The Components of Cruel and Unusual Punishment
At this point I'm almost impressed. For a show that so recently gave us three episodes in a row of a great wedding and a number of storylines involving the serious vets to, literally overnight, change gears so drastically and focus almost entirely on the youngest and most insipid characters, including a number of people we don't even know -- I mean it's almost masterful. They successfully spun gold into shit.
It's almost hard to put into words because, well, words take effort and it's impossible to care. And it's not as if I'm not trying -- I watch every second of the show, and I cover it here at Serial Drama. I like doing that, I truly do! But this?
Today, we spent much of the episode doing this:
Seriously, for about five segments, they had a phone conversation. While I'll admit that Brandon Buddy (who, by the way, has just announced he's leaving the show) did a pretty nice job playing the emotion of the phone call (and emotion isn't generally his strong suit), it's a phone call. This is not high drama. It's never going to be. Oh and plus, to add "tension," Another New Dude was lurking in the background the whole time.
Riveting. And then Starr and Another New Dude had some idiotic argument, as if we're supposed to have any sort of emotional investment in an argument that Starr is having with a complete stranger. Linking him to Ford, a completely one-dimensional character that's been an amusing diversion for a year but certainly has no depth and no rootability, is not going to help.
Speaking of Ford, we also got the joy of numerous segments in which Ford almost named his attacker -- I mean they even sank so low as to have him actually say, "The person who attacked me... is..." and then cut to commercial. I'm pretty sure a skit I wrote once in the second grade to promote diversity used that exact "suspense" technique. (And even then, the audience was pretty bored.)
Oh yeah, and this horribly devastating thing happened today. This couple broke up:
And she slapped him! He broke her mother's weird giant vase! Heartbreaking, I tell you. I'm sure you were all crying as hard as I was that this love story for the ages came to such a sad end. And yet again, we got a few seconds of the only situation in which Kelly has been remotely appealing since her return:
With Shaun! For real, she actually smiled -- multiple times. She touched him... almost warmly! And because it appears that we're stuck with Kelly for the foreseeable future, I am going to have to suck it up and root for this pairing if for nothing other than to get me through an episode. Sadly, he had a phone call with girlfriend Vivian today, so he's not available -- not that women who sleep with their step-sons are going to see a thing like that as a deterrent, but I just worry that it's not anywhere on Mr. Carlivati's radar.
Meanwhile, Gigi's hair has gotten blonder and weirder and worse, and we were subjected to some sort of Morasco/Balsom family bonding scene that I tried desperately to stay awake through, but had little success.
Such a pretty girl. I just don't get it.
What do we have to look forward to this summer? Is it all going to be the teen set? Are we gearing up for junior varsity, all the time? God forbid tomorrow puts Dani and Other New Dude front and center again. I must've missed the day when someone explained to me why Fish, Kyle, and Schuyler were too old to be as interesting as all these "fascinating" new cookie-cutter faces. I admit that, for me, Hannah is one bright spot, but I haven't decided yet if it's just the actress. And she doesn't exactly seem to be headed toward long-term story, whatever that is around here these days.
On the bright side, the non-attempts to even pretend to hide Bree Williamson's pregnancy are getting more and more hysterical by the way. I wish I could get sharper screencaps for you guys because this was just too much today:
Why in the world did they have a very pregnant woman lean forward?
Bit of a bummer, though, that what was essentially a directing misstep was the brief highlight of the episode. It's going to be a long, long summer, isn't it. Good thing I love baseball and warm weather.