ house) and introduces him to Charlie. They’re happy because the topic for her dissertation was approved. Charlie notices that the two of them are pretty chummy. Claudia takes Artie to a choral rehearsal at school; the director is looking for a replacement for the sick lead in the school’s production of Oliver, and Claudia thinks she’ll get it. She wants to be an actor instead of in the orchestra, which would doom her to a fate as a band geek.

Charlie’s annoyed to learn that Kirsten is taking Ben along while she searches for a daycare center to do her research for her dissertation. Kirsten just laughs off Charlie’s jealousy. Julia’s a horrible driver and her teacher is sexist, so she and Justin threaten to report him for sexual harassment. Artie reveals to Claudia that the director pressed him into auditioning, and he did so well that he was given the role. Claudia gets to be his understudy. Julia thanks Justin for his help with the teacher; it seems like he’s softened toward her.

Will waits for Bailey at the coffeehouse, but he’s late because he was out with Jill. The guys are supposed to go to a concert, but now Bailey doesn’t want to go since Jill said the band isn’t good live. Instead, he wants to go to a party with Jill. In bed that night, Charlie tries to talk Kirsten into going away to Joe’s ski cabin. She’s too busy thinking about things she wants to tell Ben about her dissertation. Also, she doesn’t think it’s necessary for them to have sex every night.

In the morning, Charlie’s cranky because Kirsten’s spending the day with Ben, Claudia’s cranky because Artie knows nothing about being an orphan, and Will’s cranky that Bailey’s spending so much time with Jill. Bill’s cranky because he made pancakes and no one wants them. Thurber’s the only one who’s happy, since he gets the pancakes.

Julia runs into Libby in the school bathroom; they’ve been out of touch since Julia started hanging out with Nina. But Libby’s made some new friends and is even sort of dating someone. Hey, Julia is, too! Libby encourages her to arrange things so Julia can spend lots of time with her crush. Claudia helps Artie run lines, though she doesn’t think he’s good at the part. She thinks if she were a boy, she would have gotten the role.

Will and Bailey study together, but Bailey doesn’t know anything. Jill gives them a copy of the test they’re studying for. Will has a conscience, so he doesn’t want to accept it. Charlie confronts Kirsten over a movie-ticket stub he found in her pocket while he was doing the laundry. She explains that she and Ben went to a movie while they had a break. Charlie blasts her for lying to him, which is pretty ironic considering the source. Kirsten agrees with me. At the coffeehouse, Julia spots Libby with her new boyfriend. If you’ve ever seen TV before, you’ve already guessed it’s Justin.

Artie goes to the Salingers’ to try to make up with Claudia. She’s still being dramatic and says he stole the role from her. It’s cold and raining outside, so she tells Artie to use that for his character development. Jill crabs to Bailey that Will’s a goody-goody; she thinks Bailey judges her for the rules she’s willing to break. Both of them should stop feeling superior since they do bad things all the time. Julia asks Justin for private driving lessons, which he doesn’t seem to get is probably a euphemism.

Charlie apologizes to Kirsten for their fight the night before, saying he’s confused about things now that they’re living together. He just doesn’t want her to keep it from him when she spends non-working time with Ben. Kirsten is okay with this, and things seem fine until Bill gives Kirsten a message from Ben telling her to dress up for dinner that night. This is the first Charlie’s heard of a faculty dinner she’ll be attending with Ben. He announces that he doesn’t want Kirsten to go. Kirsten objects to being ordered around. Charlie’s sure that Ben’s interested in her.

The day before Oliver opens, the director tells Claudia that Artie’s lost his voice – can she fill in for him? Justin gives Julia driving lessons (not a euphemism…yet), and when she tells him how awesome he is for helping her, he figures out what’s going on. Julia notes that she didn’t exactly drag him into helping her. Justin says he thought the driving lessons were only driving lessons. And now there won’t be any lessons, since he’s with Libby.

There’s a new waitress named Eliza at the restaurant, and she flirts with Charlie a little. He offers to drive her home at the end of the night. Will finds Bailey playing basketball by himself the night after the test and asks him if he used the one Jill stole. Bailey admits that he did for a few questions. He repeats what Jill said about Will breaking some rules but thinking others should be honored. He taunts that at least he has a girlfriend. Bailey also notes that he never said anything bad about Will’s last girlfriend. Will warns that Jill is “a disaster waiting to happen.” Bailey tells him to go to Hell.

Ben drives Kirsten to the faculty dinner, suggesting that they leave early and go to a jazz place. She reminds him that she’s dating Charlie. Meanwhile, Charlie’s taking Eliza home, and she’s so grateful that she invites him upstairs. When he gets back home, Kirsten reveals that she called the restaurant to talk to him about something and was told that Charlie left with Eliza. Charlie admits that he wanted to get back at Kirsten, and he came close to sleeping with Eliza, but he didn’t.

Claudia practices singing outside, while standing in a bucket, so she can make herself sick. She feels horrible for stealing Artie’s role and thinks she should be punished. “Out of the bucket,” Charlie orders her. She won’t go, so he picks her up and carries her inside. “I’m a sinner!” she screams. At school, Libby suggests to Julia that the two of them double date with Justin and Julia’s crush. Julia bows out without telling Libby about her crush.

Bailey got an A on his test because he’s a slimeball. He’s also not talking to Will. Jill feels bad about causing a rift between them, but not that bad, since she still gets to sleep with Bailey. She hides some pot in her locker without letting Bailey see. Claudia takes Artie flowers, telling him she doesn’t deserve to be Oliver. He reveals that he stole the role from her in the first place because he thought she looked cool auditioning. Also, he’ll be better soon, as will the original Oliver, so Claudia won’t be filling in for very long anyway.

Julia runs into Justin and tells him she’s happy that he and Libby found each other. He kisses her, then bolts. Kirsten tells Charlie that she has a new advisor – she found out that Ben was interested in her after all. But she’s upset with Charlie for not trusting her. Claudia makes her debut as Oliver, with her siblings and their significant others in the audience.

Thoughts: I can’t believe an episode with “green” in the title came up on St. Patrick’s Day.

Also, God help me, when I hear “it’s not easy being green,” I don’t think of Kermit. I think of this.

Ben is played by Mark Moses (Desperate Housewives, Mad Men).

“If girls were treated the same as boys, I’d be the star of the show.” Claudia, just…no. Okay?

So it turns out Bailey and Julia were right when they said Kirsten shouldn’t move in. Who knew?

March 12, 2013

Party of Five 1.14, Not Fade Away: Don’t Ever Change

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 9:11 pm by Jenn

Someday these will be Exhibit A in Bailey's trial

Someday these will be Exhibit A in Bailey’s trial

Summary: Having asked Kirsten to move into the Salingers’ house, Charlie now has to tell his siblings about it. They think it’s too fast, since just a month ago, Charlie and Kirsten weren’t even speaking. Claudia’s the only one who’s excited. Julia and Bailey are upset that they weren’t consulted about someone who will be living in their house. (Fair point, but one of you invited an abused runaway to live with the family without asking anyone else’s opinion, so….)

Despite the protests, the move goes forward. Julia raises more objections when Kirsten and Charlie move their mother’s dresser out of their parents’ bedroom. She moves it into her own room, finding a journal inside one of the drawers. Jill and Bailey go to the mall, goofing around at some high-end department store, where Bailey sees gloves he likes that are way too expensive.

Claudia gives Artie feedback as he practices for his bar mitzvah, which he’s taking very seriously. In fact, he’s so serious about his religion that he’s worried what marrying Claudia would do to his grandmother. Plus, mixed marriages have horrible success rates. Claudia notes that one of them could convert to the other’s religion. It’s not going to be Artie.

Julia reads the journal, which belonged to her mother and contains numerous mentions of her violin teacher, Avery. It sounds like they were closer than Mr. Salinger probably would have liked. Jill informs Bailey that she has a present for him: the gloves he looked at. She casually mentions that she didn’t buy them.

Charlie wants to break in his and Kirsten’s new bed, but it squeaks and she doesn’t want his siblings to hear them getting it on. They opt for the floor instead. Julia goes looking for more journals with no luck. Claudia questions Kirsten about her religious preferences (she’s agnostic) and how she would want her children to be raised (of course, she doesn’t know that Kirsten can’t have children). Kirsten tells her that children don’t necessarily have to believe what their parents do.

Bailey doesn’t want to wear his new gloves since he claims he doesn’t need them. It’s definitely not because he has a conscious and feels guilty for using stolen property, Jill. Jill attempts to corrupt Bailey further by asking him to skip his family dinner that night. Claudia starts reading the Torah, telling Julia that she’s thinking of converting to Judaism. Julia thinks she’s too young to make such a decision. She’s also mad that Kirsten’s encouraging her to think for herself. Really, though, she thinks Claudia’s turning her back on their parents’ religion.

Julia heads to the restaurant early and asks Joe if he knows anything about Avery. Joe claims not to know whether Nick liked Avery or not. Julia thinks Avery and Diana had an affair and asks Joe to confirm or deny. He sticks to his claim that he doesn’t know. Everyone else arrives for family dinner, including Kirsten but excluding Bailey. Then Bailey shows up with Jill, which necessitates a move to a different table.

Charlie pulls Bailey aside so they can fight over who is and isn’t welcome at family dinners. Bailey’s upset that Charlie gets to make all the decisions. He agrees to send Jill home only if Charlie tells Kirsten to leave, too. That night, Claudia wakes up Kirsten because she doesn’t feel well. Julia wanders in and isn’t happy that Kirsten’s being the maternal one. Charlie, however, loves Kirsten even more for taking care of his sister. He’s also pleased that Claudia asked for her.

Julia meets with Avery, pretending she’s doing a school project on him. She gets him to talk about Diana, who he says he’d lost touch with before her death. He says she was his favorite student. Julia asks to hear the recordings they made together. Avery says they’re hard to find, and are the only recordings Diana made. She quit playing to raise her kids (which at that point were just Charlie, Bailey, and Julia). Avery reveals that he was in love with her.

Bailey and Jill go back to the mall, where she tries to get him to steal her a pair of sunglasses. He gets caught. Julia comes home to find Kirsten making matzo ball soup. Julia blasts Kirsten for advising Claudia about religion and changing things in the house. She thinks Claudia only went to Kirsten when she was sick because Kirsten moving in has confused her. Then Julia admits that she feels like her mother is disappearing. Every time something changes, there’s less of her in the house.

Charlie’s summoned to the mall, where Bailey defends Jill and claims the shoplifting was his idea. He’s let off the hook. Back at home, Charlie then confronts Julia over what she said to Kirsten. Kirsten admits that it was a mistake for her to move in without the others being consulted. Charlie assures Julia that Kirsten doesn’t want to be her mother any more than he wants to be the kids’ father. Julia says again that she feels like she’s losing Diana. Charlie tries to ease her mind, asking for some slack.

Claudia confides to Artie that her family’s resistant to her spiritual journey, and she’s having some problems sorting everything out. She decides she just needs to learn more about Judaism. He tells her about the names of the dead in the synagogue and teaches her the Mourner’s Kaddish. Bailey complains to Jill that Charlie’s overreacting to the fact that he committed a crime. Jill notes that at least Bailey has someone in his family who cares.

Avery shows up at the Salingers’ house, having figured out who Julia is. He gives her Diana’s recordings and says they were just friends. Julia thinks she deserves to know if her mother had an affair, so she doesn’t keep believing her parents had a perfect marriage. Avery tells her that he was in love with Diana, but they didn’t have an affair. She mentions the journal and how much Diana wrote about him. He says they had the opportunity to do something, but Diana never stopped loving Nick.

That night, Claudia tells Julia that she’s decided to hold off on converting. She wants to believe in the Heaven her parents are in. She needs to know that the whole family will wind up in the same place someday. Charlie’s supposed fixed the bed, so now he and Kirsten can have sex without anyone hearing. (Yay?) Except it’s not fixed after all. Charlie tells Kirsten she doesn’t need to try to be invisible in the house – he wants her to be there.

Bailey and Jill are out somewhere (the school football field?), and he decides they should just start driving and see where they end up. He’s wearing the Gloves of Corruption. Julia listens to Diana and Avery’s recordings, which include her mother’s voice. She cries and listens to Diana speaking over and over, then stops rewinding to hear Diana laugh.

Thoughts: Jill’s hair looks even worse now. It’s all fluffy and high. Poor girl.

Artie, you don’t get to worry about marriage until your voice has changed.

Trivia: The Salingers are Episcopalian.

Artie: “If you’re really becoming Jewish, you should never apologize for complaining.” Snort.

March 3, 2013

Party of Five 1.12, Games People Play: He’s Just Not That Into You

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

Why did we all wear so much denim in the '90s? What was wrong with us?

Why did we all wear so much denim in the ’90s? What was wrong with us?

Summary: Kirsten goes by the restaurant to see Charlie and ask him to dinner. Then she kisses him, so I guess she’s over him cheating on her. Bailey and Kate are going camping, though she’s lied to her parents about what she’s doing. Artie’s at the Salingers’ but bails on Claudia hours before he’s supposed to leave. At Stage 18, Julia flirts with Morgan, and we’re reminded that he thinks she’s in college. He asks her to drive for their upcoming date, so of course she says she can.

Julia shares her woes with Nina, who encourages to do what she needs to do to keep Morgan. Julia decides to take a cab and pretend her car’s in the shop. Nina advises that “men love mysterious women.” Claudia overhears this and decides to wear a scarf and sunglasses when she stalks Artie at an ice cream shop, since that’s what she considers “mysterious.” “Think of all the hidden depths of my character,” she says. “Do I have to?” he asks.

At Kate’s house, her annoying father criticizes her clothes, then gives her a letter that arrived for her and which he already opened. She was accepted at a boarding school in Connecticut. Bailey’s not happy. Julia and Morgan go out, and she learns that he’s a recovering alcoholic (so running a club is a really good career path for him). There’s kissing, and Morgan asks if they can go back to her place. She lies that she lives with a family she nannies for and can’t have visitors. Also, if he calls and someone other than Julia picks up, he should hang up.

Charlie meets Kirsten at her place, and after some small talk, they decide to skip dinner and go straight to dessert, if you know what I mean. The next morning, Charlie tries to be affectionate, but Kirsten is distant. Bailey goes to see Kate’s mother and asks her to change Mr. Bishop’s mind about boarding school. Mrs. Bishop says Kate’s on board – she’s the one who sent away for the applications.

Julia hasn’t heard from Morgan, so she asks Bill the nanny if he’s gotten any hang-up calls. He says the phone hasn’t rung all day. Nina warns that she’s losing her mysteriousness. She might as well just call Morgan, or even go to his place. He’ll love her for being unpredictable. Again, Claudia overhears and applies this to her life by joining Artie’s karate class.

Bailey and Kate have it out over boarding school, which she says isn’t about him. She applied while they were broken up. She wants to have a stable living arrangement and get away from her father. Plus, if she goes to this boarding school, she might get to go to Paris, which is so much better than hanging out with Bailey. Julia takes a picnic to Morgan’s place, but he resists her spontaneity and won’t let her in. Julia asks if someone’s there, and he says no.

Charlie tracks Kirsten down and confronts her for blowing him off; it’s obviously revenge for his cheating. She tells him it was just a hookup and she’s sorry if he thought they were getting back together. She hints that she wanted to be with him because she was lonely, then tells him she might be sick. Charlie takes Kirsten home as she explains that her gynecologist found a mass. She didn’t say anything the night before because she didn’t want pitying looks from him. He offers to stay with her, but she sends him away.

Julia shares her dating problems with Nina again, sure that Morgan’s seeing someone else. Nina tells her to think of it as a blessing in disguise since Morgan’s older. She notes that Julia didn’t make a big deal out of the relationship until she thought there was another woman – people always find other people attractive when they’re unattainable.

Guess what? Claudia hears this. She enlists Will to accompany her to the ice cream shop and pretend to be her boyfriend to make Artie jealous. Artie tells Claudia she’s not as much fun as she used to be, so he doesn’t want to practice music with her anymore. (That’s not a euphemism. They’re only 12.)

Morgan makes a surprise visit to the Salingers’, so Julia pretends Charlie’s the oldest son of the couple she nannies for. Morgan explains that he didn’t have another woman over, he had a girl over: his two-year-old daughter. He was afraid to tell Julia because he didn’t want her to dump him. Bailey’s all mopey over boarding school, so he tells Kate they can’t go camping after all. He picks a fight and she blasts him for ruining the little time they have left.

Charlie and Kirsten have dinner together, but she’s cranky and doesn’t appreciate his attempts to cheer her up. She also doesn’t appreciate his attempts at a makeout session. She decides he’s not the person she should have turned to for support. Charlie assures her that he can be just a friend instead of pressuring her for sex. Kirsten tells him her sister’s coming out to visit, so he can stop trying to take care of her.

Kate begs Bailey not to call off the camping trip since it’s their last chance to spend time together. He blasts her for always trying to get what she wants instead of thinking about him. (Pssst, Kate: He’s talking about sex.) She tells him they’ll have sex on the camping trip. At home, Bailey tries to ask Charlie for sex advice without either of them actually using the word “sex.” Charlie says he’ll know if the time is right to get things started. The actual sex is the easiest part of the process.

Claudia tries to call Artie, explaining to Julia that she tried all of Nina’s dating tips and nothing works. Julia says Artie’s mad that Claudia’s been messing with him. Claudia points out that Julia’s been messing with Morgan. She meets Artie outside his karate class and admits that she was trying to get his attention. She misses spending time with him now that he’s taking karate. Once Claudia says straight out that she wants to hang out more, Artie easily agrees.

Out in the woods, Bailey and Kate get to the sex, but he realizes she doesn’t really want to go through with it. She insists she does since she doesn’t want him to forget her after she leaves. He knows that’s not a good reason to have sex. If she wants to be a virgin until marriage, she should. Julia takes Morgan a stuffed animal for his daughter, then prepares to tell him her own deep, dark secret. She’s interrupted by an inspector who wants to do an ID check around the bar.

Charlie brings Kirsten a new hair dryer (hers is broken) and some other random things he thought she should have. He announces that he loves her, and he can’t keep himself from taking care of her. “When you love someone and they need something, you have to get it for them,” he explains. Kirsten tells him she doesn’t have cancer, but she can’t have children.

Thoughts: Maybe Julia shouldn’t go out with Morgan to places where someone might know her?

A turtleneck and jumper are two of the least sexy things you could wear the morning after a hookup, Kirsten.

“Why is there an apostrophe? Snackwell’s.” Nina is smarter than I thought.

Kate, please find a new hat. Or try no hat at all. Yeah, let’s try no hat at all.

Maybe Claudia should tell Artie she’s going to boarding school. Then he’ll want her.

You want kids, Kirsten? Take Owen. He’d probably be better off with you.

February 26, 2013

Party of Five 1.11, Private Lives: Everyone’s a Failure

Posted in TV tagged , , at 9:40 pm by Jenn

"So you say your sister isn't in her tent. ...Is this a crank call?"

“So you say your sister isn’t in her tent. …Is this a crank call?”

Summary: Bailey wakes up in the middle of the night to the sounds of what seems to be an intruder. He looks for a weapon, deciding on a knife instead of a rolling pin, which is probably a good call. But it doesn’t matter since the “intruder” is Charlie, who forgot his key. Bailey wonders why he’s coming home so late, but Charlie won’t explain himself.

The next day, the younger Salingers fight over the phone while Charlie looks after Owen (the new nanny, Bill, has jury duty). Later, Julia goes to work and giggles with a coworker over how cute their boss, Morgan, is. Stage 18 is having some money problems, so Julia suggests that they pay bands’ travel expenses so they can earn a reputation for introducing new groups to San Francisco. Morgan’s thinking of something sexier that will make people come in every week. Then he totally flirts with Julia.

Bailey’s blasting music and dancing around the messy house when Mrs. Gideon, their social worker, makes a surprise visit. At Stage 18, Morgan announces to the staff that he wants to use them as a draw, so they’ll be wearing skimpier uniforms. This is what Julia’s wearing when she goes home and encounters Mrs. Gideon. She rushes to change clothes and we see that the outfit is something a dominatrix might wear.

Bailey tries to call Charlie at work, but he’s not there. He then goes to get Claudia from her tent, but she’s not there, even though it’s 10 p.m. Bailey lies that she’s out with Charlie. When Charlie gets home half an hour later, the siblings realize they haven’t seen Claudia since that afternoon and have no idea where she is. They wind up calling the police, but they’re bad at describing her and don’t know what she was wearing.

The siblings spend the night tearing up the house looking for any clues to Claudia’s whereabouts, and Bailey gets distracted by a withdrawal slip showing that Charlie took $400 out of their account. Charlie doesn’t want to talk about it. They break into Claudia’s diary, but it’s not helpful. Bailey’s stuck on Charlie’s recent secretive activities, but Julia tells him to give Charlie his privacy. (Ironic for someone who just read her sister’s diary.)

The phone rings and the siblings run downstairs to answer it. Instead, they find Claudia eating breakfast in the kitchen. She was at a sleepover and claims she told everyone where she was going. She blasts them for not listening and not thinking to call her friend because they don’t know any of her friends’ names.

Julia goes to work in her spiffy new outfit and gets treated like a stripper. She’s not the only one, so all the waitresses tell Morgan they object to the new uniforms. He fires them. Bailey follows Charlie downtown and bugs him about keeping secrets and taking money out of the account. He thinks Charlie’s using drugs. Charlie still won’t explain himself. Meanwhile, Mrs. Gideon leaves a message on the Salingers’ answering machine alerting them to a follow-appointment the next afternoon.

When Charlie gets home late that night, Bailey and Julia tell him about the appointment. Bailey has filled Julia in on Charlie’s activities, and she also wants to know what he’s been doing. Charlie finally spills that he’s been taking an architecture class at Berkeley. Julia and Bailey are supportive and wonder why he didn’t tell them. Charlie doesn’t have a reason, because he is a grumpy child this week.

Bailey and Julia quiz Claudia on her friends and teachers, both so they can know more about her and so they can answer any questions Mrs. Gideon might have. Then they quiz her about her crush, Artie. Claudia announces that they have a date that afternoon. Charlie proves his knowledge in class, then learns of a field trip on Friday and a 48-hour project he can’t get an extension on.

Meanwhile, Julia and Bailey learn that Bill has been chosen for a murder trial and will have to be sequestered. So Bailey hunts down Kirsten and asks her for help. Julia goes to Stage 18 to get her last paycheck, and Morgan tells her a bunch of the fired waitresses changed their minds and were rehired. Julia refuses to follow suit, and Morgan’s so distraught over the thought of losing her that he agrees to let her wear something else.

Bailey tells Charlie that Kirsten’s coming back, and Charlie casually tries to find out if she’s still mad at him. He’s mad himself when he learns that Bailey told her he’s back in school. Charlie announces that he’s dropping out because he has other responsibilities. Bailey thinks he’s quitting because it’s too much work. Charlie blasts him for blabbing his secret to everyone; if he hadn’t, Charlie could drop out without anyone knowing. Now they’ll add this to his list of failures.

Artie shows up for his date with Claudia, but first he has to survive Julia and Bailey’s parenting imitation. The two of them also chaperone the date, making sure they’ll be home before Mrs. Gideon shows up. Artie decides to bail since he’s not having fun.

Kirsten arrives at the house and looks after Owen while the others meet with Mrs. Gideon, acting all Stepford. Mrs. Gideon calls them on their “theater.” Other sins come to light: The family has had four nannies in nine months; Julia doesn’t work at the burger place where she claims to work; the siblings filed a police report when they couldn’t find Claudia. Bailey swears that he’s on top of things, but he’s secretly failing math and chemistry.

After Mrs. Gideon leaves, Charlie lays into the others, saying that no one’s telling the truth and no one trusts anyone else. Bailey notes that Charlie’s included in that. Claudia’s worried that they’ll be under constant surveillance. Julia decides the situation calls for her to quit working at Stage 18. But that doesn’t mean she and Morgan can’t see each other outside of a professional setting.

Back at home, Charlie questions Bailey about his academic problems, asking why they both feel like they have to fail in private. He suggests getting Bailey a tutor; they can afford one if they cook more. He doesn’t want Bailey to use his responsibilities as an excuse not to succeed. Bailey says the same goes for Charlie.

Claudia pays Mrs. Gideon a visit, asking if she’s thinking of splitting up the Salingers. Mrs. Gideon firmly says no; she just wants to help. She doesn’t want Claudia to see her as the enemy, but Claudia says she does. She wants Mrs. Gideon to just ask her what she wants. Mrs. Gideon reminds her of her disappearance. Claudia says she only focuses on the things the Salingers do wrong and overlooks what they do right. They got through the past nine months, and nothing can get harder than that. Mrs. Gideon is the only reason they might not make it.

The rest of the siblings are at home, where Charlie mentions that he can give Julia a ride to the library a couple days a week on his way to Berkeley. Bailey’s proud. They realize they’ve misplaced Claudia again, but she returns and tells them she was with Mrs. Gideon. Mrs. Gideon has some suggestions for making their lives easier, and she’ll leave them alone for six months. Just then, Owen takes his first steps, so at least one Salinger isn’t a complete failure.

Thoughts: Random appearance of the week: Nicole Sullivan as one of Julia’s fellow waitresses.

Why do the Salingers have so many rolling pins?

’90s music alert: Live’s “I Alone.”

The police officer asks for the name of Claudia’s dentist “for purposes of identification.” That made me shudder.

The Salingers should have called Ross when they couldn’t find Claudia. I bet he knew where she was.

$400 will get you tuition and textbooks for one class at Berkeley. Who knew?

Bill says he was picked to serve, and Bailey thinks he means he was drafted. Yes, Bailey, many men were drafted in 1994 for the war the U.S. was fighting with no one.

Poor Morgan has no idea he’s flirting with jailbait. Wait, did I just say “poor Morgan”? Ick.

Claudia tells Mrs. Gideon that Bailey chaperoned her class trip to the planetarium. Aww, she got to go after all!