Monday, March 12, 2018

What I’m Watching: Life in Pieces

Life in Pieces: Season 3, Episode 14 “Parents Ancestry Coupon Chaperone” (B)

There were three familiar faces guest-starring in this episode, and I was happy to recognize them from the roles I most closely associate them with. While Fred Melamed left an impression in the 2009 Coen Brothers film “A Serious Man,” he was more recently seen as the father who just wouldn’t die on “Casual,” and Joanna Cassidy was Emmy-nominated for her performance as free-spirited mother Margaret Chenowith on “Six Feet Under” about a decade and a half ago. They were good choices to play Jen’s parents, though I think I expected that her family would be a lot more self-aware than the Shorts, shaping her into who she was by pushing her away rather than by influencing her directly to adapt their own behavior. Their concern about the state of Jen and Greg’s marriage because they could never be in the room together with them at the same time was a humorous way to end their irritating visit. Brian Van Holt, a regular on “Cougar Town,” also starred in what I consider the most unfairly prematurely-cancelled show, “Threshold,” and here he was entertaining as Heather’s ex who made Tim jealous at the prom before the two just started making out on the dance floor much to all the teenagers’ horror. The family lineage segment wasn’t particularly funny, though the way in which they got to the uncle and his wonderful love story with his niece was a bit entertaining. Matt giving Colleen a book of coupons that she actually cashed in was a story that was the truest to life on this show for a while, representing a gift that might involve some thought and effort but just doesn’t go over the way it should, especially when given repeatedly without any real change or improvement.

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