Okay, I danced around my living room with incense sticks that I pretended were sparklers with the power of IMAGINATION.
The news of IHMTD’s timely demise inspired me to suck it up and watch it last night while writhing in agonizing death throes. So, welcome to this round-up, I Hate My Teenage Daughter. You get to be that office temp who sucks at her job and has the entire office eagerly awaiting the day her contract runs out.
When Jimmy loses his nipple in a crib accident (yes, nipple, I was cringing the whole time and promising my gals that I will never ever ever let something so heinous happen to them), the Chances realize that most of Hope’s baby gear has been recalled for safety violations. Jimmy builds her a crib out of a cardboard box and a teddy bear out of rice and a toilet seat cover, and Virginia takes a job as a live-in housekeeper for an affluent father to make the extra money to replace Hope’s toys. When she walks in on her employer’s teenage daughter engaged in some premarital sexytimes, Virginia takes it upon herself to act as the Ghost of Teenage Pregnancy Future and warn the adventurous young’uns about what miserable fate awaits them if they become parents before prom night.
She enlists Burt’s help, but he’s on the side of true love, free fornication, and—as we learn this week—manipulation. I kept waiting for the joke when Burt would admit that he poked a hole in the condom the night Virginia got pregnant with Jimmy, but nope, it wasn’t a joke. He told the story of falling in love with Virginia and realizing she was out of his league, that the only way he would be able to keep her in his life was if he gave her the gift of an unwanted pregnancy.
Virginia was touched that he was so enamored with her in high school that he found it in his heart to essentially breach nine levels of trust by sabotaging their birth control behind her back. Thought if you ask me, it was very much not okay.
On the Bright Side:
– I loved the inclusion of lawn darts in the montage of recalled toys that Jimmy played with as a kid. My dad took ours away after my brother got one lodged in a tree, the wind blew, and it impaled itself in the picnic table. When we wept about the unfairness of it all, he pointed at the hole in the table and said, “Now imagine that’s your skull.” Memories!
– Do kids today seriously not know who Alicia Silverstone is? I guess they don’t really have a reason to, but still, I don’t come into Raising Hope expecting to have my mortality thrown in my face.
– You know, creepiness aside, Jimmy pretending to be his great-grandfather in order to give his dementia-stricken great-grandmother a good memory of their anniversary was sweet.
I Hate My Teenage Daughter continues to be un-entertaining, but now that Fox itself has acknowledged that it’s a scourge on their generally awesome Tuesday lineup, I’m less enraged by its existence.
The Millers and the Watsons go on vacation and their daughters are insufferable brats. Consider this the template for every episode of I Hate My Teenage Daughter ever. Something sitcom-y happens... and their daughters are insufferable brats.
When Jess gets into it with the parent of one of her students over which subject is more important, math or art, she gets a little feisty and her boss orders her to apologize before the wealthy dad pulls his donation to the school.
The wealthy dad, Russell (guest-star Dermot Mulroney), despite his preference for fractions over frescoes ends up being a pretty nice guy. Too nice. When Jess’s car breaks down while she's on the way to apologize to him, he has it towed and repaired. He gifts Nick a spare cellphone because thanks to Nick's fabulous credit rating of 250, Nick can’t get one on his own. He admits that he doesn’t spend enough time with his daughter to honestly know her, and when Jess flubs her way through asking him out, he does the hard part for her. He’s too perfect. "Part 2" better reveal that he steals money from Girl Scouts or something.
Anyway, Russ single-handedly solves both Nick and Jess’s major problems of the week with a flick of his wrist. You can’t keep a character with a magical MasterCard around for too long. It creates a bizzarro-world. IT UPSETS THE ECOSYSTEM.
Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon?:
– “I don’t know how to drive cars that work,” uttered Jess when Russ urged her to borrow his car while her own was undergoing repairs. I love it. I was a pro at patching up decrepit exhaust pipes with soap cans and bailing wire before I finished high school.
– Nick: “Is it possible to be sexually attracted to an object?” Russell (and my boyfriend, unrehearsed and in unison): “Yes it is.” I’m almost afraid to ask.
Veronica gets maternal when Contra busts a talented hacker with the handle of “Rembrandt” and discovers that he’s only 14 years old. She wants to be like “that girl from Speed” in The Blind Side. She tells Oz that he can be the husband. Oz is totally thrilled.
I want to go back and re-watch the first episode of Breaking In's second season because I don’t remember Megan Mullally’s Veronica being quite so clueless when she was introduced; I need to know if something changed or if I just missed it, because the character has gone from amusing to annoying pretty fast.
Veronica makes Rembrandt an intern at Contra. It goes about as well as you expect and Oz sweeps in to clean up the mess, blackmailing the teenager into more lawful online activities with footage of his theatrical debut in Annie... playing Annie.
– Nice arc reactor, Cash. Me gusta.
– Cameron and Melanie finally end up in the back seat of his car. She’s the big spoon. Freaked out by her feelings, Melanie bails by the end of the episode, ditching Contra like a bad date.
– There are officially no longer any non-irritating females on this show. Early in the episode, Cash builds a metal statue of Melanie to help Cameron woo her. When she leaves, they melt it down in a delightful homage to Terminator 2. I think I get more enjoyment out of the geek references than I do from the actual plot of the series.
And that’s a wrap for this week, kids! Were you appalled to learn that Burt is a creep? Are you reveling in anticipation of life after I Hate My Teenage Daughter?