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S02.E01: Back to School 2017.09.27

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In the second-season opener, Katie must mend fences with the Westport moms by volunteering to run the school's spring gala. Meanwhile, Katie confronts Oliver's belittling ballet teacher; and Taylor and Greg disagree about the necessity of college.

I thought this was a strong season premiere.  When this show originally started last season, I bailed early because I was annoyed by the Katie character and how judgemental she was toward the other moms, especially for making an effort to be healthy.  So I especially loved Suzanne's speech to her outside her house when she basically told her that same thing.  Suzanne is the best!  I hope we see more of her. 

And Viv!  No Viv in this episode.  Does anyone know if she is still part of the cast?  I thought she was hilarious last season, so I hope she will be back.

I ended up watching the whole season over the summer, on ABC's website, and consequently fell in love with the whole Otto family.  (I even watched the whole season through a second time because I liked them so much.)  Westport became my 'happy place'.

The only episode I disliked last season was the episode when her friend Billy visited - I hated that character and I hope he never shows up in this season. 

Speaking of the cast.. does anybody know the name of the actress who played the ballet teacher?  She looked so familiar to me.  That was funny when they threw down and went at each other, and then it cut to them kicking back and drinking beer together.  I thought there was a lot of funny stuff in this episode, but I'm tired and blanking on the specifics.  I'll probably watch it again tomorrow before I erase it from the DVR. 

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I just realized who the actress is who played the ballet teacher in this episode - Mallory Jansen, who was Queen Madalena in the awesome Galavant series!  I can't believe I couldn't place her while I was watching last night.

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I'm glad the producers realized that Katie was isolating herself from the other mothers; it's not often that a character - especially the central character! - gets a wakeup call like that. I enjoyed that more than I would have expected.

I'm glad Oliver has decided he likes to dance, and the fight with the ballet teacher was epic!

Speaking of Oliver - he sure grew over the summer!

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I just realized who the actress is who played the ballet teacher in this episode - Mallory Jansen, who was Queen Madalena in the awesome Galavant series!

Thank you

I agree it was a strong season opener. Yes, it was a nice moment when the other mom called out Katie on her judgmental attitude. On the other hand, it was funny when Katie was trying to apologize and then it kept going south because she interjected too much truth, like how they were pretending to work so their rich husbands thought they did something, and how they did this huge "diversity" poster even though none of those people actually live in Westport. I like how the warm and sappy music kept grinding to a halt every time she got off track. So - neither of them are right or wrong. Yes, Katie is judging them, but at the same time, they are kind of preposterous. 

I liked them laying down the law with the two daughters, especially with Katie promising it was the last time she was going to negotiate with an eight-year old. And then the ending with Oliver was kind of sweet.

I think my favorite part was Katie telling Greg that recycling is a lie - you put them into different bins but they all wind up in the same landfill. "I told you never to say that!"

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1 hour ago, iMonrey said:

Thank you

I agree it was a strong season opener. Yes, it was a nice moment when the other mom called out Katie on her judgmental attitude. On the other hand, it was funny when Katie was trying to apologize and then it kept going south because she interjected too much truth, like how they were pretending to work so their rich husbands thought they did something, and how they did this huge "diversity" poster even though none of those people actually live in Westport. I like how the warm and sappy music kept grinding to a halt every time she got off track. So - neither of them are right or wrong. Yes, Katie is judging them, but at the same time, they are kind of preposterous. 

I liked them laying down the law with the two daughters, especially with Katie promising it was the last time she was going to negotiate with an eight-year old. And then the ending with Oliver was kind of sweet.

I think my favorite part was Katie telling Greg that recycling is a lie - you put them into different bins but they all wind up in the same landfill. "I told you never to say that!"

I totally agree with your whole post.  And as for the recycling stuff... I have always been an avid recycler, and was so upset a number of years back when I found out, through a news investigation, that the glass I was so carefully washing, and saving, and carting over to the recycling center was actually just being dumped in a landfill for years.    I would have been better off buying tickets to a unicorn tour of the recycling center.

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Was that Kathleen Rose Perkins as crazy Stacy at the end? The role was uncredited while even the actors who played the silent parents were. I swear that's her. I know her from Episodes and just love her, and was wondering if she has a relationship with the showrunner or one of the actors.

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2 hours ago, Moxie Cat said:

Was that Kathleen Rose Perkins as crazy Stacy at the end? I know her from Episodes and just love her, and was wondering if she has a relationship with the showrunner or one of the actors

Yes, it was! I had to check into it because I wasn't sure either. I mean, I knew it looked like her, but why would they waste such a great comedic talent on a two second part? Maybe you're right about the relationship so she just did it for kicks. According to IMDB she was also on another episode as Stacy - I must have missed that one. I hope she's on again, she's so good!

Edited by Nordly Beaumont.
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2 hours ago, Nordly Beaumont said:

Yes, it was! I had to check into it because I wasn't sure either. I mean, I knew it looked like her, but why would they waste such a great comedic talent on a two second part? Maybe you're right about the relationship so she just did it for kicks. According to IMDB she was also on another episode as Stacy - I must have missed that one. I hope she's on again, she's so good!

I love it when she pops up on my screen unexpectedly! I've caught her in: American Housewife, Fresh Off the Boat, and You're the Worst. Anybody see her anywhere else?

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I liked this episode too.  I was getting ready for another season of being ever more annoyed at Katie's sneering attitude and not looking forward to the prospect.  I think the show must have realized it needed to change.  I realize she will probably not change overnight, which is OK, because I wouldn't want her to become a Stepford wife either.  I loved the scene between her and the ballet teacher.  Maybe they'll become friends and can work out their dislike of the privileged set together.  That would be neat.

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I thought Katie was going to admit to the other moms that she was desperate to get away from her chauffeur duties, and they would tell her that's why they volunteer so much, to have adult company and get away from their children/the house.

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Part way through I was ready to bail on this series because of Katie's horrible personality. She KEPT the baby shower gifts? All she cares about is not having to drive the kids around? (That does seem like an awful lot of driving.) But then maybe the change at the end of the episode will actually bring about a more likeable Katie.

On 9/28/2017 at 11:13 AM, AnnaRose said:

I just realized who the actress is who played the ballet teacher in this episode - Mallory Jansen, who was Queen Madalena in the awesome Galavant series!  I can't believe I couldn't place her while I was watching last night.

THANK YOU! I have to go rewatch.

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Do the Ottos really have a third car to sit in the HS parking lot all day once Taylor gets her license? Is Katie prepared to give up her car all day so that she can avoid spending a couple of hours an afternoon a couple of days a week driving between Westport and Norwalk while entertaining Anna Kat? (There's no way the Ottos can afford daily private ballet lessons for Oliver.)  Take Anna Kat to the library and read with her or have her do her homework. Take her out for a snack and talk to her. She's your favorite!

As to the driving, Westport and Norwalk aren't very far apart. Costco is in Norwalk!  Greg probably commutes longer to work.

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Depending on where you are in Westport and where you're going in Norwalk, the ride could be considerable.  Judging from the map they showed, Katie was driving pretty long distances.  Interesting that they showed them living in the northern part of Westport, probably closer to the Merritt Parkway than where Katie hangs out with her friends near the center of town on Rt. 1.

I was in Westport and Norwalk this weekend at Stew Leonard's and let me tell you, those women have the athleisure look DOWN.  I could learn a thing or two from them.  Obviously they all got the memo about the slip-on Keds and Vans.

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On 9/28/2017 at 2:56 PM, AnnaRose said:

And as for the recycling stuff... I have always been an avid recycler, and was so upset a number of years back when I found out, through a news investigation, that the glass I was so carefully washing, and saving, and carting over to the recycling center was actually just being dumped in a landfill for years. 

Oh no!  Is this really true?  As another avid recycler, this gives me the sadz :-(

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38 minutes ago, jalady said:

Oh no!  Is this really true?  As another avid recycler, this gives me the sadz :-(

Yes, but hopefully it was an isolated incident and not a common occurrence.  The people involved got in a lot of trouble for their deception - there were a lot of angry recyclers, as you might imagine. 

Recycling is facing some serious challenges these days though:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/04/20/weak-markets-make-consumers-wishful-recycling-big-problem/100654976/

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Something I still don't get is why Greg wants to be part of so many committees? I mean doesn't he do enough? Katie is always avoiding things and as everyone called out on her, she complains about normal things people do. Just because she doesn't do it, she finds it annoying. Of course the real root is she doesn't want to change who she is because "bah, I hate change!" Plus, she would feel like a sell out and we saw the kids do during season 1 and now they are kind of realizing, they didn't need to do that. 

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I think Greg is a friendly person who enjoys doing things with other people and being part of the community. Katie is a misanthrope who enjoys complaining.


The solution is for Greg to do all the family's volunteering and Katie to stay out of trouble. But the show turns on the contrast between Katie's sour attitude and the rest of the world, so they need to keep putting her in social situations or retool their premise.

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AnnaRose, thanks for the article! I have a friend who just started working the line sorting recyclables. It seems like people want to believe they aren't throwing things away if they put them in recycling and let the recyclers throw them away! Cookie sheets, wire, lumber, plants, whatever. This week the torso and head of a deer was in the recycling! GAH! Oh, and if you want to help recyclers, don't squash your cans and plastic bottles - it's hard to get them off a moving conveyor belt wearing thick gloves - he complains about that every time I talk to him! And so ends my off topic public service announcement...

Edited by Nordly Beaumont.
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