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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Picking up the Crumbs

Published: March 3, 2006
Section: Arts, Etc.

As a devoted fan of the Savage brothers, when I saw previews for the show Crumbs, starring Fred Savage, I was thrilled. Nothing like some nostalgia to pull me into a new show. Because I was 12 year old boy growing up in the 60s just like Kevin Arnold.

All fake memories aside, the show has some charm of its own. It centers around the Crumbs, a highly dysfunctional family. Savage plays Mitch, a gay screenwriter suffering from a career slump. He returns to his hometown when his mother (Jane Curtin) tries to kill his father (William Devane) after discovering that he was having an affair. Mitch and his brother Jody (Eddie McClintock), who runs his fathers old restaurant, are now responsible for their marginally insane mother.

As if having a sometimes psychotic mother isnt bad enough, the Crumb family has all sorts of underlying drama. Mitch and Jodis brother died in a boating accident when they were young and everyone seems to blame themselves for his death. Jodi copes with his past by being teasing his brother constantly but never growing out of his old life. Mitch, cant seem to get close to anyone and is terrified of coming out to his family.

With all of this tension in place, the show is both witty and biting. The relationships between Crumbs are often abrasive but always realistic. The actors portray the love-hate dynamic that exists in most real families. Its not quite Arrested Development, but its got a similar quirky feel.

But my favorite part of the show came in the 5th episode. Mrs. Crumb gets a job at a colonial village to keep busy. While visiting her, Mitch meets a guy he ends up going out with. Heres where it gets exciting. The new prospective boyfriend? Rider Strong. I almost died. Tears rolled out of my eyes as I laughed for a good five minutes. I hate when things as great as that happens and theres no one around to be amused with me. So heres how I think of it: Freds new fake boyfriend is fake best friends with his real brother. The awesome ridiculousness of it could make IMDB explode. This guest appearance surpasses my old favorite of Dan Lauria (Jack Arnold on The Wonder Years) as Judge Lamb on an episode of Boy Meets World. Or even the time when Fred Savage played a rather sleazy professor in the 6th season of his brothers dwindling show. Who needs to find six degrees to Kevin Bacon when you can just find out every possible Savage brother connection?

Anyway, watch the show. Its pretty good stuff. And can fulfill any Savage brother obsessions. Unless of course they cancel it, like all the good shows. The ABC website claims no knowledge of when the next episode will air. That sounds sketchy. But if ABC isnt being shady, and the show is not cancelled, watch it. Thursdays, 9:30.