Previously, we were launched into the middle of the story of the Liu family, which is very likely to immediately fall apart right after their introduction. We now meet the other half of this dual legacy: the best friends and social foils of the Lius, the Jeong-Espinosas.
I’d remind you to focus on the details, but the current family conflict is hardly a detail. See if you can spot it.
The epicenter of the Jeong-Espinosa household is the kitchen. Not only because it’s a classic family hangout or large enough to have other kitchens orbiting around it, but because of the family’s strong connection to food. You see, Claudia Espinosa immigrated from (the Sim version of) Mexico before she became a chef, and found herself in a world where no one has heard of pupusas, pozole, enchiladas, chilaquiles, elote—no, not even a single tamal. Her current dream is to convince Newcrest that Mexican food is more than just tacos and burritos. Mike and Charlie are faced with the grueling task of making space in the fridge, but they somehow manage.
After breakfast, and before dinner, Mike and Charlie leave for the ol’ nine-to-five/to be another brick in the wall, respectively. This leaves Claudia alone for hours at a time. Let’s see what she chooses to do with her day.
When I say “all day,” I mean all of these screenshots were taken on the same day. Ready?
Simister and I had a day where all we did was cook, day drink, and exercise, and we joked about being like the housewives in the movies. Claudia is just this except turned up to 11. If you can come up with a job that requires keeping yourself sauced all day, tell Claudia, because she’s already made a career out of the other two.
Charlie is completely oblivious to all this.
Charlie’s top priorities are learning, doing well in school, and, for reasons I will never understand, Cruz Greenwood.
Charlie became one of the popular kids despite his lack of apathy towards school. Clockwise from the left: close family friend, that weird kid who bites the heads off worms, this Goth kid who dresses like how everyone feels inside, Charlie’s cherubic first childhood friend, the epicenter of Charlie’s attention now and forever, and some old dude who I really hope is the caretaker of one of these kids. Elsa is somewhere, but she’s a girl and has cooooooties.
After school, he often heads across the street to visit the Lius. Uncle Xiyuan is nice but has a lot of opinions.
Charlie and Shu spend a lot of time together playing outside or making up stories with the dollhouse. One time, the baby killed the grandfather and hid his body under a rug, then repeatedly ran over the rug with a car to get rid of evidence, and had to lie to the parents so they wouldn’t go in the house. Then the parents punished the baby with no dessert, so the baby killed the parents, too. Then ran them over with a car.
Homework is really an excuse to finish early and spend time basking in the aura of the greatest person ever to exist.
The last member of the family is Mike, whose daily schedule is boring and businessy, and who is also the hardest to read.
Mike is the sort of person who spends a year mastering a certain hobby, then forgets about it completely and moves on to the next thing. He has several unfinished novels, speaks bits and pieces of languages other than Simlish, and hasn’t been really happy at any of his jobs. At least being a comedian prepared him for some truly incendiary dad jokes. So, there’s the Jeong-Espinosa household: two drifters, one by choice, and one blob of constantly buzzed glue holding the ship together.
LET’S COMPLICATE THINGS
Fast-forward through an entire day of Charlie learning, Claudia drinking and Mike doing whatever he wants. The next day, Claudia seems a bit nauseous.
This is the point where we get concerned for Claudia, enough so that maybe it would do some good to leave Charlie at home and run off to a bar with some friends. Something nice, not too fancy, and let’s invite Aileen and Xiyuan for a double date, why not.
So, a couple of old friends catch up while Claudia is at the bar. How’s the new job? How’s the kid? You look really good in that suit, by the way.
Keep in mind that we’re being thrust into the middle of the story. These two started together, spent all their time together, became successful together, and only moved into separate houses once Shu entered kindergarten. During that time, they proved to be a strong team, inseparable, the yin and yang. It’s been 17 years. Now, they’ve suddenly chosen to start a game of chicken where they’re barely holding in their feelings. I was forced to cancel several of these in a row to prevent these guys from forming a romantic relationship.
It’s also awful timing. Terrible.
The first thing she did was beeline over to Mike to share the good news.
Let’s give Mike a day or so to mull over his emotions, and come back later.