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'About a Boy' season 2 premiere: Bagels, bullies, and a fake vasectomy

Season 2 | Episode 1 | “About a Vasectomy” | Aired Oct 14, 2014

As season 2 of About a Boy opens, three things are immediately clear: (1) Will is still in New York City; (2) Will really wants to find the perfect Asiago bagel; and (3) Rob Reiner is always fabulous, and steals the show even when he’s only on screen for a minute and a half. For the past three months while we’ve been away, it seems that Will has been busy searching New York City for the perfect Asiago bagel (and not much else). His latest search leads him to the bagel shop of one crotchety and stubborn bagel-meister (played perfectly by Rob Reiner), who gleefully rubs it in Will’s face that the shop is closed, despite Will’s valiant cross-city race that gets him there mere seconds late. When Will offers to pay big money for the bagels, Reiner gives in (after degrading Will’s lifestyle). Anyone else feel like watching Sleepless in Seattle now?

When Will gets back to the Soho loft he shares with Dr. Sam and is relishing his Asiago bagel while Skyping with Marcus, another thing becomes immediately clear: Marcus hit puberty. Well, at least his voice did. No facial hair to be seen … yet. (I have to admit, though, that voice coming out of the adorable little beanie-wearing boy might take a bit of getting used to.) After Sam arrives and tells Will and Marcus about her exciting day at the hospital, it’s obvious that Will is still madly in love with Sam (and vice versa), although equally obvious that he’s not quite as enamored with New York as she is. Might have something to do with the way they spend their days. “You raised a man from the dead [today] and Will found the perfect bagel. What a power couple!” Marcus observes. 

Things get a bit more exciting for Will, however, when he receives a royalty check for “Runaway Sleigh” for zero dollars and zero cents. He panics. Don’t forget, “Runaway Sleigh” is the single source of his (impressive) income, and the only manner in which he’s been living large for the past decade. Will rushes back to his house in San Francisco to sort things out, and discovers Fiona and Marcus reenacting Marcus’ birth on their kitchen floor as Fiona tries to “stir up personal birthing memories” in her efforts to become a doula. “Glad to see things didn’t get weird while I was gone,” Will says as Marcus hands him the scissors to cut his “umbilical cord.” Marcus is happy to see Will, but tells him Will can’t hang out with him because he has plans with his new friends—who, Fiona points out, are “age-appropriate.”

As it turns out, “age-appropriate” is another term for “bullying little liars,” because not only have the so-called friends taken control of Marcus’ treehouse and don’t allow him inside, but they act like perfectly mannered angels around Fiona, yet mock her behind her back. I mean, it’s one thing to make fun of her accent, but when they ridicule the tofu Slim Jim she made them for a snack, that’s just plain dirty. After watching Marcus get hazed and hearing him deny the fact that he’s being bullied, Will decides to extend his visit home to help Marcus out, and tries to get Fiona to see that Marcus is being taken advantage of. But like any mother who wants to believe her loner son is finally being included, she refuses to believe it, and accuses Will of inventing problems in San Francisco so he doesn’t have to face bigger ones in New York (like the monumental task of finding the perfect bagel).

Meanwhile, Will goes to visit his best friend, Andy, who tells him that he suspects his wife, Laurie (Annie Mumolo), is pregnant because of her excessive avocado eating (obviously). Turns out Andy never got the vasectomy he’d been planning on getting because Will talked him out of it. To make matters more complicated (and by that I mean worse—much, much worse), Andy told Laurie he got the vasectomy. Not only did he tell Laurie he got snipped, he faked the whole thing—frozen peas on his junk, limping around, marking up his sack with a highlighter—the whole shebang (except that he literally still has the whole shebang). Andy tells Will he has to help him break the news to Laurie. So Will calls Sam to tell her he needs to stay in San Francisco a few extra days, what with the problems with Marcus and now having to tell Laurie about the fake vasectomy (“That could go so dark,” he says). Although Sam initially points out the fact that after being in San Fran for only 24 hours, Will has done more than he has in three months in New York, Sam is understanding; seems she has to work double shifts all week anyway. And later, Will finds out that his royalties for “Runaway Sleigh” are frozen because someone is claiming to have co-written it, but apparently he can solve his money problems by selling the house in San Francisco. Yeah, I don’t need to put on my glasses to see where this is going.

After breaking the news to Laurie (which isn’t quite as dark as I was hoping), Will returns home to spy on Marcus, who is basically getting his butt kicked in the form of humiliation by his new buddies, and calls Fiona over to watch. Because Will apparently did not get his training from the Carrie Mathison school of spying, Marcus sees his telephoto lens and telescope in full view and runs in to accuse his mother and Will of messing up his friendship. Will takes the blame, but Fiona is the one who decides to bust balls. She rushes the treehouse and tries to throw the punks out, but they just laugh at her and tell her that it isn’t even her treehouse—it belongs to some “weird, tall, wiry guy.” Uh-oh. Clearly these boys are too young to understand that you never ridicule a man’s physique. (Well, a man of Will’s physique, anyway.) Will slams a ball into the side of the treehouse. “I take offense to that ‘wiry’ comment. Much more of a chiseled thing,” he spits as he stalks across the yard. After making them apologize to Fiona, Will threatens to “destroy” them if they so much as breathe a negative word to or about Marcus. And in case you forgot why you loved Fiona, she adds, “You are all God’s children. We still have love in our hearts for you.”

Later, Fiona admits that Will was right about her being blind to the bullying (“I just wanted Marcus to have friends”). Will admits that Fiona was a little bit right about bagels being the only exciting thing he has going on in New York. And Marcus admits that he knew those boys weren’t his friends. “I was hoping I’d grow on them, like I grew on you,” he tells Will. I’m not sure even the best New York bagel can beat that.

About a Boy airs Tuesdays 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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