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"Home Improvement" Off Sides (1991)

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A Sporting Chance.

Author: ExplorerDS6789 from United States
15 December 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Tim's a big sports fan, and he's instilled his love of the games upon his boys as they sit in front of the TV and watch the big football game, every brand of salty snack at their disposal. But of course, his is a parade that's about to be rained on, because Jill has to remind him that they were going out to dinner that night, at Chez Pierre. Ain't it always the way? You get into the big game, when your wife reminds you that you haven't taken her out to any expensive French restaurants lately, so you gotta give up your night of fun to spend with her. Worse yet, Tim forgot to find a babysitter to watch the boys. What about Wilson? Isn't he always home? Well, get this: Jill was so desperate for a babysitter that she lied to a magician, saying they were throwing a birthday party, just to get him to come over. Sir Larry Houdini, escape artist extraordinaire. He's the distant cousin Harry never talked about. Well, it could've been worse. Jill could've ordered a clown. At first, Sir Larry refuses to stoop to babysitting, but a crisp $20 bill quickly changes his mind. Jill has a hard time prying Tim away from that TV, but they finally manage to get going. The restaurant is about as boring as you can imagine, but you see, Tim's got an ace up his well as a wire. When Jill goes off to "powder her nose", Tim whips out a mini radio and headset, so he can listen to the game. Unfortunately, there's a little something Tim neglects whenever he watches sports: self control. Every touchdown, every interception, he shouts for joy.

At home, the boys help Sir Larry perform one of his tricks. Taken out of context, the sight of Brad and Randy wrapping Sir Larry in chains and a straight-jacket would give someone a bad impression. But it's all part of the act. He's going to have himself locked in a trunk, and within the span of 10 seconds, he will magically appear at the front door, free as a bird. Unfortunately, it doesn't go quite as planned. Back at the restaurant, Tim and Jill's semi-romantic meal is constantly interrupted by the sounds of men watching football in the kitchen. The staff have a television, and I guess it's this restaurant's policy to allow their staff to be noisy within earshot of the customers. Anyway, Jill tries to find something she and Tim can do together, besides bicker. She suggests ballroom dancing. Tim reminds her of what a disco stud he used to be, and she reminds him that disco didn't die, he killed it. Actually, it was the combined efforts of Tim Taylor, Danny Tanner, Jon Arbuckle, and...well, everybody who tried. Obviously she wasn't going to get through to Tim with that damn game going on, so off he went! Back at home, Sir Larry was still locked in the trunk. Unable to find the keys, the boys tie the trunk to a rope and hang it from a tree. Imagine Tim and Jill's surprise when they got home! Naturally they assume Brad and Randy did it, but the magician tells them they're innocent. He tells Jill to call his son, Cyril the Magnificent who has some extra keys, while Tim talks with Wilson about his sports obsession. He suggests they find similar interests to share, things they can do together. So, Tim apologizes for making an ass of himself at the restaurant and that he'll cut back on sports...somewhat. So, they have a nice dance in the backyard, serenaded by Wilson's accordion and Sir Larry singing.

There's a brief Tool Time tag featuring Tim talking to the audience about being receptive to your partner's needs, while Al struggles to lift a sing. Tim eventually does help, and rightfully gets his fingers crushed. A non sequitur Tool Time, and trust me, there are many more of them to come. Off Sides was a very good third episode to this series, though some parts feel a bit clichéd now, such as a man's obsession with sports and the wife making him go out to a romantic restaurant with her on the night of the big game. Seriously, that Chez Pierre place is a riot, letting the staff distract the patrons that way. It reminds me of one night when I was eating at Sizzler, and an off-duty server was sitting behind me watching basketball. Each and every time they scored, he jumped up and cheered. I finally had to ask him to knock it off. This scenario about guys going nuts over sports is very true to life. Also, the babysitter Sir Larry was hi-Larry-us. He was a nice change from the norm. Off Sides comes recommended to all you sports nuts and hopeless romantics.

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Tim may need to enter "sports" rehab

Author: callanvass from victoria b.c canada
14 February 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Tim has a night of watching football all planned out for him and the boys, but Jill reminds him of a dinner commitment he had made. Despite all of Tim's procrastination attempts, Jill drags him to dinner. Being the wise man who Tim is, he sneaks in a portable radio in with an earpiece attached. Jill eventually catches on, but lets Tim watch the game when they are showing it in the kitchen. Meanwhile, The boys babysitter is a magician that gets locked up in a truck by his choice. Tim returns home, ashamed of the way he acted at the restaurant. What an enjoyable episode this was. Most guys, (Myself included) happen to be major sports addicts. I felt this made for some great gags on this episode that rang true. You never come in between a man and his sports, unless you're a woman. For the most part, women always win when it comes to this stuff. Sooner or later, the guilt kicks in. I felt Tim's reactions after the aftermath were very realistic. You have to make sure your woman is happy, plain and simple. The ending to this one is absolutely cute in every way. It was quite moving. Jill is a woman I would be happy to date. If you're a romantic like I am and a sports fanatic, check this one out!


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Third Episode's A Charm!

Author: shawnlaib-1 from Washington, United States
6 December 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Off Sides is the third episode of Home Improvement. It is the best episode of the first three episodes, plain and simple. You could tell that the actors were really getting into a groove after three episodes and overall I think you'll agree that this is the best episode of the first three.

The episode begins with Tim and the boys watching football when Jill reminds Tim that that night they were supposed to go out for a fancy dinner. She calls a magician to babysit the kids while her and Tim are gone because it was last minute and they couldn't get a real babysitter. Tim reluctantly leaves the football game to go to dinner and secretly brings a radio to listen to the game at the restaurant. Jill finds out, gets mad, and when they go home Tim talks to Wilson and the problem is all fixed. The episode ends with Tim and Jill dancing in the backyard.

After an amazing pilot episode and a not as good as the pilot but still great second episode, Off Sides defeats both of the first two episodes easily. Tim trying to listen to the game on the radio at dinner without Jill finding out is indescribably hilarious and the subplot of the magician babysitting the kids was also hysterical! This episode is definitely better than the first two episodes and I think that after watching all three, you will agree. 10/10!

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