Monday, June 25, 2007

"And Grace Diamond's fear: Heaven.": Meadowlands

Previously on "We're So Wacky!": The Brogans moved into Meadowlands, we met a bunch of creepy supporting players, and one of them got beat up heinously by another. Otherwise really, not much.

A funny thing happened to me after I was done watching my Sunday television yesterday. I had finished watching my last episode of the Loop on DVR, my TV went back to the regular channel I had been watching, and I remembered where I remember Danny Brogan from because it was on. He is David Morrissey, star of the wonderful smash-thriller Basic Instinct 2. What this indicates about the quality of this show I am not sure.

All of the Brogans got into some little misadventures this week, so if you don't want to worry about spoilers, you should probably stop reading now. It seems like Danny Brogan is going to be our link to the past of the Brogan family, as all signs seem to indicate it was his crimes and deeds that led them into the witness protection program (where, in Meadowlands, it appears that everyone is a criminal, not just an unlucky witness). While having an uncomfortable conversation with Jack about getting something in his house fixed, he recognizes someone from his past. It seems that somebody who was present at the fateful fire that led the Brogans to Meadowlands has now taken up residence. Is someone after Danny Brogan? We'll find this out later, but he spends the entirety of the episode spying on this resident, breaking into his house, speaking with his handler, or well, a little bit of ultra-violence (more later). He does find something a little strange in the man's house after breaking in, what looked to me like a torture kit of some kind, but after seeing this, the man arrives home and we see a oh-so-dramatic chase through some woods in the town as Danny evades the man. No torture this week, folks!

The daughter Zoe, who has become friends with Jezebel Oglive, freakish looking daughter of the friendly neighborhood exhibitionist, Brenda, spent the better part of the episode bickering with her friend over who could better attain the affetions of one Jack the Sex Offender. Now while I am no teenage girl, and while I also expect there to not be any normal alternatives in Meadowlands, I still think that I would have the sense to get creeped out and stay as far away from the guy as possible. In any case, Jezebel thinks he is gross, but tries to seduce him anyway, in some kind of weird competition with Zoe. She, on the other hand, tries to find out what he has done that landed him in Meadowlands, and eventually gains his trust. He gives away that he had tortured a woman when he was in his teenage years, who accidentally died on him, and for this he could not have gone to jail because he was a minor. Nice guy. Instead of running like hell, she decides that she's going to 'fix' him. Good luck with that one, sweetheart. Oh yeah, and get a new haircut, because the bowl shtick isn't working for you.

The mother, Evelyn, isn't very happy in Meadowlands so far, and is extremely bored. A bored suburban mother, how fascinating. She seems to be reaching out to various people and ideas in order to find herself in this new place. One way is that she is now thinking about having another child with Danny (who suggested it, based on the idea of his handler, last week). Another is that she is trying to make friends, particularly with one doctor York. Last week Dr. York claimed that he loved Evelyn, which seemed a little strange after they had talked all of about, oh, zero minutes outside of one doctor appointment she had. But this didn't seem to phase her much as she ends up going, with Zoe, to dinner over at the York's house. Danny couldn't make it because he was 'working' (read: tracking the guy he remembered from the fire). She ends up getting a little tipsy at the York's, and starts singing songs with the good doctor. After a phone call from Danny, though, she and Dr. York kind of realize their uncomfortable position, and decide to be friends. How very disappointing for the creepy doctor. If I had to bet on which of the Yorks landed them in Meadowlands, Dr. York would be my guess, probably for statuatory rape with one of his patients, or something equally gross. Despite all the attempts the show makes he is the only person on the show who actually legitimately freaks me out. Meanwhile, Mrs. York escapes for a little action with our favorite scum of the town, Jack. I'm not sure what Zoe was doing during a lot of this time at the dinner party, perhaps pondering the thought of having a who can land the biggest freak contest with her mother?

The brother, Mark, boy is this character going to annoy me. Besides being a completely vacant character that provides very little value to the show, he is used to add to the "look how weird we are!" quotient a little too much. So he basically spends the episode stealing clothes from his neighbor Jezebel, continuing his fascination with staring at Jezebel's mother through the windows, and dressing up like his sister. You know, I realize that his being in a fire and getting his hands burned severely might mess the kid up a little bit, but he is a little too "look at how dark and emo I am!" for my tastes.

The real central story of this episode surrounds Jack, however, and at the very beginning of the episode, as he is talking to the handler, we learn that he wants to leave Meadowlands, because of the beating he got from the police officer during last week's show. It is agreed that he will leave at midnight at the end of the day, and he must tell no one that he is going. He goes about his day, being his usual ew self, however towards the end of the episode, while having a little action with the Mrs. Dr. York, he comes to a realization that he likes Zoe, and he wants to see her and not leave Meadowlands after all. He rushes to her house, and up into her room, and sees what looks to be her, staring out the window. When he finds out that it is not Zoe but her brother, he becomes furious, and proceeds to embark in what I can only assume would be an eventual rape. Mark is lucky, however, as Danny comes home from his adventures trying to find out about the stranger, and rips Jack off of him and strangles him to death. Note to Jack: I know you're dead, but in your next life, if you like a girl, the way to her heart is not to sexually assult her twin brother. Then the mysterious stranger, who Danny recognized from the house fire, enters, and after a few moments of scary staring, thanks Danny for doing his job for him! What the..?

So there wasn't really that much more that interested me this week. They actually managed to make one character intriging despite being vile, but they killed him off in the same episode. So now, truly interesting character count? Zero. I meant to say this last week about the show, but I might as well say it now. They seem to be going for a Lost (we're stuck in Meadowlands) meets Twin Peaks (weird! quirky!) vibe of some kind. However the show's quirks and intrique seem somewhat false or there just to be there, and it hasn't yet achieved any of the narrative structure or real mystery of Lost. I think this show would actually be helped if it had flashback sequences, just like Lost? The most interesting things about the characters is what we have not and it seems like we will not be shown anytime soon: what were they like before they were in Meadowlands. If we got bits and pieces here and there, maybe we would crave more.


Carrie said...

"Previously on We're So Wacky!" HA! Love it.

I don't watch this show (alas, I am without Showtime) but I just had to ask -- who is that dreamy bloodied man in the picture? And why do I think a bloody man is dreamy? I swear, I think Supernatural broke me.

Justin said...

That would be Jack (of all trades) Donnelly, town pedophile and general pervert, former torture slash murderer, R.I.P episode two.

cheers :)

Carrie said...

Thank you, my friend. Hmm, he was in Band of Brothers. Yet another reason to move that up my Netflix queue!