In other news, I successfully dyed my hair red last month, after going to a salon where there were two stylists that were really experienced. It turns out all-over dying my hair doesn't lift the color enough, so they went back and did foil highlights on throughout, and it finally worked. My roots are starting to show now, and I'll have to decide whether to go back to the salon or try one of those root touch up kits from the store.
Anyway, I also watched the latest Love Bites episode. (I'm skipping episode three, "Keep on Truckin'" because I didn't like it as much. It was very blah, much like the pilot.) So here's what I think of the 4th episode, called "Sky High."
I was surprised that a few characters besides Judd and Annie are recurring. Annie's female friend at the restaurant appeared in the 4th episode, and Judd's friend/employee from the tattoo parlour in episode 4 appeared in the 5th episode. It made me hope that the gay neighbors from episode 2 would reappear, but no such luck so far.
In the first story, "Sunday Fun Day," Judd's friend with the ponytail has a medicinal marijuana card and offers to share his recent pot purchases with him. (He also shares too much information about how much body hair he has!) Anyway, so Judd and Dan get high at Judd's house, and then Judd's wife Colleen comes home. She's not amused by their state, but I like her interplay with Dan, who calls her "Judd's wife" instead of her name, and she reciprocates by calling him "Judd's friend." After a while, Judd kicks Dan out because he wants to attempt to have sex with Colleen in the middle of the day.
She doesn't want to, but he talks her into getting high with him by redeeming the birthday coupons she previously gave him for "anything Judd wants." Later, they're high but haven't gotten to sex yet, when Judd's mother calls to remind them that she's picking them up for the christening of Judd's nephew. They totally forgot that it was today, so they hurry to get dressed while panicking that Judd's mom will notice that they're high. I like that Colleen likes "buying hats, but I don't like wearing hats"! Judd's worried that his mom will be disappointed, and he won't be her special boy anymore. Anyway, they finally get into the car with Judd's mom and some elderly lady who is also attending the christening. In the backseat, Judd and Colleen text each other and try not to giggle, while their mother is listening to the song "On the Wings of Love" on the radio. Then Judd's mom reminds him that he's supposed to make a speech as godfather. Judd clearly has nothing prepared, and he threatens to jump out of the car.
However they arrive at the church, and Judd nervously greets his brother Brent holding the baby Eli. They all head in and Judd's mom feels the need to point out again that Colleen is not godmother because she's not real family. Judd stands with the parents during the ceremony and when he holds Eli to make his speech, he just looks adoringly and begins reciting the lyrics from "On the Wings of Love". Colleen saves him by standing and singing the song with him, which causes everyone else to join in. Judd is pleased with himself afterward, and no longer insecure about getting older and no longer having "Sunday Fun Days". The thread between the three stories will be the song "On the Wings of Love" as well as a reported space walk on the International Space Station (which will feature Isaiah Mustafa, the Old Spice Guy).
The next story was "Kiss and Tell" which involves Annie talking to her teenage cousin Christy, who has recently broken up with her boyfriend, and now no longer has a date to the Winter Formal dance. I was initially irritated that Christy and Annie both agreed that Christy's ex shouldn't have let her pay for dinner even when she insisted that she pay. "What is he, some kind of feminist?" I really really hate the stupid mind games that some women play, both in real life and fiction. I also thought that the high school storyline was going to be bad and stereotypical. It was cliched to some degree, but I found that I enjoyed seeing Greg from Everybody Hates Chris in it. (His character's name is Josh.)
Anyway, Annie talks Christy into asking out a freshman even though it's a senior dance, because Christy is kind of a snob and could stand to broaden her horizons. Meanwhile, in the school library, a group of four nerdy freshman are discussing their quiz in English class. Josh is one of them, and he accidentally bumps into Christy. After some awkward talk, Christy decides to ask him out for the formal on Saturday, and she even plays with his curly hair before leaving. On Saturday, Josh's friends all arrive to give him a pep talk. The boys are excited about the chance that they too might get dates with popular girls, but the one girl, Kit, is unimpressed with Christy. Josh's dad comes in to have a highly embarrassing talk "about your penis". It's not sex so much as advice about how to conceal an ill-timed erection from the girl.
Anyway, then Christy arrives and they leave for their date. I worried that the whole story would be about them at the dance, but instead we jumped back to see Annie meet up with her love interest Matt from last week's episode. Then we skipped to after the school dance, where Christy starts making her moves on Josh. He goes to kiss her, and she is quickly turned off. He doesn't realize it, and he says good night to her happily. The next day at school, everyone is talking about how Josh is a terrible kisser, and his friends show him the messages making fun of him on the social network. Back at Josh's house, the boys say that he has to wow Christy with a much better kiss so that his reputation will be restored. They suggest that he learn to kiss by watching porn, so they open up a video on Kit's laptop of lesbians kissing. Kit rolls her eyes and takes Josh outside, to give him a lesson in kissing. Finally he improves, but the moment is awkward because they've been friends so long. (It's suggested that Kit has feelings for him too.)
So the next day, Christy's in the physics class that's watching a video chat with astronauts and we get a preview of what the third story will be about, because the astronauts are brawling, and the chat is quickly ended. Then Josh bursts into the class and gives Christy a kiss, before the teacher breaks it up. But the whole class, and Christy are impressed by his bold move. Afterward, Christy approaches him with a smile and hints that he should ask her out for that Friday. But after a moment, Josh says no, apparently having only kissed her to repair his reputation, and not because he still liked her. She walks away shocked, and so his male friends look at him in disbelief. Then later we see Josh approaching Kit for "more practice" and they walk away together. So this story was like a compressed teen romantic comedy movie, fulfilling all the cliches. But at least it moved quickly through its twists without too much angst, and with funny moments.
The third story "I Need Space", takes place on the space station with three astronauts, one of whom is Isaiah Mustafa, spoofing the typical hero guy who'll spout off about how they should "keep it together and do our jobs." One of the astronauts named Scott is video-chatting with his girlfriend Janine who seems disinterested in his reassurances that he'll be back home in three months. Then a man walks by in the background, and Janine says he's just Randy the landscaping guy. She needs him to mow the lawn, because she's got a job of her own and has better things to do than manage the house for Scott. Her hostile tone is noted by the other astronauts, and then she finally says that she "needs space" and will talk to him tomorrow. The signs are all there that she's cheating on Scott, and yet Janine still says "love you" out of habit as she turns off the camera.
So Isaiah, character name Craig, tries to tell Scott that nothing was going on, but the other astronaut Takashi is more insensitive and certain that Randy is banging Janine. Craig stops them from fighting, and says he'll call their friend Marty in Houston and get a satellite picture of the lawn to confirm that it's being mowed. Scott thanks him, and then they ask Marty to get that picture. He's initially resistant to using government resources that way, but Craig talks him into it. After a while we get a fuzzy picture of the mowed lawn, but Scott gets the camera to move left and refocus until he can make out Janine and Randy having sex under a tree. They stop the satellite video feed and Craig tells Scott he's sorry.
The next day, the video chat with the high school is about to start, when Craig catches Takashi with his old photo of Janine. Takashi obviously took it for his sexual fantasy, as he confesses that he has "a Caucasian fetish". Thus they are physically fighting by the time the school video chat begins. Marty quickly cuts them off, but Scott still talks as if the kids can hear him. He says that if they become astronauts, they should lock up their girlfriends while they are in space. (Sadly assuming that none of the girls will become astronauts, or maybe some will be lesbians?) He concludes, "You can't trust women!" Takashi says Scott is being a coward by not confronting Janine about her cheating. He challenges Scott to break up with her, and Scott decides to do just that. So Scott video calls Janine again and breaks up with her using her line "I need space." Rather than accepting it, she seems shocked by it, and then he hangs up on her. Craig congratulates Scott and then suggests that they take a space walk outside. They get suited up, while a new version of "On the Wings of Love" plays. Outside Scott isn't really sure that he sees the point of the walk, but Craig tells him to look at the Earth. He gives a somewhat cheesy voiceover about all seven billion people on the earth, and how some are skanks, saints, etc. (We see glimpses of what Annie, Josh and Kit, and Judd and Colleen, are doing.) Craig concludes by saying 52% of the people are women and that Scott will find love again, or at least sex. Feeling better, Scott releases his photo of Janine into space. (He brought it outside his suit.)
So overall, yes many plots are predictable and follow romantic comedy conventions. But I still like the humorous moments and the stuff we're learning about our few recurring characters. Judd and Colleen seem to have a good relationship. Now if we could just see or at least hear about the gay neighbors again...