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1-3: "Tell Me You Love Me 03" 2007.09.23


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#1

TWoP Mars

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Posted Sep 23, 2007 @ 1:07 PM

From HBO.com:

Mason suggests a hangover cure for Jaime, but she can't shake the memory of Hugo. Palek brightens after passing a sperm-crisis test, but new clouds emerge after Carolyn reveals the couple's frustration at a gathering of friends. As Dave and Katie approach a dubious anniversary, Isabella helps her father pick out a gift for Katie that leaves both parents feeling helpless. A trusting Arthur urges May to face up to her past.


Edited by TWoP Mars, Sep 23, 2007 @ 10:26 PM.


#2

AquaGirl

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Posted Sep 23, 2007 @ 10:35 PM

I'm really pretty sure that I couldn't possibly loathe Carolyn or her sister Mason more if I tried. I mean, really. What a pair of nasty, self-centered women. It's no fault of the actresses, but I dread any scene containing either of them.

Actually, I pretty much hated everyone in this episode except for Jaime and that was mostly because I feel sorry for her for having such awful friends. Sure, Mason is horrible but that couple that she was talking to? MY GOD. Who SAYS things like that to a FRIEND who just ended a serious relationship?! You pass the booze and offer a sympathetic ear. You DON'T carry on about how superior you are for not believing in marriage. I was hoping Jaime would grow a spine and tell them all to fuck off.

David and Katie...GAH. How could David POSSIBLY think that letting his daughter bully him into buying his wife (who he doesn't have sex with) lingerie was appropriate?! YOU TELL HER, "NO." DONE. Then you steer her to another part of the store. DONE.
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#3

IseutLaBrune

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Posted Sep 24, 2007 @ 12:47 AM

Dang these people are fucked up.

Jamie's constant phone calls to Hugo reminded me of that painful Jon Favreau phone scene in Swingers. I just wanted to shout at her to "Stop! Calling!" But having gone through a breakup this summer, I kind of got where she was coming from. Asshole boyfriends are weirdly addictive. Stupid show, making me identify with whiny bitchyface obnoxious Jamie.

And seriously, those couple friends who totally made out right in front of her? And then criticized her views on marriage? And did I mention that they totally made out right in front of her? Height of rudeness. Now at least we know she's a bitchface because her friends suck at least as much as her boyfriend does.

Wow. Jeremy London has...expanded.
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#4

lilarose6

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Posted Sep 24, 2007 @ 1:04 AM

These characters are fucked. Dave is a moist, juicy pussy who can't say "no" to his child telling him to purchase lingerie for his wife and giving it to her during family dinner? WHAT. THE. HELL? You don't let your child push you into buying personal items for your spouse. Those boundaries are so crossed. Then he looks at it like it would be the most disgusting thing in the world if his wife wore it. What is his problem? The man.....isn't a man.

Please die, Jamie. Get some new friends, then die. She sucks. Her friends suck. Mason is Carolyn's sister? Of course she is.

I want to say a special "thank you" to Cynthia Mort for scripting Carolyn, the infertile character with whom I once thought I could identify, as a thoughtless, abrasive cunt. She is unkind. She has no warmth. What on Earth would her character do with a baby? She's angry enough that Palek can't read her mind and doesn't cater to her every whim. You think a baby is going to be centered on you, Carolyn? No, you have to think of someone other than yourself. Apparently, that's beyond your capability.

These characters suck. Why should I care about any of them?
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#5

Energiya Buran

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Posted Sep 24, 2007 @ 6:24 AM

Jamie doesn't understand yet that her crazy amount of calls to Hugo is SO the opposite of an attractive quality (that is if she really expects him to take her back after all that).
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#6

Two Dollar Toll

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Posted Sep 24, 2007 @ 7:39 AM

This episode reallt appalled me. The whole thread about the 10-year-old helping Daddy pick out sexy nightware for Mommy was very creepy. And then opening it at Olive Garden? Maybe crackheads would do this, but not most people. So many things in this episode rang totally false, like Jamie's couple friends and how Billy from Entourage could not close the deal with Jamie. Dude, try a little tenderness! Some touching, some holding, some nice words, a little nakedness, and she is going to melt.

I am totally surprised that I liked Palek this episode. If Carolyn and Palek were football teams playing in the Rose Bowl, I would totally sit on Palek's side of the stadium and get everyone in my section to shout "Carolyn SUCKS" to the people on Carolyn's side.

The parts of the show trying to be realistic were totally unbelievable to me. The parts of the show trying to be drama were way to on-the-nose for me. What a mess.
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#7

jodey73

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Posted Sep 24, 2007 @ 7:43 AM

Anyone else get a grossed-out sqidgy feeling when Isabella picked out lingerie for Dave to give Katie? What the hell was that all about? Better yet, why does a 10 yr old even know what lingerie is for? At that age, I was still playing with Barbie dolls!

Still mystified as to who this guy is that May and her husband are feeling uncomfortable about. Affair, perhaps?

Hate Carolyn, but love Palek. And ther 20-somethings are just completely off my radar.
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#8

Postkantian

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Posted Sep 24, 2007 @ 7:57 AM

If this show were written by a man, I suspect it would be accused of misogyny. Mort's depiction of women strikes me as being curiously unflattering. The men might uniformly come across as inexpressive babies, but the women are either self centred control freaks or totally lacking in empathy.

There were a couple of times I had to turn to my (female) partner and ask: do women usually talk or act like? Mort seemed to attribute to them the kind of behavior we might usually associate with men (like getting a stripper to dance for someone or insisting on meaningless sex and drinking).

I dunno -this episode didn't quite ring true for me. I did, however, enjoy the shot of Carolyn's George Bush.
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#9

Midge

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Posted Sep 24, 2007 @ 8:35 AM

Mort's depiction of women strikes me as being curiously unflattering.

Agreed. However, I also think the depiction of them is based in reality. Unfortunately I know many women who fit one of the 3 types shown on the show. (I see your point about how if this was written by a man we would be more upset about these portrayals, but the show has a long was to go before reaching Entourage-level misogyny) I think the men are portrayed equally as unflattering, except maybe for Palek. Dave is just downright creepy with the way he treats his family, especially Katie. The weird staring, the desperate "I love you, do you love me?"s, the inappropriate gift buying and giving.

Hey, maybe Palek and Katie should run off together. He can give her the sex she needs - no baby pressure there! - and she can rescue him from that death trap of a house (man that place is cold).

For all my complaining though, I have to admit I still find this show strangely compelling.

Edited by Midge, Sep 24, 2007 @ 8:36 AM.

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#10

Postkantian

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Posted Sep 24, 2007 @ 8:46 AM

I don't see Dave's 'creepiness', he just seems to need to convince himself that's they're happy...and then the Mrs had to go and ruin it for him with a reality check. Most men I know prefer to keep their heads up their ass, if only for safe keeping.

And I think Palek is passive aggressive - this guy willingly gave the power, responsibility and decision making to Carolyn, until it invariably back fired on him. It seems a little convenient to be crying for your mommy or act out because you suddenly find yourself disempowered. What I find unbelievable is that the control freak would want to be in relationship with such a mommý's boy in the first. It's easy to see what he sees in her though - a woman with lovely mammary glands prepared to take control.

I also love the show, and enjoy watching it with my partner - if only so we can argue and have make up sex afterwards.

Edited by Postkantian, Sep 24, 2007 @ 8:50 AM.

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#11

Fisher King

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Posted Sep 24, 2007 @ 8:54 AM

I dunno -this episode didn't quite ring true for me. I did, however, enjoy the shot of Carolyn's George Bush.

THAT was the best scene in this episode. Please don't cheapen it by adding 'George'. ;)
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#12

WobblyHeadedBob

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Posted Sep 24, 2007 @ 8:59 AM

I've got a new title for this series - since the original one isn't cutting it for me anymore.

"Boring People (not) Fucking"

Seems about right.
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#13

almightyisis

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Posted Sep 24, 2007 @ 9:24 AM

I'm also getting a having kids (or trying to) ruins your relationship vibe. This show works better than any birth control.
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#14

Jersee

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Posted Sep 24, 2007 @ 9:38 AM

Katie has got to be the most saddest person in television land. Damn yo! Even your daughter knows something is amiss. I would never go bra and panties shopping with my father. Dude! She is ten. Make your mother and father a card and call it a day. If I was Katie, I would've took that TIVO right back to the store. I like her friend though, she provided one second of humor when she was talking about having sex with herself after her Saturdays with her husband.

Mason is Carolyn's sister? Of course she is.

Seriously! The apple didn't fall from the fucked up bitch tree.

Free Katie! Free Palek!

Episode 4: I have no words for Dave. What a fucking jerk yo!
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#15

MickeyDs

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Posted Sep 24, 2007 @ 10:10 AM

The head writer blogs about each episode at HBO.com. Here is what she said about Carolyn

I love this character. Yes, she's obsessive, and she's controlling, and she's difficult, but little by little we understand more about her. She's done everything on her own. She never took money from her father, who supports Mason, because she didn't want to pay the price. And she's recently lost her mother, as we find out in later episodes.

Carolyn just isn't capable of just saying I need Palek, I need family, I want family – that's not who she is. She goes about it in a much more defensive way. She's fierce in everything she does: in her love for Palek, in her desire to have a child and her desire to have a family. I like that in a character, and obviously Palek does too. That's a big part of their dynamic.

. Read the rest here http://www.hbo.com/t.../episode03.html
She also touches on a lot of stuff that's been discussed here. This is what she says on the whiteness of the cast.

Quite a few people have asked that. Essentially, I am looking at one relationship – in its different stages – and that makes it difficult to bring in other issues, like race or sexuality. Every relationship has its issues and I wanted to focus on the issues of this one theoretical relationship. In the end, it was important to maintain the singularity of this relationship.
To people who think our actors are too pretty, I would ask, simply, "Are they good?" And my answer is they're astonishing!


Edited by MickeyDs, Sep 24, 2007 @ 10:16 AM.

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#16

Insomniac

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Posted Sep 24, 2007 @ 10:52 AM

The ONLY moment of intimacy I've seen on this show was last night. After their angry sex, Carolyn and Palek actually shared a laugh. Nice touch, writers. Do it again! Give me a reason to believe these people share something real so I can pull for them.
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#17

Postkantian

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Posted Sep 24, 2007 @ 11:14 AM

Give me a reason to believe these people share something real so I can pull for them.


I'm always pulling for them.
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#18

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Posted Sep 24, 2007 @ 11:19 AM

I'm starting to understand Carolyn more. She has to be thinking that the infertility problem is because of her now that Palek's sperm has been tested. That maybe means no baby from Palek and no insemination from another donor like she was discussing with the doctor. I think the more this sinks in the more she will take it out on Palek.

Dave I just believe is clueless. Completely and utterly clueless. Both Dave and Katie do such a good job of being awkward and uncomfortable around each other than if they ever do manage to find their way back to each other it will probably be a horrifically uncomfortable scene to watch.

Hugo, run for your life! Not only is Jamie self-pitying and jealous, apparently she is also extremely needy. Sure she's hot but do you really want to listen to that voice for the rest of your life?
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#19

Orion7

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Posted Sep 24, 2007 @ 11:41 AM

I've got a new title for this series - since the original one isn't cutting it for me anymore.

"Boring People (not) Fucking"

Seems about right.

Yes, it does. It's so boring that I can't even bother to be annoyed by how annoying and stupid they all are.
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#20

SuzN

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Posted Sep 24, 2007 @ 11:42 AM

I want to say a special "thank you" to Cynthia Mort for scripting Carolyn, the infertile character with whom I once thought I could identify, as a thoughtless, abrasive cant. She is unkind. She has no warmth. What on Earth would her character do with a baby?


lilarose6, I said something very similar on the last episode thread. I can’t imagine anything she’d do with a baby other than check off, have a baby, on her To Do list, park it with a nanny and get back to her life pre-baby. Carolyn and Palek talked about what kind of parents they’d make, as if it were the first time it occurred to them that having a baby would make them parents. Not everyone is suited to be parents and I’d vote against this pair.

At this point I’m only watching this show out of morbid curiosity. And I don’t know that that will hold me through the season. The only people I like at all or have any sympathy for are Palek and Katie.

Katie is such a sad-sack and I keep waiting for her to directly express something, anything. She gives Dave these looks that somehow he is supposed to interpret. It’s like “Lassie, girl, what are you trying to tell us? Point at the trouble. Bark once if the children are trapped in the mine.” It’s very frustrating when she can’t/won’t ever really say what she feels or ask for what she wants.
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#21

Insomniac

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Posted Sep 24, 2007 @ 12:06 PM

“Lassie, girl, what are you trying to tell us? Point at the trouble. Bark once if the children are trapped in the mine.”

Maybe they should get Timmy's Mom to make a guest appearance. She was always really good at interpreting Lassy's barks.

I'm trying to like these people, but they lack depth. I'm only seeing one dimension of them. That's why I was so happy to see the shared laughter between Carolyn and Palek. Finally, I understood, if only for a moment, that they actually share something, that there's something between them.

I understand that characters have dominant traits that define them, but these characters seem to sing one note over and over. Doesn't make for a dynamic song. Jamie is obsessed. Carolyn is angry. Katie is passive. All things I can relate to at certain times, but I sing more than one note and I'd like characters who are more human, fuller people who aren't so narrowly defined. I hope as time goes on that we see people rather than traits.
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#22

mccurdy

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Posted Sep 24, 2007 @ 1:08 PM

This show works better than any birth control.


Have you ever seen Supernanny? That show is like abstinence-only education for grown-ups.

So far for me the best thing about this show is that I can watch it On Demand days before the episode airs on HBO. And that's saying something because dialogue-heavy dramas about relationships are usually my favorite kind of TV.

I'm not spoiled for anything upcoming, so I have no idea if the NoSex husband is going to be a creepy pedophile or just a frustrated 40-something but I have to say my creep-o-meter was receiving very high readings during the entire anniversary present shopping trip and the dinnertime gift presentation.
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#23

Energiya Buran

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Posted Sep 24, 2007 @ 1:13 PM

I would never go bra and panties shopping with my father. Dude! She is ten.

Dave didn't expect that his daughter would lead him straight into the bra&pantie section. He was looking at awful bags when his daughter had the idea and he followed her. But, what I thought was most telling about him and his view of martial relations was how he held said lingerie set. He held it about a foot away from his body with his hand uncomfortable pinching the top of the hanger; as if he was holding something horrid. He clearly has an issue with intimacy with his wife. Heck, he can't even bring himself to want to see her in that little purple number.

eta: I don't think there is any pedophile vibe at all with him. Not sure how that all started anyway? But, I think he was more afraid to say, 'no honey, that isn't for mommy.' He has no backbone, no way do I get any other vibe other than that.

And, not to totally bash him...but, Katie looked totally skeeved out too when she saw it. Asking him that he didn't expect she'd wear it pretty much sums up their inactivity. No spark anymore...but, I doubt there ever was any between them.

Oh, and I didn't need to see oldmanass. But, he looks like he's in good shape (yucky me).

Jamie is also making herself look needy and foolish. Her friend was right, where is her pride? Hugo will never go back to that type of behavior.

Edited by Energiya Buran, Sep 24, 2007 @ 1:21 PM.

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#24

EditorJax

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Posted Sep 24, 2007 @ 1:18 PM

I got to see the third episode early because it was on OnDemand, and I admit it has been my favorite -- and the most telling -- thus far.

I think Jamie is utterly pathetic. She says she can't trust Hugo and basically drives him away, and then has a change of heart and calls him in a fashion that only a stalker would think was cute. Did it ever occur to her that he may also be upset about their break-up and that maybe he just can't talk to her right now? The only thing her one-sided telathon is going to accomplish is him realizing that he is going to be totally trapped if they do get back together.

And speaking of pathetic, I was silently begging Katie to say something to Dave in their bedroom. Say something. Anything. Tell him how you feel. Sex issues aside, she clearly loves her husband, as evidenced by her gift to him; the TiVo, which she preceeded giving to him by talking about his promotion, which gave me the impression she wanted something that he could use in his downtime and/or be able to tape stuff and watch at his leisure since he is so busy with work. However, does he love her? I am starting to think that once they had kids, she lost that "goddess" image that some men view their wife as and she became more "human" in his eyes.

And I couldn't believe what a total asshole Dave was in this episode. He can't even look Katie in the eye as he gives her his "gift" and then sits there playing with the remote (literally; not the remote he was playing with in the first episode) while she was doing everything but holding up a sign to get him to talk to her. And all he had to say was "I don't think that's the best idea for a gift, Honey, let's keep looking" instead of letting a 10-year-old shame him into buying lingerie that he can't even fathom the idea of seeing his wife wearing. And it's not like Ally Walker isn't looking pretty damn good for her age, either! Did anyone else notice that the teddy was clearly too small for Katie? When she was looking at it in the bedroom, it seemed she noticed the size and was thinking "asshole didn't even get it so it would fit me" -- and therefore there was no way she'd be putting it on!

I am in the minority here, but I have found Carolyn to be a bit more relatable as of late. I think it was interesting that she was the one to tell their friends they were having fertility problems, and I don't blame her for it. First of all, Palak (does anyone else want to order chicken palak Indian takeout when they hear his name?!?) said in therapy that he wanted to tell people, and second, he made such a big, clearly-making-a-point deal about their friends being pregnant again that there was no way she could just sit there and take his passive-aggressiveness. I sure as hell wouldn't. And then she turned the tables and made him feel stupid when she said they had been trying to get pregnant for a year.

Being someone who has been in the same boat, I can see their marriage in a different way than it appears on the surface. I think Carolyn is a self-made, self-sufficient woman who happened to find a great guy and they had a great life -- travel, art, dinners, etc. And then they decided to add to their perfect life with a perfect baby to push in a Bugaboo stroller and carry in a Gucci sling -- and then it all went to hell. Carolyn clearly isn't used to not being in control, and getting pregnant is one area where you have no control whatsoever; you just sit and wait for either a plus-sign on the test -- or your period -- to show up. And because she is such a control freak, I can see their marriage having become dominated by their quest to have a child to the point where Palak clearly feels he is there solely as her sperm donor, and Carolyn lashes out at the only person who knows about their problems -- her husband -- because she can't handle feeling like she has failed. It isn't uncommon, and I actually think the scenario is presented in a realistic manner.

However, unlike Katie and Dave, I do see real love between Carolyn and Palak -- as evidenced by the fact that they are even willing to try therapy -- and like some posters said, when they shared a laugh together. I also saw it in the first episode where they joked about his mother's sex life after they had their sneaky rendezvous during their dinner party. It's like somewhere, under all of their anger and fears, is the couple they once were. Hopefully the damage they are doing to that image isn't irreparable.
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#25

Energiya Buran

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Posted Sep 24, 2007 @ 1:28 PM

However, unlike Katie and Dave, I do see real love between Carolyn and Palak -- as evidenced by the fact that they are even willing to try therapy -- and like some posters said, when they shared a laugh together.

I thought she was crying after AngrySex, not laughing. Unless you mean another point in the epi?
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#26

NoirCommeMoi

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Posted Sep 24, 2007 @ 1:29 PM

Essentially, I am looking at one relationship – in its different stages – and that makes it difficult to bring in other issues, like race or sexuality.


That doesn't ring true for me, writer woman. If the essence of the show is relationships, I don't think race issues have to play into it. So far, the only thing delved into has been relationships; we haven't dealt with anything external, so I can't imagine how race or gender would've been difficult to work in.

Katie looked totally skeeved out too when she saw it. Asking him that he didn't expect she'd wear it pretty much sums up their inactivity.


I took that as yet another sign of Dave totally missing the mark. I don't think it's that Katie won't wear lingerie because/in spite of their inactivity. I just don't think she's a purple satin, g-string bustier type of gal. Something a bit flowy and romantic would've probably worked for her. Plus, the daughter picked it out! I'd want my husband to pick out something that he'd want to see me in, not know that he bought it because my kid was dead set on it. Blerg.

Edited by TWoP Mars, Sep 24, 2007 @ 3:02 PM.
Mod's mistake -- sorry!

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#27

Two Dollar Toll

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Posted Sep 24, 2007 @ 2:36 PM

The whole kid-picking-out-the-lingerie seemed so far-fetched to me that I could not believe that it could happen. Ditto with the advice from evil Mason, the strip club and Jamie's wierd friends. Also I feel like Sonya Walger's acting choices when Carolyn hears that Palek's sperm was fine were not effective. For my taste she was acting way too much in that scene. I can believe that Carolyn would be upset that Palek is fine but her acting I found totally fake. I also didn't like the acting in the scene with Billy Walsh and Jamie when they were making out. It just looked to me like two actors pretending to make out. I know that there is no emotional connection between the characters so it is going to be a tough acting/directing job to show it, but for my money the scene came off as overly choreographed and not well-motivated. I would like to have seen a little bit of their interactions before seeing them rolling around.

My basic reaction to this episode is that I resent the show for making the issues so sharply-defined, the situations so unrealistic, and the characters so unlikable.
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#28

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Posted Sep 24, 2007 @ 5:37 PM

Gah! I'm done with this boring-ass, unlikeable show. I gave it 3 episodes and that's 3 too many. Ally Walker, you are gorgeous and I hope you get on a show that deserves your talent.

Between this crap and "Californication," I'm thisclose to canceling my HBO/Showtime subscription.
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#29

lilarose6

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Posted Sep 24, 2007 @ 5:51 PM

Don't cancel Showtime! You won't be able to see Dexter.

Yeah, I'm one episode away from giving up myself. I can't believe I'm rooting for Carolyn not to get pregnant because the character doesn't deserve a child. That's not good when you're rooting against characters; I doubt that's what the writer intended. I like Dexter the serial killer more than I like Carolyn. That isn't good. Carolyn is the type of parent who will be ultra busy, ultra self centered and need a nanny constantly. Carolyn's the kind of parent you read about in the headlines every summer--the kind who forgets to drop the baby off at daycare before going to work (because of a change in routine or other such horse shit excuse) and leaves it to cook to death in a hot car.

I found Walger's acting choices effective in the scene where they talk about Palek's sperm being fine because Carolyn is just that selfish in my mind. She wanted to blame Palek. That's how malevolent and how much of a control freak she is. Someone must be to blame and it better not be her. This is a woman without a soul. She's cold. Stone cold and materialistic.
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