S01.E21: The Club 2017.05.02

Anna-Kat develops a fear of water and stops bathing, so her therapists suggests the Ottos take her swimming, but that involves Katie overcoming her fear of wearing a swimsuit in public. Elsewhere: Oliver gives his dad a style makeover.


I confess I spent the whole episode wondering why Katie didn't just take Anna-Kat into the shower with her. 

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2 hours ago, joanne3482 said:

I confess I spent the whole episode wondering why Katie didn't just take Anna-Kat into the shower with her. 

Agreed - I know phobias can be irrational, but there was no attempt to even make the argument that Anna-Kat's book was about ships that capsized causing drowning, and that no one was asking her to go on a ship.  It made no sense. Also, those red boots need to be disinfected, and her sheets would have been noticeably stinky.

At the beginning of the show, why did Katy drive to the pool if she wasn't planning to stay?  Can't Greg drive the van?  Now she has to come back to pick everyone else up.

Finally, I was wondering if the show was going to confirm my suspicion that Greg worked at Yale, but I have to assume that would have been mentioned by now, as that would earn the family prestige points, even in Westport. The Jalapeño rating was also dopey - wouldn't Greg care a lot more about one of those sites where professors are ranked on the quality of their teaching?

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Yeah, I didn't understand why she didn't at least try to change a fear of water into a fear of the ocean. I mean, not that she wants to encourage the phobia in the first place, but if the plain old "there is no ship in the bathroom" argument wouldn't have worked, the logical next thing is they drowned in the ocean and because they were out at sea for hours with no way to get out. Shower: one step and you're free. And has a drain so it won't fill. Not possible to drown in a shower. Bath or pool I could see Anna-Kat still pushing but I don't understand why they chose to get her over a fear of showering by forcing her in a swimming pool, other than they thought she previously loved the pool and the fun-factor would win over the fear. But when cleanliness was the primary concern, there were at least half a dozen other avenues they could've gone down to try and get the kid clean that should've been easier. It was a weird plot.

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I could have sworn last week one of the posters said Katy Mixon was pregnant. She certainly wasn't showing in this episode. Do public pools really make you shower before you get in? I thought that was what the chlorine was for.

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19 hours ago, iMonrey said:

I could have sworn last week one of the posters said Katy Mixon was pregnant. She certainly wasn't showing in this episode. Do public pools really make you shower before you get in? I thought that was what the chlorine was for.

This must have been shown out of order, filmed before she was visibly pregnant, to be shown closer to summer.

I think it is common.  Chlorine won't keep sand, grit, etc. out of the pool.

Edited by ItCouldBeWorse.

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13 minutes ago, iMonrey said:

Do public pools really make you shower before you get in?

Yes, every public pool I've ever been to has required it. It is to wash off the lotions and soaps you may have on your body and (now that I've googled it) to wash off any germs or dirt or whatnot. 

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I was kind of grossed out that they didn't shower first, since Anna-Kat hadn't showered so long that she stunk so terribly.  Yuck.  I hope that pool had some strong chlorine.  A fancy upscale pool like that would probably be a saltwater pool... and I'm not sure it would be up to the task.  The whole storyline was strange.

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9 hours ago, joanne3482 said:

 

I confess I spent the whole episode wondering why Katie didn't just take Anna-Kat into the shower with her. 

Either Kathy N had a body double when she was shown getting into the pool or they put Kathy N into padded clothes to make her look obese ?

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27 minutes ago, stillhere1900 said:

Either Kathy N had a body double when she was shown getting into the pool or they put Kathy N into padded clothes to make her look obese ?

I think they just filmed this episode early in her pregnancy. It seemed to be her when she was walking in her swimsuit out of the pool.

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Katie looked amazing in the swimsuit! 

The stories were kind of boring, but I still enjoyed it. 

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1 minute ago, Kimitria said:

Katie looked amazing in the swimsuit! 

I probably weigh about 50 pounds less than Katie, but she looks about 50 times better in a swimsuit than I do!

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25 minutes ago, Kimitria said:

Katie looked amazing in the swimsuit! 

 

23 minutes ago, Nordly Beaumont said:

I probably weigh about 50 pounds less than Katie, but she looks about 50 times better in a swimsuit than I do!

She found a swimsuit that flatters her. I also think that bikinis are the least flattering style, no matter what you look like.  Leave something to the imagination!

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15 minutes ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

 

She found a swimsuit that flatters her. I also think that bikinis are the least flattering style, no matter what you look like.  Leave something to the imagination!

Or it was an CGI image of her.

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It's actually a state law here that one must clean off before entering a public pool.  Everyone ignores it.

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I was thinking as I watched this episode that they had to film this out of order because Katie looked either not pregnant or way less pregnant in this episode than in the last one.

She is nowhere near being "fat" now that I can finally see her figure.  She would have to be a size 10 or 12 to look that good on TV in a suit, even one that is very slimming like that one.  I have one like that, I know!  The show makes her wear baggy tops to make her look heavier.

I thought the jacket the son put Greg in looked ridiculous.  The son himself is an Izod kid of guy, so why would he put his father in a jacket like that, especially in Connecticut?  Not even the young men in this state would be caught dead in that, especially in Westport!

Edited by Snarklepuss.

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Not only that, but who needs a jacket when it's swimming pool weather?

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I loved seeing Katie gather up her courage to walk to the pool the way that she did. I thought it was very realistic and her growing confidence was cool to watch. She really did look great in that suit. The other moms all looked very similar; at least Katie was unique.

Edited by asabovesobelow.

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The series has improved over the course of the season, which corroborates the theory that this weak episode was shot earlier in the production cycle and held for May (which was my presumption as well).

For the reasons discussed, Anna-Kat's storyline didn't ring true. The writers barely even attempted to provide a logical justification. Note that I wrote "logical" (not "rational").

A sudden fear of water doesn't jibe with Anna-Kat's established character traits, encompassing considerable intelligence and a longstanding interest in historical catastrophes (including nautical accidents), presenting mainly as morbid fascination that evokes discomfort among others.

The tenuous connection between death at sea and showering at home or swimming in a familiar pool was inexplicable. The sweeping conclusion that "water kills" is far removed from Anna-Kat's fundamental understanding of the world (and is especially jarring after the previous episode). Likewise, there was no reason for a single swim with her mother to assuage her fear. That was completely arbitrary and inconsistent with Anna-Kat's way of thinking.

I can't help but wonder why the writers didn't base Anna-Kat's problem on her contamination concerns. (Ironically, an OCD sufferer's fear of contamination can provoke behavior that actually makes the individual or his/her surroundings less clean.) For example, she could have encountered a news report about chlorine-resistant cryptosporidium strains in tap water and swimming pools. That's the sort of thing that triggers a sudden aversion to previously acceptable situations. Some newly learned piece of information had to alter her worldview, which simply didn't occur at any point. (She merely read about disasters along the lines of countless others with which she was extremely familiar.)

I speak from experience, as I was diagnosed with OCD when I was a just bit older than the character (and not long after, a news report about cryptosporidia in tap water led me to immediately stop drinking it). OCD manifests in different ways for different people (and I lack the idiosyncratic compulsions that Anna-Kat has demonstrated), but OCD-driven behavior always stems from some sort of underlying logic from the sufferer's perspective, even if it makes little or no sense. It needn't be reasonable or even rooted in reality, but it must be motivated by some perceived risk or benefit. In this instance, there was no plausible reason for Anna-Kat to imagine one.

I want to note, though, that I've loved many of the recent episodes and been impressed by the character's depiction overall (and even here, the performance by Julia Butters was excellent, as usual). The occasional dud of an episode has little effect on my opinion of a series as a whole.

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On 5/3/2017 at 8:22 PM, ItCouldBeWorse said:

I think they just filmed this episode early in her pregnancy. It seemed to be her when she was walking in her swimsuit out of the pool.

I'm pretty sure Mixon had a baby in March, so either this was filmed much earlier in the season or they literally just shot it.  

The jacket story could have cringeworthy, but I like that Bader just went for it.

ETA: per Mixon's twitter, they filmed this ep in Dec when she was five months pregnant, and she still has 2.5 weeks to go.

Edited by Tiger.

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On 5/5/2017 at 4:12 PM, Rowsdower said:

The tenuous connection between death at sea and showering at home or swimming in a familiar pool was inexplicable. The sweeping conclusion that "water kills" is far removed from Anna-Kat's fundamental understanding of the world (and is especially jarring after the previous episode). Likewise, there was no reason for a single swim with her mother to assuage her fear. That was completely arbitrary and inconsistent with Anna-Kat's way of thinking.

While I technically agree with you, and loved your post (anyone that uses "jibe" correctly in a sentence gets my vote), I've long ago given up on sitcoms being realistic about stuff like this.  I sometimes think they are attempting to get the audience to suspend disbelief in the service of comedy, but these days that more often falls flat than not.  Something has to be really hilariously funny for me to be able to do that and in this case it just wasn't that funny.

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@Rowsdower you raise a bunch of really good points, that actually could've made the plot make more sense. If Anna-Kat's issue were with regard to, say, germs in the bathroom, and specifically not wanting to touch the shower or the tiles in the shower or some other bathroom-fixture due to some form of contamination having nothing to do with the water itself, (maybe she saw the Mythbusters about e.coli) then I could see how convincing her to jump in the pool could be a logical approach: it's full of chlorine, that's bleach, how much cleaner can you get (and then hope she doesn't go do the research). It's really the sinking ships angle that made it make no sense.

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11 hours ago, Snarklepuss said:

While I technically agree with you, and loved your post (anyone that uses "jibe" correctly in a sentence gets my vote), I've long ago given up on sitcoms being realistic about stuff like this.

I have too, but this series has come relatively close.

The mere fact that Anna-Kat's condition has an explicit identification is refreshing. Sitcom writers often go out of their way to avoid this. One or more specific afflictions might be implied, but they want to leave enough wiggle room to vary the character's portrayal without regard for accuracy or vulnerability to criticism.

So while this lapse was disappointing, it was the writers' willingness to attach an "OCD" diagnosis (and aspire to maintain consistency therewith) that enabled it. They could have labeled Anna-Kat "weird" or "quirky" and concocted all sorts of zany behaviors with impunity. (The Middle, which I regard as a very good program, is guilty of this.) They took on the challenge of depicting a child with OCD in a sitcom, so I'll cut them some slack when they fall short of the high mark that they've set for themselves.

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10 hours ago, Rowsdower said:

I have too, but this series has come relatively close.

The mere fact that Anna-Kat's condition has an explicit identification is refreshing. Sitcom writers often go out of their way to avoid this. One or more specific afflictions might be implied, but they want to leave enough wiggle room to vary the character's portrayal without regard for accuracy or vulnerability to criticism.

Close but no cigar, right?  Given my degrees in Psychology I guess I just have to look the other way a lot with stuff like this - I watch "The Middle" too so I know what you mean about that show.

I have to ignore a lot on this show in general, given how much I know about Westport having lived for years in Norwalk, and and still living in CT for over 25 years.  Some of the situations show a certain knowledge of the area, but some of it is glaringly off.

For example, in a previous episode where they were supposedly at a fair, you could see mountains in the background - the kind of mountains only found in California.  There are no mountains visible anywhere near Westport, LOL.  It's on Long Island Sound in a relatively flat area.

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On 5/3/2017 at 1:20 PM, ItCouldBeWorse said:

Finally, I was wondering if the show was going to confirm my suspicion that Greg worked at Yale, but I have to assume that would have been mentioned by now, as that would earn the family prestige points, even in Westport. The Jalapeño rating was also dopey - wouldn't Greg care a lot more about one of those sites where professors are ranked on the quality of their teaching?

I'm pretty sure earlier in the season when Katie was ranting over Skype to his into history students, she yelled "Go Cardinals!" So I'm thinking he teaches at Wesleyan.

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21 hours ago, Snarklepuss said:

Close but no cigar, right? 

Agreed. Exaggeration and simplification are to be expected, but it's nice when the subject's essence comes across, more or less.

The Goldbergs is a good example. Its stories are pointedly based on an unreliable narrator's fuzzy recollections of his childhood, a framing device that explains the extent to which artistic license is taken. The nebulous "nineteen eighty-something" encompasses the entire decade, with the events thereof conveniently jumbled and condensed as an episode's plot dictates. And while many of the precise details are far from accurate, the spirit of the 1980s remains firmly intact and unmistakable in the broad strokes that the writers paint.

It can be frustrating when they get something slightly wrong (especially for someone raised near Philadelphia in the 1980s, as I was). In one episode, for instance, a program guide scrolling on a television screen in the background listed CBS series on KYW (channel 3) and NBC series on WCAU (channel 10). That's correct today, but the stations' affiliations were reversed until 1995. However, such nitpicking feels almost ungrateful, given the trouble to which someone went. They didn't have to use the real-life Philadelphia broadcast television channel assignments and call letters (and pair them with the titles of period-appropriate programs in their actual time slots on their respective networks), but they did, and they got almost everything right. More importantly, the nostalgia and humor came through.

Edited by Rowsdower. Reason: typo

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2 hours ago, Rowsdower said:

Agreed. Exaggeration and simplification are to be expected, but it's nice when the subject's essence comes across, more or less.

The Goldbergs is a good example. Its stories are pointedly based on an unreliable narrator's fuzzy recollections of his childhood, a framing device that explains the extent to which artistic license is taken. The nebulous "nineteen eighty-something" encompasses the entire decade, with the events thereof conveniently jumbled and condensed as an episode's plot dictates. And while many of the precise details are far from accurate, the spirit of the 1980s remains firmly intact and unmistakable in the broad strokes that the writers paint.

I know, it's like those commercials that try to recreate the '70s or '80s that might come from a younger person's idea of what those decades would have been like but frustrate people who actually lived through them to no end with a fantasy hodgepodge of things thrown together that would never have existed together at the same time.  I've had to freeze-frame on some of them just to go over some of the clothing and props to pick out the continuity errors and gross exaggerations!

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My main thought throughout this entire episode was, "I would like to live in a Connecticut where you can lay by an outdoor pool in May." In my Connecticut, we are still wearing long sleeves and jackets.

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5 hours ago, SnarkySheep said:

My main thought throughout this entire episode was, "I would like to live in a Connecticut where you can lay by an outdoor pool in May." In my Connecticut, we are still wearing long sleeves and jackets.

LOL, you're right, I live in CT and I didn't even think of that!  Plus the community pools and beaches don't open until after Memorial Day either.

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ok what happened to Leslie Bibb on this show did she move did she get divorced? she just kinda vanished 

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On 5/16/2017 at 9:12 PM, Keywestclubkid said:

ok what happened to Leslie Bibb on this show did she move did she get divorced? she just kinda vanished 

I don't know, but I hate when shows do that. How hard is it to have some throwaway line, e.g. Katie saying, "I never thought I'd miss Viv, but I kinda do, since she moved..." Gah.

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