I was a little surprised the ratings on this were so weak. I loved it! I’m game for Christopher Meloni in any case, couple him with Rachael Harris (Suits, Bad Words) and set the in the early nineties (’91, I think they said), and oh, it’s ON.
The story focuses on a family of four, Frankie (Connor Buckley), his father Jack (Meloni), his mom Joanna (Harris), and his sister Rachel (Claudia Lee). Frankie is just starting high school (that’s senior high school, I believe he’s 16 or so) and is adjusting to being a teenager. Joanna is starting law school and Jack is taking over parenting.
Jack is a no-nonsense, tough love, authoritarian parent, who makes his son run laps at three in the morning for watching illegal channels, forces his son to drive to teach him a lesson about how anything worth doing is scary, sends his son to school with a box of condoms to teach him about manhood, and hates Jurassic Park (the book, before the movie!).
Jack might be a tough parent, a ground first, ask questions later, suffering-builds-character, etc, but he is hilarious. I know most people know Meloni from Law and Order: SVU, but if you’ve ever seen some of the film roles he’s had, many of them were comedic roles and he is funny as hell. The promos made this show look a little weak, a little contrived with the iron-fist father, but Meloni pulls it off. He loves his wife, and the chemistry between him and Harris is perfect, and he tries to follow her advice on parenting even if he still has to do it his own way.
We didn’t see too much of Rachel (the sister), but she’s a typical, gorgeous high school girl, used to getting attention, and experimenting with boys, so it’s hard to say what her role in the dynamic is going to be just yet, though her adorably naive boyfriend looks like a lot of fun.
Frankie is awesome. His older self is narrating the action, and he’s just adorably awkward, making him extremely funny as he tries to figure out how to be comfortable in his own skin and deal with his dad. He’s a great protagonist. Likable, sort of an underdog, sweet, and still a typical relatable teenager.
However, one of my favorite parts of this show is the music. I was a nineties kid myself, and while most of this music came out when I was very young, a lot of it is stuff that was still popular a few years later, and some of it I still listen to!
It looks like at least 8 episodes have already been shot (IMDb has Meloni listed with 8 eps), but I hope it gets picked up. (It looks like it’s going to run a full season through May 15, but if it keeps up with the funny, I’m hoping it will be back in the fall!) Considering Rachael Harris’s recent exit from Suits, maybe that means this one is a more solid option? As to scheduling, it might go great on a Tuesday with Brooklyn Nine-Nine already finished, in case Thursday night isn’t working that well…
When he can’t catch a cab to get to court, Louis runs the whole way there and though he is late, he makes it and gives his closing arguments. But, he can’t seem to catch his breath, and as he slumps in his chair, clutching his arm, he has a heart attack.
The firm is in shock, and they want to do everything they can to make sure that his cases and clients stay on track while he’s in the hospital. Meanwhile, Sheila is upset at him for putting so much pressure on himself that caused the attack, and snatches away a paper from him while he’s in the hospital bed, thinking he’s working when he should be taking it easy, but she quickly learns it was a proposal speech, and after Louis officially pops the question, they get engaged.
Rachel is stressing because she just got the tuition payment schedule for law school and it’s a little overwhelming. While Louis promised that he would see to it that her tuition was paid for after she was rehired to the firm, he apparently never passed that on to Jessica, and it was never included in writing in her hiring agreement.
Rachel planned to talk to Louis about it and hold him to his promise, but after his heart attack, she takes it to Jessica, not wanting to get Louis worked up after such a shock to his system. Jessica refuses flat out, and Rachel is frustrated and hurt that Louis would go back on his word like that.
It takes her some time to work out a solution, with Donna’s help, but she talks to Jessica again, with Harvey as Exhibit A, saying that the firm paid for his tuition, and she comes up with a payment plan based on her current salary and the time she will spend working at the firm later on. It’s an “investment”, and she’s worth it. Jessica appreciates her creativity, and it looks like things have worked out in that respect.
Mike and Harvey have a new client (I wasn’t clear if it was one of Louis’s or a new one altogether) and after talking to some of the principals in the case, Mike realizes that he’s sort of stuck where he is now. He can’t be promoted, he can’t publish, he can’t do much of anything in his career except stay where is, a junior associate at a major New York law firm.
He talks to Harvey about wanting to go legit, and Harvey reminds him why he can’t do this. He can’t take such a long time off to go to law school, and it’s not like he can go “back” to Harvard, and if graduates for real from another college, he won’t be allowed back to the one he’s already at. If he really wants to do it, he’d have to disappear, go to law school, take the bar, and stay away from New York and all the big cities and firms–practice small time somewhere.
While Louis and Sheila discuss plans for the future, they realize that their plans are entirely different and that making a marriage work will require some major sacrifices on both their parts, but when she caves on moving to New York and away from Harvard, and he won’t cave on whether they have kids or not, that’s the last straw and they realize that they have to split up. Living situations are one thing, but kids are a very different matter and in most cases, a deal-breaker (see Grey’s Anatomy, re: Cristina and Owen).
Bash returns to the castle to try to get some help in finding “the darkness” that he had been hunting for in the woods. Neither the King nor his brother are happy to see him, and Henry’s madness seems to be growing almost every day.
Mary’s ladies in waiting are still trying to find husbands, and when Greer’s match falls through because she couldn’t resist one more goodbye with the kitchen boy, she suggests that that man marry Lola instead as she hasn’t committed any grave or scandalous acts so far.
The castle plays a game in which whoever finds a little carving in the cake gets to be king or queen for a day, and one of the servants or kitchen workers finds it and Catherine passes her the crown for the day. While Catherine tries to use the girl to poison Henry, the girl believes the King to be a stronger ally and she turns on the Queen instead.
Bash and Francis go out looking for the monster that Bash believes lives in the woods in order to prevent more deaths by pagans trying to sacrifice someone to the creature. However, Francis falls through the ice while following some tracks left out onto a lake frozen over and Bash has to open another hole in the ice to rescue his brother. It seems now that the two of them have made up, Bash having saved Francis’s life, but when Henry sees this, he wants to eliminate Bash once and for all.
Though Francis convinces his father not to kill his brother, Henry has a new punishments that will kill two birds with one stone, marrying Bash to Kenna, ridding himself of both his bastard son and his younger mistress. It looks like this marriage is set, and there’s no way out of it for either of them, but maybe it will turn out to be for the better. I don’t much care for Canada, but maybe the marriage will help – to get over Mary. Henry had to give his son a new title, master of the woods and the hunt, or something like that, in order to make it sound match for Kenna, and it’s looks like Bash will be staying at the castle for the foreseeable future.
My biggest worry is the king. He’s gone so far beyond rationality and common sense, it’s extremely disturbing. I think that Catherine is going to be okay, but the “Queen for a Day” girl seems to have won favor with the King and Henry seems hell-bent on allowing her to stay in the position.
Watching as much TV as I do, it sounds to me like Henry might have a brain tumor that’s interfering with his ability to think and process information normally, something which will eventually kill him as back then they didn’t have the skills or the tools available to diagnose or operate on such things. But if it is not a brain tumor, I’m not sure how anybody is going to escape his wrath right now, as it seems he is out to get just about everybody for one reason or another.
Friday recaps from Hannibal and Rake, and coming up Sunday, an all-new Revenge!
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