SIGNIFICANT MOTHER episode 4: Edible Wrecks

SW4
Written by Erin Cardillo and Richard Keith
Directed by Tripp Reed

And we’re back with a new episode of my favorite new TV sitcom since Black-ish. In this episode, co-creators/co-writers Erin Cardillo and Richard Keith took some inspiration from the career of series star Jonathan Silverman, who has been doing a bang-up job as Lydia’s (Krista Allen) estranged husband and Nate’s (Josh Zuckerman) dad, Harrison.

Side-note: Silverman is listed in the credits as “Special guest-star”, which is odd since he’s appeared in all 4 episodes so far and, according to IMDB, he’s set to appear in the remaining 5 episodes of this season. So why isn’t he listed as a regular? If I to hazard a guess (and I’m only doing so because I love when I’m proven right about something, so in case I am, I can link back to this post to prove it), I’d assume that perhaps the plan is for Harrison to finally accept that his marriage to Lydia is over and agree to a divorce in the season finale, and therefor he would only return occasionally in season 2 and beyond (fingers crossed that we get a season 2 and beyond). Remember, you heard it here first.

Anyway, while I freely admit that I started watching this show primarily due to the presence of Krista Allen, it should be no surprise that Silverman has been doing such a great job, as he is the most experienced actor on this cast. He plays Harrison as a more 2-dimensional character than you’d expect this role to be. Harrison is a bit sleazy in his demeanor at times, but it is clear that he does care for Lydia in his own way, and his decision to win her back feels genuine, as well as the fact that he cares about his son. So you can’t help but feel somewhat sympathetic for the guy, even as we’re rooting for Lydia and Jimmy (Nathaniel Buzolic) to make their relationship work.

One of Silverman’s earliest roles was in the 1989 cult-classic comedy film WEEKEND AT BERNIE’S (not to mention the largely forgotten 1993 sequel Weekend At Bernie’s 2. In this film, Silverman and his co-star Andrew McCarthy play a couple of guys who, through a series of convenient complications, are put into a situation where they have to convince other people that a recently deceased corpse is in fact still alive.

In tonight’s episode of Significant Mother, when Lydia finds out that Jimmy skipped attended the drug and sex-fueled getaway known as Burning Man because of her, she feels like she is holding him back from “fun young people stuff”. Therefor she tries to arrange their own little Burning Man party at home, and presents him with a jar filled with marijuana-laced gummy bears (“perfectly legal” she assures him). While Jimmy declines her generous offer, the next morning, in typical sitcom misunderstanding fashion, Nate finds and eat several of the gummy bears. This is bad timing as later that day Nate has an interview with an influential food-blogger (played by a woman whose name I missed in the credits), which could positively promote his restaurant.

As the drugs kick in, Nate begins acting “fearless, like Taylor Swift” at the restaurant, including gaining the courage to kiss Sam (Emma Fitzpatrick) and then hits the streets and passes out. Lydia and Jimmy enlist Harrison’s aid in attempting to prop Nate up in order to help him get through the interview. Hilarity ensues.

I won’t spoil how this craziness turns out, but there’s a lot of freaking out and fast talking, highlighted by a cameo from the original “Bernie” himself, Terry Kiser, which keeps the episode moving. This is not a sitcom to watch casually, you need to pay attention and keep your eyes on the screen at all time, lest you risk missing something. The Nate/Sam romantic subplot continues to play out, as Sam appears to be both surprised and intrigued by Nate’s kiss, and is then disappointed when Nate recovers from his overdose and pretends to not remember what happened. I’ve said from the beginning that I’m not crazy about these “Will They Or Won’t They?” types of storylines, but Zuckerman’s sincerity when interacting with Fitzpatrick makes this enjoyable. This could have easily been a wacky gimmick episode for the series, but at it’s core it was really about the feelings, familial and otherwise, that every character on this show has for each other, and thus it worked very well.

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Significant Mother airs Mondays at 9:30pm on The CW

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