Home Improvement: Season 4, Episode 20

Talk to Me (14 Mar. 1995)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Family
7.4
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Tim accidentally throws dinner into the trash compactor and then drops Jill's ring down the furnace. Tim speaks to two guys on how to talk to women on Tool Time, and he calls Jill an old hen.

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Title: Talk to Me (14 Mar 1995)

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Tim accidentally throws dinner into the trash compactor and then drops Jill's ring down the furnace. Tim speaks to two guys on how to talk to women on Tool Time, and he calls Jill an old hen.

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Comedy | Family

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14 March 1995 (USA)  »

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Tim: Hello, everyone, I'm Tim "The Blues Man" Taylor. and of course, you all know my assistant Al "The Reason I Got the Blues" Borland.
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Spin-off Buddies (1996) See more »

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Married Man Blues
16 November 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

One stressful evening, Jill comes home to a messy house and Brad and Randy playing hockey in the living room. As if that weren't enough, Tim had left a big mess on the counter. She sets down the food she brought home alongside the mess and heads upstairs, just as Tim hears about Jill's foul mood from the boys. As soon as she calls, Tim hastily cleans up the mess, scooping up all the trash...and, inadvertently, the food...right into the trash compactor. As if that incident weren't predictable enough, Tim noticed that Jill continually leaves her wedding ring on the sink and tells her how easily it could slip down the train, but then when he places it off to the side, it drops down the conveniently placed floor vent. Of course she gets upset, but not just about the ring, she senses some kind of pent up aggression in her husband and, being the amateur psychologist in training, tries to get him to open up. In a nut shell, he says he's taken on extra work around the house what with her always studying, and he feels taken for granted. Unappreciated. Instead of understanding, she gives him a whole "welcome to my world" spiel. Next day on Tool Time, Tim vents his marital woes to the audience, and two young bachelors, Jim and Dave (Jim Bruer and Dave Chappelle) share his pain, so he brings them on stage for a makeshift interview. They talk about how their girlfriends are always around their necks, so Tim has them do a little role playing, while giving them a few "survival tips."

However, Al feels marriage is a sacred journey. He's overruled by the males in the audience, and after a few more cracks from Tim, Al holds up the old phone number sign. At home, Tim's in the basement checking the vent for the ring, while upstairs, Jill comes home, having caught Tool Time in the student lounge and madder than a wet hen (one of Tim's cracks on Tool Time). Mark had been asked to drop a tennis ball down the pipe, but Jill went one better and dropped a croquet ball. Then she demands to know why she has to drag everything out of him at home, but that he can speak freely to a bunch of strangers on Tool Time. Tim says it's because he can say what he wants and not worry about repercussions...which results in another croquet ball getting dropped on his head. Fortunately, there's always Wilson to lend an ear, or in this case, Tim can lend one too because Wilson's singing the blues. He can play a mean harmonica too. Basically, he suggests Jill may be crying out for help and Tim could try to listen more, then they sing the "Croquet Ball Blues". Next day on Tool Time, Al is still steamed because they didn't get to finish building cabinets because of Tim's ranting. Suddenly, Jim and Dave come backstage, in dire straights. Their girlfriends actually watched Tool Time that day. They blame Tim and ask him to apologize on air for them. However, for their own good, Tim brings the camera back stage, so they'll have to do it themselves. They pour their hearts out, and Jim has a big surprise for his girl: an engagement ring. Unfortunately, he lets Tim hold it and, well, a drain appears out of nowhere and swallows it up. Well, to continue making amends to Jill, Tim creates a small mock-up of her future psychiatry office. Through their little characters, a Lego woman and peanut respectively, they actually do share their feelings. Tim felt put upon, Jill realizes her mistake, and even apologizes for the croquet balls. With communication finally restored, one problem still remains: the lost wedding ring. Tim rigs a compressor to blow it out through the furnace vent.

One reason I wanted to talk about this episode today was so that I could mention the short-lived spin-off. Yeah, Home Improvement had a spin-off. I know about the Dan Aykroyd Soul Man spin-off, but that's a tale for another day. The characters Jim and Dave (Bruer and Chappelle) were given their own spin-off, Buddies. But that's not right, is it? Jim Bruer wasn't even on it, so what was the point? I thought the show was spawned due to Bruer and Chappelle's chemistry in this episode. So if he was going to say no to the show and they would replace him, what was even the purpose?! Naming these characters Jim and Dave, after the actors who play them (but then, Tim Allen as Tim), is not very creative, and neither is the title Buddies. I still fail to see why they needed to make a spin-off, especially since they replaced one of the characters. It just seemed like a waste, like the network was desperate to put Dave Chappelle in his own show and THAT was the best they could come up with. Thankfully Buddies only lasted 14 episodes and I doubt anybody cares to remember it. It's like when Married With Children got that crap spin-off Top of the Heap, featuring two characters we never cared about in the first place. Just because a show is successful, that doesn't automatically mean it will have an equally successful spin-off. All in the Family got lucky with The Jeffersons and Maude (which got lucky with Good Times), but it doesn't always work out. Married With Children didn't need a spin-off and Home Improvement didn't either, but if they did, how about with ESTABLISHED characters and not just "known names" thrown onto a successful show for kicks?! But I digress. This episode is okay, nothing spectacular. I recommend seeing it, but as for Buddies, it was just another example of network short-sightedness and lack of creativity by everybody involved.


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