Home Economics – Episodes 2.01 to 2.06 – Review


Season 1 Overview

Home Economics popped into the TV landscape late last spring with its 7 episode first season. It ticked off all the boxes of a typical ABC single-cam-family sitcom, and by excelling in every aspect of the niche comedy corner ABC has carved out for itself in the TV landscape, delivered maybe one of the best pilots of its genre… and things only got better from there.
The show follows the Hayward siblings, each of which lives in a different socioeconomic state. There is Connor, the younger sibling, a hedge fund manager and investor, recently divorced, father of a sweet girl he loves dearly and spoils to bits, who is a true One-Persenter. Then we have Sarah, an activist and liberal lesbian, child therapist and recently out of work, barely getting by, as she lives in a studio apartment with her lovely wife Denise and their two tween kids. Lastly there is Tom, existing in the middle of the spectrum: a semi successful writer, with his biracial nuclear family composed by his very hot Latina wife Marina, retired due to motherhood lawyer, and their 3 lovely kids. The show picks up as Tom, following the failure of his last book has decided to write a semi biographical novel staring his family, and with Connor so clearly keen to get back in touch with his siblings post-divorce, gives Tom the opportunity to stay in his siblings orbit. Keeping everybody originally in the dark we follow this complicated family give Tom all the ammo he needs to write his next big hit, through their daily interactions, their Sunday brunches, their arguments and disputes, whether they refer to serious issues in the financial divide of society or are just petty, dumb sibling fights.
Home Economics has heart and joy stuffed into it as we follow this loving, loud, diverse in every possible way, family. And thankfully we are now in the second season of it.

With the show getting a full season pickup this week it is a great chance for us do a quick recap of S2 so far.

2.01 – 49ers Foam Finger, $7

The Season 2 premiere, finds the Haywards (all now fully aware of Tom’s book) hanging out at 49s game at Connor’s invite. Tom tries desperately to fit in while Connor’s business associates make fun of him. There is sadness and hurt as Tom claims this is something he felt left out of, as “sports” was something Connor and their dad used to do together. Through a series of unfortunate events and musical chairs, Tom finds himself getting the honour of winning the Halftime Kickoff Contest. Tom is reasonably worried and even Marina can’t seem to be able to calm him down. In the end it’s Connor who shows up to give him enough pointers to help him. In the process he also admits, that sports was the only thing he could share with their father. Tom had the smarts and the “perfect student” pride. The bothers share a lovely moment, and even better, Connor’s advice and encouraging words help Tom actually kick the ball through the uprights… even if he ends up falling flat on his ass.
Meanwhile Sarah finds herself face to face with her biases when she learns that Shamiah wants to try out for cheerleading but is scared of what her mother might think and even worse judge her. As Denise proves to her (after some extremely well played trickery) that it’s hypocritical of her to be supportive if Kelvin was the one who wanted to join (as she was led to originally believe) is a problem in itself. In the end Sarah steps up and lets Shamiah know that she will love and support her in anything she is passionate about.

2.02 – Chorizo With Mojo Verde and Chicharron, $45

As Connor tries to get his bearings post divorce, he accidentally inserts himself in Sarah and Denise’s lives, first by crashing their date night and then by romancing Lindsey, the one friend they look to for most of their social events, mainly book club. It’s an awkward situation as Connor does seem to genuinely want to try and make an effort to connect with Lindsey, going so far as to even join and host book club. But Sarah is both sceptical and possessive, and ends up acting up so much she gets herself and Denise kicked out of the aforementioned book club instead. Unfortunately the romance doesn’t last since Connor, in trying to avoid the mistakes he made in his marriage, overcorrects and scares Lindsey away instead. Still Sarah apologises for her own behaviour and acknowledges how hard the transition back to be being single must be for him, giving him an open invitation to crash date night whenever.

Meanwhile Tom gets a call from his agent, who’s gotten him an interview for a possible gig as a ghost writer for a memoir. Tom doesn’t seem too keen on the idea, but Marina encourages him by reminding him they are a bit stripped of cash. She however gets legit excited when she finds out that the person in question is, Sofia Salazar, a famous chef she’s a fan of. The interview takes place as Sofia invites them to her restaurant, where Marina’s excitement wanes when she sees Sofia flirting with Tom, a notion he dismisses… only to be proven wrong when Sofia shows up at their house un-invited. In an attempt to clear the air both Tom and Marina go to confront Sofia, only to have her explain that she was overplaying the part of the “hot latina chef”, and that she really wants Tom to take the gig. Which he does, even though she ends up switching gears completely and going from “being flirty with Tom” to outright making fun of him. This annoys and offends Marina to no end, but sadly they need the cash flow, so Tom will need to “write like the wind”. Process be damned!

2.03 – Bottle Service, $800 Plus Tip (25% Suggested)

Connor still wanting to “put himself out there” post divorce invites the whole gang out clubbing. Everyone jumps at the opportunity of a night out without the kids and goes along. However with Marina being distracted in a text battle with her PTA nemesis has hardly any time to enjoy herself. Thankfully she finds comrades among some other club patrons and club employees as they give her pointers on how to “win”. Elsewhere Sarah and Denise try to connect with a young LGBTQ couple they spot at the club. However as the night goes on and the two young people volunteer to take them to an underground party for post-club partying, they realise they might have wasted their “free spirited clubbing days” and are actually pretty okay about it.
All the while Connor and Tom find themselves in a tiff. See Tom volunteered to play wingman for his brother, but Connor finds himself at a loss on how to actually flirt and approach people on his own. Being so long “out of the game”, he gets jealous when Tom is the one who gets a group of girls giggling with not much effort and his unassuming personality. Connor realises it’s just easier to talk Tom down in order to look good, and after Tom confronts his brother about said behaviour he walks away. Connor is also called out about this by one of the girls from earlier, who tells him he should be nicer to his brother, because his brother is pretty nice. Realising she is right, he tries to make amends and instead finds himself having to manage a “high on aspirin” Tom (a waitress brought him an aspirin but told him it was X). The usually uptight Tom, with the placebo effect firmly in place finds himself letting lose, having the time of his life and telling his brother he loves him. All is well between them, but everyone kinda agrees that maybe clubbing isn’t for them.

2.04 – Windmount Academy, $42,000/year

Visiting a student art show at Gretchen’s fancy prep school, Marina realises in horror that Camilla might be losing touch with her Mexican heritage and recruits Tom into trying to rectify that. Tom dives right in to make his wife happy, employing his terrible Spanish to help as best he can… it’s the thought that counts, right? However Marina still finds herself outnumbered and having herself been eaten up by the Hayward “whiteness”. So she overcompensates by hosting an authentic Mexican dinner for the whole family… which sounds great in theory if she wasn’t a terrible cook. The dinner turns out to be a disaster, and ends with her in tears worried she might letting her parents and herself and her children down. Turns out she might be wrong though as the story ends with Camilla putting the twins to sleep, by singing them a classic Mexican lullaby her mother used to do sing to her.

Meanwhile Connor helps Sarah to book an interview with the prep school for the newly vacant counselling job. All this much to her objections as she both looks down at the institution and the people in it. Not to mention she isn’t too happy with the nepotistic manner in which she believes she got the opportunity. As usual her biases and presumptions come to bite her in the ass. As she deliberately tanks the interview in demonstration of defiance she realises the whole deal isn’t fixed and she was merrily being considered for the position, and not openly being offered it, as Connor had led her to believe. When she witnesses one of Gretchen’s schoolmates in a very difficult situation and is informed that the girl has been basically abandoned by her parents, she also comes to realise that money or no money kids are still children and need help. She earns herself a redo of the interview and nails the gig. And thankfully, Sarah is unemployed no more.

2.05 – Giant Jenga, $120

Marina and Denise take advantage of game night and set a bet where the loser of the night will be taking up babysitting watch for the other. It’s a full proof plan for both to save money and get these two very competitive women to blow off some steam. The only downside being that their spouses find themselves distracted as they get stuck in a love square with their own brother. You see Connor’s new girlfriend, Jessica, has past history with both Tom and Sarah.

Tom dwells on about the story of his first girlfriend, the summer-camp first love he experienced and is still very much affected by the girl that got away and broke his heart. He has even devoted a whole chapter in his book to this. Connor makes fun of the situation arguing that it’s been decades and Tom really should get over it, and insists that Jessica will be joining game night. This leads Tom to believe it might be a good opportunity to finally get closure. Sarah on her part seems to want to avoid any confrontation between Tom and Jessica only to reveal in secret to Denise that the actual reason behind it is because the person Jessica dumped Tom for was her. Jessica only makes things more awkward when she remembers Sarah, but not Tom. At Sarah’s request she lies about why she dumped Tom. However her cover ups are poorly thought through, especially for a rather obsessed Tom, who blows holes in every one of her stories. This leads to Sarah finally confessing her part in their history, and costing the game night bet for her and Denise. Tom is justifiably upset and demands an explanation, and finally a frustrated and guilt ridden Sarah gets to tell her side of the story: how Jessica was her first real crush, which led her to realise she might be gay, and that admitting anything to anyone would mean coming out, which she hardly was ready to do to even herself back then. Understanding the predicament his sister found herself in, in the end it’s Tom who apologises to Sarah for being selfish and gives her the proper comfort she deserves, telling her that they need to be more open and honest with each other.

2.06 – Box of King-Size Candy Bars, $48.99

It’s Halloween and while originally everybody merrily assumed they would be spending Trick or Treating together, when arguing about costumes and conflicting ideas over where and how to spend the night eventually everyone agrees to go solo for the event.
This leads to Marina and Tom bumping into a couple in their neighbourhood they seem to be completely simpatico with: they too are a biracial family with a daughter in Camilla’s class and toddler twins, they all like all the same things and agree on pretty much everything. It’s all going great when slowly, slowly they realise it’s more creepy and uninteresting hanging out with yourself, instead of people you can discourse with.

Meanwhile Denise and Sarah are dealing with early empty nest symptoms when Shamiah declares she might be too old for trick or treating and wants to hang out with her friends instead, and Kelvin is more interested in hitting up as many doors as possible, than spending time with his mothers. They find themselves missing the twins and loud family noises.

All the while Connor and Emily try to do trick or treating together for Gretchen’s sake. However they spend most of the time bickering, while Gretchen spends her evening alone trying her best to entertain herself. In the end they realise it might be better to split holidays instead of putting themselves and their daughter through this awkwardness.
The evening ends with everyone gathering up at Connor’s and admitting the night was pretty much a disaster all around, realising that arguments and fights aside, they do actually all enjoy spending time with one another.

That’s all from the show so far. And don’t forget to tune in on Wednesdays for all new episodes of Home Economics!

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