I’m sorry to be such a “grump,” but I wish I could go back in time and prevent this show from ever being created. Pretty strong language for someone who just started writing this blog over a month ago.
But it is what it is and the episodes if I’m being honest, which I clearly am, are pretty uninspiring.
That being said, I am nothing if not true to my word, and we will trudge forward.
Without further ado, I give you Episode 5 of Growing Pains, Season One.
This episode starts out with Jason in the kitchen and Ben rushes in, wanting protection from a “rabid” dog attack.
The dog named Stewart, who clearly isn’t rabid and belongs to the Seaver’s female neighbor, laps at Ben’s heels. Mike is looking after the pup because you know…Mike is such a good Samaritan–Yah, right—and runs in behind.
Jason tells Mike to get the dog out of the kitchen and he take Stewart and leaves. Then Carol comes home from school and she’s all upset. She’s hiding in the traditional Seaver way by acting like you’re mad at something else.
In this case, it’s the Peanut Butter.
Carol calls Maggie at the office, but her mother’s not at her desk at the moment. Jason offers to help instead and Carol explains how today was the last day of the “German’s Club Gummy Bear Sale.” and was also the last day for Kevin to notice her before the dance tomorrow night. Carol’s friend, Melissa, heard from Kevin’s friend Mark that Kevin thinks Carol looks like a “Gummy Bear.”
Jason like any father assures his daughter that’s she not ugly and she shouldn’t worry about being ugly because it will just make her look ugly. His theory: It’s better for herself to think she’s pretty because she’ll come off to other people like she thinks of herself. To add to that, Jason asks Carol if she can actually believes Kevin would say she looks like a gummy bear—or this could be Melissa. Like the time Melissa claimed to have seen Mick Jagger at JCPenny’s last week.
Next Carol explains how she needs new skates because everyone will be down at the skating ring and this gives her an opportunity to talk to Kevin. Jason answers that they’ll go to Macy’s and buy her a new pair of skates. He also makes some dumb joke about seeing Tina Turner there to go along with Melissa’s claim.
Maybe it’s the time/culture gap, but I don’t find Jason (a.k.a Alan Thicke) in the least bit funny.
Also shouldn’t Carol have opened with “Guess what? Everyone is going skating tomorrow?” It would have made this silly conservation go by much quicker and we wouldn’t have to or suffered through Alan Thicke as much.
Maggie comes home thinking Carol needs to talk because she received a message that she called, at her office. Jason explains why Carol’s upset and how he handled “things.” However, Maggie thinks that it would be best for her to go and talk to Carol because Jason “is not a mother.”
Okay, piss off Maggie. I remember a few episodes back and you were thinking how ridiculous Jason was acting because of your coworker. Now you’re the ridiculous one! Gosh, doesn’t this family learn from their past experiences.
It’s like each episode of this series takes place in it’s own separate universe.
In the next scene, Ben’s doing some dance on the TV when Mike comes home with something under his jacket.
It’s a white dog which Mike tries to pass off as Stewart, but Ben knows it’s not Stewart. So get this Mike (of course) lost Stewart and his plan is to pass this dog off as Stewart by coloring him black. What a mess of a plan this is. In other shows when a character loses or in some cases kills (by accident) someone’s pet they’re looking after, they go to the store and try and find an animal that looks exactly like it.
But not the Seavers…
We transition to the next scene by Maggie walking down the stairs as Ben and Mike are going up, looking suspicious and Ben is saying, “What dog?” Maggie probably not caring enough to ask continues on. Carol comes home from her friend’s house and immediately goes to the couch to watch her show. Maggie joins her hoping to talk about why she called and why she was upset. Which frankly is more annoying than anything.
Jason comes home and when he sees what Carol is watching, he joins them. He sits in the middle (at Carol’s request) between Maggie and Carol edging out Maggie even more.
Wendy (Stewart’s owner) comes to pick him up and is greeted by Ben and Jason in the kitchen. Mike brings the dog into the kitchen and he’s sleeping. Mike says it’s because he stayed up all night waiting for me. Wendy takes “Stewart” and leaves with Mike who offered to walk her home. Jason tries to get what Mike did to Stewart out of Ben. Ben says Mike didn’t do anything and leaves the room. Surprisingly, Jason doesn’t think Ben’s telling the truth.
One problem: Jason and Carol already have plans to get new skates. Jason asks Maggie to come with them, but Maggie (trying to keep her cool) says she would just get in the way. Jason asks if it’s bothering her that he’s spending time with Carol in her place, but Maggie claims it isn’t, although it clearly is.
Jason makes her feel better by saying that she initially wanted to talk to Maggie when she came home upset. Jason reassures her that she does need her mother but Maggie doesn’t feel that way. Maggie sees Jason’s point about how she’s overreacting, a lot.
So this is pretty much a rehash at Maggie’s office when Jason is worried that Maggie is doing something with Fred. Can’t these writers think of something new?
Next Jason questions Mike about Stewart. Mike explains that Stewart’s just going through a phase. The doorbell rings and Mike goes to answer it. It’s Wendy telling Mike that the dog he gave back to her isn’t Stewart because the paint started to go away once it started raining.
Well that’s the real reason. Wendy just thinks the dog changes colors when it gets wet, my god. Mike claims he’s been hearing about dogs changing colors and that it’s all natural. Jason tells Mike to sit down when he tries to get the article about “dogs’ changing colors” from his room. Mike explains what really happened and how Stewart ran away. Mike says he should’ve been honest with her. But then he explains he sees honesty as a smile on a girl’s face or some bullshit like that. Finally he says when someone leaves a black dog with Mike Seaver you get a black dog back.
Then why didn’t you just get another black dog?
Jason apologizes for all this but it’s all right. Wendy and her family didn’t like Stewart similar to Ben. They went on vacation to get away from him. Very realistic, writers. But she loves the dog Mike gave her and names him Mikey-Poo.
But who would name a dog that? Mike gets away with murder (so to speak), from girls, but his dad’s another story and Jason ground him for LIFE…or in other words, a very long time.
Maggie comes down with a load of laundry, asking Jason what just happened. In walks Carol from the front door all upset and wanting Jason. Jason tells her how Melissa isn’t always trustworthy, but Carol says the whole thing has been blown up out of proportion.
Before letting her continue, Jason brings up how it would be a great thing to talk about this with Maggie. But Carol goes on talking to Jason, for some reason. I mean her mother is literally right next to her on the couch ready to talk. Jason says the same about her friends not being reliable sources because Kathy has a thing for Kevin. Maggie feeling sad and upset walks into the kitchen. Jason follows her and pretty much the last scene we saw with them in the kitchen plays out again. Jason explains that he was just the one there when this whole thing with Carol exploded. Maggie says it wasn’t just that, it’s the past three months. Even though we’ve barely seen any of this play out. In fact just last episode, it was Maggie who helped Carol with her problem, not Jason. Jason says how he thinks Maggie feels guilty about going back to work and she wants Jason to be good with the kids but not as good as her. At first, she agrees with that then quickly upon thinking about it complains that’s not what she wants after all. Again just like Maggie and Jason in her office arguing over the coworker, except role reversal, Jason explains how he was in the same position.
So this pretty much is that episode rehashed with new situations. This makes Maggie see how she’s acting and she comes to the realization that she can’t have it all even though she wants to. They kiss and Jason explains that Carol isn’t going to the dance and would rather go to the zoo with her mother.
I don’t know why Jason just didn’t lead with that. Ben comes in, screaming and running from a dog. Stewart’s back!!!!
Final Scene: The family is seen in the living room watching the show Carol, Jason, and Maggie were watching earlier. No real point to this scene except to have one of these end scenes.
And that’s the point…I guess.
Please join me next week for episode 6 of Growing Pains, “Mike’s Madonna Story.”