December 8, 2011

Monte Carlo Dreams, Miami Instincts

I interrupt the unplanned holiday hiatus here on Phantom Rats to bring you some thoughts on last night's Revenge winter finale.

Without question, this show has been great fun to watch from day one. It's the best kind of bat shit crazy and even the stuff I don't like about it (Declan), I don't like in a fun way. But last night was the weakest episode thus far in my opinion and while every show is entitled to an off week and occasional imperfections, I was sorry to see the show break for a month on a boring, sour note.

Tyler, while slimy and despicable, has been a fairly worthwhile foil for Emily since his arrival. I very much enjoyed Nolan taking over the plot to bring him down because Nolan is pretty great as Emily's sidekick but I was excited to see him get a chance to scheme on his own.  Unfortunately, it looks like our Nolan has some capital-i Issues because he went and developed feelings for the little gigolo. Nolan sat back, knowing he was being worked and just...let him self get worked (DIRTY!)? What is that? I thought Nolan could play the vengeance game like a big girl. I thought he was deceitful and duplicitous and liked messing with people's lives. Turns out, he's just kind of a sad, lonely, self-loathing chap who thinks that a thieving man whore is good enough for him. Frankly, I blame Amanda.

Yeah, that's right, I can find a way to make the ruination of Nolan Amanda's fault. If she had left town when she was supposed to, Nolan would still be hanging around the bar trying to make Jack like him which would keep his loneliness in check so that he doesn't have time to mistake a decent BJ for a relationship. You guys, Amanda is ruining everything.

Have you ever had a conversation with a person that went like this:

Jack: It's weird Sammy doesn't love you since you were his first owner.
Amanda: I was? Oh, yeah. No, I totally was and I completely knew that but I just probably blocked it out because of how sad it is that my dad was arrested and stuff.
Jack: Totally. Let's get married.

No you have not because real people with real brains would never buy that sort of crap-ass lying. A real person would have heard that and been like " I'm pretty busy but we should do this again some time. Don't call me, I'll call you." And then change their number. I know those kinds of conversations happen on TV all the time so I'm not singling out Revenge here, but everyone doing it doesn't make it any less irritating. I admit that it's possible I find this particularly galling because I don't support an Amanda/Jack relationship. Amanda isn't good enough for him. Jack is already saddled with Declan as a brother, he doesn't need another poorly-accessorized idiot in his life. (Seriously, what is up with the Claire's clearance rack necklace Amanda always has tucked into her shirt between her boobs? If you're that desperate for people to gaze at your cleavage, why not just ask them to do so? It would be infinitely less annoying to look at.)

Jack and Nolan aren't the only people Amanda's presence is sullying. Emily's focus has been split by A's unexpected drop-in which is throwing her off her game. So now she has to take a refresher course in revenge from her Ninja Master who is, frankly, disappointed in what she's getting herself up to. He's particularly displeased with how she's got all these FEELINGS for Daniel who should be nothing more than an impossibly attractive pawn in the grand scheme to bring Victoria down. There was a time when I would have thought that Emily could easily shut down actual feelings to carry out her vendetta but I'm no longer sure. She hasn't busted out the red sharpie in weeks, she appears to be helping Amanda cozy up to Jack, and the scariest thing she did this week was get in Nolan's face and call his "boyfriend" a hooker. Compared to the Emily who duped a greedy bastard into getting arrested for insider trading, got a woman being thrown off a balcony, and kidnapped a shady shrink? Not so tough.

Overall the show was fine last night. I was entertained and even intrigued but I didn't talk to the TV once and usually I'm all "holy shit"s and "what the fuck"s. If I'm invested, I'm vocal. If I'm silent, I'm bored.

I continue to wonder why Declan exists, why no one will tell Connor Paolo to drop the accent, and why he wears so many rings. I still think Ashley is pretty but I can't care about someone who is less integral to the plot than a jar full of sea glass. This episode felt like so much filler which is a bummer note to go out on. Fortunately, the promo for the first ep back in January was 6 kinds of awesome so I still manage to look forward to what's to come.

As long as what's to come involves Amanda getting the hell out of the Hamptons. Forever.

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