The Sweetest Taboo

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Gustave: D | Grade It Now!
The lamest taboo

Okay, remember how Josh's mom had to leave his father and they moved into a tiny apartment? Well, for some reason, Josh's mother still hasn't called a divorce attorney to get her the alimony she would be entitled to as a result of having put her career on hold to be a wife and mother. Apparently no one has told this woman about California's community property laws, and we are supposed to believe that Mrs. Ford is flailing about trying to raise her son with absolutely no income and a couple of credit cards. Josh wakes up and comes to the breakfast table just in time to hear his mother hanging up with "Venus," her psychic friend. Yes, folks, Mrs. Ford has officially become the kind of poor white trash who calls psychic hotlines. Josh chides his mother for maxing out their credit cards on 900 numbers when she should be finding a job. Mrs. Ford pulls one of those "why are you so angry with me?" passive-aggressive guilt trips. Josh complains about how depressing it is to see his mom so defeated. Uh, Josh? Let me explain to you the concept of "defeated." "Defeated" implies that there was actually a battle of some kind that Josh's mother tried her best to win but didn't. Since there was no such battle and Mrs. Ford basically walked away from a twenty-year marriage to a rich man without securing any sort of financial settlement for herself or her son, the appropriate term here is "negligent," or maybe "stupid."

Josh bemoans the fact that he has to work after school to pay their electric bill -- because on this show an after-school job is a fate worse than death. Even Lily bailed on Mr. Cluck over a year ago, and she manages to carry a cell phone. Mrs. Ford talks about how hard it is to find a job when she failed to get her psychology degree so she could marry Mr. Ford. Uh, Mrs. Ford, when you were studying for this psych degree, did you ever come across the term "parentification," as in what not to do to your child if you want him to be reasonably sane? And while we're on the subject, how about "emotional incest"? Nevertheless, Josh vows to help his mother through this. And yes, the actress playing Josh's mom still looks like the only financial deprivation she's never known was when there was that stock crash in the eighties and she had to watch what she bought at Lacroix.

Kennedy. The Novak. Nicole sits on the ottoman filing her nails and waiting for Mary Cherry. When MC finally appears, Nicole drops her emery board in horror, due to the fact that Mary Cherry's upper lip is the size of a Jimmy Dean pork sausage. The only truly brilliant comic moment on tonight's episode. "What have you done to yourself, Frankenteen?" gasps Nicole. "Be green with jealousy all you want. I know I look like every boy's fantasy," says Mary Cherry. Meanwhile, I'm wondering if this is what Leslie Grossman was talking about in her interview when she said she had to get a mold of her face made for an upcoming episode. Apparently, Mary Cherry was in Buenos Aires, visiting her mother's plastic surgeon in order to steal an x-ray of a good knee that Nicole could use in order to be reinstated to the Glamazons. While she was there, she got something done. "Nic, did you know that 14 percent of all plastic surgery is done on teen girls?" exclaims Mary Cherry. "I'm part of yet another repulsive teen trend!" Unfortunately, Mary Cherry has stolen breast implant x-rays by mistake, and Nicole realizes that there's not enough time to get knee x-rays by Friday's game, so she decides to seduce Krupps to get back on the Glamazons instead.

Krupps enters his office to find the lights dimmed and Barry White music on the turntable. Nicole is waiting for him, wearing lingerie and a feather boa. "You smell like tree shavings," says Nicole seductively. "Do you use Aveda products?" Heh! This is a total shout-out to me, because I just bought the Aveda men's deodorant, and I do in fact smell like tree shavings. ["It's true, folks. He's like a breath of the forest in the naked city." -- Sars] Krupps stops the seduction and reveals that there is a video camera always on in his office to prevent students from doing the old seduce-and-then-blackmail. "Regardless of how attractive I may be," says Vice Principal Krupps, "I would never violate the taboo proscribing faculty/student romance. There's no more insidious corruption of our educational process." Nicole's ban from the Glamazons stands.

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