Wednesday, August 20, 2008

TSLOTAT: Episode 2: "You Are My Everything"

Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends. But AC-tually, this show -- or at least, this season -- will end in two weeks, apparently, so I need to pick up the pace of writing these revues before the season ends and nobody cares anymore. I'll make it my goal to be caught up in time for the finale. That's pretty unlikely to actually happen, but it's something to shoot for.

So here we are at episode two. They say you shouldn't judge a show by its pilot, because pilots have to introduce so many characters and relationships and things that they can't really give you an impression of what a typical show will be like. I already judged this show by its pilot last week, but now I have the opportunity to judge it again. Without further ado, let's jump right into "You Are My Everything!"

We open on another long, silent sequence of various people walking through the school hallway, so I guess the show was short again. This might be a good place to put up some credits or something, but it's before the main title, so they can't. Maybe things got shuffled around in post and this was supposed to have credits over it. That's what I'm choosing to believe. Anyway, Ben is carrying Amy Jergens's books and pantomiming that they're really heavy, to which Fatty Girl and Token Black Friend respond with the appropriate mix of confusion and disgust (pictured). Actually, I might as well admit that I have actually learned their names now: Fatty Girl is Madison and TBF is Lauren. Ben makes a fool of himself talking to Amy Jergens, calls himself an idiot, and wanders off to flog himself.

Madison and Lauren corner Amy and demand to know whether she's told her parents she's preggers yet. She hasn't. Her plan is to simply pretend it never happened, and her parents will never have to know. When the friends try to point out the minor flaw in her logic, she just sings, "never happennnned!" and walks away. She sure showed them. Lauren tells Madison that people already know, and Madison responds, "People only know that Amy had sex with Ricky!" which catches the attention of the Asians, who happen to be walking by. If they didn't know, they do now.

Opening titles! As a professional video editor, my eye is trained to notice things even if I only see them for 1/29.97th of a second, so I was able to read the credits of the most recent episode and noticed that the performer of that brilliant theme song is none other than Molly Ringwald herself! Is she gearing up for a transition into the music biz?

Back to the episode... Amy Jergens is talking to Ricky (a.k.a. the creepy guy who knocked her up), who's complaining about how he was supposed to meet Adrian (a.k.a. Slutty Girl) at the church thing after the football game, but instead she was making out with the boyfriend (Jack, a.k.a. God-boy) of some cheerleader (Grace, a.k.a... actually I don't think I gave her a nickname), and apropos of nothing, Amy mentions that Grace's mom is her (Amy's) dad's ex-wife. Whew... got all that? It's a lot of exposition to throw at a guy all at once, even if most of it is just recapping what happened last week. Anyway, apparently Amy and Ricky are friends now even though their relations in the previous episode were rocky at best. But then he starts trying to mack on her again, she spurns him, and things get rocky again. "Who are you not to be interested in me?" he says. With lines like that, it's no wonder this guy is such a hit with the ladies.

Amy exits and Adrian enters. Ricky is mad at her for making out with Jack, so she offers him sex in return for forgiveness. But he wants Amy, because "some girls do it without broadcasting it to the whole school." He wants a girl with class, by which he means someone he can bang without having to own up to it.

Meanwhile, Grace's mom (quite the MILF, I must say; Amy's dad has good taste) comes to pick her up from school. She's not feeling well because she's so upset about Jack and Adrian's tonsil hockey session. Her mom tries to console her, but Grace is at least self-aware enough to realize that the reason Jack wants to cheat on her is because she won't put out.

Jack confronts that weird nerd who he tried to get to write a paper for him in the previous episode. I guess he finally convinced him to do it, and Jack is upset because he only got an 80 on it. The nerd explains that he dumbed down the essay because Jack is dumb. Jack is satisfied with this explanation and thanks him. I still don't know who this character is, why he has a speech impediment, or what he has to do with anything else in the show.

Back to Grace and her mom in the nurse's office. Jack comes in with his fly wide open. Grace's mom makes a comment about how important it is to have clean teeth. I guess that's supposed to be some kind of zipper joke or something? I don't really get it. But according to Grace's mom, the fly thing symbolizes that Jack is a careless guy, which means that Grace is too good for him. But she shouldn't judge him or feel sorry for him (besides judging his carelessness, I guess?).

Jack goes back into the hallway where Adrian grabs his crotch. Oh sure, she tries to play it off like she's fixing his zipper, but we all know what she's really after; this is Adrian we're talking about. Then she and Ricky have a conversation that's not very interesting. I guess she's forgiven now.

After the commercial, Ben is hanging out with the Asians and teaching them how to eat chips out of a silver bowl. Also, Ben has a butler, unless that was sarcasm. I couldn't tell. Other things we learn in this scene: the Asian guy (Henry) has pink-eye, and Ben's mom has been dead for five years. Anyway, Ben has apparently decided that he wants to marry Amy Jergens and start a band with her, but the Asians try to talk him out of it by revealing that she boned Ricky. Ben doesn't believe it, so he decides to call her and find out, but not before making a bet with Henry over the outcome. Amy doesn't answer the phone because she's busy being accosted by Adrian over Ricky, so Ben leaves a message, while Alice (a.k.a. Asian Pigtail Girl) constantly shakes her head or makes other gestures of disapproval.

Minutes later, Amy checks her voicemail, complete with dramatic music and a Jaws dolly/zoom move as she shrieks "Never happened!" in a brilliant callback to the earlier, equally brilliant "never happened" moment. She grabs Ricky and accuses him of telling everyone about their sexcapades, but he's all like "oh really, are you sure YOU didn't tell your two gossipy girlfriends? Bitch." Then he goes and fucks Adrian right there on the floor of the school. Okay, he just sort of puts his arm around her and they walk off, but it would have been cool.

After a commercial, Amy checks her email. She has 27 new messages, but they're all from Madison and Lauren. I have to admit this is pretty funny. They really do seem like the kind of people who would forward you stupid things all the time. Here are some of the subject lines:
Monster
This is Wierd [sic]
Thought I was crazy . . .
Hi !
Open
Weird eggs
Your undersea video
End of days
Fear the Quickening
Where are you?
[obscured] Cape of Good Hope
I didn't even make any of those up. And they're all dated "Today"!

Ashley comes in, wearing a boob-emphasizing top. OH! I forgot to mention it last time, but in real life, the girl that plays Ashley is the daughter of Olivia Hussey, who is best known for showing her boobs in Romeo and Juliet -- one of the few chances you might get to see boobs in a movie that they show at school.


Hmm. Where was I? I got distracted by making that image.

Amy's dad brings home a recliner. He works at a furniture store, or owns it or something. Molly Ringwald is worried that they don't have any money. If there's a reason for this, I missed it, but they talk about how they won't even have enough money to send Ashley to high school, even though it's a public school. Ashley is like, "Do I really have the option of not going to high school?" and Molly Ringwald is like, "No, you have to go to high school," but then the dad sort of winks at Ashley as if to say, "You don't really have to go to high school." I'll admit it: I don't know what the hell this scene is about. It ends with a Three Stooges reference that doesn't really make sense either.

All right, I'm getting bored, so let's pick up the pace here. Jack visits Grace's dad and is all like "I love Grace! Forgive me for fucking Adrian!" Grace's dad says, "Go home before I pummel you. Oh, that's right, I'm a Christian, so first I will smite you, then I will pummel you." Jack goes home, but not before saying, "smite," to which Grace's dad says, "I heard that." I'm not really going to bother with making fun of this stuff because it would just seem redundant.

Grace's dad goes inside and is all smug at Grace. This guy is such a douche. Presumably he gave Grace the abstinence ring because he wants to have her all to himself. He's strict because he wants Grace to get in trouble a lot so he can spank her.

Adrian and Ricky are all post-coital. Adrian doesn't want Ricky to leave, but he does, and says he'll call her later. Why am I watching this.

Ben phones Amy and starts proclaiming his love for her even though they've only had one date. She's understandably creeped out but goes along with it anyway. As they hang up they both realize that their relationship is a hollow husk. Then Amy vomits.

Ha ha, just kidding. She really does vomit, but it's actually in an entirely new scene after the commercial, at school the next day. Amy's friends visit her in the bathroom and totally lie through their teeth, claiming that they haven't gossiped about Amy's dalliance with Ricky, then immediately go out and alert the Asians to the possibility that rather than just a one-night fling, it could have been "more than that." Meanwhile, Ben has another pointless "comic relief/let's recap what's happened in the episode" scene with counselor Mark Molina.

Yadda yadda, it turns out that, horror of horrors, Ricky didn't call Adrian like he said he would, so Adrian's mad, but then she stops being mad because he brought her a lunch, but that's actually a fake not-being-mad. She actually is mad as she's like "you think that bringing me a lunch will make up for not calling me after sleeping with me?" but then when he comes clean that he didn't call her because he didn't want to be on the phone all night, she changes to not being mad for real. What the hell? I'd be very interested to see the beat-by-beat breakdown of this script.

Grace and Jack sort of make up in a long and boring scene. He claims that he didn't fuck or get blown by Adrian, but I'm not sure whether we're supposed to believe him. The last episode heavily implied that something went down (no pun intended), but it was left ambiguous. But because we, the audience, don't know whether we should trust him, it allows us to identify more with Grace. This is brilliant writing. Or maybe we are supposed to know whether to believe him, and they just failed to make it clear. I'll leave it up to the reader to decide which is the case. Anyway, at the end of the scene, they embrace, and Jack makes a weird face.

Finally, the episode is ending. We just have one more quick scene wherein Ben and Amy reconfirm their undying love for each other. Yes, even though they've only been out once! Jeez, don't be such a killjoy! Clearly, she is his everything.

Final thoughts: For some reason, I had a memory of this episode being better than the first one, but on the second viewing, it really didn't hold up. There were a couple of amusing moments like the over-the-top voicemail-checking scene and the emails, but they were few and far between, and way too much of the episode was just long conversations that didn't really go anywhere. Everything that happened in this episode could easily have been compressed down to about five minutes. I must have just been excited at getting to know the Asians a little better. Or maybe I'm just mad that there wasn't as much stuff to make fun of in this one. Oh well... I guess things have to get worse before they get better. At least you got two different boob pictures this time!

Stay tuned for the next episode, in which Amy vomits some more! Also, people talk about sex and God, probably. And after that, we'll start getting into episodes that I actually remember something about.


Quotes:
  • "I don't know what the Lord has to do with your zipper."
  • "She didn't kill Hitler or anyone like Hitler."

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