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'Chasing Life' Christmas special recap: Santa visits in May

Season 1 | Episode 11 | “Locks of Love” | Aired Dec 9, 2014

Chasing Life brought us Christmas in May. How did the show end up celebrating the holidays on such a random month? Well, it all started when April’s paternal grandparents came to town to visit her. Grandma Emma isn’t thrilled about the visit, since it seems to always be a battle between Grandma Emma and Grandma Lynn. The Carver grandparents come in and disrupt all the peace. Well, really, they just blew the top off an already boiling pot.

The chemo is taking its toll on April’s body. She notices the first chunk of hair left behind on her pillow when the Carver grannies come to spend time with her. They guilt her into playing games and try to keep her at their speed. They don’t cut her any slack, and April isn’t feeling the pressure. On one of their visits, she even fakes being asleep to dodge them.

Back at home, though, it’s not so easy for the rest of the family to escape their wrath. They put pressure on their son—Uncle George—to find a wife already, even suggesting online dating or polyamory. Awkward, considering his life-long love, Sara, is right there. George gets fed up with their constant criticism of how he’s lived his life and airs his late brother’s dirty laundry. The real surprise is that they already knew about their other granddaughter, Natalie. This sets Sara on fire. Brenna has an explosion on them too, after days of hearing Grandma Lynn question her on her boyfriend status. “I’m bi!” she reveals. They aren’t opposed to her sexuality; they’re just mad that they’re once again the last to know. Luckily, they aren’t the last in on a surprise they’ve all planned for April.

April spends most of the episode trying out new hairstyles. She knows she needs to address the fact that she’s balding, but Beth isn’t going to let her have at it alone. Instead, why not give every ‘do a shot in the process of trimming away to baldness? Ultimately, it’s Leo she allows to shave her head, and she shaves his too. That voicemail that we were all left wondering about was, in fact, Leo saying he’s going for the brain surgery. Unfortunately, he couldn’t be as dramatic as he’d wanted by leaving a voicemail and immediately going into surgery. These kind of things take days to prep for, so in the meantime, we get a little more Leo-and-April action. But after the bonding over shaving each others heads, it’s time to say goodbye for real. Leo’s surgery is just minutes away. The two share a hug that we all wish would have been a kiss, but we’ll be patient.

When April returns to her hospital room, she opens the door to stumble upon a Christmas miracle. It’s Christmas in May, just for April! Knowing that it’s her favorite holiday, Brenna came up with the idea of celebrating Christmas since the entire gang was together. Sure, there were a few stumbling blocks along the planning process, like family tiffs, lack of Christmas-themed decorations available in May, and Sara catching a cold that prevents her from visiting April for a week … but they still managed to pull together this awesome and thoughtful surprise. Sara—being the dedicated mother she is—wasn’t going to miss out on this, so she stood outside of April’s hospital room window with a Charlie Brown-size Christmas tree.

Everything comes together for the family, but the April, Leo, and Dom love triangle still isn’t settled. Guess we can’t get everything we want under the Christmas tree!

Chasing Life, rated TV-14, returns Monday, Jan. 19, at 9/8C on ABC Family.

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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