BraceFace: S1, E13 “Miami Vices”

We’ve got another one of my favorite episodes of BraceFace! I’ve been waiting to review this episode for so long and we’re finally here. In case you haven’t noticed, the last three episodes have been in winter season. Tired of the winter-themed episodes? Well, you’re in luck because we finally get a break from the cold and you can enjoy the warm weather. Without further ado, let’s start the review!

We start the episode off with Sharon sneaking a cookie out of the cookie jar like a six year old without her mom watching. Helen is no fool and as soon as Sharon gets back in her room reminds her of the “No sweets before dinner” rule. I’ve only seen this rule on TV shows and I never understood it. I see no harm in having a quick snack before dinner. Nobody has the time or patience to wait until dinner is ready and it’s just something to hold you until dinner and it’s never “spoiled my dinner”.  Sharon tells her mom that she’s hungry. Helen suggests that she eats an apple (Wait, I thought you couldn’t eat an apple with braces), but Sharon doesn’t want one. Helen then asks Sharon if she’s really that hungry. Sharon gives up and hands the cookie over to her mom.

Later, Sharon complains about having to do chores. Sharon gets a call from Maria telling her to come on down to the slopes. Sharon explains to Maria that she can’t go because it’s Cleaning Day at the Spitz Residence.

Chore wheel

They even have a chore wheel.

Sharon gets another call, but this time it’s from her dad. He’s in Miami and he invites his kids to come with him to spend time together. Sharon gets excited until Richard says he has to make sure it’s okay with Helen, who she thinks will say no. After careful consideration, Helen decides to let the kids go. Sharon does one of those “I’m highly expecting disappointment so I didn’t hear the unexpected” moments. Adam tells her that she said yeah and Sharon is overcome with joy. Josh begins sneezing (He did this earlier in the episode) and Helen discovers that he has the flu and can’t go.

Josh just can't win

Josh is always taking the “L”.

Since Josh can’t go, Maria takes his place. Gee, I wish my parents would have let me go on a trip with my friend when I was 13. Sharon is excited to finally get away from her mom and be with her cool dad, who’ll let her do anything she wants. Maria tells Sharon that Helen is cool, unlike her mom, who she can’t talk to her about anything. Dammit, is Maria my long, lost Asian twin or something? Sharon tells Maria that she’s been thinking about living with her dad. Maria gives Sharon a worried look. They finally arrive in Florida and have some good old fun.

After they get off the roller coaster, Sharon wants to go again but Richard wants to get some cotton candy. Adam asks if it’s a good idea to eat cotton candy since it’s so close to dinner. Oh, Adam don’t you start with that bullshit too. Richard tells him they’re on vacation and that he should relax. Maria tells Sharon that if she decides to live with her dad that she’s coming too. Are your parents REALLY going to be okay with the idea of you living with your best friend and her dad? They stop and listen to a guy play the guitar. Sharon tells Maria that she and Richard have so much in common and they love the blues. Sharon even demonstrates it by standing next to her dad and imitating him.

Like father like daughter

Like father, like daughter.

Sharon attempts to demonstrate it even more by pretending that she knows something about music. Richard corrects her by saying that it’s just a three-chord progression, not modulation. I don’t know much about musical terms and whatnot, but even I knew it wasn’t modulation. Later on, Sharon, Maria and Adam accompany Richard to his band rehearsal. Sharon starts to feel left out when she discovers that her dad’s band has a nickname for Josh and Adam receives one after he shows off his weight lifting skills. I sympathize with Sharon on this one in a way. In high school, my brother was known for being one of the smartest kids in our class and I was only known as his sister. Some kids didn’t bother to ask me my name. And some did nothing but ask/talk to me about my brother. No one asked me about me and it bothered me a lot. Okay, enough going down memory lane. After the set Adam and Maria are exhausted and want to head back to the hotel, but Sharon wants to stay up and enjoy the rest of the concert.

The next day, Maria asks Sharon if she wants to go snorkeling with her and Adam. At 6:21 in the morning. That is too damn early in the morning to do anything. Sharon tells her it’s too early and goes back to sleep. Sharon wakes up a little after 12 for breakfast, but Richard tells her breakfast is no longer being served and he shares some of his breakfast with her. Richard has band practice and his band is doing another concert tonight. Sharon wants to come along and listen to their new songs and be an intern and get coffee. At practice, the band finishes a song and Sharon praises the song. Their blank facial expressions are hilarious.

Richard and his band

Whoops! Didn’t realize Richard’s eyes were closed until now.

All of the members began to criticize one another so Sharon asks if any of them need coffee. One member has their own coffee and the rest of the members tease him. Another member asks a guy named Tyler to get him beer. Sharon starts to realize that she doesn’t fit in with the band. She also discovers that Josh emailed Richard a song last week and they began playing it and Sharon leaves. She decides to join up with Maria and Adam at the beach, but she ends up falling into a kid’s sandcastle, getting sand all over her. She decides to buy some bubbles for her bubble bath and leaves the beach. At the store, she bumps into Tyler. You know the guy who was getting beer for one of the band members earlier? Tyler invites Sharon to a party that he and his friends have during the concert and Sharon is ecstatic.

Sharon tells Maria about the party and she agrees to come along. When they get there Maria is suspicious of all of the “weird” people at the party, but Sharon assures her that they’re friends of the band and roadies. Tyler notices Sharon and offers the girls rum and coke. Whoa! Alcohol in a kid/teen show? Ooh, this just got interesting. The girls turn down the drinks, but Tyler insists that it’s good and Sharon decides to have some. Yep, this episode just turned into a PSA about underage drinking. Maria suggests Sharon stop drinking, but Sharon says she could have 10 of them. 10 cups of alcohol might kill you, sis. The more Sharon drinks, the more crazy she acts and Maria ain’t here for it.

Maria watches her friend show her ass

Maria stands by and watches her best friend show her ass. Figuratively, that is.

Sharon’s had about 4-5 drinks now and homegirl is wasted! As Richard’s band performs, she stands on top of a speaker and sings along (off-key) while everyone watches. Maria tells Sharon to stop making a fool of herself and suggests that they leave. Sharon refuses and says her dad lets her do whatever she wants. Adam shows up and realizes that Sharon is drunk. Sharon falls over into one of the speakers and breaks it. Tyler gets upset and tells Sharon off. Adam, going into big brother mode, tells the guy off and gets Sharon out of there. As Adam carries her away, Sharon starts talking and her braces start fucking up. They pick up the signal on the broken speaker through the speakers where the band is playing and Richard can hear Sharon and Adam’s conversation. Richard is livid!

Richard is pissed

Back at the hotel, Sharon is vomiting while Richard is standing outside of the bathroom. When Sharon comes out of the bathroom, Richard gives us a PSA about the dangers of underage drinking and what could happen to teenage girls under the influence of alcohol while getting her ice for her hangover. I have some problems about his speech, but you know I’ll get to that at the end of my review. He asks Sharon why she did it and she explains that she just wanted to fit in. He assures her that she doesn’t need to be one of the guys and all of that mushy, parent-child talk. Richard also tells her that he fired Tyler and gives one of those annoying ‘You don’t have to do this to fit it. People like you just the way you are” speeches. On the plane ride back home, Sharon changed her mind about wanting to live with her dad. When they get to the airport, they met up with Helen and she gives Sharon the whole “I’m disappointed in you; I trusted you” speech. She also tells Sharon that when they get home that her and Richard will discuss her punishment.

I remember when I rewatched this series; I was surprised to see that they tackled the issue of underage drinking. I don’t recall any other shows like these tackling issues like this except for sitcoms. And there will be more episodes that have themes I’m surprised BraceFace touched on. Episodes like this are reminders of why I loved this show so much. Now, on to my positive thoughts on this episode. Like I reiterated before, I sympathize with Sharon for wanting to have an identity and fitting in with her dad’s band. I do like that we got to see Richard again instead of him just being a one-off character or be mentioned, but never seen. And the change of scenery was definitely nice. I also like that we got more of a glimpse into Richard and his band. What bothered me in this episode is that it was so preachy esp. Richard’s speech, which I’ll get to in a second. It’s like we get it, drinking is bad and rules are there for a reason. God, I don’t recall a show being this preachy since I watched the Cartoon All Stars special about the dangers of drugs. While I appreciate them doing an episode involving the subject of underage drinking, I feel like the writers should have stuck to the theme about underage drinking. The majority of this episode seemed like it would be a lesson about following rules and why rules are implemented in the first place. It’s like the writers said “Fuck it; let’s turn the rest of this episode into a PSA about drinking!” Now on to Richard’s speech: I understand that the purpose of this message is to inform kids/teens the dangers of underage drinking and the effects alcohol can have on you, but my issue is that he’s implying that it would be Sharon’s fault if something were to happen to her because she was drinking. He’s right that guys take advantage of girls while they’re drunk, but the message is implying that it can be prevented if she doesn’t drink. Guys can take advantage of a girl regardless of whether or not she’s drunk or sober. It’s like blaming a woman that it’s her fault she got raped because of what she’s wearing. Women can get raped whether they’re fully dressed or butt naked. Okay rant over. I had to let it out. His speech just didn’t sit with me. Regardless, I still enjoyed this episode.

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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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