Season 4, Episode 2
Date of airing: September 30, 2016 (Disney Channel)
Nielsen ratings information: 1.357 million viewers, 0.20 rating with Adults 18-49, 0.21 rating with Adults 18-34, 0.50 rating with Females 12-34, 0.20 rating with Adults 25-54
Holy cow, Linda and Heather is a godawful crazy television show in this series universe, and I can’t even understand why Parker thought it was the greatest piece of television he has ever seen (apparently he has never watched ER or THE WEST WING or OZ or NYPD BLUE or HOMELAND or THIS IS US or STRANGER THINGS or…). Seeing the two girls doing their thing alone annoyed me greatly, and I was wondering if it was done like that on purpose, just for the sake of being annoying as hell. And I thought that Linda and Heather was a different kind of show after its various depictions throughout LIV AND MADDIE. Weren’t the girls contemplating who to take into space at the end of the second season? In this episode the Linda and Heather TV show looked like a colorful shoot-me-now version of LOST IN SPACE. But hey, at least the twin doubles got roles on the show, during which their faces were seen for once, though under heavy make-up, as well as ridiculous wardrobe and blinding wigs. I still wouldn’t recognize then if I’d see them on the streets.
I was glad that the Linda and Heather plot happened, because with the change in settings and some of the characters, it was probably necessary to bring back elements of the first three seasons. Otherwise ‘Cali Style’ would have been an entirely different show, only with characters you already got to know for the last three years. The second episode of this season still felt alienating to me, and I was still unable to get warm with the season, because I was simply missing all the elements from Stevens Point and Ridgewood High. Ruby turned out to be a boring character, because the writers were already taking the sisters sub plot from the previous episode out like it was just a bin of garbage, and even that weird ongoing thing between Joey and Willow has been turned into mush by dropping it and stomping on it repeatedly. It was almost a miracle that the writers decided to give Liv a role on Linda and Heather, just to show the LIV AND MADDIE viewers that the first three seasons haven’t been forgotten.
But really, the writers killed Willow’s sick obsession with Joey. The two had a relationship (of sorts), and that was just being ended in this episode like it was no big deal. Even though I found it something of a realistic story for Joey (because he simply cannot date girls when he doesn’t even know how to be a mature child), I was hoping for the two to be together for more than just a one-episode off-screen romance. It would have given Joey something to bite his teeth into (not literally, you sick bastards), and the writers would have had a chance to build a romantic relationship that was not led by one of the twins, or both of them. Joey is a senior high schooler now — it was time for him to have a girlfriend, or fail in his relationship one girlfriend at a time, until all female seniors at his creepy high school turned into exes.
Meanwhile, Maddie and Ruby were playing games. I was surprised to see that Maddie’s dorsal side of her hands (yes, I just googled how it’s called) were actually red from all the slapping (apparently they shot that scene multiple times for her hands to turn red), but I wasn’t surprised that Maddie turned into an obnoxious character in this episode, by wanting her little sorta-sister to lose. I remembered Rory Gilmore paying $20 to Baby Billy Burke, so she could sit and study at her tree at Yale, and Maddie was not so much different from Rory in this episode on an entirely different show with an entirely different premise, but with a character equally obnoxious. Maddie’s self-obsession somewhat came alive during the third season, when Josh was falling for her, but in this episode it was simply too much for me to handle. If a child had to give her a lesson about winning and losing, it means she failed in being a responsible character, right? What changed in the writers’ room between seasons for this show for the characters to have become … this kind of awful?