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'About a Boy' recap: Blame it on the Sex Pistols

Season 2 | Episode 4 | “About a Bad Girl” | Aired Nov 4, 2014

Ah, there’s nothing like your first major crush. The excitement, the butterflies, the uncertainty, the anticipation. Add cover-ups, rule-breaking, and lying and you’d be our favorite beanie-wearing buddy, Marcus. This week he becomes infatuated by his school’s resident bad girl, Shea (guest star Izabela Vidovic). But before we get to the Shakespearean conflict, let’s set the scene.

Fiona is asking Will to be the emergency contact on Marcus’ school forms when the boy himself walks in, dressed in his usual boho-slash-bag lady garb and brimming with excitement.

Marcus: Did you hear what day it is?
Will: Wear a woman’s sweater to school day?

Nope, Marcus gets to be his principal’s assistant for the day and is “drunk with power.” Throughout the day, his buzz is fueled by getting to eat in the teachers’ lounge, assess teachers, and tidy up Principal Goldenrod’s (Phil Abrams) office. When a very obvious BAD GIRL stalks into the office and immediately hacks into the principal’s computer (we know she’s bad because she has a shock of blue hair and is wearing a black hoodie), Marcus is outraged. After respectfully asking her to get off the computer, Marcus realizes who she is. She’s bad girl Shea, who’s been kicked out of three schools, can make teachers cry, has a boyfriend in jail, and once ate a live squirrel. If this was Rydell High School, she’d totally be named Rizzo.

Shea (to Marcus): Do you like Sex Pistols?
Marcus: Those are two things that are not permitted in my household.

When Shea blares a Sex Pistols song over the PA (shocking!), stands on Principal Goldenrod’s desk, and begins dancing (scandalous!), Marcus finds himself suddenly hypnotized by her wonderful, glorious badness. Goldenrod, on the other hand, isn’t as much of a fan, and when he storms in, Marcus—channeling his inner Johnny Rotten, perhaps?—immediately takes the blame.

Will, authorized to pick Marcus up from school now that he’s got emergency-contact clearance, is proud of his bold move—not to mention his choice in music—and thinks it’s exciting that Marcus has his first big-time crush. Marcus lets it slip that Shea’s a bad girl, and Will retracts everything he said. Tells Marcus to cut bait and run. Bad girls are trouble. I have a distinct feeling Will knows of which he speaks. Plus, I’ve seen Grease like a million times, so I do, too.

The next day, while Marcus is waiting for Fiona to come to the meeting with Principal Goldenrod, Shea tells him that the rumors about her aren’t entirely true. Well, except for the “making teachers cry” one. Marcus takes this brief moment of kindness as Shea’s declaration of mutual admiration, and he once again takes the bullet for her in the principal’s office.

Marcus: I’d play the Sex! I’d play the Pistol! I’d play them both!

Fiona is humiliated and disappointed (and probably more than a little confused). She runs to Will, only to find out he knew about Marcus’ crush.

Fiona: She’s completely manipulating him with her sly little looks and her prepubescent breasts.
Will: I could get arrested even hearing you say that! You stop that!

Taking “draconian measures,” Fiona decides to forbid Marcus from seeing Shea, and instructs Will to do the same. The problem is, Marcus is already too far gone and tells Will that he and Shea share a Shakespearean romance of forbidden love. Oh, yeah, and he’s invited his Juliet over. “It’s my love!” Marcus cries as Shea arrives at Will’s house. When Shea instantly rips into Will (“Aren’t you too old for skinny jeans?”) and challenges his “coolness,” Will not only details all the ways in which he’s awesome, he brings out all his toys to impress her. After an afternoon of video games, foosball, a chug-fest of shakes (made in the always-present margarita machine), and a jam-fest with Will’s band’s worth of instruments, Fiona interrupts to take Shea home.

But sadly, home for Shea is a messy apartment with a couch for a bed, no parents, and only a sleeve of stale cookies to eat for dinner. Fiona returns home and tells Marcus that she no longer thinks Shea is a bad girl. But because she’s older and in a different place, Fiona doesn’t want him to hang out with her anymore. And in a shocking—but welcoming—show of solidarity, Will agrees.

While Marcus writes an apology poem to Principal Goldenrod, Will and Fiona contemplate the difficulties of parenting. “That’s why whiskey was invented,” Will tells her, and they go inside to pour a glass of top-shelf Macallan—only to discover it missing. At the same time they realize that the thief was a 14-year-old with a penchant for punk rock, Marcus receives a text from her, which despite his better judgment, he answers. Oh no. I’m afraid of where this is heading. He’s so not cut out to be a Danny Zuko.

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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