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"Home Improvement" Swing Time (1994)

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Swing's the Thing.

8/10
Author: ExplorerDS6789 from United States
7 January 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Mothers' Day is right around the corner, and Tim wants to immediately jump on the first great gift idea that comes his way. Since Jill was dropping hints about a fantastic hot tub spa in Finland, Tim thinks it would be a good idea to install a hot tub in the backyard. Right where the swing set is currently standing. Not a bad idea. After all, the boys have gotten pretty big for that thing, and all they do now is tie Mark to it. At Tool Time, Tim and Al welcome back Pete Bilker from K&B to share his feelings about how construction workers seem to be stereotyped these days. Just big, buff, mindless men who lug heavy things all day. That's just not true. And to show how the times are a-changing, Pete brought with him his new foreman, Les. A woman. Tim is so behind in the times as well as a chauvinist that he can't seem to accept the idea of a woman foreman. His ego is even further bruised when Pete boasts how much of a tool expert Les is and decides to dive into the semi-friendly spirit of competition, willing to stake his reputation of being a tool expert against Les. I think we all know how this is going to turn out. Anyway, back at home, later that night, Tim and the boys have taken out the swing set and began setting the ground for the hot tub, which Al and his mom would be delivering any minute. Unfortunately, Jill comes outside and nearly blows the whole surprise. Their cover is that they all have problems (yeah,no kidding) and they're waiting for Wilson to wake up.

And good golly but that woman is fickle. It seems it actually wasn't a hot tub she wanted, but an herb garden! As she said, why would she need a hot tub when she has a whirl pool upstairs? You see, this is why gift cards were invented. Not only that, but she starts to miss the swing set. Tim built it, after all...and it stayed up too. So many memories Jill had of the boys playing on that thing. Then Jill goes up to bed. Well, now what, Tool Man? Thankfully Wilson WAS up after all. Tim tells him about his gift dilemma and about his regrets of giving away the swing set. Knowing what he had to do, Tim went back inside, but not before blowing off Al and the hot tub. Not sure what kind of hot tub he got, but hopefully he can return it because they must be pretty expensive. Anyway, step one would be to get the swing set back. He'd given it to Pete, and so he invited him over the next day to ask for it back. May be easier said than done, as Pete brings his son, Little Pete with him, who thanks Tim for his new swing set. Pete also thanks Tim for making his boy so happy with that new swing set. It's been a rough year for Little Pete, what with his mother up and leaving them and everything. Despite the sob stories, Tim still tries his luck by offering to take back the old swing set and build Little Pete a new one...on condition that it have a teeter-totter, sandbox, and a tree house. So what is Tim going to do with the old swing set? We'll find out right after he competes with Les in the Binford Tool Bowl. First up, a game show-style session of Q&A. Les kicks Tim's butt, however, he's got a back-up plan: a Screw Off: whoever can screw in their screws first wins the whole kit and caboodle. AND, to ensure victory, Tim has built himself a gas-powered screwdriver. The long and the short of it: cheaters never prosper. Les proves not only does she know more about cars and tools than Tim, but she can screw better than him too...You know what I mean. Anyway, on to Jill's Mothers' Day gift: a gazebo and porch swing! Complete with herb garden. All basil. And the gazebo was built from the old swing set. And as for the boys, they make Jill a special all-basil breakfast.

Another milestone in Taylor family history: the old swing set is removed, and the gazebo is in. It gets pretty good mileage, especially when Tim falls through it in Season 7. This episode had a lot of heart, especially when Tim tries to be receptive of Jill's wants for her special day, and also when he tries to get the swing set back from Little Pete, offering to build him a new one. That would've been an interesting Tool Time segment: building a playground. I'm surprised they never did something like that. I would've liked to see what crazy ideas Tim could've come up with. And as for the competition with Tim and Les, something of a similar nature is repeated in Season 7 where Tim tries to embarrass a female bodybuilder by installing electromagnets under a dumbbell and tries to get her to lift it. By Season 7, you'd think he would've grown out of that sort of thing. Here in Season 3, it's a bit more acceptable. By the way, that was Drake Bell playing Little Josh. You teens may remember him as Drake on Drake & Josh. Anyway, I definitely recommend Swing Time. It's a good time.

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