Melissa & Joey Toxic Parents

Melissa & Joey Toxic Parents

MandJ

Melissa & Joey
ABC Family
June 5, 2013

As the episode begins, Mel and Joe discuss how well they’ve been getting along, lately, and reach the conclusion that it’s because they’re both dating new people and those relationships are completely separate. Both of their new people are single parents, and both of them consider these to be very “grown-up” relationships. When her date arrives, he has his son with him, since the boy’s mother didn’t arrive to pick him up when she was scheduled to do so. So, Mel and the man, Eric, go on the date with the little boy. The son, Daniel, is a bit…aggressive with her, and she doesn’t really look forward to seeing him again.

It doesn’t take long for our duo to realize that the woman that Joe is dating, Lauren, is none other than Daniel’s Mom! Suddenly, their nice, separate relationships are not so separate. At first, they try to ignore it, but they quickly discover that it’s simply not possible, since they both want to side with their half of a bitterly divorced couple. Joe suggests that Mel should break up with Eric, but she quickly refuses. They’re at an impasse.

While Mel and Joe try to navigate their complex and tangled relationships, Lennox and Ryder are up to their own mischief. While he tries desperately to find motivation to do schoolwork without school (which he finds that he desperately misses, now that he isn’t allowed to go), she finds herself having an argument with her boyfriend, Xander, over whether girls should get tattoos or not. Upon seeing him design a tattoo for his friend, Lennox asks him to make one for her, too. He refuses, telling her that nice girls don’t get tattoos, because they look trashy on girls.

Rather than dissuading her, this only sends Lennox on a war path. She goes to Mel for advice, asking her if a girl should let a guy tell her what to do, provided nothing illegal was involved. Mel tells her that she’s a smart girl and can make her own choices. So…she goes to the tattoo parlor, seeking the best fit for “trashy-lite” that she can find. Xander arrives just in time to stop her from getting the one that she selected. He tells her that he decided that she’s right – she should be able to do what she wants. He just thought that she would like a tattoo designed by him, more than one found in a stock book.

When Lauren and Eric both arrive with Daniel at the Burke house, it sends Mel and Joe into a frenzy to prove that they’re better for the child, and that they thus better deserve to keep their relationship. They end up taking Daniel to the park while the parents stay at the house to discuss pick-up schedules. At the park, they find him much more irritating than they planned. He asks to play with Mel’s antique watch, then throws it down the storm drain. She and Joe both try to reach it, then Joe finally lowers Daniel down to get it for them. Of course…then he can’t get him back out. So they call the fire department, and while they’re waiting Daniel asks to play with her phone. Eric calls while he has it, and they arrive just in time to see him pulled from the drain.

Declaring that Mel and Joe are unfit people, let alone parents, they dump them and storm off with Daniel. Mel and Joe return home, trying to convince themselves that they are, in fact, good parents. It seems that they might be wrong when Lennox shows them her new tattoo, but when she explains that Xander drew it on her with ink that would go away in a month, they feel reassured. They are good parents.

Meanwhile, Ryder’s been working on his school situation. He solves his problem by devoting his art project to constructing a school for himself in the garage. Things are looking up for the clan, as the episode comes to a close.

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Dance Moms Boy Crazy, Mom Crazy

Dance Moms Boy Crazy, Mom Crazy

DM

Dance Moms
Lifetime
June 4, 2013

After a few weeks off, we’re back with Abby Lee Miller and the Dance Moms. Our summer premier is a two hour special which sees tension rising between Christie and Kelly, and the ALDC facing off against the Candy Apples once again.

We begin at pyramid, as per usual. Abby is not happy with how things went last season, and she hopes that everyone conducts themselves more appropriately this time. On the pyramid, we have Kendall at the bottom, followed by Mackenzie, Nia, Brooke, Chloe, Asia, Paige, and Maddie on top. Asia is in Los Angeles this week, and will not be dancing with the group this week. The only solo goes to Paige. The group number will include only four dancers (Maddie, Chloe, Nia, and Kendall). Maddie and Chloe will have a duet. Then she gives a special surprise to Brooke – she will be doing a routine with the senior dance company, and Abby warns her to do her best, because these dancers strive to be professionals. As Abby tells the girls and moms about the competition that they’ll be attending (a local event, in Pittsburg) and that Cathy and her Apple Cores will likely be attending as well. She does not want any conflict, since it’s a local event.

While Abby settles Brooke in with her senior company, Kelly is all complaints. Despite Brooke’s promotion, she sits upstairs saying things such as that she hopes the dance sucks, and she hopes they loose. She doesn’t think that it’s fair that Brooke wasn’t put into the company sooner, and that she’ll have less time to learn the dance than the others have had. Abby explains that she wants to give Brooke a taste of professional dancing, and we see from the studio camera that the other dancers have not practiced the routine much either. Jill states that Kelly is impossible to please, and that it doesn’t matter how many opportunities her children are given. She will not be happy. Judging from her behavior tonight, I am inclined to agree.

With her two most skilled dancers performing a duet together, Abby is putting a lot of pressure on it. We find out, however, that her annoyance is about more than just their dancing skills. It seems that Maddie was seen kissing a boy back stage at a competition recently, and it was none other than one of Cathy’s dancers! Abby warns her that boys are off limits, and especially boys who are the “enemy.”

Kelly is annoyed that Paige is not in the group number, but she’s happy that she has a solo, so she wants to keep her feelings to herself. Jill, however, thinks that she’s being ungrateful for her child’s opportunity, so she goes to talk to Abby about it. Abby says that Kelly should realize what a chance this is for Brooke, so she won’t point that out to her. Kelly overhears the conversation and snaps for them to stop talking about her kids. This leads to an argument when everyone goes back upstairs between her and Jill, and she says flat out that if Brooke messes up the seniors’ dance, it’s Abby’s fault, and she hopes the team loses.

Realizing that something is seriously bothering Kelly, the moms decide to have a special lunch without her and stage an intervention. Jill remarks that Kelly sees everything as the glass-half-empty, and she needs to be more optimistic. So the moms decide to hold a slumber party for Paige, to make Kelly feel that she’s more part of the team. However, when they pose the idea to Kelly, they are met with suspicion. Despite their promises that the party is just something fun for the girls, Kelly tells the audience and she isn’t stupid. She thinks that the moms went to lunch to gossip about her, and not to plan something nice for children.

Later, when Jill and Christie leave the room to “look at costumes,” Kelly explains that she wasn’t angry with Jill, but she didn’t think that it was Jill’s business to pick a fight between her and Abby. She doesn’t understand why the moms want her to be upset. When Christie and Jill return, everything blows up into a big fight, culminating in cursing and hurtful words. The mothers are so loud that they can be heard in the studio, where the senior company is rehearsing, and the dancers stop to listen. When the moms start dropping f-words, Abby gets fed up. Downstairs, Christie shouts at Paige that it wasn’t her fault, and if everyone wanted to be jealous of her 11-year-old daughter, that was their problem.

Paige is naturally hurt by her words and tone and runs upstairs to her mother, crying. Maddie explains what happened and the other mothers try to comfort her. The next day, Kelly and Christie are immediately at each other’s throats again. The fight escalates quickly, until Abby interrupts and warns her that she does not want a repeat of the night before. In the end, Christie leaves the observation room and Kelly breaks down into tears.

Down in rehearsal, Abby decides that Brooke isn’t quite grasping the dance. So she sets Brooke up with the male lead from the senior company dance, to engender trust between the two. Brooke admits that she isn’t sure that she wants a boyfriend. After their date, Brooke says that she would do another duet with the boy, but not another date.

The next morning, the moms try to mediate the fight between Christie and Kelly. Both of them, however, are tired of apologizing to each other. Abby soon notices that it’s affecting Maddie and, especially, Chloe. Chloe is visibly upset, and Abby assumes that it’s because of her mother’s behavior. She thinks that the moms need to learn to behave themselves and the girls need to get their heads in the game.

Finally, it’s the day of the competition. Since Abby is upset by Cathy being there, Holly steps forward to make sure the girls are ready. The first to compete is the duet, with Maddie and Chloe. For all of Abby’s complaints, the girls do a really good job. They look beautiful as they dance together. Melissa remarks that they look like mirrors, and that the girls are back.

After Cathy’s boys perform, Abby feels that the choreography was subpar. Since the number was a tribute to the choreographer’s late father, he and Cathy take offense to her remarks. Ironic, considering how they behaved with Paige last time. So while Abby takes her leave, the Apple Cores prepare for battle and confront Abby and her girls.

Fortunately, the choreographer decides to keep the peace and move on from the remarks without incident.

Up next are solos. One of Cathy’s boys goes first. He does well. The dance was well done. Next is Paige. It’s a cute routine and she performs what she’s given very well. Following the solos, Kelly and Christie face off once again and they admit that things might not get mended this time. After a brief confrontation with Cathy in the hallway, it’s time for the group numbers.

First up is Abby’s senior company, who usually does not attend competitions. Abby wants to see how she does performing with dancers who are older than her, rather than younger, and wants to see if she can keep up with more advanced dangers. They do very, very well and Brooke more than kept up with those older dancers. Next are the Apple Cores. Their dance is…strange. It’s about bicyclists? Hard to say. Finally, we have the girls’ group number. They do a good job. Overall, Abby’s routines had more choreography than Cathy and her choreographer’s did.

At the awards ceremony, Paige is given second place, but Cathy’s soloist gets first. Chloe and Maddie’s duet gets first place. The senior company gets first place. The girls’ group number gets first place. Overall, it is a successful day.

Back in the dressing room, Kathy is so concerned about her fight with Christie to be happy for how well her children performed. Then, one of Cathy’s parents goes to Abby and asks her to find a place for his son on her team. Shortly thereafter, Cathy kicks the man out of her team for being a mole. It looks like it’s going to be an exciting season for the ALDC! Asia’s back next week, so tune back in to see what happens next!

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The Secret Life of the American Teenager Thank You and Goodbye

The Secret Life of the American Teenager Thank You and Goodbye

The Secret Life of the American Teenager

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Secret Life of the American Teenager
ABC Family
June 3, 2013

So, Readers, this is it. The series finale. Our previous episode ended with Ricky giving Amy one last out. One last chance to say that she doesn’t want to get married and get out of the whole thing. This episode begins with Amy packing some things in her parents’ old house. Her expression is thoughtful, and we shift into a flashback. She’s about to go to her first marching band halftime, during freshman year, when she decides to tell her parents something important. Before she can say anything, she gets a phone call…from Ben.

Back in the present, George sees her sitting at the dining room table and sits down with her. They reminisce about all the family dinners they had around their dining room table before everything went crazy and they moved their discussions into the kitchen. She remarks that graduation is going to be a lot of everyone having an opinion about whether or not she wants to marry Ricky, but George assures her that the only opinions she needs to worry about are her own and her family’s. He reminds her that she does have a family, regardless of whether she marries Ricky or not. The next five minutes are spent on another series of flashbacks, which spans the whole series and accounts the evolution of Amy’s relationship with and feelings for Ricky Underwood.

George goes home to Kathleen, to find her setting the table. She explains that she wanted to give him a nice surprise, and that she wants to get used to having family dinners since their family will soon be growing, with Grace’s impending marriage to Jack. Grace asks why Kathleen let her date Jack, and Kathleen reminds her that she did her best to keep Grace from doing that very thing. This launches another series of flashbacks.

Ben arrives at school late, missing their graduation rehearsal, because of a dental emergency. Amy fills him in on what they’ll need to do, and he asks her if she’s really getting married the next day. She just smiles at him and there are more flashbacks, this time of Amy and Ben. When we return to the present, they share a look, and neither of them look happy, this time.

Following the graduation ceremony, Lauren and Madison come up to Amy in the hall. They talk about how they wish they were going to the same school, and invite her to a party the next day. Amy reminds them that she’s doing a little thing like getting married the next day, so she doesn’t really want to go to a graduation party. She and Adrian and Grace all make up from when Adrian had her breakdown and told the guys all their secrets a few weeks ago. Since Adrian came with Ben, when she, Grace and Jack leave that leaves Ben alone with Amy and Ricky. He makes it clear that he still doubts their commitment to each other, but Ricky just congratulates him on graduating from high school.

Amy admits that she wishes that they could go back and redo high school, doing everything better this time, but it’s too late for that. It’s time to go. It’s time to move on. So they leave the school, the door closing behind them with a click.

More flashbacks, this time about Grace and her revolving door with abstinence.

Jack takes Grace home and leaves her to dance by herself. Adrian arrives home to an empty apartment and tries to convince herself that she’s happy alone, and that she doesn’t need to be in a relationship to be happy. She remembers all the mistakes she’s made for the sake of having a man, over the years. The only one who she was happy with was Omar. A knock on the door brings her back to the present and she quickly tidies up before answering. Omar comes inside to give her luggage…and ask her to go to New York with him right then. By this point, she regrets having let him go before and kisses him with a grin, accepting his offer.

We cut to Amy and Ricky. He shouts at her and they’re both crying. She’s calling off the wedding. She can’t go through with it. He tells her that he gave her every opportunity to get out of the wedding, but she insisted on their getting married. He hates her. She hates him. She tells him that he might love her, but he’s never been in love with her. He only wants to marry her because of John. What difference does that make, he asks? It makes all the difference in the world. They will call their family and friends and tell them that they’re not getting married. She’ll leave, John will stay with him. Ricky tells her that they have to be real friends to raise John separately, and she tells him that they are friends. That’s the problem. She wants them both to be madly in love when they get married. He asks her if she’s madly in love with Ben, and she can’t answer.

After her parents go back and forth a few times about whether she’s doing the right thing or not, she’s ready to go to the airport. She second guesses herself a few times and tries to justify her decision. Ultimately, she decides to go. Upstairs, we see Ricky reading his son a story. He finishes the book, saying “and she lived happily ever after…and so will we.”

So there we have it. This was probably the most sensibly handled episode of the whole series (though I do wish they’d spend less time on flashbacks and more on the actual story). We don’t get a clean ending, because life is not clean. We don’t find out if Amy will be with Ben because she doesn’t know herself. She’s confused and doesn’t know what she wants, but in the end…they’ll move forward with their lives. And they’ll be okay.

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