Season 1, Episode 6
Frank, the Writer
Plot Summary-Frank thinks he can be a writer and tries writing or Reader’s Digest.
Nitpick of the episode-Robert worrying that the baby doesn’t like him anymore is pretty lame especially when we see in the end he can’t even tell the twins apart.
Best Line-“ Hey Ray did you know that Mark Twain had a son who was a writer? His name was Choo-choo. Choo-choo Twain”…Frank
Episode Fun Fact-Starting in this episode we see a lot sports celebrities cameoing in the opening teasers. This was CBS’s way to get the suffering show some attention. The creators agreed knowing full well they could edit the cameos out later when the series went to syndication.
Deleted Scenes-Teaser with Kareem Abdul Jabaar.
Syndication Edit-Ally watching TV with Debra
Best Character-Ray, I like the way he handles Frank in this one
Worst Character-Robert, he’s just annoying in this one
Final Thoughts-Another early episode and it shows. The whole premise seems so crazy, that Frank would want to be a writer. Where did this idea even come from? He gets so full of himself he even thinks he can write for Ray’s paper. Ray convinces him that is a bad idea in a way that makes sense. And what is the big deal about Readers Digest? And then we have Robert worrying that Michael doesn’t like him anymore. This is stupid for many reason, Robert doesn’t worry like Ray does and the fact Michael is, you know, a baby!
Grade-C-, the idea is farfetched but the characters are at least on key
Season 1, Episode 7
Your Place or Mine?
Plot Summary-After having a fight Marie moves in with Ray and Debra. While Marie drives Debra craxy Frank enjoys his newfound freedom.
Nitpick of the episode-The resolution is way too easy. Frank suddenly decides he wants Marie back, just like that. It’s as if they knew the episode was almost over so had to resolve the problem fast.
Best Line-“Just remember, Frank, the supermarket can be a very lonely place. There isn’t always going to be some lady on a plastic donkey to make you feel better.”…Debra
Episode Fun Fact –
Deleted Scenes-None for this episode
Syndication Edit- Teaser where Ray and Debra discuss technology (the teasers that first tear were usually pointless therefore often cut)
Best Character-Debra, one thing we didn’t get enough of in this series was Frank and Debra scenes so the one’s in this episode are nice
Worst Character-Frank, not because he enjoys his freedom. The fight starts when he doesn’t approve of the sandwich Marie made. That’s pretty jerky.
Final Thoughts- Not to much to say about this episode. It basically analyses Frank and Marie’s marriage and why it works. Marie is typically Marie as she aggravates Debra while Frank walks around the house in his boxer shorts. We also get some Ray/Robert interaction which is cool since we haven’t seen much of that at this point. Though the two arguing over the prize in a box of cereal is a tad, well, immature. Yeah I know that’s the point, it’s also annoying at times.
Season 1, Episode 8
Plot Summary-Debra’s parents invite the whole family out to a family restaurant. When Marie, Frank, and Robert act out Ray finally snaps, and gets everyone mad at him.
Nitpick of the episode- It’s sad when a Carol Burnett Show sketch did this concept better. And why does Debra insist her parents spend time with Rays, they clearly don’t get along. I love the music that opens the second act, every time I hear it I expect a Bum Review to start! J
Best Line-“It was like the night the locusts landed”….Ray
Episode Fun Fact –The first time we meet Debra’s parents played of course by Robert Culp and Katherine Helmond.
Deleted Scenes-None for this episode.
Syndication Edit-The teaser with Ray talking about being happy
Best Character-Ray, who wouldn’t have snapped?
Worst Character-Frank & Marie, have they ever been in a restaurant before? I just can’t believe the way they behave in this episode. Who gives forks back to the waiter because there are too many on the table???
Final Thoughts- I noted before that the common theme this season was making everything Ray’s fault. Even though Frank and Marie were acting like they’ve never been out in public before, since Ray snapped he’s the one who everyone is mad at in the end. Of course. I already noted this but the way Marie and Frank act at the restaurant is awful. It’s kind of amusing watching Warren and Lois in this episode considering the path the characters would later take. We also get creepy Robert, as I mentioned before he acted odd that first season. And Debra comes off more pretentious than she would be later. All in all I think this episode would have been better if it had been later in the series run.
Season 1, Episode 9
Win, Lose or Draw
Plot Summary-When Frank brings Ray in on the weekly poker game Ray ends up losing $20,000 to his father.
Nitpick of the episode-You gotta love the forced exposition in the restaurant scene introducing Frank’s friends Lee and Marvin. There’s a third friend in that scene who we never see again. It’s kind of depressing when you figure the character passed away at some point after the episode.
Best Line-“Like hell, I am! I want to teach him a lesson. You up the stakes, you lose a lot. You play with matches and you get burned. And most importantly, thank you come again”…Frank
Episode Fun Fact –Marie establishes she has money that Frank doesn’t know about. This would come up again when the family travels to Italy.
Deleted Scenes-None for this episode (don’t worry we’ll get some as we go)
Syndication Edit-Teaser with Ray complaining about the food he picked up.
Best Character-Frank, I like when he realizes that a father should help his son and gives the money back.
Worst Character-Marie, She makes one of her little insults when she sees Debra using frosting from a can. I never understood Marie, is Debra really supposed to find time to make homemade frosting with three kids running around?
Final Thoughts-Not really sure what to say about this episode, all it really does is establish Frank has friends. I kind of like the final scene with Robert in the kitchen. The whole episode just feels like it meanders on to its resolution, you could skip from the end of act 1 to that final scene and miss nothing.
Grade-B-, average episode.
Season 1, Episode 10
Turkey or Fish
Plot Summary-When Debra wants to hold Thanksgiving she decides to serve fish. Marie arrives with a turkey.
Nitpick of the episode-That scene where Frank is choking and Marie starts blaming the fish? Yeah that was totally my grandmother. It also drives me nuts the way Ray is so obsessed about watching football rather than helping his wife. But I hate football so maybe that one’s just me.
Best Line-“I lost the squash Ray, that was my only yellow”…Debra
Episode Fun Fact –
Deleted Scenes-None for this episode.
Syndication Edit-The teaser with Ray being a hypochondriac
Best Character-Debra, you gotta admire her spunk trying to get into the rotation knowing Marie would have a fit about it.
Worst Character-Marie, bringing a turkey was such a nasty thing to do even she apologizes for it.
Final Thoughts-You can really tell this is an early episode, because that apology Marie gives Debra at the end of the episode is out of character. It’s something you’d see in a corny 80’s sitcom not this show. Even more out of character, compared to later in the series, is Debra. Especially that scene when she can’t find the squash and starts crying. I haven’t mentioned this yet, but the first two or three years Debra was not as harsh but she was also much weepier. Honestly I’m glad they stopped making her cry so much. One thing about the early shows is that Debra could cook just not to Marie’s standards, hence she makes a decent bass here. As the series progresses her cooking will get worst and worst to the point where it isn’t that she a bad cook compared to Marie, she’s just terrible cook period. Finally, we also meet Uncle Mel who would be around until the actor sadly passed away.
Grade-C+, not bad as far as Thanksgiving episodes go.
Be back with more from season 1 next week!