Married with Children... All Things Episodic


Episode:	0712  -  CHRISTMAS

Reviewed By:  John P. Stevenson

	ONCE again itís Christmas, and the yuletide spirit raises itís dysfunctional head at 
the Bundy home.

	Though marred by the presence of that waste of a character known as Seven, this isnít 
too bad an episode; indeed, itís probably one of the best that the pitiful Seventh season of 
MWC can muster.  It has few truly memorable moments, but itís carried along by one or two very
funny scenes.

	The premise of Al needing to come up with presents for the family is fairly standard, 
but the idea of him earning the money by working as a Mall Santa is a nice twist, and provides
the episodeís funniest moments as Jefferson and Marcy lead the children in a rousing chorus of
"Bundy, the No-Man".  The writing on the ep is not up to the standards set earlier in the series;
but is slightly above-par for this seasonís efforts. In short, itís no better than it has to be,
but for the most part, it works.  Thereís only one scene that really falls flat, and thatís the
flashback scene.  Usually, they used actual children to portray Bud and Kelly at earlier ages;
this time, Faustino and Applegate do it themselves, and it really ruins what could have been a
funny look back at the history of the Bundy clan.

	The acting is, of course, what sets this show apart from the herd, and this episode is 
no exception.  Ed OíNeill is solid as our favorite put-upon shoe-man, forced to spend extra time
toiling in the proverbial salt mines to keep his ungrateful family happy.  Everyoneís at their
usual high level of performance, but the best scene is the interaction between OíNeill and Amanda
Bearse.  By this point in their relationship, Al and Marcy really didnít like each other, (the 
characters, not the actors!) and werenít shy about demonstrating it, often with hilarious results!

	So, for the most part, this is a decent episode; not great, but good.  For the Seventh 
season, good is, unfortunately, as good as it gets.

RATING:  **Ĺ out of Five.


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