Old Christine: A Long Day's Journey Into Stan
I was very thankful that this week's episode wasn't about the pet rat that Christine brought home from Richie's classroom. I kind-of expected the story to go along the lines of losing the rat or the rat dying. Why, exactly, was that rat even in the story? Just for the one joke about it staying the night? That's an awful lot of set up. Anyway, that's why I appreciate this sitcom. It doesn't go the direction of other sitcoms by dealing with stupid problems like a lost rat. Instead, it deals, in a very funny way, with big issues like loneliness.
This episode was pretty much all Christine, with the minor characters playing, well, very minor roles. Christine's ex-husband takes their son to the movies and brother Matthew has a date (with the girl who played 'Jan' in the Brady Bunch movies!), so Christine is left to fend for herself. She goes to a restaurant by herself, ends up annoying the people next to her, having her purse stolen, commiserating on her break-up with Burton, and, in the end, she caves in and calls... Stan. Andy Richter does such a great job making that character so smarmy and pathetic. No big laughs this episode, but it was still pretty amusing.