Tuesday, May 13, 2003

“Life and Death, Part 1”, Airdate 5.12.03

I’m convinced that the writers of 7th Heaven sit around every week and figure out ways to traumatize me. Last night’s episode included numerous references to products for our dirty parts, including pregnancy tests and tampons. Mike spent much of the episode chugging beer or hiding under the sofa. There were also numerous unintentional PSAs for sex education in high schools. Because these people are CLUELESS and probably believe that babies are caused by impure thoughts and delivered by the stork.

The Reverend goes to New York, unbidden, to talk to Chandler’s dad and get them to reconcile before the evil Dad Of Chandler dies. I’m so delighted that a church with a collapsing roof can afford to send its minister on a last-minute flight to New York to meddle in someone else’s business. The Reverend meets Orson Bean, who pretends to be Chandler’s dad so Dan Lauria, the real dad, can hide. Seriously. The Reverend also spends plenty of time at the hospital, hassling Matt at work. Woefully Miscast Rachel Blanchard avoids Chandler the entire episode, because she thinks playing hard to get is a healthy thing for their relationship. Let me see the logic here: she is proving her love by using sex as a weapon and avoiding her boyfriend, whose dad is dying and could use her support. Wow, these are some great “values”!

Matt is back on the show, and looks adorable with his short, spiky hair that for once has been washed. OK, I admit it – I have a teenybop crush for Barry Watson. He’s dreamy when he has short hair, and after finishing cancer treatment he named his new dog Hodgkins. He may replace Everwood’s Ephram as my TV boyfriend. Matt’s wife, Sarah, who has peculiar teeth like all tertiary characters on this show, is L-A-T-E. Matt and Sarah talk about it in a supply closet, and Matt is delighted that Sarah may have to drop out of medical school to be a good mummy. He also gets caveman cred by referring to her gynecologist as a “witch doctor.” One of the nurses lets slip to the Reverend that Sarah may be pregnant, and he spends the rest of the episode stalking them mercilessly. However, Sarah is not pregnant, despite the multiple positive results she got on the pregnancy tests. Fun Fact: false negatives are way more common than false positives, because it takes time for the buildup of traceable amounts of the chemical pregnancy tests look for. And getting two, let alone three, false positive tests in a row is virtually impossible. And you can get your period and still be pregnant. So, Sarah is probably indeed preggers. Sorry, this show spreads so much misinformation about sexual health it makes me twitch. Like the “Let’s Talk About Sex” episode a few years ago where Mary and Lucy were basically told that there is NO middle ground between kissing and having sex. Well, guys, there are two women who will never want foreplay! Huzzah!

Tara Lipinski, skating star and creepy blowup doll lookalike, joins the cast as Christine. She’s apparently a classmate of Lucy’s, and needs a place to stay while her apartment is being fumigated. Naturally, Lucy offers up her parents’ house without asking them first. Christine parades around the house in a teeny-tiny tank top and boxer shorts, shakes her modest boobage at Simon, and tries to get him to take her to the prom. She even does a ridiculously pornorific “Oops! I forgot my robe!”, which is almost as porny as “You’re not the usual cabana boy.” Christine seems comfortable in her sexuality, which in the Camden universe means she’s a criminal of some sort.

Neck-of-Steel Cecilia has forever redeemed herself by refusing to go to the prom – because it’s expensive and a hassle. Simon flips at both her disobedience and his own lengthening sideburns (his third look for the season, which Mike has decided is indie-rock. I sorta dug the Eddie Munster slicked-back thing from earlier in the season). Simon decides to take Christine instead.

Annie mentions to Lucy that Sarah might be pregnant. Annie then mentions that birth control doesn’t always work. Oh, sweet Lord in heaven! What a revelation! Annie mentions that she was on the Pill when she got pregnant with the Poddlers. Judging by the clear developmental problems of the Poddlers, I’m going to guess that the “Pill” Annie was taking was OxyContin. Lucy gasps, realizes she’s late, and checks the date on the newspaper. Lucy rubs her tummy (unfortunately she does not pat her head at the same time) and stares heavenward in a state of mute shock and idiocy. I find it hilarious that in Lucy’s 21 years on this earth, and all of the “people who have sex always get pregnant” plotlines they’ve had, that NO ONE has ever told her that birth control isn’t perfect.

Ruthie is stuck with the most grotesque subplot ever. Ruthie spends the first half of the episode having a psychotic break, which is an interesting contrast to her usual mild sociopathy. Eventually, Teeth-to-Spare catches on that it’s Ruthie’s First Period. What follows is more traumatizing than Lucy’s First Period in the pilot episode, wherein the Camdens held a party in her honor, complete with presents. Teeth-to-Spare says that she’s been acting crazy lately, as her womenfolk hormones have taken control. He also says he discussed things with his mom, and that Ruthie’s problem is “girl stuff…as in none of my business.” Good save! Mike says he is going to start using that. And, also, I like that Paris and Teeth-to-Spare have recovered so quickly from Dick that they can discuss Ruthie’s uterus. And that may be the most disgusting sentence I have ever typed. Teeth-to-Spare takes Ruthie to the drugstore to purchase tampons, which is ridiculous on two fronts: no 12-year-old uses tampons instead of pads, and no 12-year-old will go buy them without dying a thousand deaths of embarrassment. Teeth-to-Spare and Ruthie go up to the register, and the cashier greets them by name AND points out to Teeth-to-Spare that this isn’t “his usual brand.” So either Paris sends her son to buy corks, or Teeth-to-Spare buys them for his own amusement. Either option is squicky beyond words. Seriously, I would have rather spent the hour watching Xander getting his eye poked out on Buffy.

Also, Mary repeatedly calls the house to talk to her dad, because she’s “done something stupid.” Aside from returning to this horrible, misinformed show, I don’t know what she’s talking about.

Intentional humor: 2 Unintentional humor: 6 Preachiness: 4 Histrionics: 9 Items thrown at television: 8 Emotional Trauma: 31

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