Who Arted?

Please enjoy this Trophy Wife post from guestblogger Mary.

**This post contains spoilers for episode 1.20 of Trophy Wife, “There’s No Guy in Team.”**

Nut free, gluten free, meat free, and crust free pizzas are all on the menu for Hillary’s student government planning meeting at Chez Harrison. Pete is not thrilled:

Pete: “Ew, gross! Whatever happened to regular pizza? I want cheese! Just plain CHEESE!”
Kate: “Don’t you watch the news? Kids who eat plain cheese pizza die.”

Can’t argue with that logic.

Diane arrives as well, and when Pete and Kate are confused, thinking Warren was having a sleepover with a friend that night, he explains.

Warren: “My mom and my friend are the same person who I know my mom approves and I know my friend thinks my mom is cool.”

Warren whisks her away to play Twister and Kate jokingly calls after them, “Make sure you keep the bedroom door open!”

Ack!

The next morning Pete comes into the kitchen, impressed to see Meg eating his family’s peanut butter straight from the jar before 8 a.m. for a change.

Meg: “Yeah right, I haven’t gone to bed yet. There was a DUI check point right down the street from your house so I just pulled into your driveway. I wasn’t drunk but there’s a slight chance I bought a stolen car.”
Pete: “That’s more like it.”

Kate mentions her concern about Warren’s lack of desire to be cool, but Pete assures her high school is supposed to be tough, and that he wasn’t very cool then but he turned out okay. Meg brings up that Kate told her he writes legal porn in his down time as evidence to the contrary.

Pete: “It’s not legal porn, it’s judicial erotica!”

He concludes that Kate should just let Warren do his thing, and Kate launches into a story about a nerd she and Meg knew in high school named Arnie “The Plopster” Plopper who worked at a wig shop. One day she saw him talking to what she thought was his girlfriend but turned out to be a pile of wigs. Pete remains unruffled.

Pete: “If Warren starts working at a wig shop, I’ll talk to him.”

Kate still presses that she wants to see Warren with a group of friends so Meg offers some great advice:

Meg: “Just put a couple of beers in his lunch, that’ll get him to the cool table. And if not, he’ll have BEERS in his lunch!”

Warren then dances into the kitchen, greets Meg with a, “Oh my god I was just dreaming about you and now you’re here!” and amends his yogurt request to include two spoons. Pretty smooth, if you ask me. Pete agrees (“See? Totally charming.”) and is on his way.

Kate quickly suggests to Warren that it’s the perfect time some new friends by joining a club (“I don’t know, everybody in a club seems to be into the same thing.”). Meg suggests going to a parking lot to “play hackey sack with the burnouts” but “standing in a parking lot seems really dangerous.”

There’s a cute bit where Warren says they’ve given him a lot to think about and turns away from them towards the window while stroking his hand over his chin.

Meg: “What’s he doing?”
Kate: “He’s going to think.”

Student government apparently forgotten, Hillary’s come home to Diane’s after school awash in horror at the C her art teacher Mr. Edison gave her on her latest project: “My life is over! I mean it’s goodbye Princeton, hello Brown!”

Diane objects that the project is perfect, pointing to each of the elements.

Diane: “House, hill. What more does that hippie want?!”
Hillary: “He says it’s ‘technically proficient but lacks depth.'”
Diane, with full hackey sack player accent: “What does he want, like a marijuanaaa plaaahnt in the middaaahl?”

She’s about to dial up the school to complain when Hillary continues that she filibustered him until he agreed to let her redo the project. Diane has just the person to help Hillary with it: “We need to start thinking like an average high school student who never went to college.

Cue Jackie’s door opening to reveal her in a t-shirt that says “Who Arted?”

Diane refrences Jackie’s home decorating skills as evidence of her artistic nature (“It looks as if it was decorated by a parrot.”) and when Hilarry tells Jackie she sucks at art Jackie sweetly reminds her that you can’t suck at art!

Jackie: “No, it’s like math, there’s no wrong answers!”

Diane has to excuse herself at that, and Jackie shoos her out the door with the absolute best thing anyone has ever called Diane ever on this show: “THANKS D-BAG!”

Let the arting begin!

Back at Chez Harrison, Bert’s chilling in his room surrounded by luxury consumer goods:

 

Pete asks how Bert bought all the stuff and Bert tells him he used his credit card, which he presents. Pete confirms that the card was in fact issued to “Bert Lancaster Harrison” which adds a whole nother layer of fascinating backstory questions. Was it Pete or Jackie who chose Bert’s name? And why does anyone ever spell it “Burt” when Albert which must be the most common full name for that nickname to derive from is spelled with an “e”?

Jackie prepares for arting by lighting incense, putting on some Enya, and demanding Hillary to take off her blazer.

Jackie: “You can’t write a poem on a computer and you can’t create art in a suit! . . . that is the bumper sticker that’s going to make me a millionaire!”

Kate, meanwhile, asks Warren if he has any news on the friend front and he tells her he joined a sports team! Field hockey! His uniform is a bright orange racerback top with a skirt! Their cheer goes:

“We’re chicks! We’re chicks with sticks! If you knock us in the grass will kick you in the aaawwwwww! We’re chicks!”

Mayhaps Kate’s meddling didn’t have the effect she intended.

Later she finds Warren practicing outside with imaginary team mates Susan, Karen, and Bailey (we can’t assume he spelled it like Bailee Madison because she doesn’t exist in this reality, duh), and Kate comes out to cringe.

Kate: “Don’t you think this might make it harder for you to make friends at school?”
Warren: “Oh for sure! Coach Dawson said it’s a brave and unusual choice and that my life will never be the same.”

He starts doing a “look out world” dance and the show once again deploys some flawlessly hilarious pixelation as Kate yells “whoa, Whoa! You gotta wear underwear dude!”

So that she can learn to paint essences instead of images, Hillary is painting blind folded (on both a canvas and Jackie’s curtains. Jackie, also blind folded, tries to indicate that she should paint from her heart and not her eyes, which of course Hillary can’t see, Jackie feels her way over to a lamp to demonstrate:

Jackie: “Keep talking I’m gonna point on you so I gotta find ya.”

The mystery of Bert’s credit card acquisition solved:

Bert: “It just came in the mail. It said, ‘Congratulations, Bert!’ So I was like, ‘Thanks, Letter!'”

Pete decides to focus on teaching Bert fiscal responsibility.

Pete: “I will pay you for every chore you do, how’s that for a plan, Stan?”
Bert: “What’s the pay, Ray?”
Pete: “Depends on the chore, why don’t you start by vacuuming the living room, how’s that sound?”
Bert: *vacuum noises with hand motions* “Now you do the microwave sound.”
Pete: “Oh my god.”

I cannot impress upon you all enough how FREAKING ADORABLE this whole exchange is. I might make my husband and son memorize it and perform it for me.

At Warren’s field hockey practice, Kate approaches his coach, played by the dreamy Ken Marino (this is where I brag that I saw him at LAX coming off the plane I was about to board, and you guys he’s so dreamy in person. He was carrying one of his kids on his shoulders.) who also directed the episode! He introduces himself to Kate as Coach Jack Dawson, to which she reacts as would we all:

Kate: “Jack Dawson like Titanic! Oh my god, one of my favorite movies! I mean, Leonardo DiCaprio! I had a poster of him on my wall in my bedroom-”
Coach Dawson: “Two thousand people died in that horrific tragedy, how can I help you?”

I mean, as someone who is used to getting dumb questions from strangers, I get this reaction. I respect it.

Kate voices her concerns about Warren’s social standing if he stays on the team and Coach Dawson lets her know that he was also on an all-girls field hockey team in high school so she’s getting no support there. Besides, Warren may be a terrible player, but he’s great for morale:

Warren: “THAT’S MY TEAM MATE! YOU GUYS SEE HER? USE HER AS AN EXAMPLE! NICE GOAL!”

This is, again, why Warren is so great.

Hillary, even with a cheerleader like Jackie, is flopped out in Bert’s room despairing over her lack of artistic instinct. Jackie brings her some Creativitea to help.

Jackie: “You’re pretty blocked up and this is actually the tea I drink when I’m constipated.”
Hillary, gingerly setting down her cup: “I just don’t think I have it in me.”
Jackie: “Oh honey. Does this look like the work of a girl that doesn’t have it in her?”

She produces a file box filled with Hillary’s childhood art projects. Paintings and drawings and macaroni-style art, and Hillary is visibly touched at seeing all these papers Jackie’s lovingly handling like they’re the “museum-level” art Diane referenced earlier.

Jackie: “This one you made entirely out of loose beans you found in the bottom of my purse.”
Hillary: “I remember that!”

The whole scene is SO beautiful and purely sweet, while still leaving room for a beat of humor as Jackie pulls a tax return out of the box (“Bert was supposed to mail that.”). Bailee Madison and Michaela Watkins have lovely chemistry as a step mother and daughter and it is SO refreshing to see this combination played for warmth and validation. It’s made me sad to see Madison’s Hillary as basically an antagonist in so many storylines so this was a welcome change and a perfect breath of fresh air. It also goes to show how well-cast Trophy Wife is since they continually prove that truly ANY combination of main characters can be a gold mine of both comedy and heart-warming quirk.

Jackie: “You don’t have to try to turn yourself into an artist because, sweet pea, you already ART one. . . . Art one?”
Hillary: “That was pretty punny.”

I mean really. How much more precisely could they speak to my personal sensibilities?

Pete returns to Chez Harrison to the sweet sounds of vacuuming (real vacuuming, not Bert-uuming) but he soon finds Bert chilled out on the couch watching TV while two random kids (“Scott, Scott’s friend, they’re doing my chores,” Bert introduces them to Pete economically) clean the living room. Pete quickly pays them for their trouble and sends them on their way with instructions to tell their parents they found the money on the street. Pete tries to explain that the problem isn’t that the living room wasn’t getting clean it’s that Bert paid other people to clean it:

Bert: “So? You pay Louisa to clean it.”
Pete, caught: “Go to your room.”
Bert, in Albert Tsai’s first true moment of playing a brat on this show: “Oh, by the way! Louisa broke the garbage disposal! Did you know? No, you didn’t!”

Jackie and Hillary in are in full on art-mode now (Jackie: “IT’S A CANVAS, NOT YOUR GRANDMA!”), rocking out to techno music under black lights and splattering day glo paint everywhere, including a splotch of yellow Hillary accidentally hurls on the couch. There’s a moment where we all have PTSD flashbacks along with her to Diane’s salsa mind games but this is Jackie so of course she thinks it’s fantastic and just switches up the music.

Jackie: “New track, new track! Gotta warn you this next one is just a recording of a lotta people screaming.”
New track: *people screaming*

Really, do any of us expect anything less from Jackie?

On the way back from practice Warren is thrilled to have found his new life’s passion. Kate’s still not so sure:

Kate: “Now that you’ve mastered field hockey maybe you wanna look into a bunch of other passions to see which one’s your most passion-y.”

She suggest drama tech (Warren: “I don’t like actors, they’re always singing.”), magic club (Warren: “Magician’s just another word for ‘liar.'”) or computer club (Warren: “When I’m on my computer I prefer to be alone, y’know what I mean?” Kate, defeated: “Yeah I think I do.”)

Warren presses her to explain what her deal is why she she’s so obsessed with him making friends and suspects she thinks he’s a loser. She tells him she doesn’t, but also that she doesn’t want everyone else to think that, which is the exact wrong thing to say. They get home and Warren tries to exit dramatically but he’s stymied.

Warren: “Undo the child lock. PLEASE Kate.”
Kate: “It’s just regular-locked, Warren.”

The next day Kate’s judging Meg for being up at 7:30 a.m. doing laundry, but Meg has a super valid reason:

Meg: “Uhhh, I’ve been sexting with a Japanese business man so my internal clock is all off. Hey do you guys have any stamps? Yoshi says he’ll pay top yen for my socks.”

That’s . . . not racist at all.

Warren comes into the kitchen and Kate says good morning but he’s not having it:

Warren: “Kate, I’m giving you the silent treatment, so no talking.”
Kate: “That’s not how it wo-”
Warren: “I said SILENT.”

Or is that EXACTLY how it should work? In my experience when I’m giving people the silent treatment I would really like for them to shut the hell up so I think I’m gonna go with Warren’s read on this one.

He lets Kate know he’s quitting the team, wishes her a “bad day!” and makes a show of dumping his field hockey equipment in the garbage can outside the kitchen windows. Kate tries to explain to Meg that her goal was simply to keep Warren from becoming just like Arnie Plopper and Meg suggest they look him up to fill in the rest of his sob story for when they use it to scare Warren into having a new personality. Turns out, Arnie Plopper is a wildly successful venture capitalist in Toronto married to a swimsuit model. Kate’s aghast.

Kate: “I’m the Arnie Plopper in this!”
Meg, defensively: “You do not smell like farts!”

Bert’s working on this in his room when Pete leans in the doorway.

Pete tells Bert he just got off the phone with the dad of a kid named Josh to whom Bert sold a soda (that’s pop for all you Midwesterners out there, or I guess “coke” to people who make no sense [Excuse you, I call it “coke.” –Kerry]). Pete points out that Josh isn’t allowed to have soda and Bert points out that that’s why he could sell it to him. Pete, without explaining why, tells Bert he can’t do that and Bert apologizes:

Bert: “I didn’t know, I’m sorry.”
Pete: “Do you know what you did wrong?”
Bert: “Yes.”
Pete: “What did you do wrong?”
Bert: “I don’t know.”
Pete: “Go to your room.”
Bert: “I’m in my room.”
Pete: *head explodes*

He demands Bert go give all the money back to all his friends/customers and Bert agrees way too easily.

Jackie answers the door to Hillary while in the middle of a phone call (“No, Miss Jackie no here. Okay, no, I don’t know where she go, she die! Goodbye! Sorry, that was my mom.”) and Hillary (who by the way is wearing her reflective vest and holding her bike helmet) excitedly tells her she got a B on her new art project.

Jackie remarks that a B is “like, the best grade you can get!”, Hillary corrects her that that’s “A” and they go back and forth a few times saying “a” with Jackie saying it vaguely like the Fonz. Then Jackie invites her in and tells her, “don’t mind the smell I’m just de-seeding some oreganooo.”

In case no one’s reminded you this week: Michaela Watkins is a treasure.

When Bert’s back from his scooter trip Pete tells him sternly that he has to pay the $7 return shipping fee on some of his toys and Bert promptly peels singles off a roll from his pocket. Turns out the kids who bought sodas from him were also keen on using their refunds to pay for scooter rides. Pete, again, badly explains THAT this is wrong without explaining particularly WHY (“Just because there’s money involved doesn’t mean you throw away all your morals just to get it”), but Bert seems satisfied for the time being.

Bert: “I’m sorry, Dad.”
Pete: “Come here, give your dad a hug.”
Bert: “Gimme a dollar first.”
Pete: “Go to your room.”

Kate approaches Warren who’s sitting on the bleachers wanly watching his former team mates practice. She says hi but he ignores her.

Kate: “Ah, the silent treatment. Finally figured it out, huh?”
Warren: “I was doing it all wrong.”

Kate starts to apologize, but an army of Spencer Hastingses in neon orange who make up the field hockey team come to tower over Kate. It’s pretty distracting. Chick With Stick #1 asks Kate who she is and she tells them she’s Warren’s step mom.

Chick With Stick #1, to Warren: “The one who made you quit? She is not as hot as you said she was.”
Kate: “Okay, that’s weird.”

Kate finishes her apology, acknowledging that Warren’s cooler than she ever was since she was always concerned about being cool and he’s confident to be himself and do what he likes. She tells him she’ll support him to stay on the team and shows him she brought his equipment with her and everything.

Cue Kelly for a montage AKA two of my favorite things on earth next to Ryan Lee’s flawless slow-mo demure leg cross as he sits on the bench during practice:

Mary is a military wife, mother, and certifiably pathological fangirl. Though she’s written before, this is her first foray into blogging. Her interests include livetweeting, cooking, baking, buying, and – most importantly – eating food, puns, and deciphering her toddler’s attempts to speak English. Follow her #mamatweets, #wifepeopleproblems, and #islandproblems (it’s not all complaining, honest) on Twitter at @maryarrr.

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