Episode Reviews (2)
- SORT BY:
This episode develops a number of the characters, and their interrelationships with each other. Jaye and her father, Jaye and her mother, her sister Sharon. It also deals with "the perfect marriage" vs. "the right marriage".
This episode starts with Jaye's father telling her to go to her 6-1/2 year(!?!) HS reunion, as they get together to go out for breakfast (it seems to have warmed up a bit from last episode, which was full winter but now it looks like spring).
Jaye, of course, has no interest, as she was not in the popular crowd when she was in HS, and, in typical slacker fashion, could care less -- and she also remembers how poorly the former class president, Gretchen (Seen briefly in Ep#1, "Wax Lion") organizing it treated her and her friend Mahandra.
The pink flamingos on the lawn, however, start telling Jaye to help her father move the trash cans out of the driveway. Jaye, feeling ornery, rolls up her window, and slams the door in their face, which inadvertently knocks the car out of park and it rolls back and over her father, breaking his leg.
As a result, Jaye starts fearing that, when she doesn't do as the animals tell her, that people get hurt. When the bass at The Barrel tells her (as did the lawn flamingos) to "Get off her ass" and help Gretchen, she does, to everyone's surprise.
In the course of helping Gretchen, she learns that Gretchen's perfectly arranged life is anything but satisfying (you don't always need what you want), and that her Mother and Father, despite the lack of intimacy and the urging for her to do more with herself, both love her more than she realized.
Jaye's sister, Sharon, delves more deeply into her not-yet developed lesbian relationship with Beth.
As usual, the dialogue is quick and witty, the acting excellent (William Sadler and Diana Scarwid are both good b-list actors, and the other cast members are all quite good as well, even if less well-known)moreless
Defy the Chicken
Another fun and lively episode in which Jaye is forced to not only attend her 6½ year school reunion, but also to help organise it. Jaye’s dad Darren thinks that Jaye doesn’t want to go because she’s ashamed of living in a trailer and working in a gift emporium. Her mum, Karen, thinks she doesn’t want to get involved because she’s just too lazy and won’t “get off her ass”. No, Jaye doesn’t want to go, because she knows it will SUCK . I wondered if she and Mahandra would claim that they invented post-it notes? But no, she hates the reunion party from start to finish. She hates blowing up balloons, she hates Gretchen, the WASP (“Easter and Christmas”) Jewish Bimbette who believes that life is grand, then she hates having to destroy her, despite Eric’s suggestion that she “defy” the chicken hairband that is telling her what to do.
Eric is *very* cute in this episode, from his juggling with a bottle [Tom Cruise style] before dropping it, to the fireworks in his eyes as he considers “servicing [Jaye] sexually”. Also sweet is the way that Jaye lets him on her secret, perhaps because she thinks he won’t believe her, but also because she knows he won’t try to interfere with her life as her parents or Mahandra would. Mahandra has quite a good episode - she stops hating Gretchen after Jaye resolves to ruin her (“without scarring”). Gretchen of course, doesn’t turn out as anticipated. She is a “pathetic blonde who peaked in high school and is so desperate to recapture her past glory that she moved the ten year reunion”. But none of this is to impress her high school buddies, it’s to impress her husband who doesn’t love her. She needs him to see her as a success. But of course she realises that she doesn’t love him – he’s only the man of her top ten list of good hubby material.
The rest of the story is given over to family competitiveness. The Tylers snipe and bicker:
Karen to Sharon: “Your sister isn’t a cold blooded murderer, she’s never been a planner”.
Darren on Jaye: “When you’re careless, it’s not because you don’t care.”
Jaye on Sharon: “She’s a closet…..environmentalist.”
Karen to Sharon: “She’s (Beth) so sweet, I bet she has a boyfriend.”
Karen to Jaye: “You made the A-list, dear – I’m so proud.”
But in the end, there’s love. Karen tells Jaye that she never wanted a perfect daughter - being perfect, as Gretchen has found out, doesn’t make you happy. I like that Gretch doesn’t go out with Chuck, the crush-guy (“There’s mace, but no connection”) - Wonderfalls avoids clichés.
Sharon may drug her father so she can have some booty-time with her girlfriend, but it’s *for his own good* - he gets a good night sleep after his Jaye-inspired accident. Amusingly, Sharon and Beth aren’t at the reunion, but they’re acting like they’re in high school, smooching on Sharon’s parents’ floor.
So everything works out fine. Gretchen leaves her husband and he finds a new love. Mahandra and Jaye are reconciled to their lives. Darren forgives Jaye for running him over. But did the animals mislead Jaye? If she had got up off of her ass and helped her father move the bins instead of driving the car over his leg, would the hospital have found the blood clots? Maybe this is a sign that the toy beasties aren’t *always* infallible.