Once the twins’ kindergarten applications are submitted,
the waiting game commences to find out which school her children
will be attending. The drama in these episodes centers on what is
colloquially termed “first world problems” to contextualize the
severity of these conflicts. It is during this process that Jill goes to
school open houses in order to meet future teachers with the hope
of making a wonderful first impression. As she learns from her
sister-in-law Brooke (Abby Elliott), what really matters in the
whole process is the impression the parents make not the
evaluation of the children who will actually be attending the
schools (see Screenshot 11.3). Therefore, when it is discovered in
the second episode, “Vons Have More Fun,” that the family Jill
married into is related to a tiny line of royalty, the question comes
up of whether or not a surname change to Von Weber instead of
Weber would aid her children’s school acceptance. It is throughout
this process that the viewer sees an element of Jill’s contradictory
nature, a contradiction that fits within basic human nature.
According to Cristina Biccheri, “motives such as fear of
embarrassment or the desire to fit in are mainly defined by internal
and unobservable cues,” so even though Jill might not say so
directly, she does not want there to be a wavering impression of
her as someone who might not fit into the elite society she is now
a part of (188). Even without a direct statement to this fact, viewers
understand that the eponymous character cares what both her new
Upper East Side in-laws and old friends think. She wants the best
for her children, so she strongly considers becoming a Von, but
she also hates and makes fun of the elitism associated the Von
name and the process of adopting it.
Throughout the episode, Jill is pulled in two very different
directions: to adopt the Von name and become more like the
women she intermittently conspires against or not to adopt the
Von name and remain true to her anti-conformist sentiments. At
151
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