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I guess I just like liking things


Jaye and her father are in a car, getting ready to go out for breakfast together. As they are leaving, he has to clear the driveway of recycling and garbage bins, and a yard flamingo chastises Jaye to “get off [her] ass” and help her father. When Jaye shuts the window, she accidentally hits the car out of park, and it rolls backwards down the driveway, striking her father and breaking one of his legs. At the hospital, Jaye is taunted by her family that they should expect this behavior from her. Drowning her sorrows at The Barrel, she is accosted by Gretchen Speck-Horowitz to help plan their high school’s 6 1/2 year reunion. Although Jaye doesn’t want to do this, a Mounted Bass tells her to “get off [her] ass”. Fueled by guilt over her father, she agrees to help. Mahandra plots revenge on Gretchen for the mistreatment she suffered in high school. Meanwhile, Sharon picks up her father from the hospital and gets stuck getting him food and blankets, despite having a date with Beth that evening. She drugs her father with pain medication in order to keep her date without having to tell him about it. At the Barrel, the reunion is in full swing, but Gretchen’s Booster Rooster hair clip tells Jaye to “Destroy her!” and so she throws a fruity cocktail on her dress. At first Gretchen is upset and humiliated, but a meeting with an old admirer convinces her that she has a lot to give and that she is wasting her time. She saunters out a “free” woman, after telling Jaye that she is better than her. The next day, Jaye picks up her father from the hospital for his follow-up, and they have breakfast together.

There are three parallel stories running throughout this episode, all focused on a different character, but having the same theme of how others’ perceptions can cause problems with self-image and happiness. Jaye struggles with her family seeing her as a screw-up, Sharon wants her parents to believe she is a successful, normal woman (which involves keeping her sexual orientation a secret), and Gretchen desires to relive her glory days in high school to boost her faltering self-esteem. Jaye wants to change the perception her family has of her, while Sharon and Gretchen cling to the old image that others have, even though it may no longer be true. Eric even gives voice to this, as he says to Jaye, “Oh right, I get that. Certain people see you a certain way, and these people are all from a particular time in your life, so when you’re around them you feel compelled to act out psycho-dramas that have nothing to do with who you are now.” This pretty much sums up the plight of all three of these women. By the end of the episode, Gretchen and Jaye are both made to feel that their fears are unwarranted, or at least lessened. Gretchen has the run-in with her admirer (more on that later), and she realizes that she already does have her mojo back, and that it’s not her fault if Robert doesn’t love her; in fact, she doesn’t love him, so why stay in this relationship? Jaye is told by both her father and her mother that they love her as she is.

On the subject of Jaye’s parents, it seems that they get a bad rap from both sisters on how each expects the Tylers to feel and act toward them. Sharon is completely against telling them that she is a lesbian, although we haven’t seen any indication that they are anything but understanding parents. (There is that throwaway line about “going green”, but it doesn’t match up with the rest of the characterization of Karen.) Jaye feels like her family expects her to fail, although her father states that she shouldn’t demean what she does, even if it is a retail job. As far as TV parents go, Karen and Darrin are good ones. (Also, where was their brother when Darrin was in the hospital? Tsk!)

"And people say you're an underachiever!" - Sharon Tyler

“And people say you’re an underachiever!” – Sharon Tyler

The relationship between Jaye and Eric (still not yet named in this episode, I remind you) is a lot better represented here than in the pilot. He’s not coming on to her as aggressively, although there is obviously an attraction present in their body language. His eyes get that super corny firework effect after he finds out that Jaye told a snarly sounding Heidi that Eric was “servicing” her, but while we are meant to imply that he is now completely head over heels with her, it could also be attributed to having his anger and hurt over Heidi’s infidelity validated. I appreciated how it was toned down, and their interactions are simple and cute. This is how their burgeoning relationship should have been portrayed in the pilot! (It is very strange that he still isn’t named in this episode, though.)

Gretchen’s interaction with her longtime admirer, Chuck Aronson, is very interesting. It’s not very common that an obsession like this is painted in a negative light. Of course, it is played for laughs, but Gretchen very pointedly refuses to entertain the idea of a relationship with this man because she is creeped out by him, including threatening him with mace. Instead of romanticising it, it is shown for what it is: stalkery, obsessive behavior. Now, Chuck seems like a nice guy (if a little sweaty). But Gretchen gets to choose whether or not to pursue this lead, and she chooses not to. And that’s okay.

There are three muses in this episode. The Pink Flamingos (as yard ornaments and as a balloon) tell Jaye to “Get off your ass!” The Mounted Bass echoes this statement, and also specifically tells her to “Help Gretchen.” Finally, the Booster Rooster hair clip tells Jaye to “Destroy Gretchen!”


  • When Gretchen shows Jaye her “couples card”, she explains that Amy Grant and Vince Gill, and Reese (Witherspoon) and Ryan (Phillipe) have them. They are two celebrity couples; however, the latter is no longer together. The address on the cards in a shout-out to a character’s residence on the Dick Van Dyke TV show.
  • Mahandra accuses Jaye of throwing a reunion with the anti-Christ. The anti-Christ is a religious figure described in the Bible, described as an evil counterpoint to Jesus Christ.
  • When looking at the Speck-Horowitz wedding album, Karen makes a reference to Fiddler on the Roof, which is a musical based on a Jewish family trying to maintain their traditions in the face of opposition.
  • Jaye asks what kind of destruction Mahandra had in mind for Gretchen, asking if a “pig blood shower” would be involved. This is a reference to Stephen King’s book Carrie, and the film of the same name.
  • Eric confesses that he has a borderline autistic trait of knowing the number of letters in anyone’s name. Jaye quizzes him with Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, to which he says he is asked that all the time. It is the title of a song from the Disney film Mary Poppins.
  • The scene where Sharon brings the drugged glass of milk to her father is an homage to the 1941 Alfred Hitchcock film Suspicion.
  • The book that Darrin is reading in bed is called Made in Texas by Michael Lind. It is a political book about the presidency of George W. Bush. This is supposed to be a hint that Darrin is a Republican.
  • The drink that Jaye splashes onto Gretchen is thought by Chuck to be a mai tai. This is a cocktail with a variety of recipes, but most known to have rum, Curacao liqueur, and lime juice.
  • After the destruction of Gretchen Speck-Horowitz, Mahandra asks Jaye is she was channeling Tonya Harding, a famous figure skater who sabotaged her competition (Nancy Kerrigan) by attempting to have her leg broken in 1994.
  • This episode was the fourth aired, although it was intended to be the second episode.

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