Melissa & Joey – Episode 1-11 Review

Mel and Joe embrace the Halloween spirit in “A Fright in the Attic.” Mel tries to get reluctant Lennox and Ryder into the holiday spirit, while Joe suspects the house is haunted.

It’s Halloween, and dressed-up Mel wants to make the holiday fun for Lennox and Ryder. She has an ulterior motive though. Before the scandal, Halloween used to be a big deal in Lennox and Ryder’s family, so Mel wants to keep at least one aspect of their lives from changing. Meanwhile, creaking sounds make Joe fear that a ghost is in the attic, especially after a neighbor tells him and Mel that a former owner died in the house. Mel is just happy to finally figure out why she got the house at a discount, but Joe decides to do some ghost busting.

However, what he finds isn’t a ghost, but Lennox and Ryder’s father, Lewis. The kids have been sneaking him food for the past three days. Of course, Joe is furious at him and wants to turn him in, but he pleads to spend one last Halloween night with his kids before he turns himself in. However, Joe doesn’t cave until the kids beg him themselves. While at first he wants to keep the secret from Mel, she drags it out of him, and the two rush up to the attic and find they’ve been duped – Lews is gone. They track him down to a Halloween party, but he escapes again with the help of his employee.

First of all, a running gag in this episode is Mel’s Halloween costume. No, sadly, she wasn’t a witch. I’m kind of disappointed, have to say. (Her costume is a sexy, short business suit with a hat, and in the beginning no one knows who she is. I assume she’s Madonna, but the joke at the end is that she’s just a sexy secret service agent.) But, since the Halloween had to have a Sabrina reference, I’m very happy when Joe spies a teenage witch costume at the party, and Mel goes “oh, been there, done that.” Finally!

Also in this episode is yet another game of Spot That Guest Star! Yes, Julia Duffy played the neighbor, Myrna. I initially recognized her as the high school principal in season one from Reba, but later realized she was also a recurring character in Drake and Josh, and has played single-episode roles  in other known teen sitcoms. Fun fact: She also did an episode of Sabrina, as a relative of Mr. Kraft.

While this was a pretty good episode, Mel’s attitude is still bothering me. She just insults Joe for absolutely no reason way too often, and it just makes her seem nasty, especially when he goes out of his way to do stuff for her. Although I have to say I did think her jokes about his belief in ghosts were pretty funny, like when she suggests cartoons for evidence of their existence.

Speaking of funny, Joe is particularly so this episode. His scene in the attic trying to contact the ghost, and sees Luis, is hilarious. I think he’s quickly becoming my favorite character. He really cares about the kids, and he’s just a sweet guy, without going overboard.

As for the appearance of Lewis, I’m not so sure Melissa & Joey should have done that so early in the show. I would have liked a build up, so that when we do finally see him, it’s a big shock. Although, I have to wonder what he was doing in the area that he had to hide in the attic. Sure, he wanted to see his kids, but from the picture Mel and Joe paint of him, I can’t accept that as his only motive for using the attic as a hiding place. There’s a lot more to be told about Lewis, which is maybe why the show decided to introduce him as a real character, as opposed to just mentioned, so early on.

So overall, not a bad episode for Melissa & Joey‘s first Halloween special. “Girl Code” airs next week.

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