Season 1, Episode 6
Date of airing: October 16, 1989 (CBS)
Nielsen ratings information: 19.3 million viewers, 13.5/21 in Households
In which the patriarchy was barely felt, and that makes this episode of MAJOR DAD a little better than the previous ones. Still, Polly’s job as a reporter of a newspaper is nowhere to be found and would like to return to the fold of the show, so that Polly looks better as an individual character and isn’t just the housewife of the show. Not only did Polly’s reporter job get lost, but also her liberal tendencies that would have made for great comedy when in duel with Mac’s conservatism. It turns out that MAJOR DAD is just a family sitcom in which the patriarch happens to be a major in the military. Everything else that made the series interesting during the pilot is completely gone now.
But something else was added in return and that’s an interesting Elizabeth. She is still my favorite character of the show, and it turns out she even is the funniest character of the show. The way she shocked her mother and Mac by proclaiming that she is pregnant with Gene’s baby was freaking hilarious, and it looked like a sitcom joke that was ad-libbed on the spot for the hell of being funny, because the joke itself is so random. It showcases her character a little bit and how she can dish out as well as she may take it from her mother and stepfather. And with Elizabeth having made Gene’s acquaintance, there is a good chance that her crush on him could outlive this episode and become a recurring element of the show, which means that part of Mac’s work life continues to come home to his new family with him, and having a connection between the military base and Polly or her children would be nice. Not that I have a problem with MAJOR DAD essentially telling two different stories (Mac’s life as a newly married man with three stepkids, while also being a military man at home base), but the show would be a better one if the writers were to continue bringing both premises together. And there isn’t even a huge problem in Elizabeth and Gene becoming friends. Granted, becoming lovers would be a bit of a problem for them, because he is a Lieutenant (probably in his very early 20s), while she is still a minor, but they could stay friends, their crush on each other could remain, and who knows, maybe at the end of the fourth season they are getting married as well, essentially making Elizabeth and Gene the will-they-won’t-they couple of this CBS family sitcom.
Meanwhile, Polly got possessed by her mother, and for a few seconds I was asking myself if her mother is dead already or if she lives somewhere, haunting her only daughter from the distance. “Wedding” only introduced Polly’s father, so chances are her mother has passed already, but I would have loved for this episode to establish the fact. Because if it had been established, Polly hearing her mother in her head and becoming her temporarily while dealing with Elizabeth could have indeed been played as a “possession,” which would have been a funny plot line in a sitcom. Besides all that, it’s great to see that Polly shows her parenting skills a bit, even if they happened to come from the distance through her own mother. In that case she actually attempted to be a liberal parent, by letting Elizabeth do what she wanted to do (go to a concert with an older boy and not necessarily seeing a date in it). Consider me surprised though that Mac didn’t do anything about it, let alone had no issues with his eldest stepdaughter going out with his trusted Lieutenant. Even more so, Mac was not reacting at all the following morning when Elizabeth came into the kitchen like she was floating on cloud nine, and she was essentially telling Polly that she was in love with Gene. Why was it that Polly had a huge problem with it and Mac just went along with the “favor?”