S1E9: I must say, even though I'm not a big fan of $#*! My Dad Says, I like that they tackled self-help gurus in this episode. One of my biggest pet peeves is people who take advantage of others during times of economic hardship. Sure, maybe a few people genuinely get help from "channeling the power within" or whatever they ask them to do, but on a whole, I have to agree with Ed in this episode: it's a scam.
That said, even though "Make a Wish" approached a topic that was slightly interesting, the episode wasn't very good.
We open with a commercial from "life coach and best-selling author Charlotte Ann Robinson." She wrote a book called The Wish and wants to share it with the rest of the world, and, unsurprisingly, Ed thinks self-help people are stupid. And as soon as he says they're dumb, in traditional, cliche sitcom fashion, guess who walks through the door proclaiming that Robinson is a genius? Vince and Bonnie. Turns out they attended the seminar which made them believe the best thing they could do is quit their jobs and start a business. Ed and Henry of course think this idea is crazy (which it is, considering they have no money).
All of this sparks Henry's journalistic mind, so he pitches a story about this Robinson woman to his editor. For research, he decides to attend the one of the conferences. This suddenly worries Ed -- mainly because of Vince and Bonnie's decision to quit their jobs -- so he ventures off to the gathering. While there, he gets pulled on stage by Robinson to "make a wish." But instead of playing along, he "politely" tells her that he thinks what she does is a scam. And then -- in another traditional, cliche twist -- guess what? Ed ends up sleeping with Charlotte.
Meanwhile, Henry got distracted at the convention. He sat next to a beautiful woman who initially seems like a pretty dumb blond. Turns out she seduces Henry, ties him up and steals his money and pants. Whoops.
Then, suddenly, the episode tied itself up and ended. When I was watching, I wasn't quite sure what the hell had happened. Somehow, Ed morphed into this nice, caring father, and he offered Vince and Bonnie a place to stay at his home (because they need to rent their condo to start their business). And then it ended. Seriously. I don't know if I just wasn't paying close enough attention or what (which is entirely possible, considering this show bores the hell out of me), but it was just like, wham, over.
And that was it. That was the entire episode. Look, I know that SMDS isn't the next Seinfeld or Cheers, but I feel like I need a little bit more in a plot than that. At least some type of growth. What I don't understand is how this whole show bases itself around an old guy who is mean (Ed), but then within one episode, this same guy morphs into a new, nicer man who's willing to open up his house for anyone to live -- all "in the name of love." I mean, seriously? Come on. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy that the writers are at least trying to make some type of legitimate growth in the series, but they aren't doing it well at all. I'm not expecting big, dramatic maturation from SMDS (it's a sitcom, nothing more, nothing less), but I do expect them to at least have a coherent story. And if they want me to care about the evolution of this crazy old man, give me something that would at least make me mildly care about him, you know? Just because you're saying he's changing doesn't mean that he's actually changed.
Anyway, I don't really know what else to say about this show. I feel like I hit this wall every week, but really, there's only so much analysis you can give for something that is terrible. How this show is managing to be watched by like 10 million people a night is mind-boggling. But regardless, I can't offer any real criticism until SMDS gives me something real to criticize. Right now, it's just a bunch of flat, boring characters who do a much better job at annoying me than making me laugh.