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'A to Z' react: Games, games, games

Season 1 | Episode 1 | “B is for Big Glory” | Aired Oct 9, 2014

A to Z is a romantic comedy without a happy ending (allegedly, anyway). So it’s really not so surprising that Andrew and Zelda’s relationship is of the warts-and-all variety. That’s not to say that they’re being warts-and-all honest with each other (not yet, anyway), but the show is delving into the dirty underbelly of romantic relationships. This week, in “B for Big Glory,” Andrew and Zelda play some big games.

The setup: Andrew and Zelda have kissed. They’re together, but they’re not, like, together. (Why? Because we live in a time when romance is shifting toward “hanging out” for a few years with no title or commitment, and then getting engaged when you realize you’re too tired to leave the person you’re with.) Andrew remembers a date he’d made before meeting Zelda, AKA THE ONE (for eight months and some change), and his terrible friend Stu convinces him that he has to keep the date, lest he seem desperate and lame and lose the relationship to Zelda. Andrew stupidly follows Stu’s advice (this will probably explain a lot of Andrew’s mishaps this season). When he tells Zelda, she’s plays it cool and volleys back that she also has a date. She’s lying, of course, but she’s cute enough to make that lie a reality on a moment’s notice.

Neither of them want to be on a date with someone else, but neither of them want to be the one who isn’t on a date with someone else either. Cue terrible dates (although really, Andrew’s date is kind of delightful—she’s fun and funny. And she is using Andrew to make her ex jealous, but somehow not in a malicious way). Cue misunderstandings (Andrew tries to stop by Zelda’s house and confess his feelings, but her hottie-hot date answers the door, shirtless … but it’s TOTALLY INNOCENT, DUH). Cue a kind of rushed resolution in which Zelda comes to chat, she explains the shirtless dude, and they become a legitimate, not-seeing-other-people couple by the end of episode 2.

Basically, this plot could have been saved for the letter G, for “Games,” but I guess by then, we’re hoping that Andrew and Zelda are in a healthier place.

The real highlight of the episode is Andrew’s boss, Big Bird, who runs the Wallflower dating site company. She’s every boss you’ve ever hated or rolled your eyes at or just wished would quit the job on a whim and disappear forever to live in Europe or something, all rolled into one. She’s flighty, flippant, and full of unreasonable demands. She’s amazing to watch. To quote April Ludgate: She’s the worst person I’ve ever met. I want to travel the world with her.

Big Bird (yes, that’s actually the character’s name) has the whole Wallflower team testing the new Tinder rip-off app (I’m sorry, I’m sorry—it’s not a rip-off. Tinder swipes, their app taps), and it’s amazing. She threatens to fire the programmer because she hasn’t gotten any taps and the app must be broken. It sounds like a trite, overplayed joke, but the show actually makes it work.

Are you watching A to Z? What did you think of this super-gamey episode? Sound off in the comments.

A to Z airs Thursdays at 9:30/8:30C on NBC.

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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