ORIGINAL AIR DATE: Sept. 17th, 2015
SONG: Yes, “Haven’t You Noticed (I’m a Star)”
SYNOPSIS: Steven encourages Sadie to perform at the local festival. Unfortunately her overbearing mother has the same idea.
Steven is passing out flyers for the upcoming Beach-a-Palooza. He catches Sadie singing in the backstock room of the Big Donut while she’s putting away supplies. Steven is amazed at her vocal talents, though she’s humble about it. He encourages her to sing for Beach-a-Palooza, but Sadie is too shy to even consider it. Steven lends support, telling her he can help with a routine. Convinced, Sadie agrees. There’s no harm in a little fun, after all.
Sadie invites Steven to her house where they can practice a routine and decide on outfits. Steven thinks Sadie needs a flashy garb, but she prefers to keep her act simple. Sadie cuts their meeting short when she hears the sound of her mother’s footsteps. Barb, a mailwoman, is here and she’s quite a character. Barb stampedes into her daughter’s room to give her a stuffed animal. Sadie reluctantly accepts and dumps it into the pile of other plushies she’s accumulated over the years. When Barb asks why Steven came to visit, the latter blurts out that Sadie is auditioning for Beach-a-Palooza. Sadie tried to cover him up, but it’s too late, Barb heard everything and she is ecstatic. Too ecstatic. She and Steven immediately collaborate, turning what should have been a simple act into a three-ringed circus. She meekly states she can do this by herself, but it falls on deaf ears; Steven and Barb are lost in their own world. We learn Sadie has had a lot of hobbies and interests back in the days, but while Barb assumes she’s still invested in swimming, ballet, or softball, Sadie never cared enough to stick with any of them. Unfortunately she’s too reserved to stop either her mom and Steven from planning out her choreography.
Steven gets her into the show as a mystery final guest because surprises will always draw the most crowd. Sadie tries to keep calm during the night of the festival, but she’s barely holding her composure. What I especially like about this sequence is that Sadie’s makeover isn’t glamorized in the slightest: the clothes and lipstick doesn’t transform her into a beautiful, social butterfly, she feels like a mess and it reflects on her outer appearance. Her face is noticeably droopy during this sequence. She looks miserable because she is miserable. Singing on stage isn’t going to magically cure her insecurities and social anxiety.
Barb leaves to get more glitter for her daughter, freeing Sadie long enough to get a glass of water to calm her nerves. Steven’s constant pushing finally drives her to the edge and she screams at him. He’s just as bad as her mother! Unfortunately Barb was within earshot of Sadie’s confession. Riled up, Sadie tells her mother that she doesn’t want to sing onstage anymore because it exploded into this gigantic charade. Every time Sadie shows an interest, Barb butts in and makes it a bigger deal than it actually is. Sadie usually stops caring about it after a certain point, but there goes Mom, still buying her softball mitts and signing her up for major swimming competitions. Barb is a loud, overwhelming person and for the timid Sadie, it meant she kept these issues deep in her heart for years. The one time she could have any degree of control over something that was her’s to begin with and Barn (and Steven) took over once again! This was suppose to be simple. This was suppose to be fun!
Barb is horrified that she was the cause of her daughter’s stress. She apologizes, saying all she ever wanted was for the whole world to see her amazing daughter. Since Sadie is backing out of the festival, Steven compensates for his role in this debacle and sings in her place. This gives time for Sadie and Barb to have a meaningful conversation. Sadie is comfortable enough to sing the next day, safely within the backstock room of the Big Donut with Steven’s ukulele as the only background noise.