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'Chasing Life' recap: The 'C' word

Season 1 | Episode 4 | “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead” | Aired July 1, 2014

After a handful of episodes spent with April pouring her energy into keeping the secret of her cancer, she finally unraveled. We got to see April share her diagnosis multiple times throughout the episode, while we also saw her energies whither down so low that she couldn’t even stop herself from telling Brenna—her younger sister and the only family member other than Uncle/Doctor George to know. In between all of that, we started seeing how Leo will be able to charm April in ways that Dominic can’t. 

When Leo recognizes April from the parking lot incident with his motorcycle and from the elevator ride with his dad at the Boston Post, he puts it together and realizes she’s a reporter. With his “it’s all about me” attitude, he automatically assumes that she’s at the support group to break a story on him and Leo Jr. No, he doesn’t have a kid; Leo Jr. is how he affectionately refers to the brain tumor that wants to shorten his life. From his talk at the support group, you get the feeling he’s not thrilled about his dad’s campaign bringing him into the spotlight, where his ordeal with Leo Jr. will inevitably come out to the public. Yet later on at the campaign party, he gives an inspiring speech of how dedicated his father has been—he even offered to drop out of the race. But if you didn’t sniff out that speech to be B.S., then maybe it warmed your heart just a bit.

In between her two visits to the support group, April misses her appointment to get the biopsy that will reveal the severity of her leukemia and, on top of it, lies about how serious her symptoms have become. It’s clear she just doesn’t want to know, seeing as she’s in no rush to get it together. Her priorities are so off that she tells Beth that the only “C” words that she’s concerned with that day are “caffeine and concealer.” Until the real “C” word—”cancer,” that is— helps her score that coveted invitation to the campaign kickoff party. Leo not only gives her the invitation she’s after, but also promises her an exclusive.

Have you ever had a job interview and then told all your friends you got the job, solely because you felt it went well? NO! You never run around bragging about anything until it’s in your hands. April learns this the hardest way possible when she spends a good part of the episode gloating about the exclusive she was going to get, only to have Leo blow it all up with his speech about his brain tumor at the kickoff party to help garner support for his father’s campaign. He makes a valid point to April during the confrontation about him screwing her over on the exclusive. He lets her know that her priorities are out of whack and being sick is her life now, though she may not understand that yet because it’s still early on in the process. 

Dominic follows up with even less-comforting words. It’s practically word vomit that he doesn’t realize he’s spewing out, telling April he won’t be able to deal with someone who’s sick. Dominic, I was rooting for you, boy, but you’re kind of seeming more and more arrogant by the episode. Shockingly, Leo is taking over the down-to-earth role. Aside from his fancy motorcycle, Leo is in tune with his reality, something April needs guidance with.

Chasing Life: guest star Maksim Chmerkovskiy (ABC Family)As if it wasn’t disappointing enough to lose the exclusive—in front of catty coworker Raquel, no less—April finds out Brenna didn’t come through for her in accompanying their mom to the tango class. We know mom was just fine, though, getting taught one-on-one by Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Dancing With the Stars’ sexy bad boy. The climax comes as April is changing to go meet their mother at tango while arguing with Brenna about how unreliable she continues to be. In the heat of the argument, just as I’d predicted she would, April exploded with “I have cancer!” Finally someone in the family knows, and at least Brenna is mature enough to surprise her sister by showing up at the biopsy to hold April’s hand. But if Brenna knows now, it’s only a matter of time before she squeals to the rest of the family. The big questions still pending are: Who will tell the mom? And when will April tell Dominic?

Chasing Life, rated TV-14, airs Tuesdays at 9/8C on ABC Family.

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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