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'Married' recap: Stuck in the past

Season 1 | Episode 8 | “The Old Date” | Aired Sept 4, 2014

For a couple with crippling debt, unfulfilled professional lives, a nonexistent sex life and three young children, sometimes it’s super-tempting to forget the stresses of the present and relive the “good old days.” The golden years: before the kids came along and they had to worry about buying a house and moving to a good school district and financially supporting five human people. For Russ and Lina, the past includes living a chill life in Venice Beach, California, where Russ owns and operates his own surf shop, where he designed longboards and logos, etc.

On their much-overdue date night, Russ and Lina head back to their old stomping grounds in search of some nostalgia and fun. But Russ is immediately distracted—he needs to know what happened to the surf shop, Swick. They stop by the old shop only to find out that it is closed and the building is empty. Lina sees it as a relief: At least now they know they didn’t miss out on something great. But as soon as she says that, Russ notices a sign on the window. The shop didn’t go out of business—it just moved to a bigger location.

Meanwhile, AJ has invited Bernie to go to a strip club with him, but takes a detour—to a reception for his ex-wife’s new fiancé’s mom’s funeral—on the way. This spells trouble for unstable AJ. It’s getting pretty tiresome watching him crash and burn and crash and burn, only to continue to emerge from the rubble just as immature as he was before. Dare I say, I’d almost prefer watching a trip to the strip club than watch AJ harass his poor ex-wife again?

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Russ is too distracted by Swick to make it through dinner at one of the couple’s old haunts, so they give up their table to seek out the new shop, and Brad’s former partner, Bruce (played by Ike Barinholtz from The Mindy Project!). But when they get there, Bruce is nowhere to be found (although a logo that Brad designed is all over the place on bags, boards and other surf paraphernalia). Lina tries to shoplift a pair of sunglasses, and they get pulled into the back room, where the managers threaten to call the police and then inform Russ and Lina that Bruce sold the store to a much larger sports company because he was shot.

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Russ and Lina show up at Bruce’s (totally awesome) house to find him in a wheelchair, paralyzed by the shooting. (It’s almost as shocking are his white-guy dreds, amirite?) While Bruce introduces Lina to his nurse/fiancée, Russ sneaks upstairs to check out Bruce’s setup and look for his most prized possession: the first longboard he ever designed. And he finds it! It’s hanging above Bruce’s bed, so of course he plots to steal it back, and enlists Lina to distract Bruce.

Back at the reception, AJ is causing a scene and making a fool of himself (as usual). He uses the death of an old woman in a futile attempt to get back with his ex-wife. She, of course, doesn’t go for it. She does express concern for his mental health, but he takes this as a come-on and tries to coerce her into having sex with him. Thankfully, she kicks him out of her house.

Russ gets caught trying to steal the longboard, but despite everything, Bruce is cool with it. “All you had to do was ask, bro,” he says, before Russ and Lina jet back to the valley with the board strapped to the roof of their car. They leave the coast happy to be escaping from all the weirdos and homeless people. Sometimes dwelling on the past can be comforting, but sometimes it’s just a reminder of how good the present actually is.

Married airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on FX.

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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