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'Playing House' recap: To catch a catfish

Season 1 | Episode 6 | “Bosephus and the Catfish” | Aired May 27, 2014

At its core, Playing House is a show about family. They may not be a conventional family, but Maggie, Zach, Emma and even Bruce are tied together by Maggie’s soon-to-be-born baby daughter. And even though they’re not all related by blood or even marriage (anymore), they’re definitely acting like a real family would: looking out for each other, making sacrifices for each other and annoying the crap out of each other.

When Zach has a date with a model named Cecilia whom he met online (love@firsttype.com), Maggie and Emma are skeptical. Not wanting to let him get catfished, they do some snooping on his dating profile. They discover that Cecilia’s photos were all taken professionally, and one is even from an Anthropologie catalog. They assume that this means Cecilia is actually a fat old man with an inverted penis, so Maggie and Emma try to convince Zach to cancel his date. Not liking the implication that he couldn’t seriously land a girl as pretty as Cecilia, Zach asks them to butt out.

95l24Meanwhile, Emma discovers that Bruce has been squatting in the storage locker she rented out to to store her furniture and decorations from China. Turns out his mom disowned him after he cheated on Maggie, and now he has nowhere to live. Emma reluctantly agrees to help him find a place to stay, with the stipulation that he call off the mandatory couples’ therapy he fought for in the divorce.

Enter: Business Emma. We know she was a high-powered executive before moving in with Maggie, but Emma shows off her negotiation skills in a scene with Bruce’s mom (Sandy Martin, Napoleon Dynamite). She explains to Bruce’s mom that he may be a piece of garbage, but he’s her piece of garbage, and she can’t just leave him out in the road, smelling up the whole street. And it works! Bruce’s mom agrees to let him live with her again — but in the garage. Bruce immediately whines and the deal is off.

Playing House (USA)Needing a drink, Emma heads to Rosie’s, and while she’s looking for Maggie at the bar, a creepy dude with a mullet offers to pay for her drink. J.K. It’s not a creepy dude at all — it’s just a creepy Maggie, dressed up as “Bosephus.” She’s in disguise to spy on Zach, whose date is really, really late. She hands Emma a bandana, asking her to play along as her lover, Jandana, as Maggie continues her stakeout.

A man approaches Zach’s table and Maggie freaks out. Unable to control her sisterly impulses, she approaches the table to tell him off. But he’s not a catfish — he’s just asking to borrow ketchup. Zach realizes it’s her immediately, but of course, Cecelia walks in just as Maggie and Emma are standing next to his table. They try to keep up the Bosephus/Jandana charade, but Cecilia isn’t stupid. She obviously knew that Maggie was actually a woman and Emma was actually a man. Oh no, wait, it’s just the misleading shoulders.

Playing House (USA)The next morning, Emma finds Bruce a real apartment, furnished with the stuff from her storage locker. She pays the first month of rent for him to pay back later — a small price to free Maggie from the horrors of couples’ counseling with that weirdo. Emma’s a problem-solver, and especially when it comes to her best friend, no problem is took big to handle.

Back at Maggie’s house, Zach is just arriving home after a wild night with Cecilia. And by wild, I mean she tried to rob him and then he ended up calling the cops on her. After gulping down some chicken broth, Zach explains to a seriously concerned Maggie that this was actually the best night of his life, and though she’s a little worried by that, Maggie’s accepts it. Because all that matters to her is that her brother is happy. The siblings share a heartfelt moment in which they remember how important family is for them, especially since both of their parents passed away.

“You’re gonna have another little weirdo to look out for soon,” Zach reminds Maggie. The Playing House family is about to get a little bigger, and that baby is gonna have the coolest role models. (Well, except for Bruce.)

95k6qWinning one-liners:

• Zach: “Everything on my person is from the Banana Republic Mad Men collection.”
• Emma: “Look at you, Don Draper!”
• Zach: “Actually, I think of myself as a male Joan.”

• “What website did you guys first meet on? OKStupid? Hah, nailed it.” — Emma

• “I will go full Thelma and Louise on your ass! I will shoot you in the penis, sir!” — Emma

• “It’s just lady-porn. Porn for women. Story-driven porn.” — Maggie

• “I think we can all agree that Bruce is a piece of garbage.” — Emma

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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