Quarantine Post #81: Melissa and Joey

No one understands me quite like Hulu understands me. I think I have said in the past that I am easy to please. It is easy to recommend me a show… and I will usually love it. The wonderful thing (or not so wonderful thing, depending on how you feel about technology) about streaming services of any kind is they try to recommend things it thinks you like based on what you watch. Since I had added both Blossom and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch to my watchlist… Hulu made the very astute suggestion to watch Melissa and Joey.

Melissa & Joey is an ABC Family network television series starring Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence. I was sold on Melissa Joan Hart… But I love all things Lawrence brothers as well. It aired for four seasons between 2010 and 2015 on ABC Family (now Freeform). Mel is a local Councilwoman in Toledo from a political family. When a family scandal leaves her niece, Lennox, and nephew, Ryder, without their parents, Mel takes them in. Meanwhile, Joe is a former commodities trader left bankrupt after the Ponzi scheme run by Lennox and Ryder’s parents and finds himself searching for a job. So when Mel finds it hard to handle an instant family and her own life, she hires Joe to become the family’s new male nanny, or “manny”.

I should have watched it sooner… because it was way funnier than I ever gave it credit. But at the same time… I had no clue what it was about. (Nor did I really care.) This was one of the few shows that I did not read up on before starting it… It is all about the first few episodes anyway. If I am impressed with the first 4 episodes… then I will watch until the end. And needless to say… I blew through this in a few days… Could have been sooner if I didn’t drag out the last season… solely because it was the last season. Anyways… I don’t think I have to say “SPOILERS” because the show is 12 years old… but nonetheless. Let’s jump into a few episodes that really made me laugh, cry, or warmed my heart.

Let’s Jump In:

  • Nanny Love (Season 1, Episode 3) – Poor Joe. I find myself saying that a lot in the first season. Joe runs into a woman and hits it off with her at the grocery store. Or at least he thinks it is going well until she runs off after hearing he is the nanny. (I had high hopes for him. But at the same time… he didn’t even know what was happening right away? Also… if it is this easy to pick up Joey Lawrence… I need some things from the grocery store.)This leads to a food shortage at the house. Mel can’t cook. And with Joe feeling down about his profession no one is eating good. In an effort to win back waffles… Melissa decides to “help” after meeting with Liz, a sorority sister. Mel takes it upon herself to lie to Liz about Joe’s profession. (All this for some waffles? I want to know what these waffles taste like. I must know.) Joe is not comfortable with lying to Liz and wants to tell the truth. However, when Mel learns that Liz was hired to audit all City Councilmembers… she cons Joe into stretching the truth a bit longer so she can avoid the worst of the anal probe. Things blow up when Liz follows Joe home… and everyone has to lie about why they are there with Joe. When Joe finally tells her the truth… Liz doesn’t believe him and walks out. He threatens not to make waffles ever again. Good news… Things work out when he runs into the same woman at the grocery store and she explains that she wasn’t running away nor does she care what he does for a living. They end up having that coffee together. (Go Joe.)

  • Boy Toys R Us (Season 1, Episode 4) – Oh… The old do as I say… Not as I do… Poor Mel. She’s been upgraded from fun Aunt to disciplinarian. No fun for her… And sadly she was thrust into it because she got 2 teenagers. Lennox and Mel both get caught up with some bad boys… and Mel is uncomfortable settings some ground rules. But I mean this guy is a 21-year-old high school dropout. (If I had a kid, I’d want them to finish school. He would be the last person I would want her hanging out with.) Joe has to sort things out and help clean out Mel’s closet. (She had a week-old pizza in there. No way she was ever going to find her shoes. Joe says he could organize her closet and keep her from spending a bunch of money.) Mel plans to skip a council meeting and wants to go out drinking. Too bad she can’t find her shoes which Joe points out is because her closet is a mess. Lennox catches her at the right moment to ask if she can hang out with the aforementioned man… Mel shrugs and wants to get on with her life. It is Joe that suggests that they know who this person is… Mel meets a bartender with a motorcycle that she is infatuated with and Joe’s jealousy over the subject is mostly veiled. But he does point out that she is doing exactly what she told Lennox not to do. (And he also tells her that he thinks she deserves better. There was a line in there about picturing her with someone that is not Dylan.) We notice the attraction Joe has to Mel early on. She, however, does not. Mel claims that she is going to break up with her bartender/musician but only ends up sleeping with him. When Lennox breaks curfew to be with her dropout… Mel tries dropping the hammer… only to have the bartender/musician emerge from her bedroom. She calls out Mel for being a hypocrite. However, Mel does have age on her side. She is an adult and Lennox is not. Joe gets a kick out of watching the controversy… since he gets to watch Mel break up with Bartender Guy in real time… and Lennox get grounded. But in the end, Mel thanks Joe for his input and later he shows off her finished closet. My favorite line was when Joe asked Mel why one person with 2 feet has so many Uggs. For some reason… I laugh every time now.

  • Up Close & Personal (Season 1, Episode 7) – Mel is trying to do too much. I have never held a public office but this seemed like a bad idea from the beginning. Mel decides to do a TV spot about her home life to make her seem more homely. I know that this is about 12 years ago… because they are still talking about blackberries. Mel was the driving force in getting funds to local animal shelters but when she doesn’t get the credit she deserves she sets out to change her public perception. (She’s the Duck Killer.) Stephanie calls her friend at Toledo Today. Joe warns her that news reporters can’t be trusted. Especially since she plans on trying to script everything. Joe knows of what he speaks because they twisted his words on the Scanlon Ponzi scheme and no one wanted to work with him afterward. It is so scripted… and it is cringeworthy to watch. The news reporter, Celeste, doesn’t like her at all and is out to make Mel her look incompetent. While looking through her office… she makes the suggestion to drop by Mel’s house. (BAD IDEA. And mostly because she lives with other people who may not want to be on TV.) Joe points out that this is already out of control. And listen, I am not mad at Celeste for doing her job… and she was called in… but like… I am not sure what her vendetta is. Some of the questions she asks are about some not-so-great decisions Mel made as a kid. The kids do the best they can but you can tell they have been prepped. When the kids mention Joe, Celeste wants him on camera… and he wants no part of it. (Wise.) Celeste has a different approach with Joe… since she’s attracted to him. Even more so when he puts out a fire. It has to be that tight shirt. Mel is annoyed that Joe did well and people loved him. Stephanie is freaking out because Mel looks awful in the show. We knew it was coming. Joe comes to the rescue when he confronts Celeste…with a bribe… on Mel’s behalf. Celeste is the first to point out that Joe may have a thing for Mel. He tells Celeste that Mel is a good person and deserves to be shown as such.

  • Dancing With the Stars of Toledo (Season 1, Episode 8) – Were both Melissa and Joey on Dancing with the Stars? Yes… Yes, they were. And did I love it? Every moment. Stephanie tries to get Mel to do something for the community. I wonder if Stephanie is aware of who Mel is… because she starts out with a 5K run and then ups it to a 10K run. Both of which get turned down pretty quickly. But when it comes to Dancing With the Stars of Toledo… She gets talked into it by Joe and Lennox. Lennox says she can donate the proceeds to a charity she works for. Joe offers to teach what he knows. And boy does he know how to dance. Can you see the attraction between Mel and Joe? I sure can… but they try and fight it. Although, when Mel has the opportunity to upgrade from Joe she does for a new dancer. And Joe is clearly a bit hurt. But he steps aside to let Mel dance with Mark Ballas. But Mel slips and hurts herself. So she can’t dance with Mark Ballas… But Lennox still wants to raise money so they beg Joe to dance and he is flattered… until he realizes it is with Mark Ballas. He claims he will do so under one condition… If he can lead. And what ensues has to be the funniest thing I have ever seen. In a later episode, there is an allusion to them both appearing on Dancing with the Stars. Mel teases Joe about his “famous” ravioli, asking him if they went on Dancing with the Stars, and he replies, “Finished higher than you did”. Good Times. I really want to see some bloopers from this episode. The episode finishes with Mel in a high stupor dreaming that she is dreaming w

  • Seoul Man (Season 1, Episode 9) – Where is Joe’s Birth Certificate? Where most people are… with their mom. That may be a problem for Mel. A crackdown on illegal domestic workers working for city council members begins after a councilman is found to have been employing illegal immigrants. (Stephanie hitting on Joe is both funny and somewhat cringey… I say funny in that way that I would never say some of the things she says to Joe to any man. I recognize that if it were reversed… it would just be cringey.) Mel and Stephanie tell Joe that he needs to produce his birth certificate to prove that he is legal. Mel assumes that since he is from New Jersey that is where he was born… Boy is she wrong. Mel pleads with Joe to get his birth certificate so he can continue working for her. She wants it in a few days… which he responds may be a bit of a problem. (We have all been there at least once… I had a whole fiasco where my name wasn’t spelled correctly on my birth certificate. That was a whole thing.) In Joe’s case, he can’t really remember where his papers are since he has gone through a series of life-changing events like divorce and that tiny Ponzi scheme. Joe tells Mel that he wasn’t actually born in America, he was born in an American army hospital in Korea, and that finding his legal papers is a daunting task because of him moving around as a kid. Joe’s ex-wife sends over some boxes (and by some… I mean a truck full.) with paperwork. They spend all night looking. Ryder takes it upon himself to try and falsify documents to have Joe keep his job. Joe’s mom saves the day with the original… and Joe has to stop Mel from turning in fake documents.  Meanwhile, Lennox and her best friend Phoebe agree to go to the school dance together as friends but rumors soon escalate that they are going as a lesbian couple. It gets worse when they are banned from the dance.

  • Don’t Train on My Parade (Season 1 Episode 14) – Joe walks in on Mel doing sit-ups… or whatever she calls them. He thinks that she has lost her mind but when she recounts how she was out of breath when climbing her stairs at work (been there done that.) Joe thinks that Mel wants him to be her trainer. He seems a bit disappointed that isn’t the case. But I get it. (Like there are a few men on my list of people not to train with my youngest brother being one of those people.) He is kinda intense… and she is not really all that serious. It could cause the collapse of a good thing. The trainer arrives… A woman that takes potshots at Joe from the moment that she walks in the door. Not sure if that is her way of flirting but I wasn’t a fan. Especially since he wasn’t rude to you, to begin with. She starts when he is properly introduced to her by asking if he bench presses the kids instead of tending to their needs. When he offers the use of his weights in the garage, she tells him that he has the body type of an action figure and they will not be lifting weights. I mean she could have said thank you and left it at that. Later she compares his body type to Popeye… and I am just wondering… what the outrage would have been if he said something like that to her. But alas… I digress. Things escalate when Mel is called away from a session 15 minutes early and gives the rest of the session to Joe. He proves that he is okay with Yoga and Pilates and Lindsey proves that she is into him. They have sex in the garage which Mel sees. (Gross me out.) Things start to get messy when dating Joe bleeds into Mel’s training sessions. Lindsey actually falls asleep on Mel after forgetting her completely. Mel has an issue paying both people to sleep together… but I am not sure that is what she is doing. Mel comes down on Joe pretty hard and doesn’t say much to Lindsey. Joe and Mel decide to schedule when they will see Lindsey (Mel for training and Joe for romance) … Joe thinks that this relationship is going somewhere serious but when Mel tries to fire the trainer to make room Joe’s relationship. Lindsey reveals that she is not serious about Joe and sees him as a good time. Poor Joe. (I am saying it again.) She plans on getting back with her cheater ex… and thank goodness Joe overhears the conversation. Mel lets Lindsey go too… That leaves Joe to train Mel which is what should have happened in the beginning.

  • Lost in Translation (Season 1, Episode 15) – What could go wrong with Mel wanting to learn Japanese? EVERYTHING. Mel needs Joe’s help to impress a Japanese investor. She tries to bribe him with breakfast more importantly with bacon. (It could have worked but she doesn’t cook.) Initially, Joe is reluctant but he comes around when he realizes that Mel only wants a few phrases to impress the client. He warns her that not everyone respects career women She states her client speaks English so Joe will not need to teach her a whole bunch. (Shoutout to Joey Lawrence for the way he handles his lines.) Japanese is a hard language to learn. I have picked up a few phrases but I am nowhere near conversational. When the day comes for the business dinner, Mel seems in good spirits right up until her client doesn’t show up. (Let’s ignore the debate they have about why he taught her the phrase “Where’s the bathroom?” ). The son, Toshi, shows up in his place and doesn’t speak any English. Mel stumbles through a few minutes of “conversation” before calling Joe to her be her translator. Joe manages to conn Mel into doing his laundry for the next month… (I would have taken cash value.) He agrees to join her at this restaurant and things roll downhill. It is painful watching her make gestures that have nothing to do with anything. It doesn’t help Toshi in the slightest. But Toshi starts hitting on her… making it increasingly difficult for Joe. (He is having to third wheel two people acting like they are on a date… ) Things get risque when Toshi wants Mel to come up to his room for a nightcap. Joe puts the pin in that saying she has diarrhea. (Now… 2 things come to mind. 1. Yes. He is jealous and doesn’t want Mel running off with another man which becomes a common theme in the show. 2. Mel doesn’t know the vibe that Toshi is giving off because she doesn’t speak the language. What Joe reads from Toshi becomes apparent later in the episode. Mel and Toshi part ways and later Toshi sends her red roses with a roughly translated card that says he hopes she is over her diarrhea. She brings the hammer down on Joe and he agrees to be her translator again when Toshi wants to see Mel again. Mel turns Joe’s offer down and goes to see Toshi herself. (Not the brightest idea.) When she shows up, he proposes they have a threesome with a prostitute. She gets out of there pretty quickly and ends up having to tell Joe his intuition was right.

  • Auction Hero (Season 1, Episode 19) – If ever there was a bad idea… It’s this one that Mel has. Joe is a hit at the booster club at the high school Ryder and Lennox. Mel feels a bit left out. She wants to be more visible in the kids life. Joe tries to warn her about the sharks at the booster club but Mel thinks she knows what she’s doing. She insists on jumping in the deep end. The ladies at the booster meeting eat her alive. Mel… poor Mel… doesn’t even know why they are raising money. Mel is annoyed that they like Joe more than her… but I am sure that there are other reasons for that… Mel ends up embroiled in what Joe later calls “A Uterus Measuring Contest.” The ladies are trying to figure out what they can auction off and leave it to Mel to auction off a night with Joe Longo. You know, without talking to Joe… like at all. It goes over as well as you think. He doesn’t want to be auctioned off like a piece of meat. Who knew? The auction itself is worse because Mel practically wants him to strip in order to get the bids going. He goes to the highest bidder but there is a miscommunication about what a night with Joe Longo entails. Joe calls Mel to rub her nose in the fact that this was an awful idea. Mel shows up to take Joe home and rescue him from the predatory winner who wanted to feel him up. Mel restarts the bidding and pays more money to take Joe home.

  • Waiting for Mr. Right (Season 1, Episode 20) – Mel and Joe go back and forth, as is their thing, about another of Mel’s dates biting the dust. Joe makes fun of their relationship because her date, Fletcher, can’t take hints or get jokes. And also Mel and Fletcher always return home promptly at 11 pm. (You can tell there is no spontaneity which Joe laughs about.) Joe asks if she is going to dump Fletcher or keep allowing him to buy dinner and accuses her of finding flaws in everyone she dates. (Could be because she likes someone already but what do I know?) Joe makes an offhand comment about what she would say about him if they were dating. (Way to fish for information.) She falls right into the trap too. She claims she has a list. (1. His arms are way too big. No one in the world thinks this is an issue, not even her. 2. He always has answers for everything. She claims that women don’t need fixing. However, I don’t see Joe trying to fix her more than steer her away from situations she shouldn’t be in… but I digress.) Joe knows that Fletcher is on the way out… and I could argue that even here… at this early stage. I knew that. Mel heads out with the girlfriends from college and Joe comments about how she looks nice thinking that she is on her way to dump Fletcher… saying it is really cruel to look that good doing so. She mentions that she is heading out for a girl’s night. At the meeting with the foxy five, she learns that one friend is almost done planning the wedding, another friend is pregnant and her last friend is getting engaged… leaving Mel as the only single friend. (Yep… I can imagine what that is like.) The friends start talking about how they are settling with men they aren’t really into in order to get married. (Also been there done that. I still can’t imagine doing that.) The next day Joe is skeptical about Mel’s about-face regarding her relationship with Fletcher. She suddenly wants to make it work and to Joe’s dismay doesn’t throw out the flowers. At dinner, all is put into focus for him when Stephanie comes over. Joe catches onto the fact that Stephanie might know something. He uses Stephanie’s attraction against her. Poor Stephanie. It doesn’t take long to get Stephanie to spill the beans. Joe takes it upon himself to advise against continuing in a relationship that she is not happy in. Mel decides to go against what Joe says and decides to tag along with Fletcher to his parent’s 40th anniversary. Mel calls Joe later to come pick her up because she jumped out of the car realizing that she made a mistake. Mel breaks up with Fletcher when he comes to check on Mel. Joe takes her home and tells her he is sorry that her relationship didn’t work out. (I am sure he was dancing inside.)

  • The Other Longo (Season 1, Episode 25) – Enter Matthew Lawrence. I love it and him. He plays Joey’s brother (SHOCKER! I was with it.) Matt plays Tony Longo… who shows up unannounced to stay with Joe. Unannounced is always a problem for me. What do you want? Why are you here? Go Away! Joe tells Mel that Matt will be staying a few days. Tony tries to rearrange Mel’s furniture and that doesn’t immediately sit well with her but she warms up to Tony because he is such a likable guy. Tony suggests they do a photoshoot for her campaign since he is a photographer. (This seems like a bad idea to me but Tony gets the benefit of the doubt because he is Joe’s brother.) Everything is going well until he expresses to Joe that he wants to ask out Mel. Joe doesn’t want that and you can tell. But alas, he will never say that. Tony asks if Joe has something for Mel. Joe denies it and not well if you ask me. He tells Tony to go for it. Tony knows Joe well though… He knows that Joe likes Mel but he pursues Mel anyway. Tony and Mel are at her office after hours for the photoshoot. Things seem to be heating up but leave it to Joe to show up and interrupt. What is it with people showing up unannounced? He claims he is a superhero for bringing her a laptop bag. (The bag ends up being empty… so he is just there to interrupt.) When Mel talks to Joe privately, Joe tries to warn her about Tony’s intentions but she dismisses him. Once Joe leaves, Mel is so tense that the photoshoot can’t continue with a foot massage. Joe waits up for Mel and Tony. He feigns like he is reading the paper but we know better. He comments on how late it is that they showed up. Joe actually asks what took them so long and gags at the fact that Mel got a foot massage from Tony. He should have just told Tony to stay away from her. The next morning… Mel and Tony head out for breakfast…. and Stephanie comes by and complains that she missed out on another “Longo brother.” And Joe can’t help but ask what makes Tony so appealing to women. Stephanie points out that Tony is Joe less clenched. LOL. I almost spit out my drink. Stephanie explains that Tony is just the Joe “that she can have”. Joe denies this, claiming that Mel is going out with Tony to make him angry. (Because everything she does is about him.) Stephanie suggests that they date to make Mel jealous which Joe turns down politely. When Mel and Tony arrive home, Joe tries to send Tony off telling him the bus ticket is paid for but Tony makes it a point to say he is sticking around. (Cut the tension with a knife.) Things do get worse when Lennox comes into the kitchen with her laptop to show Mel that there are pictures of her online from her photoshoot with Tony, but she is in seductive and scandalous poses. Mel becomes angry and asks Joe where Tony is. Joe says that he’s in the garage, so Mel leaves with Stephanie to confront him. Joe, obviously upset, heads downstairs.  Joe talks to Tony about the pictures. Tony says that he posted them to his website and that someone must have stolen them and posted them elsewhere. He tells Joe that he’ll take them down, but Joe says that his “flaky-guy” thing isn’t working anymore and that Mel is pretty hurt. Tony asks why Joe is so worked-up over the pictures, but Joe just says that he’s protective of the people with whom he lives. Tony says that the last time he saw Joe this way was the “Andrea Dittman fight”, where Tony made out with a girl and told the whole school, humiliating her. Joe asked her out but she didn’t want to date another Longo. Tony and Joe enter into a physical fight as Mel comes into the kitchen. She hears the fight going on and goes downstairs. There, Tony is mocking Joe about his affections for Mel. Tony goes to tell Mel, but he decides not to, and instead, says that he still likes Andrea Dittman. (Joe looks like a deer in headlights at the prospect of being exposed.) Later that night, Mel and Joe come upstairs with broken furniture from Joe’s room, telling him that she’s glad that Tony’s gone, but that Joe needs to sort problems out with words instead of fighting. Stephanie runs in the room with her computer, telling Mel that women are calling her empowered and sexy. 

  • Teacher/Teacher (Season 1, Episode 26) – Enter Andrew Lawrence. I am here for it again. Andrew plays Ryder’s history teacher who gives him a C for a paper. Joe doesn’t think Ryder deserves a C and resolves to have it out with his teacher and get his grade changed. Mel asks Joe how much of the paper was what Ryder actually wrote and Joe promises that he didn’t do the work for him. (Usually, I have every confidence in Joe…but I knew this was going downhill.) It backfires when he admits that this was a paper he turned in years ago in college that got an A. (What in the world was he thinking?) Needless to say, Ryder gets an F. I do want to know what the teacher had against Ryder though? Did he read the paper and think that there is no way that Ryder could have written it. Elsewhere, Mel tries to take Lennox to a concert… (Kings of Leon) only to find out the concert is being held at a club for those 21 and older. Lennox is nowhere near that. Joe figures Mel and Lennox won’t go to the concert so he decides to bribe Ryder’s teacher with the Kings of Leon tickets. (Not one of his better ideas.) The problem? Mel and Lennox still plan on using the tickets. Mel’s solution is to get Lennox a fake ID. (Boy… Here are two people that do not know how to raise kids. LOL.) Why in the world would you suggest a fake ID as if teenagers need help coming up with bad ideas? (But it is a sitcom.) Mel takes Lennox to a guy that used to do her fake IDs. Apparently, said guy has gotten old and senile because police show up at the venue looking for his handiwork. They are booting out everyone in the club that is not 21 or older. Joe tries to stop Ryder’s teacher from using the fraudulent tickets. We learn they were sold to someone else who wants to threaten the teacher. And Lennox and Mel are stuck in the club bathroom… (GROSS!!!) Lennox ends up having to jump out the window into a dumpster. It was a chaotic episode. In the end, Joe finds out that Lennox already had a fake ID. (A much better one than the one Mel purchased for her.)

  • The Settlement (Season 1, Episode 30) – There is a water leak in the ceiling, and the joke between Mel and Lennox about how Joe will react if someone tries to hire a plumber kills me. All hell breaks loose when it looks like Joe is going to come into a settlement for being taken in that Ponzi scheme. Joe learns that he may get $167,000 and the people in the house are having a breakdown at the possibility that Joe may be leaving. At work, Mel is informed that is invited to the Mayor’s Gala… and needs a plus one… Later, Joe reveals that he’s planning to move out and help her find his replacement. He tells Mel that he has already looked at an apartment. She takes the news in stride and then asks him to be her plus one which surprises him. (In a moment of shock, Joe utters “Whoa!” and notes “I haven’t said that in a long time”.) Joe spends a lot of time interviewing the new nannies. One guy makes a comment about Joe having an open mind and that men can be nannies which had me side-eyeing hard. Of course, they can, you are replacing Joe. But the guy ends up being creepy. He talks about sleeping with his past bosses… Not exactly what Joe meant. Joe tells Lennox he doesn’t like any of the candidates. Lennox replies that no one is going to be like Joe since they have him trained. LOL. Lennox is a bit more perceptive than Joe and Mel give her credit for in the first few seasons. (Even though she lives there and can cut the tension with a knife.) Joe makes it known that he will still be around even after he has left his post and moved out. He will still be at Ryder’s soccer games, and around to scare Lennox’s dates. Lennox, however, asks if he will be seeing Mel. He avoids the question which only makes Lennox smile. Next, everyone is helping Joe move into his new place. Mel brings food to his apartment and they have an impromptu date with candles and everything. (Courtesy of Joe thinking the power is out.) Leave it to the kids to ruin things. Anyway, Mel races out of there when she finds out her new couch was delivered and probably placed right under the leak in the living room. She races out of there but not before kissing Joe which is a surprise to both of them. It seems like she just does it out of habit.  When Joe goes to collect his money, he doesn’t receive it because his address is the same as Lennox’s, and Ryder’s is seen as suspicious. When he explains this to Mel, she agrees that he should move back in and continue to be their nanny. Since Joe didn’t fix the leak… Her tub comes crashing down through the ceiling and onto her brand new couch. Poor Mel. Mel talks to a contractor and she tells Joe that they should do a whole remodel which he is against. The contractor assumes they are married. Or at least engaged.

  • I Can Manage (Season 2, Episode 1) – They are living in a renovation… which I would never do if I had the money that Mel has. NEVER LIVE IN A RENO. (In my Property Brother’s voice.) Mel turns over the reno to Joe for him to oversee. And that was like pulling teeth. He starts out pretty good but he has his own ax to grind since he is the one at home all day. Mel comes home to find out the workers are still there… Joe says that in order to get the job back on schedule he has instituted a new rule that they work until it gets dark. Mel thinks that his approach will backfire. Joe thinks that she is too soft and that people take advantage of her kindness. When there is a price change for copper (The price quoted goes up 15%.) Joe doesn’t approve of the changes causing the reno to slow down. Leo is pretty upset and quits. Joe doesn’t want to admit that he got Leo to quit. Before everyone turns on Joe… Mel goes to talk to Leo and bring him back on the job. She buys some Banana Bread and a $5000 check. Money makes everything better. Leo comes back on the job and Joe gets to talk smack about how holding out was the best option. Mel lets him gloat for a bit before she lets it slip that there is extra money. Joe admits to giving Leo $500. So Leo took money from both of them… And in the end, Joe was right. But it gets the reno back on schedule. Because Joe is not as handy as he thinks.

  • If You Can Stand the Heat (Season 2, Episode 2) – Joe runs into an ex of Mel’s and for some reason tells the dude that she is still single and passes his number to her. It was weird. I could ask what he was thinking but… we may never know. In other news, Mel did not get the cabinets she thought she was getting so the contractor brings in a very hot, Australian cabinet designer. There is an instant attraction between them which Joe makes fun of. He tries to pretend that it is out of a need to get the kitchen done… since he is the one that really uses it and she doesn’t. But it is more of that thinly veiled jealousy. He really is always around when Mel is talking to a man. Although, when Mel points out that Joe is just threatened… he denies it. Although he does crash Mel’s picnic with hot Aussie. Joe does mention that he doesn’t appreciate being circumvented since “This is his territory.” When asked what is, he replies to Mel by saying “You.” before recovering badly. Joe accuses her of being into the hot Aussie but not before commenting on the fact that he doesn’t like that the guy wears his shirts too tight… (Like how Joe wears his own shirts.). I would wonder why he cares but you and I know he would never answer that. Mel and Joe attempt to respect each other’s privacy after they have a quarrel about boundaries. Since their picnic was interrupted by Joe and later another nightmare client (according to hot Aussie.) Mel takes it upon herself to meet him on another job with her own picnic basket. Only to find out he spends his time romancing clients, and Mel is not the only one. He even gives everyone the same cabinets. Joe and Mel do end up being a bit more cordial than before. Shout out to the director for that shirtless shot of Joey Lawrence.

  • All Up in My Business (Season 2, Episode 4) – Why in the world would Mel let Joe look over her finances? Not that he would do a bad job… but telling me that I should cut back on things is fighting words. Mel is trying to sneak out of the house without being questioned by all the other people who live there. But it is impossible to do so. Lennox has an issue and then Ryder and not to be outdone… Joe comes out complaining about hot water in his towel. (I enjoyed that very much.) Mel and Joe argue about whether or not she has been paying bills. She claims that she does so when she sees them but since the renovation, she doesn’t know where the bills have gone. I would have figured that she would have things on Autopay by now. I mean this show is set in the 2010’s. Ryder comments that the Gas company called and that he put the note in the box. (Gotta love kids. I remember when I used to take partial messages for my parents and they weren’t helpful.) Joe tells Mel that since she has a lot going on downtown, she should allow him to take a look at the finances which Mel agrees to with no problem. (I’m shocked. I am legit shocked.) Joe has a financial mind so there is no downside… I guess. He shows up at her office because he can’t get access to an account of hers. He needs her permission to discuss the account. I am not sure how this works since he is not her boyfriend. In the course of being at her office, Joe overhears Mel’s lunch date on the phone with his wife. I laughed way too hard at the fact that Mel has 3 gym memberships. Why sis? You know you don’t run. Stop this. Joe actually asks her if she thinks it is fine to have lunch with a married man. (He actually calls her an attractive single woman and Mel replies… “You think I’m attractive.” which he doesn’t respond to.) He says it is a bit weird for an attractive single woman to be out with a married man. It isn’t until he is looking over the credit card statement and sees all these recurring charges for a hotel. He initially thinks that it is where Mel goes to lunch but when he calls… He is told that Mel gets a hotel room every week but never stays overnight. (The fact that people can just call an establishment and get all kinds of info is weird. Yes, I know this is a show and most places don’t do this anymore but it was still sketchy to me.) It leads Joe to believe that Mel is having an affair with a married man. The married man from her office. When he grills her about it… He puts out there that she is only sneaking off because she is ashamed of her affair. Mel thinks he is delusional. (I agree.) When giving advice to Lennox, he decides to crash Mel’s hotel room to break up this “romantic rendezvous.” He claims it is because he thinks she is jeopardizing her career but what do we know about Joe by now? (He also tells her that she deserves more than to be someone’s arm candy.) Mel is somewhat annoyed but she drags him into the hotel room only to find she is there by herself. She gets room to be alone which she can not do at work or at home. She soaks in the tub and then eats candy while she watches a chick flick. He feels like a fool. He at least apologizes with gifts. He can be cute when he wants to be.

  • Mixed Doubles (Season 2, Episode 7) – Now… I knew early on that this plan was a disaster. Do I think men and women can be friends and give objective advice? Sure. Do I think that this situation where these two clearly have a thing for each other should be giving each other advice on love? Absolutely not. Mel and her friend Ariel are sitting on the couch chatting. That chat is cut short when Ariel has to run because she has work in the morning. Joe and his current squeeze Mallory come in arguing about Joe not wanting to meet Mallory’s father. When Mel asks why he did want to meet her father, Joe explains that her father is dead and she wanted him to meet his ashes. (Creepy.) Mel comments that Joe only dates flaky, crazy women. (Tiffany comes to mind and she was a lot of work and a lot of crazy.) Do I think she is wrong? No. Still would have kept it to myself. Mel makes the comment that he should date women more like her… and when he lets that statement hang there… she covers it by saying it should be a woman that actually likes him… Enter Ariel… who is back because she left her umbrella. Joe wants Mel to set him up with Ariel. She is reluctant. Now she started out this conversation and now she wants to bow out. (Should have stayed out of his dating life.) She does eventually agree to call Ariel for Joe. Mel is knitting (or trying to… since she is watching a video on how to.) Joe comes back from his first date with Ariel and is gloating about how good it went. He offers an old friend of his but she claims that she would never be interested in a friend of his. (Rude. But true since Joe is really the one she is interested in.) Joe points out that she is alone knitting because she finds fault with every man she dates. She agrees to go on a date with his friend and they hit it off or so she thinks. She inadvertently mentions her date’s ex-wife and things head downhill from there. (He starts crying on her shoulder.) When she reveals that she doesn’t think it will work and that it is not her fault, Joe suggests that to ease the tension they go on a double date. But that is a whole dumpster fire. The dance club they go to reminds Mel’s date of his ex… and he can’t seem to get past it. He even takes off to rekindle things with her. Ariel seems to be only interested in Joe if she can get him to do what she wants. When he attempts to show her what he likes, she isn’t here for it. (Also, she ended it because he wanted to dance and she didn’t? Weird.) That leaves Mel and Joe to dance together. The banter is fun but the dancing is better.

  • The Donor Season 2, Episode 8) – Oh lord. This is some tomfoolery. Mel’s friend Jackie decides to have a baby via sperm donor. It wasn’t her original plan since last season she thought she was getting married. She has it narrowed down to 2 donors. One of which sounds suspiciously like Joe. The more they read the profile, that Mel has named Vincenzo, the more it sounds like Joe. After Jackie leaves, Mel questions Joe further and finds out that he had donated out of desperation for money right out of the Ponzi scheme. Mel then tries to get Jackie to pick someone else, to no avail. (I mean, Joe does ask her to stop Jackie but I would have never gotten in the middle of this. Mel has an ulterior motive.) Joe apparently doesn’t want to see the child. He would have a hard time with that. Understandable. Mel’s only bright idea is for Joe to go down to the sperm bank and recall all of his supply. Moments later, Mel reads a tweet from Jackie telling the world that she’s about to shoot herself up with Joe’s juice. Mel heads down to the sperm back to stop Jackie only to be told that Joe is sold out. (Which he gets a kick out of, but Mel and Joe celebrate him not having a child with Jackie with wine.) But Jackie shows up to the house to corner Joe and do it “the old-fashioned way”. (Her original idea is to try and get him to go back to the cryobank which he turns down.) He first seems uncomfortable but Jackie seems to be able talk him out of his reservations and upstairs to “talk.” (You never got to the bedroom to talk. What is he? An amateur?) Mel comes home with new shoes… because she is who she is. After noticing Jackie’s belongings scattered around the living room, she races upstairs to find “[her] Joe” about to kiss her BFF. Joe was about to give in and sleep with Jackie. WHY JOE WHY??? LOL. She sweet talks him with math though. Mel manages to convince Jackie that she wants to have Joe’s baby. (She also convinces Joe to a certain extent.) She covers it as a joke and Joe seems a bit disappointed but he goes with it. But come on. We can only be going on place with this.

  • Eat, Pray, Date (Season 2, Episode 9) – We all know that Joe does the cooking in the house and Mel does the eating. Nothing wrong with that. Mel meets a new man at a fundraiser where they didn’t feel people apparently. Or at least it wasn’t real food. They raid her fridge for Joe’s leftovers. When he asks if the food is homemade… She lets him assume she can cook. SIS!!! Why lie? There is no way you could keep that up for the foreseeable future. (Also… just don’t lie.) He insists on a cooking date with Mel. (See???!!! I tried to warn her. She didn’t listen.) Also, his idea of a date is her doing all the cooking… meh. She begs Joe to help her learn to cook a meal which he does. He teaches her to create a chicken dish (There is a great scene where he wants her to pull out the giblets… and massage with chicken). At dinner, Ryder and Lennox are surprised and excited by the fancy meal in front of them, but turn it down when they find out Mel cooked it. Joe insists that it’s safe to eat because he supervised, and the kids are impressed with what they taste. By Saturday, Joe has Mel all set up to cook for Travis and ducks out for his stay-at-home date with a masseuse. When Travis arrives, he reveals to Mel that the store didn’t have any chicken because of a salmonella outbreak. Instead, he brings lobster and crab meat. (Because nothing goes to plan… in life… and even moreso in the sitcom world. ) Obviously, there is nothing left to do but interrupt Joe’s date to beg him to help.  Mel takes a note from Ratatouille and decides to use video chat to get live cooking instruction from Joe. Ryder and his girlfriend drama interrupt and the tablet ends up in hot water. Because he’s such a good friend, Joe runs downstairs when he loses video feed with Mel. He holds her hand through the meal and all seems peachy until Travis walks in on the two of them having a moment. Mel is forced to confess that she doesn’t know how to cook and they try to convince him that there’s nothing going on between them, but he doesn’t buy it and why should he? They are both lying.

  • A Pair of Sneakers (Season 2, Episode 11) – Driving Lessons… UGH. I remember back to when my mom and I were in this same situation. THE WORST!!! Mel and Lennox are arguing over their driving lesson arrangements. They both think that the other person is the worse driver.  Joe has them each recap the lesson, and, of course, the versions are drastically different. Joe being great at everything he does, offers to teach Lennox to drive. Mel for some reason is opposed to that. She pulled a Beast from Beauty and the Beast. (“If she doesn’t eat with me then she doesn’t eat at all.) He does anyway, and tells Lennox to keep it a secret. (Smh. Lennox doesn’t have the greatest constitution when it comes to keeping secrets.) Joe figures that if Mel is at work they will have plenty of time to practice driving. He didn’t account for how nosy people can be in suburbia. While reversing, Lennox hits a mailbox and dents Mel’s car, but Joe covers for her, even if it means admitting that Mel is a better driver. (Which he does through gritted teeth.) However, he continues with the secret lessons, and Lennox is starting to fall apart under the pressure. Mrs. Roser come over for another check since Joe’s check wasn’t for the right amount. She lets Mel know who was really driving. Mel sets a trap for the liars. She tells them that her car is gonna need some real repairs. About $3000 in cost but Joe doesn’t knuckle under. He keeps to the story, though, right up until Lennox blows his cover by confessing. Mel tells Joe that Mrs. Roser already spilled the beans about who was driving. (Joe responds: “Mrs Roser?! You’re going to believe her? That woman watches me clean through the mail slot.”) I almost spit out my drink… especially since Roser admitted to that earlier. Mel has a fit and tries out the silent treatment on Joe. He points out that they are not married so she can’t use the silent treatment on him. Then, we learn just why Mel is so dead-set on being Lennox’s driving instructor – she was taught to drive by her dad’s chauffeur, so she wanted Lennox to have a loving family member give her that memory. Joe feels a bit bad that he went behind her back but Mel reveals that she doesn’t view him as staff. She sees Joe as her co-parent and that she is trying to let it go. Joe seems genuinely touched. I loved it.

  • Can’t Hardly Wait (Season 3, Episode 4) – More meddling in each other’s lives. It is Joe that is on the receiving end this time. Joe injures his back trying to have sex in the back seat of a car. He is not as young as he used to be. I never understood how people do this. It seems uncomfortable to me. He tells this story to Mel who tells him that she’s been reading and she thinks that maybe they need to slow down with the wanting to jump into bed without really knowing a person. The book states that waiting makes the relationship more fulfilling. He ends up going to the chiropractor to get his back set. The two hit it off after she adjusts his back. When he tells Mel that he is expecting to seal the deal with Chelsea later on… She points out that he just met this woman and may want to get to know her first. (She cites the book she is reading “Close Your Legs”) Joe is open to the idea of waiting because he seems to really like Chelsea until later that night… he finds out that Chelsea is a virgin. (In every sense of the word.) Mel teases Joe the next day but she is blown away when he tells her that she is a virgin. Mel assumes that the relationship is over but Joe says that even without the sex… it was the best date he has ever had. He thanks Mel for her input as he heads out for a jog. When Mel asks where he’s going he tells her that he has a lot of energy to burn off but he can’t put his finger on why. By the third jog in like 12 hours… Mel points out that sexual frustration is working wonders for his cardio. He denies that he is frustrated but anyone can see he is losing his grip. LOL. Mel tells him that he needs to be honest about what he wants but Joe says he is not going to break up. Chelsea comes to visit Mel for some reason… She is checking out the other woman. Mel gives her some food for thought. Later, Joe runs into a burning building because… well why not? Afterward, Chelsea decides Joe is the one for her. She is high on his heroism. She throws herself on him and he can’t take the pressure. Joe fakes some back spams and runs out of there. He needs Mel’s help… Mel is confused as to why the relationship needs to end. They aren’t waiting… That is what Joe wanted. But he says that she wants a man that is in it for the long haul and he is not sure that is him. Mel tells him that he needs to tell Chelsea. He returns to his room only to find her naked in his bed. He runs out of there again with the quickness and tells Mel that she needs to get rid of Chelsea. (Which she does… Odd. I would not have done that.)

  • Oh, Brother (Season 3, Episode 4) – Joe’s turn to be all up in the business. Mel’s childhood friend returns home to Toledo and sparks seem to be flying. Like Joe points out. Mel claims that they are like brother and sister. When Mel mentions that she and Austin found each other on Facebook, Joe asks who found who? He states that if she looked Austin up, it could have been just out of curiosity but if he looked her up… It could be that he is interested. Mel thinks it is a bunch of crap. She challenges Joe… she claims that men and women can be friends. Joe is not sold on the idea. He becomes more certain when Mel and Austin change from hanging out at lunch to a dinner date. Joe claims there is a way to know if a person likes you. Just look into their eyes deeply and if they don’t look away they are apparently into you. She goes to dinner and tries to use Joe’s hints to find out if Austin is into her. Meanwhile, Ryder stumbles onto an old photo album. Joe claims that he sees a resemblance to Austin and Mel’s father. Especially since Mel’s father is not a man that believes in monogamy. Joe jumps to so many conclusions in so little time that it is hard to keep up. lol. He races out to throw a wrench in Mel’s date but again… what’s really at the root of his issue? He manages to ruin her date and get her to believe that Austin could be her brother. So… It is in the back of her mind… They decide to steal Austin’s DNA for a DNA test. Joe’s idea. That goes about as well as you think before Austin catches on. He gives her a hair.. and Mel and Austin are relieved to know that they are NOT brother and sister. Joe seems happy for her.

  • The Truth Hurts (Season 3, Episode 6) – Leave it to Joe to act out. Austin and Mel’s relationship seems to be blossoming. Joe comes into the living room to watch the game and Mel and Austin are feeling each other up on the living room couch. Joe points out they are in fact in the living room and they live with kids. Joe leaves to watch the game elsewhere. Austin uses that time to tell Mel he booked them a weekend at a resort so they can have some alone time. (Does he not have his own place? He is at her place a lot and then complaining about the people she lives with. Why do you need a resort… I mean it is nice, but why?) Mel suggests that Joe and Austin play pool together. (This is a bad idea. Why does Mel need Joe and Austin to be friends? Joe is just her employee right?) Needless to say… Joe and Austin head down to the club and play pool. (This is nothing more than a pissing contest.) Mel arrives and simultaneously throws Joe off his game. Austin is strutting his stuff and when it is finally Joe’s turn he has to contend with Austin and Mel making out all over the table. Joe seems more than uncomfortable… Here in the 3rd season, Joe’s jealousy becomes less thinly veiled. After finally shooing them off the table. Joe is about to take his shot but the geniuses that they are… Mel and Austin are standing right behind him. Joe ends up taking a pool cue to Austin’s junk. Apparently, Joe ruptured major blood vessels in his nether region. Mel accuses him of hurting Austin on purpose and ruining their romantic getaway. Lennox chats with Joe. She pokes fun at his actions. (Poor Austin. I will only say that once.) Since Lennox has been studying psychology, she tries out some of what she has learned on Joe. She gets him to open up about why he may have hurt Austin… (I do think it was accidental but at the same time… I don’t think he was as broken up about it as he let on.) Lennox filters it down to Joe becoming aggravated when Mel showed up and started showering Austin with affection and being distracted by Mel’s behind. Joe vehemently denies this. He thinks she is going to fail her psych class. He does make the statement that he wishes Mel would look in front of her to find a person to be with instead of in her past. (I cannot believe he said that out loud.) Lennox tells him that his feelings for Mel may run deeper than he wants to admit and he leaves visibly annoyed. Later, Austin and Mel are in the kitchen having a cooking date… (is this supposed to be fun?) Austin is limping and Joe ends up almost walking in on them… He watches them in the background… and he looks super sad. We are sad for Joe. (But I mean he did take a pool cue to a guy’s junk.) After, Austin goes home… Joe goes to talk to Mel… and after what seems like forever, he admits that he is jealous… and you almost want to hug him. (Trust me I almost fell out of my chair.) But he covers by saying he is annoyed that she is in a relationship and he is not. (Well… You can’t expect too much growth. Mel doesn’t seem to buy it entirely but she lets it go.) He does pay for another romantic weekend which is a bit odd… But he claims that he met a barista named Chardonnay which shows why there is some pep in his step. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4pYmwma05o&t=302s)

  • The Unkindest Cut (Season 3, Episode 7) – Joe finds Mel in the kitchen using an app to predict what her and Austin’s children will look like. (Apparently, there is an app for that. ) She has babies on the brain… (Been there, done that.) Joe laughs at her but he seems a bit too interested that she wants to have a baby with Austin. At the same time, Joe is dating the barista Chardonnay… which Mel points out is only physical. (None of her business but she tells him about it anyway.) Joe tries to prove her wrong but can’t since he doesn’t even know her last name. Austin arrives up and lets Mel know that has a clean bill of health…. and they can now how their romantic weekend. Elsewhere, Mel has gotten inside Joe’s head and he wants to have a real meaningful conversation with Chardonnay. She, however, only has the physical on the brain. Can’t blame Joe. He really did try. Austin and Mel embark on their romantic weekend. When Mel asks about protection and Austin reveals that he has had a vasectomy so there is no need for protection. In Mel’s mind, that kills the romance. Mel returns home and is in a pissy mood. She reveals to Joe that at 25 Austin decided he never wanted kids and had a vasectomy. Joe says the only decision he made in his 20’s was to grow a goatee. Mel takes this as a sign that Austin was too young to make a life-changing decision. Some people know what they want early on. She starts researching ways to reverse a vasectomy for Austin. She really needs to let him go. And only because they do not want the same things. Joe laughs at her idea… He knows that Austin won’t go for it. When she pitches it to Austin… He doesn’t go for it. He restates that he doesn’t want children. He explains that she is already taking care of Lennox and Ryder and he figures that since is already doing the parenting thing she would be fine with having no kids of her own. Mel and Joe talk later and she regurgitates what Austin told her about parenting Lennox and Ryder. Joe thinks she is making a mistake especially since she really wants kids. Just before Mel leaves with Austin on a romantic weekend, Joe brings in the neighbor’s baby. His story is that they needed a sitter last minute and he is filling in. Mel helps settle the baby… and anyone can see she wants children in her life. Joe points out that she is a natural with children. When Austin shows up… she starts having second thoughts… She tells Austin that children are a dealbreaker for her. So she ends the relationship. Later, Mel and Joe talk and she thanks him for setting her straight… and he points out that she was right about Chardonnay. As the episode ends, Lennox accuses Joe of purposely ambushing Mel with the baby. He feigns stupidity… but we know better.

  • Fast Times (Season 3, Episode 11) – For someone as smart as Mel… She makes bad decisions when it comes to her relationships. Mel tells Joe about her new man… Noah. She tells Joe about her 5 stage plan. Of which, she and Noah are 12 weeks into. Stage 1: Get to know each other. (6 months.) Stage 2: Talk about moving in. (Another 6 months.) Stage 3: Move in together. Talk about marriage. Get a dog. (12 months.) Stage 4: Get Married… Talk about having kids. Stage 5: Mason, Brady, and little baby Tucker. Joe points out that her plan takes way too long and if she craps out at stage 3, she will have to start over again and be 3 years older. Noah shows up with groceries because his house was flooded. An upstairs neighbor with an overflowing bathtub. Totally happened to us. No fun. Mel offers Noah her place for the week which Joe thinks is a bad idea… AND IT IS. Mel claims that she is speeding up her 5-year plan by throwing it in the microwave so to speak. Joe tries to warn her they will be playing house and not really living together. For example, Mel being up early for breakfast and drinking herbal tea instead of getting her caffeine fix. Joe points out that she is putting on for the relationship to seem more blissful than it is. She made breakfast… which she NEVER does… and they are listening to music at breakfast. At some point, she will have to let the facade drop. Noah starts rearranging her bathroom and then complains about her lotion. He claims the smell gives him a headache. He doesn’t want to sleep with the window open. She is so uncomfortable in her own house. But Joe did warn her. She leaves her bed in the middle of the night to sleep in Joe’s room. He may be slightly annoyed at being woken up by the intrusion… but he lets her stay. The next morning she tells Joe that she is relieved that Noah is going home in 2 days. Noah arrives and reveals that they now have found mold in his apartment and it won’t be ready for another 2 months. Mel drops the hammer (more like lies.) but she does tell him he can’t stay. She tells Joe her new plan is to take things slow. Joe points out that she was just on the fast track… slowing things down now is not going to work. Joe comes up with a plan to poke a hole in Mel’s love life. I could argue that the shine has worn off and that Mel is just holding on. But still, he is WEIRD. He has them take a couples quiz in a magazine to find out if they are meant to be. Mel is against it but Noah is all for it. I smell a disaster. They answer every question relatively the same except the last one. Joe loses his enthusiasm. I guess he thought it would be fun to watch them fall apart and initially that doesn’t happen. The last question (“Are you in love with someone else?”) leaves Mel and Joe staring at each other but it is Noah that jumps up that he is still in love with an ex. Joe does get to watch their relationship fall apart. Joe does apologize later… but Mel seems content with finding out that her guy was in love with someone else before marrying him.

  • Bad Influence (Season 3, Episode 12) – When having a garage sale… remove all things risque before selling. I would guess that is rule #number 1. But in the sitcom world, I guess anything goes. Although, this story is not far-fetched. Mel is having a garage sale. She allows Joe and Ryder to sell all her old crap. She loses it when they tell her they sold her old nightstand with a tape of the 2002 World Series. Joe is not following until she reveals that the tape has NOTHING to do with baseball. Joe correctly guesses that it was a sex tape. Mel is in desperate need to get the tape back since she is on the shortlist for State Senate. Joe points out that the guy they sold it o needs to find a VCR “And that alone could take years.” He’s not wrong. Mel tries to go and buy the nightstand back and he is a douche but he has no reason to want to sell it back. Later, Ryder comes down and asks for Joe’s help to find an antique pinball machine. He claims it is the same one from the garage of the guy that has Mel’s tape. Ryder was in there when he moved the nightstand. Joe and Mel come up with a plan to steal the tape after breaking into the garage.  Elsewhere, Lennox’s pen pal looks forward to meeting her now that he is out of prison. She invites him to the house for dinner. Mel and Joe are against it… but think it will be a fine cover story for their night of breaking and entering. Joe decides that he will break and get the tape on his own. Mel shows up to talk him out of it… and they both in up in the man’s garage. Mel is the worst burglar. She is loud and even yells out when she finds the tape. Luckily, Joe is there. The celebration is short-lived because the homeowner returns and they have to hide in a closet together. How the man didn’t see them there is beyond me. At the same time, I am not sure he expected someone to be in his garage. In the closet, Mel and Joe argue about what their story will be if they are caught. Her idea: That Joe kidnapped Mel. He asks why if he has worked with her for 3 years would he pick tonight to kidnap her? (My question… Why would he bring her to the neighbor’s garage if he did kidnap her?) Joe scrunched up his face before saying… “There’s all kinds of holes in that story: I don’t like that story.” I don’t like it either. They manage to make it out of the garage and are found out by the kids due to Mel’s gloating. Mel plans to take the tape and have a viewing party. Joe thinks the tape should be destroyed… (although he seems slightly intrigued.) When she decides against destroying it… he does it for her. LOL. “You’ll thank me when you’re president.”

  • Teach Your Children (Season 3, Episode 13) – Since Joe is running a homeschool/tutoring session, many parents want to use his services. It is either to keep them from being behind or helping stay ahead of the game. Mel gets the chance to run into the mother of Jeremy who Joe is tutoring and realizes that Joe is seeing her. She accuses Joe of using the tutoring to help himself find dates. She’s joking… more or less. She is really complaining because she wants her requests to come first. Meanwhile, Zander and Lennox decide to skip college and drive around the country in a motor home—which doesn’t sit well with “cool” aunt Mel. (Goodness Gracious… This dumb. I remember coming up with dumb ideas too.) Jeremy’s mom tells Joe that she is having hard trouble making payments for his tutoring. Joe tells her not to worry about it. (I was thrown off by them having this conversation in his bed.) She seems happy and then they have sex. Seems to be sending the wrong message here. But what do I know? Later, in the garage, Maggie wants to secure Joe for tutoring her son, Mitchell. Maggie lets it slip that Candace is the one who told her about Joe’s tutoring. However, I am not sure what exactly Candace told Maggie (neither is Joe.) She starts asking for the same alternative payment plan that Candace has. Sometimes, I shake my head at Joe. While that is not the kind of operation he is running… He doesn’t turn it down right away. Good thing Mel bursts in… Why doesn’t she ever knock? I get that it is her house… Mel was coming to talk to him about Lennox… but she decides whatever she walked in on was way better. Joe claims there was a misunderstanding. We know there was but Mel thinks that he unintentionally pushed this idea along. Joe comes to the conclusion that Maggie thinks he is a prostitute. And he is appalled. Mel points out that he is actually the John in the situation. That doesn’t make him feel any better. Mel thinks it is hilarious and proceeds to tease him. (She tells him he is back in business in the world’s oldest profession… and then calls him sugar pecks. I love it.) He does talk to Candace who reveals she went on a shopping spree… but didn’t pay him. When he asks for the money… things go downhill. Especially since Candace tells Joe… she never told Maggie that Joe accepts sex for tutoring. She pays him and the relationship is over.

  • What Happens in Jersey 1 & 2 (Season 3, Episodes 14 & 15) – Here’s where things hit the fan. Joe is returning home to Jersey for the 99th birthday of his grandmother but reveals that she doesn’t know that he is divorced and that telling her might kill her. Ryder first suggests that he bring his ex-wife along and have her pretend they are still together. He shoots that down saying that he already called her and she turned him down. Honestly, I was shocked because this chick kept sleeping with him after their divorce and tried to pin another man’s baby on him. She seemed to just drop in when he was moving on. But someone has to cut ties at some point. Joe, Ryder, and Lennox convince Mel to pose as Joe’s wife to keep his grandmother happy. That old lady takes an odd interest in their relationship. (One could argue that she knows she is being lied to.) Have you guys ever wondered about the trope of older people wanting to take an interest in younger people’s lives? (See my post about Leap Year.) They want to escape to a hotel but the old woman won’t hear of it. She storms into their bedroom at night. It is very strange and slightly cringey. (I mean this is supposed to be a woman confined to her chair???) Mel and the family get a glance at Joe’s life as a kid. They have to share his childhood bedroom… which tells you a lot about a person. His grandmother does tell Mel that Joe is a bit headstrong because of having to be the man of the house when his father walked off. Things get complicated, however, when the birthday girl treats Mel and Joe to a special “love potion”. Sis gets them drunk. After a night of heavy drinking, Joe and Mel end up sleeping together to their own shock. (They do seem to remember everything about that night. We know that Joe has been wanting this for a long time… but Mel refuses to discuss it no matter how many times he tries to bring it up.)  Mel, as Tiffany, mistakenly makes a deathbed promise to Nona that she and Joe will stay together forever. Joe tells Mel that they should take a shot at a relationship, though Mel insists that it would never work out due to their constant bickering and takes a plane back to Toledo alone. (He does call her out on running away though. Who needs that?! Don’t tell me real things that I am doing!!!) On the car ride home, Lennox grills Joe. She has been noticing all tension between the two of them. Joe does admit that he likes Mel finally… After 2 whole seasons. When Mel gets back, Austin arrives, telling her that he wants her back and wants a family with her someday. Joe returns shortly after (After a push by his mom to go and talk to Mel. But he had been trying to talk to her all episode.) and realizes that he might have missed his opportunity. No one was more annoyed than me that Austin showed up.

  • A Decent Proposal (Season 3, Episode 17) – The episode opens with a tense confrontation… And Mel using Austin as a shield. I wonder watching this, is Austin all that intelligent? Joe bursts through the door and for some reason Mel is suprised to see him even though he lives there. She had to have been expecting him. Joe is super petty… but he flat out asks her what is going on and why Austin is there. (“What’s he doing here?” Oh… So you just gonna throw that out there like he is not standing there?) There is nothing more annoying than watching a character who is doing what you would do in this situation. I am not sure I would have done something different. Mel starts hemming and hawing. She wants to say that her and Austin got back together but like seriously after she spent the night with Joe? Sis. Joe then asks the question again but this time directed at Austin. (“Okay, I’m not getting anywhere with her, so I’m gonna move onto you. Austin, what the hell ar you doing here?) You would think Austin could pick up on the tension but he answers the question. He is sort of perturbed at why Joe, the nanny, is asking. Austin explains that he and Mel are going to give it a go and that he is having his vasectomy reversed. The next few lines show that Joe can definitely be as petty as me. (J: “What kind of go are we talking about?” M: “The usual go, you know, like between a man and a woman go.” J: “Oh yeah, I’m familiar with that kind of go. I just recently went there myself.”) Poor Mel looks like a deer in headlights. When Mel AGAIN, tries to sweep Joe under the rug by asking him to talk to him later… He points out that the last time he tried to talk to her she ran off. It is only then that it occurs to Austin that something may have happened between them. (I don’t think he is all that bright.) Mel uses the discussion as a euphemism to describe the night they spent together. (A: “Is there something going on here that I’m missing?” M: “No.” J: “Yes.” M: “Uh, last night, Joe and I.. engaged in a very heated discussion.” J: “Discussion? Seriously?” M: “A very heated personal discussion.” J: “Which meant a lot to me.” That last statement by Joe hurt me a bit.) She ultimately tells Joe through the euphemism that she has chosen to be with Austin. You can see on his face that he is hurt but he wishes her good luck and leaves. Lennox tears into Mel because she knows that A. her aunt has feelings for Joe and B. She knows that Mel is making a terrible decision. Mel confronts Joe again where it is just the two them. I was hopeful about this conversation, but I will say Mel handled this BADLY. Even I would not be this bad. She basically tells him that the night wasn’t a big deal. And that is not a bad thing even though we all know she is lying. The issue is that she expects him to continue working for her and watching the kids, and doing the cooking while she moves on with Austin. (J: “So let me get this straight. In your world, I stay here working, cooking the meals, stacking the laundry, doing the kid duties while you and Austin live happily ever after upstairs in your bedroom? With his newly loaded torpedo. How can I say no to that? No.”) He’s not wrong. I had a guy that I walked away from after he wanted me around to be friends with him and his new girl. Why would anyone stick around and watch that? He quits and says he will be out at the end of the month. She bails on the convo when Austin calls. He tells Lennox that he is done trying and she comes down on him for not trying hard enough. But to me… there is a lot of coming down on Joe here but he is the only one trying. What is he supposed to do? Hold her hostage? He is there teaching Ryder to cook when Mel heads out for her date with Austin. Later Austin asks Lennox which ring he should use to propose to Mel. Lennox tries to talk him out of it. (But Austin crashes and burns on his own anyway.) Lennox talks Joe into stopping Austin’s proposal. He is on his way until he sees Ryder in pain… Ryder ends up having appendicitis and needing surgery. Austin actually asks her to continue having dinner over going to the hospital for her nephew. (This is her fault because he is not interested in kids nor does he get her relationship with her niece and nephew. He doesn’t think they are family and he figures that Joe is there to take care of them so she doesn’t need to waste her time with them.) She ends things and rushes off to the hospital. It is at the hospital with Joe that she admits she loves him. Then everything is right in my world.

  • The New Deal (Season 3, Episode 19) – So here we are trying to figure out how to make this relationship work. There is an episode before this one that I enjoy but it boils down to Joe deciding that in order to have a real relationship, he can’t be working for Mel. (He’s not wrong.) And Mel decides that she wants to take it slow with Joe…. so no sex. Which he is okay with. Everything is fine until he starts working for the neighbors taking care of their small children. Since the children are much smaller than Lennox and Ryder… He has real duties at all hours of the day and night. Mel doesn’t get to see him as much as she wants to between the two of their schedules. He does the best that he can to meet her for dates but he gets called away a lot. Mel gets frustrated with his lack of attention so to speak. (She didn’t want him to move out… but he is trying not to live off of her.) Lennox points out that he really is doing the best that he can. And that he must genuinely care about her since he knows they aren’t having sex and is still trying to see her and make time for her. She does surprise him after hours at his next place of residence/work. Lennox has told her she can’t apologize via text so she brings over a bottle of wine as a peace offering. The Buckwalds have a serious no guest policy so she has to sneak in. Everything is going fine until Mrs. Buckwald shows up to take her baby upstairs. Joe has to hide Mel in the closet. And cover for why her things are in his room. Seems Mrs. Buckwald is too tired to care. She takes her baby, the baby monitor, and leaves. Mel comes out of the closet super frisky. Apparently, she is turned on by almost getting caught. She wants to have sex then and there which first confuses Joe but he goes along with it. The next day, after Mel sneaks back out, Joe is questioned by Mrs. Buchwald about why a woman was seen sneaking away from her house, through the sprinklers at 5 am. Joe admits that Mel was there to see him. And to give him a gift to which Mrs. Buchwald reveals that she knows actually what Joe was given. Now he and I are both startled because what ma’am? Mrs. Buchwald goes on to say that she overheard them on the baby monitor having sex. (She apparently took the receiving end of the monitor.) Things get weird when she asks Joe when Mel is coming back over so she can listen in on them again. (She and her husband used it to reignite their own sex life.) Joe is uncomfortable… so am I. And he did what I would do. He quit. He comes home to Mel and tells her that he is out of a job again and back to the drawing board. Mel is shocked to hear that Mrs. Buckwald listened in on them and more shocked that they were turned on. Joe claims he “works for a disgusting woman.” Mel and Joe work out a plan where he helps pay rent and not by working for her.

  • House Broken (Season 3, Episode 22) – There is nothing worse then a significant other taking on something that is more work for me. In this episode… Mel is taken with a dog that Joe doesn’t want her to get. (I am always suspicious of people that do not like dogs.) His main point is that he doesn’t want to be left alone taking care of her dog. He is the one at home all day… and she is away all day. They seem to agree that she shouldn’t get a dog… but she hears otherwise. Mel gets a dog against Joe’s wishes. After a day of hanging out, the dog (Wendell) forms an attachment to Joe and couldn’t care less about Mel. Mel gets jealous when Wendell sneaks into Joe’s room and sleeps with him overnight. Joe tries to show Mel how much Wendell loves her by hiding dog treats under the pillows on the couch.  While talking to Lennox, Mel realizes that she wants a baby. Mel tries to tell Joe that she wants a baby but has trouble and says she wants Wendell micro-chipped. Lennox finds out that Wendell has an owner (Paxton) because one of the 9,000 followers on Instagram had proof that he ran away. Joe admits to Mel that he was so against the idea of getting a dog because it was so similar to raising a baby and that he was intimidated. They do turn the dog back over to its rightful owner who is VERY similar to Joe. He doesn’t see it though. I laughed way too hard at this.

  • Couples Therapy (Season 3, Episode 23) – I understand the want to hang out with other couples as a couple. But Mel and Joe seem to not be able to make couple friends because no one wants to stick around while they argue. (Oddly, I don’t see them as people they argue. Joe is just louder because he’s from New Jersey. Maybe I am used to loud talking not being serious because I and everyone I know almost is from NYC. So I may be used to that. But Mel and Joe don’t argue… They seem to both want to state their case about different things before deciding on the best course of action.) They enjoy the back and forth but I can see how other people may not get that or be uncomfortable about it. In the beginning, after being turned down to hang out again by another couple. Mel points out that no one wants to hang out with them because they argue too much. Joe thinks that is ridiculous. Although, he does so loudly almost proving Mel’s point. Lennox arrives and they ask her two cents. She thinks they argue too much which spurns Mel to tell Joe they need to go to couples counseling. Joe thinks that is a horrendous idea. (SN: I think Therapy/counseling is always a good idea. This may be the only case where I had some objections.) Joe tries to put up a fight but Mel ultimately gets her way. Joe and Mel end up in the office of the best in the business. Joe isn’t thrilled but he is there. When the counselor comes out… It is revealed that she (Katie) used to date Joe in the past. (Immediately No.) Joe and Katie make it seem like no big deal although Joe does look like a deer in headlights. Joe does a complete 180 in the therapy session. He talks about how he was never told how helpful therapy could be. Makes me want to punch him. Afterward, Joe makes the comment that he ended the relationship with Katie so there is no reason for Mel to stress out. He says it so calmly that I have no choice but to believe him. Until the next therapy session… Mel shows up first… She and Katie talk while they wait for Joe. Katie disputes Joe’s claim that he broke up with her. And she warns Mel that Joe’s lying is indicative of an underlying issue in their relationship. (Well. lying is not a good sign. (K: “Well, not to dredge up the past, but I was definitely the one who broke it off. Not Joe.” M: “Oh, okay. Well, I guess, you know, Joe probably shaded the truth out of pride.” K: “The therapeutic term for that is “lying.” M: “Okay, but it’s not that big of a deal, right? ‘Cause Joe promised he’s gonna work on himself.” K: “Yes, but what if he’s lying? Since apparently he has no problem lying.” M: “But you said in our last session that Joe was making real progress. Yes, but that’s before I knew about the lying. Listen, Mel, I’m not saying this as your therapist, but woman to woman, I’d say that Joe’s revisionist history about who broke up with who is just, well, very telling.” M: “Telling like telling a fun story, or…?” K: “Telling of a larger issue. I’m just glad I spotted the warning signs early and got out when I did.”) Mel tries to explain that she and Joe are in a good place but Katie is not trying to hear it. Katie tells Mel to run while she still has the chance… When Joe finally does arrive… Mel cuts the session short and tells him they are leaving. Later, Mel confronts Joe later and he admits he lied about who dumped who… but that it is not a big deal. When she asks him why he lied… there is a pause before he admits to being scared that she would realize that she’s made the wrong decision. (M: “Well, uh… when I talked to Kathryn today she told me something very interesting. She said that she broke up with you. Is that true?” J: “You know what? Now that I think about it that… That is what happened.” M: “So then why did you tell me you dumped her?” J: Man, it’s hot in here. The A.C. guy ever come over today or what? Look, Mel, um… there’s a perfectly good explanation for all this, okay? And once you hear it, it will answer all of your questions. I lied. M: “Why would you lie to me?” J: “I… I lied to, um… I lied because I didn’t want you to think you were dating somebody’s cast-off.” M: “That’s why you did it?” J: “Yes, yes. Okay? Because you deserve the best and I’m not always that. And you know, I… I guess I thought that if you knew that she dumped me that you’d think less of me, and, you know, I kind of… I… I want to be seen as perfect in your eyes.” Now… I was okay with his explanation here. It doesn’t mean I think he should be lying. It was such a stupid thing to lie about since he volunteered it and no one asked him about it. But then I also wondered what the ex-girlfriend’s motive was here. Was her intention to try and break them up? Because… as a therapist, I have to figure she knew why he lied. I also wonder if she was annoyed that he may be interested in making things work with Mel in a way he wasn’t with her. I just have a hard time believing that Katie (as the great couples therapist in Toledo) that this is the first time she has come across lying. Does she always tell the other person to run away? Or is this only reserved for her ex? I am just at a loss for her motivations… because it didn’t seem like she was trying to actually help Mel.

  • Catch and Release (Season 3, Episode 28) – Have you ever had a significant other that has a very questionable friend…? (Skeevy friend?) This is that episode. Joe’s friend Charlie comes to town after his divorce… and Mel is not too keen on him… I mean… He says some questionable things about women… which doesn’t help Mel’s opinion of him. (I abhor anyone who asks if I am hormonal.) When Joe decides to head out with Charlie, Mel is not thrilled. Joe complains that she doesn’t trust him, but she points out that Charlie doesn’t respect women or relationships and it is him she doesn’t trust. (J: “So, look, since you’re gonna be going to this museum work thing tonight, I think I’m gonna go hit up a couple of bars with Charlie. M: “Ohh, so you’re going bar-hopping with your horndog pal. Are you gonna get there in time for sleazy hour or is that just what they call it when Charlie gets there? J: “I’m trying to be a supportive friend here, honey. He asked me to be his wingman, I’m gonna go. Talk him up to the ladies, you know, make him look good.” M: “That’s gonna take a lot of talking.” Joe and Charlie head to a bar… and this seems like trouble because bars are where you go to pick up people. Drinking doesn’t help make sound decisions but what can Mel do. Joe is grown. Charlie wants Joe to be a more active participant in the “hunt”. I had all the faith in the world in Joe… but this is a sitcom. Joe starts out as an innocent bystander but the plot thickens very quickly. C: “The pond is well stocked tonight.” J: “What’s the matter with her?” C: “She was looking at you. In fact, every woman who’s here by herself is just gonna want to talk to you You’re too damn good-looking. New strategy. We try the pick-off, all right? I take the brunette, you take the redhead. Divide and conquer.” J: Wait wait wait. I’m just really here to talk you up to the ladies. I’m not here to conquer anything myself.” C: “Come on. It’s just flirting. Catch and release, man. You know. Reel her in and then set that guppy free. That’s it.” J: “I don’t know, Charlie. I got a good girl at home, man. I don’t want to partake in anything that could get sketchy.” C: “Okay, I see. You don’t think you can do it anymore, right? Is that it? You think you’ve lost your game?” J: “Wait a second. Back up, dude. First of all, I created game. I could get the number of all these women in here if I wanted to, all right? Half the guys if I was so inclined. Watch and learn.”) Joe was doing so well… but Charlie plays him like a violin. One could argue that charlie has no game if he can’t go to the bar and pick up women if he NEEDS Joe to participate. (But the catch and release thing means… he usually gets whatever is left over after Joe is done.) On the other hand… It also seems like he is trying to ruin Joe’s relationship as well. Joe turns on the charms and heads home with a pocket full of women’s numbers that he has no intention of calling. (I don’t think that makes it better.) But because it is TV… Joe accompanies Mel to a function that is run by the woman that Joe picks up in the bar. She makes the statement that he never called her and he tries to pretend that he doesn’t know her. (This man told her he was a secret agent.) The woman points out that she knows it is him and that he gave her his number. He tries to deny it… but she calls his number and his phone starts singing. He reveals that catch and release is harmless. Nothing happened. (But you are at a work function making Mel look bad… so it is not harmless… and where is CHARLIE???!!! Nowhere to be found.) Mel ends up leaving the function embarrassed, she asks Joe to tell her honestly why he felt the need to participate. He answers honestly that he enjoyed the fantasy and knowing he’s still got it. This offends Mel, to begin with, but she lets it slip that she fantasizes about other men… which is not the same thing. Slightly… but not the exact same. They agree that those fantasies are fine… as long as they don’t act on it, that Charlie is not as great of a friend as he thought. Later, Mel and Joe act out his fantasy in the bar.

  • Right Time, Right Place (Season 3, Episode 32) – Are there going to be wedding bells? One could argue that this seems too soon but they have been living together for three years. Mel is planning the perfect wedding for her friend and we know the type of feelings that occur during weddings. Mel has given her friend all of her wedding ideas… (I wouldn’t do this. But I guess she feels as though it will be a while before she wanders down the aisle. (M: Carrie didn’t know a thing about planning a wedding, so I gave her all my best ideas: The flowers, the cake, the caterer… Even the venue. It’s my favorite location in all of Toledo.” L: “Discount Wine Barn?” M: “No, that parking’s horrible. The pavilion by the pond at the arboretum. L: “Ooh, maybe someday you and Joe can get married there. M: “Ooh, maybe.”) This place has a 2-year waiting list… Serious Note: This is a sitcom but talk to the people in your relationship about what you want. Mel’s friend canceled the wedding because her husband to be apparently had another family. There are four weeks before the big day, so Mel decides to try using the reservations to marry Joe. She decides to try and trick Joe into proposing to her… but it doesn’t go her way… because Joe seems leery about jumping into another marriage. I think caution makes sense. But Lennox thinks it’s because he wants to pull off a romantic one-of-a-kind proposal first. She gets confirmation from Ryder who sees Joe at a jewelry store, then hears him confirming reservations at a nice restaurant, so Lennox and Mel think “tonight is the night.” Ryder lets it slip to Joe that the girls think he is going to propose. Joe and Mel get to the restaurant where he pays the violinist to stop playing, tells her he picked the place for the bouillabaisse, and then gets down on one knee to fix the table. (TO FIX THE DAMN TABLE.) But, although Joe is acting strange, the biggest step he takes at dinner is asking Mel if he can share her bedroom. Then, back at home, Joe pulls out a Tiffany’s bag and gifts Ryder a nice watch, leading Mel to flip out on Joe. Then, Joe pulls out a ring box, says they’ll use the reservation of her friend’s, and leads Mel to a candlelit backyard with a live band. Unfortunately, she flips out that the wedding is four weeks away, as there’s a lot to be done. He had me on the floor. I would have died.

  • Uninvited (Season 3, Episode 34) – My number one rule is that no one shows up at my house unannounced. News Flash… you might not get in. Mel has been working hard to finish wedding preparations, which includes tasting 40 sparkling wines. I am not a drinker… So I am not sure that I would be a good partner for this. The bride is further stressed when Joe’s mom shows up to help, unannounced, which Joe explains he was not a part of. Joe mentions that it’ll be a very light wedding on family anyway. Mel repeatedly tells Joe’s mom that she’ll “think about” the woman’s suggestions since they can’t agree on anything… (Although, since Mel is the bride, they don’t need to agree. Joe’s mom is a bit pushy… which is not surprising.) Then lets her pick the photographer from her top 5 choices. But, Gloria just books Joe’s brother instead, even though he hit on Mel in the past. I can see this wearing me out. Don’t invite people to weddings that aren’t yours. Mel is okay with it and I am not sure how… Joe is infuriated but there isn’t much he can do when going against his mother. So his brother shows up and does a good job but he does goad Joe into a fight. Tony knows how to push the right buttons. Tony lives down to Joe’s expectations as he comes in and gets naked and flashes Mel. (He claims that he misunderstood her. But it tells you what you need to know about Tony and his relationship with his brother.) I mean… Come on in the first episode Tony appears in Mel and Joe are not together and Joe lies about his feelings for Mel but here Mel and Joe are getting married so what is he getting at here. It just seems like he wants to annoy Joe. I did enjoy Joe’s mother but it is annoying to see a parent try to smooth things over for a child they know is being terrible. Joe didn’t want Tony there but she insisted Tony come “because he is family.” Gloria sends him packing.

  • The Honeymooners (Season 4, Episode 3) – Mel is less than thrilled when her honeymoon to Tahiti gets canceled due to her broken leg, so Joe surprises her with a cabin getaway. (Their wedding was long a drawn-out affair. It took like 3 episodes. It was very pretty though… ) Because Mel fell off the roof, and her leg is in a cast. I did laugh at Joe carrying her over the threshold Because she is so sad, Joe takes it upon himself to book a cabin in the woods. This is a nice gesture… but… when they get there… things are less than comfortable. They get attacked by mosquitos. Ugh… Did they not bring bug spray? Mel is less than mobile in her cast so that makes things hard for them. Not to mention Joe finds out that his nephew is seeing Lennox which he is not happy about but Lennox is an adult. There is nothing he can do. They eventually get to consummate their marriage and they head home from the hellhole cabin. It was pretty funny… although… If it had been my wedding I would be calling for a redo.

  • Let’s Get it Started (Season 4, Episode 5) – Joe is eager to start a family, but Mel insists that she is not ready. She wants to be married for a bit before they have children and her life turns upside down. I am sure that in Joe’s mind they have been “together for a long time” but I get where Mel is coming from. Joe pretends that he is agreeing with her but he invites their friends over with their new baby. (IT’S A TRAP MEL!!!) But she falls right into it. She spends the visit holding and carrying the baby around, making cooing sounds, and generally ignoring everyone else. While that is going on, the guys are talking and it is revealed that after children… The sex dries up. This conversation causes Joe to rethink his stance on whether they should rush into children. It is Mel’s turn to try and convince Joe. She is now on the baby train and I have no idea what Joe was thinking… It was not like he was going to be able to stop her. Joe starts trying to avoid Mel who has her ovulation days all planned out. Mel figures out why Joe is on edge… but she comes home early. She shows Joe a contract that she has drawn up. The contract consists of a sex schedule that both parties will have to adhere to. Joe is touched by the level of care put into the contract and agrees to try to have a baby.

  • Thanks But No Thanks (Season 4, Episode 7) – Don’t you hate receiving gifts that are terrible and then having to pretend you love them? Yeah well, Mel and Joe have to write thank you notes for their wedding gifts. The issue is the huge cappuccino maker that is gifted to them by her Aunt Bunny. Mel hates it and in her defense, it is a HUGE eyesore. Like I wondered how much that thing cost and how much it cost to ship. Mel tells Joe she wants him to get rid of it… and he does by selling it to someone. However, when Aunt Bunny comes to visit… Mel, thinking that Joe put the abomination in the garage asks him to pull it back out. He points out that they are no longer in possession of it per her request. She freaks out because she does not want Aunt Bunny to be broken-hearted. Joe and Mel launch into an argument about what Mel actually told him to do. Joe resolves to get a new machine before Aunt Bunny shows up. That proves harder than he thought because the original store is sold out of it. Of course. Also who else bought this giant coffee maker? What do old people do…? They show up unannounced. They surprise Mel and Joe… since Mel sent out the thank you cards. Aunt Bunny is looking for a Cappucino from her machine… They try to lie… (Mostly Joe…) But end up coming clean. Aunt Bunny and her husband get into a loud argument in front of Mel and Joe. Apparently, he knew Mel and Joe would hate the gift… among other things. With all the bickering back and forth Mel and Joe admit that the gift was not to their liking and Aunt Bunny agrees to take it off their hands for them. And Mel admits to Joe that she did want him to do what he did when she asked him to get rid of it. Well… at least she can admit she was wrong.

  • You little Devil (season 4, Episode 14) – They have made mention of Mel’s tattoo of a devil on her backend before… But here is a whole episode tied around it. Mel’s ex comes to visit… and by the way, I think this is weird. I would never want to visit my ex and their spouse. What are you supposed to talk about all the sex you used to have? What is the point? Her college boyfriend added her online out of nowhere… and Mel points out that he posts a lot of pictures of his food. Lol. I do that from time to time. But it is revealed the origin of Mel’s tattoo. Mel’s ex alludes to a gift that he gave her… when it dawns on Joe during sexy time that he figures out that it is the Devil tattoo on her backside. It turns Joe off… He can’t seem to get over it. It ruins a romantic time as Joe imagines the tattoo talking to him. Mel is crushed that he can’t seem to move past it and decides to get it removed. Although laser removal is more painful than she thought it would be, Joe seems satisfied with the idea of her getting the tattoo removed but it is Lennox that talks some sense into him. Joe runs to stop her before she has the procedure done. He manages to work through his issues with the tattoo meaning they can have sex again. All is well in the end.

  • The Book Club (Season 4, Episode 15) – Joe makes fun of Mel for liking a book that he considers porn. Joe thinks it is funny that Mel is hosting a book club so she and her friends can celebrate the mediocrity of this writer. The writer will be present Although, I saw men’s disgust when 50 Shades came out… and it had nothing to do with how well or not it was written. It had more to do with being shocked and or annoyed that their women were interested in the sex detailed in the book… So we are seeing more of that here. Joe makes it a point to avoid the book club but cracks a joke at the writer’s expense that she overhears. Joe calls it thinly-veiled, poorly-written ladyporn. For some reason, Mel leaves him alone with the writer to apologize. And the writer… Ms. Devereaux, takes the opportunity to hit on him. Apparently, telling her how not great she is, turns her on. Joe points out that this woman is hitting on him which Mel shoots down… (In her defense, Joe does think everyone loves him and wants him but at the same time… He isn’t lying.) There is a great scene where Mel wants to tie up Joe… She has a hard time doing so with his ties, to begin with, but everything works itself out in the end… Until she gets called away on an emergency… Leaving Joe in the home tied up. Enter Ms. Devereaux. She seems glad to find Joe tied up… But eventually, she does try to get him untied but they are caught y Mel in an interesting position. However, I am thinking 1. Mel should have locked the door and 2. maybe believed that Joe when he said that the woman was hitting on him. Ms. Devereaux then breaks down into tears talking about how she no longer wants to write smut and wants to be taken seriously as a writer. Mel with the help of Joe manages to get her to leave… and afterward Joe tries his hand at trying to turn Mel on by telling his own story to get her turned on after admitting that he feels a bit threatened that she enjoyed the story so much.

  • The Early Shift (Season 4, Episode 16) – I have no idea why Joe would take a job in the early morning but waking up that early is ridiculous. Joe takes a job on Wake Up Toledo and he has to be ready for work at 3:30 am. (I would never. ) He uses an obnoxious alarm clock.. and Mel thinks the house is on fire. The problems with this job start right away. He can’t eat with the family and has to hit the hay as soon as he gets home. (Mel: “It’s not even dark out and the mail hasn’t come yet.”) Mel decides to get up earlier to spend time with Joe who tells her that while he appreciates her trying he has to head into work early. Mel complains that if it were any earlier… It would be yesterday. And she is not wrong. I wonder if he is happy to be on TV just because it is TV. Later Joe is reminded that a campaign investor is coming over to decide if he is going to fund Mel’s congressional campaign. Joe promises that he wants to be there for her and can stay up for it. IT IS A BAD IDEA. I mean this is a sitcom… so it usually is. He is caught sleeping a few times… and his solution is to get hopped up on energy drinks. It doesn’t work and the guy thinks that Joe is on drugs… It almost obliterates Mel’s chances at running for congress before she gets a chance. Later he finds out that viewership is up 40% due to him. However, he is disappointed that it is only 800 new viewers. When he finds out that only 2000 people watch the show… He quits and heads home to his family. He thought… 2 million people were up at 5 am? in Toledo? Odd. So it was being on TV that was the lore. Mel calls him out on the reason he quit and Joe is shocked to know about the Knives, Knives, Knives show that is crushing Wake Up Toledo. Mel points out that she records it. I always love when Joe has a rude awakening.

  • Double Happiness (Season 4, Episode 22) (Series Finale) – There is an episode before this where Mel claims that she is going to eat healthier and then stuffs her face… She gets into an argument with an internet troll who posts her picture. Because she is running for congress… she ends up having to apologize… where she throws up on said troll. It occurs to Mel and Joe that she could be pregnant. And it is revealed that she is. Mel freaks out because she just announced her bid to run for congress. She doesn’t want to tell her investor but she spills the beans. He takes it really well and says that it will work out for her campaign. Ryder and Lennox take it really well. Joe and Mel get an ultrasound done. (Does this happen like this? IDK I don’t have children.) They find out that they are having twins which Mel doesn’t take well at first. Because Mel comes undone, Joe doesn’t tell her his concerns. He tells her since they are in it together it will be fine. Joe gets some advice from Ryder of all people. He quotes Joe’s book and Joe feels much better and is behind Mel’s decisions 100%. Lennox decides that she and Zander will get married. Ryder gets his navy orders and where he will be stationed. Joe learns that his books is getting published and that he is expected to go on a book tour. Joe wants to turn down the book tour to be there for his family. Mel tells him that he should go even though it is going to be hard. (Joe: You really think that we can do it? Mel: We’ll hire a nanny. You know, some… Some hunky, good-looking guy. Joe: It worked out for you before. Mel: Hmmm… Jury’s still out. EL FIN.

In the end, I was entertained by a show that I knew nothing about. I am sad I missed it when it was airing… although the waiting week to week to find out will they or won’t they probably would have killed me. Melissa and Joey combines my two favorite people from the 90s and combined it well. Fun show… But definitely not a family show. Not for young kids at all. I was old enough to get the references to Charles in Charge and to Who’s the Boss? (Both of which I watch in reruns.) I saw it on Hulu but you can watch it on the freeform/ABC family website. I don’t see that they have the whole thing on DVD. It is really a waste to do only one season of a show on DVD. Never understood that. Good times were had by me. And I think I talked my friend’s ear off about it as if it was airing now. She will be fine though. If you have seen it, lemme know your favorite episodes or scenes. Until next time peeps.


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