Modern Dad S1:E4

Another great episode, they keep getting better at this.  The primary plot lines were poker night and Rick needing to catch up on his housework because the in-laws were coming in to town before he could go to the poker game.  Once again the guys refer back to their lives together before the show, this time in reference to their poker night.  In the first post I expressed skepticism that they had any real history together before the show started, they all just seemed too different and at different stages of their lives to have formed likely friendships.  I think I overplayed my hand.  Either that or the producers are counting my cards and stacking the deck with a fictional back story to make it seem like they’ve known each other awhile.

I can completely relate to the need for a guys night out.  Being a SAHD means you’re all in with your family.   It’s hard not to feel trapped in the lives of your children and feel you’ve been dealt out of the adult world.  I do work from home part time but conference calls are not the same as face-to-face interaction and I’m completely left out of the table talk that’s a daily part of going into work everyday.  I always made sure my wife had a social life outside of the home and she still attends “book club” but I haven’t figured out how to pull something out of my sleeve for myself.

Rick having to clean up the house, and doing a good job of it, shows that doing domestic chores doesn’t make you the weak player in the relationship.  Also him needing to do it before he could go to the poker game wasn’t an emasculating situation but simply the fact that he had let it slide, the in-laws were coming, and it’s his responsibility.  Both he and his wife acknowledge that and she expressed her appreciation when she came home to take over.  Sometimes the house just needs to be picked up.  Oftentimes if you have kids.  I thought once the kids started school it would become easier but they have this amazing capacity to destroy the house after they get home.  And that’s after I’ve taught them to hang their back-packs up and put their shoes in the box where they go among other things.  Keeping the house picked up is a part-time job in and of itself and sometimes you just have to let it ride and pick up the slack at a later date.

Sean’s lack of a poker face and the way his girlfriend and the kids worked with him on it was endearing and made for good reality TV.  You have to like Sean, the fish of the group you just can’t help but root for.  The strip poker bit was funny but Rachael taking any clothes off was obviously just a bluff in the promo.  The solution of wearing sunglasses was both practical and believable, and it worked!  Rachael even vacated the house with the kids so he could host poker night.  Sean and Stone going head to head at the end of the game was suspense enough to make the game itself interesting and Sean losing at the very end, not because of his tell but because of the luck of the draw, was a good way to end it.  Stone just rolled the dice and got lucky again.

Of course Stone was not so lucky when his sitter plans went bust.  I guess one of the perils of being a single parent is you don’t have a spouse and only one set of family to rely on when you need help with the kids.  He also openly insulted his ex-wife, bribed his child, coached her to help him cheat and brought her to a poker game, all on TV.  But honestly it came across as harmless and it was just a single parent doing what he needed to do with the hand he was dealt.  I’d really like to see an episode with his ex and learn why they folded on their relationship.  The producers seem to have been paying attention when I told them the guys needed history and to discard the Stone the Player plot line that makes me think they’re dealing from the bottom of the deck.  If I keep playing my cards right maybe they’ll deal her in!

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