by Amy K. Bredemeyer
The somewhat-obligatory learn-to-drive episode. They're not as common now as they were in the 90s, but they're still around. And, like they tended to be back then, there's a conflict between the "parent" and the "child," but we mostly see their opposing viewpoints on how the lessons are going. Given what we already know of Lennox's personality, however, I imagine that she's just really freaked about driving and Mel is probably somewhat calm. Not surprisingly, Joe steps in to give Lennox "secret" lessons, though, of course, they don't stay clandestine for long. I blame the fact that this show is more comedy than drama, as characters tend to keep their mouths shut more often on dramas. But, then I'm asking for this show to be something it's not, and that rarely works. On that note, I'm not really sure what the writers are trying to do with Ryder's character... sometimes I wonder if the creators regret giving Lennox a brother, because they only ever find very random stuff to do with him. Completing community service by cataloging shoes? That's what they have the boy doing this episode? I don't see how it really added to anything, except maybe to make Joe look awkward around Ryder's "interests." What a fail.
Melissa & Joey "A Pair of Sneakers" (S02E11): [Is that a new house or just a weird angle?] Lennox and Mel fight after a driving lesson.
Looking at what Ryder is up to this episode, we first see him photographing Mel's shoes and putting the pictures on the outside of the boxes so they'd be better organized. [I'm always caught off-guard by people who keep all of their shoes in the boxes! though, with my current show closet, I could see that being helpful.] He's counting it as community service for school, as he specifically needs to help "the City of Toledo," and Mel has him believing that the city benefits from her dressing quicker on her way to meetings. [this is SUCH A STRETCH that I can hardly believe Mel would do that to Ryder! this is a school requirement!] To make matters worse, he needs twenty hours and the shoes only took ten, so Mel has him go through the rest of her closet to search for flaws in garments! Joe witnesses Ryder checking pantyhose for runs, and Mel ends up having to come clean about her ploy. [well, at least this probably won't be an ongoing gag... right? Also, Ryder seems taller in this episode..... anyone agree?]