Monday, October 01, 2007

"You know what else turns me on? I'll tell you what else turns me on. Buying Cheerios.": Tell Me You Love Me

Sigh. I'm beginning to feel this show will be the death of me. There was some absolutely incredible stuff in this episode. Really amazing. There was also some fairly boring stuff. The constant among all this material, though, is that it's wrenchingly depressing and almost bleakly...boring. Nonetheless, there's a lot to praise about this show and especially this episode, so here goes.

So, Katie and David, huh? How about that? David joins Katie at therapy and it makes for probably the best scene of the show so far. This is a plotline where I had been loving the acting (Ally Walker and Tim DeKay are just terrific each week) but the actual crux of the story was starting to bug me. I know I'm 21 and I haven't suffered through angst and marriage and children and so on, but I kept thinking jeez, just DO it already! But when David finally gave voice to all his frustrations about the monotony of his suburban accountant two-kids BORING life. Katie was totally understandably taken aback by it all, because he essentially said their entire existence together was making his sex drive shrivel up and die, but she admitted she understood too, because of course she understands. We were all kids once, teenagers once, 20somethings in love once. Later on, in bed, Katie told David she wished they hadn't gotten pregnant so quickly, that they'd had more time together. That scene was obviously meant to contrast Carolyn's struggle to get pregnant, but it still was a really telling line, symptomatic of what seems like so many millions of couples with boring jobs living lives centered entirely around their kids cause they have nothing else to do. Man, this show is depressing. Nonetheless. DeKay's monologue was wonderful. The way they kept the camera tight on his face the entire take, too, just made the inevitable reaction of Katie that much more tense and scary, because you kept waiting for the camera to cut to her. Damn.

Oddly enough, I was almost happy with Jamie's story tonight. I say almost. I would have actually liked it if the character wasn't so terminally...messed up, and not in a fun way. Still, the actress (her name escapes me) did a good job with an episode not entirely focused on her being whiny and self-conscious. After finally talking to a hilariously zen Hugo, who has apparently entirely washed himself of Jamie and is glad not to be tied to her anymore (yeah, that'll last, but still his serenity in the face of Jamie's twitchiness amused me), Jamie decides to confront what exactly it is that is wrong with her. Well, after having casual sex with a co-worker in her kitchen. Right after that...and after being hit on (in the most lazy fashion!) by Ian Somerhalder. Yes, after all that, we finally get to see Jamie and Dr. Foster sitting down together, in the final scene of the episode. After some very pointed casual questions from the doc (I've never been in therapy, but damn if I wouldn't crack under the kind of passive pressure she puts on her patients) she admits that she's never been monogamous, which seems to confirm that her insistence on Hugo being faithful was connected to her own guilt about the fact. It was a nice revelation, and well played by the actress. Still, you know she ain't even close to healed yet.

OK, as for Carolyn and Palek...Jesus. I think I just hit breaking point with those two. It was actually David's therapy rant (along with those final-scene shots of their freaking empty house, which seems to be made out of chrome and corners) that awakened me to how utterly, utterly lifeless their life together is. I don't know if Cynthia Mort is mounting some sort of critique of yuppies in the 21st Century, but she's bang-on target. All Palek and Carolyn seem to do is be mad at each other but put on this brave "we're supportive because that's what we've decided to be" faces on themselves all the time. Except when they're seething at each other. Carolyn was especially insipid this week. My sympathy for her difficulties getting pregnant are fast waning because of her merciless, cold obsession with it (does she even like children, or is it just the concept of pregnancy that she wants?) and her holding Palek accountable for not supporting her when she's like, utterly isolated the entire time and doing tests without including him at all. Not that I like him either cause, I like Adam Scott, but this is Adam Scott playing gross, and he's doing it well but Palek is still gross. The whole thing is starting to leave a really bitter taste in my mouth. Carolyn's "eep" reaction to Dr. Foster calling her on her stuff was great, though. Well-acted and a slight triumphant wink to the audience.

Sigh. This was shorter than before, but this show is beginning to suck the energy out of me. Still, it's impressive, different and undersung, so stick with it guys. It's gonna be worth it in the end, I think.


Todd said...

Some week, you and I will swap this and Brotherhood, and it will be tremendously entertaining.

Carrie said...

It's really too bad Ally Walker and Tim DeKay will most likely be ignored come awards season for their work on this show. They are doing some very subtle, difficult, moving work here. They are the only ones I genuinely care about.

So, the Ian Somerhalder pick up scene. Strangest mack attempt ever? He just...sat there. Staring. He is very attractive, so I'm hoping his mere presence (naked, perhaps? because I'm a perv?) in the future makes Jamie's storyline more tolerable.

I don't think Carolyn wants children so much as she likes the idea of children and how they represent the final step in her creating her "perfect" life. Just look at how everything in her house is so clean and specific, designed to impress. It seems just feels like her and Palek's infertility is a failure she has to overcome, and isn't thinking of the attempt to get pregnant in any other way than she has to "win."

Did anyone else find the musical montage at the end strangely off-putting? I think it was the song -- Audioslave just seemed off in tone, overpowering the scenes it was supposed to be supporting. Maybe it was just me.

I'm still completely on board for the series, although like you David it at times makes me weary. It's still too compelling not to watch.