I hate myself for saying this. Oh god, what am I about to do … “Trapped in the Closet (Part 2)” was actually a funny episode of Sean Saves the World
I know … I KNOW! I didn’t think it was possible. And let me just specify that it still doesn’t make it a good show, but of the 5 1/2 hours of Sean Saves the World I have watched in the past few months, “Trapped in the Closet (Part 2)” was by far the most bearable episode. (Finally, I didn’t feel a strong desire to forget the disaster I had just seen.)
Maybe this newfound interest in Sean Saves the World has to do with the show doing things that I’ve suggested in basically every review I’ve posted so far. (I don’t want credit for this, but hey, if they want to give it to me, I’ll take it.)
Let’s break down this turnaround:
There’s a continuing story and possibly the promise of more to come
Every episode of Sean Saves the World barely has any connection to preceding episodes. Yet for the first time I can think of, this episode makes use of past experiences and actually makes the show seem like there’s some sort of continuity! With this episode, we see the return of Max’s father, Lee, played by Stacy Keach. Last time, he hit on Sean’s mother, Lorna, with no success. This time, after sharing lunch together, Lorna realizes that she actually finds Lee quite interesting, even dropping her current unseen beau, Bernard. Guys, that’s character development!
“Trapped in the Closet (Part 2)” also sets up a long term-goal that could very well be forgotten, where the team is trying to win over a ceramic housewares superstar by the name of Jonathan Peterson. While this could have just been a MacGuffin to get the episode rolling, here’s hoping that Peterson actually turns up later, possibly as the character Guy Pearce will be playing. (That’s right guys, this show is going to have Leonard Shelby on it soon. Get ready.)
Less Sean Saves the World, more Thomas Lennon Is Awesome
Sean Hayes isn’t awful on this show if he isn’t the focal point, but when he is, he becomes distracting and the show tends to fall into a more formulaic viewpoint. Sean Saves the World is at its strongest when both Hayes and Thomas Lennon are co-stars, working together for a purpose. Here, it’s to stop their parents from hooking up, then literally being trapped in a closet when their plan goes south. It still does fall into formulaic territory, but that’s fine if the path there is funnier than usual.
More of those amazing minor characters
Along with Lennon, Megan Hilty’s Liz and especially Echo Kellum as Hunter hardly ever get enough screen time. Yet in these last few episodes, Liz and Hunter have had more of an presence. With this episode, they team up to help Ellie decide what to do about her plans to go to a “make-out party.” I actually don’t know what’s funnier: Kellum’s deadpan jokes or the fact that the writers think teenagers would still call them make-out parties.
Sean Saves the World still hits a lot of the tired jokes you’d expect it to. (If you’re going to put Sean in a closet, he’s inevitably going to make some comment about how he used to be in the closet.) The episode does end on the expected happy notes of family bonding and whatever, but at least it’s all a bit funnier than it has in the past. At the very least, Sean Saves the World has now given us the best Kristi Yamaguchi nickname ever (“The Guch”).