Let's continue, shall we?
The Halloween episode, "Giving the Bird," is fairly innocuous considering this show. The characters are still terrible, but I didn't have too much to get worked up about. If I was Wiccan I would probably be upset at the hackneyed portrayed of a witch summoning "Wiccan gods," and actually that does bother, but that's about it as far as rage-inducing offensive moments go.
"Giving the Bird" features more of Jayma screeching and being an airhead--something finally explained by the fact she went to a college that started with "www," in an example of the painfully unfunny things that pass for jokes here. Once again Jayma and Nathan are delighting in hating their mother, as they set out to prove that she has been wrong before. Shockingly, they fail to find any examples. I can come up with several off the top of my head--taking too many sleeping pills then crashing a party, getting a stranger to lie about their death just so she can prove a point, etc.--but hey, I'm a good person. So it's understandable that Nathan and Jayma are missing those facts.
This all culminates in a ridiculously outdated A Few Good Men parody. Because that's cutting age hilarity right there. Honestly, all the jokes are similarly outdated. Taylor Swift's dating choices? Making fun of cocky nerds? These are things our culture has already waaaay moved past. Catch up, The Millers. Or just go away. That works too.
The latest episode, "Stuff," is even worse, and also feels like it should have been the second or third episode and was instead shoehorned into the middle of the season. Nathan and Jayma believe their parent's divorce is just a show, and that sooner or later they will get back together and go home. I mean, it makes sense, just because they are still always around each other, and I honestly don't think two people who actually hate each other as much as they pretend to would do such a thing. But don't let my silly logic get in the way of a poorly told story that should never have seen the light of day.
Anyway, what follows is a plot that would shock and horrify any child of divorce or any loving divorced parent. It features an ill-conceived family discussion, because Tom and Carol are worried that the children aren't taking it well. In reality, Nathan and Jayma are only upset because they want their parents to stop living with them. Because this show takes every possible moment of emotional entry and relatability and squashes it into the worst possible method of coping. It even culminates in a moment where Tom actually blames the kids for their divorce.
Yep. That happened.
There was a moment near the end that actually made me think that this is all a joke, a prank Greg Garcia has pulled on America. Which I might buy. Garcia's previous shows My Name is Earl and Raising Hope are both wonderful, full of genuine people and excellent storytelling. It makes The Millers look like he stepped in something and accidentally dragged it into the studio. I've been baffled by his sudden dip in quality. But then, in a strange attempt at meta, The Millers featured JB Smoove watching old home movies of the Millers, commenting on how it's his favorite show. Because Tom yells, Carol yells, and there's some kind of misunderstanding and attempt at resolution. In Smoove's own words, "it's a formula, but it works."
Is that what Garcia is doing? Adhering to a formula, as reprehensible as it may be, and cashing in? I don't respect it, but at least I understand it. At least it gives some reason for this soul-crushing series to be on the air.