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The One Where No One Can Stop Staring at Chris’ . . . Pants – A Recap of U.S. Skins’ “Chris”

“Look at me.  I’m looking at myself through a broken mirror, to symbolize my shattered youth, multi-faceted personality, and ‘broken’ sense of self.  Wowwww . . . MTV is SOOOO deep.”

Here’s a scenario for you.  You are 16-years old.  One morning, you find yourself home alone, with no parental guardians in sight.  There is a big fat wad of cash on your kitchen counter.  You also seem to be having some major “issues” with your nether regions.  What do YOU do? 

Chances are, if you DIDN’T answer: throw a raging, drug and sex-fueled, party at your house, for the entire teenage population of where the heck it is you’re from, this probably isn’t the show for you.  You also may very well be an undercover member of the Parent Teacher Council.

If the film Home Alone was ever converted into a porno flick, I suspect it would look a lot like Episode 3 of U.S. Skins (which, coincidentally, looks almost EXACTLY like Season 1, Episode 4 of U.K. Skins).

Weiner Hijinks Ensue

Chris, is that a shower cap on your Mr. Happy, or are you just REALLY happy to see that stove?

In the opening moments of Skins‘ third episode, we are introduced (or re-introduced, rather) to slacker high school student, Chris.  MTV’s website characterizes Chris as “happy-go-lucky.”  And when we meet him in this episode, we learn that the description might not exactly have been referring to his “personality.”

In addition to Chris, we are also introduced to another character on Skins, one that plays a major part in this episode, and who may actually possess better comedic timing than all of the show’s cast members combined.  Of course, I am referring to Chris’ . . .  hot dog.

Thus proving that MTV shows will give absolutely ANYONE and ANYTHING a SAG card these days . . .

Case in point . . .

To kick off what I would hereby like to refer to as the “Chris and His Weiner Comedy Hour,” we are treated to a montage of sorts, featuring Chris and his Better (and Lower) Half, engaging in all sorts of zany fun!  Here are just some of the highlights: (1) Chris and His Weiner feed the fish!  (2) Chris and His Weiner try to pee,  but Weiner shoots Chris in the face!  (3) Chris and His Weiner take a Shower!  (4) Chris and His Weiner make Eggs for Breakfast!  (Are you watching this, Viagra?  Because I’m pretty sure MTV just wrote your next television commercial . . .)

Fun Times with Dick, however, is interrupted, when Chris finds something VERY SPECIAL on his kitchen counter . . .

Holy Smokes!  It’s 1,000 blooming buckaroos, or, as the Cool Kids are calling it these days, One G.  It’s like CHRISTMAS for Chris!  (Weiner, however, who was hoping for yet ANOTHER box of Viagra, can’t help but be a tad disappointed.)  Not sure of how he should proceed, a still half-naked Chris, tapes Weiner to his pant leg . . .

“I’ll BE BACK!”

 . . . and invites his friends over for a Highly Homoerotic Kitchen Encounter Pow Wow of Epic Proportions.

Does anyone else think that Nu-Tony looks a bit like Kevin Arnold from The Wonder Years, or am I totally off base here?

While Stanley thinks that Chris should invest his wad of cash in some low-risk tax free bonds, and Weiner thinks he should invest in more Viagra, the rest of the crew seem to think that a Big Party is the way to go.  So, a Big Party is what we get . . .

It’s a PAAAAARRRRTTTYY!

Weiner, of course, was highly insulted by the fact that, while Chris’ Nipples got to roam free and mingle with the rest of the party guests (See Picture Above), HE had to stay tucked away.  Weiner needn’t have worried though, he was still the TALK of the party, and despite being, more or less, “hidden from view,” all eyes were DEFINITELY on him . . .

ABBUD:  “Hey Tea, do you think Chris’Weiner likes me?  Sometimes, I think he does . . . Other times, I’m not so sure.”

TEA: “Chris’ Weiner likes EVERYBODY, Abbud!”

While Abbud and Tea are discussing the logistics of Chris’ nether regions, Tony arrives to do what he seems to do best:  Stare Longingly, and Silently Pine for Love . . .

*Sigh*

Based on last week’s little Dance / Sex Session, we assume Tony’s Sad Little Eye F*&k  is directed at Tea . . .

. . . but it very well may be directed at Abbud.  On this show, you can never be too sure.

Speaking of people who like to Stare Longingly and Pine for Love, say hello to Cadie . . .

*Double Sigh*

If you recall from last week, Cadie agreed to pretend to be sleeping with Stanley, because doing that “favor” for him would be, as she called it, “sweet.”  (Little did she know that her favor had LESS to do with being “sweet” to Stanley, and more about Tony being able to Stare Longingly and Pine for Love in the general direction of Tea’s Naked Tatas, which Tea had promised to expose to the public, once Stanley cashed in his V card.)  And yet, based on her behavior this week, it seems that Cadie would much prefer to ACTUALLY “make monkey” with Annoying Haired Stanley than just “pretend to make monkey” with him.

“I don’t know what ‘Making Monkey’ means exactly, but I sure hope it involves eating . . . Because I LOVE to eat!”

Unfortunately for Cadie, Stanley is too busy pining after Tony’s girlfriend, Michelle, to Make Monkey with ANYBODY! 

Wait . . . so let me get this straight . . . Cadie wants Stanley, who wants Michelle, who’s with TONY, who wants Tea, who wants that Betty Boop chick from last week’s episode?

Somebody is going to need to diagram this for me . . .

GO FISH!

Speaking of Tony and Michelle, SHE (Michelle) is naked in Chris’ bed, and HE (Tony) is also naked, and playing with fish.  (This is, unfortunately, NOT a Euphemism for Sex, by the way.)

Michelle is, understandably, feeling a bit underappreciated in this situation.  So, Tony tries to make her “feel better” by telling her that one of her tatas is bigger than the other . . .

“Ummm .  . . thanks?”

This Oh So Romantic moment is interrupted by Stanley, who has come to borrow a shirt from Chris’ stash, because some girl puked on his . . .

Adventures in Homoeroticism, Part Deux .  . .

While in Chris’ room, Stanley gets his first glimpse of Michelle’s Tatas. 

Chris’ Weiner says, “Dammit!  Why aren’t I in this scene?  I could do really great work here!”

Knowing full well that Stanley is totally in Loooooove with her, Michelle boldly exposes herself to her boyfriend’s best friend, and asks for his opinion on her tatas.  In response to this inquiry, an entranced Stanley blubbers on for about two minutes about how his “eyes are blurry” or something, and rushes out of the room.  Meanwhile, Tony, who is probably dreaming of Tea’s Tatas’ at the time, looks on, boredly amused. 

“Your eyes are supposed to BLUR TOO!”  Michelle, notes to her boyfriend angrily.

Tony rolls his eyes, and then proceeds to screw Michelle . . .

Hot for Teacher

Back downstairs at the party, Chris’ Social Sciences teacher, Tina, arrives.  Apparently, Chris is in Loooooove with her.  (Am I the only one noticing a pattern here?)  So, he invites her over to his house, under the guise of planning a “Parent-Teacher Conference” of some sort.  Once he’s got her in his clutches, however, the admittedly adorable (even though, honestly, he looks about 12) Chris takes advantage of this Excellent Opportunity by laying THIS gem, on his lady love . . .

“I think that dancing is like the best thing in the world.  Because, it makes you healthy, but it also makes your mind better too.  And, I know that you’re sad sometimes, and I hate that.  So, would you just stay . . . and dance . . . Please?”

Honestly, who could resist THAT?  So, Tina starts slow dancing with Chris.  And, you’ll never guess what happens next .  . .

“I’m BAAAAACK!”

Scotch tape can only hold back Weiner for so long, before it stages a revolt!  So, Tina (who’s already sort of verging on Pedophile Territory, with the looks she’s been giving this Underage Student in the Elvis Costume) freaks out and bails, no doubt rushing back to the Bad 80’s movie from which she originated . . .

Life is HARD, isn’t it Chris? (hint, hint, wink, wink)

Tina’s departure more or less sent the episode, and Chris’ life, into a downward spiral.  And the rest of the episode, was filled with a series of increasingly awkward (and kind of depressing) moments . . .

The Awkward Moment When You are Hiding in Your Mom’s Dresser Listening to Your Friends Engage in Homoerotic Conversations . . .

After a long night of partying and getting wasted, Chris’ pals have worked up quite an appetite!  And, Chris, being the Good Host he is, decides to use the remainder of his Cash Stash to buy them all pizza.  The problem is, he’s run out of money.  So, Chris dashes up to his mom’s room to get some more.  What he finds up there is . . . absolutely NOTHING.

Now, having seen the U.K. version of this episode before, I wasn’t exactly surprised when Chris found his mother’s room completely emptied of all of her belongings — a sure sign that she had abandoned her son, quite possibly for good.  And yet, it is a testament to Jesse Carere’s acting skills, that my heart still sank during this scene. 

In fact, in some ways, watching THIS Chris experience the loss was even harder, because he just looks SO MUCH YOUNGER and seems SO MUCH MORE VULNERABLE than that perpetually hilarious old soul, U.K. Chris.  As someone who ADORED U.K. Chris to bits, I very much appreciated this American actor’s decision NOT to try to replicate the former’s unmatchable performance.  Instead, Carere gave HIS Chris, a sensitivity and sadness that was uniquely his own.

But, lest we become too maudlin, here comes Stanley and Tony with their Adventures in Homoeroticism, Part 3 . . .

A poor and miserable Chris, hides in his mom’s empty dresser, as he listens to Stanley and Tony talk about how incredibly HAPPY Stanley should be for the opportunity to be having Fake Sex with Cadie.  And then they start having HOT GAY sex with eachother, like they’ve clearly been wanting to do for this ENTIRE EPISODE this happens . . .

Poor Chris, though clearly depressed about his future, tries to joke with the boys, and put on a brave face, by noting that his Weiner, has “gone to back to bed,” and hasn’t even TURNED BLUE!  Tony, who knows a “Friend in Need” when he sees one, tries to cheer Chris up, by telling him his Weiner looks REALLY BIG NOW! 

“Why, thank you, TONY!  That’s so sweet of you to say!”

(Seriously?  How GAY is U.S. TONY?!  He can talk about Tea’s tatas all he wants.  But we’ve known the guy for only three episodes, and he’s already hit on EVERY SINGLE MALE CHARACTER ON THIS SHOW, at least once!  In fact, I’m starting to think that, perhaps, the reason he likes Tea so much, is that he’s in the market for a Beard. )

*Sigh* . . . “Chris’ Weiner, I Loooooooove YOU!”

To cap off the conversation, Tony “kindly” informs Chris that, since the latter broke the mirror in his mom’s dresser, he now has seven years of bad luck awaiting him.  Niiiiiice!

The Awkward Moment When Your Friends Learn that You Don’t Know what The Piledriver is . .

Chris, Tony and Stanley head downstairs, where no one has ANY money to pay the Pizza Man, and everyone is discussing Cadie’s and Stanley’s sex life.  When a skeptical Tea begins interrogating the virginal Stanley about this, Cadie, inPtrying to be “helpful,” casually mentions that Stanley had her “in the piledriver.”  Tea then slyly asks Stanley to elaborate.  Needless to say, it doesn’t go well . . .

“Ummm . . . is this going to be on the Virginity Test?”

For those of YOU out in TV Land who are wondering what the Piledriver is .  . . ummmm . . . yeah  . . . I’m not going to tell you.  Sorry, but you just never know when the Parent Teacher Council is secretly reading your blog . . .

In order to pay the Pizza Man, Chris and Stanley head to the electronics store, to try to sell back the soundsystem that he had recently purchased for the party . . .

Unfortunately, the Ornery Sales Person at the counter notices some pastry inside the machine, and tells Chris that all sales are final.  So, Chris and Stanley end up dumping the Sound System off at a junkyard, and exchanging it, and the wheelbarrow in which it came, for some drugs instead.  They then head back to Chris’ house with nothing more than what appears to be a dime bag of Dirty Sanchez . . .

I’m still not sure how they paid that Pizza Guy . . .

Back at Chris’ house, while the rest of the crew is sleeping, Poor Smitten Cadie FINALLY gets the chance to GENUINELY cuddle up wth Stan . . .

Unfortunately for Cadie, all Stanley wants to think about, or talk about, is Michelle and her possibly disproportionate Tata’s.   “Stanley, your hard-on is digging into my back,” she tells him.

“Oops . . . sorry,” Stanley replies, shifting himself into a more PG-rated position.

Chris’ Weiner would like you to know that HE would not be so easily bullied!

Eventually, everybody falls asleep.  The following morning, Chris and Daisy are the only ones still awake.  So, they gab together over coffee mugs filled with milk.  The result of this, of course, is that both of them have the cutest Milk Staches EVER!

“Got Milk?”

In hindsight, Chris would have been much better off hanging out with Daisy for the rest of the day.  Unfortunately, however, all his friends eventually leave (Daisy included).   So, he stumbles up to his bedroom for some much-needed shut eye . . . but not before having a little Dirty Sanchez Party, of his own . . .

The Awkward Moment When You Go to Pee in Your Shower and Find Some Homeless Dude Living in It . . .

As if things weren’t going bad enough for him already, Chris wakes up hungover as heck.  He then goes to the bathroom, and learns that someone STOLE HIS TOILET.  So, he steps into the shower, and turns on the water, only to be attacked by some homeless dude, who, eventually LOCKS HIM OUT OF HIS OWN HOUSE, while he is BUTT NAKED! 

(Chris’ Tatas and Bum, stick their metaphoric tongues out at his Weiner in TRIUMPH!  It’s THEIR TIME TO SHINE, NOW!)

Chris’ Dad’s a Total DICK!  (Not to be confused with Chris’ Weiner, which is lovely.)

For reasons I don’t quite understand, rather than running to one of his friends’ homes, Chris dashes off to the school.  The Skins Crew meets him there to give him some support.  They also supply him with what appears to be the way too small t-shirt of an 8-year old girl, and some pants to wear.  (Chris’ Belly Button CHEERS,  “My turn, B*tches!”) 

Teacher Tina is back, of course.  And she wants to know what Chris plans to do about his living situation.  Chris decides to try and live with his absentee father.  Daisy agrees to accompany him to the guy’s home.  While there, Chris’ Dad’s new wife, introduces Chris to the half-brother he never knew he had . . .

 

She also begins to show Daisy pictures of what she believes to be Chris as a baby.  But the pictures actually end up being of Chris’ his brother Peter, who died very young.  When Chris’ dad arrives home, he refuses to even SEE Chris.  Devastated, the poor little guy dashes from his dad’s home, with Daisy hot on his heels.

Eventually, Chris arrives at his brother’s gravestone . . .

Once there, Chris shares with Daisy his most fond memory of his older brother, Peter.   When Chris was a young child in day camp (or was it Boy Scouts?  I honestly can’t remember), he apparently peed his pants in public.  Rather than allow his little brother to be humiliated by his peers, Peter, who was a camp counselor at the time, lent Chris the pants off his bottom!  Together, the siblings walked into the sunset hand -in-hand, one of them COMPLETELY PANTS FREE! 

“Nobody laughed,” remarks Chris.

(Ummm . . . yeah, somehow I find THAT hard to believe . . .)

“Me too, and I was there!”

The Awkward Moment When Your Teacher Finds You Sleeping in the Trunk of Her Car . . .

Did I mention that Chris is LIVING Teacher Tina now?  Or that she gave him a pet fish (pun sort of intended)?  Or that he has inexplicably started taking her Estrogen Pills?

Yeah, because all THIS is not inappropriate, AT ALL!

Truthfully, not much happens at the end of the episode.  Well . . . that’s not entirely true.  Tea FINALLY shows us her Tatas at Tony’s house .  . .

“PEEKABOOB!”

(Well, she shows THE CAST her tatas.  We don’t really get to see anything — this, being the U.S. and all . . .)

And Tony.  . .  you guessed it . . . Stares Longingly at Tea and Pines for Love, as his little sister looks on with amusement . . .

“Oh, BROTHER!  You are so obviously gay!  Stop trying to pretend otherwise  . . .”

Then the whole Skins crew piles on top of one another, which, contrary to what the Virginal Stanley would like you to believe, is NOT the same thing as a Piledriver . . . not even close . . .

And that was Skins, Episode 3, “Chris” in a nutshell.  Next week, we watch as Cadie takes a lot of drugs, and Stares Longingly and Pines for Stanley’s Love some more.  Surely, it will be a UNIQUE experience, unlike one we’ve EVER witnessed on this show  . . .  since the last time it aired.

[www.juliekushner.com]

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It’s Not Easy Being Lavender – A Recap of (U.S.) Skin’s “Tea”

I have a confession to make.  Something happened to me, in between the airing of the pilot episode of (U.S.) Skins and the episode I plan to recap today . . . I discovered (U.K.) Skins and I watched it . . . all of it . . . well, at least the first two seasons.  And, at some point, during those hours (and HOURS, and HOURS) spent watching the series, I fell in love . . . with Tony (the other Tony) . . .

 . . . and Stanley and Cadie Sid and Cassie . . .

. . . and the rest of that crew of crazy, loveable Brits — all of whom I would TOTALLY party with, if I was remotely cool enough to hang out with them (which, I suspect, I’m not).

While my newfound love affair with (U.K) Skins didn’t dampen my appreciation of THIS version, it DID make it a lot more difficult for me NOT to make endless comparisons between the two.  So, I’m just going to put that out there as a warning.  I will try my VERY hardest, not to bring up (U.K.) Skins in my (U.S.) Skins recaps.  (But that doesn’t mean I can’t talk about U.K. Skins in the Comments Section!  Because I TOTALLY PLAN ON DOING SO! )

However, there is ONE scene from this week’s episode, where I think a comparison to the U.K. version will prove SUPER HOT! extremely enlightening  . . . from a sociocultural perspective.  So, I will break my promise just a bit, during this recap, to discuss that scene.  But not to worry U.K. Skins virgins, I fully plan to provide you with a YouTube video, for easy reference, when that time comes. 

You’re welcome!

Well, that’s enough of THAT.  Don’t you think?  On with the recap . . .

Who says you can’t learn about musical history from watching Skins?

(Now, I know the Parent Teacher Council has their panties all in a bunch over some of the content of this show.  But I wonder whether they’d think more kindly about it, if they knew that kids could actually learn something from it!  Personally, I learned TWO things from watching “Tea,” the first of which I will get to in just a bit . . .) 

So, when the episode begins, our titular character Tea is seen taking an exam of some sort.  Of course, I use the term “taking” loosely, because she seems WAY more interested in eye f*&king the curly-haired chick, seated a few rows in front of her, than doing any sort of test-taking.

This curly-haired chick’s name is Betty.  But I will be referring to her as Betty Boop, because she dresses like, and somewhat resembles, a cartoon character, throughout most of the episode.

After most likely flunking her exam, Tea rushes from class at the final bell, but not before leaving Betty Boop a little love note . . .

Thing I Learned from Skins #1:  When I first saw this note, I assumed that it referred to the Lesbian Underground Dance Club where Tea and Betty (and eventually Tea and Tony) met up, during the episode.  And I think I was correct in that assumption.  But from later research, I ALSO learned that Northern Soul refers to an ENTIRE DANCE MOVEMENT — one that gained grounded in the U.K. back in the 1960s.  In fact, many of the songs played during this episode — most notably Tony Clarke’s amazing Landslide (which got downloaded onto my iPod, moments after I finished watching the show) and Wade in the Water (which I WILL download, once I find the right version) — are examples of music that can be classified as Northern Soul.  Who knew?

After school, Tea rushes home, flies past various members of her loud and boisterous family, and heads immediately to her room, where she casts aside her”binding” school clothes, and exchanges them for some Hoochie Girl Party Gear.  (I mean no disrespect in saying this, of course.  Hoochie Girl Party Gear is a must have in EVERY gal’s wardrobe!)  Tea then heads immediately to an underground club filled with close-dancing females, that I can only assume is Northern Soul.

Once there, Tea really lets out her inner rock star — dancing alone, confidently, and un-self-consciously.  You can tell immediately that the moments when Tea is dancing, are the ones when she feels the most free . . . the most “normal.”  You can contrast Tea’s dancing, to the showy grindage, Tony and Michelle engaged in, during the pilot episode . . .

While Tony and Michelle dance to raise eyebrows, and be admired, Tea dances because she clearly loves it.

Within a few moments, Betty Boop has located Tea on the dance floor.  But they don’t get to do much “dancing” together (or talking, or thinking . . . for that matter) . . .

Before you can say “Northern Soul,” Tea and Betty are up against the wall, making out like it’s going out of styl.  Then they go back to Tea’s house, and it’s Screw Time!

We are then treated to a few censor-approved “tasteful” shots of the girls doing the horizontal mambo on the bed.  And before you can say, “Parent Teacher Council,” it’s morning time in Skins World. 

“There was a lotta lickin!”

Tea and Betty rush downstairs, but not before they are ambushed by Tea’s dad, who seems like a kinder, gentler, more blue-collar, version of Tony Soprano.  So, of course, I love him ALREADY!

Awkward moments are a-plenty, as Tea’s dad and Tea start rattling off one sexual pun, after another — carelessly chatting about “chewing things over” and “screwing around,” as if they are discussing the day’s weather.  Betty Boop is clearly not pleased to be there.

Things get even MORE awkward when Tea’s dad introduces Betty Boop to Tea’s massive family. 

By far, the most interesting of this gaggle of relatives is Tea’s zany Nana, who rattles off hilarious lines about past presidents like “No more Tricky Dicky for a LONG TIME!”  (They must hear this kind of stuff EVERY morning, because no one in the room laughs, or even seems to be listening, for that matter.)

Things get THREE times as awkward, when Tea’s straight girlfriend Daisy comes by, and the family refers to her as “The Gay One.”  (Tea’s family clearly does not know that she’s a lesbian.)  Daisy shows off her rack to the two lovers, and wonders out loud whether she has the tatas of a lesbian.  This causes me to wonder what Lesbian Tatas look like, exactly.  (Maybe they are rainbow-colored?)

Honestly, I couldn’t tell whether Betty Boop was all in a snit, because another woman was there, or because now all of Italy probably knows she spent the night getting naked with a female.  Whatever it is, Betty starts acting like a major biatch, threatening Tea that she “better not tell anyone,” and sending Daisy death ray stares, every time the poor girl speaks.  Daisy smugly notes that Betty has hickeys all over neck, which causes the enraged chica to Boop Boop Be Doop her way toward the Exit Stage Left.  “How did it go?”  Daisy asks, referring to the departed Betty.

“There was a lotta lickin'” Tea replies.  (You’ll be pleased to know that this has just become my new favorite catchphrase)

Tea’s dad interrupts the love fest to tell Tea that he’s decided to pimp her out to some connected mob guy’s son, probably so that The Family can make the kids’ father “an offer he can’t refuse.”  (Man, I LOVE Mob Stuff!)  The two mafia-born kids will go “bowling” together the following evening. The good news is that Tea will be paid well for going on this date, and she doesn’t have to “do any funny stuff” with him, if she doesn’t want to do so. 

On the bus on the way to school, Tea’s friend Abbud remarks on how funny it is that Tea has to go on a Mob Date.  He also does a pretty good Brando impression (or maybe that was supposed to be Deniro . . . or Pacino . . . maybe it wasn’t such a good impression after all)  “I come to you, to ask you this favor,” he rasps.

Abbud then spends the rest of the bus ride staring Tea’s boobs, which, I guess, have become kind of unofficial cast members, themselves, for all the time everyone spends staring at them, and talking about them . . .

Making Monkey and Getting Le Donged

It’s lunchtime now.  And Tony has a proposition for Crazy Pill Popping Cadie, who seems way more mellow, ever since her meds have been adjusted . . .

Tony wants Cadie to pretend that she has been “making monkey” with his best bud Stanley.  He claims that this would be a “sweet” thing to do, since it would save Stanley from the “embarrassment” of teen virginity.  Cadie glances over at Stanley, who is currently looking pretty darn pathetic, with his sauce covered face, and sad puppy dog eyes . . .

“Well . . . he could look happier, now that we’re banging eachother,” notes Cadie perceptively.

“I’ll work on that,” promises Tony.

Oh, I bet you will, Tony. 

“OK . . . I’ll do it . . . because it’s sweet, and I like that,” concludes Cadie, making me like HER a bit more than I did last week.

Tony’s happy too . . .

But his happiness seems to have less to do with “being sweet” to Stanley, and more to do with Tea’s Tatas.  (See what I mean, about them being their own character.)  When Tea arrives at the cafeteria, Tony reminds her of her promise to have a Wardrobe Malfunction a la Janet Jackson at the homecoming game, during half time, if Stanley got laid.   And he DIDN’T.  But Tony says he did .  . . and if Tony says it, it must be true.

This love fest between Tony and Tea’s Tatas is interrupted by some school assembly, where some dorky looking teacher lectures the kids on how drugs, sex and partying are “bad stuff.”  I suspect the scene was supposed to be “funny.”  But it wasn’t.  What was kind of funny, was when one of the “Guest Speakers” turned out to be Stanley’s drug dealer from the pilot, who bears the unfortunate last name of Le Dong. 

Since last week, someone in the makeup department has obviously ramped up the Scare Factor on Le Dong’s mug, as he has clearly gone from Mildly Intimidating Old Dude to Zombie Crypt Keeper, in a matter of days.  (Bad Trip, perhaps?)  This guy needs to meet up with the Jersey Shore kids from some Gym, Tanning, Laundry STAT!  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a face that color! 

Anyway, Le Dong uses his guest speaking opportunity to make some thinly veiled threats to Stanley, who still owes him 900 smackers for the drugs he “bought on credit,” which are now probably being smoked by Little Nemo and his friends beneath the sea . . .

Hours and HOURS of making monkey aren’t going to lift Stanley’s spirits NOW!  And his friends aren’t exactly much help, leaving the poor kid to rot in the unisex bathroom, while they rush off to class.

Not Measuring Up

As for Tea, she has her own problems, like the fact that she spotted her closeted new girlfriend hanging all over her fake boyfriend during lunch.  And yet, strangely, Betty Boop, who earlier was telling Tea that she “better not tell anyone” about the fact that they banged, suddenly, seems ASTOUNDED by the notion that Tea doesn’t want to be in a relationship with her.  “Nobody measures up to me,” remarks Tea confidently, when Betty asks her why she’s not interested in romantic relationships. 

(Well, I don’t necessarily think that’s true, Tea.  But Betty Boop certainly doesn’t seem to measure up.  You can do better, Girlfriend!)

At dinner, Tea tries to come out to her family, but they are all carrying on so loudly, that nobody seems to notice.   Then Tea’s sister’s water breaks, and everybody leaves . . . except for Tea’s poor Nana, of course.

Later that night, Tea has nobody to talk to, so she decides to chat up Audrey Hepburn . . . or, at least her poster . . .

Since, clearly none of the girls in her school “measure up” to Audrey Hepburn, Tea decides to “hook up” with the person she loves most . . . herself.

And then this happens . . .

The Awkward Moment when you are “entertaining yourself” under the covers, and your grandma climbs into bed with you . . .

 Wade in the Water (and in Tony’s pants)

The next afternoon, Tea’s dad drops Tea off at her prostitution gig date.  And, wouldn’t you know it, her suitor is TONY!  Tony remarks on how cool it is that both of them are working for the mob, how relieved he is that Tea isn’t a “dog,” and how his girlfriend Michelle wont’ care about what they’re doing, because it’s a “Paid Gig.”  (Just keep telling yourself that, Romeo!)  

Tony then offers to take Tea out for a drink.  Of course, by “drink” he means ” a cheap bottle of vodka they can share,” and by “out” he means “to the local playground Sit ‘n Spin.” (As if Tea didn’t feel like enough of a hooker, already!)

The next scene takes place ENTIRELY on the Sit N’ Spin.  So, the revolving camera gave me bad flashbacks to watching The Blair Witch Project, and gave me that distinct flavor of nausea that one only can get from watching more than 2 minutes of “Shaky Cam.” 

Despite the fact that Tea, as Tony says, “worships the coochie shrine,” it is obvious that these two have a connection.  They are both confident, to the point of being cocky, smart, to the point of being disaffected, blase about what life has to offer them, and most importantly, HIGHLY SEXUAL beings.

As for Tony, though, I think the real moment he falls in love with Tea, is when she pukes right in front of him, and still keeps drinking and flirting, as if it never happened.  (Ahhhh . . . the wonders of Vomit Love!)  “You don’t give a sh*t, do you?”  Tony remarks, awestruck.

“No, I really don’t,” replies Tea.

Yoda Tony wisely notes that what makes Tea interesting is not that she’s a lesbian, but that she holds back, and doesn’t let anybody in.  Tea doesn’t necessarily disagree with this assessment.   And adds that she might have a “screw loose,” because she can’t fathom the concept of falling in love.

“Maybe it just needs tightening,” Tony jokes lasciviously.  “I can match you.  You’ve met your match,” he concludes, reminding us of Tea’s earlier words to Betty Boop, about nobody “measuring up.”

The now-completely sh*tfaced Tea and Tony head to the currently abandoned Northern Soul club.  There, Tea puts on the song, Wade in the Water, and the two begin to dance.  Again, Tea looks confident, carefree, and unself-conscious.  The clearly smitten Tony, however, seems a bit less confident than he did during his sexualized boogie with Michelle, during the week prior. 

Now, there’s no audience.  Its just him, and Tea, and the music.  And that makes things more difficult for him.He gets into it eventually, however.  And the pair develop a rather nice rhythm to this blues-y song.

Then the dancing slows down, and things get a bit more sexually intense.  Meaningful looks are exchanged (well, as meaningful as looks can be, after you’ve drank an entire bottle of vodka).  Suddenly, the pair are making out, hardcore . . .

Tea pulls back, shocked at what she has just done.  And Tony stumbles away for a moment, to prepare himself for what he knows that he is ABOUT TO DO . . .

And then .  . . it happens, the sex.  It is awkward, and drunken, and fumbling, yet oddly sexy, in its honesty.  Because THIS is what drunk (sort of ) inexperienced teens look like, when they are experimenting sexually with one another.  This is REAL.  Most of the well-choreographed stuff you see on TV is just smoke and mirrors.  It’s so real in fact, that Tea starts cracking up, when it’s all over (which is in less than a minute).  Needless to say, it’s not QUITE the response that Tony was looking for.

“That was terrible,” giggles Tea

“Normal girls like it,” responds Tony, with a cute pout.

“They must be REALLY stupid,” Tea replies.

We feel your pain, Tony!

But despite his bruised ego, and broken heart, Tony is a good sport about the whole thing, which made me like him A LOT (even though he TOTALLY cheated on his girlfriend Michelle, with her best friend).  After all, can’t all of us relate to wanting something we can’t have, PRECISELY because we can’t have it?

Now, I positively LOVED this scene!  It was sexy, and complex, and extremely well-acted by both of it’s participants.  And yet, knowing that, in the U.K. version, Tea was actually a homosexual boy named Maxxie, I couldn’t help but compare THIS sex scene gone awry to its British counterpart.  Since, I can’t embed the video (click on it, you won’t be disappointed!), let’s post that sexy picture again, shall we?

It’s interesting how in BOTH scenes, Tony is the sexual aggressor –a confident guy who’s certain that he can seduce ANYONE, regardless of their sexual orientation.  And, in both scenes, Tony FAILS in the Art of Seduction.  And yet, in the British version, the sexual power, at least initially, belongs to Tony, because HE is straight, and therefore, not necessarily attracted to Maxxie, who’s obviously gay.  Presumably, as far as Tony’s concerned, this sex act is merely an instance of sexual experimentation

Meanwhile, in the U.S. scene, the sexual power resides with Tea.   SHE is the one who technically shouldn’t be attracted to Tony (whether she actually IS attracted to him is the subject of much debate on the message boards for this show).  SHE is the one experimenting, thereby leaving Tony, who is obviously attracted to HER, in the more vulnerable position of the two.  Talk about GIRL POWER!

Which brings me to . . .

The Lavendar Scare

Back at home, we learn that Drug Dealer Le Dong has been following Tea.  He manhandles her, calls her a dyke, and threatens to do bad things to her, if she doesn’t give up her Poor Friend Stanley, who owes him money.  Of course, Papa Tony Soprano 2.0 is watching.  (Seriously, Drug Dealer Le Dong!  Out of all Stanley’s friends, you chose to mess with the Mob Boss’ Daughter?  MORON!)

Le Dong skulks away, and a highly distraught Tea runs into the house, and into her Nana’s bed.  “Did you get scared?”  Nana asks with concern.

“Yes . . . Nana, I did,” remarks Tea honestly.

It is during this sweet and powerful scene, that we learn that Tea’s nana is ALSO a lesbian.  Apparently, she was forced to give up her lover, get married, and live a lie, in order to avoid persecution at the hands of Joseph McCarthy and The Lavender Scare (an event which is The Second Thing I Learned About From Watching Skins this Week).  The two gay women hold hands and cry together in bed, and,  in doing so, bridge the Generation Gap.  And regardless of what your own sexual orientation may be, it’s impossible not to be moved by this scene.

“I Put My Truth on You”

The next day at lunch, Michelle is sitting with Tea, and asking about the details of her “date.”  Tea is demure, and doesn’t rat out Tony.  She does, however, admit that her “date” “tried something” with her before she “explained” her sexual orientation.

Michelle notes wistfully that it must be nice to “be jumped like that,” as Tony hasn’t exactly been a really “winner” in the loving department lately.  This isn’t exactly a surprise given the longing looks Tony is throwing in Tea’s general direction, while the two friends are engaging in this conversation.  This Eye F**k Fest is interrupted by Betty Boop, who plants a hot juicy kiss on Tea’s lips in front of the ENTIRE CAFETERIA, including Poor Tony, and Betty’s fake boyfriend, Bobby.  (Betty Boop’s boyfriend’s name was Bobby.  Now THAT’S Funny!)

“I put my truth on you,” says Betty slyly, before strutting out of the cafeteria.  (PRETTY SMOOTH, Miss Boop!)

After school Tea’s dad picks her up, in a very crowded car that includes a bunch of his mob goons, and . . . get this . . . Le Dong . . . the drug dealer . . .

Tea’s dad wants Le Dong to swim with the fishes (and Stanley’s weed) because he THINKS that Le Dong called Tea, not what he ACTUALLY called her (dyke) but something that RHYMES with what he called her, and is a derogatory term for people of the Jewish faith.  Tea tries to correct her father, but he won’t hear it.  So, Tea simply tells her dad not to MURDER Le Dong.  Tea’s dad nods, tells Tea that she is a “good person,” and then drives away . . .

Personally, I hope he killed him.  Does that make me a Bad Person?

At the end of the episode, Tea gets a phone call from the clearly lovesick Tony, who tells her, “I matched you.  I matched you good.”

OK . . . officially loving him, now.  But who’s room is he in?  Hopefully not Michelle’s!

At the same time, Tea also gets a phone call, from Betty Boop.  But she ignores them both, and instead begins to dance to Wade in the Water, in a bedroom adorned with . . . you guessed it . . . lavender!

That’s it for this week’s episode.  Based on the previews, next week’s Skin’s installment, “Chris,” looks like an almost shot-for-shot remake of the U.K. episode of the same name, which just so happens to be the first FULL episode of U.K. Skins that I watched.  It will be interesting to see how this one translates . . .

See you then!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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How Stanley didn’t get laid – A Recap of (U.S.) Skins’ Series Premiere “Tony”

Chances are, if you’ve been alive and well this week, and have found yourself anywhere near a television, computer, or magazine, you’ve probably heard at least something about Skins.  At the risk of being redundant, Skins is MTV’s newest “scripted” drama (And yet, aren’t they all scripted, when you really think about it?).  Although MTV’s version premiered this week, the concept of Skins is not particularly new.  In fact, the show is a remake / reimagining of a popular UK show of the same name, which debuted back in 2007, and featured MOST of the same characters (only played by British young actors, as opposed to American ones).

In terms of the U.S. version of Skins, public opinion has run the gamut from diehard fans of the original, who believe this version should never have been made, to conservative right-wingers, who think the fact that underage actors makeout on the show is tantamount to “child porn.”  This post isn’t going to say any of those things, or even really offer an opinion one way or the other.  I’m merely going to recap the episode, and hopefully, entertain you a bit in the process . . .

Sound good?  Let’s get started . . .

Meet Naked Tony (and his Burnout Sister, Wacky Dad, and Slutty Next Door Neighbor)

You would think that a television episode entitled “Tony,” would open up with a shot of “Tony” right?  WRONG!  Instead we got this random chick . . .

I see this on my television screen, and I immediately wonder whether my cable guide lied to me, and I am not watching Skins, but rather some second rate straight-to-video zombie flick (Dawn of the Dead 2: Electric Boogaloo).  But no, this is “Tony’s” baby sister.  We know her as “Eura,” but in the U.K. version, she had the much more mainstream name of “Effy.” 

 I notice immediately that it is snowing, and she isn’t wearing any shoes.  My feet experience immediate sympathy pains, as a result.  It’s not an enjoyable feeling.  In short, I’ve already about had it with Zombie Eura, and her soon-to-be frostbitten feet.  And she hasn’t said a single word yet!

No matter.  Bring on NAKED TONY!

This is our first glimpse of the titular Tony.  He’s cute.  But his bedspread is stark white, and covered with tarantulas (I think . . . I generally make it my business to know as little about spiders as humanly possible.)  It also seems way too neat, tidy, and generally void of personality to be a teenage boy’s bedroom.  This makes me think that Tony might be a serial killer, because only serial killer teens have clean rooms like that.  (Hey, maybe he killed EURA!  And that’s why she’s coming back to his house . . . to eat his BRAINS for REVENGE!)

(You might be interested in knowing that in the U.K. version of Skins, Tony was played by Nicholas Hoult, a.k.a. the kid from About a Boy . . .)

Anyway, Tony gets up, and starts doing these weird Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dweeb moves, by the window, to show off his surprisingly buff teen physique.

Now, I no longer think I am watching a zombie movie, but rather an infomercial for Bow Flex or the Shake Weight.  (After all, it is 2 a.m. at this point.)  Tony then takes a break from his Tae Bo routine to play Peeping Tom with his slutty adult neighbor.

Slutty Neighbor really seems to enjoy being ogled by a 16-year old, which, I guess, makes her a pedophile.  If Tony WAS, in fact, a serial killer, Slutty Neighbor would probably be his first victim (after Zombie Eura, of course) . . .

While Tony is ogling Slutty Neighbor, he spies Zombie Eura, and decides to invite her inside the house, and help her to evade the EVIL Parental Units.  (NO, TONY!  NEVER INVITE IN THE ZOMBIES . . . Or maybe it’s vampires you aren’t supposed to invite in?  OK . . . Now I’m confused.)

So, Tony turns his music up full blast, and while Tony’s dad (stepdad?) rips him a new one, Zombie Eura dashes back to her room, cleans the crap off her face, and tries to make her bed look slept in . . .

Meanwhile, Tony’s dad or stepdad is screaming at the top of his lungs at Tony, but I can’t understand a damn word the guy is saying . . . I suspect we aren’t supposed to understand him, anyway.  In essence, Skins is like a live teenage version of Charlie Brown, where all the adults are WAY too tall, and speak in gibberish all the time . . .

“Wah-wah wah wah mwah wah-wah, mwah WAHHHHHHHHHH!”

Next we get a completely unnecessary shot of Tony taking a dump on the toilet, while reading a book entitled Know Your Rodent.  (See, TOTAL SERIAL KILLER!)

Soon enough, Tony’s dad or stepdad is outside the bathroom bellowing again, “MWAH-WAH WAH, WAH I HAVE TO TAKE A DUMP TOO MWAH WAH-WAH!”  So, Tony sneaks out the window . . .

And . . . then he’s back inside.

(See, now I’m thinking this HAS to be Tony’s stepdad.  Because climbing down your fire escape, just to make your biological pops look like a moron, seems like WAY TOO MUCH WORK, with no foreseeable benefits.) 

Calling All Cast Members!

After breakfast, Tony leaves for school.  It’s still snowing, but Tony’s dressed for 65 degree weather, because “he’s just cool like that.”

This is the part of the pilot, where Tony generously introduces you to the rest of the main cast, by calling EVERY. . .  SINGLE . . . ONE of them . . .

This is Daisy.  In this scene, we learn precisely three things about her.  (1) She’s smart.  We know this because she plays a musical instrument.  And the only time they ever show kids playing musical instruments on teen shows is to imply that they are smart.  (2)  She’s fairly wealthy.  We know this because she has a fancy and rather old painting on the wall next to her.  (3) She’s snarky.  We know this because, on teen shows, the only time it’s acceptable to be BOTH smart and wealthy, is if you are also snarky.

This is Abbud.  Like Daisy, we don’t get to know much about him this week, aside from two things: (1) He’s Muslim.  (2) He digs lesbians.  You might be interested to know that in the U.K. version this character (then named Anwar) was played by Dev Patel, a.k.a. The Slumdog Millionaire guy . . .

This is Tea.  She’s a tough and spunky lesbian cheerleader.  (She hasn’t told her fellow cheermates of her sexual orientation yet.   This way, she figures, none of them will feel awkward, when they have to stick their hands up her skirt, during the Cheer Pyramid.)

This is Crazy Chris, who, I noticed, doesn’t like to wear clothing.  He’s already one of my favorite characters.  This is probably because the “Chris” episode of Skins is the only episode of the U.K. version that I actually got to watch.

This is Tony’s girlfriend, Michelle.  He’s nicknamed her Nips (which she HATES).  Unfortunately, for male viewers, the U.S. censors won’t allow you to see WHY . . .

And this is Stanley.  He’s a virgin, who calls his weiner “Mr. Happy.”  (Though, since he IS a virgin, that is probably somewhat of a misnomer.)  Unlike Tony, Stanley has a room that looks EXACTLY like you would expect a teenage boy’s bedroom to look (i.e. messy, stinky, and covered with porn).  So, Stanley is probably not a serial killer.  But he DOES have Hanson hair . . .

 . . . which, I strongly suspect, is one of the reasons he can’t get laid.

Time for “School”

It’s nice when, during a teen drama, you see the kids actually go to class, even if it’s only for one scene.  This is psychology class.  And the psychology teacher needs therapy . . .

“Mwah-wah wah-wah Boyfriend Dumped Me, WAAAAAAAAAAAH!”

Adorable Chris is clearly in love with his Wackadoo Psych teacher, so he tries to impress her, by dressing like a hillbilly from the movie Deliverance . . .

He also carries her books after class.  She doesn’t seem to mind nearly as much as you would expect.   In fact, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if these two ended up doing the nasty at some point this season assuming the show doesn’t get canceled first.

“You may teach Psychology, but we SURE have Chemistry!  Get it . . . because . . . oh, never mind.  Wanna screw?  My parents are out of town for the week.  So, I can TOTALLY have a sleepover!”

Now, it’s lunchtime.  Whether or not these are wealthy teens, we know they go to a pretty wealthy school, because their cafeteria has flat screen TVs in it  . . .

They also serve Massive Meal Portions, akin in size to what 800-pound men would likely eat at a breakfast buffet . . .

At lunch, Tony tells Stanley that the only way he will be able to get laid, is if he buys a lot of drugs, and gets the object of his affection SO HAMMERED that she forgets he has Hanson hair.  While they are talking, Michelle arrives.  We know instantly that Stanley is in love with her, because she walks in SLOOOOO MOOOOOO . . .

He also conveniently has pornographic images of of her on his cell phone . . .

Unfortunately for Stanley, he will not be getting the opporunity to horizontal mambo with Nips Michelle, and her awesome blue leather jacket  (Seriously?  Where can I get me one of THOSE?), because her face is pretty much permanently attached to Bobby’s mouth.  Instead, Stanley will be screwing Psychopath Cadie, who he is supposed to meet in the “Life Skills” classroom . . .

If I knew that “Life Skills” class involved growing phallic vegetables and playing with knives, I totally would have chosen it as my elective at school.  When Stanley first meets Cadie (though I’m not sure how he hasn’t already met her, considering all his friends already seem to know her — I mean, how big IS this school exactly?) he’s understandably a bit afraid of her . . .

But that doesn’t stop him from wanting to have sex with her.  He IS a teenage boy, after all.

OMG, it’s GLEE!

Meanwhile, Tony has randomly decided to try out for the All Girls Choir, at the private “school for young ladies” nearby.  (No, offense to any of my readers out there, who may actually be named Edith Damp.  But, is that not the WORST name for a girl’s school ever?)  Tony shows up at the practice and starts singing this REALLY old show tune, that I suspect is called Let’s Fall in Love.

And, although both the song choice, and the way Tony sings it, make him seem INCREDIBLY gay, all the women choir-ettes seem to eat it up (probably because they all haven’t seen any men other than their dads, in about 10 years).

On the way out of “Edith Damp School”, Tony has a slight run-in with schools headmaster, but escapes unscathed.

(Just in case you can’t read it, the sign, behind the headmaster’s head says “Juvenile Males are a Threat.” – HILARIOUS!)

Did I mention that the Leader of the Choir-ettes invites Tony to a party at her house?

Tony agrees to attend, assuming he can make a big profit, by selling Stanley’s weed there. 

“I wanna dip my balls in it!”

Speaking of Stanley . . .

He’s in the suburbs, searching for a drug dealer.  The dealer looks pretty much exactly like EVERY drug dealer looks in show’s like these, down to the 5 0’clock shadow, and 70’s era blue tracksuit . . .

The dealer “generously” sells Stanely a $900 bag of weed, on credit, promising the boy, that his still virginal balls will be chopped up if he doesn’t pay him back in full within 48 hours  . . .

“Too URBAN!  TOO URBAN!”

That night, Queen B chick is thrilled to see Tony and Stanley’s weed, at her party.  However, she is less than thrilled that he brought the entire regular cast of Skins along with him.  She is also not pleased with the way he’s grinding all up on his girlfriend Nips Michelle, instead of the Party Hostess, herself . . .

But things REALLY get out of hand, when Queen B chick asks Chris to take off his dirty SHOES, and he takes off his PANTS instead.  Suddenly Tony’s derelict friends are MOSHING at this Rich Chick Party!  “Too urban!  Too urban!” She squeals, as the mosh evolves in a knock down-drag out fight . . .

Meanwhile, outside Queen B’s house, we are treated to a romantic full moon, and Psychopath Cadie’s squeals of pleasure.  (GO STANLEY!)  

Yeah, she’s actually just jumping on the trampoline . . . But then, her and Stanley actually start MAKING OUT . . .

(GO STANLEY!)  But then . . .  Cadie stops, and tells him, “it’s no good,” because she can tell he’s in love with Michelle.  But she offers to screw him anyway!  (GO STANLEY!)  And  . . . then she falls unconscious due to having OD’d on a massive amount of pills. 

Stanley runs back into the Rich Chick Party (which, by now, has completely devolved into chaos) to tell his friends that they need to take Cadie to the ER.  The crew each get in a few more punches, before leaving the party for good.  By the time they get outside though, it’s miraculously become daytime, even though it was the middle of the night, literally two seconds earlier . . .


“Got any skins?”

Chris hijacks one of the rich kids’ cars.  Then, the crew pile in and speed to the hospital, practically getting themselves killed in the process.  Now, if this was ANY other teen drama, this would be the part where Cadie dies, or falls into a coma, to teach the teens watching back home and “Important Lesson About the Abuse of Pharmaceuticals.”   But this is MTV!  So, by the time the gang arrives at the hospital . . .

 . . . Cadie is JUST FINE!  Well . . . almost fine.  She REALLY has to pee . . .

While, Cadie “does her business” the rest of the gang gets a HUGE urge to rip into Stanley’s MASSIVE bag of pot.  “Anybody got skins [a.k.a. rolling papers]?”  Stanley asks. 

Tony tells Stanley he’s got some in his pants pocket (probably because he’s secretly always wanted to be felt up by a guy with Hanson hair).  Unforunately, Stanley’s getting to third base with Tony has the unintended effect of pulling the car out of “park” and into “drive.”  So, about a second after, Stanley finds the “skins” . . .

 .  . . the gang’s stolen car careens off into a cliff with all of them inside it . . . well, everyone except for Cadie.

So, now, I’m thinking to myself, that if the entire cast of this show DIES in its FIRST EPISODE, it will officially become the most BRILLIANT SHOW EVER!

But they don’t .  . . so it isn’t . . .

The gang swims safely to shore.  But it is not until LONG after they’ve left the area, and gone back to their respective homes, that . . . for reasons that defy all laws of physics, gravity, and basic logic . . . the MASSIVE BAG OF WEED resurfaces.

Nice knowing ya, Stanley’s Balls!

In the last few moments of the episode, we learn three things:  (1) that douchey headmaster we met earlier is actually Ton’y neighbor, and wife to that Slutty Pedophile who poses nude for him each morning . . .

(2) Stanley is still a virgin.

(3) Or IS HE?

“Birds do it.  Bees do it.  Even educated trees do it.  Let’s do it.  Let’s fall in love.”

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Degrassi: In Too Deep — Anatomy of Two BRAND NEW Promos!

REJOICE, DEGRASSI FANS!  THE NEW PROMOS ARE FINALLY HERE! 🙂

Last night, Teen Nick aired two much anticipated trailers for Degrassi‘s upcoming new season, entitled In Too Deep, which is set to premiere on February 11th at 9 p.m.  The first trailer was relatively short (lasting only about 30 seconds).   However, it was comprised almost entirely of NEW footage, never before seen by Degrassi fans . . .

The second trailer was double the length of the first (clocking in at about 1 minute, 30 seconds), and was an amalgamation of scenes from the first trailer, scenes from the trailer that Teen Nick aired last season, and some extra “bonus” scenes . . .

So, now that you’ve seen them, let’s discuss what we’ve learned.  Shall we?

Fadam is ON! / Fiona is still drinking. / Fiona may be gay (and into Holly J)?

When we last left our favorite (and only) transgendered Degrassi student, Adam Torres, he was putting some major effort into wooing the object of his affections, Fiona Coyne.  He even went so far as to throw a genuine New York-style ball, fit for a Princess, in her honor.  However, up until this point, Fiona’s feelings for Adam have shown little evidence of venturing beyond the platonic.  She might be aware of Adam’s attraction to her, but she hasn’t done much to show that she reciprocates those feelings.  In fact, she BAILED on the party he threw for her — a major NO-NO, in Relationship World.

But if the promos we’ve seen for next season are any indication, all of that is about to change, BIG TIME . . .

Though Fiona and Adam’s first kiss may be the result of a drunken (at least on Fiona’s part) game of Truth or Dare (as suggested in the first promo), clearly their relationship extends far beyond this “momentary indiscretion,” as the season progresses.  We know, from last season’s promos (plus, many of those scenes were repeated in the new trailers), that Fiona and Adam (or Fadam, as the cool kids like to call them) engage in a full on, Horizontal Couch Makeout Session, later on in the season.  And it is this couch session that Holly J. unceremoniously interrupts. 

Sounds great, right? 

Well . . . maybe not . . .

When we first watched the earlier promos, many of us Degrassi fans speculated as to the “logistics” of Fiona’s and Adam’s relationship.  Specifically, we wondered how Fiona would react, when she learned  that Adam was born female (and still has lady parts).  Based on the promos we saw last night, Fiona’s knowledge regarding Adam’s trangender status doesn’t seem to be the issue . . .

Both promos feature Fiona telling Adam that “drinking makes it easier to be with [him].”

This line suggests three things: (1) that Fiona is still abusing alcohol; (2) that she is aware that Adam is transgendered; and (3) while that knowledge has not caused her to stop seeing him, it still makes her feel at least somewhat uncomfortable.

But here’s the REAL twist . . .

Could Fiona actually be a lesbian?  Is she merely using Adam to “safely” evaluate her attraction to people of the same sex, while secretly vying for her bestie, Holly J?  This would be an interesting plot development indeed!

Sound crazy and completely out of left field to you?  Here’s my take on why this might be a real possibility . . .

For starters, Fiona has always been someone for whom relationships seemed more about status and convenience, than about genuine attraction.  She briefly dated Riley (before he was officially out of the closet) because she thought he was a nice guy who would keep her away from the advances of douchebags.  The fact that Riley was gay, and would likely never want to be intimate with her, almost seemed like an added bonus, as far as Fiona was concerned.

Fiona dated the ultimatey abusive Bastard Bobby, back in New York, because he was rich, popular, and had the right family name. 

She hooked up with her brother Declan (INCEST!  GROSSSSSS!) , because she worried that she was losing him (He was her only friend, at the time,) to Holly J.  So, she assumed that, by being DISGUSTING, she  could scare her brother’s boyfriend away . . .

So, we’ve never actually seen Fiona exhibit feelings of attraction for a man of the opposite sex.  And, based on the promos, she does seem more open to beginning a relationship with a transgendered male, than most heterosexual women her age, and in her situation, probably would be.  In conclusion, what initially might have seemed like a bizarre “out-of-character” plot twist the Degrassi writers inserted into their story to appeal to a considerable fanbase of “Dudes Who LOVE HOT LESBIANS,” makes more and more sense to me, the more I continue to think about it . . .

As for Holly J. . . .

Apart from her scenes with Fiona and Adam, we really don’t get to see all that much of her in these new promos.  However, the above shot, seems to suggest that she gets injured at some point during this season.  She may even end up in the hospital, as a result of said injuries?  (Based on the white background, behind Holly J., I thought she might be laying on a hospital bed in the picture above.)

Could Holly have somehow been involved in the EPIC CAR ACCIDENT to which all the Degrassi spoilers keep referring?  And, if so, why did the hospital choose to cope with injuries, by merely pasting a cheap bandaid over them?  (Random Canadian Hospital FAIL!)

Ali gets in trouble again. /  She runs away from home, is robbed, and wears an UGLY wig?

When Alli told her parents that she wanted to be transferred to private school, she never expected that they would ship her off to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Although we didn’t learn too much more about Alli’s predicament than we had already deduced from previous promos, these new trailers helped us fill in a few of the blanks as to what actually happens to Alli during this season.  First, we see her at home, in her school uniform, complaining, that while she tries to be “good,” bad things continue to happen to her . . .

Combine this scene, with the one from the earlier promo, in which she is arguing was Sav (“You are ruining MY life,” he screams at her.) and you can deduce that Ali got into some trouble at her All-Girls private school, and shamed the family, as a result.  She may have even been EXPELLED from that school.  After all, we do see Alli later on in the promo, talking to Clare, at what appears to be a Degrassi Dance . . .

There is no way of knowing for certain whether this “Dance Scene” comes before or after Alli runs away from home.  But we do know that she’s on the run at some point during the series, and is away from home long enough to be declared a Missing Person . . .

This information is all but spelled out for us, when we see Alli at home, threatening to run away . . .

We then see her out in the street dressed in that RIDICULOUS OUTFIT, ripping down Missing Person posters of herself . . .

I didn’t know Lindsay Lohan was on Degrassi!

After that, Alli gets mugged by some lowlife, who steals her purse and runs away (probably, because he thought she was Lindsay Lohan, and that he could see the purse on Ebay for some serious dough.  He was probably super disappointed, when he found out that the purse he stole belonged instead to “some chick from Degrassi”).

Then, finally, Alli’s dad, and Sav go out searching for her in the family car, during a rainstorm.  Presumably, they find her, and bring her back home  .. . just in time for the Degrassi Dance!

YIPPEE!

And now for the storyline, you’ve all been waiting for . . .

Eli flips out. /  He becomes super possessive of Clare.  / She dumps him.  / And he gets into a car accident on the anniversary of his dead girlfriend’s death?

Of all Degrassi’s upcoming season storylines, I’d say Eli’s and Clare’s is the one about which fans are the most excited.  And why not?  After all, the Degrassi: In Too Deep Season finale is set to air on April 22, 2011, precisely two years (maybe one in Degrassi world), since the tragic and untimely death of Eli’s former girlfriend, Julia, who was hit by a car.

I know that, in real life, this is the picture of a model in a bad black wig.  And yet, “Dead Julia” still gives me the creeps every time I look at her . . . kind of like that Freaky Chick from The Ring movies . . .

To add fuel to the Eclare fire, Degrassi Writer/Producer Stephen has publicly admitted that the Eli/Clare/Dead Julie saga will be featured prominently in the latter episodes of the season.  He also teased that something will happen to a creepy “picture” of Julia, and that Eli is in that picture as well.  Speculation as to what Sohn meant by this cryptic statement has ranged widely from the literal (a picture of Eli and Julia is stolen during the finale) to the practical (Eli accidentally ran Julia over with his car), to the outright BIZARRE (“Julia” is actually Eli in a black wig, a la Psycho)

This eye-catching shot from the extended promo seems to show a bereft, and tear-stricken Eli clutching Julia’s picture while standing next to his trusty hearse Morty.  The question is, where the heck is he?  The library?  (There are shelves of books shown behind the car); His garage? (Where else do you put a car indoors?)  Degrassi High?  (Did he DRIVE THE CAR INTO THE SCHOOL?)

In the promos, we see that things between Eli and Clare aren’t nearly as rosy as they were last season — back when the pair bonded over Eli’s hoarding issues, and Eli helped Clare cope with her parents’ impending separation.

Suddenly, Clare is talking about “taking a break” and “needing space” from Eli.  This is an unusual turn of events, especially considering that in previous episodes, it was Clare, who seemed the more “clingy” of the couple, while Eli was a bit more standoffish, and constantly required time alone to “sort things out.”

“Could someone tell me when exactly I became the GIRL in this relationship?”

Now, suddenly, Eli never seems to want Clare to leave his side . . .

Whenever they are together, he constantly has his arm wrapped around her protectively, as if he is afraid that if he lets go, she will get run over by a carhe will lose her forever . . .

The usually adorable Eli is suddenly saying creepy lines like the guys in the Lifetime movies do . . . right before they go after their girlfriend with a hatchet.  (“If I can’t have you, NO ONE CAN!”)

“You promised me you’d never leave me,” he tells her in one scene.

“We need some time ALONE together . . . just you and me,” he says to her in another.

It seems obvious that, as the date on the calendar creeps closer and closer to the anniversary of Julia’s death, Eli is becoming more unhinged.  He copes with these feelings, by sticking close to Clare, the only person who has the power him feel safe. 

But Clare almost makes Eli nervous.  After all, Eli presumably felt “safe” with his last girlfriend too, and look what happened to her!  So, just like Eli “hoarded” random objects in his room, to preserve Julia’s memory, he is, in essence, “hoarding” Clare now, to keep her out of harms way.

But Clare isn’t an old notebook, or smelly shoe.  She’s a person, who needs her own space.  Clare confides this in Alli at the school dance.  So, Alli suggests that Clare be honest with Eli about how she’s feeling . . .

Ummm . . . Clare?  1993 called . . . And they would really like that lipstick back!  (Seriously, why does the wardrobe department always insist on dressing this character like a 43-year old Soccer Mom?)

But was this the right advice?  In both of the promos, we see Clare confronting Eli, frustratedly telling her boyfriend that he is “suffocating her.”

Needless to say, Eli does not take this accusation (or possibly being dumped?) very well.  In the final scenes of both of the above trailers, we see Eli driving his car recklessly into the night, with tears streaming down his face . . .

Though a clearly anguished and incredibly guilty feeling Clare, calls Eli repeatedly on his cell phone, begging him to answer her, we can see that he does not do so . . .

Could THESE be scenes from April 22nd’s Season Finale, entitled “Drop the World?”  Could this be the Massive Car Crash Degrassi spoilers have been teasing us about since last year?  Is Julia’s picture in the car with Eli, while he’s driving?  Could Eli’s reckless driving, be construed as a suicide attempt, as a result of guilt over his girlfriend’s death?

I guess we will just have to wait until February 11th to find out.  (But until then, speculations and spoilers are always welcome in the comment section, and would be much appreciated. 🙂 )

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Teen-y Porn, Pill Poppers, and Excess Parental Baggage – A Recap of Gossip Girl’s “The Lady Vanished”

 

This picture is disturbing on so many levels.  For one thing, the actress on the far left is only 16.  For another, the guy in bed next to her plays her BROTHER.  The photographer really should have thought this one through a bit more . . .

WARNING:  Tonight’s episode of Gossip Girl has been rated . . .

 . . . with heavy emphasis on the “F.”  Viewer (and reader) discretion is advised.

Food, Fake Os, Family and Fun!

“The Lady Vanished” began with Nate and Serena, more or less, doing what they did throughout the entire last episode: screwing eachother’s brains out.  Poor Nate!   Once cast as the show’s leading man, he has, of late, been relegated to the roll of Porno Pizza Delivery Guy. 

“Did someone order extra sausage?”

Since the show has returned from hiatus, all this guy has had the opportunity to do in terms of “acting” is give  smoldering looks to the camera and make mildly suggestive comments, while being ravaged by his current femme fatale, Serena.

Don’t worry, Chace Crawford.  We still think you’re pretty.

I’ve been told that Nate’s and Serena’s food-filled sex romp was a send up to this classic film . . .

 . . . which, I will admit, I never saw, because I was too young when it came out (and, from the looks of it, may still be!)

However, I was shocked to find out that the sexy hunk of man in the above-poster “grew up” to be none other than this guy from The Wrestler . . .

“This should be a lesson to all you kiddies.  DON’T DO DRUGS!”

Aside from being a super sexy scene, it was nice to see one of the Gossip Girls actually eating.  Because, as Blair mentioned during the episode, Serena hasn’t “eaten bread since middle school” or, likely,  anything else, for that matter . . . (well . . . except . . . nevermind.  This blog post has gone far enough into the gutter as it is.)

Serena and Nate are interrupted from their “meal” by the loud sexual moans of Blair Waldorf.  (Seriously, could this episode get any more pornographic?)  Of course, Nate and Serena immediately assume that Blair is having her own “meal” with Chuck.  However, when Chuck phones Nate, requesting that the latter retrieve the former’s cell phone from Blair’s and Chuck’s apartment, without Blair finding out about it, it becomes apparent that Blair is home alone, flying solo . . . WOAH!

“What?  I’m not man enough for you, in my neon orange peacoat?”

As it turns out, Blair is “just reading.”  (Isn’t that what everyone says, when they are caught?)  Her moans were merely intended to make a point about Nate’s and Serena’s inconsiderate “loudness” and sexcapades of recent days past. 

“Glad I got Chuck’s couch scotchguarded,” she remarks.  (I totally forgot N and S did it there last week too!  The writers were loving Leighton Meester, this week.  She got all of the episode’s best lines.)

While Blair confesses to Serena that her and Chuck are “not connecting,” Nate arrives with a lame excuse as to why he suddenly needs Chuck’s cell phone.  “I had to check a tweet,” he offers.

Good ‘ole Gossip Girl.  Always up on what the “cool kids” are doing . . .

Of course, because Blair almost got into Yale, and, therefore, must have an IQ above 20, she doesn’t buy Nate’s Tweety Excuse.  “I so miss dating a horrible liar,” she sighs.

Upon examining the phone, Blair learns that Chuck has been receiving calls from the woman who, last week, claimed not to be, but actually is, his mother.  And he has been ignoring her.  Chuck walks in on this exchange, and explains that he wants nothing to do with Mommy Bass.  Blair surprises us all, by supporting Chuck’s decision.  Serena “Buttinsky” Van Der Woodsen, however, is not as understanding.

Serena arranges a dinner date with Chuck, Blair, Nate and herself, and secretly invites Mommy Bass along for the ride. 

(I did a little research on Laura Harring, the actress who plays Chuck’s mom.  From this, I learned precisely two things: (1) she starred in that bizarre David Lynch movie, Mullholland Drive; (2) when you search for pictures of her on Google Images to include in your blog, more nudie pics appear than clothed ones.  Based on her not-so-hot acting during these past two episodes, I can’t say I am all that surprised.)

Anyway, Chuck approaches Mommy Not-So-Dearest, and hands her a large check in exchange for her leaving his life for good.  She takes the cash.  Later, Chuck admits to Blair that he HAD wanted a relationship with his long-lost mother.  Giving her the check was a test,  and she failed. 

Refusing to accept defeat, Nosy Nellie Serena pays another visit to Mommy Bass.

I just couldn’t resist . . .

You see, this whole “Chuck thing” was about SERENA all along!  Serena is hurt that her dad hasn’t made an effort to meet her, and she’s hoping Mommy Bass can give her some sort of an explanation for his action.  Mommy Bass does provide an explanation, but not exactly the one Serena wants.  As it turns out, it was Chuck’s Mom’s idea for Bart Bass to tell Chuck his mom had died during childbirth.   She was young at the time, and simply didn’t want any part in raising a child.

Horrified, Serena stalks out, immediately leaving a message on her absentee father’s machine, stating that she no longer wants to find him.  However, given that they have already offered the role of Serena’s father to this guy . . .

And the award for Baldwin Brother Who Aged the Best Goes to . . . BILLY!

 . . . I’m assuming Daddy Van Der Woodsen doesn’t regularly check the messages on his cell phone.

At the episode’s conclusion, Mommy Bass decides to stay in town and get to know her son; Chuck makes amends with her;  and they all live happily ever after . . . at least, until next week.

The Runaways

Meanwhile, Little Jenny Humphrey is hiding in her bedroom,  with Poor Man’s Jared Leto Drug Dealing Damien.  The two are messing around amid thousands of pharmaceuticals, while Jenny’s oblivious parents are still moping about the fight they got into last week.

And the Parent of the Year Award goes to . . .

Jenny is understandably a bit miffed when Drug Dealing Damien’s dad calls and he refers to Jenny as “his friend.”  However, she doesn’t have much time to pout about this, because her parents finally wake up from their self-indulgent stupors and realize that Jenny has an older boy in her bed.  Just to prove she’s “bad ass,” Jenny drops a bag of pills on the floor and tells her parents that they are hers.  When her father balks at the discovery, Jenny calls Hypocrite on his Aging Rocker tush.  “I know you didn’t spend all those years on the tour bus, reading,” she remarks.

“I WOULD HAVE . . . I just don’t know how to read . . .”

A surprisingly gallant Damien tries to deflect blame off Jenny, by admitting the pills are his,  and telling Mommy and Daddy Humphrey a sob story about his drug-addicted dad (a story he later told Jenny was true, but I’m not buying it).  However, Daddy Humphrey, a.k.a. Rufus, will not back down.  He uses Jenny’s rebellion as an excuse to escape the swanky Van Der Woodsen residence and return to Brooklyn. 

Although Rufus claims he is doing this for his daughter, I cry bullshit.  I’m pretty sure this has more to do with Mommy Humphrey’s “little white lie” to Rufus last week about her recent dalliance with Serena’s dad.

And yet, it seems that Mommy Humphrey isn’t the only parent getting a little action on the side.  Once Rufus has left the house, Lily learns from the doorman that Daddy Humphrey has been spending time in  Slutty Neighbor’s apartment, and has even left certain items of clothing there.

At the episode’s conclusion, Jenny leaves home and runs off to live with Drug Dealing Damien, who accepts her with open arms.

Shame on you Poor Man’s Jared Leto!   She’s 16!   If you even THOUGHT you would be cast in the remake of  My So Called Life, you could just forget about it now!

Which reminds me, didn’t we do the whole “Runaway Jenny” storyline two seasons ago? 

I guess this works for plotlines too . . .

In other news, these two reunited at a beach-themed party, and decided to make a go of it as a couple . . .

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ . . . .

Ooh, sorry, I must have dozed off for a moment there.

So, there you have it folks, another nearly R-rated Gossip Girl episode in the can.  Until next week . . .

XOXO!

 

 

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