TV Review: SMILF (Season 1, Episode 6)
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When is a sitcom not a sitcom? When it’s a heartrending triptych of failed ambition. This week’s episode of SMILF, a show that’s only nominally a comedy, sees Bridgette, Tutu, and Rafi come face to face with their own delusions. Just a few episodes earlier, the news that a new women’s basketball team was forming in Boston helped Bridgette overcome the shock of being sexually assaulted. In Chocolate Pudding & A Cooler of Gatorade, Bridgette finally receives the letter she’s been waiting for and is given the chance to show her skills. Bridgette’s not the only one following her dreams. Tutu tracks down Edmond, the ex-boyfriend she left for Bridgette’s abusive father and the man she’s been fantasising about for years. Now a dentist and still living in New York, Tutu books an appointment with him to try and rekindle the romance, despite her relationship with Joe. It’s clear from the beginning that neither woman’s schemes are going to work according to plan. Just to add salt to the wound, however, the episode’s writers Sarah L. Jones and Mel Shimkovitz give you just a little bit of hope before fulfilling this expectation. Bridgette’s pre-game routine is derailed by an angry housemate and the expectations of her boss Ally, who demands she comes over to the house immediately. Entitled and pathetic in equal measure, Ally went on a plastic surgery blitz whilst her family were out of town and needs Bridgette to change her bandages. Such are the things we do for beauty- or what we get our hired help to do beauty, at least. When she finally arrives at the WNBA try-outs, Bridgette learns that the standard of competition is very high. For all her cockiness and high-school experience, it becomes clear that Bridgette just isn’t good enough to make the team. What’s more, all her persistence gets her is a bloody nose and a dressing down from the WNBA recruiter. Tutu’s fantasy comes closer to fruition than Bridgette’s, as she gets dressed up for Edmond and successfully reignites their former passion. Both Edmond and Tutu are in relationships, but it doesn’t stop them having sex in Edmond’s dentistry chair.
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