Playing House: “Cashmere Burka” Top 5 Moments

Michael Yarish/USA Network
Michael Yarish/USA Network

This week’s episode of Playing House saw the return of Jane Kaczmarek as Emma’s eccentric mother Gwen. Gwen needed Maggie’s help directing the play she’s written about her life story, titled “Cashmere Burka.” Meanwhile Kyle Bornheimer’s “Bread Man” Dan got closer to Emma but may be keeping a secret that poses a threat to their new relationship.

As always, keeping in the fun and light spirit of the show we hand selected a few of our favorite moments from this week and highlighted them below. Make sure to sound off in the comments and let us know if we picked your favorites or if we left any out.

But why “Cashmere Burka?”

Is there a better title for a play about your mother’s life than “Cashmere Burka?” At least, as always, Emma can have a sense of humor about it and promptly asks what we were all wondering, “Cashmere Burka? What’s it about? J Crew opening in Afghanistan?” No, no. No, no. Instead, as Gwen explains, it’s actually about “the awakening of a woman trapped by luxury her entire life.” Of course it is. Of course it is.

Gwen’s Nom de Plum

As fans of Playing House’s first season will recall, when Gwen was the hit of Zach’s poetry club, she wrote under the name Phylicia Rashad. However, given the recent controversy surroundingThe Cosby Show, she figured it was time for a change. What followed was a lighting quick, blink and you’ll miss it, exchange between mother and daughter that is a prime example of what Playing House does so well.

Emma: “Why does it say it’s written by Nell Carter?”
Gwen: “That’s my nom de plume.”
Emma: “I thought it was Phylicia Rashad.”
Gwen: “It’s not the right time for that anymore.”
Emma: “Well just so you know Nell Carter is also a real person.”
Gwen: “Oh, give me a break.”
Emma: “Yes, that was the TV show she was on.”
Gwen: “Who?”
Emma: “Nell Carter.”
Gwen: “I was never on a show.”

Mark’s changing neck lines

Maggie promptly asks what we were all thinking when she sees Mark and says “what’s up with that neckline?” Turns out his wife Tina wants him to try out different style necklines. Later we see Mark in a V-neck, which Gwen points out “is stealing complete focus.” Even later on we see him in a popped collar polo. Have I mentioned how great Keegan-Michael Key is as Mark? Nobody does exasperation quite like him. By the way, what look was your favorite? I think I’m partial to the deep back V-neck. It was a surprise I never saw coming.

Maggie’s not afraid of getting a little “whet”

With Gwen still reeling from having to relive memories of “the chicken salad incident” after running into nemesis Betty, she starts spiraling and fires Maggie as director. Well Maggie’s having none of it and realizes that “we’re in the center of a hurricane,” but adamantly tells Gwen she’s going to ride the eye of the storm on out and not afraid of getting “whet.” Anything that causes Lennon Parham to do some sort of crazy dance move I’m all for.

Maggie and Emma’s bathroom pep talk

Just when Gwen seems to have lost all hope and wants to call off the play completely, Maggie and Emma swoop in (to the bathroom no less) and deliver one hell of a pep talk. Gwen may think she’s not brave enough to raise babies on her own, or move to another country, but as the two younger woman remind her, the only reason they can do such brave things is because of the women that raised them. Once again Playing House celebrates sisters doing it for themselves!

Memorable Quotes

  • “Maggie don’t blow smoke up my ass I’m already in the chimney.” Gwen after Maggie compliments her play.
  • “She is made of tissue paper. The stage lights will shine right through her.“ Gwen when Maggie threatened to cast Bird Bones (aka Tina) as a younger Gwen in the play.
  • “I don’t want to brag but in 1999 I cast a woman in a wheelchair as Peter Pan. You know what they said to me? ‘She’ll never fly. You can’t do it. You can’t life that metal chair up into the sky.’ But damn it, she flew.” – Maggie trying (and failing) to give Gwen a pep talk.
  • “Wasps never talk about their problems. We just push it all down and we repress, repress, repress and then we just explode!” – Emma imploring Maggie to not make Gwen discuss her problems.

What were your favourite moments and quotes? Add them in the comments below!

Playing House airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on USA Network.