Braceface: S1, E9 “The Divorce Thing”

You’re probably why I’m posting this review a day early. Well, tomorrow is my birthday (I’ll be 24) so I’ll be celebrating it tomorrow and this weekend. But enough about me, let’s talk about BraceFace. After two back-to-back good episodes, we get into a not so great one. While I enjoyed Sharon in the last two episodes, this episode reminds us of Sharon’s flaws. 8 episodes into the show you’ve probably wondered about the whereabouts of Sharon’s dad. Well, the title of this episode says it all so let’s dive on in.

Sharon is on the phone with her dad and he’s hinting that he’ll be in town through song lyrics while Maria is making a banana smoothie. Sharon and Maria are both excited about Richard coming to visit. I guess Sharon’s dad is the “cool parent”. We don’t get an explanation for why her parents divorced, but I have a few theories. Helen (Since this is an episode focused on Sharon’s mom, I’ll call her by her first name even though it hasn’t been revealed in the show yet. I just don’t feel like typing Sharon’s mom for the entire review) comes into the kitchen, Sharon smells perfume, and asks her mom if she’s wearing it. Helen confirms this and reveals it was a gift from David (whom she met at a seminar) and that he’s taking her to dinner. Oh, I see where this is going. Helen asks the girls if she looks okay and leaves to check her make-up. Sharon is confused as to why her mom is acting “girly” and Maria is quick to tell Sharon that that is how she acts with Alden. Sharon denies it and we get a flashback of all of the guys Helen has gone out with since she and Richard divorced. We got a cheek pincher, a guy with an obnoxious laugh, and a storytelling weirdo.

Because of them, Sharon believes that David is just going to be just like the others. Hmmm….I wonder if Sharon doesn’t like the guys her mom dates because they’re not like her father, who’s a musician. Or could it be because Sharon is a Daddy’s girl? Let’s find out. Maria suggests that Sharon gives David a chance because her mom is probably lonely. And here comes Sharon with the “How could she be lonely? She’s got us.” cliché. Sharon is upstairs listening to David getting to know her brothers. He bonds with them through their perspective hobbies: piano and wrestling. Helen tells David that they have to go, but David wants to meet Sharon. Sharon runs into her room and lies about having homework as an excuse to not meet David. It’s 11 pm and Sharon is freaking out that Helen isn’t back yet. Adam and Josh aren’t concerned that their mom isn’t back and Sharon gets mad at them. While I understand Sharon’s concern, she’s doing too much right now. A car honks and Sharon looks outside to see if it’s her mom and David. They all look outside the window and spy on Helen and David as they talk in the car. They kiss and Josh is grossed out. Haha.

Maybe she's just being polite

Maybe she’s just being……polite?-Adam

Sharon doesn’t understand why her mom is attracted to David because to her he’s goofy and not like her dad. And there you have it, folks. This is confirmation that Sharon doesn’t like any of the guys her mom dates because they’re not cool like her dad. She’s a Daddy’s girl. During breakfast, Sharon stares at Helen in anger as she seems distracted. She’s so distracted that she pours cereal in her coffee mug. Her kids snap her out of her it and she tells them that she invited David over for dinner this Friday. Sharon tells her that she was planning on going to the new skating rink with her friends. Helen gets sad and hopes for next time. Adam pulls Sharon away and tells her to stop being selfish and go skating another time. Sharon refuses to cancel and continues to go on her dislike for David. Adam tells Sharon that he doesn’t like David either, but he makes their mom happy. Huh? Watching the scene with Adam and David didn’t give off the vibe that he didn’t like him. Or maybe it’s just me. Sharon decides to go ahead with it as she comes up with a plan to get rid of David sooner. Most TV shows I’ve seen usually have the youngest child doing something like this whenever their single parent dates someone except in this show we get the middle child.

Sharon's got a plan

Sharon’s face creeps me out.

David comes over and he brings Helen carnations. She says she loves carnations and Sharon tells her that she doesn’t and her mom insists that she likes carnations. Not even 10 seconds in and Sharon is already annoying me. She offers to help her mom in the kitchen. Sharon grabs a plate of spaghetti and puts sugar and something else (I really have no clue what it is) to make the spaghetti taste awful. David compliments Sharon on how “groovy” her braces look on her. I guess this guy grew up in the ‘70s. Sharon’s plan backfires and David loves the spaghetti. He wants to recipe for it to make for his twin daughters, whom Helen can’t wait to meet. Sharon imagines how her life will be a living hell having to babysit his daughters and missing out on a social life.

Babysitting the brats

David brought brownies he got at the mall. Josh chimes in saying that he heard how good they are and reaches his hand out to try them, but Sharon’s mean stare makes him pull back. Sharon tries it and says they’re okay, but they don’t compare to the ones her dad makes. And she starts to go on about how awesome her dad’s cooking is and he did a lot of it when he lived there. Really, Sharon? Was it really necessary of you to do that? When someone is dating a person with children, they don’t wanna be compared to the former partner/spouse. That was a low-blow. I feel bad for David. Yeah, he maybe corny like a ‘90s sitcom, but he didn’t deserve that. I’m surprised Helen didn’t call her out on that childish shit she just pulled. The next day Sharon complains (again) to her friends about how lame David is. They stop by Maria’s place and Maria asks Sharon if she wants to come in. Sharon turns down the offer saying that her mom is taking her shopping to buy new shoes for her dad’s concert. Connor thinks that Helen is only doing this because she feels guilty. If I were Helen, I wouldn’t even be buying Sharon any shoes because of the way she acted towards David.

At the store, Sharon is trying to decide between two shoes and her mom starts looking for shoes for David. Sharon says she can’t picture David wearing the shoes Helen picked up because those shoes are too cool for him. Helen tells her she likes that David isn’t cool and that she doesn’t have to try so hard and can be herself. Maybe Helen felt like she had to try so hard to be “cool” while she was with Richard. That could be a reason why they divorced. Sharon tells her mom that David is trying too hard to make an impression, but Helen tries to tell her it’s the thought that counts, but Sharon still doesn’t get it. (sighs) Sharon really is annoying me in this episode. She doesn’t have a legit reason to hate David. I could understand if he was a douchebag or if the previous guys Helen dated were assholes and Sharon was worried her mom was going to get hurt, but that’s not the case.

Later that day, Sharon talks to her brothers about coming up with a plan to get rid of David. Adam rightfully tells her that it’s none of their business and Sharon comes up with different excuses to convince her brothers to help her get rid of David. Sharon feigns being sick to get her mom to stay home and not go out with David. Helen says she won’t go out and just when Sharon thinks her plan worked, it backfires when Helen decides to invite David over. Haha. Sharon and her brothers are at a restaurant with their dad playing making music with their silverware or banging on the table.

Richard Spitz

Richard Spitz, everyone.

Richard reveals that this restaurant is where he and Helen went on their first date and then went to a horror movie. Sharon doesn’t see how going to a horror movie is romantic. I guess Sharon doesn’t watch a lot of romance movies. Guys take girls to those movies so when the girl gets scared, the guy can comfort her. And that’s what Richard explains to Sharon. This gives Sharon an idea while fantasizing about a flashback of her parents’ first date.

She’s going to recreate her parents’ first date to remind them about how much they loved each other, which means they would get back together, and David would be gone. Sharon, I hate to break it to you but that’s not going to work. You clearly don’t know why your parents divorced in the first place. Maybe you should figure that out and even then, that’s nothing something you should interfere with. Sharon asks her mom about their first date and she says they actually went to a Chinese restaurant and had a picnic on the beach. Why would you go out to eat at a restaurant and then go have a picnic on the beach? That makes no sense. Helen questions why she’s all of a sudden interested in her and her dad. Sharon lies and says she’s trying to get date ideas with Alden. I hope Helen isn’t being dense about what’s going on.

Sharon does the ol’ “Trick A and B into thinking they’re going to meet C when they actually meet with each other alone” cliché and gets her friends to help her recreate her parents’ first date. Since she doesn’t know exactly what her parents’ first date was, Sharon does a mixture of it all. Helen comes home and finds kitty litter (substitute for sand) all over the living room floor.

Kitty litter

Richard comes in and sees the mess in the living room. They realize that they’ve been set up, but decide to go along with it anyway. I guess they don’t have the heart to tell Sharon that what’s she’s doing is stupid and that they’re not getting back together. Sharon is happy that her plan is “working” until her braces and lightening mix and causes a blackout, but no fear her parents aren’t going anywhere. The next day Sharon tells her friends that her dad asked her mom to come to his concert and she’s so excited until she sees David’s car parked outside their driveway. At the concert, David is looking and acting like a dork, embarrassing Sharon.

David being David

When the concert ends, Helen introduces David and Richard to each other. David asks Richard to try one of his brownies and Richard likes it and they laugh in unison, leaving Sharon confused. Richard tells David that he’s going to take these on the road with him and the kids find out that Richard won’t be staying for two weeks like he said earlier. He has session work on a CD and he can’t turn it down. Sharon is disappointed, but not surprised since her dad does this all of the time. Could be another reason why Helen and Richard broke up. Helen couldn’t deal with her husband leaving and being on the road all of the time and probably thought that he was cheating on her. Looking at David and her mom, Sharon realizes that she’s going to have to get used to David being around and accept the fact that her parents will probably never get back together.

I didn’t like this episode too much, but before I start talking about what I didn’t like let’s talk about what I did like (That’s what I always do when I give my thoughts each episode). I like that we got some background on Sharon’s dad and I do like that the writers brought in the issue of dealing with divorced parents. It’s good for kids with divorced parents to see their real life situation on TV. It makes them feel like they’re not alone and it’s good to show different types of families. Not everyone has a nuclear family. This episode also dealt with single parents dating and how it affects the child/children. Although Sharon got on my last nerves in this episode, her reaction is not uncommon. Some kids don’t like the person that their parent is dating because feeling that that person will interfere with the parent-child relationship or the person their parent is dating will become the mom or dad figure the child is missing in their life. In Sharon’s case, she’s a daddy’s girl who thinks her dad is the coolest adult ever and all of the men her mom dates are a bunch of cornballs. Another thing I do like is that even though they’re no longer together, Helen and Richard are civil towards each other. Maybe they didn’t have a nasty divorce like most people. In most cases, the parents just argue and fight 24/7. I also like how Richard and David got along. This wasn’t a situation where David felt threatened by Richard or Richard was jealous of David because he’s trying to steal his woman (even though she’s not his). I love how mature the adults handled the situation. And now let’s get into why I didn’t like about this episode. Sharon’s constant bitching about David. It really got under my skin. She also showed how superficial she is. She wouldn’t stop complaining about how corny David is. She didn’t understand how her mom could date someone like him. Helen likes David because he’s nice to her and can be herself around him. Who doesn’t want that? I would want to date someone who is nice to me. There aren’t too many nice guys around (and by nice I don’t mean those guys who claim to be nice, but calls a woman a bitch or a hoe because she won’t go out with him) and finding one is rare. And who wouldn’t want to date someone they can be themselves around? I can’t date a guy who I feel like I have to try so hard to impress. I like someone who I can be myself around. I’m just glad Adam and Josh were mature enough to not get involved with Sharon’s over-the-top, diabolical plan to get rid of David and get her parents back together.





About rosecoloredglassesreviewer

Just a 20-something year old who loves writing and critiquing 90s/early-2000s TV shows. NOTE: I don't hate the shows I review. I enjoyed them as a child and I still enjoy them as an adult. My issue is with people who are blinded by nostalgia and believe that the shows they grew up are the best of all time and who believe today's shows suck.
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