707/The Thanksgiving Show
Paul and Jamie are preparing for Thanksgiving with just about everybody gathering together. But first they have to take Mabel to her new doctor (Dr. Lee) to find out why she's sneezing so much. It's a "no-brainer" for Dr. Lee who first asks if the Buchman's have a dog (which of course they do) and then suggests an exercise to determine if Mabel has an allergic reaction to Murray. Much to Paul's dismay Mabel does appear to be allergic to Murray. But even though he takes some sentimental photos of Murray with him when he and Jamie go to lunch at Riff's, he's not given much time to pout about maybe having to get rid of the dog. That's because, between the Dr. Lee and Ursula and Marvin(Ira's store employee) and the next door Brits and others, the Buchman's guest list has grown rather large. But Jamie, ever the perfectionist when it comes to planning a party, has made all the arrangements. And this year, there's more than just a meal. There's also the "friendly" competition of "Running Charades" between teams captained by both Paul and Jamie. Jamie is so certain she's going to win, she's taken to calling Paul "Meat" (as in dead meat). While both teams are struggling to get the last clue, which is especially hard, Paul figures out that Mabel is allergic to dog food and not Murray. In the end the contest goes undecided, until the Dr. Lee makes the winning house call.
I found this episode delightfully light and amusing. I don't recall necessarily laughing so much (though I did more the second time I watched it), but very much enjoyed how this one just seemed to skip along merrily enjoying itself. Again, Paul and Jamie seemed to get along so much better than in the last few seasons. In this case, the Charades competition was a matter of pride for both of them, but never to the point of spite, or meanness. Yes, Jamie called Paul "Meat", but not in a mean way. Just a playful way of addressing one's opponent.
One thing I really liked was Mabel's new doctor. Steve Park was the guest star for this role and he played it to quirky perfection. He had a humorous way of giving you both the good new and bad news in the same sentence. It was really a nice performance. I wouldn't mind seeing him pop up occassionally in future episodes. I still can't say the same thing about Marvin, but at least this time he wasn't completely annoying, as he has been in the past.
There wasn't a great deal of emotional depth to this particular episode, but all I can think in this case is "who cares?" It was a satisfying show - with both Lisa and Ursula making appearances - which moved along nicely and was fun to watch. It seemed to just be a show which enjoyed itself, if that makes any sense. The sense of humor this show displayed this week has me giving it a very solid 8. If the quality of this season continues like this, then I'm thinking this season could be one of the show's best. It's too early to say that definitively, but my hope (and expectations) grow with each new show.