Sunday, December 20, 2015

What I’m Watching: Life in Pieces

Life in Pieces: Season 1, Episodes 10 and 11 “Burn Vasectomy Milkshake Pong” / “College Stealing Santa Caroling” (B/B+)

I accidentally forgot to watch last week’s episode and review it in time because I didn’t realize this show was still airing episodes in December, so here’s a double review to catch up. In the first episode, the awkwardness of the “controlled burn” scenario was palpable, the highlight of which was Greg’s miserable decision to call Jen fat as a way to direct her anger towards him and her grinding his chips into dust as revenge. The vasectomy plotline was hardly original, but Tim made it fun. The milkshake plotline was entertaining most for its ending shot of Joan with all the milkshakes in her lap in the passenger seat. The ping pong fiasco was absurd, and the definitive moment of that plotline was Greg knocking out another tooth when he threw down the paddle and hit himself in the mouth. I enjoyed the second episode quite a bit, and I like that the characters recurred throughout the installments in a much bigger way than usual. Tyler announcing to the whole family that he didn’t want to go to college after his mom gave him a University of Michigan sweater during the Yankee Swap was plenty awkward, and it was great to see that Matt was mature and smart enough to make a recommendation that he knew would ultimately take his nephew in the right direction. Tim’s obsession with Clementine is more cringe-worthy than creepy, and I love that she’s exactly the same way around Matt, much to Tyler’s chagrin. John bouncing Joan off the air mattress was amusing, and the other funny part of that segment was that Jen’s first reaction was to steal random things from Joan as revenge for her baby’s first Christmas being taken from her. Samantha getting lice after pretending to go the library was the weakest of all the vignettes but harmless at the same time. Colleen’s eagerness to volunteer to go caroling with John to bond with him was very sweet, but not as much as her thoughtfulness in organizing the whole family to come sing dirty carols with him.

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