Wednesday, July 18, 2007

"You stepped over a dead body because of a golfing schedule?": Meadowlands, the past three episodes

(I apologize for the lack of posts about this show for the last two episodes. I had stuff to do. Like play with my new Macbook. And be addicted to Big Brother feeds. And other things besides watching this crappy show. But for those of you who care, I provide a recap. -J)

Previously on 'Take a swing on the Golf Course of Baleful Portent':

After killing Jack (of all trades, how many times does the show have to throw that into the dialogue) Donnelly upon witnessing his attempted rape of his son, Danny Brogan forces his son to help him bury the body in the garden on the side of their house. That is a pretty good hiding place, I mean, nobody is going to ever think to look in the freshly disturbed piece of ground in your yard for a missing body of a man who only about an episode ago got beaten up by the local policeman for harassing your daughter. Brilliant! Actually you're English, so that can mean sort of almost anything can't it? Brilliant! Anyway, the cop, Wintersgill, proceeds to spend the episode looking for Jack, then suspecting he's dead, then suspecting Danny killed him, than harassing the various family members trying to figure get some sort of confirmation. Meanwhile, the son Mark, probably because he just saw his dead beat someone to death, gets even weirder, and learns that all problems in life and bad-father issues can all be solved by soccer, thanks to a friendly townie, who also happens to be one of the weird secret agent people running about town. Evelyn has a creepy (what else, on this show, come on) encounter with Dr. York, who in the middle of questioning her about the fact that she is planning on having a baby with Danny blurts out that she should have a baby with him instead. Yet she doesn't make any attempt to find a doctor who doesn't stare at her like a rapist, even lets him examine her afterwards, and agrees to bring back a blood sample from Danny. I'm trying to remember what the daughter Zoe did this episode, and I assume it must have been something, but it couldn't have been very memorable because I dont' even remember it and it was only about four hours ago that I watched it. Finally, at the end of the episode Wintersgill tricks Mark into implicating Danny in Jack's death and so he throws him in jail.

In the next episode, Danny spends the majority of the episode being tortured by our friendly psychopathic policeman. Except now we learn why exactly he is so crazy. They don't tell you right away, because the WEIRD SHAKY FUZZY FLASHBACKS are such effective television so you don't want to do the reveal right awa. Theres a few cases of him having flashebacks where we see these sort of disturbing images of sort of mildly hippie-looking people laughing in a rather evil manner at a poor young kid, the policeman about 40 years ago. And incidentally, I have known some hippies in my time and none of them ever really acted very evil, at least that I noticed. They were usually too busy laughing at something silly to throw a menacing cackle around at a poor kid. But I disagress. You see, it turns out the cop is so insane because when he was ten his mother and her AWFUL HIPPIE FRIENDS gave the poor kid ACID and it messed him up for life! Nice little bit of propagnda there. Meanwhile, Zoe, who I actually remember this episode, probably because it was from only two hours ago or so, learns that all problems in life and despondence about crushes on recently decceased psychopaths and arrested fathers can all be fixed by... no, not soccer, wait for it... golf! while she befriends a local named Tom who teachers her how to play. Mark continued to be weird, as usual, but he uses his infinite charms of being unable to speak coherently and waving his hands around in inexplicable flailing motions like, well, I suppose a disturbed person, in order to score his first time with the hideously looking and hideously friendly neighbor Mrs. Oglive, who he has been spying on since the show started. Finally, Evenlyn gets the test results back and it turns out that Danny is infertile and alawys has been, so, dun dun dun, the kids are obviously not his! Meanwhile, between visits to Danny in jail, she is convinced by the cop of Danny's guilt by some files he has on him from his past that he obviously never told her about, so in her last visit she gave Danny the impression that she was going to leave him thus propelling him to sign a confession to Jack's murder. The episode culminates in a 3 year birthday party for Meadowlands, where Mrs. Oglive's daughter's speech is interrupted by the policeman only to announce Danny's... innocence? The family, for some reason, is there, and takes him back without any trace of the suspicion they had of him the entire episode. I guess not only can Danny's secret agent handler force the sheriff to let Danny go (which she did, and they showed), but she can also erase memories from the Brogan family in order for them to like him again (which they did NOT show). Brilliant!

Now, on to the present.

The episode opens with Tom, the golfer from episode four, walking right by Jack Donnelly's dead body lying in the middle of someone's yard. A few moments later, Zoe walks by, notices the body, and screams! Look, there's your boyfriend! Don't worry, you'll get a new one soon. Apparently this body was moved there by the Meadlonds Secret Agency, since it is revealed that Mark moved the body from where Danny buried it (wow, you got points on your dad for smarts at least) into the woods before Wintersgill dug there. Anyway, Danny hears about a body being found, so he drags Mark (because you know, dead bodies and murder are always good father-son bonding experiences) to the woods in order to dig up the body to make sure it is Jack. Mark rightly points out that doing this makes absolutely no sense whether it is Jack or not but Danny insists, and the find a fake dummy body. Danny later drags this fake body into his secret agent handlers office to accuse them of lying, fearmongering by dumping a body in the middle of the town, etc (was this show trying to make a lame statement abot fear mongering by those in power? I am not sure). She basically owns him by saying that if he is so into the truth perhaps she should call up his wife and tell him what he did. Oh... snap.

Meanwhile, it is time for Teenage! Detective! Fun! Starring! Zoe! She is mad about her dad being framed, if only she knew, so she wants to investigate the murder and prove that Wintersgill did it. She decides to enlist the help of her new friend Tom, who (shocker!) turns out to have been an investigative reporter in his life prior to Meadowlands. Too bad for her, a frame up job is created while she investigates, and Ormond, who was present at the Brogan's house fire (pre-show, leading them to Meadowlands), who also moved in across the street from the Brogans, and who showed up at the Brogan's right after Danny killed Jack and thanked him for doing his job for him turns out to be 'guilty'. This is explained to the town in that he committed a revenge killing since Jack, a long time ago, raped and murdered his sister, Grace Diamond. They don't explain to the people why he was in Meadowlands in the first place. I guess they don't do very good background checks there. Eventually she breaks into the police station in order to steal files, and steals a file on Jack Donnelly and Tom, her new friend. Meanwhile, the secret agent people threaten Tom to stop investigating. Zoe goes off to look at the files, doesn't find much, but while she is doing this her father gets wind that she and Tom are looking into this and goes to pay Tom a visit. Oh yeah, and she kissed Tom, who is probably twice her age, ew, and steals his car keys. Danny, even though he doesn't notice his daughter is sort of hanging around, does notice the giant typical television investigative flow drawing on Tom's wall clearly implicating him and threatens him to stop investigating as well. Tom then notices a photo on the wall and its flashback! time! It turns out that Tom had a wife who strongly resembled an older Zoe, who got blown up by a car bomb meant for him because of an investigation he was running. The secret agent people are sending him a message! Or maybe attempting to kill him! Anyway, he realizes his key is missing and goes running out, Danny follows, to stop Zoe from getting blown up in his car just like his old wife. You should really quit the investigating thing, dude, you seem much more chill when you are talking about 'life is a metaphor for golf', or whatever nonsense you spewed in episode four. He succeeds, and luckily for Zoe, but perhaps unluckily for the interesting factor of the show, Zoe is not blown up.

Finally, Danny haers that it was Ormond who was framed for the killing, and since he saw him before he was ever in Meadowlands, he is naturally suspicious. So he goes to the jail to question him, where the guy tells him nothing but makes vague assumptions that THERE IS MORE TO MEADOWLANDS THAN MEETS THE EYE. From the look of the preview for the next episode, it looks like either there are going to be a lot of hallucination sequences or things are about to get supernatural.

After five episodes now, it just seems like this show could have been pulled off so much better. Like maybe a bit less of the cut-out caricature characters. And maybe a little bit of oddit and weirdness that serves the plot and just doesn't seem like a blatant surface attempt to make the show seem "different", when it really isn't. And stop having those stupid slow-to-fast motion overhead shots of the surburban houses with the creepy sound effects. They even did it once with a golf course. It is silly, really.

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