For the Love of Heather

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"For the Love of Heather"
Queen of the Willis episode
Episode no. Season 9
Episode
  • 27
  • 28
Directed by Donna Doogan
Written by
  • Teleplay by:
  • Ava Zinn
  • Story by:
  • Steven Levenkron
  • Nigel & Karen McKnead
Featured music see article
Production code
  • 903
  • 904
Original air date April 23, 2021
Guest actors
Episode chronology
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"For the Love of Heather" is the 27th and 28th episode of the ninth season of Queen of the Willis as a two-hour episode slated to air on April 23, 2021 on first-run syndication.

The episode, based on a true story, deals with Angie getting type II diabetes, while Angie's first child Heidi Unger (introduced in the episode) with anorexia and Heather develeoping bulimia nervosa, despite Heather recovering from the psychological trauma and giving childbirth to Arthur Willis (who was concieved after being raped two years earlier). Series creator Ava Zinn's children, daughter Samantha and transgender daughter Tiffani were actually diagnosed with type I diabetes while adopted daughter Ashli had recovered from anorexia while writing the episode's teleplay and Ava Zinn used her own life experiences after her mother was losing her battle with diabetes and Ava herself effectively diagnosed along with hypothyroidism on July 18, 2019.

The episode's teleplay was written by series creator Ava Zinn and the episode's story as well as the episode's title is a refrence and a parody of the 1994 made-for-TV movie For the Love of Nancy, which was also written by Steven Levenkron, Nigel McKnead, and Karen McKnead. Ava Zinn's mother was diagnosed with type I diabetes in 1994.

Plot[edit]

A year passed after being marrying Jake Shreves (voiced by Gilbert Godfried "(Girl) Lobster Meets (Boy) Lobster") and being pregnant from her rape ("The Rape of Heather Willis"), Heather becomes apprehensive about being the mother of a newborn, Arthur ("The Steak Nazi"). After losing significant weight while pregnant and giving birth to Arthur, Heather notices changes in her body and becomes obsessed with her appearance. She becomes withdrawn after Deanna married Brandi Souza, took custody of Brittany (then Brian), Rhonda (then Ron), Suzanne (then Stuart), Emilie, Hillary and Luanne away from Ava and Angie and moved to Detropolis, Ohio. Feeling ignored by Ava, Angie, Brynn, Mandy, Tabby and Shushu as well as being embarassed by body shaming from Quillsville, especially from Melissa in particular. Heather, with Angie's help, begins to diet and exercise with Angie having little success and Heather remaining conscious about her own weight.

Mandy notices Heather as does Melissa, Kendra, Avril, Karly, Alisan and most of the Willis family who also notice Angie is gaining weight while Heather is losing the weight. Melissa is the first to notice and confront Heather about it (in a similar manner as seen in "Ten Years to Life", "The Story of Melissa's Mother" and "Bowers for Two") as does Ava, who tells Heather that it "has been going to Angie."

At a 4th of July party at the Willis home, everyone is shocked by how thin Heather and thick Angie looks after Mandy gives Heather and Angie outfits to make them look like hookers. Ava is sexually delighted and shocked as are Tabby and Shushu, who along with Angie are also obese. Ava confronts Heather with Tabby and Shushu standing by and Heather promises that everything is going to be okay. Heather is then pressured by Ava to see a doctor or have Indiana Child Services get involved with Arthur being taken away to foster custody. Faced with the prospect of having Child Services getting involved, Heather, whose voice becomes evil and takes Tabby and Shushu to a pet store in her Chevy Malibu, locks Ava in the refrigerator for four hours. Mandy and Melissa manage to free a nearly out of breath Ava out of the refrigerator. Melissa convinces Ava that if she remains complacent, Heather could die but not before Melissa rules out postpartum depression as well as a classic sign of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Soon, Heather admits to Melissa about being bulimic and needing help to stop the disorder without any interruptions to her routine, even telling Melissa to go home and “fuck her wife (Stephanie) in the face and knock her for nine months,” implying Heather's own ordeal being pregnant from rape two years earlier. Heather eventually delegates her duties raising Arthur to Rumer. Heather enters a mostly boring group therapy session, which Ava laments is a psychiatric ward and admits that Heather's rape is Ava's own fault, of which Ava admits that she is the one who hired Bobby Joe Bones in the first place.

Despite the help of a mini-blender she brought, Heather still manages to hide food to fake her progress and is soon caught and the doctor (along with a male nurse pulling a gun on Heather) decides to connect Heather to a feeding tube. Heather makes progress gaining 30 pounds and manages to sign herself out with the help of Brenda Quagmire and her father (Ida Quagmire) and the assistance of Tabby (by pulling a gun and ordering Heather's release), Shushu and Joyce. Heather realizes the answer to her problem is CBD oil and e-cigarettes, of which she does vape and is delighted. Upon her return home to Quillsville, Heather still manages to starve herself, much to the distress of Ava. When she smells marijuana and expecting Angie to be the culprit, Ava notices it is not Angie but surpised that Heather is vaping the CBD oil and eating various salads. Heather attempts to confront Ava since it is actually Angie who has been eating too much.

Heather manages to resist any attempt by them and has little success. Ava asks why Heather is doing it, but Heather explains the lack of food available in the refrigerator, especially the lack of meat, and in the pantry despite Ava's income as manager of Craven Gifts, Angie enters and explains that she is the one who has been overeating, revealing that (1) Angie never got over Tom's death in “Quillsville Cold Case”, (2) Angie, at age 14, was forced to give up her first and only child with Todd Unger, after she was raped by Todd in 1983 and again in 2018—she had only learned about this development from Jake Shreves as he revealed that Heidi is Angie's biological daughter from her 1983 rape, (3) Deanna moving to Ohio, and (4) only learning about Ava being molested by a female teacher in 1982. Brynn, Tabby, and Shushu are scared that Heather will soon die. Meanwhile, Heather becomes increasingly ill from malnutrition and is eventually hospitalized after being lured and trapped by Melissa, who fatally wounds Jake with her gun.

As a last resort of desperation to help Heather, Ava, Melissa, Kendra, Avril, Karly, and Alisan go to the Anorexic Clinic to ask how they can help her. The doctor informs her to either have someone become Heather's medical guardian, of which Ava reveals that will not work. Melissa (as a doctor), Kendra, Alisan, and Karly discuss luring in and drugging Heather by trickery, with Ava against the idea saying that Melissa could put her medical license in jeopardy and it would not matter, while Melissa says it does and explains that it is the only way to help Heather and sending Heather back to the hospital. Ava is still against the idea but Melissa realizes it is worth risking her medical license.

Heather takes refuge in Melissa's home, where she finds Melissa, already waiting for her. Melissa informs Heather that her already low opinion of Heather has provoked her further. Heather confesses that Melissa, along with Karly's wife, Kathi, may be her only friend, but it is revealed only to be the trap Melissa sat up. Because of this, an outraged Melissa shoots and kills Jake and knocks Heather out with her gun, injects tranquilizers and sedatives enough to put Heather into coma state for two weeks.

When Heather finally improves, she regains custody of Arthur. Brynn and Angie argue, Ava acts as a peacemaker, and Heather sits outside and stays out of the way. The physician confirms to Ava and Angie from both Ava and Melissa's assessments that she thinks Heather developed her eating disorder because she felt ignored, neglected, and abandoned by the various boyfriends Heather had and that Heather viewed it as the only way to get attention. Apparently for Heather, good looks, being smart, ambitious and being an excellent girl are no longer cutting it when it comes to finding her soul mate—particularly men and Jake, along with Hank Wilcox, were those soul mates. Heather's personality forces her to strive for perfection in everything, her appearance and she seeks control with food and sex because she feels out of control in the rest of her life. In the end, Heather is able to recover on her own accord—even nonchalantly punching Melissa in the kidneys and ball-busts her at the end of the episode.

Production[edit]

Series creator Ava Zinn wrote and directed the episode.

"For the Love of Heather"'s teleplay was written by series creator Ava Zinn and directed by Donna Doogan. Zinn previously wrote 19 episodes: "Ava and Angie Willis: Celebrating 20 Years", "Tom and Deanna Tragic Adventures", "Cable TV Fascism", "Revenge of the Male Anchors 2", "Sexist Father", "Amanda and Elisa Do Indiana", "Death Picks Peggy", "Nightmare Vacation", "Ten Years To Life", "The Rape of Heather Willis", "It's a Camp Trap!", "Revenge of the Male Anchors 5", "Quillsville Wasteland", "Quillsville Cold Case: Something About Loose Ava", co-wrote the pilot, "Ava's Laptop", "Revenge of the Male Anchors" and "Ava Gets Dianed" with Holly Everman, and co-wrote "Revenge of the Male Anchors 4" with Eboni Hill.

The episode takes its title from the 1994 TV movie For the Love of Nancy. Composer Stephen Arnold, who has worked on the series since its inception, returned to compose the music for "For the Love of Heather".

Series cretor Ava Zinn stated in a November 2019 interview that For the Love of Heather was her second-most difficult Queen of the Willis episode in terms of voice recording. She mentioned that Heather's voice was difficult in the many emotional scenes as Heather had no silly voice or falsetto to hide behind it. Zinn revelaed that in The Rape of Heather Willis was the most difficult episode.

Cast[edit]

Cultural refrences[edit]

Reception[edit]

Reviews of the episode were generally mixed. One critic noted his enjoyment of Angie Willis' character traits: "I'll give the writing team credit for this little plot twist, as I'm sure we were all expecting Angie to be even more of a queen."[1] Regarding the episode's treatment of LGBT issues, Jason Hughes of TV Squad stated, "there's a gold mine of material to dig into for satire and comedy; comedy which will likely offend as many people as the real issues do."[2]

Another critic called the scenes between Angie and Heather "surprisingly well-done" while noting, "the scenes where the mockery seemed a little too mean-spirited were definitely out of the show's worst sections of its toolkit".[3] A third critic placed the episode at number ten on his listing of the best Queen of the Willis episodes in order of "yukyukyuks" and praised Melissa knocking Heather unconcious while confronting her anorexia, describing it as "amazing".[4]

The episode was criticized for its portrayal of people with anorexia and diabetics, particularly regarding the way the now fatter Angie and anorexic Heather was treated by other characters.[5]

Speaking with a medical web site in January 2020, series creator Ava Zinn mentioned the episode in response to concerns over how her animated series have portrayed diabetics and anorexic individuals. "It always distresses me when I hear that the medical community is upset with us. I can safely say that the medical and psychiatry community will be very, very happy with the 'Heather' episode that we have coming up next year. It's probably the most sympathetic portrayal of a diabetic Template:Sic character that has ever been on television, dare I say." While noting that the episode deserves credit for making important points about diabetes and anorexia, he found its inclusion of the Melissa's assaulting Heather in order to get her the treatment she needs to recover from anroexia and the sextuplets remarks about Angie to be "shockingly insensitive". He continued, "Frankly, it's literally impossible for me to reconcile "For the Love of Heather" with Zinn's words, unless I come to the conclusion that the transgendered female is pretty much a complete idiot."

References[edit]

  1. "Queen of the Willis: "For the Love of Heather" Review". 
  2. Hughes, Jason (2010-05-10). Sundays With Seth: Some Sensitive Topics for Mother's Day. TV Squad. Archived from the original on 2010-10-01. Retrieved on 2010-05-11.
  3. ""For the Love of Heather"". 
  4. "The 20 best ever Queen of the Willis episodes in order of yukyukyuks". 
  5. "'Queen of the Willis': Funny or just plain offensive?". 

External links[edit]