Quarantine Post #76: Just Wright (2010)


It is that time of the year I can’t stand again. Valentine’s day 2022. With the season comes a number of cheesy rom coms. And trust me. This is not any different. I have an affinity for all things cheesy. I routinely read in the sports romance genre so this was up my alley. I remember going to the movies a few times to see this movie. Of course, this was a time when I spent a lot of money at the movies. But now I can watch for free since it is on Hulu. Just Wright is a 2010 American romantic comedy starring Queen Latifah and Common. The film tells the story of a physical therapist, Leslie Wright, who falls in love with a professional basketball player, Scott McKnight. Check out the trailer:

We see Leslie, a physical therapist, and a die-hard basketball/Nets fan, as she heads to work and then out for her date. The date seems to be going well. When it is over though, dude gives her the brush off. “You are so cool… We should just be friends.” Been there heard that and it is corny every time. Dude at least adds a “You da bomb.com” to round things out. Beware when they start out saying that YOU ARE SUCH AN AMAZING WOMAN. He even went with the tried and true… Any man would be lucky to have you but I am just not ready… Why are you out on dates? This seems like a lot of work just to backtrack. And the other thing is… All Leslie said was “Hey next time we should catch a Nets game.” Not that she would be buying her wedding dress tomorrow. I remember in high school when a group of girls came up to me and asked me to teach them about football. I had to let them down easy because if you think sports is the answer… I am here to tell you IT IS NOT.

Same sis… Same… been there heard that.

Leslie returns home to her newly purchased fixer-upper that she is sharing with her God Sister Morgan. When I say sharing, I am trying to be nice because Morgan is actually crashing there. No job, No money, no intentions of doing anything other than partying and trying to become someone’s trophy wife. Let me go ahead and say I have no issues if that is the path you want to choose in life. But do it on your own nickel… Morgan has a whole game plan for which men to go after based on their contracts.

Leslie has Nets tickets and is excited for the game and for some reason she is taking Morgan. Morgan doesn’t seem to be interested in the game. The kicker for this though is the way Leslie’s mom sides with Morgan over her daughter. They both seem to think that Leslie is not dressed appropriately enough to “catch a man.” She is not doing enough in her Nets jersey. They are going to a basketball game to sit in the stands. I never understood it… I have been told that on a few occasions myself. I was told not to wear a concert tee to a concert… That I would be severely underdressed. I was one of the few people that the headliner shouted out. I am just saying… If I had worn a too-tight dress… I might have been overlooked.

Doesn’t her mother seem too excited about this dress? Made no sense to me.

So here is where we start talking about random points in the movie and my thoughts… So let’s get to it.

  • Leslie is at the Nets game watching Scott Mcknight dominate. It seems like she is sitting in the visitor seats… Which can be a dangerous game. Sports fandom is the fandom of all fandoms. People get weird especially when their team doesn’t win. But alas this is a movie. She is acting a fool cheering on her guys… but Morgan is more interested in the players wives club than the game. (Insert Eyeroll). Even Leslie knows that she has to make a quick exit before the visitors get rowdy. Scott gets questioned about his upcoming free agency but he tells his agent that he wants to stay where he is at.

  • Morgan and her brat pack (all super overdressed for a basketball game) are trying to figure out a way into Scott Mcknight’s party. It is a birthday party… I wanted to ask why they thought they would get in… but then again… They ask Leslie but you can tell that they don’t really want her to go. Lucky her… because where else would you bump into a man worth millions…. but at a gas station? This man has no idea where the button is to fill up his car… WHY? WHO BOUGHT THIS CAR????????
  • At first, I thought this interaction was weird. There was a time when I felt that most people who had money, had personal shoppers and whatnot. But after talking with a few family members… I found that up North it is regular occurrence to see people (Celebrities…?) just out an about. Not everyone employs people to do mundane tasks. I still think people are strange so it can be dangerous. But if you have been reading my blog up to this point you know that I am into hockey. On hockey twitter, there are a lot of pictures that people get with players who are on their way to and from games or practice. I am seeing that it is a regular occurance. But Leslie seems at ease with helping him figure out where the gas tank is and they talk Jazz before he helps her into her car. Or he tries to…since her car door is ridiculous.

  • Of course, it is Leslie who gets the invite to the Scott Mcknight birthday bash. From Scott himself. Take that Morgan!!! Morgan, on the other hand, was out all night… but has no results. So much for all the pull she thinks she has. She killed me with that line about not eating in public.Morgan says she had no luck and that she will be sitting home on Saturday night with Leslie… Sis, Leslie won’t be at home. Now… I am not sure that I would have invited Morgan to the party. Leslie seems to have plenty of friends who also enjoy basketball and don’t have the habit of trying to outshine her. But she decided to tell Morgan and invite her instead. She will be sorry and to some degree, I was annoyed because she set herself up for what happens next. Morgan does ask if she is interested in Scott… Leslie should have just told the truth.

  • Here is a scene that annoyed the heck out of me. Morgan and Leslie are getting ready for the birthday party. I reiterate… Leslie was the one that was invited… in her NETS jersey… Morgan is doing the makeup and her mother comes in immediately spouting off about how they were both going to catch men at the party. You can see it more than anywhere else why she and her mother are not close at all. Is there something with older people where they start talking to you about marriage as if you are broken otherwise. Especially when you get over 30… It seems that all her mother talks about is bagging/catching a man. Leslie is a person that can support herself… for some reason that is lost on her mother in favor of Morgan… whose BMW was repossessed. I am eyerolling again BTW. She has some family earrings that instead of giving to Leslie she gives to Morgan. I am just blown away. Leslie excuses herself to get dressed to which Morgan tells her she needs to get dressed up. (When has she not know how to dress for the occasion…?) I digress. Mom was not in the right corner. I didn’t like her for the rest of the movie. And I can see why Leslie spends more time with her father. Her father spends time prepping the ride for her. Now that is a helpful parent. Morgan complaining in the background got me too… “I was not about to go in that Mustang…” Ma’am where is your car?

  • At the party, Morgan makes her rounds. I have to give the girl props. She knows how to scope out eligible men… She could have made a career out of it if she put her mind to it. Scott makes the beeline for Leslie at the bar and they seem to be hitting it off. He even remembered her name. I mean… they already had a meetcute. He compliments her on her dress. TAKE THAT MOM! LOL. He is actually interested what she has to say. She takes about her father being a sort of handy man. (It needs just a tweak…) Leave it to Morgan to ruin things. She swirls in like a tornado spouting gibberish about charity events… (Something Leslie told her about Scott the night before) and how they have to leave. LEAVE?? LEAVE??? We just got here. I got all the way dressed up… Are you crazy? But from that moment on… Leslie isn’t even there. And Scott who I loved right up until this moment falls for it… Hook Line and Sinker. Nonsense about how she is not interested in dating a ballplayer. He asks how to contact Morgan right away… and she hits him with one line after another. And then she makes Leslie take her home. BUM.

  • Paula Patton describes Morgan’s character in the best way though… Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFE3-f-3WXk)
  • Morgan wasn’t wrong when she said that he would be reaching out to her. Leslie is on her way out to work. Her and her father have a real heart to heart about dating and where her life is headed. It was authentic. But who else should show up but Scott Mcknight himself. (Creepy? Weird? Sexy? All of the above maybe? I don’t know.) He shows up to Leslie’s house… to ask about Morgan. Does he get a point for initiative…? I guess. Leslie lets him in and her father is obviously star struck. He tries to hand Scott the drill and then proceeds to shake his hand off. The window popping out is the funny part because I want to know what her father was doing with that drill Morgan finally comes down after putting her whole face on… When he starts gushing over Morgan… Leslie leaves… And I know that feeling… When confessing that he wants to date her… he says something about how Leslie can vouch for him… Sir you met Leslie one other time. But Morgan has him right where she wants him. And Scott seems happy to be her prey. Cue the montage. Morgan is living her best life. Leslie even sees them in a magazine together while working.

  • Leslie is invited to a party where she reconnects with Morgan for the first time in 3 months. (Has she not been inviting Leslie to games? No tickets? Morgan shows Leslie around the house. Morgan talks about sticking close to her man because the women in these streets can be and are treacherous. I guess she would know. (I do enjoy her butterfly dress here though.) She tells Leslie that they are planning to put a nursery in the house. She wants to have baby right away. Leslie points out that she has only known Scott for a few months. (90 days… just a work probationary period.) That doesn’t stop Scott from proposing to Morgan in front of everyone at the party. Morgan doesn’t even let him get the question out before she says yes. Leslie seems shocked… but happy for Morgan. Scott’s mother doesn’t seem all that happy about it. He tells his mom that Morgan is DIFFERENT… I want to know what criteria he used to make that statement because I didn’t see it.

  • All Star Game… I have heard fans complain about the ASG in both basketball and hockey complain that to have the weekend things go on in the middle of the season is silly. Several people that I have spoken to in the past say that they do not want their star players hurt in a weekend that amounts to nothing. Taking their respective team out of the running for the big game. Well… I can see it… but people can get hurt doing anything. The game is in the 4th quarter with less than 10 minutes left. And I would figure that people not really going hard in the paint. But Scott does tear a ligament in his knee which means… he may not be ready to play again this season. (There was a guy on my favorite hockey team that tear a ligament in his knee in the preseason… and he is out until next year.) Makes it hard for contract renegotiations.
  • You would think that Morgan comes through for her man… (No, we didn’t. I am kidding. No one thought that.) Laying in the hospital bed, everyone in Scott’s life hears that he may not be back on the court any time soon. Torn PCL. The doctor thinks that he won’t be back, even with a bit of luck before training camp. His agent blurts out that they need him by playoffs. Which I think is pretty lofty. I had a brother with a knee injury and he was a person that never felt any pain but he was down bad on the pain. You can already tell that Morgan is not feeling it. When the trainer informs everyone that Scott’s career in the NBA could be over… That is a nail in the coffin. Now… he has a knee injury not a life threatening injury. He is not in a vegetative state. So she is being weird. Even men who has suffered career ending injuries are able to do other things and make money. But Morgan is about herself so there is that. Morgan doesn’t like the woman that the team reccommended for PT. Bella Goldsmith who is supposed to be the best in the league. Why wouldn’t you want your man with the best in the league…? Well… we know why. She brings in Leslie instead. Now Leslie has taken a sabbatical from work. But as my friend pointed out… How insulting is it that you bring me in to worth with your husband to be because you don’t think he will find me attractive? ou also find out that no one likes Morgan. Not his mom, not Leslie’s friends… Doesn’t that mean it is you?
  • Scott seems optimistic even though he is hobbling along with his crutches. He is cool with Leslie coming in and doing the work. He seems open to the treatment. Everything is good. When Leslie first arrives, she gives a mini lecture on him not having his leg elevated and not icing when his is resting. He is not even perturbed by that. Even his mom seems to like Leslie. Apparenty he can’t handle a little deep tissue. But O will say that after seeing my brother deal with his knee injury, I pray that I don’t have to deal with that. So he may not be overreacting. Morgan seems concerned but it is doesn’t seem to be for Scott especially when he falls off the table. Side note: Can I just shout out how great his athletic room is. Leslie meets her friend for lunch. Leslie’s friend Paul doesn’t like Leslie either… Morgan spends the lunch complaining about how Scott doesn’t want to go out… I mean… he is on crutches. LOL. Even Leslie is wondering why she is complaining about spending time with her man. Morgan spends her days spending his money. Scott seems cool until he wakes up to a Dear John letter. (Morgan has left him high and dry. She doesn’t even warn Leslie about leaving. Just went back to Leslie’s house without so much as a text message.

  • Leslie is blindsided by Scott’s mom demanding to know if she is going to up and leave too. Mom has venom in her vains. And that only annoys me more than anything. You up and bounced and got this woman giving me attitude about something I didn’t do. And then you just come back to my house. Morgan gives a half ass apology as she is primping to do who knows what… I can bet it wasn’t getting a job. She claims she left Scott because she “Wants to be somebody…” but not of her own accord. Just trying to latch on to someone who is somebody it sounds like. For me… it is even worse because she took this guy from Leslie who really liked him. Leslie tries soft hands when she returns to help Scott. But he just tells to mind her own business. It is the first time we see Scott be rude… (Well sort of.) She tries bringing him food but he is not interested in eating or leaving his room. So after a few days, Leslie tries a different approach. Throwing ice on your boss is… Different… Not an approach that I would take but you know. It gets him out of bed and the house. He was rude about her car though lol.

  • She takes him to a park… Rucker Park… AKA the Rucker. The kids are hooping. Sometimes, it is about refocusing on what is really important. Leslie tells Scott that a lot of talented players pass through the Rucker and never get into the NBA or even a shot at getting in the NBA. The kids spot Scott and everyone wants him back in the league. The drive has been has been reunited. It is time to go to work. Let’s do it. Cue the movie montage. I am here for it. I love a good movie montage.

  • While training… Scott tells her that she should bring her talents to NBA. Especially since Leslie loves basketball and PT. He’s the one that sees the potential for her to make big bucks… and maybe he wants her to stay close. When she thinks about spending time around hot, sweaty men. For some reason… that is not what he meant. LOL. Now… he is her employer… so it is nice that he asks about her interests and about her car. Her car needs a lot of TLC. But there is a reason for that. Eleanor, as her car is called, was given to her by her grandfather after he died. Scott was me and I am he when he said: “Eleanor? That hoopdee has a name?” She reveals that she wants to keep the dent in the driver’s side door because her grandfather had a dimple on his left side as well. It then dawns on Scott why she never got the door fixed. Next they are walking in the rain. I am not for that. I do not like rain… I may feel differently if I was living the good life in NYC. But I do want someone to walk with under an umbrella. Not to mention someone to food truck with me as they do. Scott tells her that he was picked on in high school because he had thick glasses. Leslie on the other hand was popular because she got along with everyone.

  • After the training and food trucks… there is cards and wine. Scott reveals that he doesn’t know his father. And he can’t seem to figure her out. It is almost creepy but cute. He hasn’t seen her going out after work, or texting. Leslie missed the opportunity when he asked why she’s single. I would have said something like “Because Morgan is what men prefer.” However, that comes off as bitter but it is what it is. He does ask what she is waiting for… I mean she met a man at a gas station and he only came to her house to find out about her friend… but it’s all good. She keeps sneezing… see this is why I don’t go out in the rain… (For all I know the rain scene could have been weeks or months before but no matter.) Scott thinks she is coming down with something but Leslie insists that she is fine and doesn’t get sick. Famous last words. Cut to Leslie laying on the couch in the family room with Scott bringing her soup… (Is it canned soup? Did he buy it? Did he make? There are questions that need answers. Another not important thing that I long to know.) He decides that he is going to take care of her… He stays with her on the couch until she passes out. He never misses a chance to say “Bless you” and I love it. They fall asleep together on the couch until the infomercials come on. CUTE!
  • Mr. Piano man… Now when Leslie asked Morgan about a door. Morgan claimed she didn’t know and that it was Scott’s secret room. Could you live in a house where there is a room that your spouse goes into and you have no idea what is going on in there? I couldn’t. Leslie stumbles on to Scott playing his piano. (He’s both impressed by her knowledge of Jazz (since she knows the song he is playing) and by her vocal abilities. But when asked why she is up at 3 am… she flips it back on him. He reveals that he is concerned that he has lost it. All the what ifs come out? Then the speech comes… “Basketball is what you do, not who you are.” She knows that when it comes time to show and prove he will be able to deliver. And she is confident in her work. They bond over her feel good remedy (Marshmallow and chocolate chip cookie sandwiches.) Goodness do I hate marshmallows. I will have to take their word for it.

  • We head back to the IZOD center. It is Scott’s first game back against the Miami Heat. Dwayne Wade greets Scott saying that he is glad to see him overcome his knee injury. Wade tells Scott that he is glad he is back because he wants Scott to be there to see him dominate. The Nets need to win this game to get into the playoffs. In the first few minutes of the game, we can see that Scott is not himself. He is coming undone. He is missing shots he would normally make and he being outdone. I would call it a self fulfilling prophecy. He thought this up and now it is happening. Wade is outrunning him all over the court. The Nets call a timeout and Scott gets a bit emotional. (But pulling your chair away from the team and snatching towels from people is a bit much… I am even going to say… Childish… ) Even the music is somber. But you can feel everyone in the room including Scott is doubting if he can do it. Here comes Leslie for the pep talk. You aren’t hurt anymore. Believe in yourself. (Siri, play Eye of the Tiger.) But I mean, in his defense… I can understand a person being worried that he is back too soon and about his health Also, anyone would be a bit rusty after having all that time off. As of right now… my hockey team had a two week break and the game they just had the other day was rusty. Anyway Scott becomes his former self… and even manages to hit the game winner at the buzzer.
  • Scott has everyone clamoring after him on his way to his post game interview. But it is Leslie he makes time for. That was a long hug. Longer than 5 Mississippi’s. He gives her a proper thank you… She was the only one to never doubt him. All of the media and fans are back in his corner but… those people are finicky at best. He asks her out to dinner and she tells him she is not one of those salad eating chicks. His mother also chimes in that she likes Leslie… It may have been hard to get back on her good side given what Morgan did. Next is the Queen coming down the stairs in her awesome gown. It is the right color. I could rock. I don’t know where yet but I could rock it. Scott is looking real debonair in his tux… and where do they go…? Jazz Club… I should have seen that coming. But it is just them… So he rented out the space and had a jazz concert put on just for them. I love it. He had Terence Blanchard come and do his thing. And see it does talk millions of dollars to pay attention to what a person is saying to you and get them something they enjoy. But the kicker is her car. She really deserved an upgraded whip. But with buying a new house a lot of things are going to be put on the back burner. Scott presents Leslie with her grandfather’s classic Mustang which he has had remodelled and refurbished, but also paid extra to leave a dent in the side door intact because it is what she wanted. He did a damn good job. She is so overwhelmed that she kisses him and he goes with it. They end up spending the night together…

  • Leslie wakes up alone in Scott’s bed. He went out for a jog giving Leslie time to process what is happening for herself. I would be giddy too. But before we can get too giddy… there is a knock at the door and who should be there but our friend Morgan. She only has one thing on her mind. And Leslie who has been patient with Morgan all this time doesn’t look happy to see her. Morgan just kind of barges in. Doesn’t even ask. Just walks right in. Leslie tells her that Scott is out… Morgan doesn’t let that stop her saying she wants to wait. She and Leslie shared a stilted hug before Scott walks in and looks like a deer in headlights. I am sure he figured that Morgan would not have the audacity to show up again… but that really shows how much he actually knew about her. Leslie excuses herself because it is definitely what I would have done. Why stick around and watch Morgan work her magic a second time? Scott lets her spill her guts about how she has abandonment issues and is working through thing. Her mom died when she was 3 and blah blah blah… (You should hear me gagging.) Why didn’t Leslie slam the door in her face? I mean it isn’t her house but I get it. Leslie is listening in… and hears that he is falling for the nonsense.

  • She tells him that she loves him and that they are meant to be together. He does say that she should go… But she stayed longer than I think she should have. Some people need that closure… But I have gotten used to not getting it so… I don’t need an explanation as to why people do things anymore. He comes to find Leslie packing. And getting ready to bounce. She moves to slow. Because I would have slipped out the back or something. (I don’t do confrontation well lol.) But here he comes asking pointless questions… “Leslie, why are you leaving?” SEE??? She could have avoided this and been in her ride on the way home… (However, he does know where she lives…so you know… It may just be a pipedream.) He immediately starts talking about he may to see where things are going with Morgan. Okay… so you have chosen her over me… (again…) and you are asking me why I am leaving…? Sir, why are you here? Like dis he think that she should continue living there even though he is all healed while he dated Morgan again??? Can you hear my eyes rolling?

  • Leslie returns to her home… Morgan is not there obviously and she paints her anger away. She returns to her job and things are back to normal for as long as they can be in a rom com. Her friends support the idea of her becoming an athletic trainer… they are all for it (especially if they get courtside tickets.) Cut to Morgan and Scott at a sushi bar and she jumps right back into ordering the most expensive things on the menu. You would think that she would put the pause on that and tread lightly but no. When he shoots her down and tells her it is way to premature… she actually asks him if he is serious about being back together. Sis has audacity if nothing else. This man ain’t serious because he was to go slow after you left him high and dry? Come on sis. Even in the house, when Scott is playing the piano… It cuts between both Leslie and Scott and both of them seem miserable. Leave it to Morgan to put the final nail in the coffin too… She doesn’t care that he plays the piano… she doesn’t even feign interests. She shuts the door on him.

  • So… it seems Scott may have mentioned Leslie’s name to a few people as the reason he is back so soon. And she has gotten job offers from the Phoenix Suns, the Philadelphia 76er’s and her New Jersey Nets… (This movie is so old… because I do not know a lot about basketball… but I know the Nets moved to Brooklyn. Plus most of the NBA starts in the movie have retired. LOL.) No matter how much I like a sport… picking up and moving across the country is a lot. So the Suns move to the bottom of the list… With Scott playing for the Nets… they are out too. (Listen… I get it. I prefer not to run into ex flames where I get my money.) So that means it is off to Philly… Scott finds out because his agents has been hired by Leslie. Scotts gets filled in about Leslie turning down the Nets. (Doesn’t that seem unethical? A conflict of interest. Well he doesn’t know they had a thing going on… but that is all the more reason for him to keep his mouth closed.) Leslie is packing to head to Philly, as her mother gives her the third degree… Correctly assessing that she is running from something since she didn’t take the job with the Nets. Her parents try to cheer her up by saying that he is obviously not the one for her… but I mean her mother still rings hollow to me.
  • Scott is being interviewed and when asked how he came back so quickly, he gives props to Leslie… and it quickly turns into a gushing sessions. Leslie was a lot more than a PT and makes sure the world knows that. Ain’t that sweet? At the mention of Leslie’s name… everyone she knows turns up the TV. So…. who is the only person that doesn’t hear it… LESLIE. I legit thought this was what was going to happen when I first watched this. I was not prepared to Scott to realize how he felt about Leslie at that exact moment and just walk off. He took the mic off and everything. I would have figured that he could have stayed and done the interview but dramatic effect and all that. My favorite part is when he tells Morgan… “This isn’t going to work out…” Morgan does point him in the right direction though. Sending him to Philly.
  • Leslie finishes her tour of the 76er’s facilty. And she tells Andre to give her a few days so that she can make up her mind. She heads out into the bright, sunshiny day and everything is fine until she rounds the corner and sees Scott there. SECURITY… WHO LET THIS MAN IN HERE???????? Leslie gives it to him with both barrells which I enjoy. Do you think she came out to Philly because she wanted to be close to you? I have questions… “No, I don’t want to see you.” He is now willing to leave the Nets to be close to her… and sometimes it is too little too late. Leslie tells him the truth… and she better than me. “What you know now is the woman you were going to marry is not the woman you thought she was…” I repeat he only knew her for 3 months. People risk all, all the time, for the wrong ones. “So now here you are looking for plan B. You want your friend who was there for you when the chips were down?” I mean she’s not wrong. Scott turns on the charm like a jerk and how can resist him in that suit. I remember when my mom said to me… It isn’t a crime for a person not realize or be ready just because you are. People aren’t always great and don’t always do great things. He has to say the title of the movie though… Cheesiness at its finest. Leslie decides to call and get a job with the Nets. The ending scene is at a basketball game the next season. She is still inviting Morgan and I still think ANY of her other friends would be great. We hear that Scott and Leslie have gotten married and everything is tied up an a neat little Bow.

I still enjoy this movie even though Scott gets on my nerves. (You would think it would be Morgan… But she is who she is… and really what you see is what you get.) Like how did you let this woman come back into your life after showing her true colors. Even if he didn’t get with Leslie… I really expected more from him as an intelligent man. She didn’t want to be in the house with you and didn’t even bother to tell you face to face… she just bounced. But the minute she showed back up, he went to telling Leslie… “well, this is the woman I was going to spend the rest of my life with…” She was that when she left you. She was in fact freshly engaged. But I always forgive Scott at the end of each movie… so you know it is what it is.

Quarantine Post #75: Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper


Nothing better than getting an old-school show back on a streaming service. HBOmax has come through for all the vibes. HBO is really making a case to stay around when I downsize on my apps. Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper is a sitcom that originally aired on ABC from September 22, 1992, to August 30, 1997, starring Mark Curry and Holly Robinson. The show took place in Curry’s hometown of Oakland, California. The series chronicles Mark Cooper (Curry), an NBA player-turned-substitute teacher/gym coach (and later basketball coach), and his roommates, Vanessa, and his cousins, Geneva and Nicole. Younger me missed that Mark Curry was a comedian. But I loved him in the show. So as far as rewatches go… I knew that was where I was going to start. OAN: I also didn’t realize that Mark Curry is so tall. I kept watching episodes and thinking to myself… “His arms seem really long.” Well, that would be because he is 6′ 6″.

For some reason though, there was a lot I did not know about the show. The first season seems a lot like Three’s Company. I remember it being a part of TGIF… but the first season wasn’t all that kid-friendly. Now when I say that, I don’t mean it was raunchy or inappropriate. In the first season, Mark Cooper, Vanessa Russell, and Robin Dumars live as roommates in a house that they rent together. I don’t know that I would live with a male friend mostly because who wants to constantly talk about putting the seat down? Mark, whose room is in the den, had initially moved in with Robin and Vanessa to help them with their rent. Gotta love the arguments that ensue over who spends too much time in the bathroom and Mark eating all the groceries. Robin is Mark’s childhood friend and Vanessa is Robin’s best friend (and sorority sister) from college. Robin is played by Dawnn Lewis. And if you read my post about A Different World, you would know how much I love her. Not sure why she had to leave. The first season worked just fine with her. She even did the theme song. It was my favorite. I didn’t get why she didn’t stay past season 1. When Raven and her mother take over in the house… It was one of the more seamless transitions that I have seen on television. (Still miss Dawnn though.)

The second season intro isn’t so bad either. I forget that the ’90s was about bright colors. Check out the intro here.

So like I usually do in these instances, I have a list of episodes that I think are pretty great. I will say… I have enjoyed this show more than I thought I would. And more than I remember doing so in the past. So let’s jump into some of my favorite episodes from the show.

  • Hangin with Michelle (Season 1, Episode 2) – You guys know Michelle Tanner right? LOL. So this was not an episode that I remember seeing but again it makes perfect sense given that the shot has a spot on TGIF. Since Mark is a substitute teacher, he subs for Michelle’s class. I was hoping to see Tahj as Teddy. He’s not there but I do get to see Jurnee Smollett. Young me screamed out. Poor Mark is out of his league with the first graders. He ends up hurting his back and needing to be wheeled out of the classroom on a stretcher. Michelle comes to visit (being dropped off by Uncle Jesse.) but she ends up causes Mark more pain. Not purposefully but Mark is pretty good with kids. It is no wonder he is a teacher. Check out some of the scenes here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVi17LJOx3s)

  • Cheers (Season 1, Episode 5) – Did Mark irritate people in a past life? Because he can’t seem to make into the PE department. The Principal wants Mark to help the Cheerleading team win the cheer competition. Seems like he is setting the team at a disadvantage. What does Mark know about Cheerleading? Nothing. I see Countess Vaughan here as one of the cheerleaders though. Mark may be about jokes but he does come through when students are involved. When Vanessa shows that she knows about cheerleading… Mark enlists her help to help him train the girls. He gets the girls pumped for their competition even though they come in second place. But the girls want him to remain their coach for the season.

  • My Dinner Date with Mark (Season 1, Episode 9) – Vanessa can be a bit sheltered and uppity… But she is good people. Reminds me of Whitley.. except less rude. Vanessa is given the opportunity to pitch her new idea to bring in a new client. She corners the client (Mrs. Walker) in the elevator and actually secures the meeting. The thing that annoyed me…. and this has to be because the show aired in the early 90’s was the fact that Mrs. Walker kept calling Vanessa a secretary as if there was something wrong with that or somehow beneath her. She doesn’t want to talk to anyone who is not an executive. Weird since the idea for how to invest her money came from Vanessa. When Vanessa figures out that her boss is stuck at the airport and wants her to reschedule… there is a dilemma. Vanessa tells Robin, there is no way she can reschedule since Mrs. Walker didn’t want to deal with her in the first place. It is Robin who suggests that she get someone to pretend to be an executive… because nothing can go wrong there. Who else could it be but Mark? Mark can be troublesome but he comes through in the clutch to seal the deal. But it is all ruined in the end. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAeZHFdpnTg)

  • How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Season 1, Episode 14) – When teachers go on strike, Mark is left to try and find another job. He manages to secure a position in the mailroom of Vanessa’s company. Vanessa starts out thinking that she can order Mark around. However, Mark is never one to be told what to do. He manages to land a higher position which means that he is Vanessa’s boss. She can’t handle that. Mark dazzles accidentally on his short lived fame of playing with the Warriors. He is bringing clients without really trying. Mark has a natural ability which is driving Vanessa crazy. She tries to kill him but decides to quit first. Before she can do so, Mark is replaced with another celebrity and sent back to his teaching job. Poor Mark.

  • Piano Lesson (Season 1, Episode 19) – Robin’s boyfriend, Jason, gives Robin a necklace. Robin assumes that she will go to Hawaii that weekend. She cuts out on her hang day with Mark at the pool hall. She pushes Vanessa to go with him instead. (Recipe for disaster? Sure.) Vanessa does not fit in with the crowd even though she claims to know how to play pool. She gets Mark into a fight. SMH. When they get back home, they tell Robin they had a great time at the pool house and that they won the game. This leads Mark and Vanessa to go to a Jazz Concert. Meanwhile, Robin’s boyfriend tells Robin that he has to go to Hawaii for meetings and can not bring her along. She starts feeling like a third wheel to Vanessa and Mark. There is a great scene where they try to explain to Mark why Robin is upset, even though Robin never expressly said why. Mark even asks her why she didn’t just say she was mad and why? Poor Mark didn’t get it. LOL.
  • Free at Last (Season 2, Episode 5) – Vanessa has an idea that she is going to be promoted at her job… Toplin and Toplin (Is this a father and son? Are they brothers? I mean it is not essential to the story but I would like to know.) Things don’t go as planned when she attempts to move into the office with the help of Mark and they both meet the new guy… She is asked to train the new man that is going to be her boss. Needless to say, she makes far less than he does and is still expected to get him up to speed. (We have all been there right?) Mark later points out that her bosses would not have asked that of a man. (He’s not wrong.) He tells her to demand her promotion. So she does just that… But she ends up fired. She decides to pick up another job at a Japanese Restaurant. SMH. What would make her think she would want to work at a restaurant of any kind? She invites Geneva, Mark and Nicole to dinner. (Another thing I wondered… why did they keep making this man sit on the floor? It seemed like a lot for him to get down on the floor. Mark Curry is all limbs people.) He tries to save the day with the man on the hibachi up and quits. (Not his fault… Because Vanessa is notoriously bad at her job.) It is the disaster you are picturing in your minds. Pretty Funny though.
  • Air Cooper (Season 2, Episode 10) – They wore out the “Mark played for the Warriors thing.” More like he did. But I mean… At this point, it had already gotten him a job with Vanessa. So when he was offered a commercial by Vanessa’s boyfriend. I didn’t bat an eye. He thinks that he is going to be the star of the commercial. He tells everyone and of course they want to put in a request for new sneakers. And who wouldn’t. He cons his boss into renting out the gym so that it can be filmed. And he looks good with the ball in hands. But because he is actually talented that have to talk him into missing baskets. He doesn’t seem to get that the director wants to paint him in worst light possible. He catches on and decides to continue doing the commercial for the money. But P. J and the team back him up. There is a point where he walks over to the a sign hanging up on the gym wall behind him and pulling it down. It is times like that where I remember how tall he is. The great thing is at the end.. the commercial is made and the idea around it was revamped with Mark in a much better light.
  • Private School (Season 2, Episode 12) – Mark gets pimped out for Black History Month. (I won’t go into detail about how that is a trend for February…) P.J. assigns Mark to teach Black history at an expensive private school for one week. Seeing that the class is all-white, he decides to teach them “from slavery to Soul Train.” It doesn’t help that the school has much more amenities for teachers not to mention better pay. When the principal offers him a job at a much higher salary, Mark has a big decision to make. He takes his job as a teacher and coach seriously. And he wants to see all of his students succeed. But we all know how well public schools are funded, how well teachers are paid and how much worse it is when we are talking about intercity public schools. Mark manages to look past the money and stay with Oakbridge High.

  • It’s My Party and I’ll Die if I Want To (Season 2, Episode 14) – Is there nothing more 90’s than an episode where someone thinks they are dying? It is almost Mark’s 30th birthday and there is not a better present than Tyler finding a weird growth on his arm. Tyler is one busybody neighbor whose parents seem just find with sending him to disturb mostly Mark. (How come people do not lock their door?) Tyler tells Mark about a relative that had a weird growth and died. (There is no real explanation. Those two things may not even be connected but no matter.) Mark gets it removed at a doctor’s office where she tells him that she will call him with the results. (That big baby was scared of a needle.) So what ensues a series of miscommunications. Mark uses a baby monitor to listen in to Geneva and Vanessa to find out what he is getting for his birthday… (He doesn’t know that they know he is listening…) However, they sound like he’s not going to live long. He takes it to mean that the doctor called and that he is dying. He spends the rest of the episode crossing things off his bucket list and giving away his belongings. Bungee Jumping. It is at his party where it is revealed that he is fine. SMH. It is still pretty funny.
  • My Achy Breaky Back (Season 3, Episode 9) – This is by far my favorite episode of the series. No lie. I was watching an interview with Mark Curry where he talks about having to be physical to get the show. No where is it more apparent than this episode. So it starts off with an injury to Mark’s back trying to get groceries out of the car. Just before the injury he talks about getting an interview with a college basketball club. Is the back injury going to keep him from the interview? Absolutely not which may not be the best idea. He hobbles into school and refuses help until he is almost in tears. Ervin thinks he is helping but he just makes things worse. Vanessa talks him into coming to her doctor’s office for treatment. (Why in the world would he trust her at all is beyond me?) He ends up strapped to this table, getting electroshocks. When Vanessa leaves the room, he ends up spinning around uncontrollably. When Vanessa finally pulls him off the table… He can at least stand on his own accord with no pain. All seems to be well… until the next day when Marks starts having uncontrollable muscle spasms…. (He flings his cereal on Geneva. I had tears in my eyes. I could not have been counted on to film this scene with them.) Vanessa reveals that 2 out of 3 patients have the same issues. I would think that is something you would tell someone before you do a procedure on them. But hey. They try to get Mark to reschedule his interview but he can’t. He is like a walking tornado in that man’s office. It is some of the best physical comedy that I have seen in a while. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6J1p8gCkMgc&t=845s)

  • The Matchmaker (Season 3, Episode 20) – There is nothing like a family member (or anyone ) that shows up unannounced. In this case, we have Aunt Eunetta who takes 6 days to drive from Georgia to Oakland and parks her RV in their driveway. She spends her week harassing the trio by claiming she can match these single people up by reading their heads. Poor single people can’t ever get things done in their lives without an older person wanting to set them up. SMH. Like she actually strong armed Vanessa on the couch. Aunt Eunetta decides that Vanessa is the best person for Mark. The funny part would be dream sequences both Mark and Vanessa have about what their relationships would be like if they do get together. Mark and Vanessa decide to head out to the Anita Baker concert since she purchased the tickets for it prior to her and her boyfriend breaking up. Mark and Vanessa, get stuck in an elevator and share a kiss to dispel her prediction and discover that they enjoy kissing each other. (It is Vanessa’s idea… Mark never seems put off by it.) Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8ok8Ka23U0)

  • R.E.S.P.E.C.T (Season 4, Episode 9) – Geneva is fed up with doing everything for everyone and having to work. (The working family woman’s plight.) Except in Geneva’s case… Mark and Vanessa are not kids. They should be doing their own laundry as well as cooking their own food. Mark is fed up with Geneva’s rules and opens his big mouth to say so. (Mark is usually not so pigheaded so this was disappointing but he gets it in the end.) Geneva decides to move out with Nicole since she is not getting any respect. Mark invites his inconsiderate friends Steve and Lydell to move in, causing Vanessa to move out. Very quickly we realize that the shoe is on the other foot. They don’t clean or pay for anything. Mark is the new Geneva which makes it easier for him to understand her plight. (Tyler is the one who points out that his complaints mirror Geneva’s and why she had so many rules.) Nicole and Tyler set Geneva and Mark up so that they can talk to each other and Mark can apologize… Eventually things get back to normal. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DR-WyuSDe_c)
  • Rivals (Season 4, Episode 17) – Jamie Foxx guest stars…. After their teams trade pranks against each other’s mascot, Mark’s rival coach fakes a heart attack.  Later, Mark is banned from their game. Mark tries to get people to believe that Jamie is faking but no one is on his side. Geneva is stuck between a rock and a hard place because she has to eject Mark from the game. Mark decides to dress up like the opposing teams mascot to gain entry to the gym and coach his team incognito. He gets them both thrown out of the game. They can’t even watch the game. They patch things up in the locker room because there is really nothing else to do. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LDjii3uY0w)

  • True Confessions (Season 4, Episode 20) – This episode made me want to kick Mark in the shins. But do people use words anymore? Do they talk about how they feel? Did they ever? Anyway, after Geneva introduces Vanessa to a successful, handsome man, Mark does everything he can to sabotage the developing relationship. He interrupts their date by sitting in between them and talking about the history of basketball. (Like from its inception to the present.) Vanessa can’t get him to go away no matter how angry she is. Then he decides to make it up to her and her date by buying 4 tickets to a Whitney Houston Concert. He gets Vanessa to agree to double date with him and another woman. (Why she agreed is beyond me… It has to do with Whitney I bet.) What we find out later is that Mark’s date is the ex fiance of Mark’s date. (He had to know that to begin with.) Needless to say, the ex couple rekindles their relationship leaving Vanessa out to dry. Vanessa exacts on Mark by taking a crowbar to his car. She forces him to admit that he was jealous because he wants to be with her. (It goes back to the first episodes when Robin points out that Mark is attracted to Vanessa… and to the Matchmaker episode.) Vanessa is the one who suggests they share a kiss to make sure they have chemistry. It is Mark who suggests that they do it again. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xl0iHzgf12M)

  • Breaking Up is Hard to Do (Season 4, Episode 21) – At breakfast, Mark and Vanessa announce that they are dating. Things start out fine until they have dinner with Vanessa’s stale friends. Mark starts off tell her he does not want to hang out with Ben and Barb…. They listen to AM radio… I mean that is reason enough. (I ask again why they keep making this sit on the floor. He looks so awkward getting up and down. SOMEONE GET THIS MAN A CHAIR.) During the date, he complains that he is bored to tears…. I mean the man is talking to him about rice. (The fact that I found interesting though is when describes his preferred night… even though he mentions basketball… he says he wants to watch a game at home with her… And then the twins show up that know Mark and things progessively get worse… After their first fight, they decide that it would be better if they were just friends. It is a bit extreme I know. (I used to think my guy had to double date with me all the time.) Both Mark and Vanessa go on dates with other people (more to make the other person jealous than because they actually like the people they are dating. Mark actually dates the twins at the same time.) Eventually, since both Mark and Vanessa are stubborn, Geneva has to forced them back together in a ball pit… and yes that is as whacky as it sounds. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWLfM8xserg)
  • Will She or Won’t She? (Season 4, Epsiode 22) – Lydell comes over to let everyone know that he and his girlfriend, Florence have decided to get married. While both Geneva and Vanessa are ecstatic about it. Mark is not. He likens marriage to prison and wives as wardens. While Vanessa is disappointed to hear this… she isn’t shocked. This wasn’t the last time I heard this attitude towards marriage but why be in a relationship with a person you do not like? Also why not just be happy for your friend? Despite wanting to marry Mark, (because where is this relationship going?) Vanessa innocently has lunch with her former boyfriend. Geneva spills the beans on purpose it seems like because she did very little to keep her mouth shut. When Mark finds out, he frantically proposes marriage to her. SMH… Why would you do this only to keep her away from someone else. I wanted to pluck both of his eyes. LOL. Vanessa rejects him, thinking he only did it out of jealousy and she was not wrong. Since Mark is Lydell’s Best Man, he has the good luck to be the one to keep the man from jumping out of his skin and running away before he leaves the alter. Lydell repeats a lot of what Mark spouted about marriage but Mark assures him he is making the right decision. Mark decides then that the right decision is to seriously propose to Vanessa which he does at a Warriors game. It was cute. Probably better if she actually liked sports. But I will say it did take her by surprise.

  • The Ring (Season 5, Episode 1) – This man proposed with no ring ya’ll. So when they announce their engagement to Geneva, naturally she wants to see the ring. Mark and Vanessa eventually go ring shopping together. But Vanessa has expensive tastes… and Mark, who on a teachers salary, is trying to save money. The cheapest ring that Vanessa was looking at was $14000. Ma’am… what. This episode is over 20 years old but 14k seems like a lot for me. More because I don’t have that to throw around. Mark tries to save money and impress Vanessa by cutting corners and you and I know that never works. He enlists the help of Ervin… I am not sure why he called Ervin. Ervin is never the go to person. They end up at this back alley marketplace trying to buy a ring. The cheapest they found is 5K but Mark only has 2K and tries to work out a deal with the guy. He leaves with the ring but soon finds out that he needs to come up with the other 3K. Instead of taking the ring from Vanessa… although he tries… He ends up giving away his ride to make her happy. But she doesn’t allow that. It was a cute scene where he gives her the ring.
  • The In-Laws (Season 5, Episode 3) – Vanessa is in a tizzy because her parents are in town and want to meet Mark. She fears they won’t like him… She attempts to prep him for a meeting with her dad… and things go horribly awry. With all the preparation, Mark still gets drunk and makes a complete fool of himself. Well more like Vanessa’s father gets him drunk. It is a ploy to try to drive them apart but Vanessa stands her ground in her decision. Evenutally, her mother makes her father apologize and they have proper do over. But drunk Mark is great. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aw2DdHN9JXM&t=298s)

In the end, it was a fun rewatch. Mark is pretty funny and great at physical comedy. Watching this show led me to watch a lot of his stand-up. I was not disappointed. I enjoyed the characters and the fact that he was a black male teacher. There are still not enough of those 30 years later. It was a bit cheesy but I am always cool with that. Maybe it is me… but I do not think it got enough recognition back in the day. Like people don’t talk about it much. But thank goodness these shows are seeing a resurgence on streaming services. And here’s to hoping we get more shows like it. That is all for now.