Title: The Louise Log: How To Fire Things Up With Your In-Laws (Season 3, Episode 1)

Director: Anne Flournoy

Starring: Morgan Hallett, Everett Quinton and Joseph Franchini

Proving your worthiness to people who think they know everything about you, and are quick to judge your actions, can be a difficult prospect. Actress Morgan Hallett faces that challenge as she demonstrates to fans of writer-director Anne Flournoy’s acclaimed web comedy series, ‘The Louise Log,’ that she’s worthy of stepping into the title character in the current third season. During the season, whose first episode, ‘How To Fire Things Up With Your In-Laws,’ is now streaming on YouTube, Louise struggles with showing what a great mother she truly is.

‘How To Fire Things Up With Your In-Laws’ follows New York City housewife and mother, Louise (Hallett), as she finishes filming the latest webisode of her reality series, ‘The Louise Log.’ She then receives the disheartening news from her husband, Phineas (Joseph Francini), that his parents are returning from their extended vacation. They’re planning on moving back into their Greenwich Village home, which Louise, Phineas and their children are now occupying. The two receive another surprise when Phineas’ father, Ethelred (Everett Quinton), returns home without his wife, saying they are no longer together. Instead, Ethelred arrives with a new girlfriend, Queen Elizabeth (Danusia Trevino), and forces his son and his family to move out.

Louise and Phineas struggle to cope with being forced to move to one of the outer boroughs, as they can’t afford a place in Manhattan on their own. She also contends with what it will mean for the future of her web series. The two try to cope with the sudden changes in their lives, and how to raise their children in the best way possible as they search for answers.

The recasting procedure of the lead character in a celebrated series is never an easy process, particularly when the actress is embraced for her relatable performances of authentic material. But Flournoy smartly decided to hire Hallett to assume the title character for the current third season. The actress, who is also known for appearing in such Broadway plays as ‘Translations’ and ‘Long Day’s Journey Into Night,’ realistically portrayed Louise as a mother who has comfortably embraced life in front of the camera. In the beginning of the episode, Hallett shows Louise is entirely in her element as she discusses the shooting schedule with The Director (Marie Christine Katz) and The Acting Coach (Wayne Maugans).

However, Louise’s temperament completely and drastically changes as she’s pushed out of her usual element with Ethelred’s return. His apprehensive nature of allowing his son and his family stay with him effortlessly transfers to Louise’s doubting of whether or not she has been a good mother. Hallett genuinely emphasizes every mother’s attitude of whether they have raised their children to be respectful and courteous, and if she has failed them for not being able to provide them with a home of their own. Louise’s determination to make her web series a success so that she could provide her children with the best possible life, particularly since she finally realizes she has been neglecting them for her work.

Flournoy not only showcased her talent in working with the series’ actors by directing every episode since it debuted in 2007, she also proved her versatility in writing every show since the pilot. With ‘How To Fire Things Up With Your In-Laws,’ the scribe once again emphasized the moral dilemma many parents face as they strive to balance their work with raising their children. Flournoy powerfully made Louise realize in her unexpected encounter with her father-in-law regarding his planned return home that she hasn’t been doing enough to financially and emotionally support her kids, who are oblivious to their grandfather’s unease of dealing with them.

‘How To Fire Things Up With Your In-Laws’ is the latest intriguing entry in ‘The Louise Log’ web series, as it proves that recasting lead roles in acclaimed series doesn’t have to be detrimental to the relatability and genuineness of the character’s struggle. Flournoy smartly cast Hallett in as title character, as she naturally embraced Louise’s sudden realization that she may not have been the best mother to her children. The actress’ compelling portrayal of the struggling mother, combined with the director’s intriguing writing that smartly focuses on the moral questioning parents have over their care for their children, the series continues to provide an authentic portrayal of the modern struggles of raising kids.

Watch ‘How To Fire Things Up With Your In-Laws’ below.

Technical: B

Acting: B+

Story: B+

Overall: B+

Written by: Karen Benardello

The Louise Log Webisode Review: How To Fire Things Up With Your In-Laws
(left to right) Morgan Hallett, Joseph Franchini, Danusia Trevino and Everett Quinton
Photo by: Karen Sanderson

By Karen Benardello

As a graduate of LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic, Karen Benardello serves as ShockYa's Senior Movies & Television Editor. Her duties include interviewing filmmakers and musicians, and scribing movie, television and music reviews and news articles. As a New York City-area based journalist, she's a member of the guilds, New York Film Critics Online and the Women Film Critics Circle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *