Tuesday, November 13, 2018

REVIEW: 'The Kids Are Alright' - Eddie Attempts to Clean Up a Mess Before Peggy Finds Out in 'Peggy's Day Out'

ABC's The Kids Are Alright - Episode 1.04 "Peggy's Day Out"

To hide a mess Eddie made, his girlfriend, Wendi, tries to distract Peggy by insisting she take a day off with a fun day out while they take care of the housework. To everyone's surprise, Peggy accepts the offer and requests Wendi tag along, with the ulterior motive of teaching her a lesson. Eddie enlists the help of his brothers to clean up and keep Mike out of the house while Wendi and Peggy are out. Pat introduces Timmy to his secret dog.

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 The Kids Are Alright.

"Peggy's Day Out" was written by Tom Hertz and directed by Kat Coiro

Mary McCormack's performance as Peggy has immediately become the chief focus of this show. It's a solid hook to build the rest of the series around. Peggy may fit into a traditional '70s housewife role. And yet, she is still empowered and hilarious because she always knows exactly what's going on with her children. Their lives may seem crazy and chaotic. But there is some sense of order to the chaos with her being able to manipulate every piece of information that she knows to her advantage. That has become such a thrilling energy in the show so far. It also highlights how Michael Cudlitz doesn't quite have the same purpose just yet. Mike is pretty inconsequential to the overall story this week as well. There is the fear that he is about to walk in on his kids trying to clean up a mess. But he quickly walks away because he only really cares about if his television will still work at the end of the day. Because it does, he doesn't need to concern himself with everything else that's going on. That's perfectly fine. It just means that he isn't an active character. He's mostly a punchline whom the children need to avoid from time to time. Meanwhile, Peggy actually has her own motivation and story here. She knows what has happened at home. And yet, she still treats herself to a day away from her family in order to see if Wendi has what it takes to become a part of it. She was surprised by Eddie and Wendi's relationship in the premiere. And now, she's following up on it to see if it's something worth getting invested in. She does walk away with an answer here as well. Sure, Wendi may be a terrible liar. But she also represents as someone whom Peggy can respect and trust. She will be loyal to this family. She will also be loyal to Eddie beyond anything else. She takes responsibility for the broken wine bottle. Peggy already knows the truth. But she's not about to punish her family for that either. That makes her such a complicated figure because it shows her using her powers of manipulation and knowledge to get the satisfaction of being right without having to torture her family all of the time. Of course, it still sends the kids back home spinning. There are a bunch of random little subplots when it comes to that corner of this world. Timmy is trying to keep an eye on Pat because he foolishly wants to steal the neighbors' dog. That's horrifying and mostly shows how Peggy still needs to keep an eye on her younger children. The older ones are just as capable of getting into trouble and destroying things as well though. In fact, they are always getting into fights with one another. There is the fear that comes from their mother finding out what happened. But there is also the rush of trying to deceive their parents into thinking everything worked out. And yes, the family is able to come together for yet another normal family meal in the end. It's nice while also acknowledging that everyone knows the truth and that it's best not to be said. This family understands and appreciates each other so much. That too is a very endearing quality of this show. Sure, they may fight but they all love each other in the end too. That could become too sentimental and forced over time. But right now, it works really well.