Tuesday, September 1, 2015

REVIEW: 'Playing House' - Emma's Relationship with Rabbi Dan Gets in the Way of a Girls Weekend in 'Kimmewah Kup'

USA's Playing House - Episode 2.06 "Kimmewah Kup"

An unexpected visitor interrupts Maggie and Emma's weekend at Lake Kimmewah; and the gals also battle their old nemeses, the Custerman twins.

Maggie and Emma are very close friends. They know absolutely everything about the other. They support each other when they need it the most. They also understand what they need at any given moment in time. It is a true friendship that everyone should aspire to have. Their friendship should be celebrated. They work so well together. That has always been the best part of this show. The dynamic between Maggie and Emma keeps the comedic rhythms and sensibilities strong and fast. The audience has come to understand them in a truly rewarding way.

It could be weird that Maggie and Emma want to spend even more time with each other - by going on a girls weekend at their cabin at Lake Kimmewah. They live together and support each other. But once they add in all the other factors of their lives, it does seem like it would be a nice and simple thing to have it be just the two of them again. Of course, that's not what actually happens. But it's definitely something they can aspire to have. Both Maggie and Emma love having their friendship be one of the most important things in their lives. But reality has other demands as well. They are raising a child. They are also determining what their futures should be. They are figuring out how comfortable they are putting themselves out there for a relationship. All of these things are incredibly personal. They have the support from the other to lean on in these times. Maggie wants to go back to nursing school and Emma wants to pursue a relationship with Rabbi Dan.

A trip away for the weekend does sound like a lot of fun. But reminders of real life kept popping up long before Dan was actually at the cabin's front door. Maggie just wanted this weekend to be about their friendship. Enjoying each other's company with makeovers, watching movies and beating their rivals - the Custerman twins - in the big race of the weekend. They are both on the same wavelength with wanting to do all of these things. But Emma has also fallen so hard for Dan. She isn't the best person when it comes to relationships. She can be self-destructive. And yet, she doesn't want to mess this up. But she is compromising herself, her values and her relationship with Maggie in order to make things work with Dan. Emma is simply trying too hard to be there for him in a time where she needs to be more aware of how Maggie is feeling. This was suppose to be a girls weekend. It's not inherently bad that Dan shows up as a third wheel. But it's more Maggie who is thrusted into that position as Emma and Dan would rather do stuff away from her.

Maggie has a right to be upset at Emma based on her behavior on this trip. It really started even before they left the house. Maggie literally had to drive away without Emma in order for Emma to stop kissing Dan and go on the trip. Then, Emma was cavalier about removing Maggie's playlist in order to listen to Dan's mixed CD he made for her. It was filled with jam band music - something neither of them likes. But Emma listened anyway because she was trying to be into it for Dan. That's something that she's doing even when he's not around. Every time he calls her, she answers. She ignored him once and that was it. Her will power didn't last that long. It was grating on Maggie and Emma didn't even see that. Maggie had all of these plans for the weekend and Emma didn't care that she was messing them all up just so she can be with her boyfriend.

The solution to all of this isn't Dan leaving though. The straw that breaks the camel's back is Dan finishing the puzzle Maggie had been working on at the cabin for three years. That's a hilarious amount of time to be working on a puzzle. But it's understandable why she would be upset that she wasn't the one who finished it. Maggie looks at Emma right now and doesn't see the best friend she loves so much. She sees a woman trying to change herself for her boyfriend. Something that seems totally like a reaction to how intimate she got with Mark last week. Emma is overcompensating for something she doesn't even want to admit happen. But it did. Her actions speak louder than her words. She has to admit that she hasn't been a genuine person to either Maggie or Dan. Both of them are happy with her just being herself. It's just a worry she has concocted in her head of that not being good enough for them. She is. She just has to realize that.

Maggie, Emma and Dan are all on good terms by the end. In fact, they make a pretty good team when it comes to the big race. Ronnie and Conrad Custerman are just as competitive as Maggie and Emma are when it comes to the paddleboat race. They are just more focused this year and able to manipulate the women more easily. They are even more crazily in sync than they are - which Maggie and Emma amusing find unhealthy and justify that they are okay because they have a kid. Dan is able to give Maggie a nice gesture for disturbing this weekend in naming their boat "The Charlotte." He is also able to tip them off that the Custermans lied about their father being dead. After that, the race wasn't important. It was just seeking out revenge and making sure they couldn't finish this race either. Maggie and Emma ramming the Custerman twins is the moment they worked as a team again - and it was so delightful to see.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Kimmewah Kup" was written by Christine Nangle and directed by Stuart McDonald.
  • It's nice to know that Maggie has thought things ahead for Bruce in case there's a World War Z situation while she and Emma are away for the weekend.
  • It's also very telling that both Maggie and Bruce are now fully aware that they were never like Emma and Dan when it came to their relationship. That understanding makes them work as parenting partners now.
  • Conrad doesn't like to be called Connie and Ronnie doesn't like to be called Ronrad. Good to know.
  • Emma: "I packed Terms of E. Then, we're gonna bring it up with a little Fried Greens to the T. And then, Floats with Sandy B."
  • Maggie: "Do you even know how to body roll?"
  • Maggie: "A kiss on the lake - just like The Notebook! I hate that movie."