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House Husbands–Season 1, Episode 10

This episode served its purpose as a season finale–wrapping up the first season’s plots and subsequently opening the door for the second season.

I’m more than happy that the Rodney & Nicola relationship finally ended, not to mention that Nicola finally if not slowly saw Rodney for who he really is. The fact that it was now made obvious by Lucy how much Nicola cared for Justin opened the door to the re-birth of their relationship. I took issue with the convenience of Lucy stumbling across Justin’s location at the camp site on his laptop, as well as Nicola openly showing feelings for Justin, purely because it’s the season finale.

The fallout from Mark’s kiss I felt was overplayed and it was obvious that Abi was going to forgive Mark. Other than causing tension across three episodes, the kiss served no real purpose.

The delivery of Phoebe’s baby by the main men was a little cheesy, but humorous and heart-filled enough that I can forgive it. Phoebe’s choice of baby name was a subtle indication of the evolution of her relationship with Gemma, which I thought was perfect. It was the right way to show but not tell.

Having the season finale end on the last day of the school term was a nice full circle.

Overall this episode did its job and was well done. Overall, the season established the show and its characters very well. For ten episodes there was too much drama going on and the fact that all of the episodes followed two plot structures (in media res and real time) didn’t help. However this could be easily forgiven as the first season is all about the show finding itself.

House Husbands–Season 1, Episode 9

This episode was jam-packed with revelations, tension and bad behaviour.

I felt Lewis summed up the whole Mark-kissing-the-teacher situation, “kissing the teacher isn’t normal.” However I believe the tension displayed by Miss Nadir was played brilliantly, I couldn’t wait for her to finally and inevitably crack. I had only previously seen Kate Jenkinson in The Wedge, so it was nice to see her in a dramatic role, at least for this episode. The way in which Abi reveals to Mark that she knows by saying-but-not-saying-it was unique and a great choice by the writers, it could have been cliched but it wasn’t.

The Rodney & Nicola moving sub plot aggravated me as the dynamic between them and Justin is getting old. However Justin handles it mostly with grace (after his hangover from his binge), showing the evolution of his character. It also throws Nicola through a loop as she was so accustomed to his fighting, that his surrender made her question the whole idea. This is obviously hinting again at a possible reconciliation between the two of them. When Justin made the decision at the very end to seemingly kidnap his children, I yelled at the screen at his stupidity, especially after his progress and custody battle experiences.

I loved the similar behaviour and subsequent interaction between Justin & Phoebe. They are both losing something–Justin is losing his kids and Phoebe is losing her chance to explore life freely as a young adult. The self indulgence due to self pity, which ultimately connected an unlikely pair of characters, was nicely done and well-written.

Although it was satisfying for Rachel to be fired, the introduction of a male and sexist version of her in Dave, kind of ruined it.

Overall this is a good penultimate episode of the first season–it’s starting to close the chapters of first season and open new chapters for the second.

House Husbands–Season 1, Episode 8

In contrast to the previous episode, this episode was one of the strongest.

Again it starts in media res with some sort of school get-together with the kiddies looking crustacean-ably (yes I know that’s not a word) adorable. The transition from Zac running around as a jellyfish near Mark, to Mark mistaking him for another jellyfish-dressed child, therefore revealing the serious situation he is in and the shitty day he is about to have, was done subtly but brilliantly.

The main highlight of the episode was the humanity shown in Rodney and Nicola. Portrayed as villainous, it was refreshing to see them work with Justin rather than against him, although it would only happen in a scary situation like that. This story seemed to be written as a PSA to parents but was still done brilliantly and realistically. Considering the premise of the show, a plot like this was bound to be done eventually.

Another highlight of the episode was seeing Mark finally call out Abi’s selfishness. Although it was overdue it was also unsatisfying, as he eventually stuffed up the ground he stood on, by kissing Poppy’s teacher. The kiss felt forced to me, other than throwing some compliments each other’s way, there was no real build up for it.

Overall the episode was one of the strongest, however it would have been even stronger if more work was put into the ending.

 

House Husbands–Season 1, Episode 7

This episode is by far the one that I have liked the least all season.

The main reason for this was due to the unrealistic nature of the A story. As evil as Rodney is supposed to be, the scam of how he both starts and ruins players’ careers was far-fetched even for him. Justin’s confrontation was lacklustre as he didn’t do anything about it (how has he not heard of a recorder?) other than tell Nicola, considering that she doesn’t want to listen to him and she’s in denial, I don’t understand why he thought she would believe him. The A story was also unsatisfying as there was no expansion or even an ending to this plot, it just disappeared by the end of the episode.

The minor subplot of Kane wanting to become a foster parent seemed a little out of left field but does have potential.

The common thread of the school’s Harmony Day was a nice touch and the humour was just right.

Overall, a weak episode but not overly terrible.

 

House Husbands–Season 1, Episode 6

This episode introduced a new and interesting character, Phoebe.

Lewis and Gemma’s wedding is only days away, Abi wants to plan a hens night, so naturally drama needs to come along and possibly mess it all up.

Phoebe shocks Lewis by not only showing up out of the blue, but by revealing that she’s also pregnant at sixteen. Phoebe is the most interesting female character to come along in the series so far. In comparison to Lucy who is grown up, adjusted & loves Gemma and Tilda who is young and innocent, Phoebe is almost a darker character, perhaps to show the more realistic results of a broken marriage and a blended family. Phoebe consistently lies about her circumstances slightly out of immaturity but also as Gemma puts it, because she’s terrified. It was a nice touch to have Lucy clarify the family circumstances of Lewis’ two previous marriages and which daughter belongs to which wife and partner, even if she was in bed with Justin at the time. Phoebe’s animosity towards Gemma played out well and showcased Georgia Flood’s and Julia Morris’ talents.

Phoebe’s pregnancy also shows Lewis’ strength as a man and a father. As a father, he takes Phoebe in, tries to intimidate who he thinks the father of the baby is (only to see that the father is a sweet boy and ends up providing him with advice) and he also takes Phoebe to her ultrasound. As a man, he is able to show his emotional side during the ultrasound, which is big for an old-school man like him. I thought it was very poignant to reveal the baby was a boy, especially since Lewis felt he would have been a better father if he had sons, this is clearly foreshadowing things to come for Lewis as a grandfather.

Gemma and Lewis’ wedding was very beautiful and it was nice to see the two of them ultimately as they really are as a couple–underneath the humour and occasional fights.

On another note, Rachel trying to get Mark to let her son down gently on his crappy marketing idea, was just the right amount of humour needed. It was also nice to see her humanity, as well as see her as a mother. It’ll be interesting to see where they take her after having her hit on Mark. I personally felt it was out of character but funny all the same.

 

 

 

House Husbands–Season 1, Episode 5

Once again, another school event tying everyone together—the school’s soccer grand final.

This episode took a different approach and decided to be serious and sombre.

The episode started with Lucy and Justin trying to spend time together, ending abruptly with the possibility of Angie swallowing a key ring charm. Rodney grabbing the key ring charm and later showing it to Nicola, trying to convince her to use it as part of the custody case, was the first long-awaited time that Rodney shows his manipulative side to her. Although it was good to see Nicola finally get a first glimpse of who Rodney really is, it wasn’t truly satisfying as it didn’t take us anywhere. On the other side of the spectrum, it was nice to finally have Justin & Lewis address the obvious elephant in the room–Lewis doesn’t want Justin and Lucy dating.

The A story of the discovery of Stella’s tumour in her spine was a ballsy choice—major drama in the fifth episode, of the first season of a show and a child is at the heart of it. With Stella’s diagnosis we are given the backstory of Stella & Tom and what has happened to her mother. Considering the choice to portray Kane as a bit of a drama king, it was refreshing to see him show strength in what would be every parents’ worst nightmare. Of course there was going to be a happy ending, no show, no matter what dramatic risks they choose to take, would make a child character paralysed.

The soccer grand final was a dose of much-needed humour and heart at the end of the sombre episode. The competitiveness of the main men juxtaposed with the reality of the five year olds’ abilities was very entertaining.

Overall a solid episode.

 

House Husbands–Season 1, Episode 4

Once again, another episode starting in media res with a school event being the common thread throughout. I know it’s only the fourth episode in total and only the second episode with the in media res technique being used, but it’s already getting old.

We kick off with Abi coming to see Mark at the police station. Mark has been arrested, which is already making the episode interesting, as it has been established that Mark is a bit of a doormat. We then go back to the day before.

Abi is feeling overwhelmed with work and not being there for Poppy on her birthday and it doesn’t help that she is being made constantly aware of this by: her patient, another mother at the school, Georgia, and even by Mark. Despite the fact that House Husbands is all about the role reversal with stay-at-home dads, it was nice to have the contrast with what mothers have been facing throughout history, in regards to working and having children.

The minor subplot of Stella feeding a stray cat and subsequently acting like a cat in class, was a little too obvious and small, I didn’t really understand the need to include it.

I felt that the back-to-school themed trivia night was well suited for this episode, considering almost all of the adult characters acted like school children. I personally enjoyed the costumes worn by Justin and Lucy. Justin finally asking Lucy out on a date is bound to cause complications and therefore interesting plots down the road.

The twist of Georgia and Pete Rivers being swingers was interesting and humorous, I guess you can’t judge a parent by its over-the-top covers.

Overall the episode was solid but a bit of a hit-and-miss.