Tuesday, November 27, 2007

"Sublety is for suckers. Real women pop!": Men in Trees

Welcome to season two of Men in Trees, everyone. After awkwardly repackaging the remainder of season one into a makeshift start to season two, we've finally reached new episodes and I finally feel comfortable evaluating this sophomore season.

The episode started out with obvious intent to make the viewers understand that a decent amount of time had passed since Marin and Jack's goodbye kiss on the docks, and immediately cemented that while Marin and Jack are definitely together, a long distance relationship where the Bering Sea makes up most of the distance is not going to be an easy endeavor in the least. While Marin spent the episode neurotically worrying about the other (ultimately imaginary) women in Jack's life, Jack spent the episode enjoying his job on the harsh seas and becoming chummy with cute-but-married colleague Julia. Insecure, neurotic Marin is not a Marin I particularly enjoy, so this plot left much to be desired. It did give the character a nice moment when she speaks to Jack's mother and learns that he has told her all about Marin, but otherwise it just played as a stock "oh, no, insecure girl alert!" story that has been done a million times before. As for Jack, he was definitely enjoying his Bering Sea job until a nasty storm takes out the boat at the end of the episode. Does this mean Jack's job is over and he will return to Elmo? That would be an entirely too convenient solution, so I hope they can hold off on his return for at least an episode or two.

Now, the dreaded amnesia. The funny thing about amnesia plots is that although they are completely stale and uninspired, it is obvious why writers go to them time and time again because they create such great dramatic possibilities for a television show. Patrick's story took the predictable but still devastating turn of breaking up him and Annie, as now that he doesn't remember the old Patrick he also seemingly has not retained any of the good things about Patrick's personality that helped hold his and Annie's relationship together. The use of amnesia as a device to put obstacles in that relationship is troubling, but the actors are having a good time with it and I suppose we'll all just have to go along for the ride and see how it all turns out. In my opinion, the most interesting thing that could happen is if Patrick doesn't end up remembering his past at all, and starts a new life as a different person. Perhaps he could get a new, dangerous love interest? Sticky sweet Patrick could grate at times, and I would be interested to see his character stretch a bit more.

As for the rest of the goings on in Elmo, things are still as quirky as ever. Although this was designed as a season premiere, it was almost a good thing that the scheduling was so strange as to stick this episode right in the middle of the season as it definitely didn't feel powerful enough to stand alone as a premiere. It was cute and had nice romantic moments, but I definitely would not have been satisfied if I was anxiously awaiting it after a three month break.

(Next week, perhaps I can finally stop talking about the weird scheduling of this show incessantly. Until then...)

1 comment:

page said...

I agree it wouldn't have been a very good premier. See, my first thought was Jack was dead on that boat. Interesting you thought it meant he was coming back. Hopefully they won't do either one, both are lame. I'm enjoying Annie Potts, I wish she'd stick around. I love me some Annie Potts. I know we already have lots of quirky, un-balanced mother types but so what. She's good.