BraceFace: S1, E20 “The Easy Way Out”

Looks like Sharon and Maria are back to their sleepovers again. Maria and Sharon are talking, but it’s one of those scenarios where people think they’re talking about the same thing, but they’re not. Maria’s talking about some skateboarding she sees on TV and Sharon’s talking about the cold sore that’s on her lip.

Cold Sore

Ugh, I hate it when I get those.

Maria tells her it’s no big deal because it’ll go away, but Sharon’s afraid it won’t because her one month anniversary with Alden is coming up. I get that teens are insecure about their looks and everything, but why hasn’t Sharon realized that Alden isn’t concerned about things like that? He didn’t care that you got braces and it didn’t stop him from liking and pursuing you. Maria rightfully tells her that any guy that dumps you over petty shit like that isn’t worth it. Just then, a commercial for a psychic hotline comes on. Sharon scoffs at how stupid it is and Maria gets on the phone and calls the psychic. She poses as Sharon (She does a pretty good impression of her) and asks if her cold sore will go away by Monday, but Sharon has her doubts.

Why are Brock’s clothes different?

Brock's clothes are different

Peep the kid sitting behind Sharon. What’s up with his eyes? Is he a Ditto?

That kid's eyes

Oh, look another teacher at Mary Pickford Junior High who isn’t Mr. Hopoff!

Another teacher

The teacher informs the students about an important math exam coming up and stresses that they must study. After class, Connor asks Sharon if the cold sore is really that bad and she gives us TMI. Connor switches the subject about the big math test and Brock walks on by entertaining people with us armpit fart noises. The trio talk about how Brock got the lowest score on the math exam last year and how they don’t want to end up like him. Intelligence doesn’t equal maturity, guys. The girls start worrying about the exam, but Connor tells Maria that she has nothing to worry about because she always gets good grades. Don’t tell me we’re doing this “Asians are supposed to be smart” stereotype. Connor warns Sharon that she should actually study this time around because last year she pulled an all-nighter. But, Sharon says that she still managed to pass the test and has a strict studying schedule for this year. Studying at the last minute and still able to pass? Sharon will have no problem in college.

Sharon sees Alden and hides behind her friends. They have to go get some extra tutoring for the exam and they leave Sharon.

He picked up her book how cute

He picked up her book after she dropped it. How cute.

He asks Sharon about the scarf and she tries to find an excuse and he takes if off and Sharon hides her face telling Alden not to look. He tells her that she looks fine, even though she’s sweating.

Cold sore is gone

Meanwhile, Adam is going to door-to-door selling beauty products in a pink coat and it’s not working out for him. Those door-to-door MLM jobs are scams. People, please don’t fall for them. I’ve had the unfortunate experience of encountering these scams during my job search. They lie to you and say they’re offering many positions, but they’re really offering sales positions. These people get really pissed if you confront them about it. Because of my experiences, I know a scam when I see it. If something about the position or the company seems off to you, trust your instinct. Do your research about the company. That’s my little PSA about job scams. Back to the review. While walking home from school, Sharon wonders how the psychic knew that her cold sore would be gone by Monday. The girls run into Adam and tease him about his job and his inability to keep one. Oh yeah, these MLM job scams prey on high school and college students as well. I remember getting letters from them in the mail in high school. No one is safe! Adam is doing a project at school about stocks and he asks Sharon if she could loan him some money so he can invest in the real stock market and make millions. The girls laugh and walk away.

Adam resorts to asking Josh for money. We haven’t seen Josh in a while. He made a brief appearance in last week’s episode, but I didn’t mention it because it wasn’t important. Anyways, Josh refuses to give Adam anything. Josh suggests that he get a credit card and tells him about a kid who got a credit card in his dog’s name. Adam thinks it’s a stupid idea, but sees their cat Moishe and decides to put the card in his name. This reminds me of that episode of “That’s So Raven” when Cory found out that his pet rat Lionel had a credit card in his name. Sharon is in her room and supposed to be studying but she can’t stop thinking about her anniversary with Alden and is worried that he hasn’t mentioned it.

She draws better than me

She draws better than me.

The commercial for Madame La Faux’s psychic hotline comes on and Sharon calls her. Sharon is taking French and she doesn’t realize that the psychic’s last name means false. What a shame. The psychic isn’t who you think she is.

Madame La Faux

She “knows” that Sharon has a boyfriend and that an important date is coming up. Sharon gets excited that La Faux knows about all of these things, but if Sharon used her brain she would know that she told her all of those things. Sharon gets caught up and goes over the one minute free deal and asks La Faux about her and Alden’s future. She lies to Sharon telling her what she wants to hear and is saying French words that make so sense. How is Sharon not noticing this?!

You've gone way over a minute

Sharon: Have I gone over a minute? La Faux: Oh no, just barely a minute.

And thanks to Moishe’s credit card, Adam has made over a thousand dollars in the stock market. The next day Sharon gushes to her friends about what La Faux told her about her future with Alden. Alden comes by and asks Sharon if she wants to hang out Wednesday night confirming La Faux’s “predictions”. Connor and Maria warn Sharon that she better study or else she’ll fail math. Sharon crosses her heart that she’ll study tonight and if you thought she was going to study, you’re crazy.

Sharon's studying so hard for her exam

Look at Sharon studying so hard for her math exam.

 

Sharon asks La Faux what present will Alden get her. La Faux tells Sharon that he’ll give her something personal. Sharon mentions that she always wanted his hockey jacket and La Faux says that she was “just about to say that”. Sharon then asks where he’ll take her. Before La Faux answers, she tells her kids whose names are Jackson and Matilda to stop splashing in the tub. Note: La Faux told Sharon that her and Alden would be giving their kids those names. She tells Sharon that he would take her somewhere flashy. Alden ends up taking Sharon to the video arcade. Sharon gives Alden his gift and it’s a bracelet of some sort.

Is that a ponytail holder

Looks like a ponytail holder.

Sharon tells him happy anniversary and Alden gives a look that he knows he’s in some deep dodo.

Aniversary

A-Anniversary…?

The lasers that are flying around in the arcade hit Sharon’s braces and temporarily blind Alden. He uses his hockey jacket to shield himself and Sharon mistakes it as him giving her his jacket.

Yeah just take my hockey jacket

The next day Sharon gushes about La Faux being right about everything, but Maria and Connor hit her up with math questions and she’s just as lost as Alden was last night. The exam’s tomorrow and everybody is studying even Brock. That night, Sharon starts cramming for the exam and starts having an anxiety attack. I know this sounds a bit fucked up, but I like that they added in the anxiety attack. Just a reminder about how real this show can get. She runs out of her room and goes into the kitchen to calm down. She finds Adam there sucking on his baby blanket. Sharon gets Adam to confess everything and he reveals that he lost a lot of money. Sharon asks La Faux about Adam’s money problem, but La Faux tells her she sees dental floss and soap.

Well she's right about something

Well she finally told the truth for once.

Sharon then asks her about her math exam tomorrow. Getting fed up and wanting to go to sleep, La Faux asks her husband to hand her a book about things that psychics say and gives her a vague response. Sharon asks her what it means and La Faux lies about predicting the phone is going to disconnect, when she actually hangs up on Sharon.

Rude bitch

Rude Bitch.

The next day Adam is unsure about what La Faux said, but Sharon reassures him that she hasn’t been wrong yet. At school, Sharon tries to figure out what La Faux’s words meant. Connor sits next to her and she thinks that he might have the answers, but he and Brock trade seats because Brock lost his glasses and needs to see the board.

Brock without glasses

I knew something was a little different about Brock.

It just occurred to me. Why does Brock need to sit in the front for an exam? They’re not looking at the board so what’s the point? The teacher passes out the exam and tells the students that it’s multiple choice and they have an hour to complete it. He wishes good luck to Brock and everyone laughs. How embarrassing for everyone to know that you got the lowest score on a test. The test starts and Sharon still doesn’t know what La Faux meant. She just decides to wing it. Hey I’ve winged plenty of tests I barely studied or didn’t study for at all and still managed to do well. Anyway, the results are out (Damn that was fast) and Brock scored a 51%. Maria and Connor scored well. Time for Sharon to look at her own score and it should come as no surprise to you how she did. She did worse than Brock did last year and the students who are standing behind them laugh at her.

Students laughing at Sharon

Sharon is embarrassed (I’m embarrassed for her) and she’s starting to realize that La Faux is a well, a faux. Her friends tell her that she’s gullible for believing all that psychic crap. Connor suggests that she ask Mr. Herbie (the math teacher) will let her do a makeup exam if she asks nicely and gives a legit excuse. Alden comes by and gives Sharon her “monthiversary” gift.

Sharon's monthiversary gift

It’s cute! I want one myself.

Sharon loves it and Alden asks Sharon to give back his hockey jacket. Sharon now believes that La Faux is crap and she rushes home to tell Adam not to do anything she said, but it’s too late. But they have nothing to worry about because Adam “broke even”. I wish I knew what that meant. Adam hands over the credit card to Sharon and she cuts it up. Helen gets a $500 bill in the mail from the psychic hotline and confronts Sharon and Adam about it. In order to pay back all the money, Sharon gets the same job as Adam. Jesus, they’re recruiting middle school students as well. I won’t be surprised if Josh ends up getting involved in that scam. Sharon unknowingly ends up at La Faux’s house selling beauty products:

Sharon comes face to face with La Faux

Sharon promises her that some cream will get rid of the bags under her eyes. Sharon, not wanting to scam the woman like La Faux did her, tells her that the cream won’t do that. La Faux tells Sharon she appreciates her honesty. Mind you this is coming from the woman who lies to people for a living. You know, I’m surprised La Faux didn’t recognize Sharon’s voice but I guess she didn’t realize it because she gets so many phone calls.

I enjoyed this episode more than I recall. I do like that the writers introduced scams. Teens and young adults are the ones who fall prey to them the most. I know that Sharon was supposed to be gullible, but it would have been nice if she had used some common sense when it came to La Faux. I lowkey wanted Sharon to lie to La Faux about the makeup as payback. Yeah, it’s Sharon’s fault she was so naïve but it’s not right to lie and scam people. I also like subplot with Adam and the credit card, though I hate he didn’t receive any type of punishment. Running up the phone bill is nothing compared to almost making your family homeless. People don’t realize with credit cards that you have to pay back the money. It was nice that the writers incorporated the stock market in the subplot as well. I’ll admit I don’t have a clear understanding of them, but it was nice to see that included. Remember in a previous review when I said that there would be hints that Alden is clueless when it comes to relationships? Yeah this is one of them and trust me there’ll be more later on. I hate that the school posts the students’ math scores on the wall for everyone to see. It’s humiliating to the students who don’t do well and it just shows once again that a student’s intelligence is based on how well they do on a test. It wasn’t a test, but I remember in high school that there was a list of seniors who were failing and it was posted outside of the guidance counselor’s office every year. It was supposed to be a wakeup call for them to snap out of senioritis. I’m just not a fan of humiliating students like that. I hate it when teachers call on students and if they don’t know the answer; they humiliate them in front of the class. It happened to me in college a few years ago. The professor threw a hissy fit because the class didn’t understand the material and marked us all absent for the day (To this day, I’m still mad about it).

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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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