I finished season 2 less than a week ago and I already can't remember what I was going to say about it, but here are some thoughts in exactly no order.
-I love how this year they decided to focus on all the holidays like it was the first instead of the second year that the Harts were divorced. And by "love" I mean "it was really weird."
-The Thanksgiving episode was fairly blah, and I resent it for being the launching pad of "Kyra decides she has a lot in common with Barbra Jean and chooses to spend time with her voluntarily" (I DO NOT AGREE WITH THIS. I like BJ exactly as much as Reba does at all times), but I cackled for joy at seeing Survivor Australia's Colby guest-starring. He has so much CHARM! Why haven't I seen him act in way more stuff?
-The Christmas episode almost made me perish of grief, and the happy ending did not make up for the fact that I had already determined if I were Reba, I would have started drinking so early and hard that I'd probably be near-blackout drunk by the time the first kid came home.
-Have you ever noticed that Jake's only purpose is to occasionally show up, spit some cute lines, and then run out of the room at top speed, usually before anyone else joins the conversation? After 20 or 30 episodes the running gets really, really noticeable. And annoying. I'm sorry you regret having a child under old enough to speak but under 10, but either keep him off screen because of reasons or write him in more organically.
-Reba dating is something I do not remember happening in this series, and it was pretty much 100% excruciating. There were some mother/daughter laughs, but every time that guy (Brian?) was actually on screen, I was desperate for it to stop. Too sincere, too accommodating, frankly too serious and straight-edged for this wacky show. It's not that deep. He didn't fit the rest of the cast's chemistry and I coudn't imagine him being there in the long term. I know she ends the series single, so I hope there are few to zero future attempts to bring someone in.
-My favorite thing in the entire season -- which I of course cannot find again to save my life -- may have been Van coming to collect Kyra at Barbra Jean's and lay down some hard truths about her attitude while chiding her stop being so unbelievably 14. I was just thinking about how much I wanted to explore more of their dynamic, preferably in a way where Van gets through to her in a way itsn't possible for her mom or sister to do, and then boom: there it as.
-My second favorite was Van & Cheyenne starting to make out on the couch before being headswatted by Reba. (I'm a simple girl.) I also really liked Cheyenne's sincere speech about the tiny diamond engagement ring being the most valuable ring in the world, because he bought it for her.
(I have not yet decided whether or not I concur with this. On the one hand, I do like the appeal of appreciating something because your husband put time and effort into picking it out for you. On the other hand, I can't tell the difference between a diamond and cubic zirconia. On the third, ghost hand, my mom has a tiny diamond necklace my dad gave her that she's always been very proud of for this reason, and I have always thought that was a wonderful story).
-My third favorite was the episode Cheyenne spends getting upset that Van doesn't seem attracted to her anymore. That last speech was excellent.
-Also, the theme song imagery change this year to more like what I remember, with updated scenes and dispensing with the senior photo style. Not bad at all.
-I still don't understand the logic in the penultimate episode that the money had to go to Cheyenne for summer classes, because otherwise she wouldn't be a full time student and she'd lose her daycare and then maybe she wouldn't be able to go to college at all. If they can't find an affordable daycare elsewhere, then not going to college at all seems like a good lesson for Cheyenne to learn. And yeah, this is my inner superior smart kid coming back out, but I think the one who does well in school is the one who should get ALL the opportunities. Cheyenne is not smart or ambitious enough to deserve the financial investment if there are limited finances.
-I am also mad that someone decided to take a glorious "Reba breaks down crying on Van's shoulder" scenario and then someone (possibly the same someone) decided this should be an opportunity to portray Van as humorously terrified of female emotions instead of the obvious sincere "HUG HER" response that was so naturally in-character to me I was frankly flabbergasted when he didn't.
-Also, I tried to listen to two commentaries and they were awful. Boring old men rambling about their vision for the show. It's not that they did anything wrong, exactly, and I loved their repeated focus that this was a show intended to be something it would be OK for most kids to watch with their parents, it's just that it just felt so bereft of joy or excitement. They made it sound...I don't know, more like a corporate/business venture than the sense of family I'm used to hearing from TPTB who do commentaries.
My actual viewing of it was super patchy so I don't have much to say about it as a whole, but:
-It's been 3 seasons and I still remember basically NOTHING in terms of exact scenes or jokes. Except the one with the therapist -- recognition hit like a lightning bolt with Brock talking about having to line up 14 stuffed animals on the bed, and how Binky and Lulu have a history, which Barbara Jean won't tell him about because it's "private," and "the really sick thing is, I want to know!" I also remember Van shaving his head (and Cheyenne strangely having objections to it for reasons other than "because it will look and feel gross and make you REPULSIVE TO ME, you weirdo!"). Fortunately it grows back fairly quickly. Soon it will be nice again.
-It's been 3 seasons and I am still not tired of Reba taking every opportunity to zing Brock about ending their marriage. It is my favorite sport. And hers, apparently.
-This is the year stuff starts randomly getting less kooky and really heavy. It's good in the sense that it all feels real, but it's also like...why are you suddenly having a multi-episode PSA about depression?
(however: that topic was really well done and organic, which I can confirm because years of exposure to Tumblr's entitled demands has left me with deep cynicism and hostility toward the subject, but then Reba says like 3 sensible sentences against a histrionic underminer like Barbara Jean and you're like, "Oh, I get it. Anti-depressants are just a normal thing that can help people who might not even seem visibly sad get back on a more even keel, like cough medicine.")
-I also seem to recall that Van & Cheyenne's marriage is going to get worse before it gets better. Right now they're generally resolving fights by episode's end (how sweet was the therapy episode, and the root of Van not helping with Elizabeth being that Cheyenne redoes everything, like he's not a good father?), and the fights are spread out, but there are enough to induce prickles of sadness.
-Aaaaand yet again a comedy -- which has always been SO GOOD about ages, honestly, most notably and impressively with the girl who started in middle school -- fails at understanding how 21st birthdays work. Y'all made it SUPER CLEAR that they were barely 18 when Elizabeth was born and I know you think that "21 - 18 = 3 and it's season 3 so she must be turning 21!" but NO. HARD FAIL, YOU HORSES' BUTTS.
-It also pulls the cruel trick of introducing a pet and then taking away the pet. (boy, this is just the precursor to The Middle in every way, isn't it) Why, though? Were you just not able to handle the Cute Factor of Van cuddling a kitty?
-The entire season 3 finale is a trip. Turns out I have feelings re: Brock/Reba. SHIPPER FEELINGS. I thought I could keep them contained in the pre-2001 context but if you're gonna trot them out on a silver platter in the present, then HEY THERE HI THERE HELLO. That hug?? I will pull every Catholic Guilt "once you're married nothing short of death or officiall annullment UN-marries you" canon in my arsenal, even if they are not Catholic. "I think I made a mistake" HECK YEAH. I have exactly zero feelings about Henry, plus he's a boy, so who cares if I wreck his home life that he's not old enough to remember yet. Barbra Jean is even less important.
I mean, I know it doesn't go this way. And that Reba would not be the best person if she took him up on it. My squee doesn't deal in logic or consequences, though.