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'Chasing Life' recap: Start living

Season 1 | Episode 6 | “Clear Minds, Full Lives, Can’t Eat!” | Aired July 15, 2014

Now that the cat’s out the bag, April has new anxieties to work through, and her mother hasn’t made it any easier. After the disastrous manner in which April’s mom handled the news of the leukemia at the end of last week’s episode, I thought maybe she’d learned her lesson. It seems the show is trying to give insight on how difficult it is for the parents of a cancer patient, but while doing that, it’s showing us how truly annoying overbearing parents can be to the person who’s actually sick.

Sara apologizes to April when she returns the next morning from spending the night at Dominic’s. She even asks permission to attend April’s appointment with George, where he’ll discuss the treatment going forward. It appears that Sara has a grip on this parent-of-a-cancer-patient thing—until she goes back to her pushy ways at the appointment with George, nudging April right out the door yet again. Sara stays behind and asks George for more details on the chemo, and he informs her that fertility problems could result. Not only does she ask George to abandon his ethics by not telling April about this, but she also skips over an opportunity to tell April herself during her failed group meditation. Sara is one infuriating character to watch.

April finally catches a break at work when she’s told that Bruce Hendrie has requested she be the reporter to shadow the filming of campaign commercials. She gets to see the opposite parents, more focused on their individual success than the health of their son, yet she still feels Leo has it better. We get a little more background on Leo, as he shares with April that he wasn’t always dependent on his parents, and he loved his independence in Paris before finding out he was sick. She starts to see Leo in a different light and lets him take her on some adventures, even kissing her. He’s also the one to break the news that chemo can ruin fertility. At the hospital, after Leo suffers a seizure when they’re caught with the stolen car, April finds out that Leo is terminally ill. 

Bruce Hendrie and his wife approach April in the hospital to thank her for helping Leo. He said they’d just learned that Leo’s condition is terminal and explains how hurt he is to know he will lose his only child. It seemed like that moment was meant for April to reflect on how she’d been ignoring her own mother who was worried about her, but given how frustrating Sara has been to deal with, it didn’t really resonate. 

From the beginning of the episode we saw April struggle with a new symptom, loss of appetite. She comes home from the hospital eager to feast on frozen waffles, only to find her mother has cleared the kitchen of everything. I totally feel April’s pain here. There’s nothing more frustrating than when you’re craving something and come home to find the refrigerator wiped out of that very food. She tries to escape to her room, but finds that her mom has taken over her personal space too. Sara has everything covered in plastic, stripped her bed, and even taken away her mattress until she can replace it with an organic one. 

Does Sara not get it? April goes off on her and informs her she will be visiting a fertility clinic before starting treatment, to which Sara slips a hint that she knew about the possibility of fertility problems. If I were April, that would be the moment I would pack my bags and leave. April is done with her mother’s controlling antics and puts her foot down. I just hope Sara stops acting like the victim because her child got cancer, and starts letting April deal with everything in her own way. April is ready to take control, and she has just the perfect friend to guide her—Leo. He’s already warned her, “Worrying about the future is not living.” 

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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