Lizzie McGuire

Season 2 Episode 29

Grand Ole Grandma

Aired Unknown Apr 04, 2003 on Disney Channel
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Gordo is looking forward to the arrival of a favorite relative, his Grandma Ruth, who is coming for a week while his parents are away. But when he takes Lizzie and Miranda over to his house to greet her after her arrival, he's thrown for a loop. Grandma is dressing differently in "spicy" outfits and going by the name "Gorgeous!" She's not making brisket and kugel for him anymore, she's serving sushi and whole meals made of appetizers. And she's into--parachuting?! The next morning at the McGuire house something odd happens--Lizzie and Matt are up and ready before Mom and Dad have gotten out of bed. But the parents soon stumble downstairs and it's obvious they are both sick with some kind of bug; in fact, the fever is putting both of them a little on the delirious side! They go back to bed, hand the kids some money for pizza and tell them they'll have to take care of themselves for a while. Matt and Lizzie prepare to enjoy themselves. Gordo comes home to find that Ruth has "feng shue"'d the house. He's having a great deal of trouble understanding his new, free-spirited grandma. To him, it seems like the roles are reversed now: he's like the responsible adult and his grandma is the one acting like a kid. He even turns down an offer to take a snowboarding lesson the next day because it will mean missing school. He begs off sitting on the floor with his shoes off eating the Japanese dinner Ruth has prepared. Back at the McGuire house, Lizzie and Matt are doing what they want and eating what they want, and in the process they've trashed the house. Grandma Ruth comes by looking for Gordo. She and Lizzie talk. Lizzie tells her how much she means to Gordo, and Ruth realizes that her new persona has been difficult for her grandson to accept. She tells Lizzie how now that her husband is gone and there's no one to take care of, she's been doing many of the things she never had a chance to previously. Gordo arrives at the house, but before he comes in, he eavesdrops on the conversation, which helps him undestand his grandma better. Later, they talk and reach an even better understanding. But before that, Ruth goes back into her "grandma mode." She makes soup for the sick parents and sets Matt and Lizzie to work cleaning up the messy house. Later, when Sam and Jo are feeling better, we find out that they weren't so sick that they didn't realize how irresponsible their children acted, and both of them are (once again!) grounded.moreless

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  • My, What Big Ideas You Have Grandma!

    Gordo’s Grandmother (on his father’s side?) comes to visit. Only she’s not the gentle old gel Gordo remembers. Now she’s into experiencing the zest of life. Whereas before she was making Brisket, she’s now whipping up Sushi. And her manner of dress has become more ‘funky’ and ‘hip’.

    Gordo’s expectations have been rocked, and he becomes, well, sulky. As Lizzie (and Miranda) pointedly point out to him, he’s always the one who says that people should act how they want to act, not to go along and be part of the metaphorical ‘heard’. Touché. As we saw in “A Gordo Story”, Gordo’s philosophical sense gets fuddled when the given event happens to directly affect him.

    But, before anyone could get the idea that it’s just his being ‘selfish’, we find out that Gordo’s concern seems to hinge on wanting to make sure that his grandmother is there for him like she was before. He’s afraid that with all the changes his grandmother’s made in her manner that her always being there for him when he needs her has changed as well. It comes down to a boy needing his (grand) mother, which adds an additional layer to the episode.

    Unlike in “When Moms Attack” where Lizzie is embarrassed of her mom (while her friends think she’s cool) simply because she’s embarrassed, Gordo has deeper, valid, reasons for his attitude towards his grandmother.

    His grandmother on the other hand is acting all ‘different’ in part because she feels that since her husband has died, and her family is grown, that she’s no longer needed. Lizzie convinces her that it is otherwise (and in so doing again shows the depth of communication and friendship shared between Gordo and herself). She ends up bringing Gordo and his grandmother together.

    As for the subplot, Jo and Sam are in bed sick—leaving Lizzie and Matt in charge of themselves. In the course of these events we learn something about Lizzie: that she’s a slob! She allows the house to be turned into a war zone without so much as a word of reproof. When left in defacto charge she just lets Matt run wild (and even pitches in to help!). What happened to the hard earned responsibility she gained after the events in “Misadventures in Babysitting” and “The Longest Yard”?

    Something else interesting comes out of this situation: Matt and Lizzie seem to get along with each other just fine when there is no prospect of parental supervision. They don’t even bicker once when they are left in control! Fascinating.

    The lighthearted nature of this subplot balances nicely with the ‘seriousness’ of the main plot. And the two overlap at some point, which always makes things better.

    On a fashion note, Lizzie has got to dump that blue and red blotches shirt she wears at one point in the episode. It looks like she’s been in a splatter house movie! Those splotches look too much like blood for my taste.

    Musical cues too are featured in this episode. We hear not only the ‘Gordo Theme’ (that seems to come up whenever Gordo’s ‘Jewishness’ is on display) but we also get to hear the ‘Romance Theme’ that we’ve only heard (up till now) played between Lizzie and potential boyfriends. But in this one that music is transposed into the background of Gordo and Grandma Ruth’s little talk.

    On an acting note, Hallie and Robert do a great job acting sick.

    And then there’s the reoccurring secondary characters, or the distinct lack thereof. There are none! Only three episodes to date have been able to boast that. This sort of occurrence is a rarity indeed in the series.

    At the end of the day, this is a ‘Gordo-centric’ episode in that it is Gordo’s grandmother, and his reactions to her, that are at center stage. It is another ‘growth’ episode for Gordo.

    Family togetherness, acceptance, and learning that one still needs (and is needed). A nice message to learn. Not to mention finding out that one has needs to live up to one’s responsibilities when one’s parents aren’t around. ;-)

    A good one.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • Gordo's Grandma implies that Feng Shui is from Japan when actually (as mentioned in ep 207) it originated from China.

    • At the beginning we see Gordo sitting directly across from Miranda at the table (his tray is lined up with hers). In the next scene he's sitting it front of Lizzie and his tray is clearly in a different spot.

    • Goof or not? Several viewers have pointed out that Lizzie and Miranda, lifelong friends of Gordo, would surely have met his grandmother before this episode. Another opinion is that while that might be likely, it's not impossible that Grandma Ruth had never met the girls before. It's possible that Gordo was the one going to visit his grandma in the past, not the other way around. (Note that neither of Lizzie's two grandmothers, Gammy McGuire and Nana, have visited Lizzie at her house in the two years the show has been on.)

    • When Gordo arrives at Lizzie's house, he stands on the patio listening to Lizze and Ruth talk, apparently able to hear them, judging by his reactions. But would he really be able to understand them several feet away through a closed glass door? For an explanation of this see the Notes section for the episode "Lizzie and Kate's Big Adventure."

    • As Matt leaves his parent's room with Sam's wallet, a wall can be seen opposite the door, but in past episodes the door to Sam and Jo's room is at the opposite end of the hall which leads to Lizzie's room. So instead of seeing the wall we should have seen the door to Lizzie's room.

    • A couple of grammatical errors: Lizzie asks Matt, "Where is Mom and Dad" rather than "Where are..." When Matt is up in his parents' bedroom, Jo says to him, "...without your father and I," rather than "...your father and me." (In Jo's defense, lots of people get that one wrong, even when they're not half out of their heads with a fever!)

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Matt (to Lizzie): What's serious is the fact that you haven't brushed your teeth yet this morning. P... U!

    • Grandma Ruth: Now I see why you and David are so close.
      Lizzie: You called him David. He likes that.
      Ruth: How do you know that? Did you say something?
      Lizzie: Let's just say, Gordo still needs his winnie-pooh-baba.

    • Grandma Ruth: Call me 'Gorgeous.' Lately everybody does.

    • Toon Lizzie: Just when you think you've gotten away with something--who am I kidding? I'll never get away with anything as long as I live!

    • Toon Lizzie: She [Grandma Ruth] may be out on a limb, but at least she knows when to climb back down.

    • Jo McGuire: Hello.
      Grandma Ruth: Ohhh! You must be Lizzie's mother. Well, I'm very glad to meet you, but, oh I can see you're sick and you need your rest.
      Jo: I do...Who are you?

    • Lizzie: Should I call the doctor?
      Jo McGuire: No, no no, I'm sure we'll be just fine by the kids you time get school from home.
      Toon Lizzie: Weird, I knew what she meant.
      Sam McGuire: What she said.

    • Ruth: I've always wanted to make a meal out of appetizers.
      Lizzie: Great! I love appetizers!
      Miranda: Yeah, they're the best part of the meal.
      Gordo: Actually, the, um, the meal is the best part of the meal.

    • Gordo: ...and she [Grandma Ruth] calls me David.
      Miranda: Uh, hello, that's your name.
      Gordo: Uh, hello, what do you call me?

  • NOTES (11)

    • We learn that when Lizzie was four years old she used to call her grandma "Winnie Pooh Ba-ba."

    • This episode is part of Vol. 3 of the Lizzie McGuire DVD Collection entitled "Star Struck" released on Mar. 16, 2004. It includes "Grand Ole Grandma," "Lizzie in the Middle," "Aaron Carter's Coming to Town," and "Xtreme Xmas."

    • For only the second time that we remember, Lizzie repeats something out loud after Toon Lizzie says it first. When Ruth asks Lizzie if her parents are OK with Matt using all the sofa cushions, T.L. says, "They don't know!" Lizzie then tells Ruth, "Actually, they don't know." What was the first time Lizzie repeated something Toon Lizzie said? It was in "Random Acts of Miranda." ("You're a stinkbag actress!")

    • Gordo is seen wearing the same jacket that Matt (or was it Lizzie?) wore in "Those Freaky McGuires," as well as the episode "Lizzie's Eleven." Here is a website showing it. [ See More]

    • This is the sixth episode to date in which none of the regular recurring co-stars appear--no Kate, Ethan, Tudge, Lanny, etc. The first four were during season 1: "Jack of All Trades," "Aaron Carter's Coming to Town," "Bad Girl McGuire" and "The Courtship of Miranda Sanchez," with the fifth being "Grubby Longjohn's Olde Tyme Revue." Also, it's only the third episode to date featuring only one credited guest star. (The other two: "Jack of All Trades" and "The Courtship of Miranda Sanchez.")

    • Lizzie wears a t-shirt with a design from the movie Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, the original 1958 version, not the 1993 HBO remake with Darryl Hannah. Of the 1958 movie, film critic Leonard Maltin writes, "Hilariously awful sci-fi with some of the funniest special effects of all time."

    • Ruth calls Gordo her "favorite grandson," which would indicate that the only-child Gordo must have some cousins, unless she was joking.

    • The clapboard seen on the blooper reel at the end of the show gives the date of production as April 15, 2002, almost a year before its eventual premiere.

    • Doris Roberts, who guest-stars as Grandma Ruth, is best known for her role as Marie Barone, Raymond's mother on the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond. The earlier drafts of the story are much different that the final version seen here. Originally, the episode was to have featured Lizzie's "Gammy McGuire" coming to stay for a while, and Lizzie was eventually supposed to tire of doing "old lady" things with her grandmother. Perhaps when Ms. Roberts was signed as a guest star, it was decided to take the episode in another direction.

    • Gordo is shown drinking from a Pepsi can with the logo altered.

    • This episode is on Vol. 3 of the Lizzie McGuire DVD Collection entitled Star Struck, released on Mar. 16, 2004.


    • Grandma Ruth: What, me worry?
      "What, Me Worry?" is the signature line of Alfred E. Neuman, the "host" of Mad Magazine. This magazine has been dishing out irreverent humor since 1952, skewering all sorts of TV shows, movies, advertisements, politicians, and pop-cultural phenomena. As far as I know, they've never done a satire on Lizzie, however.

    • Miranda: Oh, not to mention her kugel.
      A kugel is a baked pudding of noodles or potatoes, eggs, and seasonings, traditionally eaten by Jews on the Sabbath and holidays. Other ingredients it can often contain include applesauce and cinnamon, cheese, and chopped liver.

    • Gordo: I can't wait until tomorrow when I will be feasting on leftover brisket.
      A brisket is a cut of meat from the breast or lower chest especially of beef.

    • Grandma Ruth: Ever since I was a little bit older than you are I had a list of things I wanted to do. Like see the Sistine Chapel up close, climb mountains, and learn to dance like Ginger Rogers.
      The Sistine Chapel is a famous chapel in Vatican City which is in Rome, built between 1475 and 1483 in the time of Pope Sixtus IV. It is used for various ceremonies, such as canonizations, as well as, the votes by the cardinals for a new pope. The architectural plans were made by Baccio Pontelli, but it's the art inside the chapel which makes it known throughout the world. Such artists as Pietro Perugino, Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Cosimo Rosselli, and Luca Signorelli from the early Renaissance contributed to the wall paintings, but it is Michelangelo Buonarroti who is probably most associated with its art works. He began work on the ceiling in 1508 under the commission of Pope Julius II and completed it in 1512. The ceiling contains nine scenes from the Old Testament with some of the better known being The Creation of Adam and The Last Judgment .

      Ginger Rogers (1911-1995) was born Virginia Katherine MacMath in Independence, Missouri. She picked up the nickname "Ginger" from a young cousin who couldn't say "Virginia." From her childhood Ginger wanted to become an actress, she got her start in vaudeville shows at the age of 14 and later moved onto Broadway, at age 17, where she met Fred Astaire. It was this pairing that brought her real fame with their first movie being Flying Down to Rio (1933). While the movies with Fred Astaire are what most people remember, Ginger had success in other movies without him like Kitty Foyle (1940) for which she won an Academy Award. She continued to make movies in the 1940's and 1950's, but they weren't quite the caliber as those she made before World War II. Ginger's final big screen appearance was in Harlow (1965).