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How to Stay Married—Season 2 Finale

This season finale was ultimately all about love.

The episode kicks off with Greg greeting Sophie and Chloe but not Em at breakfast. Sophie and Chloe comment on Greg ignoring Em, with Chloe remarking it has been days and they’re clearly getting a divorce.

Throughout the episode, Greg continues to ignore Em and slowly read her book. They eventually discuss it, Greg doesn’t want the book to be published as it, of course, portrays him as a shit husband, however he does acknowledge that the book is Em’s dream and worked hard on it, but it’s still his face on the cover, and if the “team don’t work, the dream don’t work.” Later, when talking to Marlo, Em admits to her that she understands where Greg is coming from but doesn’t want to give up her dream, so she invites Audrey over to talk to him.

Meanwhile Brad and Nadia are preparing for their impending wedding in Greg and Em’s backyard. When Brad tells Greg he wants his and Nadia’s relationship to be just like Greg and Em’s relationship, Greg tells him not to put his relationship with Em on a pedestal, and that Nadia agrees with him on everything and that’s not normal. This comment throws Brad through a loop and he keeps trying to start a fight with her. He eventually sits down and tells her this, Nadia reveals Greg’s right and that in her previous marriages she would fight with her then-husbands and it led to her divorces, so she feels it’s better to have a passionless, conflict-free marriage with someone she likes. Brad ends up breaking up with her as he wants to marry someone who loves him. While Nadia’s intentions are good, they are misguided and Brad was right to break up with her.

When Greg goes to the treehouse to talk to Brad about the cancelled wedding, Brad explains his needs to him and Greg talks about the book. Brad makes Greg see that Em loves him so much she was able to write an entire book on him, whereas Nadia wouldn’t be able to write an entire post-it on him. Brad also makes Greg see the humorous side to the book. Afterwards Em apologies to Greg for not telling him about the book, and Greg says it deserves to be published.

While the family manages to turn Brad and Nadia’s wedding reception into a party for Em, Audrey reveals she contacted Reese Witherspoon about the book and she wants to buy the rights to it, which means Em gets a payout of $20,000. Greg and Em use the money to pay for the cruise they’ve dreamed on and the episode ends with photos of them having fun on it.

Meanwhile Sophie has been missing Ravi and ignoring his calls, however he turns up to her house at the end of the episode as his flight was delayed and his grandmother’s health has improved, so he managed to convince his parents to let him stay until the end of term. On a smaller note, Terry keeps avoiding Marlo, eventually telling her that he thinks they should have sex less often than they do and he knew she wouldn’t like that idea. They do eventually end up having sex in Greg and Em’s bed, shower and closet, and Marlo ends up agreeing with Terry’s idea.

Overall this was a good but not great season finale. The story arc of Brad and Nadia, Sophie and Ravi, the family cruise, and Em’s book have come to a neat close. However no potential story arcs were set up for next season (if there is another one).

Overall this season has been a huge improvement to the previous season. Although there were still over-the-top, unrealistic, zany moments and subplots I didn’t enjoy, there seemed to be less of them this season. The writing has also improved, with good foreshadowing and pacing, however there were some subplots and moments that were predictable.

It will be interesting to see if it’s renewed for another season.

 

 

Stray Observations:

-Brad and Nadia’s wedding makes it Nadia’s third wedding.

-Chloe still has Hannibal, the class turtle.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “It would be nice to cry myself to sleep in my own bed for a change.” (Sophie to Brad)
  • “If the team don’t work, the dream don’t work, that’s why it rhymes.” (Greg to Em)
  • “It’s a draw, so we asked Audrey to adopt us.” “It could be handy to have someone at the residence to sign for packages.” (Chloe-Audrey on Chloe making a list of whether Greg or Em would be better to live with if they got divorced)
  • “You swore!” “If you’re coming to live with me kiddo, it’s the tip of the iceberg.” (Chloe-Audrey)

 

How to Stay Married—Season 2, Episode 7

The penultimate episode of the season focuses on Greg finally finding out that Em has written her book about him.

The episode kicks off with Marlo reading the preview copy of My Sh*t Husband, Marlo encourages Em to tell Greg about it. Em hides the book in a beach bag in their bedroom and asks Greg to have dinner so she can’t talk to him about it. However her plans are hijacked when Greg meets a new stay-at-home dad at school, Carlos, who invites him and Em over for dinner, after spending the day together.

Greg and Em go over to Carlo’s house, where they meet his wife, Martina, with the beach bag. Em at first tries to take it from Greg without success, as he hands it to Martina to put it away. She then puts the bag down on the floor and Em tries to put it elsewhere, only for Martina to see the book and ask her about it. Em lies, saying it’s a surprise for Greg’s birthday the next day.

Em thinks she’s home free only for Martina and Carlos to surprise Greg with a birthday tart and song nearby the pool. As Martina is just about to spill the beans, Em pushes her into the pool. Later, the episode cuts to Greg and Em coming home, with Greg clearly pissed off at Em. Em goes over to see Marlo, and reveals that despite those events, Greg still doesn’t know about the book. As they are talking, in the background, the viewers can see Greg doesn’t have the house keys and goes back to the car to get the beach bag to get them, and goes inside in the house. When Em and Marlo finish talking, Em finds the car boot empty and desperately searches for the beach bag. When she goes inside, she discovers that Greg has found the book and he is understandably upset, grabbing a pillow and choosing to sleep on the couch and read it.

Meanwhile, Sophie encourages Greg and Em to go out for dinner so she and Ravi can spend time together alone. When Sophie calls Ravi to invite him over, Chloe overhears their conversation, and blackmails Sophie into giving the TV to herself without parental controls and her Humpty Dumpty Easter egg. Sophie agrees, however when Ravi comes over, he chooses to play in a fort with Chloe. When Sophie expresses her frustration to Chloe, Chloe reminds her that playing together was Ravi’s idea. When Sophie goes to her  room in frustration to do her homework, Ravi tells her that his grandmother is sick and his mother wants him to come home, and it didn’t feel right for him to start a relationship with her if he has to leave.

On a smaller note, Terry finally comes home from his walk and Marlo is keen for them to hook up, only for Terry to turn her down as he is knackered.

Overall I felt this was a solid episode as the tension of when Greg would find out about the book and Em trying (but not really) to tell him about it was played out beautifully. I also liked the writers’ choice to make Em an unlikeable character in this episode, as she is really just making excuses as to why she hasn’t told him yet, when she has had plenty of time and opportunities to. I also enjoyed the Sophie and Ravi subplot, which I felt was sweet and realistic.

 

 

Stray Observations:

-Ravi’s unexplained fascination of police horses is present throughout the episode.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “It’s my experience that difficult and soul destroying news is best delivered hard and fast.” (Marlo to Em)
  • “You’ve got to do this before Tez gets home as well, because once that glorious beast pikes through that door, I’m going to be immersed in a cocoon of love making so passionately intense, that I’m not going to have a spare second to be giving you this excellent advice.” (Marlo to Em)
  • “I can’t wait to kiss your pomegranate lips and touch your almost golden hair.” (Ravi to Sophie)
  • “You’re not allowed to leave this couch for anything.” “If a serial killer comes in, am I allowed to knock on the door to warn you?” “Sure, but wouldn’t he kill you first?” “No, depends on his M.O.” (Sophie-Chloe interaction on the latter staying out of the bedroom)
  • “We’re building a serial killer’s house, Ravi wants Detective Horse to capture him.” (Chloe describing the game her and Ravi are playing to Sophie)

 

How to Stay Married—Season 2, Episode 6

This was one of the best episodes of the series so far.

The episode kicks off with Greg and Em going to a cyber-safety information night, with Em deciding afterwards to install the “ICU app”—a secret surveillance app on Sophie’s phone.

Once Em installs the app, she stays up all night reading Sophie’s texts. Things eventually go pear-shaped when Em sees that Ravi and Sophie have been sending each other flirty messages and then sext each other. Ravi sent Sophie a picture of his butt crack, and Sophie a picture of her breasts in a bra that Em bought for her.

Greg and Em plan to ambush Sophie about the sexts, only to be surprised when she brings Ravi home with her after school, hinting that they are together. Em decides to have Greg talk to Ravi, and she’ll talk to Sophie. When Em talks to Sophie, they discuss sexting rationally and in great detail. Em discusses the real-world ramifications of sexting, while Sophie counters that she didn’t show her face and even if she were to face the consequences that Em described, it was her choice to send the sext to begin with. Sophie eventually reveals that she didn’t sext Ravi, rather she sent a picture of her bra on her knees, which look like breasts. Ravi also reveals to Greg that his photo was a picture of his elbow crease. Sophie reveals that both of them did this as she was aware that Em was spying on her, and that even if she had sexted Ravi, Em had no right to invade her privacy.

Ravi and Sophie joke about their plan and actually end up becoming a couple, with Sophie making the first move by kissing him.

Overall I enjoyed this subplot as it explored parental fears around mobile phone technology in a realistic manner, and focused on the issue of sexting in a realistic and thought-out manner, especially through Em and Sophie’s discussion.

The minor subplots of the episode were Chloe’s last-minute costume for Book Week, a clown from a picture book that was shown in an earlier episode, which wins her the “Best Costume Award”. Brad also turns to Marlo for advice on how to spice up his and Nadia’s sex life, which she assists him with by going to a lingerie store. Brad ends up buying underwear with Animal the Muppet on them, which says “Wild Thing.”

Overall I felt these minor subplots added a nice comedic balance to the Sophie subplot. I especially enjoyed the scenes with Marlo and Brad in lingerie store, and Chloe scaring Brad with her clown costume at the end of the episode.

 

 

Stray Observations:

-According to the texts Em read on Sophie’s phone, Lindsay and Georgia are on the rocks and Greg didn’t think Georgia was the right person for Lindsay. The fact that Em and Greg can casually have a conversation about Sophie’s gay friend, and actually support the relationship and Lindsay, shows how far television has come in its portrayal of LGBTIQ+ characters and relationships.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “Sergeant Cynical”, “Corporal Clueless” (The names that the host of the cyber-security information night calls Greg)
  • “I thought meditation was suppose to help you relax, you look awful.” (Chloe to Em)
  • “He’s kind, compassionate, a Star Wars fan.” (Greg describing Ravi’s good qualities to Em)
  • “Which culture celebrates the arse crack?” (Greg to Em on Ravi’s sext)
  • “For the record, I never thought Sophie would become a drug dealer or anything, Chloe on the other hand should be microchipped.” (Greg to Em)

 

How to Stay Married—Season 2, Episode 5

This episode was all about the internet.

This episode kicks off with Chloe expressing frustration at the internet cutting in and out, leaving her unable to watch Terry’s interview on a morning show about his walking. Em also expresses her frustration by informing Greg she has been unable to download important work emails. Greg tells them that he has managed to get an NBN technician to come out and he has to stay home all day to wait for them to show up.

However Greg abandons this task when Brad informs him of an Aldi special buy he can’t refuse—an electric blanket.

Greg manages to get the blanket, however problems arise for both him and Em when he helps a trolley man control his trolleys, as his own trolley rolls down the car park, hitting another car and he drops his phone, which is subsequently run over.

While Chloe is looking forward to an excursion at the aquarium, she later finds out that due to their internet issues, neither Em nor Greg have signed the online permission slip. Due to the owner of the car trying to blackmail Greg into fixing his ute, Greg is stuck at Aldi with the owner and the trolley man watching the surveillance footage of the incident. Greg uses the trolley man’s phone to contact Sophie and ask her to go home at lunch to meet the technician.

While all of this is going on, Em is in a meeting to decide on a cover for her book, with her phone constantly going off. Things come to a head when Chloe vomits on a school receptionist and Sophie informs Em that Greg is at Aldi.

After Em takes Chloe home, Greg comes home himself where she argues with him about the whole day. They hear a knock at the door and think it’s the NBN technician, only to discover the man at the door was a Jehovah’s Witness.

On a smaller note, Sophie has a huge pimple on her nose throughout the episode, which Lindsay tries to help cover up with make-up, only to be caught by a teacher. She is worried about what Ben will think of it, only to discover him hooking up with another girl at school.

Overall I felt this episode was as mediocre as the previous episode as the outcome was predictable. However I appreciated the continuation of the book story arc and progression of the “Cool Ben” subplot.

 

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “I’m completely socially irrelevant, I might as well be on MySpace.” (Sophie to Greg)
  • “Em’s feet are so cold at night and then she puts them on mine like a Dementor.” (Greg to Brad)
  • “This is a place of learning not casting for Married at First Sight.” (A teacher to Sophie on her make-up)
  • “I’d rather motorboat Boris Johnson’s back fat than have our name associated with that cover.” (Audrey to Em)
  • “But Mummy, my heart’s broken!” (Chloe to Em)

 

 

How to Stay Married—Season 2, Episode 4

This episode focused on family and money troubles.

The episode kicks off with Greg and Em at Mario’s Meats buying meat for a barbecue and discussing Em’s father, Stuart, and her stepmother, Claire, coming to visit. Em encourages Greg to try and bond with her father, even though Stuart rubs his wealth in Greg’s face, while Greg encourages Em to bond with Claire, who loves posting things on Instagram all the time.

The episode cuts to the family preparing for Stuart and Claire at home, Audrey calls Em, giving her feedback on what she has written so far. When Em tells her that she can’t work as Stuart and Claire are visiting, she tells Audrey all about the issues Greg has with Stuart, and she encourages Em to write about it as another chapter for the book.

Greg and Stuart eventually end up bonding while Greg tries to ask Stuart for the cruise money to no avail. Meanwhile, Chloe and Em are hanging out with Claire, and Sophie has locked herself in her room, talking to “Cool Ben”. Despite her earlier wishes, Em tries to encourage conflict between Greg and Stuart and secretly record it on her phone for book material.

Throughout the episode, Stuart and Claire are telling Chloe conflicting stories about their trip to Italy, Sophie got $5 not her usual $100 as a gift from Stuart and Claire, and Stuart is waiting on the arrival of the “Cork Asian”, a famous wine promoter, to make a business deal on his grenache. However the deal doesn’t go through as the “Cork Asian” is just a model for the business and the real promoter is a woman with an unusual tasting ritual, who describes the grenache as “pig piss”. This all leads to the revelation that Stuart and Claire are broke, and Em’s hidden phone going off.

Interestingly, Em managed to say that Audrey was calling her and Greg didn’t actually catch on that she was recording material for her book, which she still hasn’t told him about. The episode ends with Greg and Em in bed, with Em admitting to him that this was the first time she saw imperfections in her father, and Stuart and Claire lying in Chloe’s bed, with Claire getting a notification that Denise Drysdale wants to order the grenache after Claire reached out to her earlier.

Overall I felt this episode had solid writing but was mediocre in its execution. The subtle hints of Stuart and Claire being broke were well placed throughout, however the hints weren’t subtle enough to make the revelation less predictable. I also felt that the “Cork Asian” character didn’t really add anything to the episode and the “real Cork Asian” seemed to consist of nothing more but outdated Asian stereotypes.

 

 

Stray Observations:

-Audrey’s text to Em: “Any fireworks yet? #shithusband”

-This episode marked the first appearance of “Cool Ben”.

-Brad, Nadia, Terry and Marlo didn’t appear in this episode.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “I don’t say this often but your last chapter on Greg being too chicken shit to go through his vasectomy on the first try actually made me smile…twice.” (Audrey to Em)
  • “An exceptional wine for unexceptional people.” (Claire describing Stuart’s grenache)

 

How to Stay Married—Season 2, Episode 3

This episode explores Greg and Em’s careers.

The episode kicks off with Greg looking at cruises for the family to go on, a continuation of the end of the previous episode when Greg and Em decided to pursue their dream of an overseas family holiday. Em tells Greg not to promise the girls anything as they don’t have the money and tells him the only way to get the money would be to find a way to work from home, and things get madder from there for Greg.

Greg surfs the net with Sophie to look for work from home opportunities and comes across the TurboMax mixer, a cooking mixer of some kind. When he signs up for it, Sophie tries to warn him it’s a pyramid scheme but doesn’t listen, and an old colleague of his, Leanne, shows up with a TurboMax mixer for him to promote and units to sell, and he has to pay $3,000 upfront for the units.

Greg spends most of the day learning about the TurboMax mixer, and organising and holding a party to sell units. While he gets a good amount of attendees from his neighbours, they leave as soon as he tells them that it’s not associated with the Thermomix nor has it been featured on Masterchef. Greg keeps the party going to try and sell them to Nadia, who has made it clear she’s wealthy. While his presentation fails as he hasn’t cleaned the TurboMax mixer between cooking meals, Nadia buys the units as the Thermomix is banned in Russia, so she’ll make a profit off the TurboMax. However Greg doesn’t get the extra money as Em blocked his purchase of the units from Leanne as her bank alerted her to the transaction and technically wasn’t employed by the company.

Overall I found his subplot too ridiculous and unrealistic to be able to enjoy.

Meanwhile Chloe goes to work with Em as part of her school’s curricular day. Em tries to take care of Chloe without her boss noticing by asking Chloe to play with an iPad under her desk, however Chloe manages to escape without Em knowing. Em frantically tries to find her, even coming across her name written in sugar on a bench, only to eventually discover that she is in her boss, Audrey’s, office.

While Audrey is angry at first at Chloe being around, Chloe intrigues Audrey enough for her to have a chat where Chloe tells Audrey what Em thinks of her. Em comes into Audrey’s office to get Chloe and goes on a rant as to why they don’t have the money to go on a cruise and Greg promising they would. Audrey offers Em a writing contract based on her rant, a book called “My Shit Husband: Volumes 1-7“. Em is conflicted about it as a writing contract makes her dreams come true but it is at Greg’s expense. However Em ends up signing the contract after having a fight with Greg, which ends when he says he doesn’t need her permission to do what he wants. When Em comes home, she ends up feeling guilty when Greg apologises and organises a romantic dinner for her.

The episode ends with Nadia packing the TurboMax mixers she purchased in the back of a van.

Overall I only found this episode half-enjoyable, meaning I only enjoyed the Em subplot but not the Greg subplot. Em’s subplot provided the episode’s best one liners, hilarious interactions between Chloe and Audrey and a possible story arc for the rest of the season with Em’s writing contract. I didn’t enjoy Greg’s subplot as I felt it was unrealistic and over-the-top.

 

 

Stray Observations:

-The latest book Em is reading or rather listening to is Calm the Fuck Down and Write a Book.

-Sophie has flat feet.

-According to Ravi, he and Greg are BFFs on Facebook.

-Terry is still on his walk, which is shown when he is video calling during Greg’s TurboMax mixer party.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “I spoil you, you leave wallet at home.” “I’m one step ahead of you, I don’t even know where it is.” (Nadia-Brad on going shopping)
  • “Can do Mummaroo!” (Chloe to Em when Em asks her to stay under her desk)
  • “Too deep, too cute, get me a bucket, ergh get me another bucket!” (Audrey to Em describing the manuscripts Em shortlisted for publishing)
  • “I should hate it intensely, but not so much that I don’t want to publish it. Think the ‘trials of a modern woman and the price of having it all’, that makes me sick, which might be perfect.” (Audrey to Em on what kind of manuscript she’s looking for)
  • “Hello Mama’s Boss, I’ve been expecting you!” (Chloe to Audrey, doing a chair reveal)
  • “Whose spawn is this and why isn’t it in school or a factory!?” (Audrey to her staff on Chloe in her chair)
  • “Rules are great, it’s the children I don’t like.” “Why don’t you like children?” “It’s all take and no give, they’re just so needy.” (Chloe-Audrey-Chloe on why Chloe doesn’t like school)
  • “Talk about the daily grind, these one-day weeks are killing me!” (Chloe to Greg on her day at work with Em)

 

How to Stay Married–Season 2, Episode 2

This episode was all about proposals.

The start of the episode flashbacked to 2003 where Greg proposes to Em at The Loaded Toad after she wins a netball game. Greg has ordered her favourite chicken parmigiana meal, however Em has already eaten and then gets the runs from her food. After she rushes off to the bathroom, it’s revealed Greg hid the engagement ring in the cheese of the parmi. He goes into the ladies room with a glass of champagne and proposes anyway.

The episode then moves forward to the present day where Brad announces he is planning on proposing to Nadia. Brad reveals to Greg and Em he is planning on proposing to her by going out ten-pin bowling and putting the ring on a hot-dog, as she loves processed meat. Em dismisses his idea and tells him that women want romance and hijacks his proposal completely, after Brad asks her for advice. Later, Greg and Em are discussing their proposal while getting ready for bed and Em tells him that if he helps her with Brad’s proposal, she’ll forgive his proposal to her.

Em’s plans for the proposal become completely over-the-top as she hires a Russian dance troupe to perform and gets Brad to wear a tux, however her plans, of course, begin to unravel. The tux she ordered is a beige colour, Terry tries to solve the issue by putting fake tan on Brad’s face which becomes completely orange as a result. Things go from bad to worse when Greg has to take Chloe to the dentist after she loses an adult tooth falling out of a tree and has to take Nadia with him to distract her. Greg then ruins the plan himself when the dentist finishes early with Chloe and tells Nadia to have a check-up, only to discover her teeth need a lot of work. The dance troupe then cancels and Em’s replacement troupe is a group of geriatric dancers.

Em drives Brad to the car park where he and Nadia first met to find a pile of contaminated dirt, which possibly poisoned the first dance troupe, and Greg drags Nadia, who is still drug-ridden with a dental bib, dental glasses and blood on her, to the car park. Brad proposes and Nadia accepts by saying “why not?”.

Towards the end of the episode, Greg reveals that he actually planned his proposal to Em thoroughly by picking the place where they had their first date, choosing to put the ring in her favourite meal and proposing to her while she had gastro as it showed he was serious. They also agree to pursue the dreams Greg outlined in his proposal, such as Em becoming a best-selling writer and the family going on an overseas holiday.

Meanwhile throughout the episode, Terry is driving everyone crazy with his ideas as he has lost his life coaching business. Marlo tells him he needs to find his own purpose and he decides to go for a walk. The episode ends with him video calling Marlo to let him know he’s going to keep walking until he feels 100 percent better, it’s revealed that he is walking towards Sydney.

Overall this episode had a zany factor, which I mentioned in my previous reviews isn’t a good thing as it makes the episode ridiculous and unrealistic. While I found the episode a little predictable, especially with the proposal plan going awry, I did appreciate the continuation of Brad and Nadia’s relationship with the proposal. It’ll be interesting to see how the wedding goes.

This wasn’t a bad episode, but it wasn’t as good as last week’s.

 

Stray Observations:

-Brad and Nadia have been together for six months.

-Chloe has a tooth bracelet.

-Terry has lost his life coaching business.

-The replacement dance troupe Em hired is called “Twerk in Progress”.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “You look like an Albino Dracula!” (Marlo to Brad on him in a beige tux)
  • “Off-white is a classic shade, it’s your off-white complexion that’s the problem.” (Terry to Brad on his beige tux)
  • “Her teeth are as eroded as the Great Barrier Reef.” (Dentist to Greg on Nadia’s teeth)
  • “It’s a ‘why not?’, She said ‘why not!?'” (Brad on Nadia’s acceptance of his proposal)

 

How to Stay Married—Season 2 Premiere

In my review of the season 1 finale, I wrote that How to Stay Married had a promising premise but it had been poorly executed and that I hoped for improvement if there was going to be another season. This season premiere certainly delivered.

In all honesty, I was surprised that How to Stay Married was renewed for another season, especially as the writing of the previous season was all over the place, ranging from unrealistic and overly zany plots to strong, sporadic episodes. With the strong episodes, I felt they were strong when they kept things simple and realistic, which is what this premiere achieved.

The episode kicked off with Greg waiting for Sophie to leave her friend, Lindsay’s, house. Lindsay’s house is considered the cool house and Greg wants Sophie to make the choice of inviting Lindsay over to their house or letting him meet her parents. Sophie decides to invite Lindsay over after school on another day.

Sophie gives Greg and Em a set of ground rules to follow. Greg and Em try their best to meet them, but of course these rules were broken by Brad and Chloe not going to the pool as planned, Em’s curiosity as to what Marlo was talking to them about getting the better of her and gatecrashing Lindsay and Sophie hanging out on the trampoline, and Greg intimidating Ravi (an Indian exchange student that is living with Lindsay).

Em ends up befriending Lindsay by telling her a story of a girl she had a crush on when she was in high school, as it’s implied Lindsay is gay, and when Ravi finally admits to Greg that he actually hasn’t seen Star Wars, Greg makes him watch it and he ends up enjoying it. This infuriates Sophie and she ends up going to her room and lying down on her bed where she finds Chloe’s class turtle, Hannibal (formerly known as Warren).

While Lindsay and Ravi are over, Brad and Chloe are looking for Chloe’s lost class turtle, while the latter is making graphic and grim conclusions as to his fate. When Sophie finds Hannibal, Chloe comes into the room and tells her that she “didn’t see him.” Sophie tells her that she doesn’t want to be the one who loses the class turtle, but Chloe wants to keep him, as they are patting him, Chloe asks Sophie why she’s embarrassed by the family, a question that goes unanswered as Hannibal pees on Sophie’s hand.

The episode ends with Brad emotionally apologising to Chloe’s class for losing Hannibal, while Chloe is smiling and her classmates ask who Hannibal is.

Overall this was a solid episode as it had a realistic A and B story and no over-the-top, zany elements to it. I hope the remaining episodes are similar to this.

 

Stray Observations:

-Terry didn’t appear in this episode.

-Brad and Nadia are still dating.

-Em was reading a book in bed titled, “Write that best-seller F*%#stick!

-Chloe has a sign at the bottom of the tree where her treehouse is that states “No big people allowed”.

-Chloe changed the class turtle’s name from Warren to Hannibal.

-Some of Sophie’s rules for Greg and Em included not embarrassing her, for Greg not to go on about Star Wars, and for Em not to ask thousands of questions.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “Chloe, what’s daddy doing?” “You don’t want to know.” (Em on the phone to Chloe, while Chloe is in Greg’s car as they are picking up Sophie from Lindsay’s house)
  • “How am I suppose to know what’s going on in your life?” “Just read her diary like I do.” (Em to Sophie and Chloe’s response to Em’s question)
  • “Your father is scaringly intense, is he ex-army?” (Ravi to Sophie)
  • “He’s not going to be in the freezer.” “You don’t know that.” (Brad-Chloe on finding Hannibal)
  • “He probably got on the barbecue and accidentally turned on the grill with his foot and got roasted.” (Chloe to Brad on Hannibal).

 

How to Stay Married–Season 1, Episode 7 + Season 1 Finale

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.

 

Stray Observations:

-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])

How to Stay Married–Season 1, Episode 6

This episode was a huge improvement from last week’s.

This episode kept things single with one major story and going sans the kids and Terry and Marlo. This episode focused on Em’s high school reunion.

Throughout the episode Em hangs out with old schoolmate, Clea. After having a run in with an old teacher who accuses her of plagiarising a poem in year 12, her and Clea break into the principal’s office to find a key to a time capsule where her poem was buried. Throughout all of this, Em is trying to remember what Clea’s nickname in high school was, an answer Clea doesn’t provide. Em ends up finding the time capsule and her poem (as well as other questionable contents) where it’s revealed her “poem” is in fact Billy Joel’s The River of Dreams. In all honesty, this reveal didn’t surprise me, I knew her poem would have been plagiarised but didn’t know what it would be from. That being said the lead up to it was hilarious.

Meanwhile Greg is hanging out with a bloke named Tiz, a man in a tracksuit binging on kebabs and finds out that he was Em’s ex-boyfriend in high school, not the dapper Adam Sharpe. Although it wasn’t as obvious a reveal as Em’s “poem”, the revelation still didn’t surprise me. In fact the only real twist for me in this episode was the reveal that Clea is a “klepto” and hence her high school nickname “Clea the Klepto” was established. Also, I found Clea and Brad’s act as a “married couple” didn’t really add anything to the episode.

Overall this episode was an improvement as the story and the characters were kept simple. I hope there’s more episodes without the kids and Terry and Marlo.

 

Stray Observations:

-Em’s maiden name was Dawson.

-According to Clea, an AMEX won’t work when “jimmying” open a door, apparently Mastercard is better.