Wednesday, October 3, 2018

REVIEW: 'Single Parents' - Sleepovers Cause Both the Adults and Kids to Worry in 'Sleepover Ready'

ABC's Single Parents - Episode 1.02 "Sleepover Ready"

Douglas is stuck hosting the kids' Saturday sleepover, and Will uses this as an opportunity to try to bond with Douglas, something he hasn't been able to do before. Angie and Graham both struggle with their own fear of sleepovers - Graham is worried to stay the night without his mom and not in his own house, and Angie is worried to sleep over with her man friend Owen. Poppy helps Miggy come up with potential job ideas in order to help him become more responsible.

In 2018, it has become very difficult to keep up with every television show out there. It's even more difficult to provide adequate coverage on this site about the episodes that air every week. Not every show can get full coverage because of my busy and hectic viewing schedule. As such, some reviews will now be condensed to give only some summary thoughts. But it also affords a space for me to jot down my thoughts on the various episodes. And so, here are my thoughts on this week's episode of ABC's Single Parents.

"Saturday Sleepover" was written by Sarah Tapscott and directed by Jason Winer

In its premiere, I said that Single Parents was the new broadcast network comedy with the most potential. It just needed to relax and let its solid cast be funny. The premise wasn't all that necessary either. It could become a great hangout sitcom. The second episode is the show still essentially just going through some of the motions instead of just dropping all of the pretenses. Will is still trying overly hard to be friends with Douglas. It's a connection he is eager to make but can't find the way in to connect with him. That's the main story of this episode. Douglas is hosting the weekly Saturday sleepover with all of the kids. He doesn't want to handle that responsibility though. So, he welcomes Will in even though they quickly become distracted. It's fortunate that all of the kids seem smart and capable. It's definitely scary to envision them unsupervised. They make their way all the way to a golf course - even though it also happens to be in Douglas' backyard. But it's still a scary thought to think that Douglas and Will have lost the kids. That's ultimately not that big a deal. Instead, it's much more significant to watch as they are finally able to bond because they are single fathers raising girls. That always seemed like the obvious connection that would allow a deeper relationship to form. It just takes an entire story to get to that point. As such, it still doesn't seem like the show fully living up to its own potential. Moreover, it could be troubling if the show is going to feature numerous stories in each episode. There are about four distinct stories happening here. Granted some of them are minor. None of them are as important as Will and Douglas bonding. But it also seems like the show still figuring out its episodic formula. And so, Graham being scared of being away from his mom for a sleepover is really just a minor detail to give the kids some amusing jokes to deliver. Meanwhile, Poppy trying to help Miggy get his life together is a C-story that never really amounts to anything. It's mostly just the two of them realizing that Miggy can also help out at Poppy's wine bar. It would mean he has a job that will actually pay him. That's important especially as he is caring for a baby and looking for stability in his life. Right now, he mostly presents as the clueless parent. That can be very amusing. But the reaction shots from his baby are even more humorous. And finally, it's understandable that Angie is also afraid of having a man sleep over for the night. She has grown accustomed to Graham bailing on his sleepover in the middle of the night. She doesn't expect her date to get that far. And yet, it's terrifying when that potential presents herself. She wants to believe that she's ready for this kind of relationship again. But it's still such an uncertain time for her. She wants to make this commitment. But then, the show pulls her away to feature her in the final set piece on the golf course with the rest of the ensemble. It's a solid idea and hopefully one that will continue to be explored moving forward.