Liv and Maddie (“Ask Her More-a-Rooney”)

Season 3, Episode 8
Date of airing: November 22, 2015 (Disney Channel)
Nielsen ratings information: 2.108 million viewers, 0.44 rating with Adults 18-49, 0.51 rating with Adults 18-34, 0.38 rating with Adults 25-54, 1.07 rating with Females 12-17

In which another morale of the story was delivered, this time featuring Kristen Bell. I guess the writers were in the mood of delivering yet another one of those episodes of morale and high standards for the television-viewing audience, because maybe it was actually a good idea to teach the viewers certain standards that stop women from being asked about their looks, or treating them like the only noteworthy thing to talk about and with them are their looks. It worked for me, though I’m not so sure if it worked for the actual audience of the show and the Disney Channel, because I’m almost sure that teenagers won’t care about changing the conversation into something more meaningful and less about fashion — it’s the real-life reporters on the red carpet (as well as those employed by the basic cable network E!) who needed to watch this episode and be involved I the changing of the conversation, because that’s where it starts. If the E! Hollywood buttheads can’t ask you about what your biggest accomplishment is and just want you to circle around, so that the camera can catch the whole of your expensive-looking dress, then teenagers watching a Disney Channel show can’t begin changing the conversation, since the programs they were watching hasn’t been focusing on the conversation change. But it was a nice step into a right direction, though every time LIV AND MADDIE delivers an episode focused on a progressive morale, I’m surprised that the show even went into this direction. I’m totally expecting one morale-focused episode after another on GIRL MEETS WORLD, but LIV AND MADDIE is a silly family sitcom first and foremost, so seeing the show go for a grounded story is weird to say the least.

Willow has her Joey for the next five seconds.

And the silly has been depicted once more, when the writers finally decided to get into the Parker tunnels. They were established as a fun gag in the first season, and they became part of the story in the second season when Maddie got lost in the tunnels. Now the producers created an entire set (a small one though), just so the viewers can have a look into the Parker tunnels and in the meantime create a plot device for earthquakes in Wisconsin, just in case the show really needs them in a future episode. As much as I laughed when Joey and Karen were spilling their drinks on them during the “earthquake” scenes (someone please stabilize the footage because I want to see how that looked), it seems a little weird that the fate of the Rooney house hangs in the balance of one single book, when Parker could have easily shut down that one part of his tunnels, just so he can save the house from falling apart. By the way, how many Parker tunnel entrances are there now? Obviously one is behind the picture at the staircase, one is under the kitchen staircase, one is in the backyard, another one has been introduced in this episode, one is at the high school, and one is in the boys’ room. Just curious, because the number of tunnel entrances seems to be rising.

Meanwhile, Maddie’s future in college continues to be a recurring story device. I guess depicting the move from high school to college in a show that depicts characters in high school is a big thing, but I was wondering if this episode was supposed to be aired before the previous one. Maddie got her transcripts together in this episode, even though she was waiting for an acceptance letter in the previous episode. Something ain’t right here, and I blame the switch of episode airdates. Disney Channel, you screwed up again. But whatever. I kinda loved that it was Dump Truck who brought the story rolling. I like the character and I want to see a bit more of him, as well as how the writers were thinking about making fun of Italian-American New York gangster tropes.

They rule this red carpet interview!

And that the guy was also busy in Joey’s storyline. Granted, their assumption that Dump Truck was hiding a dead body in Joey’s locker was ridiculous as hell, but it was also hilarious, especially when Willow took the opportunity to stay close to Joey, because he was too scared of the situation to think about the fact that Willow was holding onto him. I can understand that there would have never been a chance for that, but I would have loved for the writers to not have finished up the story in this episode, and let Joey sweat about what was in his locker. Just to get some creepiness going.

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Liv and Maddie (“Meatball-a-Rooney”)

Season 3, Episode 7
Date of airing:
 November 8, 2015 (Disney Channel)
Nielsen ratings information: 2.104 million viewers, 0.45 rating with Adults 18-49, 0.47 rating with Adults 18-34, 0.35 rating with Adults 25-54, 1.07 rating with Females 12-17

Well, this episode was good enough. A little bit of friendship troubles between Parker and Reggie (both could not be deeper in their eras of breaking voices), and a little bit of a weird thing happening between Liv and Joey. When he started doing her hair, I was thinking something X-rated for a hot second (thank you, internet!) and all of a sudden the entire story felt awkward, even after Liv’s hair started to smoke and fall off her scalp. I have no idea why this scene made it through the writers room, and how it made it past the network notes, because I couldn’t have been the only non-teenager on this planet who thought that Liv was enjoying the beginning of Joey’s hairstyling beginnings (and endings) a little too much. When Liv started to smile, hoping that this might be the best moment of her day, and Joey would eventually be useful for once, I thought if the two were about to embrace each other and start a hot make-out session, turning this episode of television into a fever dream and male wish-fulfillment for the boys of the audience. The idea for the story was funny though. The boys have never cared much about the twins, and seeing them doing something with each other was always one of the better stories of the episode — and I only need to remember Liv running Parker’s slumber party early in the first season, or Maddie being Parker’s karate teacher in the second. That being said, did Joey ever do anything with the girls up to this point? I really can’t remember. This might be the first episode of the show during which he was an actual brother to one of the twins. A failing brother for sure, but at least a brother.

Joey is a complete failure at being a barber.

Maddie and Willow’s basketball coach moments were good and had emotional value I liked. The story felt like a plot device to have Maddie wonder about her SCSU scholarship (hello there, new storyline dropped into the show like it was already established before), and to create a needless conflict between her and Willow, but it was a nice story, and I did like how the two young women were making up by the end of the episode, in front of nearly crying witnesses. The story looked very cheap by itself though. First of all, Maddie and Willow were basketball coaches, yet there wasn’t a single scene of them playing basketball with the kids (I guess the producers did not want to risk injuries?) — not even Maddie and Willow demonstrating how the game is played. Secondly, the kids they were coaching were just standing around, and in one moment even sitting around. There was barely any movement at all. Almost no action and no play, while the gals talked too much. Not that it was a problem, but the characters were literally standing still for almost the entire time, proving once more that television isn’t really about moving, especially when you have a standing set you can’t really move around in. Except you’re Carlton Banks and then you ran through the entire thing for the sake of a fourth-wall-breaking joke.

Meatball angels!

Meanwhile, Parker and Reggie went off on their own, took meatballs as a plot device, and figured that it might be good to lead up to a scene in which it doesn’t rain frogs, but meatballs. I guess the writers watched CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS before writing this episode — and if they would have brought back Parker’s cloud/rain-making machine from one of the previous episodes, it might have turned into a more interesting Disney Channel sitcom version of the animated movie, which I definitely would have appreciated more than seeing Parker trying to keep a lie alive, without the writers having created a string of circumstances that would have seen Parker fighting to keep the lie alive. But I recognized the similarities between Parker and Maddie’s stories — they were both about friendship, and how their conflicts was threatening to break them apart. It was almost like a theme in this episode.

The O.C. (“The Rivals”)

Season 1, Episode 17
Date of airing: January 21, 2004 (FOX)
Nielsen ratings information: 12.72 million viewers, 7.7/12 in Households, 5.6/13 with Adults 18-49

This episode had a neat cliffhanger. Even though it’s obvious that Ryan won’t get kicked out of the Cohen house, as well as the Harbor school, and won’t be leaving Newport Beach either (after all, there are still ten episodes left this season and there is no chance that Ryan leaving will be a plot point midway through it), or it all happens on a temporary basis and we will soon be back to square one. Still, Ryan beating up Oliver and risking his status at Harbor and with the Cohens could lead to some trouble for him, maybe even in a legal sense if not through his friends distancing themselves from him. After all, Ryan was still on probation, and if Oliver doesn’t use this opportunity to have Ryan charged with an assault, then Oliver is not only stupid, but Ryan also kind of found his match, since Oliver not charging Ryan would only mean that Oliver sees another match-up between the two. Oliver still is a terrible character, since he continued to turn into a plot device for both Ryan and Marissa, but at least he has become a terrifying threat for the two. Okay, mostly Ryan, because Marissa probably can’t even swing her fist fast enough to hit a face. So, while Oliver is a terrible character, he is at least a terribly intriguing villain at this point, making THE O.C. a true primetime soap opera, as characters like Oliver are probably found only in daily soap operas.

Ryan would be a mediocre spy in a mediocre spy television drama.

The episode was okay. Seth and Anna’s story annoyed me a little, but not as much as it did in the previous episode, because this time around the two seemed anything but oblivious about the fact that all their similarities kill the mood of their relationship and could maybe even threaten it. They didn’t have fun in this episode, and they were sort of criticizing each other for liking the same things, for dressing the same, for eating the same food, and even for having the same plans for the rest of the day. All the excitement in their relationship has pretty much gone to the wind, which is usually the first step towards a slow-burn separation. Seth and Anna slowly realizing their actual disconnections through their many connections paves the way for Seth and Summer though, and considering how much Seth hated Summer’s episodic boyfriend of the week Danny, it’s obvious the writers were still going for that romance, not forgetting anything about it and planting the seeds again. And that kind of makes Summer a plot device, too, although she is written as part of the main character pool. I don’t think that serves Summer very well as a main character. And here is another question: Why was Bret Harrison credited with his character name? Yes, the guy has a name and face I recognize (although I wonder if that was the case in 2004 as well), but it seems weird that producers would give Harrison this kind of recognition, when his character wasn’t at all special. In fact, he was not funny. He was a plot device. He was kind of disgusting at the end.

Ryan doing his best to break his friendships and make it as a one-time criminal in Newport Beach by breaking into a file storage room was a bit weird as well, because it kind of turned him into a wholly different character. Yes, he could have talked to someone about his suspicions, and yes, maybe he shouldn’t have read the letter, considering he already had the suspicions about Oliver, and what he might be able to do, when it comes to Marissa. The letter became yet another plot device in this episode, and all of a sudden Ryan completely changes into a madman and goes for the jugular. Granted, he went for it for just not liking anything about rich people, but back then he had nothing to lose. Now he is here though, and Ryan is working hard on making his life even more difficult. Then again, Oliver might have known Ryan a lot and knew where to hit him emotionally. Like I said, they both found their match.

They are wearing the same clothes. Scandalous!

Meanwhile, the adult storylines continue to be hit and miss. I liked that Julie became a little friendlier and is now a co-worker of Kirsten (the writers have executed the character reboot of Julie, and now she can become more of a less-evil woman, who by the way is in her mid-30s? I don’t think that’s true…), but I didn’t like that Jimmy decided to be a chicken and talk around the hot bowl of oatmeal and not take the risk of starting a new business, when all he wanted was staying in Newport Beach. I mean, what was Jimmy thinking would happen if he decided not to go into the restaurant business with Sandy? Did he believe he would find another job that paid less? That was just a story carrying the two characters through the episode, because for obvious reasons they were unable to get stuck in other stories just yet. We’re just out of Jimmy being the villain in Newport and Sandy being critical towards his work and his extended family, so before the writers went into the final stage of the season, they needed to run on empty for an episode or two with the characters, and this certainly is such an episode.

Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers (“Green with Evil”, Part 4)

Season 1, Episode 20
Date of airing: October 8, 1993 (FOX)

This could have been the season finale for the show, because the danger of the Power Rangers not only losing their dinozords, but also losing the ability to morph is an interesting one, and it certainly could give the writers a way to explain for an episode or two why the Power Rangers don’t have any powers anymore and the American cast has to act for an entire episode. I’m still waiting for the powerless premise to appear, but it almost looks like the writers were ready to test it out with this episode and see how the episode would turn out to be. And consider me intrigued when the Power Rangers lost their dinozords — of course, their mechanical helpers will return after the events of the next episode, but for this half hour it turned out to be a great way to bring some tension into the plot, and to make sure that MIGHTY MORPHIN’ POWER RANGERS isn’t doing the same episode each week. Not only is this storytelling unique for the show, which the writers should try to emulate in more multi-episode story arcs, but the fact that the writers went with a five-episode epic makes the show more interesting after it went through the same imagery and jokes over the first fifteen episodes.

The Megazord always helps the transit passengers.

The Megazord was fighting against three enlarged monsters, which was also interesting, although I was a tad disappointed during the fight, because Scorpina, Goldar and the Green Ranger weren’t ganging up on the Megazord and instead just waited for it to fail because of the solar eclipse (which apparently wasn’t news in this series universe, but it certainly was for the audience). One of the monsters could have kicked the hell out of the Megazord like a boxer, while another could have stood behind the Megazord to pummel it from in front and behind. Besides that, I was also disappointed that enlarged Scorpina was in a full-body costume, which means MIGHTY MORPHIN’ POWER RANGERS is still waiting for the first monster to have a real face when enlarged and battling the Megazord, but now I’m assuming this may have been a non-negotiable rule of the Super Sentai series, because there is a chance the audience would have to suspend all disbelief when seeing an actual human in enlarged form, instead of a monster in a costume.

Meanwhile back at the command center, the characters continued to try and fix the computer system, so they can get Zordon back, which only gives you one answer of how to prevent this from ever happening again: Get Zordon into this dimension, so he can act as the Power Rangers’ boss in flesh and blood, with his own office and maybe even his own story. After all, did the writers ever explain where Zordon actually is and why he can’t just manifest? Rita seems to be perfectly capable of changing dimensions, since she locked Jason in one to get murdered by either Goldar or Tommy two episodes ago, and Madame Woe once sent the Power Rangers into her own sub-dimension, so I don’t think that travelling dimensions is a huge problem in this series universe. Do I think way too much about it or is this considered proper nitpicking?

After being helpful to the bus, the Megazord decided to take a trip into Earth’s solarium.

At the same time, Goldar was pretty much ruining the entire city of Angel Grove, which means the next episode better establishes how many people were killed or that the city should look like it just went through the battle of the monster titans, similar to how the world was burning and destroyed at the end of GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS. But of course, the show won’t get into that because it’s not kid-friendly to depict the deaths of thousands, if not tens of thousands of citizens, after Goldar laid waste to an entire city.

Party of Five (“It’s Not Easy Being Green”)

Season 1, Episode 15
Date of airing: January 11, 1995 (FOX)
Nielsen ratings information: 9.5 million viewers, 6.4/10 in Households

It was a solid episode, but also a confusing one, because stories managed to intersect with each other morale-wise, while other stories were weirdly forgettable. The former was the most interesting part of the episode, but mostly because it was all about how women were treated in this world by men, and how the women were about to take control over their lives again. Julia got small loads of sexism from her drivers ed teacher during the beginning of the episode, and Claudia had to deal with the fact that she is not enough boy to play the lead in a musical about an orphan boy. It’s intriguing to me that a television show from 1995 actually brought up the sexism thing and made it part of a pair of stories, despite the fact that the morale of that lesson didn’t come through clearly, as Julia’s story was mostly focused on Justin anyway, while Claudia’s story turned into her form of sinning and her efforts to make things better again by becoming worse (and sick). In fact, it was just during the drivers ed scene at the beginning when it came through, when Julia specifically mentioned the sexism and Justin was defending her or playing along (it could have been one or the other, because I’m not quite sure what he was doing). And even though the morale came through in that scene only, I must say that PARTY OF FIVE knew what it wanted to do here. The other intersecting morale story was the way men were treating themselves around women. Julia learns from Libby that she should hang around the guy she likes, and after a little bit of time the first kiss will happen, and Charlie proves to Kirsten that guys only think of that one thing when they hang around with women a little too long. Okay, in this case the two stories were different, because the morale came from the point of view of both genders, but it was nonetheless the same morale: Guys are assholes (except of course you have a crush on that guy).

The muse strikes mostly at night.

The entire drama between Charlie and Kirsten was a huge annoyance though. Once again they can’t trust each other, and once more they risk their relationship just because one of them decided to be a little stupid about a little too much drama. Okay, it’s Charlie who was the stupid boy here, and I was reminded yet again that he is still the selfish asshole character and probably the most unlikable one from the Salinger bunch. The way Charlie went nuts because another guy showed interest in his girlfriend made me furious in a negative way, and I wondered how Charlie was even able to get all the women he wants when he is such a jealous beefhead all the time. The guy cheats on his girlfriend and a few months later he finds it of importance to scream at his girlfriend who was almost doing the same — the hypocrisy was strong in the future plane crash survivor and all it did to me was causing pain in the back of my head because those eyes of mine really wanted to roll out the back of my skull. Yeah, I’m not wondering any longer, why he could never hold a relationship for long, but after this episode, he definitely does not deserve to end up happily ever after. On the other hand, it’s consistent character development and behavior, and the problems in Charlie and Kirsten’s relationship show that it’s not a relationship for eternity, and that the next break-up is pretty much waiting behind the horizon. They should be lucky they didn’t get married, because the divorce papers would have been signed already.

The Julia/Justin drama in the meantime… I already mentioned once before that Justin is the right-kinda guy for Julia, and that the two should have started dating before she decided to grow up fast. But now that Justin is dating Libby, things got expectedly and stereotypically complicated, and I’m not quite sure whether I should like it or not. First of all, I’m happy Justin and Libby are back (especially Libby), because I almost thought they were entirely forgotten. Secondly, I’m kinda happy Justin and Libby are dating, and the writers were focusing on it. Sure, they were focusing it in a way writers focus on plot devices, but it worked to get Julia out of her headspace and towards some action. Normally you don’t see her making moves towards the guy, especially one that doesn’t necessarily show interest in her and needs to be told that she finds him to her liking. Also, I liked the chemistry between Justin and Julia — they work much better as a couple than Charlie and Kirsten currently do, which probably says a lot.

After this, they won’t be friends any longer.

I couldn’t do much with Bailey’s story though. It seemed like the D plot (though Claudia’s story was fourth-tier, and Claudia’s stories are almost always fourth-tier), and it seemed like it was completely unnecessary. I have no idea if Will is just a too perfect guy for this world that he can’t even cheat on a test, or if he is just jealous of his BFF, because he doesn’t have a girlfriend and probably never will have, as Will is essentially just a recurring character (despite being credited in the main intro), and writers don’t care about recurring characters. The story did make Bailey a bit of a crappy character, since he apparently is unable to see what kind of trouble Jill is creating for him and how Bailey is slowly being pulled towards the dark side (now more than ever with the stash of weed in Jill’s locker). Seriously, Bailey can at least think about what Will is trying to tell him. But at the end of the day, their fight on the basketball court was pretty over the top and only served the narrative. I can only hope that this isn’t the way they split up, although it would be an easy way to remove Will from the fold and have space and time for the opening credits.

And finally, Claudia. Just in case she will never make it as a violinist, she will be an actress. The writers opened up another road to the future for Claudia, which is fine, because she is 11 years old, so why the hell not? I have no idea why she would feel so evil and sinful, after she accidentally brought a virus to Artie, and suddenly had the main role of Oliver to her name. She was bitching about not having the role for the entire time, and during the final third of the episode she was bitching because she caused to get the role herself after a little bit of evildoing? Damn, Claudia changed her mind pretty quickly. The simplest thing to do here would have been Claudia accepting the role and saying sorry to Artie later. It’s not like pre-adolescent teenagers are gonna be fighting for weeks to come. That’s what puberty is for, and I’m already interested to know how the writers are gonna handle Claudia’s puberty. Suddenly I’m glad the show was renewed and got a chance to win a Golden Globe during the following year.

Family Matters (“Rachel’s First Date”)

Season 1, Episode 4
Date of airing: October 13, 1989 (ABC)
Nielsen ratings information: 20.8 million viewers, 13.1/25 in Households

Jaleel White was in the cold open of this episode. This shocked me, because I thought he would appear for the first time halfway through the season. I understand that the first episodes of FAMILY MATTERS were reworked just slightly in the editing room to get a little more out of Steve Urkle during the show’s syndication airings, but does that also mean scenes were shot after the season wrapped production just to add them into episodes randomly to make it look like Urkle had been part of the show forever? Or might this have been a scene that comes from a later episode? After all, Urkle was asking for Laura already, and Carl said to him “Once again you’ve come between me and the things that I love,” which suggests that Urkle has been annoying the Winslow family already and it’s just another Urkle comedy moment like most of them probably will be through the back half of the season and maybe the next one. I need some of my answers questions, because it sure as hell looks like this scene was added way after the initial airing of this episode. Someone George Lucas’d this half hour of television.

It’s a summer dress for her date.

This was a solid episode otherwise. I’m loving the moments during which the show turns into a more serious route and delivers an enthusiastic and heartwarming monologue about how life should be better for the characters and how they can’t just sit back and let things happen to them. Mother Winslow was definitely out to give Rachel a meaningful and thorough life lesson to have the heart grow two sizes, and Rachel’s story of needing to get over her late husband was definitely here to showcase that FAMILY MATTERS appreciates life stuff and that it’s not always about the punchline or the sitcom stuff. Maybe this will be an element that turned FAMILY MATTERS into the hit show that it was about to become, and it’s probably a good thing I don’t remember anything about it, since the last time I watched it on television was when it aired on a week-daily rhythm in German television, which was probably more than 15 years ago.

So, Rachel went on a date with a guy she blew off constantly, which means Alan must have tired many times to convince Rachel to go out on a date with him. The fact that he was still trying must mean he is a creep, and 30 years later this episode would have included a plotline about how Rachel was trying to say “No” without actually using the word and then reluctantly going out on a date with Alan, because she felt she couldn’t handle the negativity coming out of being her own person. That only shows FAMILY MATTERS has lost the momentum of being a timeless show, although that was already happening due to the way the Winslow family was being portrayed by its cast members — there is a sense of the series being a family sitcom from the 1970s, in which kids are here to entertain and make the adults either laugh or feel humiliated (I never knew what Alan felt, because visited both ends of the spectrum), while the storytelling remained with the adults in the room only.

“Which card am I holding?”

Anyway, Rachel went on a date, which means her back story of her husband’s death is probably going to disappear now, which is not a hard thing to do, since it hasn’t been part of the show for its first three episodes. It may have been mentioned once or twice, but it’s not like it has been used as a back story to inform Rachel’s decision-making, up until this episode. And even then, chances are Rachel won’t be dealing with her grief majorly over the next few episodes, as FAMILY MATTERS will continue to focus on stand-alone stories that won’t define or develop the characters. Which is also something that could change in the future of the show after the writers and producers realized it was a hit show and kept ABC’s Friday going, eventually turning it into one of the center pieces for their TGIF block.

The O.C. (“The Links”)

Season 1, Episode 16
Date of airing: January 14, 2004 (FOX)
Nielsen ratings information: 8.9 million viewers, 5.4/8 in Households, 4.0/10 with Adults 18-49

I’m surprised that Ryan wasn’t punching the wall at the very end, putting a bunch of holes in it like my father used to with the door he hit after his daughters were a little unruly and didn’t listen to him (that hole in the door remained there until we moved out of the flat, always reminding us all of the potential abuse we could have gotten if things had gone horribly wrong). The guy needed to put his anger and frustration somewhere and he definitely couldn’t do that into Oliver’s face, even if he really wanted to (as well as Luke, and probably all the viewers, too). Yet the guy was just standing there. He closed the door behind him, had a weird facial expression, hard rock music was playing, and Ryan didn’t do anything except be angry in his head. Ryan Atwood, you are the weakest boy in town, although maybe that is exactly who the character is, even though he started fights en masse during the first few episodes (three out of four times he traded fists with Luke, it was Ryan who started the fights, not to mention the tiny soccer incident). Ryan actually had reason to speak up here, but consider myself shocked that he wasn’t able to form his suspicions into words and let at least Marissa know that something is clearly mentally wrong with Oliver, and that Marissa definitely shouldn’t stay overnight or just let her know that something is seriously mentally wrong with Oliver.

The kid from Chino tries his hand at golf.

Meanwhile, Oliver has definitely become the villain in this episode, beginning with his fine moment of hiding the photo of Marissa and Ryan behind a photo of Marissa and her father, going over to manipulating events that lead Oliver to some alone time with Marissa, and ending with his fake suicide attempt. The only thing that was missing in this entire scenario was a Trump-like thumbs up to Ryan, suggesting that his plan of removing Marissa from Ryan is working. Marissa is his now, and Ryan can either piss off and cry in a back alley or start trading fists and lose Marissa for good (as well as all of Newport Beach, because it would break his parole and he’s back in juvie). Of course, Oliver has some kind of fascination with Marissa, but I was wondering if he tried to stir up Ryan into beating him up so he would get arrested and had to leave town again, or if Oliver is just nuts in general and all he wants is to take the girl away from a boy, because it’s what he does best. It would definitely be a great masterplan.

The threesome storyline bored me this time around, and I grew quickly annoyed with it. And not just that, Seth and Anna together were actually annoying as well. Their banter in the bedroom was worthy of many eyerolls, and I was totally with Summer in that moment — all I wanted was to get the hell out of that bedroom and go cry in a back alley, because I had to go through this nightmare of a banter of a couple romantically involved and I couldn’t escape from it. I’m starting to think that Seth and Anna couldn’t be less perfect for each other. I’m also starting to think the writers stopped giving Anna character moments, which means she becomes this plot device for Seth and Summer and stopped being her own character (which she barely was to begin with, but I always had hope she would when she and Summer were vying for Seth’s affection). She had some, when her story was all about getting with Seth, and getting Summer out of her way, but now that story has concluded, she has become a boring and hair-pulling character. Now I’m actually praying for a quick break-up, so we can move on from here and let Summer have her chance with Seth.

He’s thinking about porn, isn’t he?

And the story of the adults? Well, it turns out that Hailey had no business being in the show, since her story did not affect anyone. Sure, there was some drama here and there, she flirted with Ryan just a little bit, she gave Kirsten a few moments of depth that she wasn’t able to use, yet I don’t think that recent events has changed their relationship, let alone Kirsten’s relationship with her father. Why wasting a character like that for three episodes when there is no outcome or aftermath to it all? Or was it just a way to get Kirsten and Julie to bond over something, even if it’s weird to see them bond over something? Hailey came and left town, and she had nothing to show for it, as everything is still where it was when she arrived.

But I did like Sandy and Jimmy’s story a little. Even though I’m laughing a bit that Sandy is going from one job to another (similar to how Jimmy was going from one woman to another, similar to how Marissa was walking from one love interest to another), the premise of Jimmy and Sandy doing a restaurant kind of intrigues me, and not just because the two men have turned from sorta-adversaries to sorta-best friends, with the option of adversaries again, if the restaurant idea is not gonna pan out or Jimmy and Kirsten are going to start hanging out again (yes, I am surprised that Sandy just forgot all about that incident and considered Jimmy his friend now). Yes, running a restaurant is a boring story for a soap opera, but who knows if the premise can lead to something, despite a nice plot device to keep Jimmy in Newport Beach logically, and not have him go through financial rock bottom. He already went crying in a back alley, so it’s time for him to dry up those tears and get moving again.