TV

Rewinding Parenthood: "The Big O"

The show’s plot lines are slowly moving ahead… too slowly, in fact.

While the episode opened with a “previously on” clip show, there wasn’t really much of a reason for it. This is especially true for last Tuesday’s episode, where most of the show was spent dilly-dallying around with useless information instead of advancing the plot lines.

The useless information I’m referring to is Adam and Kristina’s love life, which has been suffering because of the stress of keeping up with Max. Way too much time was spent on Kristina’s accidental complaining about her lack of romance to her husband and Max’s understanding behavioral aide, Gabby. This resulted in Adam discussing the same matter with Sarah, for who knows what reason. However, progress was made in showing Gabby’s complicated job of not only figuring out what makes a child with Asperger’s tick, but also counseling the parents involved. Gabby essentially taught Max discipline here, by using a book about lizards to get him to change his plans and convincing him to play foursquare with a little girl at the park through promising him another pet lizard. It seems as if she is just bribing Max, but I’m not going to question child psychology through a TV show’s interpretation of it.

Meanwhile, Amber is beginning to develop feelings for her teacher and she is not the only one. As she volunteered for a “literary magazine group” that he runs, Sarah was contemplating on whether or not she should go out on a date with him. Mr. Cyr showed up at her place of work and strangely gave her a note that read, “Will you go out with me? Check yes, no, or maybe.” This made her ask Crosby, of all people, for advice. He said, “You asked me because you want to hear yes. If you wanted to hear no, then you would’ve asked Dudley Do-Right or Julia.” which is the smartest thing he has ever said. Later on, Sarah told Mr. Cyr yes and they kissed.

This was a big episode for Crosby. After receiving the results of the positive DNA test, he finally told his parents about Jabbar. Though Zeke asked “What kind of name is Jabbar?” and the two seemed a little shocked about the boy’s race, they quickly warmed up to their grandson. In the funniest moment of the episode, Zeke presented Jabbar with Crosby’s former bicycle, saying, “Don’t do any wheelies, your father broke some teeth and lost a lot of brain cells with it.” Considering that Crosby described Jasmine as “a dancer, but not with a pole, like ballet” and he cheats on Kate with a yoga instructor in next week’s preview, the brain cells part is 100% accurate.

However, even a moron like him could see that Racquel was all over Joel. When Julia got him and Jabbar invited to a “play group”, he talked with moms who gushed about Joel. After Crosby told Julia about it, she became suspicious enough to start questioning her husband. When Joel admitted that Racquel once kissed him, but he “stopped it”, Julia told him that she wanted her “out of our lives”. Joel’s fumbling response that her daughter and Sydney are best friends struck me as an excuse, especially considering how spoiled Harmony treated her last week. All of that was unnecessary, however, because Julia changed her mind when she saw Harmony and Sydney sitting together at the puppet show that the whole family had gathered at.

What do you think? Was Julia wrong to extend the olive branch to Racquel? Will Crosby ever stop lying? Will Sarah and Mr. Cyr make a good couple? And did Max really get whatever lizard he wanted?

To be a migrant worker in America is to relearn the basic skills of living. Imagine doing that in your 60s and 70s, when you thought you'd be retired.


Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09
Amazon

There's been much hand-wringing over the state of the American economy in recent years. After the 2008 financial crisis upended middle-class families, we now live with regular media reports of recovery and growth -- as well as rising inequality and decreased social mobility. We ponder what kind of future we're creating for our children, while generally failing to consider who has already fallen between the gaps.

Keep reading... Show less
7
Music

The World of Captain Beefheart: An Interview with Gary Lucas and Nona Hendryx

Gary Lucas and Nona Hendryx (photo © Michael DelSol courtesy of Howlin' Wuelf Media)

Guitarist and band leader Gary Lucas and veteran vocalist Nona Hendryx pay tribute to one of rock's originals in this interview with PopMatters.

From the opening bars of "Suction Prints", we knew we had entered The World of Captain Beefheart and that was exactly where we wanted to be. There it was, that unmistakable fast 'n bulbous sound, the sudden shifts of meter and tempo, the slithery and stinging slide guitar in tandem with propulsive bass, the polyrhythmic drumming giving the music a swing unlike any other rock band.

Keep reading... Show less

Very few of their peers surpass Eurythmics in terms of artistic vision, musicianship, songwriting, and creative audacity. This is the history of the seminal new wave group

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominating committee's yearly announcement of the latest batch of potential inductees always generates the same reaction: a combination of sputtering outrage by fans of those deserving artists who've been shunned, and jubilation by fans of those who made the cut. The annual debate over the list of nominees is as inevitable as the announcement itself.

Keep reading... Show less

From Haircut 100 to his own modern pop stylings, Nick Heyward is loving this new phase of his career, experimenting with genre with the giddy glee of a true pop music nerd.

In 1982, Nick Heyward was a major star in the UK.

As the leader of pop sensations Haircut 100, he found himself loved by every teenage girl in the land. It's easy to see why, as Haircut 100 were a group of chaps so wholesome, they could have stepped from the pages of Lisa Simpson's "Non-Threatening Boys" magazine. They resembled a Benetton knitwear advert and played a type of quirky, pop-funk that propelled them into every transistor radio in Great Britain.

Keep reading... Show less

This book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

Marcelino Truong launched his autobiographical account of growing up in Saigon during the Vietnam War with the acclaimed graphic novel Such a Lovely Little War: Saigon 1961-63, originally published in French in 2012 and in English translation in 2016. That book concluded with his family's permanent relocation to London, England, as the chaos and bloodshed back home intensified.

Now Truong continues the tale with Saigon Calling: London 1963-75 (originally published in French in 2015), which follows the experiences of his family after they seek refuge in Europe. It offers a poignant illustration of what life was like for a family of refugees from the war, and from the perspective of young children (granted, Truong's family were a privileged and upper class set of refugees, well-connected with South Vietnamese and European elites). While relatives and friends struggle to survive amid the bombs and street warfare of Vietnam, the displaced narrator and his siblings find their attention consumed by the latest fashion and music trends in London. The book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image