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'About a Boy' recap: She's gonna uke

Season 2 | Episode 7 | “About a Duck” | Aired Dec 2, 2014

I imagine one of the writers of About a Boy pitching this simple idea one day: Will and Fiona go on a double date. And then I imagine all the other writers looking up from their scribbled notepads in slow motion, jaws open, eyes lighting up as they simultaneously shout “BRILLIANT!” Of course, in slo-mo their gleeful reaction sounds like a deep and guttural death moan, but the sentiment is still there. Because really, how has it taken this long for a double date between our favorite platonic and polar-opposite friends to occur? It’s a hilarious recipe for disaster, and now that it’s happened, I’m hungry for more. 

Fiona is still thinking about the kiss that Marcus’ teacher, Mr. Chris, planted on her after the Shakespeare program. Dressing to impress (although Will wonders if she’s going to school to pick up Marcus or “performing in the slutty Nutcracker“), Fiona boldly asks Mr. Chris out on a date. He’s hesitant (the whole “overstepping the bounds of dating a student’s mother” thing) but excitedly agrees. Seems now that she’s thrown the first card, he is ready to go all-in—to hell with the “bounds” he’s obviously stepping over. Mr. Chris promises to plan a romantic date, which Fiona accepts through blubbering tears of emotion or, as she explains to Mr. Chris, “wet-eye syndrome.”

Meanwhile, Dakota and her yoga mat are back. Will can’t help noticing her as she makes her way up Fiona’s stairs, pointing out that her “nomadic year of abstinence” is over. Obviously, he wants to celebrate. Dakota, who can’t help but notice Will’s wet T-shirt (courtesy of spraying himself with his hose), readily agrees. Obviously.

Fiona, worried about a recurrence of “wet-eye syndrome” or other weirdness that might show itself on her date, begs Dakota to come with her as her “safety net” (because bringing your friend along on your date isn’t weird at all). Since Dakota has already made a date with Will, she has a great idea: double date! Not surprisingly, Will and Fiona don’t think the idea is as brilliant as Dakota (and the aforementioned About a Boy writers).

After laying down some ground rules (Will isn’t allowed to make fun of Fiona; Fiona isn’t allowed to mess with Will’s “game”), they agree, and the next afternoon head out on a five-mile hike and picnic with Mr. Chris and Dakota. First on the agenda? Popping open a bottle of bubbly, which Mr. Chris does with a stick (of course). Drinking Prosecco and laughing at dumb jokes, Fiona is encouraged that things are going well. She tells Dakota that she thinks she’ll be fine finishing the date alone with Mr. Chris: “If there’s a lull in conversation, I’m good to get out my trusty uke, aren’t I?” she asks, as she pulls her ukulele out of her backpack. Dakota stays. Because ukulele.

Over the course of the date, Will grows increasingly irritated with all of Mr. Chris’ name dropping and casual mentions of his humanitarian work (he taught homeless kids basketball!). He even builds a gurney out of logs to pull Will through the woods after he falls in the creek. Fiona, still worried about saying the right things, starts rambling about diarrhea, and Dakota quickly advises her to just lie in agreement with everything Mr. Chris says.

Mayonnaise? Fiona loves it!
Basketball? Fiona’s favorite sport!
The Peking duck that Mr. Chris cured in his oak roasting cabinet for two weeks and is now being served at their picnic? DELICIOUS!

Mr. Chris (to vegan Fiona): Wing or leg?
Will: Ooh, that’s a Sophie’s Choice right there. Take your time with that one!

When Mr. Chris goes to get his carving knife (of course), Will begins retelling the tragic story of “Make Way for Ducklings.” Fiona freaks out and throws Mr. Chris’ perfectly cured masterpiece into the woods. Exhausted from trying to be someone she’s not, Fiona admits to Will that he’s made her self-conscious about this date. Will tells her that she’s smart and kind and beautiful (but of course not to him—”you’re not my thing on so many levels”). He says she’s like a movie you’re totally not into, but understand it’s awesome anyway. “You’re my English Patient,” he tells her. Awww.

Later, Fiona admits to Mr. Chris that she was lying about much of what she said, and that while she likes him, she was afraid to be weird. “I prefer to be myself,” she says, as she reaches into her backpack.

Dakota: Oh, no! She’s gonna uke!
Me: Hooray! She’s gonna uke!

As Fiona starts playing her ukulele and singing, Mr. Chris pops together a wooden flute (of course) and begins to accompany her. He’s pompous and insufferable, but I have to say, I like them together. Sadly, though, the odds of them making music together again don’t look all that promising. When she later gets a text from Mr. Chris saying he had a great time and wants to go out again, Marcus tells his mom that he likes it just being the two of them. Guess our future double-date dreams will have to remain just that.

Favorite zingers:

Marcus, after blowing the whistle on Andy’s whereabouts: That was a major DTL, wasn’t it?
Laurie: What’s a DTL?
Marcus: Don’t tell Laurie!
Laurie: [silence]
Marcus: Now that I hear it out loud, DTL itself may be a DTL.

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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