September 1, 2013

Party of Five 3.5, Mixed Signals: Stop Trying to Help

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 1:01 pm by Jenn

It's been so long since Bailey's seen a naked woman, he forgot what one looked like

It’s been so long since Bailey’s seen a naked woman, he forgot what one looked like

Summary: Now that Bailey has his own apartment, Julia has taken over the attic, which gives her a place to hang out with Cooper in privacy. And by “hang out,” I mean make out. Cooper thinks it means have sex, though. Julia puts on the brakes, and he thinks it’s just because they’ve only had three dates. Bailey takes his laundry home (a rite of college students everywhere) and checks on Kirsten, who’s feeling better, if overly occupied with organizing things. Charlie notes that Claudia’s been spending a lot of time at Jody’s (so I guess they’re still friends) and reminds her that she can have Julia’s room.

Callie’s trying to move on from her breakup and is getting a lot of assistance from interested guys. One of them, T.J., is unable to take the hint that Callie’s not interested. Julia tells Cooper about her miscarriage and how she’s not sure when she’ll be ready to have sex again. “What are you dating a college guy for?” he asks, because he is lovely and sensitive. Julia maturely tells him that she wants to wait until she feels ready to feel with the possible consequences of having sex. She doesn’t want lack of sex to affect their relationship. Cooper sucks, so of course it will.

Claudia spends another night at Jody’s, talking about Jody’s mother’s boyfriend, Kenny. Claudia says this will be their last sleepover for a few nights, until Charlie eases off. Jody’s upset and swears Claudia to secrecy before admitting that Kenny comes into her room at night and makes her uncomfortable. Recently, he kissed her. Claudia urges her to tell her mother, but Jody doesn’t want to ruin her mom and Kenny’s relationship. She reminds Claudia of her vow of silence.

Callie keeps getting calls from T.J. and finally tells him that she’s dating someone – “someone” being Bailey. Bailey immediately refuses to play along. Callie asks him to come with her to T.J.’s show at an art gallery to show the guy that she’s telling the truth. Bailey continues to say no until she tells him she’s naked in the pictures. He goes to the Salingers’ house to get some nice clothes and learns that Julia and Cooper are on a break and possibly over. Bailey wishes he hadn’t asked for details when Julia tells him it’s because of sex.

Elsewhere in the house, Kirsten bugs Charlie about not sticking to her new organizational system. Claudia plays “Taps” on her violin before taking down her tent, then tells Charlie that Jody’s staying for a few days. Charlie says it’s okay, but Jody doesn’t think he’s that enthusiastic, which upsets her. When he comes into Claudia’s room without knocking, Jody gets jumpy and runs out. Claudia tells Charlie that she’s upset because of a breakup.

Bailey enjoys the photography exhibit, running into his economics section leader, Tom. Bailey likes his class and was definitely not sleeping during a recent lecture. Things get even more uncomfortable when Callie tells him that Tom is T.J. Julia cooks Cooper dinner, but he’s ticked because he thought he was coming over for sex. She tells him she’s ready to give it a try. They go to Cooper room and…well, start to give it a try.

Jody’s mom summons her home for Kenny’s birthday, so Charlie drives her over. As soon as he’s gone, Jody leaves. At Cooper’s, Julia decides she’s not ready after all and stops him before he can put on a condom. He basically calls her a tease. Bailey tries to switch out of his economics section, but Tom catches him and tells him he can’t change sections unless there’s a scheduling conflict. Bailey’s stunned to see that he got a C- on a recent test. Tom tells him it’s going to be a long semester.

Bailey runs into Cooper and threatens to pound on him if he does anything to hurt Julia. Cooper thinks Julia told him about their sex issues, but Bailey just knows he’s sleazy. Cooper notes that Bailey didn’t think he was so bad when he helped him with his computer-placement test. Bailey tells him to stay away from Julia, but Cooper one-ups him by deciding to stay away from both Salingers.

Charlie comes home to find Kirsten bleeding from a bathroom-organizing mishap. She cries as she tells him that she thought putting things in order would help her feel better. Her medication isn’t working, and she wants to stop taking it. Charlie gets a call from Jody’s mother, who says Jody didn’t come home. Charlie demands the truth from Claudia, refusing to agree when she tries to transfer the vow of secrecy to him. She tells him about Kenny anyway, and Charlie immediately calls Jody’s mother.

Bailey comes home to a jumpy Callie; Tom has been harassing her and she thought he was going to come to the apartment. Bailey tells her about his poor grade and demands that she do something about the situation. Callie tells him it’s really serious – she thinks he’s stalking her and made 18 hang-up calls to the apartment. He also may have killed her cat (which is news to Bailey, who didn’t know she had a cat).

Back on campus, Bailey confronts Tom for his psychotic behavior, threatening to go to the police. Tom claims that he was trying to return Callie’s wallet. He also debunks Callie’s claims about the calls (who knows who left them?) and the cat (who was super-old and died in a box, so…not really suspicious). Claudia approaches Jody at school and apologizes for telling Charlie about Kenny. Jody tries to brush her off, then tells her that her mother kicked Kenny out and will be sending Jody to counseling. She’s worried that she’ll have to go live with her father.

Julia meets Bailey at his place and tells him she tried to call him all night but kept hanging up when she got the machine. She yells at him for yelling at Cooper, since she feels responsible for their problems. She confides that she doesn’t know what she wants or what she’s ready for; she was using Cooper to figure that out. At home, Claudia blasts Charlie for screwing things up for Jody, but he’s too busy helping Kirsten to listen. He tells Claudia that he helped because she was in over her head. Speaking of people in over their heads, Kirsten wants to go off her meds completely.

At the apartment, Bailey returns Callie’s wallet to her, having gotten it from the mailbox, where Tom left it. He calls her on being overdramatic about their breakup. Maybe she should stop dating so many guys and be honest with the ones she doesn’t want to be with. “You’re real good at saying ‘maybe’ when you mean no,” Bailey says. Callie doesn’t appreciate the psychoanalysis. He predicts that she’ll be providing a lot of drama. She thinks he likes it.

At home, Julia and Charlie talk about thinking problems are in the past when they’re not. Charlie knows he can’t keep asking himself if things will always be this way; he’s trying to take them one day at a time. He thinks he can handle it if Kirsten stops taking her medication. Julia offers to help, but Charlie has it covered. Elsewhere in the house, Claudia calls Gene and tells him that Kirsten’s sick and she doesn’t think Charlie can handle it.

Thoughts: There’s a cute scene where Charlie teaches Owen the names of characters in the comics. Then Kirsten comes in and asks rhetorial questions about colors of linens, and Owen answers like he’s being quizzed. I love when Owen gets to do cute stuff.

Julia cooks an entire meal for Cooper and he’s mad because she’s not giving him sex for dessert. What kind of college student is unhappy about a free meal, especially a homecooked one? Heck, I’m nine years out of college and wouldn’t turn down a free meal.

Paula Devicq is doing really well with her storyline. She really seems anxious and hopeless.

Callie, a spray bottle is not an effective weapon, unless Tom is a cat.

Why, why, why is Julia talking to Bailey about her sex life?

August 10, 2013

Party of Five 2.22, Spring Breaks, Part 2: Starring Charlie Salinger as Dustin Hoffman

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , , at 1:06 pm by Jenn

The first six pleas didn't wear her down, but the seventh one did

The first six pleas didn’t wear her down, but the seventh one did

Summary: Charlie’s stalking Kirsten now, which is definitely the next logical step in their non-relationship, now that she’s marrying someone else. Julia and Justin’s relationship is majorly strained, but they still have to present a scene together for English class. He tells her to pick something for them to do. She says they’ll rehearse during school, even though they don’t have much filling up their spare time.

Charlie, Bailey, and Joe pack up the restaurant as Claudia mopes around. Kathleen shows up to start redesigning, and Bailey stands up to her, pointing out that the Salingers still own the restaurant. Kathleen replies that she’ll lose money if she delays: “I don’t want to feel like a chump for not calling in unpaid loans.” (Burn on you, Charlie.) Bailey goes looking for Sarah but instead finds Matt, who’s ticked at him for the way he’s been treating Sarah. He reveals that he wants them to work things out, though it sounds like it’s mostly because he pities Bailey.

Claudia hangs out at the coffeehouse with Jody and her new boyfriend, who are that typical middle school disgustingly sweet couple. At home, Bailey slams Charlie for not standing up to Kathleen. Charlie says he didn’t want to make a scene, but Bailey thinks he should have demonstrated to Claudia that he doesn’t want to lose the restaurant. He’s sick of worrying about so many people all at once. If he were Charlie, he’d try harder to fix things.

Julia hangs out with Ian, saying she wishes she knew what her future held, though she’s fine not knowing what might happen with Ian. She liked their kiss, but she’s not sure if it’s because it was different or because of who she was kissing. Ian gives her another chance to figure it out, then a third.

Sarah goes to the Salingers’ to complain that Bailey didn’t wait for her when she went to see him. (What? Shut up, Sarah.) He’s mad that she told Matt about his life; she made it sound like she just puts up with him. He’s not sure he still makes her happy. Sarah thinks he means that she doesn’t make him happy anymore. Bailey admits that not much in his life still makes him happy. Sarah wants to fix that, but he recognizes that their relationship is more bad than good now, so they need to end it.

Charlie summons Jake to the restaurant to tell him how bad things have gotten. Jake’s surprised, but Charlie wants his input since he’s a businessman. He has one night to solve things before the sale goes through. Speaking of doing things at the last minute, Julia and Justin get together to go over the scene they’re supposed to perform for class. She spots a hickey under his turtleneck and gets mad, because it’s okay when she makes out with someone else, but not when he does.

Ross stops by the Salingers’ and finds Claudia playing her violin in the basement, where it’s been since “Hold on Tight.” She claims that she hasn’t been playing it regularly. The Salingers go to the restaurant for their last family dinner there, but no one wants to stay. They’ll be continuing their tradition elsewhere, and with Joe. They all leave so they don’t have to be around when the restaurant closes at the end of the night.

Bailey tells Will about his breakup, saying “it wasn’t fun anymore.” Will thinks he’s crazy. Bailey repeats what he said to Charlie about being sick of worrying about people whose problems aren’t his. Plus, this will make it easier for him to leave for college on the East Coast in September. Julia runs into Justin at the coffeehouse and finally admits that he’s not the only person who’s been kissing someone else. They’re not sure why things are broken between them, which…really? It’s pretty obvious. And also, Griffin. So anyway, they’re done, too.

Kirsten goes to the house to yell at Charlie for sending her roses just two days before her wedding to someone else. He tells her she’s making a mistake. She points out that he doesn’t get a vote in the matter, and he needs to consider what she wants. Charlie thinks she’s moving too fast (fair enough), but Kirsten accuses him of only wanting her back because he can’t have her. He admits that that’s partly true. He loves her and is ready to make a commitment. She says he’s the one who’s kidding himself, and he only wants her because the rest of his life is so bad.

At school, Bailey runs into Sarah, who wants to talk about their relationship. He refuses, since that’ll just make things harder. Julia sees them, finds out from Will what’s going on, and tries to talk to Bailey about the breakup. She tells him she and Justin are also over. She loves him, but it wasn’t enough. Their split makes sense because something happened, but Bailey looked for problems and a reason to break up. Julia tells him not to look for more issues when things are already bad.

Jody slams Claudia for ditching her and her boyfriend, but Claudia doesn’t really care. She announces that she’s not ready for a boyfriend, and she doesn’t want to do the sort of things Jody and her guy do. Jody won’t slow down just because Claudia isn’t ready, and she doesn’t appreciate Claudia being ticked off all the time about it. Claudia says she misses Jody, but Jody doesn’t miss her because she has someone else. So there’s the third breakup of the episode. Justin and Julia do their scene in class, and of course it’s about breaking up.

Jake goes to the Salingers’ house and tells Bailey that Charlie talked to him about the restaurant. Bailey thinks that was a mistake; Charlie needs to clean up his own mess. Jake tells Bailey he has a proposal. Charlie stalks Kirsten again, this time to her FREAKING REHEARSAL DINNER, and declares his love again. Kirsten’s fiancé and his ridiculous mustache want to beat Charlie up. Charlie remarks that he’s taller. SHUT UP, STALKER. He tells Kirsten he can’t really prove himself to her or guarantee anything. Kirsten suddenly says, “Yes,” but Charlie keeps talking, saying she should marry Michael and be happy. Kirsten slaps him.

When Charlie gets home, Bailey gives him his acceptance letter to Hampshire State, the college he wanted to go to on the East Coast. He tells him that Jake agreed to pay his tuition. Now, though, Jake is willing to pay off the owners of the building that houses the restaurant so the sale won’t go through. But Jake will only either do that or pay for Bailey’s college, not both – and Bailey has to decide which. He cries and tells Charlie he hates him. Charlie tells him to pick college; their sisters will never have to know.

Because Charlie isn’t the only Salinger stalker, Julia sneaks into Justin’s bedroom and tells him she’s having a horrible time dealing with the breakup. She got used to hearing their names spoken together, and when she just hears her name, she feels like something’s missing. Justin comforts her, telling her it’ll get easier. Julia wonders if they made a mistake. He tells her they can’t stay together just because it’s too hard to be apart. She doesn’t want to think about him falling in love with someone else, but he reminds her that she’ll always be his first love.

Claudia laments to Ross about her life, admitting that she overheard Charlie and Bailey’s conversation and is worried about Bailey going away to school. She also admits that she’s been playing her violin again, but she hasn’t let anyone know because she doesn’t want the pressure she felt before. She feels like she needs to go back to her music. Ross agrees to work with her again. Kirsten’s wedding starts, but she panics and goes outside to get air. And guess who’s sitting outside the church in his truck?

Bailey goes to Sarah’s apartment and tells her he’s not going to Hampshire: He’s letting Jake use the money for the restaurant. Sarah’s confused, since she thought getting away was all Bailey wanted. He tells her that he’s spent two years fighting to keep the family together, so he can’t be the first one to leave. They’re supposed to be a family no matter what. Also, he doesn’t want to leave Sarah. “Being with you and taking care of all of them – it’s kind of who I am,” he says.

The Salingers meet up at the closed restaurant, and Bailey reveals that he and Sarah are back together. He starts to tell his sisters about Jake’s money, but Joe beats him to it, telling them the building isn’t going to be sold. Bailey and Charlie pretend that the seller just changed his mind. Charlie tells Bailey that he knows what he’s giving up, but Bailey doesn’t see it that way anymore.

Kirsten comes in, still in her wedding dress, and everyone thinks she and Charlie just got married. She tells everyone she changed her mind: “Always a bride, never a bride.” I’m sure her ditched fiancé will find that hilarious. The Salingers celebrate their saved restaurant with a family dinner, and I guess all their hostility toward each other is gone and everyone’s happy and sunny and la la la, whatever, season 2’s over.

Thoughts: Wait, season 2’s over? I feel like I just started it!

I kind of admire Bailey for the breakup. If it’s that bad, it’s time to call it quits. I mean, he did it for the wrong reasons, but still. Too bad Julia and Justin took so long to figure that out.

I think I noted before that the high school’s mascot is the possum, but I’m just now realizing what a dumb mascot that is. Do they play dead when the opposing team shows up?

I’ll say this about Kirsten: She has good taste in bridesmaids’ dresses.

August 4, 2013

Party of Five 2.21, Spring Breaks, Part 1: I Just Want Your Extra Time and Your Kiss

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , at 5:08 pm by Jenn

Why did they dress her like this? She's so cute!

Why did they dress her like this? She’s so cute!

Summary: Joe’s back in San Francisco for a few weeks and is impressed with what Charlie’s done with the restaurant. He mentions the sale of the building that houses the restaurant, and Charlie pretends not to know the details. Joe thinks they should fight the sale. Sarah’s band is taking up a lot of her time, which means Bailey doesn’t get to see her much. Justin and Julia also haven’t seen each other much, though she wants them to get back on track. He tells her he’s working on a project at the TV station where he interns and will be busy for a few weeks.

Jody has a crush on the new guy at school. Pretend you’re interested. Julia decides to take a photography class (alone, even though she’d wanted to take it with Justin). She meets a guy named Ian who offers to help her out. After a band gig, Sarah and her bandmate Matt are robbed at knifepoint. Matt handles it calmly, but Sarah freezes when the robber demands her purse. Matt manages to grab the guy and get him away from Sarah.

Joe continues his bid to get Charlie to fight the restaurant sale, but Charlie doesn’t think it would be too big of a deal to just find a new location. Bailey and Claudia arrive and surprise them with a plaqued version of the great review the restaurant got. Claudia spots some paperwork regarding the sale and recognizes Kathleen’s name, telling Joe that Charlie was dating her. Will shows up to tell Bailey that Sarah and Matt were robbed and are at the hospital. Meanwhile, Joe gathers more information about Charlie and Kathleen’s relationship.

Sarah’s uninjured other than a bruise on her face, and Matt just needed stitches in his arm. Bailey feels like a fifth wheel as the bandmates comfort each other. Charlie tells his sisters what Kathleen’s trying to do at the restaurant, and they beg him to try to talk her out of the sale. Bailey comes home and chimes in on blaming Charlie for the mess. Later, Julia and Ian take pictures together downtown, and Julia spots Justin out with a girl.

Bailey gives Sarah pepper spray and a beeper so she can contact him if she needs him. Claudia tries to talk to Jody about how upset she is with the possible restaurant sale, but Jody’s too busy thinking about the new kid she likes. She invites Claudia to a party with all the cool kids. Charlie gets drunk at a bar while Sarah tells Matt that she wants to quit the band. Bailey’s made her paranoid about having another frightening encounter. Matt tells her not to let someone get her worked up; he’ll protect her.

Julia goes to Justin’s and shows him the pictures she took of him with the girl. He tells her Cory’s a friend from work, and he likes to take walks with her and tell her what’s going on in his life, since he can’t talk to Julia. The Salingers get a call in the middle of the night from the police – Charlie’s been arrested for being drunk and disorderly. Bailey considers leaving him in jail overnight, but ultimately calls Joe for bail money. Joe yells at Charlie for being an idiot and always finding a way to screw things up when they’re going well, like he did with Kirsten.

In the morning, Julia wakes up to find Justin in her room, because that’s not weird. They talk and agree to try to put the past behind them and work on their relationship. Bailey tells Sarah about the late-night phone call from the police, which he thought was going to be about her. She snaps at him for harping on the mugging when she just wants to move past it. Justin takes Cory shopping for a present for Julia, though I think she might want him for herself.

Claudia and Jody go to the party, and since they’re in middle school, they play Seven Minutes in Heaven. Sarah complains to Matt about how overprotective Bailey’s being. For some reason, he thinks that’s an appropriate time to tell her he likes her. He kisses her, then realizes it was a bad idea. Unfortunately, Will’s nearby and sees them. Claudia and her Seven Minutes in Heaven partner go into a closet, but she leaves as soon as she finds out what the game entails.

Julia and Ian develop pictures together, including one she took of herself that she wants to give Justin. However, she only tells Ian it’s for a friend. Then he tries to start his own game of Seven Minutes in Heaven. Charlie goes to work, but Joe tells him to go home. Also, he doesn’t need to come back because Joe’s going to shut down the restaurant. He’s disappointed because Charlie did so much work and it’s all for nothing. Next Friday will be the last time the Salingers can have dinner together at the restaurant.

Julia gives Justin her photo and he gives her perfume that Cory helped him pick out. They immediately have nothing else to talk about. Also conversation-less: Bailey and Sarah. Sarah asks if Bailey’s talked to Will recently, but he hasn’t. Then she spills the news herself that Matt kissed her. She tries to downplay it, assuring Bailey that she doesn’t return Matt’s feelings.

Jody tracks down Claudia and tells her that the guy she kind of kissed said she was a great kisser and that they got to second base. Jody wants to double date with her and their two new boyfriends. Claudia says she’s not ready for that sort of thing, but Jody’s free to spend all her time with them if she wants. Jody insists that she still wants to hang out with Claudia, but she also wants to date.

Justin tells Cory that things aren’t going well with Julia, and she tries to cheer him up by telling him how awesome he is. That just makes it worse, since he wants to keep laboring under the opinion that they’re just friends. Meanwhile, Julia and Ian hang out, and she finally tells him she has a boyfriend. However, things are easier when she’s with Ian. At home, Claudia looks at old pictures and laments the loss of the restaurant. She sadly tells Charlie that she doesn’t think she’ll be able to forgive him.

Sarah tells Bailey that the kiss with Matt isn’t as big a deal as the way Bailey’s been treating her. He’s going to college soon, so she needs to learn how to be independent. Bailey plays the dead-parents card, reminding her that he has a hard time thinking about losing someone he loves. Basically, she needs to let him smother her or they’ll have to break up. At the end of his rope, Charlie goes to see Kirsten (whose hair, by the way, looks lovely). He tells her that the last time he remembers things being all right was when they were together. He loves her and wants her back. But he’s too late: She’s getting married next week.

Thoughts: As you can see from the picture above, Cory is played by Kate Hudson, in her first acting role.

Also, I didn’t recognize her, but a nurse at the hospital is played by Niecy Nash.

Excuse me, Salingers, but how was Charlie supposed to know what Kathleen would pull? She’s the one you should be mad at. I mean, true, she was unstable, and Charlie knew it, and he didn’t handle their breakup well, but I still wouldn’t say the sale is his fault.

Justin, you were starting to grow on me, but sneaking into a girl’s room and watching her sleep is an Edward Cullen thing, and it needs to stop right now.

What’s with Kirsten and fast engagements? Wasn’t she still sleeping with Charlie, like, six months ago?

July 1, 2013

Party of Five 2.14, Strange Bedfellows: Don’t Smoke! Don’t Have Sex! Don’t Listen to Bailey!

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 9:14 pm by Jenn

This is as much for Justin as it is for Claudia

This is as much for Justin as it is for Claudia

Summary: Will has a new girlfriend, Gina, who Bailey and Sarah haven’t met yet. When they do meet her, they’re a little speechless, mostly because she talks so much and so fast. Justin’s mom helps Julia sort through some clothes for a clothing drive; she’s thrilled that Julia and Justin are back together. She finds Julia’s birth control pills and, much like Sarah and Bailey, is rendered speechless.

Jody talks Claudia into smoking in the school bathroom, but they’re caught by one of their teachers. Will tells Bailey and Sarah that Gina loved them, then tries to arrange a double date. Sarah and Bailey come up with an excuse not to go. Claudia’s teacher, Emily, calls Charlie in to talk about Claudia being sent to detention. Ironically, Emily just quit smoking a few days ago. She talks almost as much as Gina, but Charlie finds it endearing.

Charlie decides that yelling at Claudia won’t work, and instead tries to reason with her (or, in more accurate terms, bribe her). She realizes that he’s interested in Emily. Instead of asking for a bribe not to smoke, she asks him to not get involved with her teacher. Sarah and Bailey go to a club, so of course Will and Gina run into them. Will’s not happy since they told him they were studying.

Mr. and Mrs. Thompson sit Julia and Justin down to have the sex talk with them. Justin doesn’t see a problem, since he and Julia always use protection, and they’re not hurting anyone. Mrs. Thompson warns Julia not to let her hormones make her decisions for her. She orders the teens to stop sleeping together, and that goes over exactly as well as you would expect. (Basically, the result is the same as if Charlie had given the order.)

Bailey tries to make excuses again, this time for why he and Sarah ditched Will and Gina at the club, but Will tells him to just admit that they don’t like Gina. Bailey says that he can do better. Will likes Gina, though, so Bailey says to forget about the bad things he said about her. Justin wants to keep having sex with Julia, but just be more careful about getting caught. She’s worried that Mrs. Thompson sees her as a slut. He says not to worry about that. Also, his sex drive won’t let them stop.

Emily asks Claudia how her non-smoking is going, though it’s really an excuse to find out if Charlie’s available. Since Emily’s a math teacher, Claudia uses math terms to warn her that everyone Charlie’s dated has gone away unhappy. Sarah, Bailey, Will, and Gina have lunch together, finally having a pleasant conversation (this one’s about Tom Hanks). Suddenly Will finds himself annoyed by the same things that annoy Bailey and Sarah. Also, apparently not liking Forrest Gump might be a deal-breaker for him.

Mrs. Thompson discusses Julia and Justin with Charlie, but he’s more inclined to sympathize with his sister than to side with a parent. He’d rather have them have sex under his roof than sneak off to a car. Mrs. Thompson tells Julia she’s worried because no one’s looking out for her. After she leaves, Charlie reveals that he thinks Julia’s stupid for taking risks, and he’s not pleased with her decisions.

Will comes by the house to tell Bailey and Sarah that he and Gina broke up. Sarah’s not very good at hiding her enthusiasm. Now Will has nothing to do, so he invites himself to hang out with the lovebirds. Emily goes on a bad blind date at the Salingers’ restaurant, sending Charlie a note asking him to rescue her. He does, providing her with an excuse to give the date so she can ditch him.

Justin reluctantly helps his parents with the clothing drive as Julia questions Mrs. Thompson over going to Charlie. She lectures Julia on the risk of teen pregnancy. Julia shoots back that Mrs. Thompson isn’t her mother. Charlie and Emily do yoga together (not a euphemism); apparently this is her idea of a good first date. Somehow this leads to an anti-smoking PSA.

Sarah and Will run into each other at the coffeehouse and discuss girls Will can date next. He’s disheartened because Sarah and Bailey are doing so well. Mrs. Thompson gets sick in the bathroom of wherever the clothing drive is being held, and when Julia puts that together with the lectures about pregnancy, she figures out that Mrs. Thompson is expecting. This is an object lesson that no matter how careful you with sex, anything can happen.

Charlie cooks for Emily at the Salingers’ house, and Claudia catches them kissing. She pulls out a pack of cigarettes, saying that Charlie has his own bad habits he can’t break. Emily’s not happy to realize that the deal Charlie and Claudia made involved him not dating her. Will mopes in his room, because his friends are jerks, and when Bailey comes over, Will blasts him for the mean things he said about Gina. He’s mad that Bailey gets everything he wants so easily (like Sarah). Will finally got a great girl, but Bailey ruined things. Will decides he wants Gina back despite what Bailey thinks.

Justin has now learned that his mother’s pregnant, and he vents to Julia about how sick his father’s affair makes him feel. He wants to tell Mrs. Thompson about it. Julia cautions against it – her marriage will end just as she’s about to have a baby. Emily takes her anger over her breakup out on Claudia and Jody’s class, giving them a pop quiz/test. Jody asks Claudia to fix things.

Bailey and Will’s physics class is studying elementary particles, and while he’s answering a question, Bailey makes a metaphor about charges and best friends and nuclear reactions. One particle would like to apologize to the other particle. Bailey is no Bill Nye. Charlie finally takes a stand, telling Claudia that she doesn’t get to dictate who he can and can’t date. Claudia agrees easily.

Justin confronts Mr. Thompson about his affair again, ordering him to tell Mrs. Thompson. Mr. Thompson already did. They’re working on their relationship, and he plans to stay, not least because he’s happy about the baby. Justin says that his parents’ relationship is none of his business, just like his relationship with Julia is none of their business. Mr. Thompson disagrees, saying that no matter what mistakes he makes, he’s still Justin’s father.

Charlie visits Emily at school to tell her they can date. Cue kissing. Bailey and Sarah run into Will and Gina at the coffeehouse and voluntarily hang out with them. Apparently Will sang “Baby, Come Back” as an apology. Justin and Julia study at the Salingers’ house, but he’d rather be doing something else. They vow to always be careful, though he doesn’t think they have anything to worry about.

Thoughts: Gina is played by Alanna Ubach, who was in Sister Act 2…with Jennifer Love Hewitt! Weird.

Jody carries cigarettes around with her, but not a lighter? Then what’s the point?

I’d rather hang out with Gina than Bailey, so he can shut up. Also, he took Sarah from Will, so he should tread lightly. And really, as long as Will’s happy with someone who’s not Sarah, Bailey should be happy.

I don’t remember everything about the series from when it originally aired, but I do remember that Mrs. Thompson’s warnings about teen pregnancy are foreshadowing…

June 23, 2013

Party of Five 2.12, Hold On Tight: Sex and Violins

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 5:05 pm by Jenn

"Yeah, well, at least in ten years, people won't be making jokes about my boyfriend's boobs"

“Yeah, well, at least in ten years, people won’t be making jokes about my boyfriend’s boobs”

Summary: Julia and Justin are looking at a really old book about sex, but they keep getting interrupted by Claudia. Charlie comes home and asks Julia to actually look after Owen instead of just pretending to. (He doesn’t seem to care that she and Justin are on the bed together.) Claudia tells Charlie that Kirsten called and left a message saying she wants to see him. Justin and Julia try to find some privacy in the basement, but Bailey and Sarah have already claimed it for themselves.

Charlie and Kirsten run into each other (literally) on campus, so I guess he’s still taking classes and she’s moved back from Chicago. He thinks she called because she wants to get back together. She actually called because he owes back taxes from when she was Owen’s nanny. Claudia and Jody watch a soap opera at the Salingers’, so I guess Charlie’s order that they can’t hang out anymore was in vain. Jody makes Claudia nervous about getting her cast off.

Julia and Justin clean up the Salingers’ attic so she can move into it. She’s planning to audition to sing with a band. Sarah hears them moving things around, but Bailey thinks there are just rats up there. He has a job interview for an internship at a TV station. Bailey likes Julia’s attic-bedroom idea so much that he wants to move in himself. Justin thinks this sounds like an episode of The Brady Bunch. Sarah remembers that one, and they laugh over the show until their respective significant others glare them into silence.

Claudia gets her cast off, and now she can go back to playing her violin. Ross is eager to restart her lessons, but Claudia is tentative and complains of pain. Bailey hijacks Julia’s move, putting a moose head from the attic in her bedroom. She tells him she needs her own space to practice for the band she hopes to join. Bailey thinks he deserves the attic because he has to share a room with a toddler. Julia blows up about never having privacy, as if she’s the only one who feels that way.

Kirsten tries to sort out her taxes, but Charlie’s distracted by all the things he wants to build and fix in her apartment. Then there’s some subtext about how they’re both sleeping alone now. The two of them get the tax issues squared away, which means now they’ll be going their separate ways. Unless Kirsten would like a ride home? And maybe a trip to a coffeehouse? And then I guess she can just go home with Charlie and live happily ever after?

Bailey complains that Julia threw a bunch of his stuff around and Thurber chewed it up. Sarah isn’t that sympathetic. She sings along with some muzak, giving Bailey an idea: How would she like to audition for a band? Claudia skips a lesson with Ross to go to a movie with Jody. At dinner, Charlie and Kirsten cheerfully discuss various wedding presents they got. They also show how well they know each other; he knows she won’t like a certain kind of bread, and she keeps him from eating jicama, which he’s allergic to.

Claudia comes home late to find Ross playing the Salingers’ piano. She lies that she didn’t have her watch with her, then says that they might as well stop lessons, since he’s probably sick of her. He knows she’s scared about getting back into playing, and worried that she won’t be as good as she used to be. Claudia tells him she doesn’t care about any of that – she’s not playing the violin anymore. Julia’s late to her audition (which is apparently in a busy club, with a big audience) and arrives to find Sarah in the middle of hers.

Charlie walks Kirsten home, and it looks like neither of them wants to say good night. She’s not sure if she should invite him in, so they just kiss outside the building. The next morning, he wakes up in her bed, but she’s not happy. She’s been working to get over Charlie for weeks and has now undone all of that. She wants to know what this all means. Charlie doesn’t know, and he doesn’t know what will come next, but he likes where they are now. He promises that they’ll take things slow.

Julia knows that Bailey told Sarah about the audition to get back at her. Justin thinks it could just be a coincidence. He’s filling out an application to work at the coffeehouse, but Julia knows of a better job he can interview for. At home, Ross tells the older Salingers that Claudia wants to quit her lessons. Bailey supports her decision, but Julia and Charlie think she’s making a mistake. Charlie also suspects that Jody influenced the decision. Claudia comes home in the middle of the discussion/argument (mostly between Bailey and Julia) and tells her siblings that they’re not making the best decisions right now either.

Charlie hangs out at Kirsten’s place, hiding in the bathroom when Claudia shows up (so I guess they haven’t mentioned to anyone that they’re sort of back together). Claudia wants advice about how to convince her brothers and sister that she doesn’t want to play the violin. She sees two glasses of wine on the table and realizes that Kirsten has someone over.

Sarah’s officially in the band, and they’ve already set up a gig. In other news, Justin has gotten the job Bailey wanted at the TV station. The news comes out that Bailey wanted the job and that Julia wanted to sing with the band. The siblings start yelling at each other, and Sarah and Justin slip out of the room to let them kill each other. Of course, the fight turns to the attic, and Julia accuses Bailey of not caring about her. He confirms that he doesn’t.

Now Sarah feels horrible about taking Julia’s spot; she accuses Bailey of using her to get back at his sister. She’s confused about why the two of them are fighting so much. Justin’s also mad at Julia for using him against Bailey. He points out that the siblings have known each other their whole lives, so they should probably be nicer to each other. As he’s complaining, Julia finds something interesting in the mail.

Claudia tries to sell a bunch of her classical CDs so she can get Hole, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Foo Fighters CDs. Julia gives Bailey the interesting mail: It’s an acceptance letter from a school in Boston. She didn’t realize he wanted to go to school on the East Coast. He asks her to keep it quiet since no one knows yet. Julia agrees.

Charlie and Kirsten are in her bed again, and she’s still not completely happy, since they haven’t told anyone that they’re back together (or whatever they are). She feels like nothing’s changed from their previous relationship, and not in a good way. It’s like they’re just holding on to each other, and are trying to find a way to end things instead of trying to start over. Charlie says that he sometimes wonders how things would have turned out if they’d met each other later. He thinks he would have known she was the one as soon as he saw her.

Bailey finds Julia painting the attic, but for him, not her. If he goes to college in Boston, he’ll only be living at home for six more months, so he should have the attic first. Julia says she’ll miss him if he leaves. In the basement, Claudia pulls out her violin and plays it for what could be the last time, then stashes it on a shelf.

Thoughts: You know who really deserves the attic? Claudia, who SLEPT IN A TENT FOR A YEAR AND A HALF.

Also, no one asked Charlie’s permission to turn the attic into a bedroom. And I’m sure he wouldn’t appreciate someone moving up there because there’s more privacy for sex.

The band Julia and Sarah wanted to audition for is called Nielsen Family. Lame.

Charlie, about a wobbly table: “I can’t believe that doesn’t drive you nuts.” Kirsten: “It did. Now it’s charming.” Heh.

June 20, 2013

Party of Five 2.11, Unfair Advantage: Advance, Retreat

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 5:22 pm by Jenn

"The hat came free with the car! Actually, I think the seller was just trying to get rid of it"

“The hat came free with the car! Actually, I think the seller was just trying to get rid of it”

Summary: Bailey needs two birthday presents for Sarah (her birthday’s today but her party isn’t for a few days), but has little money. Still, he managed to get a nice sweater for her. Julia’s no help coming up with a second idea. Also, whatever he picks will pale in comparison to the convertible Sarah’s parents got her. (She expects that party of their generosity stems from their guilt over lying about her adoption.)

Julia’s English teacher, Mr. Peck, keeps her after class to talk to her about a poem she wrote; it’s not up to her usual level of work. He thinks it’s because she wrote about a guy and doesn’t have the experience to back it up. She replies that she does. Mr. Peck tells her to write about how she feels when a guy touches her. Then he actually touches her, making her flinch.

Charlie wants to hang out with some of the servers at the restaurant, who are a little surprised, since he’s not usually social. Jody uses a bowl of ice cream from a trash can to get free scoops for herself and Claudia. Mr. Peck offers Julia a ride home, not noticing that she’s obviously uncomfortable. She finally gives in, which is a horrible, horrible idea.

Sarah’s totally fine with her parents trying to make things up to her with material goods. She admires some expensive garnet earrings in a store window and thinks Bailey wants to get them for her as a birthday present. She offers to buy them, then give them to him to give to her. Somewhere, Sarah’s parents regret giving her a gold card.

After going to a show together, Charlie invites the servers back to his house to hang out. They do some drinking, and one server, Shelley, teases that Charlie acted like he was 50 when he interviewed her. She wonders if his sudden transformation into “fun guy” is actually a reversion to how he used to be. She definitely likes this guy better.

Upstairs, Justin tries to get romantic with Julia, but she resists. He keeps trying to kiss her and undress her, until she snaps that no means no. She tells him that when she was with Mr. Peck in his car, he put his hand on her leg and tried to kiss her. Julia left before anything could happen, but she’s obviously shaken.

The next morning, Julia decides to skip school, which surprises Justin. He wants to take her to see their principal and tell her what happened with Mr. Peck. Julia doesn’t want to see her teacher, so she refuses to go. At the restaurant, Shelley asks Charlie to do something that night, but it sounds like she really just wants his arms, since she needs help getting rid of her Christmas tree. Jody asks Claudia to steal her a pack of cigarettes. Claudia does, adding in a bottle of alcohol.

Justin finds Mr. Peck at school and tells him, “You touch her again, your life’s over.” Sarah takes Bailey shopping, then informs him that she’s taking him skiing that weekend. He balks at the amount of money she and her parents will be spending on him. She butters him up by telling him that the earrings he “gave” her were her favorite birthday present.

Julia’s summoned to the principal’s office, and can hear Mr. Peck talking about her through the wall while she waits outside. He tells the principal that Julia’s obsessed with him, and he must have been the subject of the poem she wrote about being with a guy. Sarah’s parents get a call from American Express letting them know there’s been a lot of activity on the gold card. Sarah casually says that that’s because she’s been spending a lot of money. Mr. and Mrs. Reeves are too wimpy to criticize.

Charlie finds either Christmas trees or the disposal of Christmas trees romantic, because getting rid of Shelley’s makes him want to kiss her. She’s not interested. He notes that she asked him out, but she saw it as asking for a favor. Charlie stomps off.

Julia blasts Justin for telling Mr. Peck he knew what happened, since it made Mr. Peck tell the principal. Now she’s wondering if what happened was completely his fault. The morning after Julia and Justin first had sex, she ran into Nina, who immediately know that Julia was no longer a virgin. Does this mean she’s giving off some sort of signal? She doesn’t understand why her formerly wonderful teacher is suddenly a creep. Julia’s the only one who’s changed.

Shelley tries to smooth things over with Charlie, who’s shifted back into boss mode and will clearly no longer be friendly with the help. She’s upset because he’s cut her hours, and accuses him of getting revenge since she wouldn’t sleep with him. Charlie tells her that actually, she’s horrible at her job, and he’s only kept her on because she’s pretty. Shelley throws her apron at him and walks out.

Julia finally makes it to the principal’s office, where she’s asked to give her side of the story. Julia just wants to transfer out of the class. The principal warns that she’ll have to take an incomplete. Charlie catches Claudia and Jody with the now-empty bottle of rum from the restaurant, but they both have to run off to throw up before he can dole out any punishment.

Bailey takes Sarah to dinner at the restaurant, where he admits that he returned the sweater she bought him for the ski trip. He feels like she’s spending all this money partly to get back at her parents. (Wow, Bailey, you’re so smart.) Sarah thinks he’s criticizing her for spending money that belongs to people who aren’t really her parents. (Wow, Sarah, you’re…not so smart.) She leaves, and when he follows her outside, they discover that someone tried to break into her new car. Sarah rants that all her new stuff is just stuff, so it should all be returned.

Charlie does some actual parenting, tending to Claudia and telling her not to drink again until she’s 21. Then he makes the classic mistake of forbidding her to hang out with Jody anymore. Bailey beats Sarah back to her building, but she’s arrived too late for her own surprise party. He tells her that her parents organized it, and it wasn’t out of guilt. He says that they chose to love her, and how could they not?

Julia asks Charlie to sign his approval so she can drop Mr. Peck’s class, but he doesn’t want her to walk away from the situation and let him get away with what he did. Julia admits that she feels partly responsible for what happened. Charlie says she’s not the kind of girl to throw herself at a teacher. He must feel entitled, and he misused his power as an authority figure, which makes it worse. Finally, Charlie realizes that Mr. Peck isn’t the only one who screwed up with a subordinate.

Claudia gets out of class with a note from Charlie, but it’s not really from Charlie. She and Jody run off to play hooky. Charlie takes Shelley her last paycheck and offers her job back. He apologizes for being a jerk and not just letting it go when she refused his advances. Shelley says there’s no excuse for the way he acted.

Justin is actually cute for once, giving Julia a plastic ring that he says will zap anyone who mistreats her. She confronts Mr. Peck for both harassing her and for lying and making her doubt herself. He doesn’t think she should be with him alone in the classroom, and she says he’s right to be worried. She’s going to tell the principal what happened to make sure Mr. Peck won’t get away with it. Julia continues that he ruined a place she used to love, his classroom. She doesn’t want to learn from him anymore.

At the restaurant, Charlie calls Kirsten to hear her voice on her answering machine, then ends up leaving a nervous message. From Chicago, Kirsten listens but doesn’t pick up the phone. Bailey takes Sarah to a park or an arboretum or someplace else pretty, and he shows her the star he bought for her and named after her. No matter what happens, it’ll always be there. Sarah thinks this is sweet and not at all cheesy.

Thoughts: Shelley is played by Modern Family‘s Julie Bowen…who also played Jack’s wife on Lost! So it looks like Charlie wound up winning her over after all. (And then losing her. But, you know, small victories.)

There’s a special place in Hell for people like Mr. Peck.

Shelley, trying to name Santa’s reindeer: “Q-tip?” Heh.

I like Julia’s principal – she’s very caring and doesn’t jump to any conclusions about what may or may not have happened.

Jody to Charlie: “You are intensely good-looking.” Awesome.

Sarah has one of those Y-shaped necklaces everyone had in the ’90s and that I always wanted. Actually, I kind of still want one.

May 20, 2013

Party of Five 2.7, Where There’s Smoke: Charlie Doesn’t Do the Crime, Griffin Doesn’t Do the Time

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 8:41 pm by Jenn

Hee, Bailey looks like he has arms growing out of his neck

Hee, Bailey looks like he has arms growing out of his neck

Summary: Griffin and Julia go parking, though they’re kind of bored. She decides they should just go home, but he doesn’t want to. He also doesn’t want to talk about it. Joe is still bugging Charlie about work stuff, despite being in Canada. At least Charlie and Kirsten’s love life is back on track. They’re interrupted by a call informing Charlie of a fire at the restaurant. But the next information Charlie gets is from an insurance agent, letting him know he’ll be getting a $50,000 payout. That’s twice what it would cost for outside renovations, so they just made a $25,000 profit. Charlie remarks that if he knew he’d get that much money, he would have lit a fire a long time ago.

Julia goes to Griffin’s to get him for school, but he hurries her out. His father, Major Holbrook, follows him outside, yelling about how he keeps getting in trouble for cutting class. Griffin tells Julia that if he had the money, he’d leave the country. “Maybe we’ll go to war soon,” he hopes. Bailey and Will take a ballet class (on their football coach’s advice), and Will winds up dancing with Sarah. Claudia goes to the principal’s office for a schedule change and meets a girl named Jody, who’s your stereotypical middle-school bad girl. Upon learning that Claudia may be working in the office, Jody quickly latches on to her.

Griffin finds Julia at the restaurant and notices that Charlie’s now carrying around a huge wad of cash. He tells Julia that his father plans to make him enlist in the Army as soon as he turns 18. Julia urges him to get his grades up and graduate. Will casually asks Bailey if he would mind if Will asked Sarah out. Bailey’s totally fine with it. $1,200 is missing from the restaurant, which means some of the renovation workers won’t get paid. Julia decides not to mention that Griffin was in the restaurant. Then the news gets worse: The fire is suspected to be arson.

Will and Sarah have already had a date, so that was quick. He tries to convince Bailey that it wasn’t a big deal. They saw the ballet version of Romeo and Juliet, and Sarah cried at the end. Will thinks it’s crazy that she wants to dance so badly but is so horrible at it. He didn’t think they hit it off that well. Charlie tells Kirsten and Claudia that the insurance agent thinks he set the fire – he’s suspicious because Charlie was turned down for a loan, then upped the restaurant’s insurance. (They were underinsured in the first place.) Claudia and Kirsten are suspicious.

Griffin complains to Julia more about his father, who he says has gotten worse since Jill died. Julia asks if he noticed anyone strange hanging around the restaurant the day before. Griffin’s all, “Oh, someone stole money? How horrible. I definitely don’t know anything about that!” She suggests that the thief might realize stealing the money wasn’t worth it and will just return it. Jody tries to get Claudia to stamp a note for her so she can skip school. Claudia has morals and says no. Bailey sees Will and Sarah together at the coffeehouse and tries to hide how sad it makes him.

The insurance agent and an investigator check out the restaurant and discover that the fire was caused by a coffee machine that wasn’t turned off. Charlie was the last one in the restaurant and forgot about it. Kirsten notes that that means the fire was an accident. The agent adds that there was a bunch of paper next to the pot. Also, the water was shut off, which means the coffeemaker got hotter than usual. Kirsten blurts out that she left the pot on, and Charlie had no idea. Charlie plays along.

Julia offers Griffin money so he can leave town. The police are currently at his house, trying to find out what he knows about the theft at the restaurant. Major Holbrook accuses Griffin of taking the money, so Griffin grabs it from a drawer and throws it down. This leads to his arrest. Major Holbrook looks stunned that he was actually right. Word gets back to Charlie, who’s desperately trying to find insurance papers in the house. Julia begs him to defend Griffin and get the charges dropped. She’s angry that Major Holbrook left him in jail overnight and won’t hire him a lawyer. Charlie doesn’t care about Griffin possibly going to prison since he himself is facing the same fate.

Bailey and Will go back to ballet class; the former is mad that the latter didn’t mention he had another date with Sarah. He confronts Will for saying his first date with Sarah was boring, then turning around and going out with her again. Bailey swears he’s not upset. Will says Sarah knew he wouldn’t be. Jody writes graffiti in the girls’ bathroom, like all the bad girls do, and Claudia takes her marker to correct her spelling. (Heh.) She gets caught with marker in hand, but Jody takes the blame, saying Claudia just took it from her.

Griffin pleads guilty in court but could be released on bail (despite being a flight risk). Julia’s the only one there to support him. Charlie sort of thanks Kirsten for lying on his behalf, saying the coffeemaker was the only part of the plan he didn’t think he would need to explain. Basically, he’s calling Kirsten on believing that he’s guilty – otherwise, why would she cover for him? Bailey, Will, and Sarah all hang out at a pool hall together, which has to be awkward. Julia asks Major Holbrook to come to Griffin’s sentencing, but he’s not interested. She tries to use her parents’ death to sympathize with him about losing loved ones. He’s lost his daughter, and now he could lose his son, too.

Claudia’s hurt that Griffin would steal money from the family, and she wonders why Julia isn’t mad. Julia’s trying to understand him. Charlie tries to appeal to the insurance agent, reminding him how much money he’s gotten from the restaurant over the years. The agent tells him that they can’t pay out money in a situation that seems fishy. Charlie accuses him of trying to save his company money. He pulls out the “that restaurant was my father’s and it means everything to me” card, saying there’s no way he would burn down something so important.

Jody managed to go a whole day without getting in trouble, so she figures Claudia did something to help her out. Looks like Claudia has a new best friend. And now she has her first experience with peer pressure, when Jody gives her a cigarette. Julia gets to visit Griffin in lockup, and he tells her his father brought in a lawyer and is going to sort things out. Griffin won’t be going to prison, but he will be going to a military school for six months. She asks why he stole the money, and he says it was partly so the Army couldn’t take him, and partly to prove that his father was right about him being dumb.

Apparently Charlie’s dramatics worked, because the insurance company pays out $25,000. He doesn’t get a profit, but he can cover the restaurant’s repairs. He jokes darkly that that means he got away with arson. Kirsten has her own equally dark joke, giving him a can of gasoline with a bow on top. She tells him that even though she did suspect him of committing the crime, it didn’t matter; she was still going to stick by him. “I never knew being crazy about somebody means exactly that,” she says. The two of them decide to cross “have sex in a burned-out restaurant” off their bucket lists.

Bailey tries to tell Will how he really feels about him dating Sarah, but Will’s too distracted by watching Sarah practice in a dance studio. Bailey decides to keep his mouth shut. Julia visits Griffin as he’s leaving for military school; he was planning to go without saying goodbye. He encourages her not to keep in touch because he knows he won’t keep up with writing her letters. Just before Griffin gets in the car, he tells Julia he loves her. “Okay,” she replies.

Thoughts: Jody is played by Marla Sokoloff, who only played rebellious girls in the ’90s. (See also: Full House, The Baby-sitters Club movie.)

The insurance agent is played by Richard Fancy, who’s probably best known as Mr. Lippman from Seinfeld.

Will has clearly never heard of the Bro Code.

Dude, Jody, at least wait until you’re off school property before you pull out a cigarette.

Trivia: Griffin’s middle name is Chase (which is his father’s first name).