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'If Loving You Is Wrong' recap: No love for stereotypes

Season 1 | Episode 4 | “The Colombian” | Aired Sept 23, 2014

If the acting hadn’t improved by this episode, I was planning on starting this recap with calling bluff on this whole cast. However, it feels like they are finally getting it together. This episode was meant to hush up the talk of certain stereotypes by attacking them within the show’s writing. This revealed for me that Natalie is my favorite character. She seems to be the only one who owns their truth and talks that real talk, even if it’ll make her friends uncomfortable.

Last episode, Natalie decided she would let her son Joey live with her in order for him to be let out on probation. Now she’s going through the motions of getting him home, against her own hunch. Joey’s probation officer tells her that if she’s not sure, she shouldn’t bother. But it’s a mother’s love. When she senses a judging look from Hardy, the probation officer, she starts laying down the real. Yes, she was a teenage mother. Yes, her kids have more than one dad. But no, she never cashed any welfare checks. Natalie is the most self-aware character on the show. She schooled her son on how hard she’s worked so that her children will learn from her example. It was a heartbreaking disappointment for her when Joey didn’t pick up the lesson. In the middle of her meeting with Hardy, Esperanza knocks. Enter the most unself-aware character on the show.

While Natalie is not a stereotype, Esperanza’s love life is. Watching as Esperanza tiptoes around the story of her Edward/Julius drama reminds me of how I feel when I’m trying to get advice but I’m purposely leaving out important things because of how it’ll make me look. Natalie can’t comprehend why Edward was in her house to begin with. Well, that’s because Edward comes and goes as he pleases, since he technically owns the house and pays for it!

And why is Esperanza so concerned about Julius’ threats, Natalie asks? That’d be because he’s in the Colombian cartel. She tries to warn Edward of her boyfriend’s threats to kill him, and we meet Edward’s wife—can we never see more of her again, please?—but Edward doesn’t care to hear it. His arrogance needs a little scare at this point. Luckily for Esperanza, she has a good friend in Natalie, who dishes some tough love on Esperanza’s horrible dating habits.

On the topic of love, did Alex really end a phone conversation with Randal by saying she does love him—after convincing him that she wants nothing to do with him? These two are a mess. I was getting fed up with the way the show was painting Randal to be the sole aggressor, when it took both of them to engage in an affair … until Alex finally took responsibility for her role. She admitted it’s both of their fault, but she wants it to end more than Randal does. Obviously. Randal is head over heels for his mistress, and Alex just isn’t as invested. We also got to see a part of Randal that gave us some goosebumps. He’s obsessive about Alex, and though she was lusting for him too, now that she’s running from it, the guy looks pathetic.

Who’s runner-up in the pathetic category? Our girl Kelly. She spends most of the episode still oblivious to her nonexistent relationship with Travis. He gets back home and makes no effort to see Kelly and “their son.” Instead, he’s at a welcome-home party at his parents’ home, which Kelly wasn’t invited to. If you’re wondering why, it’s probably because that chick that Travis’ mother introduces to Kelly—when she shows up uninvited to the party—is actually engaged to Travis. Did you guys pick up on that? I think we’re all really anxious to know what Travis has to tell Kelly, but he keeps putting it off. If he’s just dumping her, why can’t he just cut the cord already?

We didn’t find out anything juicy during this episode. It was mostly setting the foundation for some serious explosions. A lot of talk just built up the tension: Kelly and Travis are headed for a breakup, Julius wants to kill Edward, and Joey is about to move back in with Natalie. Next week’s episode might get crazy.

If Loving You Is Wrong, rated TV-14, airs Tuesdays at 9/8C on OWN.

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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