How to Stay Married–Season 1, Episode 4

This episode managed to be both hilarious and relatable.

The A story this week was Greg being a coach on Sophie’s basketball team and Em believing that she hasn’t been around enough due to her new job. Throughout the episode, something is clearly up with Sophie, even more so as it’s revealed that she hasn’t scored a goal all season and is apparently getting worse. Em’s effort to be at the next game are hindered by work.

This episode is the first time that Em’s workplace and bosses have made an appearance since the pilot. Although I love Judith Lucy and she does get some great one liners, I can’t help but that her character is only used for an occasional punch line. Also, although it was good to see John Wood play a comical character for once, I found his sexually fascinated, fake-posh accent character a little too cliche and over the top. Not to mention the scenes of Em giving Morrie CPR after having a heart attack to be too much of a frankly outdated sexist cliche. I’m also not sure whether I liked the fact that there was no mention of whether he lived and the fact that the joke went nowhere afterwards.

Once Em eventually gets to the game, Sophie reveals to Greg at a crucial moment at the end of it that she hasn’t scored a goal as she is embarrassed to shoot, as she needs a sport bra. I found this revelation to be relatable, well done and very sweet. I also found that the basketball game in its entirety illustrates how over the top parents can be at children’s sports competition, which is both a sad commentary on what parenthood is like these days but also realistic.

I found the B story of Chloe taking $50 out of Greg’s wallet and using the money to exert power over her classmates to be funnier and more interesting than the A story. That being said it wasn’t strong enough to last for the whole episode so I feel the writers did a good job with this one. This subplot marks the first time that there has been a focus and character development on Chloe and she was hilarious, Vivien Turner definitely has a bright acting future ahead of her.

Overall I felt this episode was a little weak with its writing, especially with the A story, but nonetheless hilarious and relatable.

 

Stray Observations:

-Apparently there was a supplement scandal in the under 14s girls basketball league in the past.

-According to Chloe’s school principal, it’s easier to download and use an app to order the kid’s lunches rather than the “old fashioned” way of using real money. I really hope that doesn’t happen in real schools.

Best one liners:

  • “Don’t read her diary…but if you do text me!” (Em to Greg on Sophie)
  • “I love money the way guns love Americans!” (Audrey to Em on Morrie’s low-quality book making lots of money for the publishing company)
  • “I know not who Matthew Flinders is and I don’t care to find out!” (Chloe to her classmates on trying to get one of them to do her school work for her)
  • “She’s created a team of minions and enslaved half of prep!” (Chloe’s school principal to Greg and Em on Chloe’s behaviour)
  • “I’d rather stick my nipples in a garlic press!” (Audrey to the publishing company’s receptionist on doing a reading of Morrie’s book)

 

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