Author Topic: The Vivarin Girl - Episodes 3 & 4  (Read 1615 times)

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Offline Luciaphile

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The Vivarin Girl - Episodes 3 & 4
« on: November 15, 2004, 10:01:35 PM »
Episode 3 - 4:The Vivarin Girl

Fashion notes first . . .

In these early days, Victoria Winters has eschewed the traditional Gothic flimsy nightgown in exchange for pajamas and robe. Hell, I even think she's wearing honest-to-goodness bedroom slippers. Considering she's in a drafty old house and does one heck of a lot of walking around, this rates high on the sensible scale.

Carolyn, on the other hand, as befits an heiress, is wearing a more femme job. It doesn't quite look like it's of the quality that an heiress would insist on, but it's pretty enough. If I'm not mistaken, it shows up again later, but this time on the back of Maggie Evans.

Ye Gods, where did they pick up that shirt of Roger's? K-Mart? It's black and white, but it looks like something you could find at Walgreen's.

Not sure who's idea it was to have Joan Bennett clad in a rather unattractive nightgown/robe ensemble, because after that evening dress, I, myself would have thought she'd be wearing something like the Claudette Colbert character in Midnight. Also camera got a little too close and Bennett's need for a new dye job was all too apparent.

Onto the show . . .

Roger drives a Mustang (back when they looked cooler). We see him approach the Evans Cottage, which appears to have a second floor incidentally, and pound on the door yelling "Open up, you drunken bum!" Let's pause to appreciate fully Roger's temerity in using this particular phrase. Now I admit, it helps if you've seen the show already, but still.

1.   Whereas other people may have, oh, a favorite chair in the living room, Roger's favorite piece of furniture is the drinks cabinet.
2.   Who has the whole DWI thing down pat?
3.   Who had to move back home after running through all his money and losing his job?

Yeah, well, you ought to know, buddy.

Meanwhile, Vicki has come back from her evening stroll and is now writing a letter. When DUN TA DA! (cue the scary music), she gets a visit from Carolyn, who is very peppy in these first episodes. I love how Vicki finds it "funny" that everyone keeps telling her to leave. Uh huh, a real hoot, hon.

Carolyn's enthusiasm for Uncle Roger adds a decidedly Gothic touch to the show. It's more than "Oh, gosh, he's a great guy. You should see the presents he gives at Christmas." No, Carolyn's expression is, "He sends me; he really does!" Okay. My understanding of the colloquial phrase "he sends me" is that it implies extreme delight and has a sexual connotation, which seems a strange phrase to use in the context of one's uncle. Anyhow, with or without my correct idiomatic translation, there's a decidedly incestuous implication here.

Moving on, we are treated to Mitchell Ryan and Joel Crothers side by side in the Blue Whale, both of them looking mighty toothsome.

Roger hits the diner. He really is quite creepy in these first episodes. I think it's the abrupt switching between rage and hyper sincere charm. KLS is pretty good as Maggie. I like the cynicism she brings to the part. Also, it occurs to me that this scene mirrors one to come in a year or so. Not that I'm reading any subtextual interest in Maggie on Roger's part. It's just that Maggie's all alone in the diner, trying to close up. In walks a Collins. They talk. More is going on than the mere desire for lousy diner food and some stale coffee. But right now we've got Maggie basically saying, "listen, it's late and I want to go home." Later on, she's much more sweet and wholesome and it's all "oh, I don't mind staying late." This Maggie Evans sees right through Roger.

Ah, seems like old times. Carolyn and Vicki in the drawing room enjoying the first of many, many late night confabs. From the dialogue, it appears Carolyn's been giving Vicki the tour of Collinwood. At night. Because, yeah, you packed up everything you own--in one sad little suitcase--and embarked on a multi-state probably 7-8 hour train trip (I mapquested NYC to Bangor). Then you got picked up, hit the coffee shop, waited around for a taxi, arrived at your new home and job, had the quasi job orientation. Then you decide to go out for a late night stroll outdoors. You've been talked to death (Chatty Kathy), warned (Burke), insulted and warned (Maggie), snubbed (Elizabeth), yelled at (Roger) and warned again (Carolyn). But hey, you're not tired. No, you're ready to get the grand tour of a 40-room mansion, which includes descriptions of every oil painting you come to.

While the Cook's Tour continues, Burke is doing his best to schmooze Joe, who clearly has no idea what's going on. I like the conflict between the two men a lot. It's got to be hard (not to mention, boring) to play the 4-Square, All-American, boyscout type, but Crothers does it well.

Yay! Bill Malloy! He comes into the coffee shop where poor Maggie (who clearly wants to go home) is trying to subtly get Roger out the door. I always liked Frank Schofield. He comes off much better than my beloved Roger who is apparently competing for First-class Ass. Not that Bill is much better. ¢â‚¬ËœCause let's think about this. It's like what 10? 11? What on earth are they expecting Burke to do? Set Collinwood on fire? Take out the family with a sawed-off shotgun? Yes, it's cause for concern, but considering the man's first action was to check into the hotel, I think it's fairly safe to guess that he'll wait for morning before making a move.

"Have you ever been to Montevideo?" Ah, yes, well that's a question I think we can all say we've been asked. Somebody's trying to play Big Man on Campus. Joe handles it beautifully, essentially looking at Burke like he's nuts, or trying to pick him up. I like the scene. We learn Joe's pretty much a hometown boy (for those of you watching Gilmore Girls, the Dean in the Jess/Logan/Tristan and Rory relationship). Burke isn't all that appealing to me here. Mr. Slick is better left to the likes of Jason McGuire than Burke Devlin. Anyhow, Bill tracks down his quarry and engages him in the oh-so-persuasive argument that the Collins family has suffered enough. See, Bill, Burke's clearly hell bent on revenge and he's blaming the Collins family. So, I'm thinking that hearing that the family has suffered isn't going to do all that much to change his mind. But hey, I could be wrong . . .

And the Vivarin Girl is awake and reading! I happen to suffer from insomnia myself, but this is ridiculous. Unfortunately for her, Roger is also awake and apparently looking for a little companionship. Or not. I think Liz was way off base there. But then, what do I know? From the way she takes on, he apparently made a habit of waylaying the household staff as a young man (I broke down and did some math. If he was guilty of this it would have to have been prior to1948).

Denial: It's a way of life in Collinsport.

Roger is hysterical about Burke, but I think he has a fairly valid point here.

Heh. "We really should have this door soundproofed." Ah, Carolyn, sing it sister! She intones the magic words "Burke Devlin" are said and instant reaction! It's like in Buffalo, there's the Broadway Market, which is where you go to get great baked goods and sausage and butter lambs and pierogie at Easter time, and if you were being particularly naughty, all you had to do was shout out "Grandma" and watch as six zillion old ladies in babushkas turned around in panic. Roger looks apoplectic. Ya gotta love it.

Carolyn, who apparently inherited her mother's talent for denial, earnestly tells Vicki that Roger's "very nice" and a "great guy." Uh huh. Those are not descriptions that spell Roger Collins for me.

And the weirdness continues. Roger is being hyper sincere again. For a woman who apparently thought her brother was going to rape her employee, Elizabeth is out the door awfully fast. Okay, fine. Vicki is justly perplexed and upset--as she well should be. But it's really a strange scene. Roger offers her brandy, which she declines saying she's had it and dislikes the burn (not my favorite drink either) and instead of oh, offering her something else, Roger creepily tells her that "pain sometimes comes before pleasure."

Then the charm portion of the evening is once again over as the interrogation continues. Vicki is indignant, although not, IMHO, indignant enough. However, this is the first time I've really been impressed with Moltke, who plays this scene really well.

2AM rolls around and she's still not asleep yet (although by this point, I might not be either) and my favorite effect happens. The perpetual spooky sobbing. Crept the hell out of me the first time I heard it and it still does now. I also like the fact that Vicki gets up to investigate. Made a hell of a lot more sense to me than the late night stroll on the grounds.

Enter David with his "I hate you."

Scrubbing toilets in Bangor never looked so good.
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Offline Gothick

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Re: The Vivarin Girl - Episodes 3 & 4
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2004, 11:00:30 PM »
Luciaphil, my darling, I lap this up with a silver spoon!

thank you for bringing a few smiles into a most wearying day.

your servant,

Gothick

Offline michael c

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Re: The Vivarin Girl - Episodes 3 & 4
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2004, 12:28:28 AM »
i love reading these luciaphil!you're right about vic's sleep ensemble...in the pajama's and slippers and robe and fall she must have been pretty toasty(especially since the show premiered in june).speaking of june...since it was dark when vicki arrived in collinsport(in june) it had to have been at least 8:00...so with all the mischief she gets into has to be the longest night in the show's history(at least four episodes).althought the 1795 seance was a marathon evening as well.the two-floor evan's cottage does look big considering how it's seen from the inside(one measly bedroom...did sam crash on the couch?).carolyn's early attitude toward her uncle definitely has an"ick factor".pre-josette kls has a whole different "feel"...i wonder how the character would have been developed if b. never showed up at the diner?roger is so creepy here...the implication being that he was trying to break into vicki's room for a little "action".yuck.thanks again luciaphil! :-*
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Offline Raineypark

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Re: The Vivarin Girl - Episodes 3 & 4
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2004, 01:45:03 PM »
Quote
And the Vivarin Girl is awake and reading! I happen to suffer from insomnia myself, but this is ridiculous.

I love it.  If ever there was a hallmark of Soap Opera productions, it's the elasticity of time.  A day (or a night) either lasts as long as the siege at Leningrad, or it's over in the flick of a Hummingbird's wing.

The caffiene content of Maggie's coffee must have bordered on lethal.  ::)

 
"Do not go gentle into that good night.  Rage, rage against the dying of the light."
Dylan Thomas

Offline Cassandra Blair

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Re: The Vivarin Girl - Episodes 3 & 4
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2004, 08:39:44 PM »
I was wondering if I'd been the only one to think it was kind of icky when Carolyn was talking of Roger as if he were Bobby Sherman or something.  However it does work, seeing as how the Collins family was never very normal.  The really put the 'funk' into dysfunctional.  (sorry, bad, but couldn't resist)

Really appreciated your pointing out how Vicki never seems to sleep.  Even in these early episodes, way pre-Barnabas, everything important at Collinwood seems to happen in the middle of the night.
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