Emma and Maggie take their act on the road this week, to the lake cabin of their youth, to a place where competitive paddleboarding is a thing. There has been relationship strife before in Maggie and Emma’s world during the first season. But this is the first time that they have had to contend with one of them being in an adult relationship at the peak of their platonic partnership. Emma lived in China while Maggie was with Bruce. Emma’s relationship with Mark has largely been framed as a youthful coupling, where there is still room for the best friend to be equal to the romantic partner. Emma and Maggie have been living as a platonic couple that Rabbi Dan presents a sort of threat to their equilibrium. Emma isn’t cheating on Maggie, but his encroaching on their time together is tantamount to such. Still, when it comes down to what’s really bothering Maggie, it’s less that she’s getting dumped for a lovemaking session set to “Two Princes,” but that Emma is changing who she fundamentally is to be with a guy. It’s the classic lady-friend complaint.

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Maggie asked a question in this episode that was never really explored any further: Why is Emma so into Rabbi Dan after her intimate video game sesh with Mark in “Employee Of The Month”? The only solution we get is Maggie mounting Emma in the Custerman twins’ hot tub. It will likely come up again in the final two episodes of the season, but it was left unanswered in “Kimmewah Kup.” Still, Maggie brought up Mark and Emma’s tryst, and then the point was dropped. Dan did get to have a personality this episode, at least a little bit more than being blandly nice and cute. He likes mornings (ugh), hikes (double ugh), and jam bands (EMMA RUN), all coming together in this nice guy package. His greatest fault at this point is that he ruined girls’ weekend, a mortal sin to be sure, but something he later apologized. But Rabbi Dan is not much more than a cute guy for Emma to distract herself with. Dan Bornheimer is such a delightful actor when given the chance, but Playing House isn’t really letting him do that.

Then again, Rabbi Dan will never be the main couple on the show. That distinction will always go to Emma and Maggie. It even took a couple episodes for Mark to be fully integrated into the pair’s world. It feels like beating a dead horse to constantly reiterate how impeccable Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair are as a comedic duo, but if there was a prime example to convince someone of their chemistry, perhaps “Kimmewah Kup” is the one to show them. In the episode, they go up against another formidable comedic pair, the Sklar brothers, who, like Parham and St. Clair, have spent most of their careers working together. They have built their brand around working together. But these are two guys that are so close that they literally shared a womb. Yet, Parham and St. Clair go toe to toe with them, from their car ride up, to their discussions of ‘ades and ‘cuzzes. The Sklar brothers were quite delightful, and it’s a shame they don’t live in Pinebrook. There are surely more scrapes they could get into with Maggie and Emma.

Stray observations

  • No, I’m serious, Emma. As someone who made the mistake of falling in love with someone who loves jam bands, it will only cause you hurt and pain. For real: run.
  • They named the boat Charlotte? Who is Charlotte? Oh right, the baby we never see (I’m actually fine with this, it’s just funny how little this kid is involved in the show.)
  • Aw, lady movies: “Does someone die in that one?” “They die in all of them.” “Gooooood.” I would watch this movie marathon.
  • “Do you even know how to body roll?”
  • “The rest of the night is just you, me and the 13-year-olds on the YouTube teaching us how to do a smokey eye. God bless their absentee mothers.”
  • Maggie with only one smokey eye!

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