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 eay wuth 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 said. 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.
The late 80’s/ early 90’s were an interesting time to be a kid. My mother was very strict on the things that I watched as a kid… She heavily monitored what was on television. That usually meant I was relegated to either PBS, Cartoon Network, Disney, or Nickelodeon. And even so… my mother had a few cartoons that she still didn’t allow me to watch. (Ren & Stimpy). I already did a post about kid’s gameshows so you won’t see any mention of those here. This post is about everything I watched that got me through my elementary and middle school years.
So I will be breaking this post down into different categories. Because I like categories. So let’s jump into it.
The Magic School Bus – SEATBELTS EVERYONE!!! Mrs. Frizzle was the truth. We all know that it is based on the book series of the same name by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen. The Magic School Bus was prominent at the Scholastic Book Fair. And I was all about the book fair. It ran from 1994 to 1997 on several PBS stations in the United States. Like the books it’s based on, the show focuses on the exploits of Ms. Frizzle and her class of eight students (nineteen in the books) who board their titular school bus, which takes them on field trips to the solar system, inside the Earth, and inside the human body, or to other such impossible locations. It is the prequel and predecessor to 2017’s The Magic School Bus Rides Again. Remember the theme song is legit. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egmmYxXhScQ)
Wishbone – Some of you guys haven’t learned your classic literature from a dog. And it shows. Whatever your feeling on what constitutes a classic… you have to give credit where it is due. Wishbone ran from 1995 to 1997. The show’s title character is a Jack Russell Terrier. Wishbone lives with his owner Joe Talbot in the fictional town of Oakdale, Texas. He daydreams about being the lead character of stories from classic literature. Only the viewers and the characters in his daydreams can hear Wishbone speak. The characters from his daydreams see Wishbone as whichever famous character he is currently portraying and not as a dog. Fun times. Kids always love dogs… The kicker here is that in high school when reading things like The Odyssey, Beowulf, or Chaucer… I could remember scenes from Wishbone. It really helped with my understanding of the foundation years later. The show won four Daytime Emmys, a Peabody Award, and honors from the Television Critics Association. Also, this theme song was legit as well. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZLEvrkbFcQ)
Shining Time Station – This was my introduction to Thomas and Friends. When I mention it to people, no one knows what I am talking about. I thought it was a figment of my imagination. It incorporated sequences from the British television show Thomas & Friends, which was in turn based on the books of The Railway Series written by the Reverend Wilbert Awdry. The series aired on PBS from January 29, 1989, until June 11, 1993, with 4 one-hour-long “Family Specials” premiering in primetime throughout 1995. In its first season, the show averaged a 0.9 Nielsen rating, translating to about 1.2 million viewers on average. At the peak of its popularity, the show brought in up to 7.5 million viewers per week. Mr. Conductor is a tiny man who lives in a signal house inside the station’s mural and tells the stories taken from Thomas & Friends to the kids. He also introduces songs to the kids in The Anything Tunnel.
Lamb Chop’s Play-Along – Lamb Chop is a half-hour preschool children’s television series that was shown on PBS in the United States from January 13, 1992, until September 22, 1995, with reruns airing on PBS until August 29, 1997. It was created and hosted by puppeteer Shari Lewis and featured her puppet characters Lamb Chop, Charlie Horse, and Hush Puppy. I annoyed the hell out of my mom with the song that doesn’t end. Good times. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_47KVJV8DU)
Reading Rainbow – What countdown would not include Levar Burton and Reading Rainbow? Here is a show that I almost never watched at home. I always saw it at school just before I was to head to the library to pick a book for Accelerated Reader or a book report. The show was designed to encourage a love of books and reading among children. Each episode centered on a topic from a featured children’s book which was explored through a number of on-location segments or stories. The show also recommended books for children to look for when they went to the library. It is the third-longest running children’s series in PBS history, after Sesame Street and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YtYMzh8lxk)
Babar – The series is based on Jean de Brunhoff’s original Babar books, and was Nelvana’s first international co-production. The show has been dubbed in 30 languages in over 150 countries. the plot of the first two seasons focuses on the story of Babar as it is told by him to his children. The past Babar is a young elephant who, traumatized by a hunter slaughtering his mother, flees from his home forest in exile to the city, where a kind Old Lady adopts him and teaches him the ways of human life. He returns to his home forest full of ideas for progress and, following the previous elephant king’s death from eating poisonous mushrooms, hatches a plan to drive out the unnamed hunter and his men. For his heroism, Babar is crowned king of the elephants, plans and builds Celesteville, and grows up to become a father himself. While the first two seasons focus on Babar’s recollections of his childhood and early years as king, as well as some stories told by his children, the series shifts its focus in the third season to Babar’s family life in the present day. Fun times. In 2010, a computer-animated sequel series spin-off of Babar titled Babar and the Adventures of Badou premiered on Disney Junior in the U.S. The new series takes place several years after the original and focuses on a majority of new characters including Badou.
Bill Nye, The Science Guy – I was never a science person but Bill helped ease the pain. The show aired in syndication from September 10, 1993, to February 5, 1999, over six seasons and 100 episodes; beginning in season 2, a concurrent run was added on PBS from October 10, 1994, to September 3, 1999, with the show’s first run remaining in syndication. The show won critical acclaim and was nominated for 23 Emmy Awards, winning nineteen. Studies also found that people that viewed Bill Nye regularly were better able to generate explanations and extensions of scientific ideas than non-viewers.
Gullah Gullah Island – There was nothing more fun than seeing a family that looks a bit like you on television. It is an American musical children’s television series that was produced by and aired on the Nick Jr. The show was hosted by Ron Daise and his wife Natalie Daise, both of whom also served as cultural advisors, and were inspired by the Gullah culture of Ron Daise’s home of St. Helena Island, South Carolina, part of the Sea Islands. Gullah Gullah Island is a sing-along half-hour live-action show. The format was part of a flexible thinking initiative that taught children to make good choices rather than using memorization. Episodes are presented with a unified plot and not separate segments, featuring singing, dancing, learning, and encouraging children to think about things like taking care of themselves, and animals, telling the truth, social skills, and problem-solving. The show also highlights the culture and language of Gullah, descendants of former slaves who live on the Sea Islands off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia. Critical reception of the show was consistently positive, both as a children’s show and as a groundbreaker for African American programming, it was praised for “vividly colored sets, infectious sing-alongs, unique character accents and quirky humor that defined the show and introduced millions of children to an overlooked but centuries-old branch of African American culture. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFrTmvnY-C4)
Horror / Ghosts and Other Weirdness
Are You Afraid of the Dark? – Yes… when I was a kid… I was totally afraid of the dark…. so watching kids meet in the dark to tell scary stories by campfire ALWAYS SCARED THE CRAP out of me. But not enough to make me stop watching. The original series aired from 1990 to 1996. It led to two revival series, with the first airing from 1999 to 2000, and the second debuting in 2019. My personal favorite was that each storyteller would begin their story by saying “Submitted for the approval of The Midnight Society, I call this story ‘(story name)'”, at which point they would toss a handful of “midnight dust” from a leather pouch into a campfire to heighten the flames and produce an eerie white smoke. The themes of the stories usually revolve around a variety of paranormal phenomena, such as demons, ghosts, magic, haunted houses, magical curses, aliens, witches, vampires, werewolves, and the like coming into contact with average youths. The episode that comes to mind is the Tale of the Frozen Ghost… and the Tale of Apartment 214. Don’t forget about Dr. Vink and Sardò.
Tales from the Cryptkeeper – I did watch the original live-action version… younger me was interested in scaring the hell out of myself. And this was no different. It was based on the 1950s EC Comics series Tales from the Crypt and the live-action television series of the same name, which aired concurrently on HBO. Made for children, Tales from the Cryptkeeper was significantly milder than its live-action version, and all blood and gore, profanity and sexual content were completely removed in order to target the audience. The series details the Cryptkeeper telling other horror stories to the viewers, each with a lesson to be learned. There were not nearly enough episodes. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1j1ely4YoY)
So Weird – Oh Disney… They tried to get scary… And they did. It is considered as “X-Files for kids”. The series centered on the teenage Fiona Phillips while encountering paranormal activity along the way. Stringing together all of Fi’s paranormal encounters was her search to communicate with her father, who died when she was three years old. Fi first “encounters” her father in the second episode titled “Web Sight” where an unknown force sends her internet articles warning her of the future. From alien invasions, time warps, and ghosts, Fi faced 13 episodes worth of paranormal activity.
Beetle Juice – Fun and creepy. The animated series focuses on the life of Goth girl Lydia Deetz and her undead friend Beetlejuice as they explore The Neitherworld, a ghoulish wacky monster supernaturalistic realm inhabited by monsters, ghosts, ghouls, goblins, and zombies. The show ran from September 9, 1989, to October 26, 1991, on ABC, and on Fox from September 9, 1991, to December 6, 1991. Throughout the entire series, Beetlejuice would often try to scam residents of the Neitherworld—and, sometimes, the “mortal world” as well (Lydia’s parents were occasionally victims of his pranks)—by various means, from “babysitting” where he literally sits on the grotesque Neitherworld babies to trying to beat them in an auto race.
Goosebumps – You knew it was coming. I have had a blog post about this… but I knew immediately when they announced there would be a television show… I was going to lay my eyes on it. The Haunted Mask is still creepy. I remember being like 9 and thinking… Carly Beth is going to look like a monster for the rest of her life. It was too much. Night of the Living Dummy was also a scary one. It is really the reason that to this day I do not like ventriloquist dummies. Goosebumps was a television series based on R. L. Stine’s best-selling book series of the same name. It is an anthology of stories about tweens and young teens finding themselves in creepy and unusual situations, typically involving supernatural elements or the occult. The book series has sold over 400 million worldwide in thirty-two languages, becoming the second-best-selling book series in history, after J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter. Individual books in the series have been listed on several bestseller lists, including the New York Times Best Seller list for children. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PkFLTfID_o)
The Secret World of Alex Mack – I loved this show as a preteen. It was on Nickelodeon on SNICK. It ran from October 8, 1994, to January 15, 1998. Nickelodeon’s golden number before cancellation is 4. The series concluded with a two-part finale in 1998. Alexandra “Alex” Mack is an ordinary teenage girl, living with her parents, and her older sister, Annie, in the industrial town of Paradise Valley, Arizona. The town is largely funded by Paradise Valley Chemical, a chemical factory that employs most of the adult residents, although the factory’s staff and history are notoriously shady. While walking home after her first day of junior high school, Alex is nearly hit by a truck from Paradise Valley Chemical, and during the incident, she is accidentally drenched with GC-161, an experimental substance developed by the factory. She soon discovers that it has given her strange powers, including telekinesis, shooting electricity from her fingers, and the ability to dissolve into a mobile puddle of water. Alex finds this exciting and fun, however, her powers prove to be unpredictable (occasionally, her skin glows a bright yellow when she is nervous). She confides only in Annie and her best friend Ray, choosing to keep her powers a secret from everyone else, including her parents, for fear of what the chemical factory’s CEO, Danielle Atron, will do to her if she finds out. I thought that Alex Mack was pretty cool in the beginning but the series got darker as time went on. Seasons 1-2 mostly deal with cheerful misadventures and comedic encounters with incompetent Paradise Valley Chemical staff Vince and Dave. Seasons 3-4 take on a more serious and dark development, where it is revealed that Danielle Atron had been developing GC-161 as far back as the 1970s and that she may have had fellow scientists and researchers systematically assassinated to cover up GC-161’s mutagenic effects on people.
Ghost Writer – Ghost Writer was a show that I watched before school on a lot of occasions. I was rushing through my morning routine to try and sit for 30 minutes in the morning before walking to school. Ghost Writer is an American children’s mystery television series created by the Children’s Television Workshop and BBC Television. (BBC Television has been sucking me in since I was young.) It began airing on PBS on October 4, 1992, and the final episode aired on February 12, 1995. The series revolves around a group of friends from Brooklyn who solve neighborhood crimes and mysteries as a team of youth detectives with the help of a ghost named Ghostwriter. Ghostwriter can communicate with children only by manipulating whatever text and letters he can find and using them to form words and sentences. I grew up in NY and love mysteries so it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with it. The series was designed to teach reading and writing skills to schoolchildren. Each mystery was presented as a case, covering four 30-minute episodes. Children were encouraged to follow each mystery, and use the reading and writing clues given to attempt to solve them just as the Ghostwriter team does in the TV series. Ghostwriter was critically acclaimed and honored for presenting a realistic, ethnically diverse world in its two-hour mystery stories. By the end of its third season, Ghostwriter ranked in the top five of all children’s shows on American television.
After School / Weekend
TaleSpin – The Jungle Book was one of the few Disney movies that I had on VHS tape that I watched in HEAVY Rotation… So when I saw there was a tv show with Baloo… I couldn’t care less what it was about. TaleSpin is an animated television series first aired in 1990 as a part of The Disney Afternoon. The show is one of nine Disney Afternoon shows to use established Disney characters as the main characters, with the other eight being Darkwing Duck, DuckTales, Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers, Goof Troop, Bonkers, Quack Pack, Aladdin, and Timon & Pumbaa. It is also one of two animated television series based on the book The Jungle Book, the second being Jungle Cubs. TaleSpin is set in the city of Cape Suzette (a pun on the dish Crêpe Suzette), a place that’s similar to San Francisco, California. The city lies in a large harbor or bay enclosed by a high cliff wall. A single cleft in the wall is the harbor’s only means of access. The cleft is guarded by anti-aircraft artillery, preventing flying rabble-rousers or air pirates from entering the city. The time frame of the series is never specifically addressed but appears to be in the mid-to-late 1930s, based on Baloo’s Seaplane and other things, possibly in the last stages of the Great Depression. In the show, the helicopter, television, and jet engine are experimental devices. Radio is the primary mass medium, and one episode even briefly alludes to the characters having never heard of television. The series centers on the adventures of a bush pilot, Baloo the bear, whose air cargo freight business, “Baloo’s Air Service”, is taken up by Rebecca Cunningham because Baloo hasn’t made payments to the crooked businessman, Shere Khan. Rebecca changes the name to Higher for Hire. (Cute.) An orphan boy and former air pirate, Kit Cloudkicker, attaches to Baloo and becomes his navigator. Their adventures often involve encounters with a gang of air pirates led by Don Karnage, as well as with representatives of Thembria (inhabited by anthropomorphic Warthogs) The theme song is the truth… To this day… my dad knows what I am talking about. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVTD-LtpW0M)
Darkwing Duck – When there’s trouble you call DW. That theme song is the truth. My father’s eyes still twitch at the idea. When Disney plus announced they would have this… I was stoked. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YziVpa8oZDg) Darkwing is an animated superhero comedy television series that first ran from 1991 to 1992 on both the syndicated programming block The Disney Afternoon and Saturday mornings on ABC. A total of ninety-one episodes were aired. It features the adventures of Darkwing Duck, who is the superheroic alter-ego of ordinary suburban duck Drake Mallard. Darkwing Duck shows the adventures of the superhero, aided by his sidekick and pilot Launchpad McQuack (from DuckTales). Darkwing struggles to balance his egotistical craving for fame and attention against his desire to be a good father to his adoptive daughter Gosalyn and help do good in St. Canard. Most episodes put these two aspects of Darkwing’s character in direct conflict, though Darkwing’s better nature usually prevails. The show was the first Disney Afternoon series to emphasize action rather than adventure, with Darkwing routinely engaging in slapstick battles with both supervillains and street criminals. “I am the Terror that flaps in the night.” It still makes me smile. Check out Jim Cummings talking about it here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwWuV4B4VIM&t=190s) Jim Cummings actually voiced a lot of characters throughout Disney’s Afternoon Block. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoNFgUjSBTE)
Chip n Dale: Rescue Rangers – This an animated adventure comedy television series that ran from 1989-1990. What is up with that Disney? From 1990 to 1993 reruns of the show were aired as a part of the Disney Afternoon lineup. I have found out during this post that a lot of what I was watching in the 90’s… was reruns… (DISNEY). Chip and Dale are two chipmunks who start a detective agency, Rescue Rangers, along with their friends Gadget Hackwrench, Monterey Jack, and Zipper. The pint-sized detectives deal with crimes that are often “too small” for the police to handle, usually with other animals as their clients. The gang frequently finds themselves going up against two particular arch-villains: Mafia-style tabby cat Fat Cat and mad scientist Norton Nimnul. Most of the episodes followed a similar format, wherein the next case was presented at the start of the episode, then the bulk of the episode had the sleuths gathering clues and investigating the situation. In the last few minutes of the episode, the case was resolved… in a dramatic way. Disney went off went it came to these themes songs. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFXTa2yeYWs)
DuckTales -You knew it was coming. The original cartoon series premiered on syndication and on Disney Channel on September 18, 1987, and ran for a total of 100 episodes over four seasons, with its final episode airing on November 28, 1990. The show follows Scrooge McDuck, his three grandnephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie, and close friends of the group, on various adventures, most of which either involve seeking out treasure or thwarting the efforts of villains seeking to steal Scrooge’s fortune or his Number One Dime. When Donald Duck decides to join the US Navy, he enlists his uncle Scrooge McDuck to look after his nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie. The show’s primary villains consist of those from the comics: Flintheart Glomgold, who seeks to replace Scrooge as the “richest duck in the world”; the Beagle Boys, who seek to rob Scrooge of his fortune and often target his money bin; and Magica De Spell, who seeks to steal his Number One Dime. DuckTales is well noted for its many references to popular culture, including Shakespeare, Jack the Ripper, Greek mythology, James Bond, Indiana Jones, and Sherlock Holmes. The theme song was so good… they didn’t even change it for the reboot. Check out both versions (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqZ_Cb2slBw). The new version is not bad. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKSU82afy1w)
Aladdin – Disney knew what it was doing when they put out television shows. Aladdin was another movie that I had on VHS tape… and was sure enthralled with the show. It aired from February 6, 1994, to November 25, 1995, concluding exactly three years to the day from the release of the original 1992 Disney film of the same name on which it was based. Despite the animated television series premiering four months before the first film sequel The Return of Jafar, it takes place afterward. The second and final animated film sequel was the 1996 direct-to-video film, Aladdin and the King of Thieves. Many of the films’ stars provided the voices of their TV counterparts, with the notable exception of Dan Castellaneta filling in for Robin Williams in The Genie role (like in The Return of Jafar). A total of 86 episodes were produced, making this series one of the few exceptions to Disney’s then-limit of 65 episodes. The direct-to-video film Aladdin and the King of Thieves serves as the series finale. The series is set in the fictional city of Agrabah. It takes place one year after the original film and is set after the second film. Aladdin, now engaged to Princess Jasmine, embarks on numerous adventures with his companions. Not on Disney Plus at the time of this post. Check out the theme song here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfoZ1xOBwkw)
Timon & Pumbaa – Timon & Pumbaa, is an animated buddy comedy television series that ran for three seasons on CBS, Toon Disney, and in syndication as a part of The Disney Afternoon. It aired from September 8, 1995, to September 24, 1999. It is the first of two television series to be based on the film, the second being The Lion Guard. The series is primarily set after the events of the first film, although some episodes are set before or during those events. It involves the characters having misadventures in different settings, including the jungles of Africa, Canada, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kP7tsWCEMzg)
Doug – Now this I did a separate blog post for but since we are here… The show focuses on the early adolescent life of its title character, Douglas “Doug” Funnie, who experiences common predicaments while attending school in his new hometown of Bluffington. Doug narrates each story in his journal, and the show incorporates many imagination sequences. The series addresses numerous topics, including trying to fit in, platonic and romantic relationships, self-esteem, bullying, and rumors. Many episodes center on Doug’s attempts to impress his classmate and crush, Patti Mayonnaise. Doug, a mostly autobiographical creation, was largely inspired by Jinkins’s childhood growing up in Virginia, with most characters in the series being based on real individuals. He first pitched Doug as a children’s book to uninterested publishers before Nickelodeon purchased the show. The original run consisted of 52 episodes over four seasons that were broadcast from 1991 to 1994. Nickelodeon opted against renewing the show for a fifth season, so in 1996, Disney green-lit the fifth season after acquiring Jumbo Pictures.
Swat Kats: The Radical Squadron – Hanna-Barbera has entered the chat. Swat Kats was all action all the time… and I was here for it. Swat Kats is a 1993-1994 animated television series created by Christian and Yvon Tremblay and produced by Hanna-Barbera Cartoons. The series takes place in the fictional metropolis of Megakat City, which is populated by anthropomorphic felines, known as “kats”. The SWAT Kats are two vigilante pilots who possess a state-of-the-art fighter jet with an array of weaponry. Throughout the series, they face various villains as well as competition from Megakat City’s militarized police force called the Enforcers. Jake “Razor” Clawson and Chance “T-Bone” Furlong were members of Megakat City’s paramilitary law enforcement agency, known as the Enforcers. They were discharged from the Enforcers after disobeying the orders of Commander Feral, which resulted in the destruction of the newly built Enforcer Headquarters. While in pursuit of Dark Kat, one of the main arch-villains of the series, the two rebelled against Enforcer Commander Feral’s orders to fall back and leave Dark Kat to him. When they objected, Commander Feral crowded out their jet, clipping their wing and sending Jake and Chance’s jet crashing into Enforcer headquarters. The resultant explosion distracted Commander Feral, allowing Dark Kat’s escape. The Commander took no responsibility for the incident, discharged Jake and Chance from the Enforcers, and reassigned them to work at the city’s military salvage yard to pay for the damage to the Enforcer Headquarters that Feral caused. (Jerk) Using discarded military parts and weapons from the salvage yard, Jake and Chance built themselves a three-engine jet fighter called the Turbokat, along with a handful of other vehicles such as the Cyclotron (a motorcycle built into the jet’s seating, deployed from the bomb bay of the Turbokat like a missile), the TurboMole (a subterranean vehicle used to drill underground), the HoverKat (a militarized hovercraft), and the Thunder Truck (a militarized Jeep modified from their tow truck). All these vehicles are stored, along with a training area and other equipment, in a secret hangar below the yard. Razor and T-Bone now patrol Megakat City as the SWAT Kats, defending it against any kind of menace that threatens the city. Their enemies include the criminal mastermind Dark Kat, the undead sorcerer Pastmaster, the mutant evil genius Doctor Viper, and the robotic gangsters the Metallikats. The SWAT Kats also face many villains-of-the-week, such as Madkat and Volcanus. There were only 2 seasons and 25 episodes of the show. NOT NEARLY ENOUGH… I have a few other Hanna Barbera shows but I mean… they are way older than the late 80s. This opening is pretty great. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0IQBWWabuU)
Gargoyles – Gargoyles was pretty serious television for kids back in the day. It is an animated television series that ran from October 24, 1994, to February 15, 1997. The series features a species of nocturnal creatures known as gargoyles that turn to stone during the day. After spending a thousand years in an enchanted petrified state, the gargoyles (who have been transported from medieval Scotland) are reawakened in modern-day New York City and take on roles as the city’s secret night-time protectors. Gargoyles was noted for its relatively dark tone, complex story arcs, and melodrama; character arcs were heavily employed throughout the series. The series also received favorable comparisons to Batman: The Animated Series and X-Men. A total of 78 half-hour episodes were produced. In the year 994, the clan lives in a castle in Scotland. Most are betrayed and killed by humans while petrified and the remainder are magically cursed to sleep. A thousand years later in 1994, billionaire David Xanatos purchases the gargoyles’ castle and has it reconstructed atop his New York skyscraper, the Eyrie Building, thus awakening Goliath and the remainder of his clan. While trying to adjust to their new world, they are aided by a sympathetic police officer named Elisa Maza and quickly come into conflict with the plotting Xanatos. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjI0TdvVbqI)
The Famous Jett Jackson – I loved me some Lee Thompson Young. Lee Thompson Young plays Jett Jackson who plays a teenage secret agent on the wildly successful TV series “Silverstone,” and his life is like that of any Hollywood star. Every day, he deals with fans, agents, and managers, though sometimes he longs for a normal life. He gets a taste of that normal life when he insists that the show moves from Los Angeles to his father’s town in Wilsted, North Carolina, where he goes to school and hangs out with his friends. The move provides jobs to townspeople. Jett now spends part of his time with family, friends, and school, and the rest living the life of a working actor and celebrity. In doing so, Jett often ends up in sticky situations, usually aided and abetted by his childhood friend, J.B., his not-quite girlfriend Kayla, and sometimes by Cubby, Silverstone’s wacky special effects wizard. It is a show within a show and I was cool with that. The show within the show, Silverstone, is about a spy who works for Mission Omega Matrix in order to save the world from villains like Dr. Hypnoto and The Rat. In contrast to Jett, Silverstone has no family, only his mentor, Artemus, and eventually his partner “Hawk” (surname Hawkins).
The Jersey – The Jersey is a comedy television series based on the Monday Night Football Club books by Gordon Korman. The series aired on Disney Channel from January 30, 1999, to March 23, 2004. The Jersey tells the story of a teenager named Nick Lighter, who inherits a mystical, old football jersey from his grandfather. The Jersey has the ability to transport the wearer (and anyone in contact with it) into the bodies of professional athletes. Accompanying him are his friends, Morgan Hudson, Coleman Galloway, and Elliot Riffkin. The four teens decide to form the MNFC (Monday Night Football Club) and swear never to let the secret of the jersey be revealed. It was revealed in the episode Origin (Part 1) that the Jersey was once a cloak in Ancient Egypt and was later found by the wizard Merlin and later King Arthur. It is also revealed that after several centuries, Jersey would lose its powers, and the only way to restore it is to use thorn berries, vinegar, and sesame oil, and that it could not only leap into the bodies of athletes but also other people. It also seems to have the power of time travel, as it once sent either Nick or Morgan to the past or future. Another important fact is that if the wearer wears the Jersey for too long, he or she will disappear forever. They need to add this to the Disney Plus platform. I was deep into football back then so this was right up my alley.
Tiny Toons – Tiny Toon Adventures is an animated comedy television series that was broadcast from September 14, 1990, to December 6, 1992. The show follows the adventures of a group of young cartoon characters who attend Acme Looniversity to become the next generation of characters from the Looney Tunes series. I loved Looney Tunes and Bugs Bunny so this was right up my alley. The series ended production in 1992 in favor of Animaniacs which premiered a year later; however, two specials were produced in 1994. (Tiny Toon Spring Break and Tiny Toons’ Night Ghoulery) The movie was watched religiously at my house. A revival series, Tiny Toons Looniversity, was announced in October 2020 and is set for a 2022 release. Tiny Toon Adventures is a cartoon set in the fictional town of “Acme Acres”, where most of the Tiny Toons and Looney Tunes characters live. The characters attend “Acme Looniversity”, a school whose faculty primarily consists of the mainstays of the classic Warner Bros. cartoons, such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Sylvester the Cat, Wile E. Coyote, and Elmer Fudd. In the series, the university is founded to teach cartoon characters how to become funny. The school is not featured in every episode, as not all of its storylines revolve around the school.
Hey Arnold! – Hey Arnold! is an American animated comedy television series created by Craig Bartlett. It originally aired on Nickelodeon from October 7, 1996, to June 8, 2004. The show centers on a fourth grader named Arnold Shortman, who lives with his grandparents in an inner-city tenement in Hillwood, Washington. Episodes center on his experiences navigating urban life while dealing with the problems he and his friends encounter. Bartlett completed the cast and setting by drawing inspiration from people and locations where he grew up in Seattle, Washington, Portland, Oregon, and Brooklyn, New York. On March 2, 2016, a television film continuation of the series, Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie, was greenlit. It picks up from where the series ended and resolved the unanswered plotlines of the story. I have been rewatching this on Hulu but my guess is that it will end up on Paramount Plus soon enough. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUsnJ9jlwns)
All That – All That is an American sketch comedy television series. The series originally aired on Nickelodeon from April 16, 1994, to October 22, 2005. The series features original short comedic sketches and weekly musical guests aimed at a young audience. Its sketches parody contemporary culture and are performed by a large and varying cast of child and teen actors. Early episodes were taped at Nickelodeon Studios at Universal Orlando Resort and then moved to Hollywood at the Nickelodeon On Sunset theatre, where other Nickelodeon shows such as The Amanda Show, Kenan & Kel, and Drake & Josh were filmed. All That went on to become a fixture on Nickelodeon for over a decade, and has received acclaim for its diverse cast and impact on children’s television. The series has spun off several members of the cast in their own Nickelodeon television series with varying levels of success. I had a few favorite sketches. ( Everyday French with PierreEscargot, Good Burger, The Loud Librarian, Vital Information)
Animaniacs – Animaniacs is an animated comedy musical television series that ran from September 13, 1993, to November 14, 1998. It is the second animated series produced by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment in association with Warner Bros. Animation, after Tiny Toon Adventures. It initially ran a total of 99 episodes, along with a feature-length film, Animaniacs: Wakko’s Wish. Animaniacs is a variety show, with short skits featuring a large cast of characters. While the show had no set format, the majority of episodes were composed of three short mini-episodes each starring a different set of characters, and bridging segments. A revival of the series was announced in January 2018, with a two-season order and many of the main voice actors returning. It premiered on November 20, 2020, on Hulu, with a second season premiering on November 5, 2021. A third season has since been ordered. Animaniacs parodied popular TV shows and movies and caricatured celebrities. Animaniacs made fun of celebrities, major motion pictures, television series for adults (Seinfeld, Beverly Hills 90210, and Friends, among others), television series for children (such as Barney & Friends and Rugrats). One episode even made fun of the competing show Power Rangers. Animaniacs also made potshots of Disney films, creating parodies of such films as The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas, Bambi, and others. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7Q4tPTLUVk)
Smart Guy– Smart Guy is where I explored my love of Jason Weaver. It was nice to see a black series with a Black Family and a Black father present. It ran for three seasons on The WB from March 26, 1997, to May 16, 1999. Set in Washington, D.C., the show centers on the misadventures of boy genius and youngest child T.J. Henderson who at the age of 10 moves from elementary school and gets transferred to Piedmont High School, where he ends up becoming a high school freshman with teenagers as his classmates. He must adjust to life with older, but not necessarily wiser, high school teenagers – including his brother Marcus and Marcus’ best friend Mo. Episodes typically deal with T.J.’s missteps of trying to fit in as a kid genius, while being a small kid in high school, as well as the contrast between his smarts and his brother’s underachieving nature. Tahj Mowry and Omar Gooding are the only main cast members that did not appear in every episode (which in the case of Mowry is quite unusual for the lead actor for a television series to not appear in all episodes). Tahj Mowry did not appear in the season 3 episode “Get a Job” and Omar Gooding in “A Little Knowledge.” Jason Weaver, Essence Atkins, and John Marshall Jones are the only cast members to appear in every episode. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYdPNsd1WY8)
Kenan & Kel – The show originally aired on the Nickelodeon network for four seasons, from July 15, 1996, to July 15, 2000. Set in Chicago, Illinois, the series follows mischievous Kenan Rockmore (Kenan Thompson) and his optimistic but dimwitted best friend Kel Kimble (Kel Mitchell), who go on a number of misadventures which usually occur as a result of Kenan devising a scheme to get rich quick or avoid trouble with his elders. The show employs a number of running gags. Episodes open and close with Kenan and Kel breaking the fourth wall by interacting with a studio audience, standing in front of a red curtain that is placed in front of the main set while they are still in character. A running gag of the openings is Kel never knowing what the night’s episode would be about and Kenan refusing to tell him, while the closings frequently feature Kenan coming up with a new scheme, often asking Kel to get various assorted items and meet him somewhere. Frazzled both times, Kel exclaims his catchphrase, “Aww, here it goes!”.These schemes are often foiled as a result of Kel’s aloof, happy-go-lucky nature. It won the “Favorite TV Show” award at the 1998 Kids’ Choice Awards. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgC18L6UOKQ)
Clarissa Explains it All – If you told me that Mellisa Joan Hart is in something… to this day… I will hop on it. In the series, Clarissa Darling (Melissa Joan Hart), is a teenager who addresses the audience directly to explain the things that are happening in her life, dealing with typical adolescent concerns such as school, boys, pimples, wearing her first training bra, and an annoying younger brother. I felt Clarissa understood me. I mean I too had younger brothers who got on my nerves. A total of 65 episodes were produced and aired from March 23, 1991, to October 1, 1994. From August 1992 onwards, the series headlined the popular SNICK (Saturday Night Nickelodeon) lineup. In 2015, a novel was released, Things I Can’t Explain, which serves as a sequel to the series. In the novel, Clarissa is now in her late 20s and trying to navigate life as an adult. Clarissa was credited with becoming the first Nickelodeon series to feature a female lead, which led the network to create other shows such as The Secret World of Alex Mack, The Amanda Show and The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. Its popularity among both boys and girls also helped to debunk a myth that a children’s series with a female lead would not appeal to boys. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0BerpDmVSE)
Sabrina, the Teenage Witch – It is Melissa Joan Hart again…. But I watched this show more for Harvey than anything else. Sabrina the Teenage Witch is a television sitcom, based on the Archie Comics series of the same name. It premiered on Friday, September 27, 1996 on ABC to over 17 million viewers in its “T.G.I.F.” lineup. It stars Melissa Joan Hart as American teenager Sabrina Spellman, who, on her 16th birthday, learns she has magical powers (a departure from the Archie Comics series, in which she has known of her powers since an early age). She lives with her 600-year-old aunts, witches Hilda and Zelda, and their magical talking cat Salem. As a novice witch, her spells often go awry. Her witch aunts counsel her on the proper use of her magic and give her moral advice. Additionally, Hilda and Zelda have to take care of Salem, a witch turned into a cat for trying to take over the world. Sabrina’s basic premise and “genial loopiness” earned the show comparisons to the 1960s television series Bewitched.
The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo -The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo is a children’s mystery television series that ran on Nickelodeon between 1996 and 1999. A total of 41 episodes were produced. the series revolves around the adventures of a teenage girl who lives with her innkeeper grandfather and works as a non-sworn intern at the local police department where she helps out with odds and ends around the office. Occasionally an intriguing case comes to Shelby’s attention, prompting her to apply her unique insight and enlist the help of her friends to solve it. Her supervisors, however, do not appreciate her help, as she is only a teenager. Her grandfather also does not want her getting involved in cases, often reminding her, “We are not detectives with warrant badges, we are innkeepers with brooms.” Many of the stories, with three clear suspects, keep the audience guessing until the truth is ultimately explained. Nickelodeon did not give enough episodes to some of these shows that I love.
Brotherly Love – Anything Lawrence Brothers… Sign me up. I could date any one of them. (Still to this day.) Three real-life siblings star in this series about an older brother who returns to the family business a year after his father dies. Joe just wants to cash out his share, but he realizes that the business could use his help — and his half brothers need a father figure. Now Joe is clashing with his equally strong-willed stepmother about how to run the business and deal with the boys. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FJ45FJY_Os)
X-Men: The Animated Series – I was never into Marvel but I never counted X-Men in that. X-Men is an animated superhero television series which debuted on October 31, 1992, on the Fox Kids Network. X-Men was Marvel Comics’ second attempt at an animated X-Men TV series after the pilot, X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men, was not picked up. The series deals with social issues, including divorce, Christianity, the Holocaust and AIDS hysteria, and feelings of loneliness. X-Men crossed over with the animated series Spider-Man, when Spider-Man seeks out the X-Men’s help to stave off his progressing mutation. The first season of the show brought the X-Men into conflict with human conspirators building mutant-exterminating Sentinel robots, Magneto and his attempts to instigate a human-mutant war, and the powerful mutant Apocalypse’s plans to eradicate the weak, both human and mutant alike. The second season sees Cyclops and Jean get married and become the targets of Mister Sinister, who hopes to use the genetically perfect combination of their DNA to create an army of obedient mutants. Morph returns, having been rescued by Sinister and brainwashed into forcing the X-Men apart. The season also features the growing rift between humans and mutants, spearheaded by the Friends of Humanity, an anti-mutant group who lead the persecution of all mutants.
Spider-Man: The Animated Series – The series aired on the Fox Kids Network from November 19, 1994, to January 31, 1998, for a total of five seasons comprising sixty-five episodes, and ran reruns on Toon Disney’s Jetix block and on Disney XD. The series follows Peter Parker, a college student at Empire State University who struggles to balance his responsibilities as the hero Spider-Man with the problems of his personal life. Parker must navigate his romantic affections for love interests Felicia Hardy and Mary Jane Watson; maintain his friendship with Harry Osborn; focus on his academic performance as Dr. Curt Connors’ student; and help to support his Aunt May after the death of his Uncle Ben by working as a freelance photographer for the Daily Bugle. As Spider-Man, Parker faces various supervillains that threaten New York City, including criminal masterminds such as the Kingpin and the Hobgoblin, scientific mishaps like Doctor Octopus and the Green Goblin, and the alien symbiotes Venom and Carnage.
The Wild Thornberry’s – The series portrays an American family of wildlife documentary filmmakers known as the Thornberrys, which consist of the British nature documentary television host Nigel, his wife and camera operator Marianne, their 16-year-old daughter Debbie, their younger daughter Eliza, their adopted son Donnie, and a chimpanzee named Darwin. The series focuses in particular on Eliza, who has an ability to communicate with animals. The Thornberry family travels to every continent and wildlife environment in the ComVee, a recreational vehicle equipped with safety mechanisms to handle any terrain or body of water, to document their journeys in detail, with typical episodes involving Eliza befriending an animal and subsequently finding herself in peril. The series premiered on September 1, 1998, on Nickelodeon as the eleventh Nicktoon. It ran for 5 seasons containing 91 episodes in total, with the series finale airing on June 11, 2004.
Goof Troop – It is an animated sitcom television series produced by Walt Disney Television Animation. The series focuses on the relationship between single father Goofy and his son, Max, as well as their neighbors Pete and his family. Walt Disney Pictures released two films that served as follow-ups to the television series: the theatrical A Goofy Movie, released on April 7, 1995, as well as the direct-to-video sequel An Extremely Goofy Movie, released on February 29, 2000, as the series finale. Goofy, a single father, moves back to his hometown of Spoonerville with his son, Max. As it happens, Goofy and Max end up moving in next door to Goofy’s high school friend: Pete, a used car salesman and owner of Honest Pete’s Used Cars; Pete’s wife Peg, a real estate agent; and their two children, son P.J. (Pete Jr.) and younger daughter Pistol. Max and P.J. become best friends and do practically everything together. A large portion of the show’s humor comes from Max’s relatively normal personality sharply contrasting with his father. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ts7–zxXXKQ)
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers – Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is a superhero television series that premiered on August 28, 1993, on the Fox Kids programming block. It is the first entry of the Power Rangers franchise and became a 1990s pop-culture phenomenon along with a large line of toys, action figures, and other merchandise. The original series also spawned the feature film Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, released by 20th Century Fox on June 30, 1995. Despite mixed reviews, it was a modest financial success and earned a cult following. The series takes place in the fictional town of Angel Grove, California. On an exploratory mission, two astronauts discover an extraterrestrial container (referred to as a dumpster as a result of its smell) and breach the unit, inadvertently releasing the evil alien sorceress Rita Repulsa from 10,000 years of confinement. Upon her release, she and her army of evil space aliens set their sights on conquering the nearest planet—Earth. The wise sage Zordon, who was responsible for capturing Rita (and also being enemies on Zordon’s homeworld, Eltar), later becomes aware of her release and orders his robotic assistant Alpha 5 to select five “teenagers with attitude” to defend the Earth from Rita’s attacks. The five teens chosen are Jason Lee Scott, Kimberly Hart, Zack Taylor, Trini Kwan, and Billy Cranston. Zordon gives them the ability to transform into a fighting force known as the Power Rangers. This provides them with superhuman abilities and an arsenal of weapons, as well as colossal assault machines called Zords which can combine into a giant humanoid machine known as the Megazord. And then Tommy came along…DRAMA. I remember when I used to have to sit t my dad’s job… (Circuit City) and he would set me up to watch the Rangers. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHalaFUqnTI)
James Bond Jr – Whenever I mention this show… People have no clue what I was talking about. James Bond Jr. is a character described as the nephew of Ian Fleming’s spy James Bond. While attending prep school at Warfield Academy, James Bond Jr, with the help of his friends IQ (the grandson of Q), and Gordo Leiter (the son of Felix Leiter), fight against the evil terrorist organization S.C.U.M. (Saboteurs and Criminals United in Mayhem), a SPECTRE-like organization. Expanding on his uncle’s famous line, James Bond Jr’s catchphrase was “Bond, James Bond… Junior. It debuted on 30 September 1991, with a total of 65 half-hour episodes produced. The series was mildly successful, spawning a six-volume novelization series by John Peel, a 12-issue comic book series by Marvel Comics published in 1992, and video games for the Nintendo Entertainment System and Super NES.
My Brother and Me – My Brother and Me is an American sitcom, that originally aired on Nickelodeon. My Brother and Me is about the Parkers, a family living in the west side of Charlotte, North Carolina, who experience the highs and lows of everyday life. It premiered on October 15, 1994, and ended on January 15, 1995, with a total of 13 episodes over the course of one season. This definitely should have lasted longer. Alfie was the cool older brother and Dee Dee was the younger brother who always followed his older brother around and tried to be just like him. There was also a smarter, older sister named Melanie.
The Adventures of Pete & Pete – The Adventures of Pete & Pete is an American comedy television series. It centers around two brothers, both named Pete Wrigley, and their humorous and surreal adventures in suburbia among their equally eccentric friends, enemies, and neighbors. it is an abstract and rather absurd portrayal of everyday suburban life in the United States. The antics of the two brothers of the same name and their various friends and enemies are ludicrous in nature, but it is often easy to identify with the potent suburban truths stated in the narrations of Older Pete. It began as a series of one-minute shorts in 1989 that were shown in between regular programs on Nickelodeon. Owing to the popularity of the shorts, five half-hour specials were made, followed by a regular half-hour series that ran for three seasons (1993-1996) and continued in reruns until around 1999.
Heathcliff – Anytime I refer to the orange animate cat… people assume I am talking about G. Heathcliff is a children’s animated television series that debuted on September 3, 1984. 65 half-hour episodes aired in first-run syndication in the fall of 1984, followed by the second season of 21 episodes in 1986. Each episode featured two segments, one being about Heathcliff and his friends, while the other featured The Catillac Cats. The Heathcliff segments focus on the everyday adventures of Heathcliff and the cast from the comic strip. At the end of the show, there is a short segment called Pet Tips where Heathcliff (or some other characters including Spike or Riff-Raff) would teach the audience certain safety tips when it comes to raising pets. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LLb8EBU9nQ)
This was a fun trip down memory lane. I have realized that a lot of what I was watching in the 90s is syndication. I have also realized that the kid actors that I saw on tv were not much younger than me. But that is all I have for now so let me know your favorite shows as kids…. Until next time.
A lot of my young life revolved around television. Yes. I did go out and play but my younger siblings were too young to play with for a long time… in the meantime I watched I lot of tv. It seems I grew up in the time of great kid’s game shows. I guess this was training me for things like Family Feud or The Price is Right. Watching tv with my niece and nephew now is bland because they don’t have any kid’s game shows anymore. (I may just be one of those that thinks the years she grew up was the golden age.) Anyway… I figured I would do a countdown of some of what I think are the greatest kid game shows I watched as a kid.
The 90’s were an interesting time. Pogs, Slap Bracelets, the Green Ranger and his Dragonzord, Goku and his nimbus. There is a lot that brings me that feeling of nostalgia but it is probably those that are on this list that bring me the most joy. I spent a lot of time hoping that I could visit Orlando Studios… (I finally got to go as an adult. Read that post.) I am going to try to keep this short… but we will see what happens.
Nick Arcade – It originally aired in 1992 during weekend afternoons. Weekends were a good time for tv. We aw contestants face off in several different rounds of challenges involving trivia, video games, and live-action video games. Two teams of contestants played two initial rounds, with the winner advancing to play against the “Video Game Wizard” of the day. In the main game, the teams would navigate Mikey across an 18-square game board towards a Goal. Each step along the way triggered trivia quizzes, video puzzles, instant-win prizes, enemies, and video game challenges; Points! Puzzles! Pop Quizzes! and Prizes! The winning team got a chance to play in The Video Zone, a massive bluescreen background in front of which contestants would act as the character within a game, attempting to beat three levels, including one of three Video Game Wizards of the day. I used to love watching the teams move Mikey and what I now know as bluescreen and the contestants. Apparently, it was only on the air for a year. I totally wanted to be a video game. No way my mom was going for that though. So apparently, it is on Paramount Plus. That is definitely a plus for that streaming service.
Double Dare – Back when you wanted to avoid being slimed… and it was thick and vomit-colored. (New slime is different.) This game show combined trivia questions with physical challenges. It’s been around the longest and has the most iterations: Double Dare, Super Sloppy Double Dare, Family Double Dare, and Double Dare 2000. Two teams (each either comprised of two children or two children and their parents) squared off in the main game of trivia questions, which could be answered in a number of ways: answer the question, dare the other team to answer it (doubling the value), returning a dare with a double dare (doubling the value again), or accepting a physical challenge instead of answering at all. I wanted it to be a physical challenge all the time. It almost always had to do with finding a flag or filling a canister in some outrageous way. The final course was always a bunch of mess. From finding flags in a giant fake pizza to having to pick a giant nose… I wanted to run the final course and get messy… but knew my mother would never slide down a slide with an ice cream sundae on it.
Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? – PBS had a hit on their hands with this one… and they knew it. You can still hear the song, can’t you? This was before I was introduced to the computer game in middle school even though the show is based on the game. The game show was created after a National Geographic survey found that one in four Americans could not locate the Soviet Union or the Pacific Ocean on a map. (Sadness. But not surprised.) The game happened in 3 rounds with the player with the lowest score dropping off. Three contestants (Gumshoes) have been recruited by ACME Detective Agency to track down Carmen Sandiego and her henchmen by answering geography-based trivia questions. (Remember, She’s a double-dealing diva with a taste for thievery.) The Gumshoes were given Crime Bucks to start out, rewarded with more for each correct answer, and allowed to wager their Crime Bucks based on how certain they were as to the criminals’ location. (Something about the fact that Carmen was a woman that was smart enough to go undetected stuck with me even as a kid.) The second round saw the remaining Gumshoes looking for prizes and evidence hidden behind images of famous landmarks of that game’s location. Gumshoes had to find The Loot, The Warrant, and The Crook in that exact order to win the game. That winning Gumshoe then earned a chance to capture Carmen Sandiego in the bonus round’s World Map. The World Map was HUGE and blank. But everything in me knew I could conquer it. Younger me was a total nerd for geography, landmarks, and the like. The Gumshoe had to find and mark a number of locations in order to capture Carmen Sandiego and win the grand prize. The grand prize was almost always a family trip and I wanted to go somewhere as a kid soooooo badly. Nothing like yelling at the kids who couldn’t find Nicaragua. This was a show that I never missed… and was my first introduction National Geographic and why I love it now. This was a show that I NEVER missed. DO IT ROCKAPELLA!!! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozYg8vDTmkc)
Guts/Global Guts – Do you have it? Who didn’t love Mo… There was nothing that got me more hype than Guts. Because I felt that I had it. So this was my taste of Olympic events or extreme sports. GUTS was concerned with one thing: pure, athletic competition. Each episode featured three young athletes squaring off against each other in a series of four events based on extreme sports. You got points no matter where you placed… but the final competition was always what I was about. I wanted to conquer the Crag. The 28-30 foot tall artificial mountain featured strobe-light lightning, foam rock avalanches, glitter snow, and nuclear flying crystals. Kids had to navigate the perilous mountain climb while activating lights along the way, with the ultimate goal of climbing the mountain first. There were, if I remember correctly, 8 lights that had to be lit up along the way. If you missed one, you had to go back and it could cost you your place. The other thing I remember was the crag was broken down into 3 lanes… so the contestants were climbing at the same time. The final Crag Competition could put someone at the bottom over the top. The Crag was known as the Aggro Crag in season one and two, the Mega Crag in season three, and the Super Aggro Crag in Global GUTS. When I say… I begged my mother about climbing the Crag… and she ignored me lol. Good times. Some of the events were just great if not a bit outrageous. There were several different types of events, ranging from field sports to pool sports. Many events made use of elastic harnesses for aerial purposes. There were also track events and an obstacle course taking place in the gym. Apparently, also on Paramount Plus
Legends of the Hidden Temple – This was definitely in my top three. As in another on the list that I never missed when it was on. I wanted to be a Silver Snake so badly. Who didn’t want to talk to the talking head Olmec? Six teams each comprised of one boy and one girl (between 11 and 14) would compete in a series of physical and mental challenges with the ultimate aim of retrieving an artifact from the titular temple. Teams were the Purple Parrots, Orange Iguanas, Blue Barracudas, Green Monkeys, Red Jaguars, and Silver Snakes. Olmec revealed mythological, historical, and geographical facts about each item. Teams went through three elimination rounds. And the team left standing got to go on the temple run to retrieve the artifact. That damn moat seemed stressful. Though each episode started with six teams, two of them were eliminated right away if they were the last ones to cross The Moat. The remaining four teams then advanced to the Steps of Knowledge where Olmec would relate the episode’s central story as well as the location of the artifacts within the temple. The two teams advanced down the steps by correctly answering related trivia questions about the story they just heard and then moved on to The Temple Games. These physical challenges appeared in a “Best of Three” series that not only granted the winning team access to the final round but also allowed them to earn Pendants of Life. These items allowed Temple Runners to escape the clutches of the Temple Guards as long as they had a full pendant to exchange. You could get half a pendant… but that would mean that you would need to find the other half pendant in the maze. In the Temple Run, the team had three minutes to retrieve the artifact inside and bring it back outside the temple. Inside the temple were three temple guards hidden inside three of the rooms. If a player was caught by a temple guard and if they didn’t have a pendant to save them, they were captured and their teammate had to go inside the temple and retrieve the item. For some reason… The Shrine of the Silver Monkey had kids stumped and that killed me because… it was only 3 pieces… HURRY UP AND JAB THE HEAD ON THERE! I wasn’t scared of the Temple Guards but I can see a person popping out at you being unnerving… I don’ think the kids were scared more than surprised.
Wild and Crazy Kids – This was my introduction to Omar Gooding. There was no rhyme or reason to the show and for kids, that is really all they needed. Each episode consisted of three games with one host emceeing each game. The teams were identified by the color of the shirts they wore, which varied from show to show. The games varied in style; many were different takes on playground games, sports with unusual rules added, or messy games involving pies or slime. I distinctly remember an episode where kids had unusually large ice cream cones and had to slide down into a pool and whoever kept the most ice cream on the cone won. ODD but it apparently stuck. The majority of shows were filmed at various community parks and beaches in the greater Los Angeles area. Occasionally, the show taped special episodes at a theme parks such as Raging Waters, Wild Rivers, and Six Flags Magic Mountain. Unlike other Nickelodeon game shows, no prizes were ever awarded to any of the players. I just wanted a group of kids to do this with when I was younger. They had games like Dizzy Bat Home Run Derby, Three-Legged Soccer, Bumper Boat Lacrosse, Splash Football, Red light/Green light, Cops and Robbers, and Tug of War. Sometimes, this seems more like a comedy show than anything else. But it had a field day feeling and I loved field day.
Figure it Out – This panel show featured children with special skills competing as contestants. While they stand off-screen and share their talent with the home audience, a panel of four Nickelodeon celebrities try to guess the predetermined phrase that describes the contestant’s particular skill. Something about Danny Tamberelli and Lori Beth Denberg getting slimed was fun. Figure It Out was a flip on kids’ game shows, putting the talents of contestants in the spotlight while having their celebrity peers try to guess, and then admire their talent. The show was so popular that a revival of it was launched in 2012; it lasted about a year.
Events for GUTS/Global Guts
So no I am not done gushing over GUTS. Here is a look at many of the events that the kids had to deal with. I just knew that I would conquer these… and it would be my crowning achievement. So let’s go… Track and Field
Moon Race – This event made use of Nickelodeon Moon Shoes, which were strapped to the players’ feet. Players raced around the track by jumping with the moon shoes on. Players must stay in their designated lanes or they’ll be disqualified, and the player who crossed the finish line first was the winner. This one was odd… but I wanted moon shoes. My friend had some and I was so jealous.
Wild Wheels – Players were buckled into a special recumbent tricycle, which they then pedaled around the track while going through some obstacles such as cones and ramps. Players competed one at a time, and if the player went off the track or missed an obstacle during their run, he or she received a two-second penalty. The player who finished this course in the fastest time was the winner. This looked hard and I was not about that life. I knew I could ride a bike but I hate sand. I would not have made it. But I am sure that would have been fun.
Eat My Dust – In this event, players, going one at a time, rode a BMX bicycle around the track, while having to deal with obstacles such as the “Bump n’ Dump” ramp, a sand trap, the “Tippin’ Tubular Tunnel”, the “Sack Attack” (a series of swinging punching bags) and a final ramp before crossing the finish line. A two-second penalty was imposed on a player if they went off the track during their run. The fastest time was the winner. Again… maybe I could do it now… but I didn’t have confidence… the punching bags were a lot.
Blade Runners -The contestants wore in-line skates, which they used to race around the track, going through some obstacles as they went along, including a pair of low hurdles (the Limbo Bars), a series of flags or cones (the Frantic Flags, or the Slalom), some swinging punching bags (the Sack Attack), a low tunnel (the Car Wash), and a final ramp. Players received a two-second penalty if they stepped off of the track during their run. Fastest time won. I think I have only ever seen this once… but I know it was subconsciously added to my fuel to learn in-line skating. My mother thought that was too dangerous but I mean it was nothing as extreme as this.
Basic Training – One of the most frequently played events, players navigated a six-station obstacle course (seven in Global GUTS) one at a time. To prevent making strategies based on their performance, opposing players were not allowed to watch contestants run the course before their turn. Players had to complete each obstacle before moving on to the next one (any missed obstacle resulted in a disqualification). The player who cleared the course in the fastest time won.
Obstacle 1– It was either the cargo net or the wall climb. Cargo net always seemed to slip people up. Since it was the start of the competition, it usually set the tone for the rest of the I usually thought if it was me… I would have a chance if I was up against the wall…
Obstacle 2 – It was either the tightrope walk, rings, or the Tarzan swing. I know that tightrope walk always made me cringe. The gymnastic rings… or the swing seemed a bit easier but I have seen people have to start all the way over.
Obstacle 3 – Usually seemed the easiest to me… The Freefall, Slide for Life, Fire Pole… any of these things…now that I am older I can see this was to break up the course… with something a little less energy. I always wanted to jump from a high platform onto a large into an airbag. I’ll do it at some point… but some things are more acceptable if you are a kid. Like the fire poles.
Obstacle 4 – I always thought it was the worst because it almost always (at least when I was watching it… ) the elastic jungle… and people had a HARD time with it. A lot of people got delayed in the jungle. The other obstacle was the tire crawl… which by comparison was so much easier.
Obstacle 5 – Wall Climb or Cargo Net, depending on which of those two obstacles was first.
Obstacle 6 – Tube slide where they land in the GUTS pool or the free fall depending on if it was used in obstacle 3.
Pool – The pool always freaked me out because I couldn’t swim… I know how to stay afloat now… still wouldn’t call it swimming. They made things seem like a real Olympic event because of these damn water cannons.
Invisible Boat – Players were hooked to an elastic cord and given a paddle. The players used the paddle to walk themselves across the pool before touching the end of the pool with their paddle; this was made more difficult by means of several water cannons creating rapids in the pool. Fastest time won. In the 1994 season, this event was made a bit more difficult, in that players were now required to paddle to the end of the pool and then back. As such, in this version of the event, not touching both ends of the pool with one’s paddle resulted in an automatic third-place finish. People had the weirdest forms trying to get from one side of the pool to another. Some people could not get across. Their feet were just flailing but not moving.
Boogie Down – With rapids active, players, who were hooked to a harness, use a rope to pull themselves from one end of the pool to the other and back while kneeling on a kneeboard (boogie board). Fastest time won. The pitfall here was having the board take a nosedive into the water… and it slows you down completely.
White Water – With rapids active, players had to paddle an inflated raft around two buoys and to the end of the pool, where they gave a high five to a spotter to end the race. If a player did not go around a buoy, he or she got a five-second penalty added to their time. The player with the fastest time won the event. In the first two seasons, if the player exceeded a 60-second time limit, he or she would get an automatic third place.
Totally Tubular – The swimming pool was divided into three lanes for this event, and each lane had an equal number of inner tubes. Players simultaneously swam to the other end of the pool, having to put the inner tubes over themselves as they swam along. After touching the end of the pool, they had to swim back to the starting point with the tubes still on them. The player who made it back to the starting point first was the winner. However, if a player did not touch the end of the pool before coming back to the starting point, or missed any inner tubes, he or she was disqualified. This seemed impossible to me because really… who is supposed to swim this way? But other kids were doing it which means… I was behind on what I felt I needed to know about
Power Ski – Hanging from a harness, the player’s feet were strapped to a special (trick) water ski. With the Wave Ball active, the object was for the players to pull themselves from one end of the pool to the other and back while on the ski, high-fiving the spotters at each end. The fastest time won the event. This seemed like one of the few things I could do but even this had some pitfalls. The pitfall here was having the ski take a nosedive into the water… and it slows you down completely.
Field events were fun… because it was something I could mimic out in the field with my friends. I was definitely thinking that I could have come out on top in these events.
Free Kick – Two automated cannons shot several soccer balls at each of the players in front of the nets. (Kinda scary… but I was pumped about it.) Players had to block as many of the soccer balls as they possibly could in the allotted time (30 seconds in seasons 1 and 3, and 45 seconds in season 2 and Global GUTS), and the one who blocked the most shots won.
Wild Pitch – Things get a little more dangerous here. Cannons shot several baseballs at high speeds directly at the three players. (Yikes!) In earlier playings, the object of this game was to dodge as many balls as possible in 30 seconds, with the player getting hit the fewest times being the winner. The second and more familiar version of this event gave the players a baseball bat to use. Here, they tried to hit as many balls as they could with their bats in 30 seconds (45 seconds in season 2), with the winner being the person who hit the most balls.
Blast It – Players stood in a center circle as soccer balls poured out of an elevated tube. There were three separate goals set in a triangular fashion outside the circle (each one representing the player’s color), and the object was to score as many soccer goals as they could in 60 seconds. Players could not leave the center circle or touch the ball with their hands. There was a lot going on here. Maybe too much.
These were the most epic events. I was down to do bungee jumps off the top of the alter. Kids had so much trouble climbing back up to jump again. LOL. Poor kids. Even with the energy they had.
Bull’s Eye – Modeled after archery, players were equipped with crossbows and velcro arrows. With the help of the elastics, they jumped off the Aerial Bridge and fired the arrows at the targets in front of them. Only arrows that actually hit the bullseye counted, and they only counted after the player hit the ground first before bouncing back up. The player with the most bullseyes scored in 60 seconds won the event (45 seconds in one season 3 episode). There was nothing you can tell me. I was winning this.
Slam Dunk – This one is my favorite Aerial. To me, this is the only way to play basketball. If not with a bungee cord… then why do it? Slamball comes close but… not really. Players jumped off the Aerial Bridge and attempted to shoot a basketball through an elevated basketball hoop with each jump. Baskets only counted if they were made after the player touched the ground. All three players competed at the same time, and the player with the most baskets scored in 60 seconds won.
Spirals – Football… more or less… with a twist. Add an Aerial Bridge to anything and that makes it 100 times better. Especially in the mind of a kid. With all three competing at the same time, players jumped off the Aerial Bridge and tried to throw footballs through a set of tires and into a net. The player with the most footballs thrown into his or her goal in 45 seconds (60 seconds in season 2) won.
Over the Top – This was modeled after high jump competitions. Each player, one at a time, jumped off the Aerial Bridge and tried to jump over a hurdle at a set height. Each player received three jumps (two in one episode). If a player successfully cleared the hurdle, it was raised for the next jump; if not, the player attempted the next jump at the same height. The player who jumped the highest was the winner.
The Longest Yard – Another Long Jump Event. Each player jumped from the Bridge and tried to make the longest distance they could away from it, making their mark by planting their feet in a sandpit in front of the bridge. Jumps that did not include two footprints in the sand did not count. The player making the longest jump won the event. Fun times had by all.
Jump! Jump! – This event was based on hurdling competitions. Players jumped off the bridge, over two high hurdles, and onto the bridge on the opposite side, before jumping over the hurdles again and back onto the original bridge. A five-second penalty was imposed on a player if he or she knocked a hurdle down, and in the first two seasons, a two-second penalty was imposed if a player needed help from the spotters. The player who cleared this event in the fastest time won the event.
Make Your Mark – Each player jumped from the Bridge and, upon jumping back up, tried to make their highest mark on a yellow wall with paint resembling Nickelodeon’s famous green slime. In earlier versions of this event, players put plastic gloves on their hands and dipped them in paint before trying to slap their hands on the wall. In later playings, players jumped into a giant ink pad (in season 1, players jumped into green ink, and in season 2, players jumped into inkpads corresponding to their jersey color) and then tried to make their mark on the wall with their feet. The highest jump won.
Zero G – There was no way I could do this even in my mind. So it is what it is. The contestants were suspended sideways and had to run across a sideways track with hurdles and trampolines (“Black Holes”). They also had to make their way around the “Edge of Nothing,” a sharp turn onto the other side of the track. The player who cleared this event in the fastest time was the winner.
Slam-A-Jama – This was a variation on Slam Dunk… where each contestant played both offense and defense. Each player had 30 seconds to score baskets in a hoop inside of a center cylinder while the other players tried to reject the shots. After one player has had their turn, he or she then went on defense against the next player. The player with the most hoops scored won. Players on defense could not grab onto the basket while they tried to defend against a player on offense; if they did grab onto the basket, they would lose a point that they scored on offense. Good times. I would have loved to try this.
So in the end… These were some of the kids shows that I watched religiously. My mother was not impressed with some of them… (There was no way I was going to pick a giant nose.) These shows were a large part of the reason I wanted to visit Universal Studios Florida for the long time. I am down to see some of them come back for a new generation. Definitely, things like GUTS, Legends of the Hidden Temple, and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego. A lot of these are being shown on Paramount Plus. I am wondering if that is enough to get a new service. I was Disney Plus for the nostalgia factor…. But we will see. Where in the World is Carmen San Diego can be found on Youtube for now… I loved my trip down memory lane for now. Tell me what your favorite kid game shows were when you were younger… But that is all for now.
These past two years have been interesting. The older I get the more I find it is the little things that annoy me. I’ve become crotchety which is odd because I am pretty laid back. I’d like to think that I let a lot of things go. But something about these situations irk me to no end. I could complain about the price of things going up but that is the story of everyone’s lives. With working from home, I have realized there are many things that are not on my list of fun. As a kid, I loved going grocery shopping with my mother but in my adult life the shine has worn off. So without further ado… here is what really grinds my gears.
Grocery shopping has gotten on my nerve so badly that I really avoid places like Walmart on a whole. I do not care how much money I could be saving. There is something about not being able to get out of there. I used to think that it was an issue with the locations nearest me, but then I traveled and I realized that they shifted to Supercenters… and cared not about getting people on the registers. Here I am 15 years later still complaining about their lack of registers. They want you in there and never to leave. I have been at places where they will see people waiting and then open a register. Walmart never does that.
In the pandemic, the grocery store was the place that I still had to interact with people regularly. And I am not talking the staff. The workers are usually great. (They really should be paid more money.) When I say people… I mean customers. I am not sure what it is about me that makes me want to bump into me with their cart…? People just walk like they are the only person in the store. I used to jump out of the way but now I keep walking and watch the look of panic on the other person’s face when they see me from a mile away… get in my path and then realize I am not moving to accommodate them.
So… what is with the need to walk down the center of the aisle? No one can get past you on either side… as you meander down the aisle looking at things you know you’re not going to buy. The person always looks up like “Am I in your way?” Of course you are. You are in everyone’s way because you are in the middle of the aisle. The aisles are narrow enough but here you come. Reading the ingredients on something you aren’t going to buy.
I would have assumed that chain stores had the same foot print. But it is incredibly annoying to walk into a store and it have a completely different layout than the one near your home or the one by your job. Makes the trip longer trying to figure out where they have stashed the product. Shopping for my mother, I spent 20 minutes at a store looking for where they kept the q-tips. Pharmacy or Baby aisle. It was neither by the way.
Goodness gracious… don’t let there be a storm coming then people lose their minds. Now keep in mind I live in an area where blizzards, tornadoes, severe thunderstorms aren’t frequent. (Rain yes. SEVERE thunderstorms… no.) So when there is an announcement that there may be some weather that is not sunny… people head out in droves to buy up all the eggs and bread they can find. That usually makes it hard for me on my weekly trips. They announced that there would be a bit of snow a few weeks ago. (Let me point out that when we get snow… it is usually gone by mid day.) I went in to get a few things and every other person had like 6 loaves of bread in their carts. Weird. I had to get loaf because mom eats toast with breakfast and it was almost gone.
So now I am heading into checkout and there is nothing better than standing in line and the person behind… has their cart touching your back. And they can’t imagine why they keep getting the evil eye from you. Why are you so close? Why do I have to ask why you are so close? No one is going to hop in front of you blatantly. You don’t have to be so close.
The only complaint that I have with the workers… and I find that I am in the minority now… but when the baggers just jams a bunch of things into the bags. That annoys me. (I am aware though that people ask for that… so you know. A sign of the times.) My fruit ends up bruise and packages end up opened. It doesn’t save me any time or energy if I have to chase by water down that has rolled away. Just saying.
Let’s move into the movie realm… I used to work for a 3rd party company that took calls (complaints) for a large moviehouse. I have never seen so many people complain about something that was not a big deal… Since working this job… the idea of going to the movies has worn thin for me. Now new movies are coming out on streaming services there is no need to rub elbows with strangers anymore. People are weird.
Nothing like sitting next to a person who keeps looking at their bright phone. (It is always weird to me how bright other people keep their phones… I wear glasses too…) Calling themselves being discreet but you can tell that they have no idea what they are doing. They usually have the brightest lights and think no one will notice after the lights go out. And then get offended when people say something about it.
Feet on the back of the chair… That has always annoyed me. It makes me agree with my dad. “This is not your living room.” I hate it even more now that I had to take a complaint call for a woman who was annoyed that she was asked to leave the movie with no compensation because people kept complaining. She actually called in like she was right. She was actually trying to explain to me that she had a right to put her feet up on someone else’s chair because she paid to see the movie. Customer service was never my strong suit because was a bit of a smart ass back then… I asked her… “Were you the only person that paid? Everyone else got in free then?” She got silent. It actually took her a minute t realize that I didn’t agree with her at all. She was actually trying to tell me that the customer that complained was overreacting because she had her feet on his armrest. She said he saw her feet there and should have sat someone where else. Ugh where do people get off. She escalated on me and my boss said the same thing. Get your damn feet off of me. Paying for a movie… or a concert… only entitles you to the movie or the concert.
People who go the shows with me usually are annoyed that I am not interested in sitting in the middle of the aisle. Usually because I have to go to the bathroom a lot. When the feeling hits me… I am not in the mood for having to climb over people who see you coming and make no move to try and accomodate you. (On the other side of things… They don’t want to be climbed over.) It is sad because every time a person gets up… you know they have to come back. Every time you have to get up and head down the row, you disrupt the movie for every single person in that row, behind that row, and directly in front of that row. Just sit. It’s only a couple hours.
Babies…. (And I mean legit babies.) I have no issue with kids in the movie theater or their chatter especially if it is a kid’s movie. Especially since I have been in adult theaters listening to grown people talk and even be on the phone. But there is something about a crying baby in the movie that just seems out of place. And usually instead of taking the child out they try to calm the baby while everyone else is trying to watch the movie. Like they legit try to hold off… I wonder why the infant… and I stress the word infant is at the 9pm showing of Bad Boys for Life.
Latecomers. It never ceased to amaze me the number of people that would call in and ask for free tickets because they showed up to the theater late. I remember vividly this gentleman calling me because he was given a free ticket for one or other of the Marvel movies… It was 2013-2014.. so take your pick but he was annoyed that his family of 5 or 6 could not sit together after they showed up 30 minutes late. (When people say things like this to me… I wonder if they have ever visited a movie theater in their lives.) He apparently wanted free tickets for his family to come another day. Where was his family you ask… still in the theater watching the movie. (That made my eyes glazed over.) Most films have about 20 minutes of trailers, so if there is traffic or you can’t park, then you have a small window of opportunity where it is still acceptable to walk in. (So just imagine how late he was.) I would never enter a movie theater well after the movie has started and climb over people who have been sitting there 45 minutes. Much less think that there should be 5-6 seats together. History fact: Alfred Hitchcock wanted no late comers to see Psycho (1960) because they would have no idea what the plot twist at the end was about.
There is always a group of friends that think EVERY THING in the movie is hilarious. Are we watching the same movie? Nothing was that funny. I always wonder if they have had a few at dinner. But then theaters started serving alcohol… so… This issue is they laugh so loud and for so long that you’ve missed the next two minutes of the film.
We all know the happy couples that come into the theater and spend much of the movie sucking face. Why pay that kind of money to not watch the movie at all. Seems like a waste to me. And I do not want to listen to you guys suck face either.
Why are you misspelling my name and it is in the email or instant message I sent to you? Some people will say… it is no big deal but come on… Just put in a bit of effort.
If someone is giving you a ride, offer gas money. No matter where you live. I had a person ask me to drive them home from work on day… Two days before payday. And she wasn’t remotely in the same direction as I was going… I went out of my way about 30 minutes. Not once did she offer to spot me any money. Gas tank was on E. We almost didn’t make it. People doing you a favor arent to be taken advantage of.
It has been a while since I was in a place with an elevator … but there was something that was hard for society to grasp about letting a person off before you get on. The number of times that people almost bump into each other all day every day was interesting. Speaking of elevators… not sure why a person would get on a packed elevator and then when a door opens they don’t even move out of the way to see if someone is getting off.
UGH… not wearing headphone in public. No one wants to hear your music. No one is going to be impressed by your taste. They are going to be annoyed that you are raging against the machine at the grocery store while they trying to get a pack of chicken. I remember when this woman bought her teenager (13-14) in with his bluetooth speaker into the grocery store with his speaker wailing. I am just wondering why the adult that was with him figured it was okay.
Walking through people’s photos is weird. You see people at a theme park or something trying to get a picture… all of a sudden everyone needs to cross through at that moment. Doesn’t take much to go around.
Standing too close to other people in line… even before covid… I never understood why (like in the grocery store) you would need to be so close that you are breathing on me. Usually to make everyone uncomfortable… I turn around and face them pretending that I am looking for something… Then all of sudden everyone understands space.
Eating someone else’s food. I dont understand why this is hard. You shouldn’t be reaching into my plate for any reason. If I offer you something that is one thing. And if something is in the fridge and you didn’t purchase it… then it shouldn’t pass through your lips without talking to the person that did buy it. And no person that didn’t buy it can give permisson.
Walking down the street side by side… There is always this look on the face of people who don’t feel like they should make room on the sidewalk. If I am walking by myself they really expect me to make room for them… now I just keep walking and watch the panic on their faces. It is like Russian Roulette.
Spam callers… they have the nerve to be annoyed when you bombard them with questions when they are the ones that call you repeatedly. GO AWAY.
People that take up two parking spaces…. there car is so precious to them but not enough for them to make a trek into the store. They still manage find two spaces close to the entrance.
Delivering packages to the wrong address. Something about the post office near me that doesn’t believe I should get my stuff unless I jump through hoops. There is nothing better than trying to schedule picking up your package and everyone and their momma making it difficult to receive the stuff you paid for.
Facebook requests…. for games or otherwise. No I am not interested in helping you with your farm… or whatever game your are playing. (But this was from like 10 years ago. Either people aren’t playing much on facebook or they aren’t bothering me.) The real issue I have is the business pages that “friends” want you to like and support… even though you haven’t spoken to these people in years. You only know me if you need support?
Speaking of… Don’t message me with a get rich quick scheme. No, I don’t want to make more money. If you had the money, you claim you did you wouldn’t be reaching out to me. There is always someone that has a pyramid scheme they want you to get in on. And it usually someone that you haven’t heard from in years. They now remember they know you.
I hate small talk. I don’t care about the weather nor do you care how I am doing… I find small talk hard to navigate. When it is over? What usually signifies the end? I could do without it. No real information is gleamed from it.
Public Transportation is a bit much. It really needs its own list. But it is the same thing with the elvators… people trying to get on before people get off. It can be overcrowded but yeah you can make this run smoothly if you let people get off first.
Speaking of public transportation… What is it with people that have to sit next to you.. The bus or the train is damn near empty but here comes someone hellbent on sitting next to you. Insert eyeroll.
Teachers who love to point out only a handful of people passed their exams. It is a weird flex… like if you have a lecture hall for 300-350 people and only like 10 people passed the exam… doesn’t that mean it is you? That maybe the way you are teaching this isn’t as effective as you think. It is not a sign that you somehow triumphed and are smarter than everyone else in the class. (That is usually a given specifically about the the topic you are teaching).
Cable companies… I went with just internet a few years ago and never looked back. Even with the streaming services that I use… it is nothing compared to that triple play that they kept pushing on people. They then upped the prices for internet… started charging people by usage (because no one wanted cable anymore.) I won’t even get into how sports channels and things keep getting cut but they keep raising the prices. You can’t even watch something for a major network without signing into a cable account. I know another streaming service that keeps upping the price but we aren’t getting more/better content. I got an email from my provider… that I was over my usage because I got new firesticks…
If you borrow something, return it in the same condition as I gave it to you. Respect people’s things. Don’t loan out things that were given on lone to you. I had several family members send me things (books, cds, etc.) and it took months to get those things back. Granted, I was younger and thought it would make me friends. But there was some things that were never returned to me… (I shouldn’t have loaned it out at all.) But it really soured me on giving things out to people. I had been friends with some people for years and they were just like… “Well I don’t know where… such and such is… ” Kanye shrug and they would get annoyed when you brought it up.
The Married Wives Club (This is self explanatory.)
That is all that comes to mind right now. Feel free to add to the list in the comments section. I may drop back in and add things as they come to mind.
It was on Hulu so I decided to do a rewatch of it. Why not? I didn’t hate it the first time. Also, I enjoyed looking at Josh Lucas. No downside. I remember watching it with a few friends back in the day. Since it premiered in 2002, it has been 20 years since it hit theaters… You gotta love that a movie with this title was mostly shot in Georgia. But I mean… nothing is ever as it seems. Sweet Home Alabama was described to me as A young woman who’s reinvented herself as a New York socialite and must return home to Alabama to obtain a divorce from her husband, after seven years of separation. Through an adult lens… let’s see if it holds up… Check out the old trailer… Let us all laugh at the voiceovers that they no longer do.
The movie stars Reese Witherspoon, Josh Lucas, Patrick Dempsey, Jean Smart, and Candice Bergen. I figured I would jump right back in… I don’t think about this as a rom-com even though I enjoy this much more than I should. When I think about romcoms… this never comes up on my list because… It is really all over the place. It feels more like a returning home story more than a romcom for me anyway. So let’s get into it.
Okay so the movie opens up with two kids playing in the thunderstorm… Isn’t that kind of dangerous? I mean my great grandmother was from Mississippi and she didn’t even want to talk on the phone during a storm. It is a young Dakota Fanning. 10-year-olds Jake and Melanie inspect the result of lightning striking sand. (More on this later.) Jake asserts that they will be married one day. Ah young love… He just knew that she was going to be his wife. Nothing really to say here… But Melanie is dreaming. She wakes up later and is in the middle of working on an upcoming fashion show.
Melanie Charmichael has apparently made a huge name for herself after she landed in NYC 7 years ago. Everyone is reassuring her that she has got this. Even Andrew her very wealthy man. He is the son of the Mayor. I am not sure that I would date a politician or even someone that closely related to a politician. I say that because in the movie…. Andrew is expected to show up to events to be in his mother’s corner. The whole city is watching and sometimes more. Prior to meeting at the event though… Andrew gets Melanie chauffeured to a Tiffany’s where he proposes in the store that is only open for her. Weird. I know they are trying to make this romantic… but… for someone who is wealthy I felt he could do better… and I mean this is just before an event with your mother. It just seems like poor planning to me. And of course it all comes out at the event that she is engaged. She is now royalty of New York. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gt9hUr1Qzkc)
Her friend calls her wondering why she had to read the paper to hear about the engagement. Melanie tells her it just kind of happens… Well… It did. Mel also declines to come out for drinks since she is hundreds of miles away in Alabama. She’s there… because… She needs a divorce from Jake Perry. (I do have a thing for grease monkeys.) She can’t marry Andrew without it. It is funny because at first Jake doesn’t even recognize her. But when he does realize who it is… He doesn’t seem all that happy or impressed with her. I mean she really is being condescending but I would figure it would be easier to sign the divorce papers. He first tells her to go home and talk to her parents. He tries to lock her out. I can’t say that I blame him… It has been 7 years… but again… you could just sign the divorce papers. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KONvrzT7VC8) But problem is… she is his wife… so she knows where the key to the house is. And sad for him… everything is just has she left it… Poor him… (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ih_u71wMgBQ) My favorite line… “Oh, I’ve missed you but at this distance… my aim is bound to get better.” The standout moment is when they are both talking to the dog… except she calls the dog by the wrong name. “What happened to Bear?” “He died. You weren’t here.”
Meanwhile in NYC, Andrew’s mom is on the warpath… or so they are making it seem. Meanwhile, Kate Hennings doubts Melanie’s suitability to wed her son, whom she is grooming to run for President of the United States. Why is she the bad guy for thinking (correctly.) that Melanie is hiding something? She had her assistant try to dig up things on Mel’s family. Except they can’t find a listing for Melanie Charmichael can’t even figure out where she went to school which only makes his mom more suspicious. Back in Alabama… Jake calls the Sheriff on Mel. But that doesn’t work out the way Jake intends… at first. Wade, an old friend, is Sheriff now and when he learns that Jake and Mel are still married… he tells Jake there is nothing he can do. She has a right to be there. Until Jake starts rattling off every past crime they did together. SMH. Not cool man. SNITCHES GET STITCHES. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37sIMsHArpU&t=3s)
She ends up having to call her parents to bail her out. She has to reveal that she is in town. Her dad had to pick her up from the Jailhouse. Welcome back Mel. You start to see why she has a hard relationship with her parents like anyone does. Her father talks about paying for her and Jake’s wedding which apparently she doesn’t have fond memories of. Her dad is still harping on the fact that she needs to give Jake a break for being drunk at their wedding and throwing up on her. And that he is a changed man. Sir!!!! She had to go to the reception alone because he had to sleep off the drunk and she had vomit on her dress. She tells her dad that she would appreciate not being made to be the bad guy because she was annoyed about it and for him to ask about her life too. She tells her dad that she has met someone and is happy.
I am just going to say she was being rude to her parents. Condescending remarks about how nothing has changed. It is revealed that she wanted them to come visit her in NY but they have refused to come even though she bought them tickets. She has managed to get into an argument with everyone she has come into contact with at this point. Jake, Dad and now her mom. It does seem like she would love her parents to at least pretend to be happy about how things in her life have come together. To say they are not seeing eye to eye is an understatement. It is like her parents don’t want to say that she is one of them now… How dare she leave for NY…? Andrew is not fairing any better. His mother insists on learning everything about Mel and wants them to have a wedding on the date she wants where she wants it. It is a bit much to book a date and insist on a location when the wedding is not about you. But wanting to know more is not a crime. She may alienate her son before they get down to the bottom of things.
Mel heads into town and is on the phone with her lawyer talking about how a contested divorce takes up to 18 months. My issue is… hasn’t she been gone 7 years? If she has really been sending the paperwork for a divorce for years… then… you should have done a contested divorce a while ago… or maybe not said yes to another man when you knew you were already married. Or both. I am sorry. It seems like this could have been done way better. But then it would not be a romcom. Enter Bobby Ray… yelling at her from his car. She catches up with with Bobby Ray and learns that he is gay. But he reveals that he has read about her on the internet and knows why she is in town. “I know all about the cocks in your henhouse.” He heads back to the plant where he works and Mel heads into the bank.
Inside the bank, Mel gets reacquainted with Dorothea who has apparently lost 110 pounds. The security guard… doesn’t seem to be all that impressed with Melanie. He hurries to take his lunchbreak. Dorothea lets it slip that she knows all about Mel’s fight with Jake. Since she and Wade are married and you know (pillow talk). When Mel tells her she needs to make a withdrawal… Dorothea asks… if she wants to make it from her…. *clears throat* joint account. She still has a joint account with Jake. Now that is some sisterhood for you. Since she is still married… she is entitled to withdraw the money from their account. Again… Jake dude… it would have been easier to just sign the divorce papers. Because I would be so annoyed if I had a lump sum in my account and someone I ain’t even talked to in years flew into town and was allowed to withdraw it.
Jake returns home in his plane… (Why does he have a plane? Like where do you go that you need to fly in…? I have questions.) He is greeted by Mel who is posing as the little homemaker. And she has changed almost everything in his house….. Their house?? I just… She has even conned poor Bryant. Jake initially is annoyed but not enough… thinking that she has spent her own money…. When she responds that she prefers to think that it is their money… He almost loses his mind. She tells him she will give him the money back if he just signs the papers… But concedes to do so… He mentions that he knows that she is pushing for a divorce because she is trying to get remarried. Oddly, she seems shocked by this… Why? Everyone has been telling her that they have been reading about her. And I get my favorite line in the whole movie… “Honey. Just cause I talk slow don’t mean I’m stupid.” There seems to be a bit of a loving moment before Jake up and leaves without signing the paperwork… He wants to have is lawyer look at it before he signs… (Fair. Again… this could have been taken care of years ago.) Why does he feel the to walk around shirtless? I mean yeah it is his house… but he knows what he is doing… LOL. Mel is annoyed that he plan doesn’t work… Jake doesn’t seem all that upset about the missing money. I mean he did leave her name on the account.
Next scene… Can we just laugh at her ringtone? Shoutout to Nokia… Everyone had a time in the early 2000’s. Mel decides to head out after Jake and following him out on a date. Weird… mostly… because nothing good could come from this… She walks in and is immediately greeted by her mother in law whom she tells she is trying to divorce her son. Jake’s mom seems hella cool… but it is just the start of an outing that screams this is a bad idea. She meets another friend… who has her baby with her…. at a bar. (I don’t know anyone that would do this… like they tried to pass it off as normal for where they are at… but… no. Because no one is asking why the child is there.) Friend talks about how she has 3 other children at home… but because she is still breastfeeding she lugs the baby around with her. (But again… it is a bar. I am sure babysitting could have been arranged. Like get some me time sis… Pump and go and live your best life…. ) She compliments Mel on her clothes to which Mel responds that she made it. Friend claims she would never get away with spending that kind of money on clothes. (I get it.)
Mel “bumps” into Jake on his date. (Still think it is a terrible idea.) She introduces herself as Jake’s wife. It is not a lie but not entirely true… but she is annoyed that Jake left without signing the divorce papers. I would not be telling a stranger all my business in a bar. But she can’t wait to annoy him and show off her new ring. Sis go home. She doesn’t but I knew that. Jake sends his date… (Star.) to get them more drinks. Star seems a bit in the clouds. LOL. Jake plans to ignore Mel and Mel plans on being as obnoxious as she can be with the power of alcohol. She yells something about Jake liking to be embarrassed in front of his friends. Bobby Ray who is there points out that they were her friends too. But she ignores him. Although… when the two others joing and crush her in a Melanie sandwich… Everyone looks at her as if she is being difficult by hating it. Although… Bobby Ray does crack a joke at her expense…. like friends do. But it drives her to drink more and be rude to everyone.
Jake and Mel have it out for everyone to see… Not a thing that I would do in this situation. He is asked if he is actually going to divorce her… (His date is still there… I would not continue to be there with a married man. But I guess she figures that Mel no longer wants him so…. ) He claimes that she waited 7 years… she can wait another few days. (What is the point in dragging it out? I know the answer but it still seems odd.) He really doesn’t seem to perturbed by Mel even though she is getting on my last nerve at least until she blurts out that Jake got her pregnant the night of the state championship. (Again… not a thing I would blurt out to a bar full of people.) Then she turns and outs Bobby Ray. She made me want to punch her. Drunk or not… (Bobby Ray is drunk too but she really takes it too far.) All her friends are less than stoked by her joke… Jake ends his date and drags her out of the bar. Even when he drags her out of the bar… she tells Jake, he bought this on herself and that she is better than them. (See? Punch! There is something about how he throws her in the truck that makes me laugh. She wanted to drive home but she is way to loose for that.) He takes her to her parents house… Star follows in her car…. and Melanie throw up in his truck. He leaves the divorce paperwork on her pillow signed. (The way she was snoring too.)
She is like a half dead the next day. I do not miss that. AT ALL. Her father is off to a Civil War reenactment. Mel gets herself together to visit Jake… AGAIN… unannounced… again. She comes to tell him that she has returned his money. Since that was the deal. He did sign the papers. He does appreciate that… since he has written several checks. (What makes me laugh… is he takes a bone and throws it into the lake… and the dog jumps in after it and isn’t seen for a while. “Can he swim?” “It doesn’t look like it.” LOL. He eventually resurfaces which calms Melanie down. Jake doesn’t seem at all bothered. It is his dog.) Jake reveals that he is going to leave the house the way it is now that she has changed it. It should make it easier to sell. Mel is shocked that he is moving… Why? You moved. He offers to take her on a ride and everything. He has something to show her but she declines. (He is real mysterious about it though.) She is on her apology tour. So she starts with Jake but she has a lot of rounds to make. (Let’s not even bring up all the people in NYC that she has lied to. ) She heads to the post office to mail off her divorce paperwork and she inquires about Bobby Ray. She is told that he goes over to the Charmichael residence on the weekend. She heads over to apologize… and it is a weird exchange where not much is said. (I refuse to talk about the anvils.) But there is an understanding in the end. So much so that Bobby Ray helps her lie Kate’s Assistant… he is sent there to gather information on Melanie’s background. Bobby Ray backs up her pretense that she is a relative and the family mansion is her childhood home. They give him a tour of the home… but my question is… who just asks to take a quick look at someone’s home.
During an outdoor festival, she manages to apologize to her friends especially Lurlynn… I do think they forgave her too easy but we still have about 45 minutes left in the movie we had to move along. Lurlynn is with her kids… getting them fed and taking them around the carnival. I know from hanging with my nephews and nieces that food times can always be hectic especially if you are out about. Mel sticks around with her and her kids and finds out that after she split with Jake, he had followed her to New York to win her back. Intimidated by the city and her success, he returned home to make something of himself first. It becomes increasingly obvious that there was a reason he kept refusing to sign the papers… Jake shows up with Bobby Ray and no one cares that he is gay. There is some talk about the glasses used at the carnival… everyone tries to get Jake to talk about it… But he is so hush mouth about it. Then it is time to dance… Jake dances with Lurlynn as she claims Clinton can’t dance. Mel start out dancing with Clinton but she ends up getting left with Jake as Mel claims that Clinton is not half bad causing Lurlynn to take him back. Mel and Jake don’t dance together. He wants to…. She wants to but doesn’t.
Since she doesn’t dance with Jake… she ends up at the hound cemetery talking to Bear. (Bear is the dog she and Jake had that passed when she left.) She has a heart to heart with Bear… and Jake listens in… Then they have a heart to heart about their relationship that once was. She admits that she is happy in NYC but she remembers why she loved being in Alabama with them. Jake says… It doesn’t have to be one or the other. You can do more than on thing.)They then branch into a conversation… about the baby that they lost. Jake asks “Do you wonder what would have happened if we hadn’t gotten pregnant?” I think that he had a life pictured in his mind that Melanie always fit into… but what younger people don’t realize is that life happens and people grow and change. Their wants change. Maybe he didn’t realize that while she may have wanted kids… she may have wanted to see what life was like first and try her hand at something? Mel admits that she was sad at the miscarriage but also relieved which Jake seems to understand. But it’s also what made her up and leave. Jake tells her he is proud of her… and apologizes for not accompanying her to the reception at their wedding… (Take that Dad!!) There is a lot of kissing that occurs. But she is with someone else… and Jake puts a stop to the kiss and tells her to go home.
The next day… as she is trying to leave… her and her mother are having it out about Jake. Her mother doesn’t want her to change her mind… She wants Mel go back to NY and not look back. She describes Jake as quicksand. Mel does point out that Jake has done nothing wrong and that she is leaving… (literally in the process) and that she is about to marry someone else. Her mother reveals that she doesn’t Mel to turn out like her… She also tells Mel to say goodbye to her father… who is again on the battlefield doing a reenactment. Mel is left trying to sift through all the “dead bodies” to find her father. In the meantime… Andrew shows up in town… to surprise Mel and runs into Jake… Andrew is at the Charmichael’s because he thinks that is where Mel lives… And Jake is confused as to why he is there if he is looking for Melanie. (He initially thinks Andrew is there to see Bobby Ray lol.) Poor Bobby Ray answers the door. He’s torn between having to lie… like he did for Mel before… because Jake is standing there… but Jake falls in line with the lie and offers to take Andrew to Mel which Bobby Ray wants to protest. Check it out: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbwcQTJcmWA&t=28s) In Jake’s truck, Andrew asks about Melanie Smooter… not realizing they are talking about the same person. Leave it to Jake to weave a tale. When asked what happened to her… Jake responds with… “Well… you know… She wound up pregnant and married some loser right out of high school.”
Mel is unprepared for when both her husband and husband to be show up. She looks like a deer in headlights. When she asks “What are you doing here?” Andrew assumes she is talking to him but it is Jake that answers. He just steps right over any pretenses… like Andrew isn’t even there. I would feel bad for her… BUT YOU LIED TO EVERYONE SIS!!! Jake calls her out in front of her man… and he is standing there clueless. When he learns her true background and that Jake was her husband, he angrily leaves. I mean who wouldn’t everything about your relationship is a lie. She ends up back at home with her mom. Andrew does return…. I can’t imagine why… saying he still wants to marry Melanie, and the wedding is immediately set in motion. They decide that the wedding should happen in Alabama and not in NYC. Because her parents… still don’t want to head up north… Melanie’s New York friends arrive for the event. Andrew’s mom… who they are still trying to make seem like the bad guy… because she knew Melanie was a liar. Andrew points out that she was just embarrassed of her past… and wanted to start over and he can get why a person would be embarrassed of their parents. Andrew’s mom takes over the wedding planning and Mel spends her time trying to call Jake who does not answer. Until he finally unplugs the phone completely.
Mel takes her friends out to a new place called Deep South Glass. Mel spots Jakes plane outside. Her friends are confused as to what it means. But it finally dawns on Mel what Jake wanted to show her. He owns the place and is the artist. She explains to her friends that sand is used to make glasses… and they are surprised. Here is where all the questions about the glasses are answered from earlier in the film. Enter Jake. Now I am not sure what she thinks is supposed to happen here. Like you pushed him to divorce you… He did… and you are getting married…. everyone in town knows it. Poor Jake… She just won’t go home. He dodges her statement of calling him repeatedly and gabs about the place. He just moves along… Meanwhile… someone is looking around town for Melanie. But no one wants to tell him where she is. And Andrew’s mother is in town to meet Mel’s parents… What is with her dad and this chair???
Jake has words with his mom… who pulls up as he is trying to make his escape. I guess she wants him to do something. But she came here to ask for a divorce. What do you want from the man…? He says she made her decision… and he is not interesting in heading to the wedding to watch her marry someone else. I remember saying that about a person I used to know back in the day. He is heading out into the storm. Meanwhile the wedding starts… Her mother basically tells her to forget about Jake because Andrew can “get you a life that we never dreamed of.” Isn’t Mel doing great on her own? But the nuptials are interrupted when a man comes running in to the ceremony screaming for Mel. He is revealed to be the lawyer… and points out that she sent in the paperwork with Jake’s signature and not her own. So.. she can’t get married… because… AGAIN…. She is still married. (EYEROLL!) Jake’s mom looks pleased with herself… and the storm is rolling in… Let’s get these papers signed girl… But seriously… what do you really think happened LOL. Andrew is left at the alter because she doesn’t sign the papers. She apologizes but his mother is not trying to hear that. They spent a lot of money on this wedding. Her father seems stoked. Her mother.. not so much… she wasn’t a fan of Jake. Leave it to Andrew’s mother to start mouthing off… But again….I don’t think she is wrong. She lied about who she was… and now she wants to stay married. She gets punched because she was rude to Mel’s mother… But she isn’t the villian here.
She sets off to find her old new husband… in the rain…. Let me tell you all how I hate thunderstorms. Melanie finds Jake at the beach planting lightning rods in the sand during a rainstorm to create more glass sculptures. He asks her where her husband is…. and she says they are still married. And he rightly so looks confused. She moves on past that… and asks what I have been wanting to know all movie… “Why didn’t you tell me you came to New York?” He tells her he wanted to make something of himself. But why should it be that easy… The ball is back in her court when he points out that she doesn’t really know what she wants… (Whether he actually believes that is up for debate…We’ve known all movie that he didn’t want to be divorced… but I will say… it is a blow to not be chosen until the last second. Although… one could argue… that is Andrew left with the short stick.) Maybe they had their chance… (does anyone in these movies get told no… when they make a grand gesture.) Calling him a stubborn ass seems to do the trick though… So I mean it if works… go for it. Everyone in the movies in the early 2000’s has a rain scene kiss…. So this is no different. Wade has to come escort them to their reception… That would have been Andrew’s reception… they finally have their first dance as husband and wife. Check out the scene here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8j-fERuyfXg) A mid-credits sequence shows that they have a baby daughter, Melanie continues to thrive as a designer, and Jake opens a “Deep South Glass” franchise in New York. Andrew is engaged to a girl named Erin Vanderbilt. Her Parents also come to visit NY. Take a look at the cut scene here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IGTESK1PqM&t=4s)
So there are things that I still enjoy about it… It is still a great rainy day movie. I still enjoy Josh Lucas. But I mean… like with any romcom… this seems like the long way around… but no one watches movies… (Romcoms especially…) for realism.
It is that time of the year I can’t stand again. Valentine’s day 2022. With the season comes a number of cheesy rom coms. And trust me. This is not any different. I have an affinity for all things cheesy. I routinely read in the sports romance genre so this was up my alley. I remember going to the movies a few times to see this movie. Of course, this was a time when I spent a lot of money at the movies. But now I can watch for free since it is on Hulu. Just Wright is a 2010 American romantic comedy starring Queen Latifah and Common. The film tells the story of a physical therapist, Leslie Wright, who falls in love with a professional basketball player, Scott McKnight. Check out the trailer:
We see Leslie, a physical therapist, and a die-hard basketball/Nets fan, as she heads to work and then out for her date. The date seems to be going well. When it is over though, dude gives her the brush off. “You are so cool… We should just be friends.” Been there heard that and it is corny every time. Dude at least adds a “You da bomb.com” to round things out. Beware when they start out saying that YOU ARE SUCH AN AMAZING WOMAN. He even went with the tried and true… Any man would be lucky to have you but I am just not ready… Why are you out on dates? This seems like a lot of work just to backtrack. And the other thing is… All Leslie said was “Hey next time we should catch a Nets game.” Not that she would be buying her wedding dress tomorrow. I remember in high school when a group of girls came up to me and asked me to teach them about football. I had to let them down easy because if you think sports is the answer… I am here to tell you IT IS NOT.