Sunday, April 20, 2014

Trophy Wife 1.19: "The Minutes"

“I would love to hear about all your friends, but I’ll read about it later in your Hello Kitty diary.”

“The Minutes” was a pleasant enough episode of “Trophy Wife” that further explored the pitfalls of Kate’s enthusiasm for taking on parenting duties. There was a fun tie-in with fellow ABC show “Scandal” which almost made me wish I had kept watching that show beyond its first season. What can I say – I was protesting Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond from “Lost”) being written out of the show. I may have to catch up on that Shonda Rhimes craziness sometime, though. Anyway, most of this episode focused on Kate trying to get more involved with the PTA and finding herself in the middle of much more drama than she anticipated. There’s also some stuff going on with the kids centered around an upcoming school dance, but Kate’s story is more interesting in this one.

Kate is super excited that Diane is letting her tag along to a PTA meeting. Diane really just wants Kate to sit there and be quiet, but we all know that being quiet isn’t exactly Kate’s strong suit. Kate has brought some granola with her, and when she offers some to Diane, Diane promptly chokes on it. What follows is an elaborate kind-of-slapstick bit where Diane stubbornly tries in multiple ways to administer the Heimlich on herself. Kate keeps trying to intervene, and it is Kate’s Heimlich attempts that ultimately get Diane to cough up the granola. Diane bristles at not being completely independent, so instead of thanking Kate, she insults the granola.

Meanwhile, the semi-formal is coming up at Hillary and Warren’s school. Both twins take very different approaches to trying to find a date to the dance. Hillary, since she’s become a mini-Diane, takes a very aggressive approach. She corners the guy she likes after German class, and after a forceful “Achtung!” tells him that he will be accompanying her. Warren wasn’t originally planning on taking a date, but Bert convinces him to try and do a Youtube video to get a celebrity date. Pete isn’t happy about Hillary’s choice of a date, because he’s the son of a couple with which Pete and Jackie had a bit of a neighbor feud back in the day. Apparently the neighbors accused Pete and Jackie of tearing a garden hose they borrowed.

Diane’s not feeling that great due to bruising from the Heimlich craziness, so Kate and the other PTA ladies convince her to go home. The PTA meeting run by Kate is remarkably smooth. Kate quickly shuts down the annoying lady who keeps bugging them about starting a girls’ squash team, and she gives some other ladies time to speak. To try and endear her even more to her new PTA brethren, Kate starts doing a rather unflattering impression of Diane, then she starts in on the school’s principal. It’s all fun and games until the squash lady asks Kate to repeat something for the minutes. In PTA-land, the minutes are an exact transcript of the proceedings of the meeting, and if Kate doesn’t tread carefully, her unflattering impersonations will be e-mailed to a whole bunch of people.

Pete gets Jackie’s support for his plan to keep Hillary from going to the dance with the former neighbor kid (even though Jackie doesn’t really remember the family in question). Pete doesn’t have much of a chance to put any plan into action, though, because a devastated Hillary tells him that the neighbor kid turned her down, saying that his parents had forbidden it. If anybody’s going to be doing any forbidding in this situation, it’s going to be Pete, so he and Jackie pay their former neighbors a visit. The former neighbors have no idea what Pete and Jackie are talking about with the semi-formal, and Jackie going crazy insulting them isn’t really helping things. If I were the neighbors, I’d call the cops on the crazy crunch granola lady! Anyway, after the neighbor son fesses up, Pete and Jackie learn that there wasn’t actually any forbidding going on. The kid was too intimidated by Hillary to tell her that he didn’t want to go to the dance with her. Pete can’t bear to tell Hillary the truth, though, so he ends up just telling her that the former neighbors refused to change their minds.

Kate asks the squash lady to do some editing of the minutes. Squash lady agrees, as long as Kate supports the idea of a girls’ squash team at the school, of course. Kate already “quashed the squash,” so she’s in a bit of a desperate situation. Earlier in the episode, Kate gave Diane a couple season DVD sets of “Scandal” as a get well gift. Diane didn’t intend to watch them, but when her maid put one in the DVD player and hit play, Diane was hooked. She and Olivia Pope trade in the same type of take-charge fabulousness, you know. So when Kate comes to Diane for advice on how to get out of the squash lady blackmail dilemma, Diane goes full Olivia Pope, getting Kate and her household help to start researching for an angle they can use against the squash lady.

Meanwhile, Warren tells Hillary that he has successfully snagged Vanessa Hudgens as his semi-formal date. Hillary is incredulous about this, so Warren shows Hillary the Youtube video he made. The video heavily implies that Warren is terminally ill. He’s wrapped in an afghan and everything. Hillary is kind of appalled at this, and she gets Warren to contact Vanessa Hudgens’ manager and tell the truth. Unsurprisingly, Warren loses Vanessa Hudgens as a date once he tells the truth, but he’s not too upset about it. He thinks he’ll be able to dance with another girl in his class who just broke up with her boyfriend.

Once all the dirt-digging is complete, Diane and Kate confront the squash lady. First they reveal that they know why squash lady is so interested in starting a squash team. She wants her daughter to go to Wellesley, but the daughter’s grades aren’t so great. Apparently Wellesley is hurting for great squash players, though, so squash lady thinks that’s her daughter’s ticket in. This information isn’t enough to put a stop to the blackmail, though. What finally ends the blackmail is some photos Diane produces of squash lady using the PTA computer to play Minesweeper. Apparently it was against the rules to use the PTA computer for personal use, and Minesweeper qualifies. Who knew? The incriminating minutes destroyed, Diane disappears into the fog.

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