Tuesday, August 25, 2009

RP episode 7: "Crazy Love" (Crazy, weird, radioactive, vaguely insulting love)

I'm trying something a little different for this episode. I'm still behind by four, and in the interests of speeding things up, plus making watching the show less of a task, I've adopted a format designed to keep it snappy while still touching on the most important points. It's less of a book this way, although even worse for people who might not have given the show their full attention. This week, "Boris has a shark in his basement." He also (SPOILER!) totally has cancer, or something.

The "A" Plot in one paragraph:

Jill's friend Katie (who got a call from Boris as soon as the shark arrived, remember?) is in town, for discussions about a research project which would be funded by Boris. She reveals that Jill, being a Hamptons native, has a string of summer-only flings. She also counsels Jill to be cut-throat and kind of evil about Hank... or does she?

The "B" Plot in one paragraph:

Divya's fiancee Raj is introduced; he's a floppy-haired hotelier, a nice enough guy, and I'm getting a serious "just friends" vibe off Divya. Faced with the hot-blooded, overwhelming "Lambada: the Forbidden Dance"-ness of this week's PDBs, Divya wonders what kind of relationship she's about to become locked into. This thread ends on a nicely unresolved note; is she craving a more passionate, less Old Country relationship with Raj, and frustrated because of how close it is? Or by how far away? In other words, when she kissed him with such passion, was it a test... and did they pass? He must be a good bloke, right? Who takes a freakin' bus to and from the Hamptons?

The "C" Plot in one paragraph:

Crazy, rich, Latin lover stereotypes have weird problems. Say what you want about American health care, but when we agree to secretly insert a GPS tracking device into somebody's breast implants without their knowledge or consent, we don't use plutonium-powered ones. Divya is really snotty about these particular PDBs, and ambivalent about her fiancee as a result of hanging around them. Evan hounds them for payment, and uncovers the truth; he's just as stupid about investing as she is stupid about him, so these DBs are less P than most.

PDBs of the Week:

Italian/ Argentinian/ Generic Exotic People Sofia and Javier; I had been hoping they would not in fact be redeemed by the end, and remain DBs. I was, for the most part, not disappointed. Credit is due to the writers for letting their characters remain horrible people throughout the entire episode, without much comment.

Obnoxius product placement moment:

"Wow, that's a good martini! When you showed me the bottle and declaimed the name of the brand, it made it more special."

Medical Moments:

* Opening on a stress test for Boris. Dude's treadmill is out on the patio. Nice. So, when's his colonoscopy? Sweeps?

- Roadside, after a Vespa goes off the road, Hank stil irrigates with nowhere near enough fluid.

- "I was going to cal 911, but then Divya told me about you..." say what, now? Didn't you get here thanks to a giant lawsuit arising from somebody thinking you were a dumbass who was doing too much?

* At Boris', Hank could be using enough irrigation for once, since the scene fades in on him using a 40ml syringe... but that pool table is wrecked if he's using the proper amount, with no towels down.

* When did they do a CT scan? I mean, cool. They did a CT scan. Okey-doke.

- The jewelry shouldn't even be in the same room as the MRI; never mind if it's powered on or not. It's still an enormous magnet. Physics fail. Oh, and same deal with the, uh, foreign object.


This episode sees Divya using the performance of medical duties as an excuse to postpone dealing with Raj, and the thorny nature of her personal life. This is something that plenty of real-life medical people might do, but so far it's not something we've seen on this show. So there's nothing to gague it against. I think here, it makes her look emotionally immature, rather than conflicted; and unprofessional, rather than distracted.

What's My Problem This Week:

Even before watching, I was thinking about the issues I've raised so far, and it sounds like actor Mark Feuerstein has been wondering something along the same lines. (It's a good interview at that link; read the whole thing. I'm referring to the very last question and answer.) In a nutshell, my issue is that Hank is such a nice guy, and everybody loves Hank. Always. Anybody who doesn't love Hank is either shown to be wrong and given the chance to change their opinion, or is a bad guy. But Hank, meanwhile, hasn't come to be in this situation because he's awesome; he's in this situation because things in Manhattan got utterly bollixed up. But since coming to the Hamptons, he's been nothing but wonderful.

As last episode showed, it's not like Hank is always even right; it's just that the show, centering as it does on him, is charitable to a fault about Hank's missteps. And a show about a perfect character is boring.

So it's nice to see a little erosion of his calm; what if Jill is only into him as an MSG? Then again, by the patented end-of-show tender moment, he's such a stand-up guy about not knowing his plans for Labor Day and beyond... he basically does the heavy lifting for Jill, allowing her to dump him with a minimum of fuss. "Gee, I'm sorry breaking up with me is so trying for you. Perhaps if I made some cocoa?"

Best line: "right now, I feel like I'm living on a Bond villain's property..."

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