“Fridgy” was a classic tale of beware what you wish for, and also an absurd anti-capitalism adventure with a high-tech fridge as its antagonist.
This recap of Duncanville Season 1, Episode 5, “Fridgy”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Duncanville Episode 5 is a silly reminder that your new fridge might be spying on you. And while a slightly dopey sitcom probably isn’t the best place for a critique of handing our basic responsibilities and liberties over to burgeoning technology and the greedy, immoral companies which supply it to us at affordable rates, it’s good for a laugh if nothing else.
Retreading Jack’s (Ty Burrell) inability to let go of his old junk, “Fridgy” sees him hold onto his rattling 20-year-old fridge until it explodes and floods the kitchen. While the family is shopping for a new one — a trip that Kimberly (Riki Lindhome) quietly agrees with a passing friend in the same predicament to never speak of — they’re talked into purchasing a new, high-tech “smart” model by a so-good-looking-she’s-suspicious saleswoman, Janine. After Jack tearfully tosses the old one, everyone realizes the new fridge, which they obviously dub Fridgy, is absurdly helpful. It can order food, has a live feed so that its contents can be viewed from the store, plays movies, makes helpful suggestions, and basically micromanages their entire lives — something that Annie (Amy Poehler) quickly becomes resentful of since it makes her surplus to requirements at home.
And of course, the fridge is bugged so that Janine can watch them and collect data. Given who we’re dealing with here, it takes a while for them to figure this out; Duncan (also Poehler) doesn’t even catch on when she’s showing off the live-feed app at school and sees photographs of Annie and Jack having sex on the kitchen floor. But once Fridgy orders a new bed and has it delivered without their knowledge, Annie thinks a line has been crossed and investigates, at which point she catches the fridge sending family data, tries to stop it by unplugging it, and is promptly assaulted by its defense mechanisms. When she declares the fridge has to go, it locks the house down, and the family is taken to a secret mountain base where they’re greeted by Janine.
The joke here is that the cast makes for such an unimpressive run-of-the-mill family that they’d be an ideal “family of the future” — so mundane that everyone can relate to them. Jack might be tempted, but they eventually decline, leading to a big escape sequence. All is well, lessons are learned, and the old fridge gets his job back — maybe think twice the next time an appliance needs replacing.
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