Saturday, July 30, 2011

Love Bites - Modern Plagues

The final episode of Love Bites wraps up Annie's storyline with Matt. It also brings back Jodie and Charlie (aka the Banana Bread couple) and Kyle and Drew (the engaged gay couple) from episode 2. So it was almost like coming full circle at the end. If only all the stories were better.

In the first story "Bad in Bedbugs", the Banana Bread couple become the Bedbug couple. The plot was really kind of nonsensical but was somewhat improved because Jodie kept calling Annie for advice. After dating for only two months, Jodie has agreed to move in with Charlie, and she gives up her old apartment to make sure she doesn't have a safety net to fall back on. Jodie's coworkers at the restaurant say that she shouldn't give up her safety net, and while she is arguing with Luis, she runs into Matt and his friend at the bar. Jodie never met Matt before, so she doesn't recognize him, and is rude, because she thought they overheard her argument. She complains, "Why does stupid Annie have to be on stupid maternity leave?" before storming off. Luis apologizes to the customers.

After the first night at Charlie's place, Jodie wakes up with a rash and calls Annie in a panic. Annie is at home, and her breasts are leaking milk. One would think she could use the breast pumps Dale got at the baby shower, but maybe he forgot to give them to her. Jodie thinks she's allergic to commitment, but Annie says they probably just have bedbugs. Horrified, Jodie goes to ask Charlie if they can check for bedbugs. When they do discover the pests, they run screaming from the room. Charlie insists he never had them before she moved in, and he calls in an expert called the Bedbug Exorcist (played by Jonathan Slavin of Better Off Ted) who says the bugs possibly were living in Jodie's books, and came out when she moved. He then tells them to get out while he has the place sterilized and fumigated.

So Jodie and Charlie go stay at a hotel, but rediscover more bugs in their room. When they report it to the hotel manager, he says the room passed inspection recently and that the bugs must have traveled with them. Jodie and Charlie seem kind of dumbfounded by this even though they were just told about the bugs traveling a scene ago. That's what makes this plot so nonsensical, plus Jodie begins to think the bugs are an omen saying they shouldn't have moved in together. The hotel immediately kicks Jodie and Charlie out, and they ask if they can stay with Charlie's friends, but are refused. They even get kicked out of the restaurant where Jodie works. So they go wandering the streets of New York at night, fighting about the bugs and the living together. Charlie gets fed up and decides to go back home, figuring that the bugs must be gone by now. (It's been a couple days.) She won't go with him, and he tells her to call if she changes her mind.

Jodie calls Annie again, and Annie is now icing her breasts to stop the leaking. Jodie regrets giving up her apartment, and Annie says that no matter what happens, she can come stay at her place. Jodie is grateful and then she goes to Charlie's place to apologize. Once she had the safety net of Annie's place, she no longer wanted the safety net. Now she wants to be with Charlie. So they make up, after a very strange story.

The second story is "I Was Only Choking" with Kyle and Drew. They are picnicking with their neighbors Judd and Colleen at an outdoor movie screening of a horror film. While they wait for the movie to start, a woman screams and they see some other couple nearby get engaged. Colleen says she doesn't like public proposals in front of an audience, and Drew agrees with her, though Kyle points out that they got engaged in front of Kyle's parents. (I love continuity.) However Drew argues that at least he didn't film it and post it online. Everyone then complains of other proposals that they've viewed online. Even though Colleen hates them, she is addicted to watching one of them repeatedly.

Just then, Kyle begins to choke on food and he signals for help. Judd gets up with him and gives him a Heimlich Maneuver. The crowd applauds Judd, who loves the attention. However, Drew looks upset and doesn't say much. Later, after the movie, Judd is still gloating about being a hero, and demanding ice cream as reward. At Kyle and Drew's house, Drew finally explains what upset him, that Kyle looked toward Judd instead of toward Drew when he was choking. Drew thinks this means that Kyle doesn't trust him or view him as manly enough to save his life. Kyle says he wasn't thinking about who to choose, and is just glad to be alive. I didn't like this fight, especially Drew being the drama queen instead of Kyle.

They go to bed angry and the next morning, Judd comes over to bring coffee and gloat some more about saving Kyle's life. Drew makes a snippy remark and leaves for work. Kyle explains the awkwardness, and Judd feels bad now about all his gloating. Kyle wonders why he chose Judd, and Judd says that he's just a natural hero that people turn to. He talks about an earthquake that happened recently, and we flashback to Judd being calm and authoritative for a panicked Colleen. At the next house, we learn that Drew hasn't gone straight to work; instead he is telling Colleen about his fight with Kyle. Colleen says it's natural to want to be the hero. She says that last night, Judd tied on a sheet as a cape and flew around the room until 2 AM. However, she also tells the story of the earthquake, and in her flashback Judd is the panicked mess, accidentally knocking Colleen down and then clinging to her in the doorway. Colleen advises Drew to just let the argument go. Meanwhile Judd tells Kyle that the only way to fix this is to let Drew save him.

Later when the guys are exercising at the gym, Judd fakes an incident by letting a heavy weight fall on Kyle, and telling him to call out for Drew. Drew saves him, but accidentally hits him with the weight, and Kyle complains. Drew realizes it was a setup and gets mad again. They go home fighting, and Drew says he wanted to be the rock that Kyle depends on. He doesn't know why Kyle wants to marry him otherwise. Kyle decides they need to go somewhere. Meanwhile Colleen is now watching a new proposal video online, featuring a serenade. This video will be repeated in the third story of the night. Judd comes home and feels guilty about almost killing Kyle, so Colleen comforts him with sex.

Kyle takes Drew to a hot dog diner that he used to frequent two years ago. He explains that he would come there after every bad date to comfort himself with food, but after he met Drew, he stopped coming. He says Drew saved him and made him happy, and they hug. I thought it was strange that they hugged instead of kissed in this moment. Anyway, they buy a bunch of hot dogs and go home. They invite Judd and Colleen over to apologize and share the hot dogs. Suddenly Judd hears a rumbling sound and he thinks it's an earthquake. He panics and yells, until the rumbling stops and he realizes it was just a trash truck driving by. Judd pretends he was joking, and Colleen assures him that he's still her hero. This story was kind of weird and dull, though I did like the two versions of the earthquake.

The last story called "Viral Proposals" focuses on Matt and his friends. Matt is a doctor and still in a relationship with the girlfriend he told Annie about. He opens the freezer to find several packets of frozen strawberries. His girlfriend Amanda reminds him that he was going to make a protein shake every morning, but he gave up on that when he couldn't open the packets. On her laptop, she shows Matt the musical proposal video, and he makes fun of it for being fake. He unwisely says, "Would you want something like that?" and she flirtatiously asks him what he had in mind. He gets nervous and says he was just speaking hypothetically. He quickly changes the subject, and she looks disappointed but says nothing.

The next day at work, Matt tells his friends about the awkward moment, when Amanda was hinting for a proposal. His friends point out that they've been together two years, but Matt still sounds nervous. He even shows them the video on his tablet computer, and his friend Jake loves the musical concept. He says that he has been looking for a way to propose to his girlfriend Liz Beth, and now he wants all his friends to help him do a musical proposal too. Matt says they've only been dating six months, and it'll put pressure on him to propose to Amanda. "I don't want to do that," and his other friend Owen asks if he means he doesn't want the splashy proposal, or doesn't want to propose at all.

Later, Matt and Owen sit at the bar in the restaurant where Annie works. Matt confesses that he's not sure Amanda is the one, and Owen weirdly says "Who's the girl you're making love into?" to accuse Matt of cheating. I thought I misheard the guy, but he repeats the phrase later. Really off-putting and creepy. Anyway, Matt denies cheating but says he's been thinking about Annie lately, someone that he's only met a couple of times. Owen says it's just cold feet; he's scared of commitment to Amanda and that's the only thing that makes Annie tempting. Just then Jodie and Luis intrude on their conversation, and she makes her remark about Annie being on maternity leave. After Jodie and Luis walk away, Owen realizes that Matt's Annie is the same Annie that was just mentioned. He asks if the baby is Matt's, and Matt tells him no, the baby isn't even Annie's. Owen is confused, but insists that Annie is only a distraction.

Later that night, Matt and Owen join the rehearsal for Jake's proposal. There are about 6 guys there, and they are all going to sing and dance to "Carwash" because Jake met Liz Beth at the carwash. Pizza arrives, and everyone takes a break. Jake mentions that Amanda agreed to help get Liz Beth to the park for the proposal, and Matt says it'll be awkward, but is resigned. Then he asks Jake if he ever had cold feet, and if he was always sure that Liz Beth was the one. Jake says that they had a bad first date, but going home on the subway, the train got delayed for hours, so they had time to bond and fall in love. It was like the universe wanted them to get together. Jake turns to eat some pizza but finds that nobody left a slice for him. Matt offers to go out and buy some sandwiches for him.

On the street, Matt runs into Annie again, and she smiles adorably. They make small talk about him being a doctor and her having the baby. He says she looks great and asks if she's buying all the wine and stuff she missed for nine months. She just got frozen strawberries, and he tries to remark on the coincidence, but she gets defensive and embarrassed. Then she confesses that actually the strawberries are for her breasts which are leaking. She found that frozen strawberries stay colder longer than other frozen foods. He understands, being a doctor. She says this is the most unsexy conversation ever, but he's got a girlfriend, so why should she care? He pauses, but confirms that he's still got a girlfriend. They say goodbye, and Matt stares longingly at her until they finally part.

Finally the day for Jake's proposal comes. Amanda and Liz Beth jog in the park, then suddenly stop. Amanda makes Liz Beth sit in a chair, while Jake and the other doctors perform their song and dance. Jake changes the lyrics of "Carwash" to be about them, and then he proposes. Liz Beth happily accepts, and a crowd of spectators applauds. The performance was fairly cute and not too annoying. Later the happy couple pop champagne while Matt and Amanda walk off alone. After an awkward pause, Matt tells her that she deserves a guy who would love her that much. He's not the one, though, and Amanda admits that she suspected this for a long time now. He apologizes, and they say goodbye sadly. (We don't see them discuss who will move out of their apartment, but later Matt is shown alone getting out the frozen strawberries.)

There's a pretty-looking montage of the city, which fades to California where Drew and Kyle stand on a romantic bridge together, while Judd and Colleen cuddle at home, watching a scary movie, then fades back to Jodie and Charlie in bed. Matt makes a smoothie with the strawberries, then the night fades into day. On a park bench, Annie says "We were meant to be together." The camera reveals that she's talking to her sister Chloe about the baby. But again she's only half serious, and Chloe puts the baby in a stroller as they walk away. Now that Annie's lost her baby weight, Chloe wants to set her up on another date. Annie refuses and discusses Matt; she knows they don't really know each other, but has a feeling that they are meant to meet again. It's fate. Meanwhile Matt walks past them but only sees them from the back and doesn't recognize Annie. The episode ends with the hopeful feeling that they'll reunite one day, but not just yet. Possibly this was a set up for season 2, but of course the show got cancelled instead. At least there was some closure for this finale.

I liked the show overall, though some episodes and stories were uneven like this one. But the anthology concept was nice while it lasted. I really liked how charming and adorable Becki Newton was as Annie. She was good on Ugly Betty too, but I don't know. I think her pregnancy made her glow, and her smiles are radiant. No wonder Matt couldn't forget about her after meeting only a few times. Judd and Colleen were a fun couple too.

No comments: