As these two episodes were aired together, I’m going to review them together.
Episode 7 was one of the best of the series as, much like the previous episode, it kept things simple and there was one main plot–Greg’s idea to cut back on screen time.
Ironically Greg comes up with the idea to cut back on screen time whilst he’s reading an article on the harmful effects of screen time on his phone. This is hilarious and realistic, as is the moment when the girls call out Greg and Em on their hypocrisy when the former proposes the idea to them.
To pass the time that screens are no longer taking from them, the family splits into two: Greg and Sophie & Em and Chloe (plus Brad), which I think is another element that made the episode a solid one. Greg is taking Sophie to a party where a boy she has a crush on will be and on the way they get lost and realise how dependent they are on their devices for travelling. Meanwhile, Em and Chloe have a girls day with Brad present by catching yabbies and Em realises how dependent she is on technology when it comes to keeping her children safe.
The episode ends with Greg abandoning his screen time promise by going into Sophie’s friends house to watch TV and with Em and Chloe successfully catching a yabbie that the latter wants to keep as a pet. Overall I felt the ending was realistic as screen time can be given up temporarily but in this day and age, it can’t be forever. Overall this was a solid episode as it touched on a relatable issue that affects everyone and was handled in a realistic way.
The season finale revolves around Greg and Em’s efforts to celebrate their 15th wedding anniversary. Em’s plans for their anniversary are to stay in the same crummy hotel they stayed in while they were dating, whilst Greg’s anniversary gift to her is “Grem Lager”.
Obviously their plans go awry when the Grem Lager breaks in the suitcase and ruin’s Em’s lingerie, and the motel they’re staying at is shooting an illegal porno movie, which leads to the police busting in on a naked Em in a case of mistaken identity. Meanwhile, Brad helps Terry and Marlo track down an Uber driver who gave them a low rating, whilst he’s searching for love…again.
Brad eventually finds the Uber driver, a Russian woman by the name of Nadia, and Terry and Marlo talk to her to try and figure out why she gave them the low rating. She tells them it’s because of Terry giving her the life coach voucher on the presumption she needed life coaching. Whilst Terry and Marlo are trying to smooth things over, they give her a Turkish Delight ANZAC biscuit, which causes an allergic reaction. Brad ends up saving her life by giving her an Epipen and they connect and get together. Overall I found this subplot to be ridiculous, and Brad taking Sophie’s dating advice unrealistic, however it was good to see Brad finally finding someone. In regards to Greg and Em’s subplot, I found it all very predictable.
Overall the Season Finale didn’t really feel like a finale until the final moments where Greg and Em perfectly sum up their married life and the show’s characters whilst pretending to pick each other up, and they end their anniversary by enjoying fish and chips with the family, Terry and Marlo, and Nadia. These final moments perfectly summed up and ended the season by fulfilling the premise of the show by displaying how Greg and Em make their 15 year marriage work.
Overall I felt How to Stay Married wasn’t as good a show as I thought it would be, the premise is promising however I felt it was poorly executed for the most part. That being said I welcome any Australian-made show that isn’t a “reality” show. I hope the show improves in the second season if there is one.
-Brad’s “regular customer” from the Births, Deaths and Marriages office reappears as Terry’s life coach “patient” in episode 7 with her current name being Siri Apple.
-Greg and Em got married on the same day that Saddam Hussein was captured. Depending on the time difference with the capture and when the news of it would have been reported, their wedding day would have been either 13th or 14th December 2003.
Best one liners:
- “You look like a panda with shiny lips” (Chloe to Sophie on her make up [Episode 7])
- “I’ve seen this place in my dreams…it didn’t go well” (Chloe to Brad inside an abandoned house on their girls day [Episode 7])
- “One dictatorship ended, another begun” (Greg to Em on their wedding day being the same day Saddam Hussein was captured [Season Finale])
- “They’re not night terrors I enjoy them” (Chloe to Sophie on how she sleeps [Season Finale])
- “I’ve seen more convincing performances in a Bunnings commercial!” (Em to Greg on his attempt to start a fake fight [Season Finale])
- “If our white goods could talk!” (Marlo to Brad on the make-up laundry sex her and Terry have [Season Finale])
- “I could get hauled in front of the Uber tribunal” (Brad to Terry and Marlo on their request to speak with the Uber driver who gave them a low rating [Season Finale])
- “I’ve got a few problems Sophie you’re gonna have to be more specific!” (Brad to Sophie when she asks him what his problem is [Season Finale])