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Single Parents - The Magic Box - Review: I Feel Cherished + POLL

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It's Christmas time on Single Parents and I can't tell you how happy it made me we got one in the first season. This might even be one of my favorite episodes of the season. It's adorable and hilarious as always but with an extra dosage of stuff that will make your heart flutter.

“The Magic Box” was written by Joe Wengert and directed by Jason Winer and in addition to the main cast, Andy Favreau guest stars as Owen.


Sophie proclaims that Will "phones it in" at Christmas, with lackluster gifts whereas her mom always sends her a "magic box" full of the perfect ones. I mean, if you've been watching the show at all, the idea that Will would "phone in" anything, especially concerning his daughter, raises a major red flag. One Angie picks up on straight away.

At first I thought maybe Sophie's mother, Mia, really did send a fantastic box and so Will bought bad gifts to allow her a chance to shine. Turns out, the truth is actually more sad. Her mom sends pretty terrible gifts but Will shifts the nametags around so it appears he was the one who got the bad ones instead of taking credit for the "magic box", which of course, are actually gifts carefully curated by Will.

Angie tries to convince him to take the credit for once but he can't bring himself to do it. At the end of the day, all he cares about is how happy Sophie is on Christmas morning when she believes her mother has given her something extra special.

Meanwhile, Angie is struggling to label her relationship with Owen, which is how she winds up at Will's house in the first place on Christmas Eve.

He got her a gift and sends her into a panic. She hadn't gotten him anything because she wasn't sure where they stood exactly, romantically. Turns out, Angie needn't have worried. Owen felt the same and merely got her a candle, a bland vanilla one at that.

But after Angie witnessed Owen's skillful handling of the "is Santa real" question with Graham, she was motivated to ask him to get serious. Plus, he indulges her strange Santa Claus fetish so win-win for her.


Rory is spending the holidays with his father in Hawaii this year, and while he's away, Poppy is wallowing in her sadness. Empty nest syndrome hits hard and she misses having him around. Douglas, however, is not willing to let her stay home and be depressed so he forces her to tag along to the Fogerty Christmas extravaganza. Which consists of exactly what you would expect a Fogerty Christmas to consist of, a crazy Olympic-like set-up of Christmas-themed games like sack races, hoop toss (with wreaths), egg on a spoon balancing (except with ornaments), you name it.

Poppy is the perfect addition to the Fogerty team too since she has a competitive streak herself, and she helps them win the entire competition.

Even though Dan Marino blows Douglas off at the end. (Have to admit this was one small part of the episode I didn't quite understand because the Dan Marino thing is mentioned twice and that's it. Like a half-baked joke, but again, it was such a small thing I didn't let it affect my overall enjoyment and grading!)


Normally I would do a "Best Scene" section in the bottom of my review but this week had so many great scenes I figured I'd just put them in the review itself so I could talk about a few! Angie/Will and Poppy/Douglas shippers, I'm sure, were happy with this episode.

As a fan of both, I know I was. Even though Angie/Owen is cute too, for now, and they're officially in a relationship, the Angie and Will moments we got were pretty important.

None more so than Will giving her that book of Graham's stories he's written her over the year. "I feel cherished." She tells him, sincerely, I did too and I wasn't even the one getting the gift!

Then, Douglas stops by Poppy's house on Christmas morning to keep her company since he doesn't want her to be sad alone. The simplicity of the scene as he talks about the departed Rose and they briefly hold hands - or fingers - before shifting away when the twins come back, was the sweetest thing. Those two really have an understanding between each other and I love them.

In general, I loved the ending of the episode. It makes me happy to know the whole gang got together on Christmas day to decorate and spend time with one another. No one makes a big deal of it, meaning it's probably a tradition, and it's super heartwarming.


Parent of the Week: Will. I teared up the tiniest bit at the end when he talked about just wanting his daughter to be happy, that coupled with the moment in the kitchen when he decides last minute to keep letting Sophie think Mia is sending the great gifts and making that book for Angie earned him this spot.

Performer of the Week: Kimrie Lewis. She was lovely this week as Poppy and her scenes with Brad Garrett were absolutely episode highlights. The two of them have such insane chemistry they can communicate in-character through simple glances and moments of silence. Even the quiet seconds shared where they express shared emotions is so subtle but still impactful. Plus she had some hilarious moments too like, "Did you just hip check me!?" and her "couch cushion" Rory.

Kid of the Week: Definitely Graham. His interrogation of Owen!Santa was one of the funniest scenes in the episode for me. "The details of his relationship with the Easter Bunny keep changing" and asking which actor portrayal of Santa was the best, etc. That kid has great comedic timing.

Favorite Line: "It doesn’t sound simple, it sounds like, Westworld-level confusing."


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