Pre-Credits Gag: Stephanie comes home and shows Michelle and Becky a sweater she made in her sewing class. Michelle tells her that it looks like fucking garbage but Becky insists that it’s beautiful. One problem that’s been prevalent throughout the series is that, since everything in it is terrible, you can never tell when something is bad on purpose. If Stephanie had shown them that sweater and they both said it was great I wouldn’t have even thought twice about that shit. After Stephanie leaves, Michelle asks Becky why she lied to Stephanie and Becky tells her that it’s not necessary to be such a fucking bitch all the time. Ok, so I guess the sweater really is terrible on purpose.
DJ and Kimmie Gibbler come home and tell everyone that they got Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to referee their school’s fundraiser basketball game. How’d they get such a big celebrity to agree to this? Don’t worry about it. Anyway, since the entire fucking world revolves around the people on this show, DJ and Kimmie Gibbler have been picked to coach the celebrity teams. Kimmie Gibbler’s team is from some random news station and DJ wants the dads to be her team because who else was it gonna be? Also, they do all have jobs in the entertainment industry, so it does sort of make sense despite the fact that they’re all terrible at said jobs
Danny and Joey immediately agree to play in the game but Jesse is hesitant because he’s not into sports. This is a relatively new aspect of his character, first alluded to in the Super Bowl episode a few shows back. So, there you go: 8 Seasons in, these characters are still developing. You may have thought that Jesse was just an Elvis-obsessed, self-absorbed, fried chicken eating negligent husband and father, but there’s always been an element to his character that was so subtle and nuanced that you never even knew about if for all these years. He also doesn’t like sports.
Everyone spends about 30 seconds coercing Jesse into participating instead of finding some other d-list local celebrity who actually wants to be involved and wont fuck up their team. Jesse finally agrees and makes plans with Joey and Danny to practice on the basketball court.
In the living room, Michelle asks Becky what you call a boy ladybug and Becky replies, “confused,” which is a totally trans-phobic joke. Stephanie comes downstairs and gifts Becky with the terrible sweater that she made and insists that she wears it to the basketball game. See? If you give these fucking kids an inch, they walk all over you. Not only does she force her to take ownership of the ugly sweater, she straight up tells her where and when to wear it.
While on the basketball court, Jesse makes a basket in the twins’ kiddie hoop and the audience loses their shit for some reason. Joey and Danny show up and try to give Jesse some pointers, which, naturally, doesn’t go very well.
Danny gives some really convoluted instructions, confusing Jesse, and then Joey demonstrates a shot. When he makes the basket the audience lose their minds again, which is really odd to me. It’s like they’ve never seen basketball before, ever. Jesse tries to replicate Joey’s shot but ends up hitting himself in the head with the basket, which is funny because he gets hurt.
After spending an entire minute training and not getting any results, Jesse blames Joey and Danny for being bad instructors so they bet him that they can teach the dog to make a shot to prove that Jesse’s the one who sucks. Danny sets up the shot for the dog and he knocks it into the basket, which is actually pretty impressive, so it makes sense this time when the audience goes all crazy. I mean, a dog making a basket? That shit is remarkable.
One thing I’ve learned from the many interesting contributions that Bridget Hainline leaves in the comments section every week is that Comet is the same dog from the Air Bud movies, so I guess they wanted to make use of his basketball prowess. I think they’ve made like 30 of those movies now. Comet’s probably long dead, but they keep spinning them off into movies about puppies or something and I don’t think they’re even about sports anymore. I always see them at the sale counter at Safeway. Anyway, the twins mock their father for being shittier at basketball than a dog, which is pretty awesome. I wish that Jesse got called out about being shitty at everything more often.
Everyone decides to leave the basketball court but Jesse sticks around to practice because now he’s got a big inferiority complex. He misses another shot and there’s a moment where you can totally see a crew member pick up the ball and throw it back to him.
As Jesse sits on the court and laments his total lack of basketball prowess, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar shows up, which gets the audience almost as excited as when they see a ball go through a basketball hoop.
Kareem asks if he can use the court and Jesse gets out of the way to let him practice for about 10 seconds before bombarding him with all his woes about being unable to impress his kids on the court. I’m not surprised by how self-absorbed Jesse is being here, but it does strike me as odd that he’s so bothered by being terrible at something. You’d thing he’d be used to it by now. I guess that if music and parenthood was as easy to quantify as basketball then he’d really lose his mind. He must really not realize how much he sucks at everything.
Kareem, who must not have anything better to do, decides to give Jesse some pointers. They putz around for a while and eventually discover that there’s a specific spot on the court from which Jesse can make a basket. He scores a few shots and the audience lose their shit each time. Kareem advises him to make shots only from that specific spot during the game because it’s his only chance of scoring.
A photographer from the newspaper wants to take Becky’s photo as she sits on the sidelines of the game and Becky agrees but says she wants to put her jacket on first so she’s not documented wearing the hideous sweater that Stephanie forced her to put on.
Stephanie gets all butt hurt and tries to make Becky feel guilty for lying to her even though she only did it to spare her feelings. Becky tries to rectify the situation by pointing out the positive qualities of the hideous sweater, which appeases Stephanie enough for them to hug, which makes the audience go, “aww.” Finally, the photographer, who’s just been standing there waiting around throughout this whole dumb ass exchange, takes Becky’s picture as she dons the terrible sweater and has her arm around Stephanie. So I guess the moral of the story is, “placate Stephanie.”
Jesse sees Kareem sitting on the bench at the charity game and assumes that he’s there to cheer him on because that’s how he thinks. DJ introduces Kareem to the audience which is the first time that Jesse realizes who he is, which doesn’t really have a pay off or anything. Jesse’s just like, “oh hey, you’re that guy.” DJ coaches the dads before the game starts by telling Jesse to stay out of the way and not to try to score any goals because he totally sucks.
After a lively montage, DJ calls a time out and explains that the teams are tied and the next point will win the game because that’s how every sporting event turns out in every tv show ever made. Jesse pleads with everyone to let him try to make the winning point so he can impress his kids because that’s all he cares about and DJ reasons that it’s such an unexpected strategy that it just might work. When the time comes, a member of the opposing team is standing on Jesse’s special spot but he tries to make the shot anyway from a slightly different spot and ends up winning the game.
Everyone sings Jesse’s praises and then he goes over to his kids to soak up more glory but it turns out that they were off taking a piss while he scored the winning basket. One of the twins says, “I went number one,” and then the other one says, “I watched,” which is… pretty weird. Jesse gets all agitated because he only participated in the game to try to impress his stupid kids in the first place but then the music comes on as Becky explains that it doesn’t matter how much of a ridiculous loser he is, he’s those mentally deficient twins’ dad and they’ll love him no matter how bad he sucks.
There’s a lot of hugging and kissing and the audience goes, “aww,” and then Jesse insists that the kids watch as he makes a basket. He continues to fail at this endeavor, which carries on throughout the end credits.
I also noticed that they credit “Buddy the Wonder Dog” as making a special appearance playing Comet, so I wonder if they didn’t switch dogs this episode or if they just don’t usually bother crediting him. Please illuminate us, Bridget Hainline!
Oh hey so I booked the San Francisco FHR close-out party! It’s going to be at the El Rio on Saturday, December 21st. I’ll do a slideshow and Q&A from 7-8 PM and then they’re gonna kick us out of the back room but we can hang out and drink all muthafuckin night. If less than 40 people come they’re gonna charge me for the space so bring your friends and/or maybe throw in a couple bucks on that fee. I have absolutely no idea how many people are gonna show up to this thing. I’m also working on the final close-out party in Portland, OR the weekend of the final review, January 17, and will have more info about it shortly. If you’d like to learn more, please join the official FHR Facebook page.