I was very hard on last week’s episode “About Total Exuberance,” saying this episode failed to expand on Will and Marcus’ relationship using material not in the film and no funny material to back it up. “About a Godfather” does the opposite and while the jokes only land slightly better than the previous outing, the episode finds dramatic resonance in expanding on a largely comic scene from the film.
In the scene in question features Andy and his wife Laurie (Annie Mumolo) asking Will to serve as Godfather to their youngest. Will of course rejects the offer whole-heartedly. I had forgotten about this scene from the film and was happy to be reminded that there was more for Jason Katims and crew to mine. The scene is played much more seriously here. Rather than play it for laughs its more clearly rooted in Will being selfish rather than him thinking it’s a bad idea. Will’s selfishness continues later when he kidnaps Andy for their scheduled bowling night despite being needed at home.
Will takes Marcus instead in their only scene together which works to the episodes benefit. At this point, we have seen two episodes focused on the two of them, one worked and one didn’t so it’s nice to get a break from their time together. This scene also has one of the episodes two laugh-out-loud moments in where Marcus adopts Wills attitude of Andy “bailing” on bowling night. Though eventually Marcus and Fiona convince will to make things right with his friend.
Where the episode really shines is in the final sequence where Will babysits Andy’s kids while the parents have some “alone time,” (not what you might think). Apart from an excellent line in the unknown merits of using a baby bottle to drink beer, this sequence is played for pathos and has a genuinely sweet scene where Katims shows the strengths of his other shows.
I hope the show doesn’t shy away from the drama in the future just because it’s a half-hour comedy. The source material is more drama than comedy and if the show continues to embrace that, it will become one of the better on TV.