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Happy Together - Let's Work It Out - Review: Going Green + POLL



WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS.

When Cooper gets booked to do an underwear modeling ad he decides to increase his workout regime to ensure he stays in tip-top shape. This inspires Jake and Claire to try and push themselves into healthier habits too… to varying degrees of success.

RECAP


It’s Friday night with Jake and Claire which means hanging out on the couch and binging on junk food. At least it used to, until Cooper suggests they try his ultra-healthy lifestyle which includes plenty of green smoothies, zero sugar, and intense workouts. Turns out, Cooper used to be chubby and he’s afraid of falling back into old habits, especially now that he’s going to be featured in an underwear advertisement. He wants to look his best and plans to increase his exercise to tone up.


Jake doesn’t think it’ll be a problem, he used to be a college athlete after all and knew how to dunk on the basketball team. This leads to him trying to demonstrate said dunk to Cooper and an injury that involves a caved in garage door.

Claire’s parents are called in to check on Jake and after their talk with the couple where they essentially call both Claire and Jake fat, they’re motivated to try Cooper’s diet.

Antoine, Cooper’s trainer, is brutal on both Claire and Jake on their first day at the gym. Enough to the point they’re exhausted and in pain by the time they finally get home and come to the conclusion the super-fit life isn’t for them. Instead, they’ll just settle for making healthier choices on the weekdays but continue to treat themselves on the weekend.

MY THOUGHTS


Well, out of the three episodes that have aired so far, this one is my least favorite. While there were still some funny parts, a majority of this episode is dedicated to distasteful fat jokes. I guess I don’t get why television shows, often sitcoms in particular, still resort to cheap jokes at fat people for laughs.

I mean it’s especially absurd because we’re supposed to believe that Amber Stevens West, who is model gorgeous, is “pre-fat” - as her own mother oh-so-affectionately calls her, it’s the further perpetuation of gross body shaming. Yes, it’s a sitcom and it’s a “joke” but I watch her call a skinny girl like Amber pre-fat and that’s supposed to make me, a plus-size girl, laugh? Or another girl that looks like Amber, laugh?

What frustrates me most is that, the goal of this episode’s plot was supposed to be Jake and Amber getting healthy with Cooper, being healthy and losing weight are not always synonymous. Yes, the two often go hand-in-hand but health is complex and unique to each individual. Someone who appears fat could be healthier than someone who appears skinny. The writers could have easily made this episode about Claire and Jake trying to make healthier lifestyle choices without the fat-shaming.

The scene where they’re trying to drink green smoothies was one of the funnier scenes in the episode and it didn’t involve any talk of weight, it was just about them trying a more nutrient-enriched diet. If the rest of the episode had followed suit it would have made for a better script.

I was disappointed I guess, by the direction this episode took. It felt mean-spirited. I enjoyed the first two episodes because they were pretty light-hearted and this one took a cruel turn in my opinion. I’m hoping the rest of the season is upwards from here. I’m cutting it some slack because I realize it’s still very early on in the season for the show and chalking it up to a bump in the road.

Also, jury’s still out on the necessity of Claire’s parents. They don’t mesh into the rest of the show for me and could easily be excised without affecting the set-up of the sitcom at all, or at least only come in on a recurring basis, a few episodes of the season instead of an obligatory scene shoved into each one.

FAVORITE LINES


Jake: Look at the size of those grapes.
Cooper: Those are beets, Jake.

Claire: Let’s just try to live healthier during the week but then on weekends… just be garbage people.


A NEW EPISODE OF HAPPY TOGETHER AIRS ON MONDAY, OCT. 22 @ 8:30 PM ET/PT ON CBS.




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