Married with Children
Episode: 0703 - Every Bundy Has A Birthday
Date aired: September 27th, 1992
Date reviewed: May 23rd, 2003
A brief re-cap:
Peggy discovers Seven does not know his birthday, so she decides to give him one. Only problem
is, the date she choose happens to be Al's birthday (and no, she did not realise that until Al
came home and told her.) They celebrate Seven's birthday in a park, only to find that another
family have rented the entire park for their son's party. Something must be done...
I wonder how long the writers originally planned to keep Seven around, as he becomes an official
Bundy in this episode (NO!) and even joins in on The Bundy Cheer... Ah well, at least he didn't
last *too* long after this. And he slugged a kid. But it's still rather unsettling to watch.
Despite the presence of that snot, I rather like this episode. Wait, no - really only the first
half of this episode. The first half of the episode is great, but it goes way downhill once they
get to the park. Some hilarious lines (a lot of them courtesy of Katey Sagal) and exchanges can
be found in the first act, but is almost marred by the second. The first half is good old
fashioned Bundy home fun with the usual tropes on clear display - Kelly is dumb, Peg is a lousy
mother, Jefferson is pretty, Marcy is kind of insane, and Al is the oft-forgotten one.
The episode sets itself up well, aside for the first couple of minutes. Peggy and Seven teaching
Kelly to spell seems only to explain to any new viewers that Kelly is stupid. Why, though? Peggy
begins to fill in an application for Seven to go to school. Whoa, she does care about this kid...
no, thankfully, it's just the young 'n' cute bus drivers that have caught her attention. Peg says
she's 28. Typical woman, she doesn't turn "29" for another 100+ episodes (in "Breaking Up Is Easy
To Do, part two"), and yet tells her husband the he "ages about seven years every year", like Buck. ;)
Marcy's somewhat insane sex life has always been one of my favourite aspects of her, and here is
no exception. The brief but enjoyable scene with Marcy and Jefferson in this episode has Marcy
ranting to her flaunting-his-good-looks husband that "some day some big woman's gonna give it to
ya, hard, hard, right in the park!" A pause for effect (or for the audience to shut up, you
decide) then, "take me home right now and dance for me." Classic. We find out that Marcy's mother
is still alive, probably to hunt for more husbands to eventually send to the grave... or watch
Jefferson dance. "My dancing is an art and not to be cheapened by 'that's my son-in-law, shake your
money-maker over to Mommy.'"
Peggy: Al, would you ever consider dancing for me?
Al: Only at the end of a rope, baby.
QUIET PLEASE, RICH PEOPLE HAVING FUN
Bud: Let's see... salt, pepper, ketchup, condom...
When did Al become such a softie? This is a man who has not eaten since his wedding day and yet
he gives his portion of the wiener (whoa, sounds dirty) to the new kid. Even the audience awwws
at Seven. Stop that, that's just encouraging him.
Al: Come on, family... let's go kick some rich butt.
Ahh, senseless violence. A Bundy trademark (I am fondly reminded of Kelly's words in 0506, "Kelly
Bounce Back": "I'm going to deal with this the only way us Bundys know how -- with swift and
blinding violence.") Funny to see Bud beat up a clown (no pun intended). Why does the family
attack? Hell, why not? But in all seriousness, a rich snob family have taken over the park for
THEIR son's birthday, equipped with the quickest sky-writers known to man. The Bundys are set
aside in their own private section, i.e. "a place set aside for scum like us."
Al: Between you and me I'm celebrating my birthday, but nobody's supposed to know that because
my wife took it away from me.
Looking past the fact that Seven is finally accepted by the family (but not by the fans!) some
other interesting moments can be spotted throughout. Peggy favours Seven, and I wonder if this is
a carry-on from the pregnant episodes a season earlier, as Peggy stated she wanted to be the best
mother in the world to her new child. But, a Bundy will always be a Bundy and by 0710 ("Death of
A Shoe Salesman") Peggy could not give a rat's patootey about Seven. But here, her favouring makes
the other Bundys just a little more than jealous. Why? She hardly paid any attention to them before.
Though it does provide scope for some funny lines, like Bud's "our emotional scars run so deep
you can almost see them", or the accurate quote from Kelly when she states that they are "the Titos
of the Jackson family."
It must be Bundy Unity. You know, the people that - like any other normal family on the planet -
are rude and mean to each other, but when called to do so, they band together and - in this
episode's case - attack other families. So, I guess when one (namely Peggy) ignores them, the
other family members feel a sense of loss. So, by bringing Seven into the family, it reunites
them all together again. Too mushy for Married with Children? Almost.
In a buttshell...
This episode begins like a traditional MWC ep, with a lot of Bundy trademarks - Kelly not knowing
how to spell the simplest of words, Peggy not knowing her children’s or husband's birthdays, Bud's
rubber woman making an appearance, Jefferson proud of and flaunting his looks, Al making a Marcy-is-
flat-chested joke and Marcy retaliating - in an overall great first act. But it ends a little more
like Family Ties or one of THOSE shows, which is a real disappointment to what could have been
a pretty good episode. At least there is some good old Bundy violence to keep the viewers entertained
in the meantime.
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