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Brothers, babies and Bordeaux

 

Season 2, Episode 16: “Falling Slowly”

It was so refreshing to actually laugh during an episode of this show again, and right off the bat no less. Mike and Phil sing “Falling Slowly” from the movie Once using a karaoke machine. Melissa and Erica, sitting nearby, reveal that this has been their sixth rendition. Upset, Melissa calls out “The movie is called once!” Not only was it great to see a glimpse of Melissa’s former attitude, but it perfectly reflects how I’ve felt about the back half of this season. A joke is best served fresh.

 

Carol proceeds to tell Phil about her plan to get pregnant with Todd’s baby. Because she’s old fashioned, she’ll need to marry him. This is patently ridiculous since she slept with other Phil in season 1, but who’s keeping track? Clearly not the writers, or this repetitive plot would have ended two episodes ago. Anyway, midway through the wedding, Phil realizes that his brother should be the one siring his child. Todd is hurt, but Melissa and Gail are relieved.

 

Earlier in the episode, Phil reveals to Mike that he’s never told Carol he loves her. All that changes when Mike and Carol try to consummate their marriage and accomplish their baby mission. Phil is watching, because of course he is, and he yells it in the middle of their intercourse. And of course everyone in the house is listening in, because it’s not like there’s a pool house or anything. The next day, Carol mistakenly takes a pregnancy test, thinking it’s a fertility test, and it reveals she’s pregnant. Because she and Mike didn’t finish, it’s clearly Phil’s baby.

 

Everyone is happy, except, inexplicably, Gail, who is sitting in the back yard with a glass of Bordeaux. A drone finds her, and she stares it down.

While it will be exciting to see from where the drone hails, it’s unfortunate that the writers seem to think the only way to inject life into the show is to introduce new characters. Todd is upset, and everyone is annoyed about this wedding, but for some reason, everyone gets a pass for their ridiculous behavior except Phil. No one bothers to tell Carol that she’s being selfish and insensitive, nor do they seem to interact in any meaningful way when Phil is not in the room. Perhaps the virus that killed most of humanity turned the survivors into Sims, who wait until their player is present to do anything of importance. It’s unfortunate, because as I’ve said time and time again, they have an excellent ensemble. It’s frustrating that they keep focusing on the least interesting character and refuse to let their show evolve. Perhaps it’s meta-commentary on Phil’s lack of progress as a human, but it makes for wildly uninteresting television.

 

Other thoughts:

 

Sudeikis and Schaal have great chemistry together, so I hope that Mike refuses to divorce Carol or something similarly ridiculous in the future.

 

Todd looks good without his mustache.

 

Why is Gail so mad?

 

What does Erica do all day? What do any of them do all day? I wish these characters felt more alive, even just cartoonishly.

 

There’s no new episode next week, but that drone gave me just the hope I needed for the last two episodes of the season.

 

Directed By: David Noel & John Solomon

Produced By: Andy Bobrow, Will Forte, Phil Lord, Chris Miller, Chris Plourde, Liz Cackowski, Erik Durbin, Tim McAuliff, John Solomon, Emily Spivey, Steve Burgess, Erica Rivinoja, Seth Cohen

Written By: David Noel

Starring: Will Forte, Kristen Schaal, January Jones, Cleopatra Coleman, Mel Rodriguez, Mary Steenburgen, Jason Sudeikis

Network: Fox

Release Date: April 24, 2016

Runtime: 22 minutes

Rating: N/A

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