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Young & Hungry – 1.02 – Young & Ringless – Review: “Close Calls and Spaghetti with meatballs.”


Hello, lovers of ABC Family’s newest comedy Young & Hungry! Are you ready to talk about episode 1x02: Young & Ringless? I know I am. This week’s episode was written by creator and executive producer David Holden and directed by Phil Lewis. Yes, THAT Phill Lewis! I thought this week’s writing was much improved from that of the pilot and I really liked the composition and blocking in most of the scenes. Just so you know, I'm a behind the scenes/technical side of things kind of gal if you hadn't guessed that already.

The setup for this week’s episode was that Gabi begins her first official day as Josh's chef and wants to leave the memory of her one-night stand with Josh behind her. Caroline accuses Gabi of stealing her engagement ring. On top of all of that Gabi must prepare an elaborate dinner for Josh's Chinese investors in a type of cuisine that she is not familiar with even though she said she was on her resume.

I thought the setup between Caroline and Gabi was classic as was the twist that Elliot was the actual culprit. I honestly don’t like Caroline but I think Josh deserves her. While I might not like Caroline, I do absolutely love her catch phrase:But you understand, right? It just screams west coast socialite to me for some reason.

The episode opened with my favorite character and character interactions of the series so far, Sophia and Gabi and Sophia respectively. I love how Sophia is so blunt and matter of fact yet does it in gently prodding manner. Someone should scold Gabi for having sex with her boss because it was something that was very inappropriate and unprofessional but at the same time stuff happens and sometimes you just need a good laugh to keep from crying.

I do love the way that Sophia makes being young, broke and struggling in an expensive city such as San Francisco look easy and effortless while simultaneously providing viable and creative options if anyone in the audience happens to be in the same situation as the gals.

I just knew it was going to be ‘one of those’ episodes when the third scene in started with a poorly executed dick joke. I hate everything about Caroline and Josh's relationship. The less time spent focusing on their relationship the better. It makes my skin crawl, to be honest. Caroline is so annoying, self-centered, self-obsessed and egotistical that she constantly gets the 'ugh' noise from me every time she appears on screen.

I was honestly hoping that show would tip a hat towards Frasier and have the other woman in Josh's life be unseen, I think that trope is priceless and helps the audience form a bond with show by giving them a slot on the show where they a say in the show via their imagination.I'm sorely disappointed they didn't take this route. Nothing against the actress, only the supplied material and missed opportunity.

Gabi tries to make the best of her official first day and goes about the tasks of making breakfast and trying to get things prepared for the night's very important business dinner. Josh comes down for breakfast and because apparently no episode is going to be complete (at least for some time) without an awkward talk/misunderstanding between Gabi and Josh because they have one and I nearly die of second hand embarrassment from Gabi's side of the chat.

After a not so smooth recovery from that fiasco, she heads upstairs to deliver Caroline's breakfast and an oafish encounter ensues. Shortly there after Caroline comes charging downstairs to accuse Gabi of stealing her ring. Elliot and Yolanda quickly brush Gabi aside but Josh stands up for Gabi and the rest of his staff saying he trusts them but in the next breath explains it's because he has the penthouse wired.

Caroline and Josh go to fetch the footage and Elliot confesses to Gabi and Yolanda that he has the ring and it stuck on his finger. Gabi wants to help but Yolanda wants to see him beg first,which he does. The problem is solved by applying hemorrhoid cream to Elliot's finger. The situation is under control before Caroline and Josh return and Yolanda says that she found it the vacuum. Just when things seemed to be all smoothed over Gabi begins to babble and makes the situation even worse. The realization that this is actually Gabi's first day causes Caroline to demand to see all of the footage of from the moment Gabi first set foot in the penthouse (i.e. the night of the trial dinner where Gabi and Josh had sex).

Luckily, Josh is able to pull a smooth move and orders a masseur for Caroline as a distraction to give him some time to delete the incriminating evidence from the footage of the trial dinner. But that backfires because Caroline couldn't continue the massage because her masseur had on brown shoes with a black belt. Josh tells Caroline politely that he has reviewed the footage and didn't find anything. But Caroline insists on seeing the footage.

That's when it happened... Josh got a little bit of character growth. He stood up to Caroline and forcibly told her that if they are going to be married then she is going to have to trust him and take him at his word. It showed that Josh is capable of having a spine but I'm conflicted because he only grew that spine in order to lie to his fiancée. At any rate it turns Caroline on and Josh takes further advantage of the situation and demands that she attends the dinner as well and making out and heavy petting ensue (in front of Gabi) on a desk.

In something they actually hope becomes a staple, Sophia swings by some words of encouragement as well as everything Gabi needs to make the dinner for the Chinese investor. Oh, and some illegal fireworks for good measure. Gabi breaks down and sophia lifts her up and I find myself swooning at this adorable friendship. Sophia has a a habit of stating all of the bad stuff first and then goes says something charming last. I like that setup. It also helps us get some comedic insight into Gabi's life without making it seem like boring exposition.

In the last stretch of the episode we had Gabi pulling off a spectacular dinner in the requested style of Jiangsu cuisine. But just for good measure she decided to cook up some spaghetti and meatballs and apple pie for dessert just in case the investors were tired of the traditional cuisines of the native lands. Turns out, they WERE and Gabi's alternative was a hit and help set a happy mood. Josh stops Gabi as she heads home and it was his turn to have an awkward conversation based on a simple misunderstanding. I really liked what he had to say but I'm still not on board with Josh ever being good enough for Gabi. Sorry, not sorry.

My finals thoughts are this episode was much better than pilot. I feel like the cast is beginning to get a better feel for each other. Gabi still annoys me a little and I feel like they should tone her “adorkableness” down (by like A LOT). There definitely was not enough of Sophia. My biggest disappointment is that Yolanda and Elliot still are very much stereotypical caricatures. I do love the diversity of the cast (especially because it is so small) but they need to dig deeper and do better.

Also, there is one thing I really want them to tone down and that is the ‘slut shaming’ that Elliot is constantly spewing towards Gabi. She made a mistake and Josh is just as, if not more guilty as she is. But of course Josh is the boss so he gets a pass. I don’t like that and it needs to stop. It’s not even that funny.

Grade: B+

Awards

Character of the Night
• Josh

Best Character Interactions
• Elliot and Yolanda (when Yolanda gets the ring off of Elliot’s finger).

Most Memorable Moment
• Gabi strikes her power pose in front of Elliot, Yolanda, Caroline and Josh

Line of the Night
• Yolanda: If you want to stay on my good side, and you do, keep your things in the laundry room, the kitchen clean and please stop singing.

Scene of the Night
• Sophia explains her “workout” regimen that consists of jogging around town to score free stuff such as coffee, donuts and toilet paper right after she ribs Gabi for sleeping with Josh.

Most Improved Character
• Josh

Miscellaneous

Best Food Pun
  Gabi: How does Josh like his eggs?
  Elliot: Like you, over easy.

Truth Bomb
Yolanda: Damn, I never thought I'd see the day a white girl gets fingered before the black housekeeper.

Favorite Running Gag: Something happens to a cheap clothing item Gabi owns and she announces the price.

Fun Fact: Did you know that Phill Lewis made his movie debut in the 1989 cult classic Heathers?

Style Spotlight: I really liked Gabi’s “diamond” necklace. It may be ‘so 2009’ but I loved it.

Things That Need to Go
• The laugh track

Connect with the Show
Facebook
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Show’s hashtag: #YoungandHungry

Be sure to tune into Young & Hungry every Wednesday night at 8 pm on ABC Family.



What did you think of this episode? Are you starting to warm up to the show? Who is your favorite character so far? As always, feel free to sound off in the comments. You know I love you for reading…

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