Sunday, January 27, 2013

Week Nineteen

Lundy Watches...
The theme of the week is the end of relationships, in one form or another, whether those relationships are romantic, friendly, or simply of having known one another. The results vary, with some friendships broken, others culminating in a kiss, and a few that end in caskets.

Secret Diary of a Call GirlPotential Hazards [4]

Hannah/Belle (Billie Piper) considers taking her relationship with Duncan (James D'Arcy) from a professional interaction to something much more intimate, but in doing so she comes to the realization that the may view her only as Belle and not as Hannah. As she struggles with the concept of being almost invisible to a man that she's slept with, she closes herself off and decides to view him only as her editor, but her suddenly cold demeanor makes it all the more difficult for them to work with one another. There are so many potential consequences to her actions that Hannah/Belle's future is very much put into question, as she may not only have torpedoed her chances with Duncan on a personal level, but she's also put her publishing career into jeopardy as well.

Ben (Iddo Goldberg) has had enough of Jackie (Joanna Bobin) and breaks things off with her, and though both remain fairly mature and composed throughout, it's clear that this is very difficult for the both of them. The truth of the matter is that it's simply too complicated for things to work out between them, as Jackie is still currently married, with a child at home, while Ben is torn between Jackie and her sister, a comparison that likely makes it difficult to interact with either of them. It almost seems like something of a relief to everyone involved when this romance ends, and while they've grown together, they're probably better off apart.

Bambi (Ashley Madekwe) has allowed her relationship with Byron (David Dawson) to be blurred from the strict rules of the call girl/client relationship to something akin to friendship. While there's certainly nothing wrong with the two of them having formed a genuine bond, there's a great deal of doubt in Bambi's mind about whether or not Byron really cares for her or whether he's just playing her in an effort to get into her bed without paying. Under Belle's guidance, Bambi chooses to break things off with him, destroying herself as a person in the process, and she realizes how dangerous it is to let herself fall for her clients. Just as she reaches a low point, Byron returns, professing his love for her, and Bambi realizes that he may genuinely not care about her professional status; together the two of them prove that there's hope in the world for even Hannah to have a real relationship outside of work, and the smiles on their faces mean that there may yet be a future for Belle and Duncan.

DariaThe New Kid [2]

Daria (Tracy Grandstaff) has never been a social butterfly, but something about the new kid, Ted (Sky Berdahl), gets through to her; the two of them bond over their similarities, and Daria starts making an effort to impress him, simply because he challenges her in a way that no one else in Lawndale has so far. The friendship between the two grows faster than expected because Daria is the only friend that Ted has made, making the rest of their peers think that the two have started dating.

While not uncomfortable with the prospect of dating someone, Daria is upset that people start teasing her about a relationship that she's not in, and rather than telling off those that would mock her, she lashes out at Ted, effectively ending their friendship. Understanding the error of her ways, Daria apologizes to Ted, asking if they could continue being friendly, but Ted instead rejects her, stating that she's far more vain and shallow, something akin to her sister Quinn (Wendy Hoopes), and not wanting to be around her because of that.

The two come to terms with their roles in this friendship, eventually going out together on a genuine date, and Ted's social awkwardness soon turns into something of an advantage, and he ends up ditching Daria for a group of kids in the cool crowd. Daria laments, in the end, that she and Ted didn't work out, and in observing his sudden popularity, she wonders if she might have had the same fate had she tried to reach out to the other students in the beginning as well.

Buffy the Vampire SlayerThe Dark Age [3]

Giles (Anthony Stewart Head) has always remained reserved in regards to what Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) knows about him, in part to distance himself from her on a personal level, but also because he's deeply ashamed of who he once was. As things grow more grim in Sunnydale, with questions about Giles' involvement piling up every moment, Giles cuts himself off even further from his Slayer, stating that this is a battle she's not meant to be in. Buffy instead chooses to take charge of the situation, leading an investigation herself, and coming to Giles' aide in his moment of need. The two prove that they're vastly similar, and that they'll both always be there for the other whether it's welcome or not, bonding over the fact that their past mistakes will not forever define them.

In order to separate from his past, Giles must confront his former friend Ethan (Robin Sachs), who has returned to Sunnydale in order to rid himself of the demonic Eyghon. Though the two are bound together by their tattoos, and impending deaths, Giles states that he wants nothing more to do with Ethan, especially since he keeps putting the lives of everyone he loves in danger. The culminating battle between the two almost leads Giles to killing Ethan Rayne, but in the confusion the villain escapes once again, and it's only a matter of time before he appears once more to wreak havoc on the Watcher of Sunnydale.

Though Giles has been growing closer to Jenny (Robia LaMorte) in recent times, his hidden past means that he can't be fully present with her, constantly worried that she will discover the man that he used to be. The truth comes to light, however, when Jenny is possessed by the demon that Giles released in his youth, ultimately putting her life at risk and nearly destroying her as a person. Giles apologizes in the end, admitting his mistakes and asking forgiveness, and while Jenny can accept his past, and can forgive him for withholding this information, she can't yet bring herself to be with him knowing the potential dangers that lie in his life. The difficulty here is that she does want to be with him, to forge a future with him, but her trauma is all too fresh, and she can't look at him without seeing her own mortality.

Life on MarsLa Chica de Ayer [4.5]

After being struck down by a car, Samuel Santos (Ernesto Alterio) wakes up in 1977 Madrid, tracking down a criminal eerily similar to the one that kidnapped his girlfriend in 2009. Samuel is effectively made to say goodbye to everyone and everything he ever knew as he fails to find a way back to his own time, and, cut off from those he loves, he considers taking his own life.

Here Samuel is made to ponder his very existence, questioning whether he can even continue to be who he once was if the world he's known is no longer available to him. Though he can take this chance to reinvent himself, to become the man that 1977 needs him to be, he can't separate his present/past from his past/future, making it far more difficult to function among people that share a separate set of values.

Better Off TedChange We Can't Believe In [3]

Ted (Jay Harrington) rearranges his day in an effort to avoid Ryan (Chip Chimery) simply due to the fact that he's boring to talk to. Ted's ability to talk and relate to everyone in the office has been one of his better qualities throughout the run of this series, and his complete inability to deal with Ryan here only highlights the social-awkwardness with which Ryan functions. Despite the fact that Ryan's a nice enough guy, Ted doesn't have the time to converse with him for hours on end, and would rather inconvenience himself by taking a five-minute detour to get to his destination than spend twenty minutes conversing with Ryan.

The problem is that Ted doesn't like when other people dislike him, which means that he either has to chat with Ryan about his life, or avoid him entirely. Veronica (Portia de Rossi) eventually convinces Ted to confront Ryan, leading to Ryan's resignation from his job, and Ted's growing guilt over how he treated him. In the end Ted apologizes to Ryan and finds himself back in their original scenario, though he no longer avoids Ryan for fear that he'll, once again, come to hate Ted.

FireflyThose Left Behind [3.5]

Through the course of this story Inara is preparing herself to disembark the Serenity in pursuit of a more stable business model, a situation that Mal's none-too-pleased about. Though Mal understands that he and Inara wouldn't work together, if only due to the complications of her work, he remains guarded because of his feelings for her, not wanting to get hurt by watching her leave, but unwilling to tell her the truth and ask her to stay for risk that she might be unhappy with him. Their relationship is perfectly summed up in their final moments together, as Inara states that she's unsure of what words would best express their parting, and Mal being at a loss for words until she's already long gone.

The surprise of this story is that Shepherd Book takes his leave as well, a situation that works slowly through the course of the tale and, in the end, makes absolute sense. In his time on Serenity Book has started to become more and more like those that live aboard it, casting aside some of the vows he had taken at the abbey for the greater good, but worrying all the time that he may make a decision that he can't take back. Book has a great love for everyone aboard the ship, and the friendships he's made here aren't something that he takes for granted, but being around these people is slowly turning him into something that he's not prepared to be, no matter what hidden secrets he may already have in his past.

Winner of the Week • Secret Diary of a Call Girl

Within the half hour confines of this narrative, the writers of Secret Diary manage to display three separate endings to the same kind of scenario, and it's very interesting to see the differences that play out on the screen. Granted, the events leading up to these relationships, and the people involved, are all vastly different characters, but they have so much in common within this story that the paths they follow are made all the more apparent as they each reach differing conclusions.

There is potential within each of these relationships to meet each of the three endings as depicted here, either breaking up, as Ben and Jackie do, realizing a potential future together, as shown through Bambi and Byron, or coming to a standstill, as is the case for Hannah/Belle and Duncan. The events shown are all very common, each incredibly realistic in its portrayal, and it's a wonder that all of this happens in such a short span of time while seeming completely genuine and properly paced. The fact that these characters can lead lives that are, at times, so normal is a testament to the writers' ability to create an organic world for these people to live in.


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