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'A to Z' react: G is for great episode

Season 1 | Episode 7 | “G Is for Geronimo” | Aired Nov 13, 2014

Well, this is bittersweet.

I’ve been a little tough on A to Z the last couple of weeks. I had really high hopes for the show and it kept falling short of my expectations. So, when news broke that the show was effectively canceled (no additional episodes ordered), I wasn’t surprised—and it was hard to feel really sympathetic. I felt like A to Z had everything going for it and that it had kind of squandered the talent it had on its side.

This week, the show finally started to look like the show I imagined. It’s just too bad that it’s probably too little, too late.

“G Is for Geronimo” starts with Andrew and Zelda deciding to merge their stuff. It’s a short-lived fake-out for them moving in together (really, they’re just merging their music libraries). Cue the requisite jokes about Andrew being a little bit of a dork and having embarrassing music (a lot of Katy Perry bootlegs and 50+ plays on “Call Me Maybe”). The less-expected gag involves him finding a demo song Zelda recorded as a teen, when she had dreams of music stardom.

He listens to the song (against Zelda’s wishes) and loves it. What’s more, he accidentally shares it with the Wallflower network and another Wallflower employee shares it with the entire office park. Several of Zelda’s coworkers even listen to the song and compliment her on it.

Since Cristin Milioti has roots in Broadway, it’s not a surprise that they worked her talent into the show. What is surprising (in the best way) is Zelda’s reaction to Andrew’s gaffe. When she realizes that everyone loves her song, she isn’t angry with Andrew. Instead, she questions her entire life’s path. “I wasn’t being delusional, thinking I could be a singer all these years,” she pines. “What if I’ve wasted my life being a lawyer?”

Andrew gets Zelda an audition with a music conservatory (we never find out if she got in or not—she says no matter what the answer is, she’s happy being a lawyer) and they are, for once, truly adorable and believably in love and compatible.

The subplots are great, too. Stu and Stephie engage in a prank war (well, more specifically, Stephie wages prank war on Stu) and eventually put their differences behind them (vital if the show had really gone forward—they could only hate each other for so long). And Big Bird, my precious Big Bird, got drunk, was accidentally kind to her employees, and freaked out.

She hates it, until she realizes that kindness is good for the bottom line (fewer employees call in sick because they hate being at the office). Then she insists that she can only manage kindness when she’s drunk. Big Bird is the best. “Would a kind person do this?!” (As she cuts off Howard’s tie.)

This week’s A to Z was by far the best of the series so far, which makes it much, much sadder that it won’t be with us past the midseason mark.

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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