A review by Jenni:
Wow. I skipped town for three days and, thus, didn't get to
do an episode viewing/reviewing over the weekend. But it
seems like it's been weeks since I watched TBAA.
Weird. Anyhow, due to being behind schedule, I'm typing this
as I watch.
What I love about this episode:
What does it say about the relatability of aspects of this episode
that I started viewing this at 9:14 and it's now 10:01 and I'm
just now getting to *actually* watch it cause I stopped to check
on laundry and that morphed into a buncha chores...
Is it bad that I'm finding this episode kinda fun and ironic in
the sense that Toni reminds me of Martha Stewart who kicked TBAA
and a buncha other stuff off the Hallmark Channel with the result
that their ratings are tanking? Ha ha. Okay, so that
wasn't nice but... I'm not sure I feel it's not at least a lil
deserved. Who builds that much of a schedule around one
person and one type of programming?!?!
"Time... People handle time so differently. The smart
ones make every minute count." A good quote from Tess to
remember. Actually, I think this episode coulda done with a
lot more Tess. Tough love was sorely needed by all.
"Teenagers don't feel like they're typical. They think
they're uniquely odd." Yay for Tess. That's how I felt
as a teenager and she got it.
Aww. I'm a sucker. I think Matt sneaking through the
window and talking about moonlight is adorable. Clearly I am
not ready to parent a teenager. Knew that..
Mocha pizza... For all of the writers' issues with
continuity, I do like that they never forgot Monica's coffee
addiction. And, actually, a mocha dessert pizza would probly
Monica's and Andrew's lil discussion about her cooking abilities
It's nice that Angelo researches diabetes... kinda redeems his
being a total brat before that.
I liked Monica's lil pep talk to Amy about being happy that her
diabetes is being treated. I sympathize with Amy. But
I knew a little kid who had to deal with diabetes and he showed a
lot more fortitude than this girl far older than him. And
his was also more serious. So her whinyness and negativity
needed to be addressed.
While Toni drives me batty because she's a complete control freak,
I do think this episode highlights how often it is that the mom
ends up carrying the weight around the house. She cooks,
cleans, deals with the diabetes, etc. When I had to have
IVs, it was all on my mom.
The family fight is kinda good. It's kinda nice to watch
these people have things shouted at them that I wanted to
I don't really know how to explain disease. Simply saying
God doesn't give them to people isn't really fulfilling. But
I do like that Monica stresses how God gave Amy everything she
needs to deal with the diabetes. There is something to be
said, too, as Monica does that illness makes us focus on the gift
of life. And to take more care with ourselves.
OMG. I wish Monica would go around the world telling parents
that sometimes kids need leadership more than laughter, as she
tells Paul. Soooo many parents need to hear that and stop
being their kids' best friends and be adults instead.
That's cool that Paul thanks Monica for her revelation. That
seems to hardly ever happen.
It's good to see Paul finally give Amy her shot. And to see
Toni in the ridiculous costume. I just wish the episode
would have shown more of these bearable versions of the
Monica getting a "No!" in surround sound to her offer of a slice
of mocha was funny. Yay, trio!
This episode reminds me that I need to check the smoke
alarms... And that makes it worth the frustration of having
to watch really annoying people.
What I didn't love about
does Monica seem to enjoy putting people in boxes? She'd
barely seen Amy and dubs her a "typical teenager." Based on
what?!? And what's a typical teen, anyhow?!? Pray
tell. This is at least twice Monica's take on teenagers has
made me want to throw things even as an adult rewatching
these. I was a teenager for the bulk of TBAA's run and
sometimes I wonder how I even
got through some of these episodes without going hoarse. And
it was almost always Monica who angered me.
Toni. Seriously. From her second scene on I just wanna
shake her. I mean she later says she's worried about Amy
having an eating disorder yet she calls attention to her eating at
the breakfast table. Cause everyone knows the best thing you
can do for someone with an eating disorder is kid them about how
they eat in front of others. Not. And who meets the
news of their child's sickness with a query about
uniforms!?! I get shock but that's just crazy. It's
diabetes, not something deeply tragic and surprising that would
prompt dissociative behavior.
These are awful human beings! I can't believe the parents
didn't react more sternly when Angelo made that crack about his
sister being a geek and then trying to make money off her
illness. That type of thing really bugs me. And then
these socially irresponsible little cretins turn into jerk adults
all because mommy and daddy never instilled common decency and
kindness into them. I can only imagine what would have went
down had any of my siblings talked like that while another had a
major health scare. In my book, no tuba for a week and he
ain't getting paid for *any* chores for a week, either!
Gah... I'm not sure I'll make it through this episode twice
(necessary to get cut scenes). These people make me want to
throw things. I, like Amy, can't believe Toni wouldn't let
Matt stay. From what I gather, he's the son of a longtime
friend. She can't trust him enough to let him stay in the
room with her daughter when both parents are present?! Her
sick, frightened daughter? Yes, they deserved some
punishment for sneaking around. But get a grip, lady!
Paul needed to man up and take care of his daughter. What a
wimp! Maybe it's because diabetes is something I've known
about since I was little due to my Grandpa having it and then my
mom having gestational diabetes, but this all seems way too
dramatic. I mean it's a very serious disease but between
Paul acting like it's a death sentence and Angelo dubbing Amy a
geek for it, these people badly need a reality check. And
Matt acts like a jerk about it (although I will give him that
Amy's lying was bad). Remind me not to send my kids to this
school district... Maybe if they all weren't so freakish
about it, Amy wouldn't have had that bad spell towards the
All right... Who, even when receiving bad news, forgets
their other kid and leaves them?! Gotta say, I'm a little
disappointed in Andrew speaking up in the parents' defense when
Angelo throws that up at them. I have no doubt Andrew's had
more than one assignment that involved children left alone and
fatal fires so I can't imagine him actually seeing this as just a
mistake. But I will say that I have a personal ax to grind
here because a lil girl I once knew did die in a fire because the
adults were not being responsible and seeing to her
well-being. That wasn't just a mistake, either.
Parents aren't allowed to make those kinds of "mistakes" and let
it just be glossed over.
I guess this is a good episode plot in the sense that these people
clearly and obviously needed angels. But the characters were
almost too obnoxious to be bearable IMO. That being said, I
think it's only fair to admit that possibly a lot of why I don't
care for this episode stems from the fact that I know a person who
developed juvenile diabetes when small. And, like I said, I
know someone who lost their life due to irresponsible parenting
and fire. So knowing people who have experienced the two
traumas in this episode and did NOT have it turn out so well... it
makes me dislike these people for whining and crying more than
realizing how much worse it could be. But I really do think
the parents were dealt with much, much too generously.
Isn't increased water intake as a sign of diabetes common
knowledge? I'm just surprised Toni wouldn't have at least
considered that possibility as I've known that for a long time and
don't read countless parenting books. But then I know two
diabetics so maybe that's why I know.
I wonder if this is near where "A House Divided"
is supposed to be? Matt says the pizzeria is in Garfield
Heights and in the other episode John attended and Andrew taught
at Garfield Elementary. The weird things ya notice...
Same writer, too.
Parts that made me feel
Andrew is utilizing all of his buttons in his first scene...
Well, I guess that's okay. ;-) Lovely color on
Oooh. Andrew is a handyman again. And, yes, he is a
Godsend like Paul said.
Ha! I love this man! Andrew's expression when that guy
pulls him into a hug at the volleyball game... priceless!
And oh-so-relatable. I'm easily freaked by displays of
affection from people I don't feel close to but who seem to think
personal space is a myth. This actually makes me feel good
cause Andrew isn't at all cold. In fact, he's really
affectionate and cuddly. But even he thinks non-close people
should watch it with the hugging, apparently.
I love Andrew's WTW face when Monica tells Toni she admires
pizza. What the what indeed. (The alternative phrase/
abbreviation is too vulgar for Andrew, by the way.) Anyhow,
that's nice he also praises her as a hard worker. Aww.
Andrew's so sweet.
Andrew as a carpenter is very cool. But, seriously, why does
Toni think she can just make the carpenter into a cook and that's
just okay? What if Andrew hated cooking!? But he's so
laidback about it. Lovely angel.
I'm digging Andrew's brown sweater during the pizza costume
scene. And his very diplomatic "They are that..." when
Monica dubs them "unique."
Ooh. Andrew fighting the fire is nice. But, again, I
sometimes worry that these things mess with him. Why could
he stop that fire but not others? Hugs to Andrew and his
angst that I imagine...
Music: Classical... I
think I knew it at one point... Strings-centric. Gah,
now this is gonna bug me. Boccherini's Minuet. Thank
you, Google. Only took me about half an hour...
There's a band at the volleyball game, I assume playing the school
song or something. Angelo attempts to play his tuba. I
have no clue what he's playing or if maybe he's just improvising.
Ha. Toni's using a paper planner. Those were the
days! Now if my Outlook dies, I'm in huge trouble.
It's a good thing neither Andrew or Monica are in unions.
Toni woulda heard from them the way she keeps repurposing the
angels through out the episode.
If I had a pizza parlor, my secret ingredient would be
thyme. Because thyme is yummy and doesn't get enough
Scenes Hallmark cut:
-I feel like there may have been more volleyball at the beginning
but I dunno. I kinda zone out during sports scenes.
-In the uncut version, the segment after Amy's collapse begins in
the hospital waiting room. Toni is on the phone
pacing. Monica is sitting with Angelo who tells her about a
classmate he knew who collapsed after their teacher announced a
science test. He goes on to say that everyone thought the
kid was faking. Monica tells him that Amy is not.
Angelo sadly tells her he knows. Then it goes to Paul
entering and saying that Amy's being admitted for the night which
is where THC starts the scene.
-There's definitely volleyball cut later. After Amy returns
to the team post-hospitalization, the segment opens with a game in
progress. Amy's parents and Monica are watching. Amy
misses a serve... or something. I don't know
volleyball. Matt's dad asks her parents if she's okay and
tells them they'll need her at state. Toni tells him she's
fine. Monica leans over and tells the parents that it's only
a matter of time before people find out and then Amy will discover
it's nothing to be ashamed of. Then Amy's coach calls her
out which is where THC starts.
-Finally, the original ended with a PSA for JDF given by Roma Downey.
It now appears to go by JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research
Further on down the road...
It's Memorial Day and I have the flu or something... So,
laying low with TBAA.
Andrew's so nice. I seem to have said some version of that
on the last three of these. "Hardest worker I know" is high
praise from him as devoted to his work as he is. Lucky
What is the deal with caring about what Angelo's doing during the
volleyball games? So he's talking with the band? And a
parent would care because...? It's not like he's taking up any more time by talking than he would by
sitting there watching.
The exchange between Andrew and Monica about her cooking prowess
is cute. For some reason, this episode never sticks in my
head so every time I watch it, I'm surprised by what's in the
episode. Totally forgot about that.
So what is the boyfriend thinking are the three major food groups
in chocolate covered cherries? Fruit obviously. Then I
guess dairy for the creamy filling. But then what? Is
sweets a group? I can't think of any other category for
I just don't understand, still, the secrecy about Amy's
diabetes. Growing up, I knew several kids with assorted
medical conditions and no one cared. I'm not gonna say
bullying never happened. It did. But I can't recall an
occasion when a medical issue was cause for the bullying. We
had a diabetic kid in grade school and he turned it into a science
project that we all thought was cool. And my class was
bad! Is this an especially vicious school and/or town?
I think maybe a lot of my problem with this episode... and why I
tend not to remember it beyond being the "episode with Andrew
fighting a fire!"... are the characterizations. Juvenile
diabetes is a worthwhile subject but these people are so unlikable
and unrelatable that it's hard to take it seriously and not view
it as a Saturday Night Live skit called The Over-Dramatic
Family. This episode is completely lacking in
subtlety. In the words of Ron Burgundy, the greatest
anchorman to ever live: "Boy, that escalated quickly. I mean, that
really got out of hand fast."
Those uniforms are horrendous but, yeah, it's nice that Toni put
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