October 10, 2011
Weekend In Reviews
Stricken with an ugly case of eye leprosy (or possibly something less heinous sounding but I name my ailments based on what they actually look like so: eye leprosy) over the weekend, I was mostly home-bound which gave me a terrific opportunity to spend many, many quality hours with my TiVo and Netflix Instant.
Kyle XY - I had heard of Kyle XY plenty of times but never had any desire to watch it. But as you know, I've been binging on ABCFamily programming of the past and present recently and since Kyle XY was available on NetFlix Instant, I gave it a try. It took some time to get off the ground. The first several episodes were extra heavy on Kyle narration and extra light on interesting character or story developments. I was content to watch about one episode a week at most until last weekend when I watched the 8th episode, "Memory Serves," and things started getting really good.
That's when the bromance between Kyle and Declan really started to blossom and when the interpersonal relationships between all the various members of the cast started to gel. From there on out, I was content to ignore some of my new TV and focus all my attention on finding out what would become of Kyle, Jessi, the Tragers and Declan. Mostly Declan. That kid is adorable.
The show has some problems - the acting is spotty at best, several members of the cast are distractingly in need of orthodontia, the made up organizational names sound ridiculously made up (Zzyzx? Latnok?) making the whole escapade seem vaguely cartoonish, and there was maybe a bit of an over-reliance on the nefarious science-y groups over the slightly more entertaining regular problem stories. But the show was funny and had an honest, interesting way of dealing with things like illness, death, sex, family, finances, friendship and young love.
It is not an exaggeration to say that the scene between Andy and Josh where they discuss whether or not he should be trying to feel her up while making out, was one of the sweetest, funniest, truest scenes I've ever seen on television. If you haven't see the show, I'm sure you're dubious at that claim, but if you have seen the show, you understand. Andy has cancer and she's about to start chemo treatments and has decided that she and Josh should break up before they make her sick and unpleasant to be around. As a last hurrah, she's come over for a good make out and heavy petting session. But Josh doesn't want to break up with her and he doesn't especially want to spend any time touching her boobs now if he can't be with her to touch them tomorrow and all the days after that. It's a conversation about how caring about another person means being there for them when they're sick and sometimes it means letting someone be there for you even when you're scared. It's a conversation about deep and serious matters that's also a conversation about boobs.
The show is at it's best when the characters are just talking to each other because when you strip away the silly science experiments and the mysterious nonsense, this is a show about family and friendship and the nature vs. nurture debate. And Declan and Kyle are the cutest brofriends since I don't know when.
Make It Or Break It - Having seen the movie Stick It, I never thought there was any point in watching this show. The movie was a bit of a non-entity - the story of an unrefined, tomboy, playground gymnast who gets a scholarship to attend a prestigious gym as an Olympic hopeful - and Make It Or Break It was clearly about the same thing. But like I said, I've recently discovered that ABCFamily original series are kind of awesome so I had to see if the show had managed to be more interesting than the movie.
Still the story of a poor playground gymnast brought into an elite gym full of spoiled rich kids and girls who've been training their entire lives to make the Olympic team. But what MIOBI has that Stick It didn't, is compelling stories for the parents as well as the girls and I'm seriously in love with the moms on this show (I think of Summer as a mom because...she kind of is). Love triangles, affairs, devastating injuries, financial problems, divorce, dating, a hot coach (Neil Jackson), politics, overbearing parents, drugs, super cute boys, mean girls...there's something here for everyone.
I don't understand why anyone would be fighting over Carter but Lauren's inability to not be a treacherous bitch where he's concerned certainly keeps the drama up. I was really enjoying the potential that existed between Nicky and Payson and was pretty bummed when he was shipped off Denver. Every time I think I know who I want Emily to be with another suitor does something to win me over. Leo is adorable and smart and sweet, but Razor is funny and weird and cute, but Damon is so perfect on every level. Yeah, ok, I pretty much just want her to pull her head out of her ass and be with Damon.
Speaking of people who need to pull their heads out of their asses: if Summer doesn't abandon her religious beliefs and get naked with Sasha immediately, I'm going to cry real tears. What is WRONG with that woman? Ahem. The Cruz marriage, the Keeler money troubles and the relationship between Chloe Kmetko and Steve Tanner round out some fairly terrific stories going on for everyone on the show. I'm only at the end of the first season so I'm sure there's a lot more crazy in store for me. I hope Nicky comes back. Payson deserves better, and cuter, than Ike.