Sunday, December 16, 2012

Week Thirteen

Lundy Watches...
The theme of the week is taking a secondary option when the first choice doesn't quite pan out, either out of necessity to the situation, or simply a desire to move on to something else. Whether it's a relationship that's better off forgotten, or a campaign that needs to be spoken for, our characters here learn valuable lessons about what it means to settle for something less.

Secret Diary of a Call GirlIn Sheep's Clothing [3.5]

Working on ways to deal with her break up, Hannah/Belle (Billie Piper) volunteers herself for a sex party, assuming that sex with strangers will take her mind off of her broken heart. Instead what she finds is that men like Alex (Callum Blue) are hard to come by, and her new Prince Charming (William Scott-Masson) is actually anything but.

Stranded at the side of the road, Hannah is eventually rescued by Ben (Iddo Goldberg,) leading to the two of them spending the night together. For Hannah it is a comfort just to be with someone that genuinely cares for her, someone who knows who and what she is and judges her based on what she does rather than what they might think she does. Waking up next to her best friend the next morning, realizing exactly what she had done, risking both their friendship and Ben's relationship with his girlfriend, she mutters only a quiet "sorry," unsure whether or not she's just unraveled both their lives.

DariaArts 'N Crass [3.5]

Given the option, Daria (Tracy Grandstaff) and Jane (Wendy Hoopes) decide not to participate in the school's art contest, finding the entire process rather unappealing; however, when forced into it, the duo choose a controversial subject matter in an effort to do something worthwhile, creating a message of awareness rather than spewing the propaganda that Ms. Li (Nora Laudani) would have them do.

Having not wanted to participate in the first place, neither girl is upset when their initial project is rejected, and are very tentative about Ms. Li's plans to alter their work in an effort to be less crass in regards to the subject matter. It's one thing to agree to a minor alteration, with the intent of keeping the base message the same, but what Daria finds is that the message is changed entirely, the focus taken away from awareness of eating disorders and instead made to be about good nutrition, their caption turning from negative to positive.

When Ms. Li refuses to take their names off the project, the girls vandalize it, choosing to take a punishment rather than be attributed in a bastardized version of their work. Daria and Jane both agree that, perhaps, their original message, as worded, was somewhat more sensational than it needed to be, but the message itself is an important one that deserves the attention they had tried to give it.

Buffy the Vampire SlayerSome Assembly Required [2.5]

For Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter) there are few men who will compare to the fantasy she had built up in her mind of Daryl Epps (Ingo Neuhaus,) her memory of him growing ever fonder since his tragic death. Daryl, on the other hand, had largely ignored Cordelia in life, but in his current condition, as a reanimated man with few options, he thinks back on what he could have had with Cordelia with great yearning.

The main issue for Daryl is that he is formerly dead, stitched up and bearing a monstrous visage, one that a young woman such as Cordelia likely would never find attractive, and so he's forced to change her mind by changing her life. In order to make Cordelia accept that he's the only shot at happiness that she has, he first needs to kill her, scar her, and reanimate her in the way that he was. The theory is that only a monster could love another monster, and while Daryl himself would like nothing more than to have Cordelia as she is, he understands that she will run the first chance she gets unless he alters her very being.

A fight is had, Cordelia escapes, and rather than chase after her, Daryl chooses to stay with the body that would have become Cordelia's, to die with the dream girl that never was rather than try to fit back into the world as what he was made to become.

Life on MarsDrugs on the Street [2.5]

Sam (John Simm) has had a great deal of guilt in regards to his relationship with Maya (Archie Panjabi) in 2006, unable to let himself get close to Annie (Liz White) for fear that he might fall in love with her in 1973 and lose her on his return to 2006, where he would be forced, once more, to face Maya. While he loves Maya intensely, and wishes very much to get back to her, he understands that she needs to move on, and that he, too, needs to move on if he's not likely to return to his natural time.

This story is largely about learning to let her go, understanding the difference between being with someone and simply holding on to the idea of them. In helping Maya's mother (Alex Reid) Sam gets the chance to reconnect with the woman he had left behind, to understand where she had come from and what her family had gone through. Soon Sam is able to let go entirely, giving a final goodbye to Maya as he watches her on ultrasound, and meeting Annie in the hallway, telling her that he had been unavailable emotionally up until then, but that he had dealt with his issues and would be ready to start something new at any point.

Better Off TedLove Blurts [3]

Both Ted (Jay Harrington) and Linda (Andrea Anders) are determined to ignore the dating chart as set up by the company, upset that they aren't considered good options for each other. They agree not to date anyone on their lists, but as soon as Ted meets Danielle (Virginia Williams) his plans change and he immediately asks her out on a date, forcing Linda to rescind her rejection of her match and agree to see him for dinner as well.

Despite his feelings for Linda, Ted finds himself very compatible with Danielle, so compatible, in fact, that he blurts out that he's in love with her during their first date, then forced to try to cover it up only to risk destroying the entire relationship. Linda, on the other hand, has a much more difficult time on her date with Greg (Taye Diggs) who proves to be far crazier than she had initially thought.

In the end neither new relationship works out, leaving both Ted and Linda to stew in their respective 'aloneliness' and work out who they are on their own.

FireflyHeart of Gold [3]

Confronted with a house full of women who give sexual favors professionally, Mal (Nathan Fillion) keeps things strictly business, not wanting to risk taking his mind off of the job until the job itself is finished. Through the night he also has his mind on Inara (Morena Baccarin,) considering their relationship as well as what might come of it while battling his growing attraction to Nandi (Melinda Clarke.)

Succumbing to her advances, Mal takes Nandi to bed, being stopped briefly to make sure that he knows she isn't Inara, and spending the night in each other's arms. It's only afterwards that Nandi becomes aware of Inara's feelings for Mal, though he himself claims that, had he been aware, he would not have taken Nandi's offer. Mal doesn't choose Nandi because she reminds him of Inara, or because Inara refuses to enter into a romance with him, but because he's convinced himself that there's no chance that he and Inara will ever become an item. It is, in turn, because Mal and Nandi had slept together that Inara grows more convinced than ever that she and Mal will never find love with one another, and she instead decides to take her leave.

Had Mal and Inara simply been honest with themselves they could have enjoyed their time together, getting passed their stubborn animosity to understand the greater beings within themselves. It's only Nandi's keen eye that detects their mutual attraction, but it's all too late, and it appears that nothing will come from it in the end.

Winner of the Week • Daria

There are a lot of interesting stories happening during the episodes of this week, but it's the message of Daria's second season premiere that really stands out. As a character, Daria was really designed to take on the challenge of speaking for the invisible, of being the poster child for those who were too afraid to stand up for themselves, and this is exactly the kind of story that she needs to be featured in.

The struggle with body image is a fact of life for many teenage girls, and it's also a topic that many people refuse to talk about, instead sweeping the issue under the rug and imagining a world without the problem. Daria's determination to bring attention to the issue makes absolute sense for who she is, and while there are very few things that she has been passionate enough about to fight for, this is one of them, risking potential punishment to do the right thing.

While it's possible that her approach to the subject is somewhat more crude than it needed to be, the fact of the matter is that it manages to get people's attention. The more eyes that view her work, the more people that talk about it and think about it, the more likely the potential for change. Should no one stand up to point out the dangers of eating disorders, the more likely they are to continue unnoticed, and the fact that the school's staff do their best to spin the image into a positive message about nutrition is all too true to the real world.

In altering the message, in twisting the image to convey a happiness about the subject's body, the school undermines the entire project, delivering the message that it's admirable for the girl to starve herself, that she's doing the attainable by denying herself meals. Daria's original poem is heavy-handed, but the altered version is far worse, and the fact that Daria and Jane refuse to back down from the situation speaks greatly to who they are and what they believe in.


Post a Comment