Joan and Melissa: Joan Knows Best? - Season 1 (8 x 44 minutes)
Joan, the ultimate New Yorker, has a glamorous apartment, her own jewelry company, and at night, she performs at comedy clubs. But she misses her family. So Joan makes the life-altering decision to move to California to be closer to Melissa and her grandson, Cooper. Meanwhile, in Malibu, California, Melissa has a great kid, and a loving and solid relationship with her live-in boyfriend, Jason. Also living in Melissa’s house is perpetual houseguest, Conrad. Melissa breaks the news to Jason that Joan will be living in the house until she can find a place of her own. Jason is apprehensive since Melissa has yet to tell Joan that they’re living together. Everyone welcomes Joan warmly. Joan meets Cooper’s new nanny, Dominica, and comments that the sexy Swede is a far cry from Mary Poppins. Later, when Joan opens Melissa’s closet door she finds men’s clothes…a lot of men’s clothes. Is there a man living in the house? After getting all settled in, Joan does what everyone in LA does – she goes to visit a plastic surgeon. She consults with three who all refuse to perform any more surgery on her. Melissa doesn’t understand why Joan continues to put her health at risk, but Joan vows to find someone who’ll do it. Eager to spend some time with Cooper, Joan takes him to the beach. Later, Cooper begs Joan to buy him a surfboard, and she does but makes him promise not to tell Melissa. Back at home, Joan’s excited to have a proper sit-down meal with the household, and starts off the dinner with a warm and gracious toast. Things immediately go downhill when Melissa innocently asks Cooper about his day at the beach with Joan. Joan admits to Melissa that she bought Cooper a surfboard. Melissa is not happy. Joan turns the tables on Melissa and asks, “Is Jason living here?” Finally, Melissa answers, “Yes.” Joan is hurt that Melissa didn’t tell her. Joan quickly figures out that she has to make adjustments if she wants to live in peace with Melissa and the rest of the household.
Joan’s only been living with Melissa for a short time, but she already has some changes she wants to make. She doesn’t like Melissa’s living room furniture, and she can’t believe how Melissa’s nanny, Dominica, runs around the house in skimpy clothing. Joan scores her grandson Cooper a VIP tour of the set of Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, but only by reluctantly agreeing to be a contestant. Meanwhile, Joan and Melissa’s assistant Sabrina reports that Joe Francis, a friend of Melissa’s and the creator of the Girls Gone Wild videos, wants to meet with Melissa about appearing in his next project: Hollywood Moms Gone Wild. Melissa won’t even consider it. But Joan thinks Melissa should do it; if she’s got the goods, she should show it. Joan takes Dominica shopping in Beverly Hills, but not at Gucci or Chanel, but at a local uniform supply store. Later, Joan takes some nude pictures of Melissa in the shower, to show her how good she looks, in a misguided attempt to get her to do the video. Joan only manages to get in a few shots before a completely outraged Melissa chases her away. But Joan is determined that Melissa do the shoot, and arranges a meeting with Joe Francis. Joe has even prepared mock DVD and magazine covers. Melissa agrees to think about Joe’s offer – it’s a lot of money. Later, Joan hires some designers and they scramble to replace Melissa’s living room furniture before Melissa comes home. But when Melissa walks in, she’s furious. Joan appears on Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader, and Melissa and company cheer from the audience. Joan survives the taping and even Cooper has to admit he’s proud of his grandmother. Later that night, Melissa and Jason go to Joe Francis’ party in his Bel Air home. Melissa takes Joe aside for a one-on-one talk. She tells him that after much thought and deliberation, she’s passing on the Hollywood Moms Gone Wild offer. She has to do what’s best for Cooper.
Eager to get her mother to exercise more, Melissa gets Joan to take a stroll through the neighborhood with the dogs. As they walk, Melissa points out a house being built and says it might be right for Joan. Joan responds that when she finds the right house, she’ll know immediately. Melissa also brings up the fact that Joan needs to get her own car. Later, the entire household gathers for a sit-down dinner, at Joan’s insistence. But it’s take-out food, yet again. Cooking has never been a strong suit for the Rivers women. Melissa entertains the idea that she could possibly break the family curse and learn how to cook. The next day, Joan takes her grandson Cooper and Melissa’s boyfriend Jason along when she goes car shopping. While they’re out shopping, Melissa secretly invites a celebrity chef to the house to teach her how to cook and break the culinary curse of the Rivers women. Later, Joan and Melissa’s friend Lynne discuss what Joan plans to do with “Uncle” Tommy’s ashes, Joan’s best friend for over 40 years, and Melissa’s godfather. Joan, Lynne, and Cooper set off on a mission to spread Tommy’s ashes all throughout his favorite spots in Los Angeles: the Beverly Hills Hotel, Rodeo Drive, West Hollywood, and Judy Garland’s house. When the current owner of Judy’s house threatens to call the cops, Joan, Lynne, and Cooper take off. Later, Joan brings home her brand-new red Mini-Cooper. Melissa is surprised. It’s not what she was expecting Joan to get. Cooper loves the car and calls it a “chick magnet.” At dinner, everyone enters the dining room and they’re all shocked to see the table formally set with the first course awaiting them. And there’s not a cardboard takeout box in sight. They all take a bite – it’s delicious. Melissa has taken the first steps to breaking the family “curse.” Later that evening, Joan and Melissa share a quiet moment as they light a candle in honor of “Uncle” Tommy.
During Joan and Melissa’s appearance on Peter Tilden’s radio show, Joan complains on-air that she just recently found out that Melissa’s younger boyfriend, Jason, is living in the house with Melissa and Cooper. Melissa is not pleased that Joan is discussing very personal matters on live radio. Soon the bickering between Joan and Melissa dominates the airwaves. Sabrina delivers exciting news to Joan and Melissa: online gossip columnist, Perez Hilton, wants to meet with Joan and Melissa. Joan already has a great idea on how to impress Perez: a proper English high tea. While enjoying his tea, Perez wastes no time prodding for a scoop, and Joan is only too happy to oblige. Melissa is once again not pleased by Joan’s loose lips. Then Joan tells Melissa was asked to do nude modeling, and even gives him a peek at some of the photos she took of Melissa in the shower. Perez leaves, and Melissa storms off – she is not happy with Joan at all. Melissa gathers the entire household to the family room for an announcement: a team-builder is coming to help build a better household with more unity and less bickering. Life coach Eli Davidson enters the house ready to start the healing process. Melissa confesses that Joan’s comments cut deep enough to hurt. Things go from bad to worse as emotions rise, and Melissa tearfully confesses to Joan that she can’t go a day without feeling “like a failure” because of Joan’s always-critical eye. Joan defends herself saying, “Everything I say, Melissa, you take as negative.” Joan argues that if she can’t do anything that pleases Melissa, she might as well “get the f*ck out of here.” The session finally ends, but major damage has been done. An upset Joan calls her friend Margie back in New York and tells her all about the ugly blowup she and Melissa had during teambuilding. Will Melissa and Joan’s relationship ever be the same?
After their terrible fight in the last episode, Joan and Melissa aren’t even speaking. But they have a commitment to judge a drag show for charity, and they’re professionals, so they’ll find a way to get through it. Joan and Melissa take separate cars to the event, and maintain plenty of physical space between each other from the moment they arrive at the nightclub in West Hollywood. The next day, Joan leaves for New York. She’s booked to do Late Night with David Letterman, and welcomes the chance to take the first plane out and put some much-needed distance between herself and Melissa. After a teary good-bye, neither Joan nor Melissa is at all certain if Joan will even come back to California. When Joan arrives back home, she learns that Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb are coming over in a few hours to tour Joan’s apartment, which is for sale. Joan immediately swings into action, putting out framed photographs, and running out to buy fresh flowers for Kathie Lee and Hoda’s visit. Meanwhile, back in LA, Melissa and her business partner, Jen, have an important pitch meeting for Melissa’s new line of sheets. Melissa misses Joan more than ever – her mom is so good at retail, and she would have been a huge help as they prepared for the meeting. Later in New York, Joan gets ready for her Letterman appearance, and she vows to leave some of her late husband Edgar’s ashes on the set. Back in LA, Melissa and her son Cooper go surfing, and on the beach, Cooper tells her he misses his grandmother. Joan arrives for the Letterman taping and is overjoyed to see cheering fans waiting for her. After the show, Joan arrives to an empty apartment. But soon the phone rings – it’s Melissa. When Melissa asks how Letterman went, Joan explains that she left a little bit of Edgar on the stage. Soon both women break down and apologize, and Melissa tells Joan to come home.
Joan returns to Los Angeles from New York after reconciling with Melissa, and announces that she thinks it’s time for Melissa and her live-in boyfriend Jason to make a meaningful commitment to one another. Joan gives Melissa a family heirloom ring, in hopes that it will be used as an engagement ring. When Melissa tells Jason about the ring, he reacts with amusement. Jason and Melissa agree that they are both happy with the way things are and don’t need to be married. Jason suggests that they should get Joan out on some dates so that she can focus on herself, rather than thinking about their relationship. After some cajoling, Joan agrees to go on a couple dates, and Melissa says she’ll get their friends to find men to set up with Joan. Meanwhile, to cleanse the house of bad energy, Joan and Melissa bring an old family friend and “spiritual adviser”, Sally Glassman, over to the house. Then Joan and Melissa shop together to find outfits for Joan’s dates. Joan’s first date, Barry, regales Joan with stories about squid fishing, which makes Joan become very bored very quickly. Joan’s best friend Margie lets her know that she has another date for Joan: a 77-year-old, never-married, ex-dancer named Don, whom Joan agrees to meet. Joan’s dancing date with Don ends with a dramatic fall, and Joan leaves the date believing that Don might be gay. Joan’s third date takes her to a gun club, where they do some target shooting, and then go to dinner. The dinner is continually interrupted with fans asking for pictures with Joan. A final date, Jerome, picks Joan up on his motorcycle and takes her to his Malibu home for a beachfront date, where Joan gets really cold. In the end, Joan and Melissa find that they are both content with the way things are. Joan doesn’t need to meet a man, and Melissa doesn’t need to get married again.
Joan and her assistant Sabrina take a look at a house shown by “the Dog Lady:“ a realtor who specializes in homes geared toward dogs. Once again, it’s not the right place for Joan. Melissa and her boyfriend Jason begin putting together a new, bigger bed for Melissa’s son Cooper. Jason’s getting frustrated, and Melissa’s patience is wearing thin. Joan tells Sabrina to arrange a romantic getaway in Vegas for the bickering couple. But Melissa says what she and Jason really want is somewhere quiet, like Lake Arrowhead. Joan takes Melissa shopping for some new clothes for their trip – including some sexy new lingerie. On the way home, Joan complains that what she really wants is a house like their old one. On a whim, they stop by their old house and knock. The owners allow them to tour their old house and reminisce. Jason and Melissa drive off to Lake Arrowhead, while Joan and Cooper head for the nearest bowling alley. Meanwhile, Melissa and Jason are not finding Lake Arrowhead very conducive to romance. Cooper hosts a sleepover, and a backyard game of Army men breaks out with Joan as their prisoner. Then comedian Brad Garrett calls and wants Joan to substitute for him that night at the Catalina Club. Joan agrees; Melissa’s houseguest Conrad can watch the kids. She calls Melissa’s friend Lynne to come over and help, too. As Joan is onstage performing, the party gets increasingly out of hand. Jason and Melissa get homesick, and Melissa calls the house to check on Cooper. Conrad doesn’t say word about Joan taking off to do a gig. The next morning, Melissa and Jason return to a quiet household. Joan remarks how much she loves Cooper’s friends, and Melissa and Jason give a few details of their trip. But when it comes out that Joan actually left to do a gig, Melissa explodes. She doesn’t care that Lynne and Conrad were there – that’s not the point. Joan apologizes, but continues to insist that the sleepover was a success. There were no casualties!
Joan’s still looking to buy a home in LA, so Melissa’s friend Conrad, who has his realtor license, takes Joan on a house tour, but it’s a pass. Melissa and Joan meet for a follow-up session with Eli, the life coach who led the teambuilding session that set off their big fight. They’ve both made progress. After the session, Joan decides to get Melissa’s old furniture back (which she gave away while redecorating Melissa’s living room - without Melissa’s permission!) Meanwhile, Joan decides to update her will using a video camera and begins making entries. Joan goes on another house tour, and this time, Melissa comes along. But the tour is cut short when Melissa starts feeling sick. Melissa’s stomach pains get worse, so Jason and Joan rush her to the doctor. Joan is thrilled when the doctor suggests a pregnancy test, but in the end, it’s just a kidney stone, which will have to “pass” through Melissa’s system. Backstage at a comedy club, Melissa’s friend Lynne – who is also a comic - claims that Joan has a joke in her act that Lynne has been doing for years. Joan takes offense: accusing a comic of stealing material is very serious! And she cuts Lynne out of her will. As Melissa waits in bed for the kidney stone to pass, everyone chimes in with different home remedies. But when Melissa finally passes the kidney stone, there’s no one around to share her relief! Joan finally patches it up with Lynne, and revises her will to leave Lynne all her jokes. Later, Melissa’s old living room furniture is returned to the house, and the entire family yells “Surprise!” when Melissa walks in the front door. She’s thrilled to get her furniture back. At a family dinner, Melissa proudly shows off her kidney stone, and Jason surprises Melissa with a commitment ring. Joan reveals that she’s bought a house, but she wants to give it to Jason and Melissa, because she’d rather stay in Melissa’s house. Melissa is not enthusiastic about the idea of swapping houses, to say the least. Stay tuned…