Playing House: Top 5 Moments from the Season 2 Premiere

USA Network
USA Network

If you’re anything like me you’ve had August 4 circled on your calendar for awhile now. That’s because it’s when Season 2 of Playing House, starring real-life best friends Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham, would return to my television screen. After all, in most scenarios a show like Playing House would’ve never lived to see a Season 2. Despite being praised by TV critics everywhere, who implored readers to watch, the comedy received low ratings during its Season 1 run on the USA Network. But somehow, someway, this heartwarming comedy about two platonic girlfriends raising a baby together defied the TV Gods and got picked up for an 8 episode second season.

In “Hello, Old Friend,” and “Sleepless in Pinebrook” viewers got a double dose of the ladies. Rather than do my standard review on these episodes, I thought since this show is all about having fun that it could be a nice change to switch things up. Instead here’s my Top 5 moments from the premiere episodes that saw Maggie and Emma reconnecting with old friend Mark (Keegan-Michael Key) and his wife Tina, as well as got Maggie back into the dating game.

The Family Photo Shoot

Right from the start, the Playing House premiere had me laughing as Maggie and Emma tried to get the perfect family photo with baby Charlotte. Throw in a huge banana, an eccentric photographer (guest star Matt Besser) who sports a glorious rat tail and the second season was off and running. But like so many stories on Playing House, what starts off as a seemingly funny gag, like the big banana, soon displays a real underlying heart to the story. Two friends who aren’t romantically involved raising a baby together IS a big deal and not something we’re used to seeing. Yes, this may be an “alternative family situation,” but it’s a family nonetheless. Playing House proves that there can be many definitions of family and that’s sealed when they learn their picture made it up on the wall at the studio.

Mark’s Freak Out

After breaking in to find Charlotte’s beloved toy, the girls got trapped and were subjected to overhearing a fight, and almost subsequent make up, between Bird Bones (guest star Lindsay Sloane) and Emma’s ex-boyfriend Mark (Key). Eventually Tina finds out the girls are there and everyone starts fighting. Mark finally had enough and freaked out on everyone. Admittedly I often overlook how great Key is as Mark but when that last straw broke and Mark  started shouting ”It’s my house so I’m going to keep it at an 11,” I about lost it myself. Thankfully everyone calmed down and Mark expertly pointed out that they are all at fault here and it looks like from here on out the foursome can be friends.

Maggie’s love of Tom Hanks

Maggie was ready to jump back into the dating pool and Emma was right there with a whole slew of potential suitors for her friend. However, it turned out Maggie’s perfect man is modeled after none other than movie star Tom Hanks and I couldn’t help but laugh as she and brother Zach (Zach Woods) ran through several Hanks’ movie scenarios and innuendos. My personal favourite was probably, “I’ll be Houston and he’ll have a real problem.” Despite Emma’s objections that Hanks is done with romance movies, Maggie says you’ve got to hold out for the “Hanks of your dreams.” Sure, it shouldn’t be find to find a guy who’s “tough but he’s sweet. He has a dog. He also has a beautiful singing voice for harmony. And he can make you laugh while he’s wearing a sweater,” right?

Robyn Von Swank/USA Network
Robyn Von Swank/USA Network

Emma freaks out at Maggie’s fashion choices

After complimenting Maggie on how great she looks for her dates that night, Emma freaked out when she learned those amazing jeans Maggie was wearing were actually maternity jeans. Emma finds this completely unacceptable and what followed was a great display of physical comedy by St. Clair and Parham as Emma tried to rip the jeans off Maggie. Better yet, while trying to rip the jeans off, Emma ended up realizing Maggie was also wearing a nursing bra. What for you ask? “Easy access. Want a boob? Flop there it is,” explained Maggie. I’m not totally convinced Emma’s 100 per cent correct in her response of “Flop there it is. Nobody wants that.”

The Duncles evening ends in disgusting manner

While Maggie and Emma hit the town Zach and Bruce tried to give Charlotte a night of sophistication with the “duncles,” dad plus uncle. Things take a disgusting turn on them when Charlotte poops in the bath tub. As Zach gags through telling Charlotte, “you are a beautiful creature but your bowels are like the devil’s pipes.” In the end they got it under control, but not without scarring the guys for awhile. Woods summed things up perfectly when he recounted for Maggie that “like Ahab himself, we were overwhelmed by a dark tide.”

Memorable Quotes

  • “Yea until ol’ Bird Bones cracks open that dirty beak of hers and says ‘I’m sorry,’ then yea, we’re never going to see our friend again. Ever again.” – Emma
  • “Oh my God he’s got 44 Murder She Wrotes in various stages of being watched. If that is not a cry for help I don’t know what is.” – Emma
  • “You are ALL ACTING CRAZY! It’s crazy acting!” – Seriously, how great was Mark’s freak out?
  • “What is Tinder? Is that where a bunch of people get together and give each other soft touches?” – Maggie
  • Not really a quote but I want to mention Maggie’s completely awesome dance routine to Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up” as she gets ready for her dates. Parham has shown off her dancing skills in the past and I’m glad to see her body roll again!

Were you glad to see Playing House return? 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.