Author Topic: Idle Thoughts--Jumping the Shark  (Read 1779 times)

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Offline Luciaphile

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Idle Thoughts--Jumping the Shark
« on: June 26, 2002, 09:40:30 PM »
Another melange of episodes.  Sorry, I got quite far behind.

Fashion notes first . . .

It wasn't high fashion, but I thought that Carolyn's orange top and black skirt were quite attractive, in a way that her denim mod outfit she wears later were not.

Vicki's side ponytails were such a mistake.  Ick ick ick :P  The blue nightgown huge improvement after the yellow egg yolk item and I liked most of her dark dresses.

Kind of liked Tony in his shirt sleeves and Roger in his blue PJs with purple dressing gown (a great relief after that plaid suit he had).

Maggie.  IIRC, this is a sort of a transitional period in Maggie's wardrobe.  The hemlines start hiking up dangerously high, but at least she's got the right figure for it.  Her sleeveless nightgown was just too busy and too scary for words.   Her shoes, however, continue to be ugly as sin (and what was it with the shoes, anyway?  I caught a glimpse of Cassandra's and nearly retched).  The mod outfit with the tie was a bit bright for me, but KLS carried it off nicely.

As for her father, I guess we can say that Maggie was a free spirit or something, because apparently she saw fit to bury Sam in what appeared to be a dirty London Fog and his dark shades.  I can only hope that she at least put the man in an actual coffin.

The less I say about Julia's blouse with the jabot the better.  The shag suit with the ticky tacky beads was yuck-o-rama.  I am revising a fashion rule I have:

If you can upholster with or use a fabric as a floor covering, it probably should not be used as clothing.  

Cassandra had an array of outfits, but my hands are too tired to comment on all of them.  I had problems with the blue figured peignoir, but those may be personal going back to a fashion-traumatized memory of my childhood or something.  She had that cool smoky blue dress though and I thought Parker looked stunning in that.

Onto the shows . . .

I continue to be mystified about the DS universe's view of the afterlife.  Apparently, regardless of your type of death, character, or the way you've lived your life (i.e. good, bad, indifferent), you are liable to be summoned back at any given point and the forces of darkness have all powerful control over your destiny thereafter.  There is evidently no heaven, but a hell, and a very well populated limbo.  I find that scarier as any ghost, witch, blob, psycho that DC threw at us.

I watched most of these episodes in one sitting and it was very often like having my teeth drilled.  There were a few bright spots (Nicholas, Cassandra, Barnabas, and Willie) punctuated by interminable sequences with Vicki, Julia, Maggie, Jeff, and Barnabas (he did double duty).  

Anyhow.  I thought the scene with Nicholas and Tony  pretty much summed up why I enjoy the character of Nicholas so much.  Nicholas gets it out of Tony that a tree was involved in exorcising Cassandra.  He comments, "there are a million trees around here . . .well, that's my problem, not years."

Let's stop and think about how other characters would have handled this.  Barnabas and Cassangelique both would have dumped the problem onto their servants/slaves/unwilling helpers with a "I consider that to be entirely your problem" or "You will find a way, because you must," and gone on their merry way, leaving Willie or Tony or whoever to scour every forest, woods, roadside, state and town park for miles.  Not Nicholas.  He say's hey, it's my problem and I have to solve it.  That's a work ethic.  It may be one that has an abominable motive behind it, but I have to respect someone who at least knows how to take some RESPONSIBILITY!!!  

Another thing that I loved with that scene was the blah blah blah way HAA delivered the lines about Tony forgetting all about his visit and waking up after he'd gone.  Again, this is a guy who works, damn it. ;)

Roger Davis is back and I can't say I'm glad.  Jeff is such a schmuck.  How could anyone in their right mind or out of it find him remotely attractive?  And then not only did I have to suffer through Jeff, I had to watch him in great quantity.  Dumb and Dumber there was excruciating and I admit I used the FF button more than once.

Curious, why does everyone on this show drink coffee before they go to bed?  I admit it makes my brother sleepy, but he's got ADHD and caffeine has that effect on him.

Let's return now to the tree that Nicholas managed to find.  Now I admit, I forget this kind of stuff easily, but didn't Angelique destroy the tree after Vicki had been released by Barnabas and Nathan?  And even if Trask did have a favorite tree and all that and this was the one from then, that was one skinny looking tree for 173 years of growth.

Cassandra's reunion with Roger was like watching Betty Crocker come to life and that's all I've got to say about that.

Jeff is Peter debate.  So like when it's Vicki's idea, Jeff passionately denies being Peter Bradford and when it's Jeff's concept, Vicki suddenly has doubts?  And for that matter, Jeff just never found this whole thing a bit bizarre to begin with?  If a really handsome person who acted like a mental patient started insisting that they knew and loved me 173 years ago and that I had to be so and so, I don't think I would be flattered.  Scared and disturbed but not flattered.  And I would, of course, feel it prudent to drop the acquaintance.

Has Jeff never lost a button before?  I mean, Nicholas was obviously lying, but if it's not probable for someone to lose a button, then I guess I have to be one of the most improbable people out there.  Lousy dialogue.  

Regarding the flight out of town there to the cottage down the proverbial block, I wonder if Vicki would have had more success if she'd fled to say, Jersey or Duluth.  I loved that line Cassandra had about David's education being rather "casual."  The better description would have been "non-existent" since I don't think Vicki has done a minute's work since well before she went to 1795, but it was very satisfying nonetheless.

I don't think I've ever heard the word "gazebo" used in such a menacing tone before.

Some nice work between HAA and Parker.  I always liked their relationship, the edge to it, I mean.  I also adored the fact that Nicholas called Cassandra "old girl," wonderfully incongruous touch.

Vicki and Maggie's girly chat was a nice gesture, but Moltke sounded like she was more stoned than tired, so the effect was somewhat lost.  I must say I did rather wonder what kind of a wedding shower Vicki would give.  Does Maggie actually have friends who don't live at Collinwood?  I'm suddenly picturing Liz and and Julia and Mrs. J and Carolyn and Cassandra in the drawing room at Collinwood playing Toilet-Paper Bride and it's very scary.

Joe sleeping on the couch again.  Is this another example of an interdimensional bedroom?  I had always been given to understand that the Evans cottage had two bedrooms, but then suddenly Jeff was a boarder, and since I don't think he was bunking with Sam, that rather implies that there are three bedrooms.  Since Sam is gone, couldn't poor Joe at least get a bed to sleep in?  That sofa does not look comfortable at all.

The cologne scene with the enormous blue flagon.  Again with the stoned delivery.  The dialogue was poor.  Rose water smells like roses.  Roses have a fairly defined scent that presumably anyone who had ever been exposed to could identify.  I admit there's not much you can do with that, but gassing on about 1000 flowers is weak.

Curious, why does everyone on this show drink coffee before they go to bed?  I admit it makes my brother sleepy, but he's got ADHD and caffeine has that effect on him.

There are not a lot of people who can point a shotgun and not look like either Elmer Fudd or Ernest T. Bass.  Joe isn't one of these select few.

Sam's floral tribute was singularly hideous.  Very patriotic though.  Getting back to the point I should be making though.  The dream.  Okay, it was a cool concept and all, but there have been some snags.  Big ones.  Instead of letting her waste all this time raising the dead, you would think that Nicholas would just have her try and zap Barnabas one, saving me from feeling like someone was shooting nails into my brain every time that damn dream started or someone had to talk about it.  

Some nice chemistry between Frid and Parker in their big confrontation scene.  A huge bright spot after all the Vicki/Jeff pap we've been served.  I can't stand Barnabas and Angelique, but say what I will about them, the performers had presence.  Their dialogue is always over the top, but they at least were able to rise to it (usually) and make it work.  I wish I could say the same for the rest of the cast (excepting of course, HAA).

Poor Joe.  Someone else already addressed this beautifully in the current talk forum, but I have a few comments to make of my own.  BTW, why was it necessary to have Barnabas point to Joe's prone body and tell, of all people, Julia, "It's Joe Haskell, Maggie Evan's fiance."  I understand the need for exposition just fine (which is why we always have to hear "Barnabas?  Barnabas Collins" presumably to distinguish him from the dozens of people named Barnabas in the town), but couldn't they come up with a less awkward way to do that?  

But now I'm as bad as Barnabas, 'cause there's poor Joe lying unconscious on the floor  ;)  It's very poetic and all to have Barnabas getting up, sitting down, getting up, sitting down, and gassing on about guilt, fate and certain death, but when you have that unconscious guy on your floor, you need to focus.  First aid, anyone? The ER? Then you have the big scene where you go on about your own pain.  Priorities, people.  

I have this theory that sometimes Vicki acts as stupidly as she does because she realizes that she's no longer the heroine and that she now needs to engineer herself into the plot more.   8)  It would explain a lot.

As someone who has had to stay up all night more than once, I have several tips for Vicki, the dim one:

1. Coffee.

2. Don't get into your jammies and don't lie down.  This is a fatal mistake.

3. Now is the time to break out the coffee and the No-Doze.

4. Cold water on the face works wonders.

5.  Stop dwelling on how tired you are.  

6. Coffee.

7. More coffee.

Yeah, you get hallucinations after 72 hours (and no, I've never gone that far), but it would at least buy you some time.  And can I just say that for someone tortured by a terrifying nightmare of herculean proportions, Vicki lookes remarkably rested.  

Joe in the hospital.  I remain in awe and no little envy of these inpatients at the hospitals where they provide actual pajamas as opposed to those gowns that don't close in the back.

Moltke's performances by this point were very uneven.  Part of it was not her fault at all.  The destruction to the character and the mind-numbing dialogue was something that I don't think anyone could have overcome with conviction.  And of course, I think she wanted off the show at this point.  There were a couple of highlights in these episodes--curiously, the character still retained some shrewdness regarding Cassandra and Nicholas and those confrontations were enjoyable to watch.  

As for the poor little rich girl, has her brain been sucked away to?  When I'm at work tonight I'm going to see if the DSM-IV has anything to say about Stockholm Syndrome, because there is no other rational explanation for Carolyn taking Adam home with her.

Small quibble with Barnabas and his sleeping pills.  I was under the impression that they impeded REM sleep.  

Also.  If you bury someone who is a vampire, wouldn't they come back regardless?

Okay, okay, I've been complaining a lot, but I do have some nice things to say.  Totally was into Willie's moaning, "now, we're gonna hear the dogs howling and he's gonna be wandering all over the place."  God, Karlen was good.   The post-burial scenes remain favorites of mine.  Poor Willie makes a lot of good points.  Funny ones too.

The bitch slap was cool, but the scene I liked better:

"You're in love with him."
[Cool glacial look of disdain] "Not nearly as much as you are."

Gotta love that.

Luciaphil
"Some people ask their god for answers to their spiritual questions. For everything else, there is Google." --rpcxdr-ga

Offline Birdie

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Re: Idle Thoughts--Jumping the Shark
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2002, 12:45:58 AM »
Great points once again.  I thought the same thing about burying Barnabas.  Maybe that is why they wanted out of town fast. hehe.  What about Joe staying in the hospital for a couple of weeks for a concussion.  I have had one before.  In fact a bad one and they only kept me in the hospital for a day or two and that was in 1963 when I was 5.  

Enjoy!
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Offline Gothick

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Re: Idle Thoughts--Jumping the Shark
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2010, 01:02:04 AM »
I remember even back during the original broadcast thinking that burying someone fated to become a vampire wouldn't make any difference.  With all the research Julia had done on the lore before meeting Barn, one would have expected her to have realized that.

G.