Tag Archives: Dale

Go Greek! (It’s Guilt Free!)

Here is yet another blog post where I try to use my admittedly limited influence as a blogger to convince you to watch a fun-filled and entertaining television show that you may be missing because (a) it is not found through the usual channels (i.e. ABC, NBC, Fox, CW, HBO etc.); and (b) it is not particularly well advertised.  Now in its third season, Greek airs at 10 p.m. on ABC Family (during the last hour before the channel goes all scary religious).

If you’ve ever read this blog before, you probably know by now that I LOVE my one-hour high school teen dramas.  However, on occasion, I do experience some feelings of guilt and generalized perviness for crushing on / drooling over the 16-year-old male characters featured in them (the fact that some of these characters are played by actors who are actually my age helps a little bit, but not enough . . .).  Therefore, I was understandably pleased to find Greek, an hour-long dramedy with all the relationship drama, good humor, and soapy goodness of a teen show, but with characters that are universally LEGAL!  (A majority of the “Greeksters” are now in their senior year of college.)

Most of us are even old enough to drink without fake IDs!  Pretty cool, right?

Like Freaks and Geeks, a show I discussed in an earlier posting, Greek features, as its main characters, an older sister and her socially awkward, slightly nerdy, younger brother.  In the Pilot episode,  older sister Casey is a junior at the fictional Cyprus Rhodes University and an up-and-comer in her elite sorority, Zeta Beta Zeta.  She fears that the entrance of her geeky brother, Rusty, into the school as a freshman will cramp her style and spoil her painstakingly crafted reputation.

On the surface, Casey may look like the typical 80’s movie cliche, a pretty, popular, and vapid sorority girl.  And, yes, Casey is pretty and popular.  However, she is also smart, snarky, goofy, and insecure enough to be a truly likeable and relateable character.  Plus, Casey and her friends make up only half  of the show.  Rusty’s attempts to juggle a full load of engineering classes with his fraternity duties as a Kappa Tau, AND maintain a romantic relationship, add an entirely distinct and quirky level to an already enjoyable hour.  Rusty’s best friend, the uber religious and ultra nerdy, Dale, is, surprisingly, one of the show’s funniest, most unique, and best-written characters.

Of course, this wouldn’t be a teen/young adult dramedy without a love triangle.  Throughout the series we root for Casey, as she struggles to choose between wisecracking slacker Cappie, and spoiled rich kid Evan.  The fact that these two guys just so happen to be presidents of rival fraternities only serves to exacerbate matters (and make them more fun!)

Sure, Greek isn’t exactly the most realistic portrayal of the college experience (for that, Netflix the DVD for the too-soon-canceled Undeclared).  Even the hard-boozing KT frat guys look just a tad too pretty and well-dressed to be cash-strapped college students.  Plus, this is ABC Family, so there is not nearly as much sex and shirtlessness as there should be for a college show.  Nevertheless, Greek will undoubtedly  bring you back to a time in your life when your most pressing issue was whether the boy you liked would ask you to formal.  For that reason, it is definitely worth a try . . .

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Et tu Barb? – A Recap of Big Love’s “Under One Roof”

Watch your backs, Big Lovers!  Tonight’s episode was all about betrayal.  Not a single character made it through the hour unscathed.  In fact, one character didn’t make it out alive.

 So, without further adieu, let’s take a look back at this blood bath of an episode, to find out who stabbed who, and which wounds were lethal . . .

She’s Baack!

While at a restaurant schmoozing a potential campaign contributor, Bill and Barb run into a very pregnant Anna, a.k.a the fourth wife that almost was . . . but wasn’t.  Doing a bit of mathematical calculation in their heads, Bill and Barb become instantly convinced that the bun in Anna’s oven is Bill’s.  Of course, the self-righteous Henrickson clan is certain that Anna should want nothing more than to rejoin “The Family” with her new baby.

Despite Anna’s pleas that the Henricksons leave her alone, the following evening, Bill and the wives arrive at the restaurant where Anna works to re-plead their case.  As far as they are concerned, the situation is a clear win-win.  After all, who wouldn’t want to join a family as healthy and functional as this one?

 

Clearly smarter than she looks, Anna blows them all off.  Later, however, she approaches Bill at his office to inform him that she has changed her mind.  Apparently, fifteen-hour restaurant workdays are not exactly healthy for a mother in her third trimester.  Anna proposes that Bill provide her with some monetary help.  In exchange, she will arrange for Bill to have some visitation rights, once the baby is born.  Anna conditions the agreement on Bill’s promise to keep the other wives out of the arrangement, because, frankly, they scare the crap out of her.

“Oh HELL no!  I absolutely refuse to become part of that loony family!  I’ll stay in your tummy forever, if I have to!”

Anna suggests that they hire a lawyer to draft a visitation agreement.  However, Bill assures her that such formal measures are not necessary.  He may be a D-Bag, but he’s no dummy.  After all, bastard children and political campaigns do not exactly mix.  The less evidence against Bill, the better  . . .

“Yeah, no sh&t, Sherlock!”

When Barb learns about what transpired between Bill and Anna, she is livid.  After all, any baby conceived during a Henrickson marriage is Henrickson property, as far as she is concerned.  (women and children apparently equal chattel, here in Big Love land).  Barb barges into Anna’s apartment and demands that she reconsider.   She is shocked to find another man there.    “He is my fiancé,” explains Anna.

According to Anna, her fiancé is aware that the baby Anna is carrying is Bill’s.  However, he is allowing Anna to receive help from Bill because he wants what’s best for the baby.  (Do you want to see a paternity test?  Because I sure do!  No man is that understanding.)

Barb remakes her lame argument about the baby being born out of “their” marriage.  This is the moment Anna chooses to drop her bombshell.  “The baby was NOT conceived during the marriage.  It was conceived before [Bill and I] were married.”

“Oh Billlllyyy!  You have some explaining to do!”

The Thing That Wouldn’t Leave . . .

The Henrickson’s not only had to deal with the woman who had abruptly re-entered their lives, they also had to cope with the one who just wouldn’t leave.  Evil publicist Marilyn, still intent on signing Bill’s casino to her client roll, finagles yet another meeting with Bill’s partners to make her pitch.  She goes one step further by approaching Barb with girl talk and sweets wrapped in a red bow.

 Beware of evil women bearing goodies, Barb . . .

Marilyn does a fairly good job of getting into Barb’s head, regarding the latter’s lack of equal standing at the casino, despite her being a full partner.  Marilyn then informs Barb about her pitch for representation of the casino – a pitch to which, of course, Barb was not invited.  Ultimately, Barb goes behind Bill’s back and signs Marilyn as casino representative, on his behalf.  Apparently, Bill is not the only one who can make agreements that affect The Family without the rest of The Family’s approval.

Not Without My Daughter!

Nikki’s “fashionable” new look

Nikki is appalled and disgusted when she learns that her “ex-husband” and the father of her child, J.J.,  is being “sealed” to her mother at the same creepy run-down motel where she lost her virginity at age 14.  When J.J.’s sister calls her to inform her that J.J.’s whole family is coming down for the “sealing,” Nikki begins to fear for her mother and her daughter’s safety.

To prove her independence, Nikki crashes the “wedding” dressed in “modern” clothes.  Or rather, she dresses in clothes she assumes are modern, seeing as she has basically  dressed like a pilgrim since birth.  Her sideways ponytail and short jean skirt were admittedly hilarious.  However, I think 1984 probably wants them back.  In all honesty, I haven’t seen Chloe Sevigny so poorly dressed since . . . this.

But I do feel a bit bad about harping on Nikki’s clothing, seeing as she was definitely the hero of this episode.  When Nikki learns that her 16-year old daughter is to be sealed to an older man, much like Nikki was sealed to J.J. in the past, Nikki breaks into the motel and gallantly comes to her daughter’s rescue. 

Getting Loco Down in Mexico

Things are going slightly better (at least, at first), for young Ben, as he bonds with his Crazy Grandma and Grandpa down in Mexico, while they attempt to carry out their “bird-brained” scheme to bootleg parrots across state lines.  Ben lies to his family, telling them that he is nursing his Grandmother’s broken foot.

Meanwhile, Ben and Grams are having a grand old time dancing (on both feet), eating shrimp cocktails, and talking about living together in Mexico.  Unfortunately, when they go to market to collect their parrots, things do not exactly go as planned.  Apparently, Ma and Pa Henrickson aren’t the only ones involved the bird racket.  The creepy mafia-esque polygamist Greene family like their birds as well, and aren’t big fans of competition . . .

Blind (and Dumb) Ambition

Much to the chagrin of the entire Henrickson family, Bill is determined that they come “out” as polygamists upon Bill’s election to Senate.  Under the flimsy rationale that it will help his campaign, he begins making rash decisions on the family’s behalf.  First, he decides to rebrand his “local family” casino by placing billboards for it outside of his voting district.  Then, he makes plans to purchase a larger campaign headquarters, despite the financial burden it will undoubtedly place on the increasingly cash-strapped family.

After meeting some unexpected opposition from his wives, Bill reveals his new “campaign headquarters” to his family.  These “headquarters” are not located in a stodgy warehouse, or office, but rather, inside a stately mansion.  Bill informs his wives that this is where he plans to move with them, after they come forward as polygamists.  According to Bill, it has always been his dream to have his entire family living under one roof.

Love Hurts (and Sometimes Kills)

Juniper Creek Trustee, Dale, and Albie are still involved in their heated love affair at the episode’s opening.  Unfortunately, their relationship cannot stay a secret for long.  Soon, Albie’s wife, Laura, finds the couple leaving their clandestine hideaway together.  Heartbroken, Laura begins to tip off the other trustees as to Dale’s sexual orientation. 

In a heart-wrenching speech, Dale confronts his religious leaders about his struggles with homosexuality.  He complains that although he has lived a righteous and religious lifestyle, he cannot change his sexuality, no matter how hard he tries to do so.  Still not satisfied, Laura approaches Bill about Dale and Albie. 

Bill meets Dale in secret to confront him with this new information.  Although he is sympathetic to Dale’s troubles, Bill has no choice but to ask him to resign, due to the obvious conflict of interest this presents with respect to the trusteeship.

Shoving the final nail in the coffin, Laura then confronts Dale’s wife and children with their patriarch’s secret.  In the last few moments of the episode, Albie enters the couple’s secret hideaway to find a dead Dale hanging from the rafters by his tie.

It doesn’t get much more intense than that, folks.  Tune in next week, to find out whether Bill can rescue his crazy parents and fairly sane, but Oedipal, son from the Mexican firing squad . . .

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