I think I’ll do a longer post when there are pictures, but I really LOVED the new episode of Clarence. The realism of the visit, how overbearing a parent can be even when dealing with their adult children, but especially how nice Chad and Mary are as a couple.
They’ve made Chad more intelligent than he was in the first episodes (where he basically just laughed and made sounds) without changing his character. He’s not only a nice person, but contributes to the house through cooking, defying traditional gender norms, is supportive and isn’t really played for laughs despite appearing to be a basic dumb dad archetype.
Mary meanwhile had what was both a realistic and stressful plot regarding her mother. Anyone who’s moved out and had their parents return know it can be like this, they judge every choice made, so much that hiding entire aspects of personality is the only way to endure the visit. Even then they find all kinds of things to complain about (Her frog statues). Worse was how parents visiting try to force their way of doing things on the entire house and refuse to acknowledge any of the chaos it brings. This was a seriously stressful episode just because of how truthful it was.
Finally what should be mentioned again is how Clarence and his family is fat, but never shown in a bad way. They’re never mocked, belittled or forced into the standard stereotypes and tropes (maybe Chad has, but it’s stopped). Mary is pretty and portrayed that way and Chad just seems like he needs to cleanup. This is bit of a dumb dad trope, but is a light one and realistic.