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Having attended high school with the creator (he was two years behind
me, though we never met), I thought I might share a few references
alluded to in FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS for those who might be wondering.
Lunch at the Berghoff - The Berghoff was a legendary Loop restaurant that closed in 2006 after more than one hundred years of business. (A café has since opened by Carlyn Berghoff, daughter of Herman and Jan). What is of particular interest here is that The Berghoff didn't serve women until 1969. The notion of women going to The Berghoff seven years later was, probably, still 'statement making.'
Mr. Stone - Though Roger was a salesman for Mutual of Omaha, I found it interesting that his boss was Mr. Stone. W. Clement Stone was an insurance magnate who founded Combined Insurance Company of America and resided in Winnetka, IL in a mansion on Sheridan Road a few blocks from New Trier High School. (NB: In the summer of 1976, it still would have been known as New Trier High School, but by the fall it would be known as New Trier East as the school district split in two; New Trier West was open for a mere 16 years in Northfield, IL.)
Fell's - When Janet mentioned she stopped by Fell's to rent a tux for Roger to wear to the fund-raiser, she was speaking of the late, venerable Fell Company of Winnetka. Fell's was an independent clothier with roots so deep in the community, its closing is something that still brings emotions from residents today. (NB: The name has been sold and the new owners, not family members, I don't believe, are working with the Village to reopen the Winnetka store; no word that I have seen about trying to reopen the three other store locations.) Fell's was best known by area students as the ONLY place to go for your tuxedo rental, be it for the prom or graduation. It's also likely to have been the place one got their first chinos or topsiders.
Lake Crest Country Club - There are many country clubs on the North Shore: Westmoreland, Michigan Shores, Lake Shore and Indian Hills being the most prominent. Hard to say which one this was supposed to allude to, but if I were wagering, my money would be on Indian Hills -- certainly the one I thought was the most exclusive as I was growing up.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
After the last episode when Bruce got angry at Susan for going to the Harry Reems fundraiser on her own, he manages to coerce her into joining a country club fundraiser for children's charities for his boss' wife Rita Pierce's (Judith Hoag) wives club. Janet comes as Susan's guest and charms Mrs. Pierce after she cleans her jacket with Sweet and Low after Mrs. Pierce spills her drink on it. So Janet is also invited to join the country club. Meanwhile, Tom and Trina are at the airport scanning potential swingers when one of them turns out to be Trina's old high school flame Luke (Ryan McPartlin who plays Captain Awesome on "Chuck" and actually is a native of the city this show takes place in as this author also is, Chicago). While Tom and Trina's marriage is indeed open, Tom seems jealous for the first time here. There's also a blond stewardess here that may figure in a future story. Anyway, they end up in a threesome. With Janet loving the taste of the upperclass, she persuades hubby Bruce to ask for a raise from his insurance job. When he does, he gets fired due to cutbacks but the only person he tells is Susan. He also tells her he's relieved since he was miserable much of those 15 years. With Janet having been accepted in the country club, Susan initially wants to quit since she senses Mrs. Pierce doesn't know where the hospital for the charity actually is but relents in hoping to set things right with her. Oh, I should mention that Tom, Trina, and Luke, who now runs his father's company, also attended this party. As for the teens side of this story, the boys are off to camp while Laurie's last assignment for Mr. Stephens (Michael Rady) is an oral assignment on relating philosophers to her real life. Since her life consists of dreaming of her teacher, she fails. But after it's over, she and Doug, Teach's first name, start kissing. Oh, and one of Bruce's fellow co-workers is the only woman, Melinda (Rachelle Lefevre), who knows of the bets about her sleeping with one of them which Bruce didn't take...I had previously expressed reservations about the Laurie/teacher relationship so now that it's happening I'm glad it didn't dominate this episode's storyline and I'm reserving till the next episode to see how farther it goes. Missed Samantha this week so hoping she returns next. Wow! Janet really seemed happy with her social climbing and her new hairstyle really matched her new attitude. Too bad it may soon fall down when Bruce reveals to her his real job status. Trina and Tom seem fine this episode especially with Luke almost threatening their marriage but next episode Tom may be less open about an affair to his wife which may be with that blonde I mentioned. And Melinda makes a move on Bruce the following week even though she knows he's married! Wow! A lot to think about when watching the next episode so until next time...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Janet is the real go getter in this episode. She is on the fast track
to high society gaining the favor of well positioned women and dancing
with Tom Decker at the high society fundraiser. It is sad that her
husband lost his job on her advice to ask for a raise. He's to ashamed
to tell her though, and despite it all Janet is the belle of the ball.
Great foreshadowing for a build up to next episode.
This episode Trina ditches the crowd to catch up with an old boyfriend from the block. The episode ends with a hot threesome with Tom, Trina, and her hot high school flame. Of course they were going to let him in on there open marriage because they aren't fake. There is also a great scene where Tom is jealous and talks things out with Trina.
There was some lame subplot with the Miller daughter, but I don't like her or BJ. BJ's friend is a much better actor but isn't shown in this episode at all. Can't wait for next week.
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