The Husband:

It happens every year. Just like the film industry, ideas seem to come in packs of two or three. In 2004, Lost fever infected the networks, and three deep mystery science-fiction shows were unveiled for the 2005-2006 season. Two made it a full season before being unceremoniously canceled (Invasion and Surface) while one didn’t even make it to midseason (Threshold). The quality of these shows are unimportant, because they were created to either capitalize on a trend or a repair a hole missing from the schedule. This works in the film world, too. In 1998, we had both Armageddon and Deep Impact. In the same year, we had both A Bug’s Life and Antz. In 2005 we had both Capote and Infamous (one was pushed back to 2006, can you guess which?). And this is not a new concept in Hollywood. I can trace back to most years started with the studio system and can point out virtually identical films coming out within the same few months. But with television this year, two things happened:

1. CBS tried once again to give us their version of what they think draws people into Grey’s Anatomy, but on their own network. That show is called Three Rivers.

2. After a staggering 15-year run, ER finally came to a close last season, and NBC frantically tried to recreate its medical drama glory. But this time, they decided split the show in two to hedge their bets but take up too much room on a schedule already reeling from one man named Jay Leno.

If you don’t feel like listening to my half-assed television history lesson for the remainder of this article, let me just break it down for you. So far, NBC’s Mercy has aired three episodes, NBC’s Trauma has aired two, and CBS’s Three Rivers has aired one. And how do they rank in terms of quality? The exact order I just put them in, with Mercy almost head-and-shoulders above Trauma and Three Rivers, with only a single episode, drudging the bottom of the lake.

The title is probably ironic.

The title is probably ironic.

So about that splitting ER into two parts. It’s really not at all complicated. Mercy is the character drama, and Trauma is the action show. Put together, these elements apparently made some of the best ER episodes of all time, but on their own, it can be a struggle. So far, however, Mercy is a remarkably competent (big praise, I know) slice-of-life story about the unsung heroes of hospitals — the nurses. This year they have come back in a big way, and while I haven’t seen an episode of similarly themed Nurse Jackie and Hawthorne (two other nurse dramas, unseen because I don’t have Showtime and I avoid networks like TNT and USA like the plague), I can tell you that it’s a refreshing change of pace. Surgeons get all the glory, but nurses are the backbone of any hospital. Taylor Schilling leads the show as former army nurse Veronica Callahan, and she is in the top five best new characters on television this season. Tough and hard-edged but sympathetic, she seems like a real woman doing an unappreciated job, and her quiet energy is such a welcome respite from the outwardly emotional hysterics that populate Seattle Grace and Oceanside Wellness. She is a true find, and her personal life storylines (her troubled marriage, her drunk family, her affair with Men In Trees‘s James Tupper) help the very reality-skewing Jersey City-set show and are handled by the writers with what at least appears to be a great deal of honesty.

I haven’t been able to get a handle of many of the remaining characters, but Guillermo Diaz (he of Weeds and Half Baked) does well playing against type, and while the casting of Michelle Trachtenberg as rookie nurse Chloe Payne brings the wrong kind of tone to the character, casting a lesser known and more sullen actress would have made the character completely unimportant. My favorite element, oddly enough, seems to be the reversal of roles, as James LeGros’s doctor character, Dan Harris, is mostly seen on the outskirts of storylines, much how most nurses are treated on nearly every other hospital drama. (You know how Nurse Olivia was just let go from Seattle Grace at Grey’s Anatomy? It took me a good thirty minutes to remember that she was the one who gave George syphilis after getting it from Karev way back in the early seasons.) And, almost more than anything, I appreciate the fleeting comparisons the show finds between Jersey City and the warzone of Iraq. Both are lost places in their own way, and it’s haunting without being obvious. This is definitely staying on my Season Pass list, and I hope that its unfortunate placement Wednesday at 10 (it belongs later, but thanks to The Jay Leno Show, half of NBC’s schedule seems misplaced.)

HOLY SHIT THIS IS EXPENSIVE! AND ON FIRE!

HOLY SHIT THIS IS EXPENSIVE! AND ON FIRE!

Trauma, so far, is just a big, slick, expensive version of Emergency!, a spin-off of a spin-off (Dragnet to Adam-12 to…) which ran for several seasons back in the 1970s (six seasons plus a handful of TV movies). From the several episodes I’ve seen of that show (starring a young Kevin Tighe, a.k.a. Locke’s father on Lost), I really can’t see much of a difference between the two programs other than its location and its budget. I complained that I couldn’t get too much of a handle on Mercy‘s characters, but at least I can give you a general impression of their internal monologue. Not so on Trauma, which is as surface-level as one could get outside of a CW primetime soap. New Zealand actor Cliff Curtis is, so far, the only character with any personality (unfortunately, it’s a shitty one) and the rest get lost in the shuffle.

What Trauma has going for it, though, is a whole lot of money behind it, something that could cause it to be canceled very soon. Paired up with the fledgling Heroes, Trauma continues to represent how NBC is hemorrhaging money and viewers, and by not putting the show at a proper 10 p.m. spot, it’s getting crushed by the two CBS Chuck Lorre sitcoms. But oh man, does it ever get saved by its big action sequences. Nothing has been spared in the high-octane situations that structure the show, from the mostly unnecessary season opener that blew up part of a building to what can’t be cheap San Francisco location shooting. But with an HD DVR and a 52″ HD LCD Eco-Series Bravia television, I’ve never missed my old stomping grounds of the San Francisco Bay Area more. I’m staying to watch this show just from how much is shot there, how [mostly] accurate the set-ups are, and even its inclusion of mayor Gavin Newsome’s actress wife in the supporting cast. My wife can tell you more about the show’s focus on North Beach, where she worked for two years.

My issue, though, is seemingly contradictory. The action is what makes the show work, but it’s a chore sitting through a single episode. It’s fun to yell out “Trauma!” whenever something terrible happens, but in the second episode, we had four separate cases of trauma including the Embarcadero Street Fair getting pummeled by a car piloted by a man having a stroke. This is enough for three episodes on Grey’s Anatomy, but it’s almost a sidenote here. It’s too much action in a show that desperately needs it to survive. But goddamn, does it look expensive. And that expense kind of negates the verité style it’s going for, so I don’t know what to think anymore.

I would rather see Alex O'Laughlin do anything else.

I would rather see Alex O'Laughlin do anything else.

Three Rivers has only aired one episode, and this is after it was heavily recast (which happened to Alex O’Loughlin’s last show Moonlight as well) as it was decided to air the second episode first. No matter, because the show helped drop CBS to one of its lowest-rated Sunday nights ever, being paired up with Cold Case. (All the family viewers and young professionals pretty much abandon the channel after The Amazing Race is over.) It’s not long for this world, and for good reason. It thinks that we want to be preached to right off the gate, and so this drama about an organ transplant facility in Pittsburgh just doesn’t work. It’s unfair to judge it based on one episode (and one that isn’t the damned pilot), but when a show starts off talking down to us, it’s not a good feeling. ABC’s Grey’s started off as a much frothier show (I would even call it a dramedy) and only later fell into its soapy rhythms, but Three Rivers doesn’t seem to have time for that. A major problem: I understand its decision to include the story about where the organs are coming from in order to humanize the situation, but it’s mostly unnecessary and I hope they abandon it, because it makes the characters back at the facility complete ciphers, just going through the procedural motions. Even O’Loughlin, as famed surgeon Andy Yablonski, isn’t enough to draw me back for much longer, and I once again fear that Alfre Woodard is one of the most misused actresses of her generation. It’s not the worst new drama of the season, nor is it the most obnoxious (so far, that seems to be the tonally misshapen The Forgotten), but if it doesn’t pick up soon, it will be canceled before I even give up on it. (Remember CBS’s hospital drama 3 Lbs.? No? It was on less than five years ago. Still don’t remember it? Exactly. But I watched all three episodes.)

So give Mercy a chance, and I don’t think you’ll regret it. Its cases, while mostly unoriginal, are handled delicately, and the characters feel like actual people. The other two shows? If you’re not into high-definition cinematography of San Francisco or learning about the intricacies of putting new hearts into pregnant women, they probably won’t work for you, either.

The Wife:
I worry about Mercy‘s necessity. Fundamentally, I like the show. And I really didn’t think I would. When NBC was promoting Mercy, they almost entirely glossed over the fact that this show is a narrative about an Iraq war veteran struggling to reintegrate into civilian life, instead using its promo time to make it look like some slick, glossy glorification of nursing (which indeed deserves such glory) and the bonds of female friendship. Case in point: even if Veronica’s background as a soldier was included, what I remember from those promos is the shots of the girls at the bar together, drinking and smiling.

The hurt backpack.

The hurt backpack.

I do think Mercy, as a show about a female Iraq war veteran, an Army nurse not unlike my mother (who once made her non-military living as an OR nurse), is utterly necessary. It is important for us to experience narratives of soldiers returning from conflicts overseas and to understand what it’s like for them to try to carry on with all the horror they’ve experienced. And it’s especially critical that this is a narrative about a female soldier. For all the women who fight for this country, too many artistic renderings of soldiers focus on the men and their experiences. I even applaud the decision to focus this story around the life of an Army medic, a crucial military position I think many forget about. My mother never (thankfully) saw conflict. But when I hear Veronica talk about setting up field hospitals, I can’t help but think of my mother. She knows how to do that, and has done so many times in her life. I’ve seen what those hospitals look like, as we always went to the family day at the end of the Army Reserve’s two-week summer training exercises where her medical unit practiced setting up those hospitals. So this character is perhaps doubly unique to me. I know the women that she is drawn from, my mother and her friends, and that alone makes her utterly real to me.
But although I think Veronica is a starkly unique character and its important for us to have a narrative of a female Iraq war veteran, I do think that gets lost in the way NBC advertised Mercy and its inevitable pigeonhole as just another medical show. I don’t care so much about the cases Veronica deals with, but I care deeply about her inability to share her wartime experiences with her no-longer-estranged husband. Seeing her hold his head in her hands so that he cannot face her when she talks about losing her friend in the field was truly effective, and I hope those of you who watch Mercy continue to tune in for those stunning portraits of a soldier coming home to a world she no longer knows how to navigate.

As for Trauma, the best parts of the show are screaming “Trauma!” when something traumatic happens, and realizing that I probably walked through the set dozens of times when I worked in North Beach. In fact, there was a scene filmed on Green St. between Grant and Broadway in the second episode that I know I’d walked through during tear-down one day when my coworker and I were heading up to North Beach Pizza for lunch. (I was extra impressed that they got a shot of the new location of North Beach Pizza, which only opened in April or May . . . directly across the street from its former location.) This scene happened to feature a homeless drug addict trying to scam the EMTs into giving him morphine, and I frankly wouldn’t be surprised if the show stumbled upon some of North Beach’s actual colorful homeless people. I will keep watching simply to see restaurants I used to frequent and, hopefully, a glimpse of Knifey Knife (a homeless woman who once threatened my friend at the bakery across from my old office with a pumpkin carving knife) and Charlotte (a kindly homeless woman who enjoyed wigs and often sat outside my office, complimenting me on my shoes). Hell, if one of my couriers, Junior, made it into B-roll on Anthony Bourdain’s San Francisco episode of No Reservations, he might even turn up in a long shot, riding his bike down Columbus.

There is really nothing good about Three Rivers.

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The Husband:

Another look into the crazy world of Big Brother. I feel I must clarify, because while I mentioned in the first round-up that Big Brother was my favorite reality show, I realized that I had already said that about America’s Next Top Model. Both statements are actually true. If we’re talking sheer enjoyment, it’s still ANTM hands down. But Big Brother is my favorite strategy-based reality competition, and it amazes me year after year how much fodder I get out of each episode of this three-times-a-week show. So there you have it.

What’s been going on?

—First, I think everybody should start paying attention to what I’m saying, because goddamn it I’m usually right. Just as I suspected, Ronnie’s game has already 80% collapsed over the last week, and you know why? Because he played too hard too quickly. I know that it’s not very hard to have seen that coming, but man, did I call that shit. Slow your roll, Ronnie. Playing both sides of the house is a great idea, but you have to be quiet about it, up until the point that it’s halfway through the game and people are only then catching onto your plan. But nope, you had to snag HOH and turn the game into a free-for-all. And while I agree that targeting Laura was a good idea, her big mouth made his HOH week utter living hell. It’s not entirely clear whether or not she was using her brains instead of just being a reactionary weirdo, but she out-debated Ronnie on almost every confrontation, and her powers of persuasion really outshone his. The rest of the housemates followed her lead like crazy and just tore into the video game expert. (Even though they did, ultimately, vote her out 8-to-1) Then again, if Ronnie had those breasts, he might be a more convincing person. But we’ll never know, will we?

But hey, I guess Laura’s not that good at arguing, because she still got her ass booted from the house. Why? Because Ronnie learned to keep his mouth quiet and let her bury herself. Hell, as Kevin pointed out, she didn’t even ask her housemates to save her from eviction. I never thought it really had to be actually verbalized, but in such a crazy house I guess it’s just basic protocol.

You want to know how convincing Laura was, though? She got Russell to turn on Ronnie. Ronnie, his ally. But, then again…

— …Russell has done the impossible; he makes me sympathize, ever so slightly, with Jessie. How the hell did that happen? He represents all the worst qualities of a bully, mixing threats of violence with sheer stupidity and unrelenting preening, and it actually makes Jessie seem like a pussycat by comparison. When realizing that he might be backdoored, he began stomping around the house admonishing anybody who was talking strategy, I guess not realizing what show he was on. This is Big Brother, you jackass. Strategizing is what you do. If you don’t have the brainpower to comprehend that, don’t yell at Lydia until she cries. Just go lift some weights until your pecs explode.

You mean . . . LIKE THIS????

You mean . . . LIKE THIS????

But then, suddenly, when he is not backdoored, Russell gets just as angry and starts following Ronnie around the house, taunting him for not putting him up and thus inviting hell on earth. But you know what, Russell? Do you know why he didn’t backdoor you? It’s because he’s your fucking ally! He is literally in cahoots with your clique. Way to go. When Jessie of all people thinks your asshole threats to Ronnie, which in turn makes it so that Ronnie can’t even leave the HOH room without being accosted, are unjustified and mean-spirited, you know you’ve done something wrong.

Sigh. You have embarrassed us in the San Francisco East Bay. As my mother said in an e-mail to me in regards to my last BB round-up, “Russell is so much from Walnut Creek it hurts.”


— On the subject of Jordan, I think she owes Ronnie a big fat apology for calling him a rat. Why she didn’t believe that she was only being put up in order to ensure Laura’s eviction is beyond me, because there was no way the house was going to let her go. Not even with that last-minute conversation about how her and Jeff could potentially be indestructible as a couple. You can deal with that later, because she’s not really a threat to anybody’s game right now, just as Russell wasn’t. Ronnie told her she wasn’t going home, she yelled at him, and then she was kept in the house. Hmmm…you don’t think that maybe Ronnie planned it that way?

—Why in God’s name did Natalie decide to cast her vote to evict Jordan? She just said she wanted to shake things up, but other than that, there was no explanation. It’s going to bite her on the ass, because she clearly didn’t do it to frame somebody else. You know why? Because she doesn’t seem that smart and she clearly didn’t plan it out well in advance. She’s just being contrary, and her shitty lying is going to get her into trouble. (Just like how pretty much everybody saw through her half-assed lie about her age.)

Hooray! Let us all sing the Dan song!

Hooray! Let us all sing the Dan song!

—It was such a treat to have Dan back to host the luxury competition, because he is without question the best Big Brother winner of all time. Even better than Dr. Will. Why? Because he was a sly strategist who knew when to lay back, when to use sudden bursts of power in both persuasion and voting, he dealt with confrontations calmly and wisely, he switched sides without causing waves, he even got [most of ] his enemies to like him after their eviction, and he did it all without being a jerk. He was a sweetheart, a noble player and an all-around nice guy. Why haven’t these people learned from him?

The Wife:
I hate Russell, but I kind of the like the douche-manchu he’s sporting these days.

The Wife:

We don’t usually do news here, but since I’m trying to decide what shows I can and can’t watch next year (thus, can and can’t cover) because of grad school, I figured I’d help you all out by sharing my handy-dandy season schedules for the major networks here at Children of St. Clare.

I’ve listed everything by hour, as most networks are running hour-long shows these days, so two half-hour shows are listed in the same box with the time the latter show starts in between them. If a show runs longer than one hour, I’ve indicated the length and listed it in the hour in which it starts. Asterisks (*) indicate new shows, and I’ll have some snap judgments on those shows following these graphics:

falllineupMTWRF

And here’s the weekend schedule for the fall, which, as you can see, is largely blank:

FallineupSS

In January, the networks will change to their midseason schedules:

midseasonlineupMTWRF

And here’s the weekend midseason schedule

midseasonlineupSS

Now, on the midseason schedule, you may notice some funny little symbols after the network names. Here are those footnotes:

  • # ABC has not yet announced its midseason lineup. The have, however, three new shows on deck: V, Happy Town and The Deep End, as well as returning shows Lost, Wife Swap, True Beauty, The Bachelor, Better Off Ted and Scrubs. Timeslots all to be determined.
  • + CBS has not yet announced its midseason lineup, but has the following shows for midseason replacements: Miami Trauma*, The Bridge*, Undercover Boss*, Arranged Marriage*, Rules of Engagement, Flashpoint
  • = CW’s midseason debut is Parental Discretion Advised, timeslot to be determined.
  • Additionally, Fox has Hell’s Kitchen scheduled for Summer 2010, and has Kitchen Nightmares on deck to fill holes in the schedule.

Now, for my snap judgments . . .

NBC: While we all know by now how I feel about Jay Leno, I can honestly tell you that the only one of their new shows I will definitely watch is Joel McHale’s comedy pilot Community, joining the NBC Thursday comedy block in 30 Rock‘s spot until it returns at midseason. Community has a good premise (McHale finds his college degree is invalid and must go back to community college to make up the credits), and has both McHale and Chevy Chase, who turned in a good performance as the villain at the end of Chuck season 2. I am overjoyed that Chuck is returning at midseason, as I think a 13-episode run will give us only the most super-concentrated awesomeness Chuck has to offer. I do not need another medical show in my life, so I’m declining Trauma and Michelle Trachtenberg’s nursing show, Mercy. 100 Questions looks so much like Friends that it is entirely out of the question for me. But then there’s Day One, which has a nice pedigree of coming from the people who work on Lost, Heroes and Fringe. It could be awesome, or it could be hokey, but I think it’s the only other promising thing NBC has to offer us.

ABC: I am delighted that ABC has given a permanent slot to Castle, allowing Nathan Fillion to prove he is charming, rakish and shouldn’t be a showkiller! He and Adam Baldwin have broken their own curse! Other than that, though, I am extremely concerned at how unimpressive the new shows debuting for fall seem, compared to the stuff ABC has on deck for midseason. Not a single one of the Wednesday night comedy block shows looks palatable. Hank looks downright abysmal, The Middle looks, well, middling, Modern Family falls flat and Cougar Town is trying way too hard. I might DVR Eastwick because I like Rebecca Romjin and Lindsay Price, but I have no emotional ties to either the previous film or the novel upon which it’s based to grab my immediate attention. I watched a clip from The Forgotten and I can tell you right now that I think it’s going to be the most dour procedural on television, and I certainly don’t need that in my life. I am, however, intrigued by Flash Forward because I like both time travel and Joseph Fiennes. But what sounds really interesting are the midseason shows. The Deep End is about law students and, out of all the ABC clips I watched, it certainly has the most character, pizzazz and joy. It also has Tina Majorino, looking the prettiest she’s ever looked. I will give that a shot when it premeires. I will also give hardcore sci-fi reboot V a shot, as we certainly don’t have any shows on network TV currently dealing with alien invasion, and I’m really jazzed on the trailer for Happy Town, which seems like its going to be a slightly more normal Twin Peaks (in that its a small town mystery), only this time, with Amy Acker!

FOX: I’m wary of a fall edition of SYTYCD, but I do see the benefit of it giving FOX a consistent schedule so that things don’t get shitfucked when Idol rolls around at midseason. Perhaps, if this is a success, going forward we’ll have to find a new totally awesome summer reality competition . . . maybe one for actors? OR MAYBE WE CAN MAKE A TRIPLE THREAT SHOW BECAUSE I WOULD TOTALLY WATCH THAT????? (Please, FOX?!!!!) Fox is actually my favorite of the networks so far, actually. I’m happy to see they’ve renewed Dollhouse and paired Bones with Fringe, which makes for a really rockin’ Thursday. Also excited to see Sons of Tucson with Tyler Labine as it looks pretty funny from the promo.  Human Target looks pretty fun, too. And you best fucking bet I will be watching Glee. The only thing I think I’d really pass on, here, is Past Life, and that’s just because I’m not really interested in seeing a show that solves crimes using past life regression (although one of my favorite X-Files episodes has exactly that conceit). So, rock on, FOX. You are my winner for next season.

CBS: I will be skipping pretty much every new show on CBS this year as they continue to build their police procedural empire. However, I will give a try to the new Monday comedy Accidentally on Purpose, even though it’s based on the memoirs of a film critic I don’t like very much, the Contra Costa Times‘ Mary F. Pols, who can’t seem to see the good in anything at all. The show is set in San Francisco, though Pols lives somewhere in the Walnut Creek area in reality, I assume, and Jenna Elfman plays the fictional version of Pols’ film critic who accidentally gets pregnant by a younger, one-night stand and decides to keep the baby, and it’s daddy. I generally like Jenna Elfman and, of course, adore Grant Show, who will be playing her boss. I will also give Three Rivers a shot, because it stars Moonlight‘s Alex O’Laughlin and its about organ donation, so there’s a chance I could see him repeat at least part of his horrifying performance in Feed, a film in which he kidnaps obese women and feeds them their own fat until they die. (How he would repeat part of that performance, I don’t know, but I’d like to see CBS try.)

CW: Will I watch a show produced by Ashton Kutcher about teenage models called The Beautiful Life? Yes, I will. Will I watch a show about teenage vampires called The Vampire Diaries? Indeed, I would probably watch something like that, as long as it sucked in a good way and not a bad way. Melrose Place? I have even less of a connection to that show than to 90210, so I’m not inclined to watch the reboot — especially since Ashlee Simpson’s on it. But, hey, I might need some mind-numbing crap to counterbalance all my grad school reading, so perhaps. I’ll give Melrose Place a perhaps, a perhaps perhaps, even, if I choose to continue watching 90210, making my Tuesday nights just like 1992. I am, however, surprised that CW axed the Gossip Girl spin-off, as even though I didn’t like the backdoor pilot, I did think the show had potential. I’m also surprised they axed Jason Dohring and Minka Kelly’s legal show, Body Politic, if only because I was hoping both former Moonlight vampires would have jobs come fall, but I guess it just wasn’t in the cards for Josef Kostan nee Logan Echolls.

So, as the curtain on this TV season falls, you can look forward to me actually writing about Mad Men this summer, as well as many, many articles on SYTYCD. After that, I’m going to have to see what my fall schedule is like and compare it to the above fall schedules to see what I can really watch and what I can, in turn, cover.

I’ll make you guys a chart of all that later.

The Wife:

Oh, 90210! You are ridiculous! This finale was all the fuck over the place, but it was so fucking nutzo that I think it was actually pretty good. Here’s “9 Final Things About This Week’s 90210:”

1. Adriana. Probably the show’s most realistic and moving scene to date: Adriana, post emergency C-section, can’t even look at her newborn daughter because she knows that if she does, she won’t be able to give her up. She eventually does come around to holding her, and then, when somewhat overeager adoptive parents Greg and Leslie arrive, it’s absurdly hard for her to let go. You got me a little bit there, 90210. Great performance by Jessica Lowndes in this episode. I’m so glad they promoted her to a series regular.

2. “Have you met my dragon?” Before Adriana could come to the realization that she needed to say goodbye to her child before giving it up for adoption, though, we had to witness a super-trippy dream sequence in which she imagines that Brenda has returned from playing Cleopatra in China to hang out with her, rather than saying goodbye to her dying father. You see, Adriana and Brenda are a lot alike . . . however . . . I still don’t really understand why Brenda or Kelly are actually Adriana’s friends. I can kind of get that Kelly, a bleeding heart guidance counselor, thinks her duties extend to the delivery room, but Brenda? Other than tossing Aid into rehab, I’m not really sure why they’re, you know, friends. Anyway, what I learned from this is that apparently, the school production of Anthony and Cleopatra did happen, we just never got to see it. Also, “Have you met my dragon?” is the greatest segue into unveiling a completely unnecessary Chinese dragon ever.

FUCK YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

FUCK YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

3. Post-Prom-a-Palooza. I don’t know what was most impressive about Principal Wilson’s school-sponsored post-prom party. Was it the a capella group singing Stephen Foster tunes? (Hell, yeah, “Beautiful Dreamer”! Sing “Swanee River” next! Sing it!) Was it the fact that there were so many people in attendance? Was it the fact that nearly half the people in attendance were wearing my favorite tee shirt in the whole wide world right now, “One party can ruin your whole summer?” No, no. It was clearly the fact that someone laced the brownies with weed, totally rendering Moms and Pops Wilson stoned out of their minds when they head to the hospital to visit Adriana and her baby. I kind of loved Rob Estes crazy-eyes. Like, loved them enough to think he’d make a good guest star serial killer on Criminal Minds, following in the footsteps of one totally awesome C. Thomas Howell. I also kind of loved the fact that they were so afraid to drive (let alone incapable of getting their shit together) that they couldn’t go look for their lying children . . . so they just stayed in the hospital waiting room all night and never went home. Lord knows I’d have made fast friends with those lush waiting room couches myself if I’d come across some edibles at Post-Prom-a-Palooza. Mmmm . . . couches.

One pot brownie can ruin your whole summer.

One pot brownie can ruin your whole summer.

4. Post Prom at Villa Clark. Because Pheobe’s party gets shut down by Pops Wilson, Naomi offers to host the party at her new digs, only to abandon it altogether to be by Aid’s side and put Annie in charge. I would have probably, oh, I dunno, just cancelled the party. But that’s just me. Thinking practically!

5. Love triangle #1. While Dixon starts to doubt his relationship with Silver, Ethan assures him that the very things that he doesn’t like about her on prom night are the things that make her Silver the other 364 days of the year. Later, Silver comes to question Ethan about his thoughts on her relationship with Dixon, and he assures her that they’re good together. But after switching jackets with Dixon (where Ethan has stowed a lovely prom portrait of Silver) and getting caught watching Silver jump in the pool in her prom gown, Dixon realizes Ethan’s got a thing for his girl, and, rather than getting into a fight that might involve a way to kill off Dustin Milligan, they just kind of stare each other down. Silver totally has no idea what’s going on, but Ethan solves that by later sucking her face off when she tries to stop him from leaving. Is Dustin Milligan not leaving the show? Because this is the kind of plotline you set up when someone isn’t leaving, not when you plan on killing them off during their summer in Montana. I never read any correction to that bit of casting news, so perhaps I’ve been watching this entire season incorrectly looking for ways to kill off Dustin Milligan. Dunno. Anyway, is a major break up a really good thing to do to Silver right now, guys? I mean, she is bipolar. She can’t be in high-energy situations. Or she’ll go crazy! At least, that’s what her sister seems to think.

6. Love triangle #2. Although Liam opened up to Naomi about his past (chiefly, it seems, how his mother used to be a maid and married up . . . because that’s oh-so-shameful), she is so excited about this breakthrough that she tells her sister all about it. Jen uses this information to sleep with Liam by pretending to be Naomi’s neighbor and saying that Naomi just blurts all this stuff to anyone. When Naomi comes home, she finds Liam putting his clothes back on and immediately wants to know who he’s been with. He won’t tell her, because he’s a tool, and she goes on a hell rampage when she finds Annie’s gaudy faux-fur wrap on the floor that Jen stole. Then Jen enters and tells Liam she’s Naomi’s sister, he calls her a bitch, and she’s like, “Well, duh.” Later, a none-the-wiser Naomi cries on her bitch sister’s lap as Liam is taken from his bed in the middle of the night and shipped off to military school. This is a much better love triangle than love triangle #1.

7. Best transition ever? Lori Loughlin enjoying a brownie with a vigorous “Mmmm!” to Adriana experiencing contractions with a hardcore moan. Genius.

8. Everyone at WestBev is a douche. As soon as the post-prom party at Pheobe’s house is cancelled, everyone starts calling Annie a rat, which is way less clever than whomever came up with Benedict Annie. But Annie takes pity on Phoebe when she finds her vomiting in Naomi’s bathroom and offers to drive her home. However, when she gives this alibi to Naomi when questioned about why her wrap was on the floor if she didn’t sleep with Liam, Naomi doesn’t believe her because Pheobe, like everyone else, hates Benedict Annie. Seeing how angry Naomi is, everyone quickly turns on Annie, who up until this point had been cleaning up after their drunk asses and getting them drink refills, calling her names of the rat variety and even tossing drinks in her face because she went to prom with someone she had no intention of dating thereafter. AnnaLynne McCord uses her absolute best bitch-face here and screams at Annie to get the fuck out of her house, leading to the most amazingly awful (but bold!) acting choice Shenae Grimes has ever made. Benedict Annie steps outside the doors, grits her teeth, makes a bunch of guttural noises whilst shaking her fists in the air before fumbling around with her cell phone and becoming the person those WestBev douches wanted her to be: the rat who calls the cops on their party.

9. Final scene. Wait, did Annie hit someone while driving drunk? I’m totally confused because I saw no hitting. Alls I know for sure is that the other car that didn’t look like it got hit at all had a WestBev sticker on it. As I don’t plan on watching this show next year, I guess I’ll never know.

Nonetheless, crazy shit happened, so, um, good finale, 90210! I wish you the best of luck in your future, because Lord knows the CW needs you to survive.

The Husband:

Sorry honey, you’re going to be watching the next season with me come this fall, because that was a damn good finale, and you know you cannot resist. Especially now that the vastly superior Privileged has bit the dust, how else are you going to get your non-GG high school bitch fix?

As for the final scene, Annie did definitely hit something, although we never saw it. It was supremely awkward how it was set up and then not paid off, but my guess is that if Dustin Milligan is off the show next year, then she hit him. It’ll create some major friggin’ drama next season, that Annie killed her ex-boyfriend whom she stole from Naomi, all while having a gigantic bottle of booze in the car after being laughed out of a party. That’s some crazy shit right there.

Good finale? No. Great finale. Everything that has worked about this season found its way into this episode, and none of the bad stuff decided to stick around. Jen’s betrayal was cruel enough to turn her into a great villain, Liam’s violent kidnapping was brutal enough to actually inspire pity in me, Annie’s downfall was juicy enough to last a long time, and Lori Loughlin and Rob Estes were funny enough to get me through all the pregnancy scenes, ones I had been dreading after having already gone through that drama on SLOTAT.

(You want to see Lori Loughlin be as hilarious in something else? Pick up the recently DVD-released Keanu Reeves comedy The Night Before. She plays bitch like nobody’s business. Then follow it up with the sweeter C. Thomas Howell starrer Secret Admirer. That’s right – two C-Bombs in one article!)

Whatever. I’m there next season. This show has become a can’t-miss in its recent weeks, and I’m not going to let that go. It’s a good thing I’ll be working from home this fall instead of chained to my office computer 40 hours a week.

The Wife:

Now this, this felt like an episode of Reaper. The pacing was much better this week, and the familiar story elements were re-introduced. I still think there are a few dropped stitches that the writers need to pick up again and knit back in (check me out with my knitting metaphors!), but overall, this is Reaper‘s groove. And I’m glad it got its groove back.

Or maybe I just liked this episode so much because of the bunny. King Charlie was soooooooooo cute! With his little bunny face! And his nibbly little bunny mouth! And his big hoppy bunny feet! Oooooooooh! I like bunnies!

Sorry. But that gives you a taste of what it would have been like to watch this episode with me, squeaking out, “Bunny!” every time that damned adorable bunny graced the screen. I like animals. Shut up. Don’t judge me.

This week’s escaped soul is a Mongol warrior, whom the boys have chased into a stable where they discover that the soul is terrified of cell phones and use that to distract him, until Ben chooses the bunny over quickly grabbing the vessel and allows the soul to escape on horseback. The soul continues to go on a rampage throughout Seattle while Sam chooses to focus instead on hunting down Hell’s Own One That Got Away, Alan Townsend (who I just now realized is the star of Save the Last Dance, Sean Patrick Thomas). He and Andi, who is hell-bent on getting her boyfriend out of his contract with Satan, go to visit Gladys. He suspects that she knows who the soul might be and she agrees to meet him at his house later that night to give him information.

However, she sends a demon in her place to attack and possibly kill him. Lucky for Sam, Ben manages to fend off the demon and save Sam’s life by torching it’s shoulder with King Charlie’s tiki torch, which Ben takes as a sign that he should re-open the vote to get King Charlie to stay in the house with him, a direct challenge of Sock’s “no bunnies in the house” rule. Unfortunately, the guys still vote against having a house bunny, banning King Charlie to the garage with his tiki torch. Sam and Andi head back to the DMV and threaten Gladys in order to get information about Alan Townsend. After some reluctance and misdirection, she gives them his address and they head out on a stakeout of Townsend’s apartment. When Andi leaves to get some snacks, The Devil appears to casually remind Sam that instead of necking with his girlfriend, he should be out capturing the Mongol soul that’s cutting a swath of violence throughout the city.

Whered he get a suit?

"Where'd he get a suit?"

Ben proposes that the soul is recreating the Mongol empire by “conquering” Asian restaurants. He’s already destroyed a Chinese restaurant and a Korean restaurant, so Ben correctly predicts that he will strike a Vietnamese restaurant next. There’s a great chases scene where Sam and the Mongol Soul battle it out in the restaurant’s kitchen, with Sam sending the warrior, who adapted to the modern world so quickly that he now wears a suit and a Bluetooth and is no longer afraid of cell phones, back to hell as two butcher’s knives fall out of his hands and land on either side of Sam’s head.

With his work complete, Sam catches up to Alan Townsend and begs for his help. Alan refuses, until Sam lays down the bargaining chip that, as The Devil’s son, he would be the best person for Alan to align himself with as Sam can keep Alan off The Devil’s radar. Just as Alan agrees to help, Sam is attacked by demons and The Devil conveniently shows up to destroy them, warning that “This one is not to be touched!” Alan runs off and The Devil warns Sam that he needs to adapt to his new life like his Mongol friend did and to forget all about Alan Townsend. Oh yeah, and he may have set up that demon attack to make Alan never want to talk to Sam again.

Ill get you a satanic mechanic.

I'll get you a satanic mechanic.

Later that night, Ben and King Charlie get kidnapped by a demon, who, as it turns out, is actually a really hot chick who wants love, just like Ben and everyone else does. She admires how much he cares for that rabbit and thinks he has pretty eyes.

Sam and Andi clandestinely head over to Alan Townsend’s apartment and discover that he is gone. However, they also find out that Alan has surrounded himself with crosses and warnings from The Ten Commandments about what he shouldn’t do lest he get sent back to hell.

Meanwhile, in what I think was posited as a B-plot but feels like more of a C-plot to me because I think the B-plot this week is really about Ben and King Charlie, Sock is still pining over his sister Kristen.


Sock: I just want her to see me the way the rest of the world does.
Sam: How’s that?
Sock: As a sexual magician.


The tickle fights and breakfast in bed and sexy yoga spotting are too much for him, so he tries to take Kristen out and get her drunk to loosen her inhibitions about their relationship. At the club, though, she has her eyes set on some skeevy dude named Topher, who later shows up to take her on a date, prompting Sock to whack him over the head with a chair, Wrestlemania-style.

“She’s my sister. And the only one who gets to have sex with her is me.” – Sock


Clearly, this does not endear Sock to Kristen and she spends the rest of the episode mad at him until she calls him to pick her up from a bad date. Kristen’s a virgin and wanted to lose her virginity ASAP to someone she didn’t care about: Topher. But then she caught him sleeping with another girl and that made her really sad. So she called good ol’ Sock to pick her up, and he delivered the sweetest and weirdest pep talk ever in which he compares being a slutty girl to being a dirty hot tub that no one wants to get busy in.


“I don’t like dirty hot tubs.” – Kristen


Instead, she vows to keep her virginity until marriage and asks for her brother’s help in never, ever having sex with anyone ever, to which he begrudgingly agrees.

And then there’s the D-plot in which Ted hits on a mystery shopper, something he apparently does rather frequently, and gets fired by corporate pending a sexual harassment lawsuit.


“You’re not my first, and you won’t be the last. But you will be the seventh.” – Ted, being really creepy


I wonder about the fate of The Work Bench if Ted’s not the manager. Maybe Andi will be promoted? In which case, would she basically give the guys a free pass to go demon hunting? It’s not as though work is every really an issue for these guys, unlike over on Chuck, where Chuck really would raise suspicions and take a lot of shit if he didn’t show up for a shift. I could see this going the Chuck route of offering Sam the manager job, but it wouldn’t make sense here. Chuck is a model employee. Sam isn’t. It probably doesn’t really matter, but I’m curious about Ted’s replacement.

I’m not super into the Sock-Wants-To-Jump-His-Sister’s-Bones plot, and that might be because I’m more amused by the Adrian-Wants-To-Fuck-Her-Brother plot on SLOTAT, but it does provide the show’s better lines and I got to see Sock dance, which was funny, as well as dejectedly hide behind the paint center at The Work Bench, only to burst through the wall of cans like so many Kool-Aid men just to see Ted get fired. Those were some good moments.

The Wife:

It’s been a little less than a year since we last laid eyes on Reaper, and while I didn’t forget about the tone of the show, how much my husband is like Sock (because I basically decided that he should try to emulate Sock’s slackeriffic style since they’re so similar in build; what works on Tyler Labine will work on my husband) or, say, that whole plot point about the demon revolution with Ken Marino and Michael Ian Black, I did forget the entire thing that happened with Sam’s dad faking his own death.

Which of course Sam doesn’t know about, the faking part, so in response he, Sock and Ben disappear for a month on a road trip in Sam’s sweet green Prius (which I also forgot he drove, prompting me to go: “Hey! I own one of those!”). Naturally, they don’t tell anyone, which means they return to Washington homeless, jobless and, in Sam’s case, Andi-less. See, he was supposed to send her a letter he wrote about how he needed to figure some shit out and recover from his dad’s alleged death, but he gave it to Sock to mail. And Sock never mailed it. Go figure.

Reapin souls and lookin good doin it.

Reapin' souls and lookin' good doin' it.

But that’s not the end of Sam’s problems. The Devil is also not very pleased with him. To make up for the number of souls Sam has neglected to capture by taking a month off, The Devil gives him a cattle prod and sends him to catch 20 really, really hulked-up souls in some kind of pugilist soul fight club. Question: The Devil can find Sam anywhere in Washington, why doesn’t that power extend to oh, say, other parts of the world? Like, why wouldn’t The Devil have simply popped up to party with Sam while he and his friends were getting busy getting so wasted that Sock forgot his own name in Lake Tahoe (that happened to me too, once, one fateful weekend)? I generally have to assume that The Devil can find you whenever he wants to, so I fail to understand why he wouldn’t have found Sam sooner and made his deadbeat son (since the show really wants us to believe Sam is The Devil’s son, and the characters are willing to believe it, too, although, personally, I don’t think its true given how little evidence we have been provided) get back to work.

Regardless, the guys set about trying to squat in Sock’s house, but there’s some strange hot Asian girl there who won’t let them come in, so, instead, they break into The Work Bench to sleep and get caught by Ted, who’s totally ready to call the cops on them until Sock threatens to expose Ted’s various money making schemes in which he buys Work Bench products at cost and sell them to private customers for a profit. Blackmail gets them their jobs back. With that secured, Sock tries to get them back in his house, and this time, the cute Asian girl lets them in, revealing that she’s Sock’s mom’s new husband’s daughter, thus, Sock’s step-sister. She’s housesitting while their parents are on their honeymoon, so she invites the boys to stay with her. Sock very much wants to do her, but grows fiercely protective when anyone else suggests her hotness, as any good big brother should:


Sock: She’s hot, am I right?
Ben: Smokin’.
Sock: Shut your mouth. That’s my sister. I got dibs.


So, with two out of three issues solved, Ben and Sock try to patch things up between Sam and Andi by presenting her with a “recovered” version of Sam’s letter, including such choice lines as, “I have some stuff to say about feelings.” This makes her laugh, but does not quell her fury. Meanwhile, Sam tries to conjure up The Devil to see if he can pull the “I’m Your Son” card and have some of his 20-soul workload lifted. The Devil refuses to do so, insisting that while he appreciates Sam’s attempts at nepotism, he’s sired many children, and all of them really suck at doing evil. Instead, he doubles Sam’s workload in order to get the boy to prove his mettle.

With double the souls, the boys decided to pull an all-nighter to devise a plan to capture the souls.


“We may not have gone to college, boys, but we can certainly cram like people who did. Bottoms up!” – Sock

I assume this is exactly what they did during the 4 weeks they went missing.

I assume this is exactly what they did during the 4 weeks they went missing.

After a night of drinking and pizza, the boys come up empty handed, until Ben’s mighty ‘fro (“My hair hurts.”) comes up with this: why not get all the souls wasted and capture them when they’re passed out? To implement this, they attempt to steal a beer truck, but that scheme gets foiled, so, instead, they buy a bunch of beer on the Work Bench corporate card and hijack a Work Bench delivery truck, painted over with a Beer Baby logo that was meant to be a leprechaun, except that Ben can only draw babies. This plan goes well, until the souls start firebombing the truck. Eventually, however, they all pass out in a pile, allowing Sock and Ben to lower Sam down from the roof Mission Impossible-style to zap sleeping souls back to hell as the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies” plays across the scene. Perfect, hilarious music choice. Ben’s skills at knot-tying, however, are not as stellar as he claims and Sam eventually falls into the pit of souls, waking each of them. They are definitely not happy to be awake. Sam tries to escape by climbing up to the catwalk of the warehouse and swinging out the window on a firehose, only to swing back in through the bottom floor window. Thinking fast, he lets loose a spray of water on the souls, stunning them momentarily . . . until the water runs out. Faced with an army of angry souls, Sam turns the cattle prod to the puddle of water on the ground and turns it on, zapping all the souls in one amazing electric mess.

Except for one guy.

This guy, though, he’s different. He’s not tatted up and grunting like all the other souls. In fact, he looks just about Sam’s age. He tells Sam he’s different, and he escaped from hell by piggybacking on those dudes. Sam tries to zap him, anyway, figuring any escaped soul needs to go back to hell, whether he’s assigned to nab it or not, but the cattle prod doesn’t work on this dude. Sam demands to know how this dude got out of hell for good, and he promises to tell if Sam gives him the vessel . . . which he promptly knocks Sam out with.

This knowledge that one man beat his deal with the devil is enough to lift Sam’s spirits. He goes to Andi with evidence, and apparently the idea of a way out is enough for her to forgive Sam after yelling at him about shirking responsibilities and constantly having to worry that he might be dead. They kiss. All is well. Frankly, that’s a little sudden for me, but largely, this is a comedy, so I suppose we have to follow the Aristotelian Poetics and return to the status quo.

The Devil is very impressed with Sam’s ability to capture so many souls, telling his possible-son that he’s pleased Sam hasn’t turned out to be a dud after all. But Sam’s excellent mood from getting back together with Andi and meeting Hell’s own One That Got Away makes The Devil wary, and he calls off their celebratory evening out.

This episode was weird for me. Maybe it was the time off between seasons or if it was simply that this episode wasn’t that good. There are a lot of holes here. For instance, what the fuck happened to that cattle prod full of souls. Did The One That Got Away take it? If so, how could The Devil count the job as completed? Why didn’t they have to make this job as complete as any other by delivering the vessel to Gladys the DMV Demon? (And I do vaguely remember her betrayal last season, but I thought Sam begged for her to be spared and The Devil acquiesced? Gladys or no Gladys, there’s a procedure here. That vessel should have been given to someone at the DMV.) And still the unanswered question from last season: what exactly is the deal with Sam’s Earthly parents?

The Devil, however, was in rare form in this episode, however uneven it was. Here’s a couple of good lines from Old Scratch:

  • “I just wanted to tell you that your pentagram is a Star of David. Mazel Tov!”
  • “Where did you get this book? The Devil is attracted to radishes? What does that mean? Like, sexually?”

The Husband:

Man, I don’t know what nearly every critic out there (plus my wife) is smoking, because I loved this episode. As far as non-mytharc, standalone, soul-hunting episodes go, I thought it was one of the best, and that’s coming from someone who got almost annoyingly bored after the first couple weeks in s1 until the show came back, post-strike, and introduced some sweet ass gay demons from MTV’s The State and their plan to trick The Devil.

Yes, I’m a bit confused and frustrated by some of the stuff that happened in the four-week time span between s1’s finale and this episode that was not told to us, nor do I think it will ever be addressed. Why would Andi get so mad about Sam dealing with his father’s “death”? What exactly was the funeral like if there was no body? Was there a funeral? Can you really get evicted for simply missing one rent payment? Do we actually have enough proof that Sam is the son of The Devil? (I don’t remember ever seeing the actual full contract, nor was it read to us in any form other than the one with all the pages ripped out.)

But the soul-hunting was fucking great. It was funny, it was clever, and, surprisingly for this show, it was well-staged. (Having Kevin Smith, a self-admitted shitty visual director, helm the pilot, did wonders for the show’s comedic flow, but started a very long trend of poorly executed action sequences that didn’t let up until some time near the butt end of the Demon Revolution.)

I hear two episodes from now, though, that we’re in for a mega-treat, so I’m especially glad that I liked this critically-drubbed opening episode.

And oh man, they created one of the best lines of dialogue I’ve heard in quite some time:

Sam: Sometimes in order to do something good, you have to do something bad first.

Sock: I want you to keep that in mind when I eventually make love to your mother.

BAM!

The Wife:

Ah, love! What better gift could I have been given by the CW than a 90210 Valentine’s Day episode? In the spirit of all things lovey-dovey, here are “9 Adorably Lame Things About This Week’s 90210:

1. Silver in love. I’m glad she had a line that explained how being in love was turning her into a “completely different person,” because I would never have guessed from the oh-so-subtle costuming changes or Jessica Stroup’s acting. Since when does being in love make you shed your hardcore rocker chick look and start wearing navy and white striped jumpers and putting your hair up like a little girl? I mean, Stroup looks cute in whatever you throw on her tiny little body, but really, wardrobe folks, your intention surely wasn’t to infantalize Silver, was it? If it was, why? That outfit aside, Silver was pretty adorable in this episode in her foray into being a nice, genuine person who just wants to show Dixon she loves him, Beverly Hills style.

2. I have never heard the phrase “cheesy goober” so much in such a short period of time. That is a truly lame phrase, but despite its appearance 3 times in 20 seconds, I think it worked in service of what was going on with Silver’s character in this episode.

3. Not adorable in any way: talking smack about your ex while she’s in earshot, Navid. That’s really uncool. In fact, it’s a super lame thing to do. However, I think Navid made up for it sufficiently in his very sincere apology to Adriana at the candy shop.

4. And then he follows that up by stopping by Adriana’s place after the Valentine’s dance she declined to go to (you know, due to being pregnant and all), and telling her that she’s a mess, but even so, he still wants her to be his Valentine. Ooh, yay! Now they can be just like Amy and Ben over on Secret Life! And he’ll totally defend her and stuff when people pick on her. And then he’ll get all attached and want to raise her baby with her. And then they’ll have an illegal secret wedding! Honestly, this was very sweet in theory, but lacked any punch due to chronic underdevelopment of Navid’s character on the writer’s part, thus making it ever so slightly lame. But he is wearing a really awesome sweater during this scene. And that’s pretty adorable.

5.  Annie, I get that acting is your passion and you want to be goord at it, but in addition to your acting teacher’s advice about accessing your own emotions to bring the character you’re playing to life, you also need to find yourself some good material to work with. Why in God’s name would you choose a monologue from Les Miserables? Les Miz sucks. It’s quite possibly one of the lamest shows I’ve ever seen. And how can you, at 16, possibly know what the hell Fantine was going through? If Annie, in all her corn-fed senses of quality, taste and style, really wanted to pick something from Les Miz, why not something from Cosette? Or even Eponine? An acting audition is just like a singing audition. You’ve got to have the right song choice. And you’ve got to have the right monologue.

6. Oh, man, could Rhonda’s story about being asked to the school dance on a dare have been anymore melodramatic? Seriously, girlfriend, if that makes you want to kill yourself, you definitely need to be in therapy because you have some serious self-esteem and identity issues. And I fucking adored the lame little inserts of Rhonda telling that story at the Peach Pit as Annie appropriates it to show that she can access emotions from her past in her acting class! Amazing! Truly, the greatest art 90210 has ever displayed is that sequence. And Ethan coming in at the end? Priceless. Just. Priceless.

7. I miss PodPerson Ethan, because Rhonda-loving Ethan is a major downer. Maybe I’m a jackass for thinking this, but even though Rhonda told Ethan and Annie that story “in confidence,” I’m totally fine with Annie using it as a monologue in her class. I mean, clearly the worst thing that’s ever happened to Annie was the thing with her Secret Brother Who Isn’t Her Brother At All trying to swindle her family, so if learning to relate to Rhonda helps her with her craft, more power to her. She never said Rhonda’s name, and none of the people in Annie’s class would ever know that it was Rhonda’s story at all. In a way, she’s really protecting Rhonda’s, uh, “secret,” by turning it in to an artistic endeavor, something that is real without necessarily being true. Whatever. I’m talking out my ass. If Rhonda’s not going to use that story, someone should. It’s a fucking gem of an after-school special if ever there was one.

8. Adorable: Naomi’s crush on the new bartender at her hotel, Liam. Also adorable: Liam. What a nice guy, standing up for the waitstaff and flirting with Naomi. It’s lame that he stood her up for their poolside V-Day date, but even lamer that he somehow blames her for the twist to this plot: Liam is also in high school, and now that he’s been found out, he actually has to return to high school. In summary, Naomi sent a bottle of champagne to Liam’s house, which his mom had to sign for, which is how she knew he was working instead of going to school. What the fuck? Seriously. I appreciate you twisting this around on me, but why spring it on me so soon? And why do it in the most convoluted way? Sorry you don’t really like school, Liam, but seriously, graduate high school. It’s the least you can do. And don’t take the fact that you’re dumb enough to live with your mom and “pretend” to go to school out on Naomi. Your mom was gonna find out eventually. Like when your W2s come in the mail. And when your report card suddenly stopped showing up. Dumbass.

9. I’m glad to know that buying Silver a basic ID bracelet is enough to make her stop freaking out and being mean to wait staff (truly an undesirable quality in a person), but even happier to know that the least thoughtful gift in the world is enough to make her want to have sex with you. And that having sex with you is enough to make her want to do the fucking lamest thing ever and get your name tattooed on her hip. Silver, you are clearly a nutcase. An adorable nutcase, but a nutcase nonetheless. I’ve been with my husband for about seven and a half years, and I do not have his name tattooed anywhere on me. And I love tattoos as much as I love him, so that should tell you how strongly I feel about getting a name tattooed on your person. Enjoy having that lasered off or covered up when Dixon inevitably breaks up with your crazy ass, Silver. Maybe she can get the word “Ticonderoga” tattooed below it and a pencil. Because, you know, she loves writing. It would be like her version of Johnny Depp’s “Wino Forever” tattoo.

Bitch, you crazy!

Bitch, you crazy!

And One Really Awesome Thing About This Week’s 90210:

1. It was just a fleeting moment, but I loved Naomi’s pep talk to Adriana about how her pregnancy is benefiting her, saying that her skin and hair have never looked better, and that her boobs are huge. Here’s hoping we should all get such shiny, thick hair while pregnant, because the boobs are a given.

The Husband:

I don’t have an awesome thing about this week’s 9fneh, but I did amuse myself when I declared that at least once this season, the showrunners should allow the actors to improvise an entire episode. At least it’ll be natural that way. And Jessica Walter will probably end up in the background of every shot going “WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” …and then asking somebody to play “Misty” for her.