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‘Restaurant Redemption’ react: Uncle Joey!

Season 2 | Episode 4 | “Joey Thai” | Aired Nov 4, 2014

This is how the Cooking Channel describes the fourth episode of Restaurant Redemption, which features Joey Thai:

“Ching-He Huang’s dishing out culinary therapy at a Thai restaurant in Montclair, New Jersey. After their first restaurant in Manhattan failed, ex-husband and ex-wife team Joey and Jumi Yuwprayowg had hoped for better luck opening their business. Sadly, after only a year, they have found themselves struggling to make more than $100 a day. … Joey runs the business like a dictatorship doing everything from cooking to serving, with a temper so unpredictable that no one wants to work with him. With stressed-out owners at the helm, can Ching turn this restaurant around?”

Let me get this straight. A divorced couple running a restaurant? A control-freak owner/cook with a temper? Jackpot! Before I started watching, I was, like, “YES! There’s going to be some drama! The ex-husband and ex-wife are totally going to go at it! Gender and age dynamics between Ching and Joey will explode! Get out the popcorn!”

Sadly, to my disappointment, none of the drama I was expecting materialized in the episode.

The 70-ish Joey and his ex-wife, Jumi, have a couple of moments—but the confrontations, if you can call them that, lack any kind of fire. For example, after being confronted by Ching about the hair she found in the crab meatballs, Joey accuses Jumi of not checking the plate before serving it to Ching to taste-test. Jumi shoots Joey an annoyed look. That’s it. In fact, Joey quickly retreats when Ching says that how the food is served is actually his responsibility, not Jumi’s.

Yes, Joey is indeed a bit of a control freak, but not in an overtly temperamental way. Instead, he’s just stubborn, which Jumi and Joey’s nephew Brandon Flores, who helps run the restaurant, repeats multiple times. They state that he’s stubborn, and Joey responds by nodding his head in agreement; he never pushes back. He doesn’t front to Ching either, even though he has plenty of opportunities because she lets him have it a few times. This really surprised me. If you know anything about Asian culture, it’s rare to see younger women critique older men, especially in public; there are gender and hierarchical dynamics. At one point, Ching says: “Joey has this stern, tough demeanor. But deep inside, he’s just a teddy bear.” *sigh* The Asian in me was, in part, hoping for Joey to be Uncle Bruce:


Not Uncle Joey:


My disappointment doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the episode. To the contrary. Ching zings off some of her usual, perfectly timed one-liners. Seriously, she has a gift for that, and she is a great role model for Asian girls and young women who aspire to be intelligent, articulate, witty, independent, and funny. More individuals like Ching are so needed in the public eye, considering how often Asian women are stereotypically portrayed in Western television as being submissive, “dragon lady”–like, overtly sexual, or exotic.

Additionally, the interactions between Ching and Joey in episode 4 are really nice. They share laughs and cook together, and it’s obvious they had some fun. And the smiles Joey, Jumi, and Brandon have toward the end is genuine goodness. What’s not to like about any of that?

Restaurant Redemption airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. EST on Cooking Channel.

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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