Friday, December 7, 2018

REVIEW: 'The Cool Kids' - Margaret Is Suspicious of Hank's New Relationship in 'Hank the Cradle Robber'

FOX's The Cool Kids - Episode 1.08 "Hank the Cradle Robber"

When Hank starts dating a much younger woman, the gang suspects she may be a gold-digger taking advantage of him because of his age. After rifling through her things, they fear this relationship could be something much worse - a pregnancy trap.

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.

"Hank the Cradle Robber" was written by Luvh Rakhe and directed by Phill Lewis

This show has been at its strongest when it focuses on the bond between the four friends. They are so loving and trusting of each other. They bonded together because they are kindred spirits who don't want their lives to slow down even though they live in a retirement community. They are all incredibly immature and silly. That has allowed for a lot of broad hijinks to define the storytelling of this show. However, it's also important to know that nothing is ever going to come between these friendships. That's the message that this episode chooses to end on. Hank won't let anything get in the way of what he has with Charlie, Sid and Margaret. They may make fun of him most of the time. And yet, that friendship means so much as well. This entire story is fundamentally about the group believing there is something wrong with Hank's new girlfriend, Felicia. She is a younger woman who is attracted to Hank for some reason. Yes, the show could use this story to talk about the gender bias of this issue. It's more than fine and typical for older men to date younger women. It's more rare and scandalous when an older woman dates a younger guy though. Of course, that's really only the point of all of this for one joke. As soon as Charlie mentions that he dated an old woman when he was 18, Margaret mostly drops the entire point. That means that all of this immediately has to transition to the absurdity of the situation. Margaret doesn't trust that this is a healthy relationship for Hank. She is trying to look out for him. Sure, it's understandable why Felicia would believe Margaret is doing so because she has a crush on him. It's important to note that that isn't true in the slightest. Her laughing at the suggestion is wonderful. That proves that not even a personal relationship amongst these four friends is bound to happen. They will always remain just friends. There isn't some tension that is driving one pair into being together as a couple. That may still be something that develops in the future. Right now, it's just important for Margaret to be repulsed by Hank in a romantic context. Of course, she is still wrong to suspect that Felicia is trying to use Hank for some nefarious reason. At first, she believes Felicia is a gold digger. It's not because he has a ton of money. It's because he wouldn't suspect that he could be a target of such a scam. And then, it shifts to the fear that Felicia is pregnant and plans on trapping Hank that way. He has never been completely genuine in this relationship either. He has done things that he isn't so comfortable doing. His back is a mess for this entire episode. He goes on multiple dates with Felicia. Not all of them are physical. And yet, he hasn't recovered from salsa dancing yet. That proves that he may not be up for how active she is as a person. And yet, she's not playing any games with him. She's not looking for money. She's not pregnant. She is genuinely interested in Hank. She is willing to give him another chance after he accuses her of these things as well. He walks away from the relationship because she can no longer tolerate his friends. That's the deal breaker. That is a hopeful and inspired message. It just gets lost somewhat in the need for everything to conclude in a way that keeps the status quo going for a little longer. As such, this isn't the most inspired episode the season has produced so far.