Married with Children... All Things Episodic
0110 - "The Poker Game"
Let's start by saying something definite - "The Poker Game" is probably the
best first-season episode so far. Certainly it's the first one that I would
describe as a classic; the script has a distinct sparkle to it, the four adults
almost all get good roles and/or scenes, and the two children aren't in it.
The best part is definitely the scene in the shoe store between Al and Steve,
while Ed O'Neill puts in a great performance, sniggering and watching in the
background as Steve gets into more and more trouble.
"I showed her until eight o'clock in the morning, Al. She's fast asleep and
I can't remember how I got here." (Steve)
We have another prototype of NO MA'AM in Al's poker-playing friends, although
this time with a little more character; not too much, however, as it's only a
plot device so Steve can lose money. Peg is again shown cooking a meal of some
kind, which is still a little surprising, but at the same time gives a little
indication that life does go on almost normally when the Bundys aren't doing
something stupid. In later seasons there's a cartoon-like quality to their life;
here, we see Steve and Marcy thinking about budgets and mortgages, Peg cooking
and Al gambling & having a social life beyond his house. Since most sitcoms are
unreal, and later MWC went wildly in the opposite direction, this is quite
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home on the range