Joan and Melissa: Joan Knows Best? Season 1
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Joan Rivers, comedy icon and die-hard New Yorker, relocates to California to be closer to daughter Melissa and grandson Cooper. But not only does Joan move, she moves IN with Melissa, turning Melissa s world upsidedown as she butts into just about every aspect of her life. There are a few surprises in store for Joan too like Melissa s live-in boyfriend, Jason, her hot Swedish nanny, and her buddy Conrad, who s staying with her while he finds himself. At times loving and at all times laugh-out-loud funny, this ultimate mother-daughter showdown asks the question that many of us do from time to time: Does mother REALLY know best? Disc One: Joan and Melissa try to make living together work until the two have a blowout after Joan oversteps her boundaries in Melissa s house. Joan decides to return home for good. Or so it seems. Catch all of the Rivers drama in the first five episodes: Joan Moves In, Joan Takes Over, Kiss My Ash, Family Feud and Can We Talk, Not? Disc Two: In the last three episodes, Joan Looks for Love, Home Alone With Joan, and Happily Ever After...Joan-Style, Joan and Melissa patch things up and find peace as Joan settles into her very own house in L.A.
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Joan was a genius. She was funny, generous to every person in her life and honest while pushing boundaries that opened doors for so many women coming up behind her. This show is a perfect example of Joan's genius. To me, this seems partially scripted and partially improved based on specific situations. There is a touching moment in one of the earlier episodes where Joan takes her grandson to the beach saying how important it was for her to create memories for him. That made me tear up watching it now.
Joan's passing was such a tragedy because it didn't need to be. For an 80-year-old, she was younger than people half her age in every way. She had a lot of pride in her work, in her appearance and she helped so many people (if you haven't seen Joan: A Piece of Work, you should). Joan was grateful for everything in her life despite having suffered a good amount of personal tragedy over the years. I think this is what I loved about her more than anything else.
Part of the fun of this show's fun is in trying to figure out what's scripted and what's not. For example, Melissa has a big, beautiful Malibu House, yet Joan is sent to a small basement guest room. That I'm sure was staged because there had to be a nicer room in the house for her mother and she certainly would have thought about her mom visiting and would have planned for this. Also, when Joan gives away Melissa's ugly furniture, that also had to be fake because Melissa's furniture was so un-Melissa if you compare with the style in the rest of the house.
But the partial scripting is part of the genius of Joan and the situations presented are really really funny. So, if you've never seen an episode of this show, please try to see some of it. I guarantee you'll want to see the entire series.