This was a really great episode. It truly felt slice-of-life, even though it had the slightly extreme situation with the salon in the family room. Probably the main reason it felt that way was because it had a strong moral, and a very applicable moral at that. I don't think I know anyone who doesn't struggle with anger mismanagement. And I feel like I'm the "chief of sinners" in that regard. I feel like I'm always working on it, but always falling back into temptation and sinning. Thankfully, I think this episode had a permeable enough message that it will stick in my head and maybe help me in some situations.
I think the reason many of the episodes in this season so far have such great morals and takeaway values is that, because the writers decided to base the album on 1 Corinthians 13, they had to start with the moral and then work out the episode--rather than working the other way around, starting with an entertaining episode idea and then fitting the moral into it. I believe that's also the reason that I didn't like A Penny Saved as much. If I remember correctly, it, along with A Penny Earned, was added into the album at a later date than the rest of the episodes. So I assume the writers had already come up with the storyline and had to fit it into one of the "love is" or "love is/does not" morals. That's probably why the aspect of love was harder to catch in A Penny Saved. It was very obvious in Wooton Knows Best, The Amazing Loser, and this episode, Anger Mismanagement. With the way this season is going, I'm starting to really look forward to the rest of this album (except A Penny Earned, but maybe Mr. McCusker will surprise me).
The first specific thing I wanted to mention about the episode is that I actually really liked Wooton this time! All of his humor felt like old times, and it was all laugh-out-loud funny. Plus, I noticed that none of it disrupted any serious moments. Sometimes, it even added to the seriousness of the point he was trying to bring across to Mrs. Kramer or Olivia. A couple of times during the episode, I was reminded of Grady, because of the teaching mode that Wooton was in with Olivia.
All three of the situations where the characters' patience were tried were very true-to-life circumstances. With Mrs. Kramer, it was an example of when someone gets angry at you for something you didn't have anything to do with. With Mr. Parker, he got angry because others kept him from doing what he wanted to do. And with Olivia, she got angry because someone else had stolen the spotlight for something they didn't do. Each one of those is something that most people have to deal with on a regular basis, so I thought it was great that the writers made the episode so applicable to everyday life.
Olivia's voice continues to really please me. Kelly Stables gives her a voice that expresses her tendency to change emotions and over-express herself. Although it does get annoying and uncomfortable sometimes when she expresses herself a bit too much, it still fits her character really well. And this episode was the perfect way for her to show those qualities, since she shifted up and down from angry to happy to annoyed to patient.
I noticed that Valerie's voice was changed, and I'm glad. Whenever I listened to the Kidsboro episodes I always got her and Jill mixed up. There were literally times where my whole understanding of the episode was messed up because I thought Jill was Valerie. And since Olivia and Valerie had a couple exchanges, it was good that the actress was switched to avoid more confusion. In addition, I think the voice change was good for Valerie; she now sounds more like the popular "chick" girl that she is described as being. In my opinion, she sounds more obnoxious and full of herself than she did before. ;)
I loved Mr. Parker's character in this episode. As usual, the actor pulled off the perfect husband and father voice, and as a result, I really felt for him the entire episode. His reactions and emotions were so genuine, and I was annoyed together with him when he missed "one of the best games in professional football history." I thought he handled his anger quite well, though--better than I would have in his situation. And I liked how he still maintained his role of leadership in the home by making all the decisions.
I didn't know that running a salon would be particularly of interest to a European grandmother, but go figure. It certainly made for an entertaining side of the show. I thought Mrs. Parker and Mrs. Ortega were really in character throughout the whole thing. All of the actors and actresses did amazing jobs.
So I really, really liked this episode, as you can see. Unlike Wooton Knows Best, I didn't even have a single complaint (unless you count Olivia's over-expressiveness). I don't think this one had as strong of a moral as Wooton Knows Best did, but it definitely surpassed it in entertainment and cleverness value. I learned from the episode, which is not a very common occurrence in Odyssey episodes, so I don't think I can give the episode any lower of a rating than I gave Wooton Knows Best. I really feel like this episode deserves a 9.5/10 just like its predecessor.
Thank you for reading! I really love reading your comments, so if you have something to say, please say it! And be sure to come back next week when I review Forgiving More...Or Less.