All images used in this review are from FOXFLASH, Fox’s press release site. Bless the Harts ©2020 by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and Fox Media LLC. They are used with their permission, as they are publicity images.
Episode summary (spoilers): While waiting outside in line to Black Friday shop in the present day, with portable Thanksgiving food even, Wayne prepares to tell a story of the time he was a milk delivery driver and had to deliver milk before it spoiled. He opens it up with a sad Wayne looking at his first ever heartbreak, Anita Upchurch, who told Wayne that they broke up because he was too sensitive and not the man-ly boyfriend she wanted. But she didn’t know that Wayne was about to become on. Over-the-top and somewhat unrealistic, Wayne makes a stop to a slusharito place and asks to borrow their coolers, otherwise the milk would go sour. Unfortunately his truck breaks down. Luckily Bear Vulcano (obvious caricacture of Sal Vulcano, and voiced by him too) comes to save the day. While he’s helping Wayne deliver the milk to the Mega Lo Mart, Wayne’s picture of his ex falls out. Bear tells Wayne that she doesn’t know that there’s “nothing more manly than getting in a no-holds-barred cage match with your emotions.”
Betty then interferes and tells Wayne she thinks her “slip and fall” story is better. Her plan was to avoid Henri Tomber, a detective and fraud-buster hired by the Mega Lo Mart to prevent faux lawsuits. Her plan is all going swell, until when the intercom notifies her daughter Jenny, she gets worried and breaks her character. Of course, her slip and fall fails because of this, and she is unsuccessfully able to file a suit.
Jenny gets a job as a cheerleader in Charlotte, North Carolina, for the Carolina Panthers NFL team. Stoked at first, she then starts to vomit uncontrollably. She then realizes that she’s pregnant. As such, she will have to give up her new cheerleading position. Worried about the situation, she runs out with the pregnancy tests out of the store, but not before an employee catches her shoplifting and announces it over the intercom.
Unable to face backlash from her mother, she runs to the back of the store and starts crying. Then she proceeds to drink some eggnog. While trying to get a carton, she encounters another man restocking the nogs and milk. The man asks if she’s okay, but Jenny says that everyone had high hopes for her but she let everyone down. In response, the man tells her that being a hero isn’t impressing people, but rather being there when someone needs them. To cheer her up, he gives her a Violet.
Turns out that back in the present day, it is revealed that the man was actually Wayne, and because of the flower, Jenny named her child Violet. Violet starts to tear up, but not before Jenny gives her story closure by telling of all the gifts the Mega Lo Mart shoppers proceeded to give her. Betty then steps into the situation upset. She’s not upset that Jenny’s pregnant but rather disappointed that she had to hide it, when she knows that her mother will always be there to support her. In the present day, the Mega Lo Mart opens, and the Harts and Brenda all rush in to do Black Friday shopping all over again.
My thoughts: As one of my first publications on this site, I decided to talk about a show that doesn’t get a lot of coverage. I’m not sure if the network isn’t advertising it well, or if people were turned off from the first episode and decided not to talk about it, but I thought that this show deserves some light. I’m not a fan of shutting a show down after one episode, even it if is truly terrible, because things can change. The show started to grow on me by the end of season 1 and I found myself looking forward to the second season, which so far, in my opinion, has been pretty good. But what a way to start with one of their bigger episodes in season 2, and that is their sequel to which was easily, not even a contest, the show’s best episode in its first season, “Mega Lo Memories”.
What makes this one even more notable though are the main writers, Lauren McGuire and Andy Bobrow. Lauren McGuire previously wrote for Wrecked on TBS, and was even a staff writer on Comedy Bang! Bang!, which lasted five seasons on IFC. But now she gets to write for a primetime series, so I think this will be her biggest career highlight.
And Andy Bobrow has a huge resumé in the television writing industry. It’s really nice to see his career get bigger and bigger, because he deserves it. He actually started working in the advertising agency, before then deciding to perform in theater, where he met Will Forte. There his career took off. He was a staff writer on a few smaller series, but his biggest hit at the time was writing for the hit comedy Malcolm in the Middle. After that show ended, he then wrote the most episodes on NBC’s Community with eight, before then jumping to The Last Man on Earth, this time not only as a writer, but also an executive producer. The funny thing though is that eleven of the writers and producers of LMOE work on this show. But Andy’s biggest highlight in his career so far is Bless the Harts. He does retain the writer and executive producer roles from LMOE, but this time he’s also a showrunner. It’s nice to see his career go places. Andy’s style of writing is always witty and funny to me, so anytime I see his name on the credits or on the WGA site, I know it will be a good episode.
And although I slightly preferred the prequel, “Mega Lo 2” delivers on almost all fronts, mainly because of its storytellling. Although I was a little conflicted at first because it was a bit jumpy with its pace, it slows down by the third act, and really gives us some great,, funny, and touching stuff. Betty’s subplot was a dumb, yet somewhat fun situation that certainly does not overstay its welcome. Even though I laughed really hard when Violet said “Gram, I don’t care”, she proceeded to tell it all anyways. Wayne’s Michael Bay style over-the-top story was interesting to watch too, despite its ungroundedness not really fitting with the other two more structured plots. And I liked how Wayne and Jenny’s story connected together, again despite that because it makes for a heart-to-heart situation that fans of the show will really appreciate. I also liked how it showed the community giving gifts to the newly pregnant Jenny, because it sends the message of “people are there for you”. With Betty being disappointed that Jenny didn’t tell her, it does send that message that people shouldn’t automatically jump to conclusions, especially because while family members have have their differences, in the end, they’re always there to support you, “no matter what”.
I also thought the episode was pretty funny too. Brenda’s hilarious line about firemen and the long phone call were some of my favorites. I also liked seeing their portable food and thought that was weird and funny as well. I won’t name every funny sequence, but there’s something here that you may possibly like.
Bless the Harts‘ is slowly trying to find itself in Fox’s Animation Domination block. Sure it’s about a family like a lot of the other ones, but I think it has enough that can set it apart. The one obvious thing is that the family is extended, rather than legally binded by a marriage, as Wayne and Jenny aren’t legally married (and there’s an episode in season 1 that talks all about that). I think that if viewers give this show another chance, they’ll find themselves to possibly have a change in opinions about the show. I had an online friend who disliked the show at first, but I encouraged them to give it a second chance, and they are enjoying it now. Your mileage may vary, but I strongly encourage to give the series another chance. I hope this is the next show that takes off, as since Bob’s Burgers, Fox has struggled to find a show that either hits, or they screw a show over and cancel it before it has a chance to find its stride. I don’t think this show will be as good as Bob’s in its peak years; however, I would be wrong to say that Fox doesn’t need a new show, especially because I’m tired of The Simpsons and especially Family Guy being consistently mediocre or poor, with Bob’s usually being the strongest one almost each Sunday night. Again, while I don’t think this show will be anything iconic or groundbreaking, I think this show can give the current Bob’s‘ episodes a run for their money.
I’ll be reviewing some episodes on this site from time to time as well. So you can drop a request below for a recent episode and I can review it too! I have a lot of fun doing these, and I hope you have fun reading them too.
Overall, “Mega Lo Memories: Part Deux” is an excellent addition to the series, and is the show peaking on all fronts. I may have preferred the original just slightly, but fans of the original will have something to look forward to with this episode, especially with that final third act.
Overall rating: 9.5/10