Living with Ed

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Living with Ed chronicles the day-to-day, eco-friendly adventures of actor Ed Begley, Jr. and his wife Rachelle, as they navigate life in Los Angeles with Ed always trying to leave the smallest possible carbon footprint in his wake. Follow the dynamic couple as they embark on exploits including an unlikely trip to Vegas and a wedding anniversary getaway.

Episode 1 – For Better or Worse

Ed decides to take Rachelle on a romantic wedding anniversary getaway. Alas, it turns out to be a trip to a facility where manure is made into methane. The factory is in central California, where this form of biomass conversion takes place and yes, of course, the process interests Ed a great deal. Returning home with “waste” on his mind, Ed decides to clean out his cluttered storage unit, figuring out how to recycle old electronics, clothes and gadgets. He gets so excited about having a neat space that he decides to remodel the garage, including the upstairs area. Rachelle is thrilled that her Pilate’s studio will now be remodelled. Little does she know that Ed has his sights set on using the expanded green space as an office for him and a guest bedroom. Let the construction AND the arguments begin!  

Episode 2 – The Water and the Wardrobe

Ed catches Rachelle walking into the house with bottled water. After reminding her of the costs (and plastic waste) of her decision, Rachelle makes Ed smell their tap water; she convinces him that it’s too chlorinated to drink or use for a shower. She gets Ed to research water filter systems and asks him to have the water issue resolved for her so she doesn’t have to resort to more drastic measures. Later, Rachelle looks into “red carpet” gowns created with fully organic and sustainable fabrics for a fancy awards ceremony she plans to attend. Unfortunately, once she picks out a dress, Ed is too busy cleaning up the water to go; especially since he’s showing off the new system to their envious neighbor Bill Nye.

Episode 3 – Game On

Neighbors Ed Begley, Jr. and Bill Nye the Science Guy continue their battle, both vowing to be “The Greenest Guy On The Block.” As the competition escalates and the boys get more eco-toys, Rachelle finds herself somewhat caught up in the contest, enlisted by Ed to learn the fine art of cleaning solar panels. Actually liking her newfound sanctuary atop the Begley home, Rachelle creates an oasis up there, suitable for meditation, reading and gossiping on her phone. As this creates even more friction between Ed and Rachelle (Ed claims she’s blocking too much sunlight with her rooftop camp) Rachelle discovers that there’s yet another neighbor who probably has a home greener than either Ed’s or Bill’s house. She gets the two competitors to tour the ultra-green home of “Marty.” It’s here that both Bill and Ed painfully learn that “Marty” is indeed “The Greenest Guy On The Block.”

Episode 4 – Unplugged

Busy schedules are cutting into quality time with daughter Hayden. The solution: A family camping trip. With Rachelle in charge as the camp director and supplies that include everything but the solar panels, the Begleys hit the trail. Even though the campsite turns out to be dilapidated and near a freeway, the newly reconnected family pitches their tent and a role reversal appears to take place. Rachelle’s Pilates training has prepared her to find tranquility even with cars zooming past while Ed is trying to hitch a ride back to his email.

Episode 5 – Look into the Future

Ed and Rachelle have very different ideas about what type of energy audit the Begley household needs. Rachelle is having the psychic energy flow assessed, while Ed is measuring the energy efficiency of the Begley home. They are both in for a shock: The psychic tells Rachelle their home is filled with disharmonious psychic vibrations and Ed learns from the energy auditor their home isn’t as efficient as he thought. Ed decides to make the home more efficient and Rachelle shows just how clairvoyant she really is. 

Episode 6 – Gambling on Green

The Begleys visit Las Vegas, where Ed scouts green spots while Rachelle goes shopping and gambling. Later the couple revisit the little white chapel where they were married years ago to renew their vows.

Episode 7 – Veto Power

Ed busts Rachelle for wasting water for the umpteenth time using his new web-based monitoring system. He decides to install an elaborate grey water system to make sure she complies once and for all. Rachelle has had enough and escapes to an eco-salon with her gal pals for some long overdue pampering. Meanwhile, Ed continues to flex his muscle as “water cop” by showing Hayden how to raise money for charity with a water-free car wash. Rachelle returns home relaxed until she gets a birthday surprise from Ed. 

Episode 8 – Ed’s Big Birthday Bash

Ed is giddy about his new wind turbine, but he can’t tinker with it because his schedule is booked with speeches.  Because he is so busy Ed wants to take it easy for his sixtieth birthday; but while Ed is away, Rachelle plans a surprise birthday party with 300 of the Begleys’ closest friends, including the “Governator” of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Rachelle doesn’t waste any time and meets with professional cake artists, and she and Hayden proceed to gorge themselves on samples while trying to make a decision. Next, she invites a caterer over to discuss birthday food for Ed (who is a vegan) and discovers that vegan taste testing is not nearly as fun as cake tasting. Meanwhile, Ed is oblivious to the surprise and gets right back on the turbine project, stopping by Jay Leno’s garage to show off his massive turbine. Ed shows up at the skating rink ready for little family time, only to be surprised by a huge star-studded party in his honor.

Episode 9 – Author, Author

Now that Ed has finished his second book he and Rachelle get set to take a bite out of “the big organic apple” aka New York City for a promotional book tour. No Begley trip is complete without Ed’s travel “eco survival kit,” that includes a metal briefcase containing a low-flow showerhead, a non-plastic water container, and three sizes of compact fluorescent light bulbs.  Rachelle is dumbfounded by Ed’s eco-insanity.  As Ed heads off to promote his book, he notices Rachelle scribbling on a note pad, which she reveals is the beginnings of HER book, to which Ed decides it’s best to withhold comment.  As the day winds down, the Begley’s take a tour of the “greenest” show on Broadway, Wicked, and Rachelle gets to live her dream of singing on a Broadway stage – although with no audience, that’s close enough for Rachelle. 

Episode 10 – Manners

Southern belles Rachelle and her friend Savannah are aghast at the vulgar display of table manners by Ed and Hayden at dinnertime, and decide something must be done before Hayden takes on Ed’s habits. The next day, Rachelle catches Ed eating over the kitchen sink and it’s the last straw.  She decides to strike a deal: Ed will lead by example with Hayden at meals if Rachelle learns how to cook for the family.  Meanwhile, Ed upgrades all the lights in the Begley household to LED, and willing his old compact fluorescents to his green nemesis Bill Nye, who accepts them with suspicion. Rachelle keeps up her end of the bargain and makes a meal so spectacular Ed forgets his pledge and reverts back to his old behavior.

Episode 11 – Love, Peace and Perry

Ed goes to the Water Woman Festival to give a speech and ends up communing with some hippies in the desert for a couple days. Meanwhile, Rachelle is stuck at home with Perry, an overzealous entrepreneur who is pitching a lot of green product ideas that haven’t quite caught on with the masses. Ed returns home just in time to put on a prototype for the “eco cuddly” made of hemp and likes it, but after 20 seconds changes his mind because it itches like crazy. Later, Ed and Rachelle while wearing a couple’s version of Perry’s “eco cuddly” design while watching television they see an infomercial for the “eco cuddly” with them superimposed on a couch enjoying the product.

Episode 12 – Off the Grid, On the Hook

Rachelle begs Ed to come to an eco-gifting suite so she can harness his green star power to get free stuff.  But Ed will have none of it, and drops Rachelle off by herself.  Sure enough, Rachelle didn’t make a big haul in the gift department, and she blames Ed for it. Ed gets a post card for Three Rivers, an off-the-grid community in Oregon, and decides this is the perfect opportunity to go see it first-hand.  The minute he arrives, Ed falls in love with the place, a quiet, beautiful community nestled in high-desert, and he tells Rachelle he has found their new retirement home.  Rachelle isn’t sold on moving so far away from civilization, but Ed doubles down by making an offer on a house in Three Rivers. Could the Begley’s be leaving the house they’ve spent so many years making eco-friendly?

Episode 13 – Staycation

Ed declares that he’s not going anywhere for his vacation this year, and plans to have a luxurious “staycation” instead.  Rachelle is highly sceptical, and points out that Ed never stands still for a second, to which Ed guarantees that he’s finally going to get all the things done around the house he’s been promising.  Then the phone rings, and Ed begins promising one thing after another to help the community.  The next thing you know Ed is planting trees at an Elementary school in Compton, and helping convert Daryl Hannah’s car to run on alcohol. Rachelle decides to teach Ed a lesson and schedules him for even more commitments so he can see just how bad an idea his staycation was the first place. Once Ed figures out Rachelle’s plan, he drags her along with him to see the greenest high school in the country and then to an algae farm near the Mexican border.  Once all the various community obligations are taken care of, Rachelle brings Ed the “to do” list he promised to take care of (without a thing completes on it), but he is fast asleep.