Tuesday, May 20, 2003

I tried to watch the Martha Stewart movie for you guys last night, but considering how much I drank to get through last night’s 7th Heaven, going to bed seemed like a better idea. Also, I found it distressing that the actress playing “teenage Martha” had more wrinkles than I do.

This is the last 7th Heaven of the season. Depending on my schedule, I’ll try to keep this site updated throughout the summer. I’ll definitely be posting a review of the American Idol movie. If anyone has further suggestions, please let me know. I’ll take requests.

Life and Death, Part 2 Airdate 5.19.03

Last night on 7th Heaven, we learned that getting your period is a BIG DEAL, Lucy is even more messed up than the creepy local pharmacist, the producers still hate Jessica Biel, Tara Lipinksi ain’t nothing but a trick, Chandler’s dad likes the Yankees, Barry Watson is hot, and Deacon Lou and Detective Michaels like to stand around on the porch and give bad news.

Ruthie’s uterus is apparently worthy of its own two-episode arc. The whole family, one by one, finds out that Ruthie has “become a woman” and takes a moment to congratulate her. Even the Poddlers. While bizarre and disgusting, this plot gave me a chance to have some fun with Mike: I waved a glass of cranberry juice under his nose whenever Ruthie was on the screen. At 8:53, Annie manipulates Ruthie into a family celebration dinner.

Last week, Lucy figured out that she was late for more than when God was passing out brains. Lucy’s “She’s a Woman Now” is late, and her first reaction is to tell Kevin. Oh, of course not, her first reaction is to stuff a pillow under her shirt and pose in front of the mirror. Then she tells Kevin, er, calls Mary to say “I did something” in horror. OK, Lucy, Kevin is required to, ahem, “contribute” before you can get pregnant. You didn’t do this on your own. She spends the rest of the episode avoiding Kevin, then goes to the Promenade with Mary and buys a pregnancy test from the creepy local pharmacist. This is the same pharmacist that knows what brand of tampons Peter’s mom uses, so I can think of about a dozen better places to go. Glenoak has a mall, an airport, a synagogue, and a Buddhist temple, I’m sure they also have a Wal-Mart. The last shot of the episode is Lucy staring glumly at her home pregnancy kit.

In case you are wondering, the producers still haven’t forgiven Jessica Biel for posing half-naked in Gear three years ago. That’s the only reason I can think of for Mary being given such insulting storylines. This time around, she’s married some mystery guy and wants her dad to get her an annulment. Both Lucy and Matt married someone out of the blue, but when Mary does the same thing it’s a horrible sin. I’d guess that she married Robbie, but since Robbie has ceased to exist I’m out of ideas. Perhaps she married her leathery boyfriend from the season premiere.

Tara Lipinski reprises her role as Christine, whom Kevin identifies as a “professional dater.” Only Lucy, with her wacky potential pregnancy hormones, is willing to go the extra mile and call her a hooker. Christine prances around the house in a towel and flirts with Simon shamelessly. At 8:53, Christine decides to quit turning tricks and go have pizza with the Camdens. Ah, the Healing Power of Wholesome Camden Pizza will straighten out all her little slutty problems.

Chandler and his dad finally make up, although it’s much less compelling than it could be. For a terminal cancer patient, Chandler’s dad is pretty active and healthy-looking. He does threaten to beat up the Reverend, though, so he can’t be all bad. Chandler and his dad mumble about the Yankees in the Sports Talk of Emotional Healing. At 8:53, Chandler returns home to Glenoak to slobber on Woefullly Miscast Rachel Blanchard. The scene implies that they are going to have sex, but I'm betting they run off and get married.

Matt is back, although he is given absolutely nothing to do except leave messages for Sarah and stalk Simon. But he’s still hot with the short hair, so he could just read weather reports and I’d be happy.

Finally, Deacon Lou and Detective Michaels show up on the Camden front porch, saying they have bad news, so the season ends with a cliffhanger. If prior 7th Heaven cliffhangers are any indication, we’ll find out that a tertiary character no one cares about has died. The Camdens will sob for 20 minutes, then be totally happy by the next episode.

Intentional humor: 3 Unintentional humor: 7 Preachiness: 8 Histrionics: 8 Items thrown at television: 4 Emotional Trauma: 6

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

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

I ran home from Cinco de Mayo drinks to watch this last night, so you guys better show me some love. Last night on 7th Heaven...

“Dick”, Airdate 5.5.03

The previews for last night’s episode cracked me up: “Things couldn’t be happier in the Camden household (footage of people making out)…but someone across the street could threaten it all!” (shot of Dick driving a Buick ominously, which is a pretty neat trick since Buicks rarely get to be ominous). How exactly does Dick threaten the Camdens? Is he going to remove all of their Snapple from the fridge? Don’t get me started about how the hell a minister’s family can afford a fridge full of Snapples. However, I learned a great deal last night: men are evil, women just want the bling-bling, men are evil because they want sex, Neck-of-Steel Cecilia’s family is weirder than mine, and, oh, men are evil.

In the first Men Are Evil subplot, everyone keeps telling Chandler to go home and see his dad before he dies of lung cancer. Chandler is still angry that his dad cut him off for going into the ministry. Aw, poor widdle adult, having to take care of himself! Both Woefully Miscast Rachel Blanchard and the Reverend try to bully Chandler into going home, only to find out that Chandler’s dad told him to stay away. Because Men Are Evil and can’t get in touch with their feelings.

As for Women Wanting the Bling-Bling, Chandler is asked to do marriage counseling for a couple named Cathy and Mark. This subplot features the triumphant return of Mayim Bialik as Cathy. Cathy has been engaged 7 times, receiving an assortment of rings, a pig farm and a boat. Hearing Blossom say “I guess the pigs could ride in the boat” somehow made the whole episode worthwhile for me.

But men are mostly the evil people in this episode. Woefully Miscast Rachel Blanchard tells Chandler that she wants to wait until they get married to have sex, because Lucy talking about her honeymoon made her want to wait. Listening to Lucy talk about her honeymoon would give me dry heaves. However, because men are evil pigs who only want sex, Chandler now wants her more than ever. Woefully Miscast Rachel Blanchard calls Lucy to gloat about how holding out on her man ensures obedience. Barf.

Neck of Steel Cecilia’s parents announce that they’re going to renew their vows. However, it turns out that her parents were never married in the first place. Cecilia’s head bobs about in shock, and her parents get married before they get seasick just watching her.

Finally, last night’s Very Special Men Are Evil Main Plot: Teeth-to-Spare’s mom, Paris, is engaged to Dick. See Dick threaten Teeth-to-Spare. See Dick be syrupy nice and muscle his way into Teeth-to-Spare's and Paris’ private counseling session with the Reverend. See Dick spend all his time with Paris. See Dick demand that Teeth-to-Spare see a child psychiatrist (I would have gone for an orthodontist). See the Reverend make an appointment with Dr. Gibson. During the counseling session, Dick does most of the talking. Afterwards, Dr. Gibson asks Teeth-to-Spare if Dick ever threatened him.Teeth-to-Spare says that Dick was going to get rid of his dog. Dr. Gibson says that Dick is an abuser, and that getting rid of the dog and the kid would have been smart because animals and children are excellent judges of character. Really, there’s nothing more flattering than comparing human beings to dogs. Dr. Gibson points out that Dick was trying to take control by getting Paris to quit her job, taking responsibility for Toothy McTooth away from her, and being at her house all the time. Paris stares in mute shock as Kevin and the Reverend swoop into the room. Kevin informs the room that Dick is on probation for beating his previous wife, then tells Dick that he is not allowed to contact Paris in any way. Because I can’t think of a better way to build Paris’ self-esteem up than make all her decisions for her. Shouldn’t she be the one telling Dick to stay away from her, rather than letting the menfolk take care of it?

Intentional humor: 4 (Blossom!) Unintentional humor: 5 Preachiness: 10 Histrionics: 3 Items thrown at television: 5