I think this show is cute. Again it is mindless comedy at the end of the work day. Some of the writing is good. Some, not so much. But it’s entertaining and I like it so let’s do quick comments about each eppy.
E3 “Better with Ben”
The Christmas Card episode. I don’t know how I feel about the family Christmas cards people send. Pets and kids are cute. Moms and Dads and kids and pets are ok. Entire families (grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc) who wear the same color shirts and shorts/skirts and shoes, a little creepy. Although I find the Putney family card interesting with their themes. But you know what I found appalling? That Ben, in 9 years of being with Maddie, was NEVER included in the picture. And you know why? It’s FAMILY only. And Ben’s not family??? So what if they aren’t married. They are together and he should be treated as family. I have friends who have gone through the difficulty of feeling like the “in-law” or outsider with their spouse’s family and it’s incredibly hurtful. And I am disappointed that Maddie didn’t realize how wrong this was until Ben finally said something. I would have done what she did now (refusing to be in the picture unless Ben was included) years ago. Once we had decided to make a life long commitment to each other even though not legally married, you are family and should be treated as such. So Maddie should have stuck up for Ben a long time ago. But in the end, Joel realizes how wrong he has been and includes Ben in the picture and apologizes for not considering family sooner.
E4 Better with Fighting
This was a pretty good episode. I always like when shows take real life situations and make them funny but relatable and this episode was a prime example. Mia and Casey are having their first real fight while the other couples are having their 100+ fights. Mia doesn’t want Casey to be late any more and isn’t sure how to handle it with him. Maddie tells her not to back down and tell him exactly how every time he’s late, it makes her feel. While Ben warns Casey that Mia is upset and do anything you can to defuse the Putney woman anger. Back at their apartment when Mia starts to fight with Casey, he strips down and gets totally naked causing Mia to struggle with argument. When Mia tells the story to Maddie, she repeats it to Ben and they come up with a way to show Mia and Casey how they should better “fight.” When they meet at the restaurant they roll play how to express feelings while fighting and Mia and Casey are wondering what the hell is going on. When they sit down, Maddie tells Casey that she is upset he is late because what does that say about his feelings for her sister when he knows it bothers her? (She should have just used that tactic from the beginning!) Casey agrees it’s wrong and says he’ll stop. And Mia said she’ll start giving him earlier times to be ready so that if he is “late” he really won’t be. Nice compromise. Maddie is so happy but now Ben isn’t. He says they never compromise like that. Maddie, being a lawyer, just argues her point until he caves. There is no give and take. This leads to a huge confrontation in the restaurant where Ben is yelling (for the first time apparently) and Maddie is stunned and upset so decides to pull the naked trick…in the middle of the restaurant!!! How is that a good idea? When they get home, they both realize how ridiculous they were acting but also realize, what Ben said needed to be said and they agree they need to communicate and better and compromise more. Good stuff.
E5 “Better with Little Buddy”
The family is waiting for Mia and Casey at Maddie and Ben’s because today M&C find out the sex of the baby and everyone is taking bets on what the baby will be. Ben said how great Mia has been looking so it must be a boy because “girls steal all the mother’s good looks” and Maddie wants to know how good she looks. He tries to cover saying that she looks “pregnancy glow good. I haven’t noticed her boobs or anything.” Ha! When he asks Vicky to help him out, she says she is still trying to figure out how her beauty was stolen from having 2 girls. “I hate your sweater Mr Putney, there now I’ve insulted everyone.” Great scene! M&C show up and announce they are having a baby boy! When Maddie asked how Mia was feeling, she said great other than the clothes getting tighter and her boobs getting bigger. Joel tells her they already know that because Ben told them…prompting Ben to slink away. Classic! Anyway, Casey is being a little over the top with the baby and it is upsetting to Mia who thinks their relationship is becoming 2nd to the baby. What we end up finding out is that Mia is upset because she is realizing that Casey is more prepared for the baby than she is and she isn’t feeling the same feelings about the baby that Casey is. She starts to talk to the baby and as she is going through her dilemma in her head, “little buddy” starts kicking! JoAnna Garcia really does a nice job in this scene and again we see a real situation that many mothers face when in the early stages of prenancy…or so I’m told. Ben and Maddie’s story involves them having the stones to stand up to Vicky and Joel regarding their involvement in their lives and the delicate way we have to let our parents know when something they are doing, is something we don’t really want.
ABC hasn’t done their full season pick ups yet and I am hoping this show is on that list. It is getting better each week!