When Ray finds out that Frank used to let him win at Ping Pong as a kid, he challenges Frank to a rematch.

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Ally Barone (credit only)
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When Ray finds out that Frank used to let him win at Ping Pong as a kid, he challenges Frank to a rematch.

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Comedy | Family

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11 January 1999 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Quotes

Frank Barone: Zero serving zero. Ray can kiss my rearo
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Soundtracks

Symphony No. 94 - Ode to Joy
(uncredited)
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
Used as the theme song for season 3-5.
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A great example of the worst of this series
30 August 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Stumbled into this one two days ago. To me, it just brings out all the things that were the worst of this series.

Ray finds out that his dad used to let him win at ping pong when he was a kid. Whether it's right or wrong for a parent to let a kid repeatedly win at some game doesn't matter. But for a parent to let the kid--even as a grown-up KNOW that he didn't win fairly is a very hurtful thing to do.

After learning this sad fact, we find Raymond challenging Frank to another game to see if he really can beat him. The fact that neither has played for years seems immaterial here, which of course makes no sense. Frank is now a fairly old man, so logic would say it doesn't matter if Ray can beat him now.

Ray prepares for this big game by getting Debra to insult him. He says his father always "trash talks" by calling him names and insulting him. Here we have another reason to dislike Frank. A man who is always insulting his kids when competing, calling them girl names and otherwise insulting them is surely making them hate to play any games where this happens--which is pretty much what they show here.

On the day of the game, Frank comes down to the basement like he is some table tennis champion. Robert is there, supposedly to referee--as though that is necessary, and to "announce" the score after each point. I guess the audience is too stupid to count by ones. Marie is there to cheer on her son. Except in the middle of the game, Ray insults here (such love they show each other) that she walks down to be on her husband's side. Frank looks at her and says, "I liked you better when you were on his side." So she goes back. A normal person in that situation would have left the room.

I can't write about the rest without giving away something, so extra SPOILER ALERT now: As they play, Ray seems like he has never played ping pong in his life. He clumsily bangs his hand into the table, keeps slamming the ball high in the air far from the table and loses points quite rapidly. I guess they figured the audience would be bored if the two had a halfway decent volley. They announce that the game ends if one person scores the first seven points. Now before they changed the scoring to make a regular game over when someone scores 11 points instead of 21--which happened after this show originally aired--the common "skunk" rule required the person scoring all the points to get 11 before the game ended, not 7. Accuracy, thy name is not television programs.

So when Frank gets the first seven points he is proclaimed the winner. Raymond immediately tells him that his plan was to get him back by letting him win so he would see what it feels like.

Now we viewers have no knowledge that Ray was planning this and no way to tell if he is lying to his father. Doesn't matter. Either way, Ray is taking revenge by being mean to his father. Once again, we see this, roughly 40 year old acting like he's 7. Not only that, but by telling him right after the game, he's negating the whole revenge plot.

My reaction if I was Frank would be to say, "Fine. You let me win. You cheated to lose, which totally ruins any of the fun one can have in a game. I have no reason to ever play any game with you again." Too often this show is just full of the characters doing hateful, spiteful things to each other, which is why I quit watching it after a few seasons, for the most part. When it started, they weren't nearly as mean to each other. The longer it aired, the less likable the characters were, and the less funny.


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