ONCE AND AGAIN 2.16 FAQ
What’s it called?
“Aaron’s Getting Better.”
Teleplay is credited to “thirtysomething”/”My So-Called Life” vet Richard Kramer.
When’s it air?
Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on ABC.
Why are you reviewing this show?
Because “TV Funhouse” has moved to Mondays and “South Park” is in reruns, and because this is one of the best episodes of “Once and Again” to hit air.
What’s TV Guide Say?
“Mental illness is treated with insight and compassion in an episode that brings back Patrick Dempsey as Aaron, Lily and Judy's psychologically disturbed brother. In the story, Aaron's gotten permission from the social worker at his group home to stay over at Lily's place. For a while, all's okay. Aaron feels at ease with Lily (Sela Ward) and even bonds with her restless teenage daughter Grace (Julia Whelan), who's excited to talk to her uncle about her romantic feelings for the capricious Spencer (Marco Gould). But soon Aaron begins to drift, withdraw and converse with a mysterious figure - visible only to him - whose contemptuousness triggers a psychotic reaction.”
“Once and Again?” Dude, isn’t that a chick show? Review “Walker” or “Titus”!! They rock!!
“Once and Again,” now completing its second season, is the latest from the folks who gave us “thirtysomething,” “My So-Called Life” and “Relativity.” It tells the tale of two divorced parents (and their sprawling families) who find love. It’s a great show that gets better all the time. (It is also a sequel of sorts to “thirtysomething,” as it revives one of the most entertaining characters in television history, maniacal businessman Miles Drentell.)
What’s TV Guide Not Telling Us?
Tonight’s installment is a monster tearjerker. While the episode evokes the best elements of both “Rain Man” and “Charly,” Lily’s brother is neither autistic nor developmentally challenged. He is nuts in a really unfunny way. He sees and hears menacing figures that no one else sees or hears. There are few things scarier in life.
Was Aaron always disturbed?
No. He grew up alongside Lily and Judy as their normal and beloved sib.
Why is tonight’s installment so good?
Because Aaron’s sister Lily harbors great guilt over shutting her brother out of her life. Because Judy, who frequently visits Aaron, resents Lily for shutting Aaron out. Because Lily and Judy obviously love their suffering brother to pieces. Because Aaron is now SO close to rejoining the lives of his fellow Brookses, it kills you when he doesn’t quite make it.
Where’s that spoiler?
Teen Grace Manning, who has fallen completely in love with fellow hostage-situation survivor Spencer, learns that Spencer does not want to be her boyfriend. As she flies to pieces, it is Aaron (of all people) who provides solace.
HERC’S RATING FOR “ONCE AND AGAIN” 2.16?
The Hercules T. Strong Rating System:
**** better than most motion pictures
*** actually worth your valuable time
** as horrible as most stuff on TV
* makes you quietly pray for bulletins