Friday, November 16, 2018

REVIEW: 'The Cool Kids' - Separate Thanksgiving Plans Threatens to Split the Group in 'Thanksgiving at Murray's'

FOX's The Cool Kids - Episode 1.07 "Thanksgiving at Murray's"

When Margaret scores an invite to an exclusive foodie potluck for Thanksgiving, she takes Sid as her plus one, leaving Hank and Charlie to find a backup plan.

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 FOX's The Cool Kids.

"Thanksgiving at Murray's" was written by Paul Fruchbom and directed by Fred Savage

In these opening episodes, it has become clear that The Cool Kids is always better when it has one story for all of its characters to focus on. If it ever splits that focus, then some problems arise because it is still just exploring the world of this retirement community. Even though two distinct groups form here with differing plans for Thanksgiving, the focus never really seems split. Margaret and Sid go to this elite Thanksgiving where they have to answer trivia questions correctly in order to get the appetizers that have been prepared. Meanwhile, Hank and Charlie are forced to fend for themselves and neither of them really know how to cook. Both stories build as they all go starving throughout the day. Sure, it's crazy to think that this place just shuts down for a holiday. The staff typically would have a meal prepared for anyone who didn't have a family to spend the day with. But the show actually plays it as if Murray can just take over the entire kitchen in order to make his exquisite feast for his friends. That doesn't include Margaret and Sid though. They are just invited to this dinner as a form of entertainment. They are there to be laughed at. These are some horrible people who look down on the two of them. They just see two trashy people who don't have high taste. Sure, it probably starts a question about economics and how much it costs to live in this specific retirement community. That may not be something this show is well-equipped to handle though. It's much more comfortable producing outrageous humor than trying to deliver some insightful message about the current state of the world. All of this concludes with Sid and Margaret getting their revenge by proving that they are just as crafty and capable as these elitist snobs who have looked down on them. Margaret was even attracted to Murray. That didn't stop when she realized just how much of a jerk he was either. That may further prove that she doesn't have the best taste in men. But all of this allows the friends to come together to get their revenge. It just comes as they are all starving. That doesn't compromise their actions though. This is exactly what they would have done even if their stomachs were full. As such, it highlights how the importance of this holiday is being surrounded by friends who actually love you. Margaret wanted to expand her social circle. She is happy with Hank, Charlie and Sid. She accepts that it was wrong to pick Sid as her plus-one over Charlie. But she would still rather associate with them because they understand the world the same way that she does. That's very important. It forges a strong bond of companionship. Sure, all of this leaves the group with no where to go for Thanksgiving. They simply can't return to Sid's apartment expecting him to make his casserole feast like he does every year. He is proud of that. And yet, they are still more than welcome to spend the evening with Dudley. The group has always been annoyed by him. Hank and Charlie didn't even want to spend the day with him after their plans fell through. But in the end, they are still welcomed. Dudley has a meal that everyone can appreciate without feeling inferior. And so, he too is a kindred spirit at this retirement community even though he's not welcomed as a full-on member of this friend group.