Season 2, Episode 5
Date of airing: November 12, 2014 (Disney Channel)
Nielsen ratings information: 1.868 million viewers, 0.27 rating with Adults 18-49
We are well into the second season of the show, and I have found my undying love for LIV AND MADDIE as a family sitcom with twenty-first century variety sketch comedy fare. When I watched this episode for the first time I realized that LIV AND MADDIE was here to stay as I would forever continue to watch the show and follow its nutty characters, and it was a show that has established itself as one of my favorite-ever sitcoms — which is not a hard thing to do, since I’m not that much into sitcoms and it’s easy for a new sitcom to wow me (all it basically needs is character depth). The show has become fun these days, and I’m starting to fully appreciate the comedy of it, which is more and more resembling the comedy of a sketch show with every episode. Yes, that sounds ridiculous to most people, and yes, I would rather metaphorically poke my eyes out when I see this kind of stuff in other shows, but LIV AND MADDIE is a show that doesn’t take itself so serious at all, and that kind of makes it workable for me. Nothing is honest and worth a morale-of-the-week narrative, and everything is just one big punch into the comedy gut. It’s like LIV AND MADDIE has been created to show the teenage audience what a sketch show is, so they can not only discover SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE for themselves, but also mature PG-rated sitcoms on the broadcast networks. I would even go so far and say that LIV AND MADDIE might be the most mature show on Disney Channel. But I can’t say that, because I don’t know more than four shows from this network.
Maddie as the dragon master in Parker’s karate class was of course ridiculous, but I loved it. First of all, Maddie going full-on dragon Kurtz was a fun thing to watch, especially since the kids saw her as this mean lady who needed to be taught a lesson, while you were also scared at her for punishing you, because you weren’t listening to her words. Second of all, Parker’s plan to show Maddie what he really thought of her dragon stance was pretty freaking awesome. The fake leg, the fake heart and the fake teeth coming out of Reggie’s mouth were hilarious, and it happened to be one of the most appreciative laugh-out-loud moments for me. I also would have wished for this scene to be a little longer, because it was on a wave of humor I really liked about the show. Yeah, everyone saw the thing with the leg coming, because that was what Parker’s plan was all about, but the heart and the teeth came out of nowhere, and the humor fit my comedy needs.
Meanwhile, Liv as the queen of hearts was also hilarious. I never really thought she would help out Willow in getting Joey, let alone be successful in doing so, which is why I was not that impressed that she figured she could bring Willow and Joey together by making Joey jealous of Willow and Artie together. But now it’s a shame that the writers will never do anything with the Willow/Artie coupling, because for some reason it was weirdly working, especially with both parties longing for the heart of another person — that could have been the story to go for a few episodes, to test out the muddy waters and see whether there was some more comedy in it. But alas, Liv jumped on the grenade for Willow, and Artie happened to be an unexpected genius player himself. Turns out that Liv and Artie might work together, if they would make it work for an episode or two. I mean, when you are impressed by the genius evil of the Irish strawberry shortcake, and he happened to dance the Tango with you, then why not risk it? It’s a Disney Channel show after all, it’s not like you’re gonna be kissing all day long and have sex any time soon…
And then there was Joey, who has been so demolished by his parents and sisters and little brother that he can’t even believe a pretty girl like Emily is really just asking him out. Then again, I would kind of be like Joey here, always seeing the paranoia in someone asking me out, because there is no way anyone is ever gonna ask me out. Why would they? Why am I the catch for them, and not the hot hunk to the left of me who could easily star in the next season of THE BACHELOR? At the end I would have loved to see Joey being pranked for real, but I guess the morale of the story was that he pranked himself very good.
Best part of the episode: Reggie spitting out his fake teeth was comedy gold. For a second there I believed he was coming straight out of another sequel of CREED, just having been smashed to pieces by the eponymous character.
Worst part of the episode: It looks to me like the karate class Maddie took over didn’t have a supervisor, or someone would have noticed that there was some FIGHT CLUB stuff going on. I hope that place has a “money return” guarantee.
Weirdest part of the episode: Yeah, maybe you should not have depicted Parker beating Reggie with his arm like that. I have 12 YEARS A SLAVE in memory, and all I could think of during that scene was the movie.
Player of the episode: Artie levelled up as a character and he has conquered parts of Liv’s heart for at least this episode. For that he deserves an award, so he can stroke his ego with it.