Friday, July 8, 2011

Love Bites - TMI

For some reason I only like the even-numbered episodes of Love Bites. So again I'm skipping an episode. (Episode 5 was not only bleh, it made fun of some of my favorite 1980s artists, Simple Minds and Howard Jones! And the third story was eye-rollingly unrealistic and annoying.)

Anyway, onto Episode 6 "TMI" which focuses on characters feeling embarrassed in various situations. I was worried I wouldn't like the stories that didn't feature Judd or Annie, but this time they were more successful, tying the stories together in a less gimmicky way.

The first story was called "Fetishes" and I worried it was going to get creepy or even repetitive of other Colleen & Judd stories where they argue about sexual fantasies. It was actually pretty tame, though, and funny. James Roday guest stars, wearing a weird beard, as a guy who discovers that his live-in girlfriend Bridget likes porn featuring men in uniforms. Jeff calls it a "fetish" when I'd personally consider it just a common fantasy, but whatever. He makes several jokes, and she gets embarrassed. Later she discusses the situation with her brother Brian (played by Jay Harrington from Better Off Ted). Bridget claims that she's talking about her friend, not herself, revealing a fetish and regretting it. So Brian unknowingly upsets her by talking about how it could be a "gateway fetish" into something more kinky and unhealthy, like in the film Eyes Wide Shut.

Meanwhile Jeff tells his friend Eli about it while shopping for a police costume so that he can roleplay for Bridget. That night he tries to act the part, but he fails at the sexy talk and says it's ridiculous. She feels that he's making fun of her, and that she's a weirdo. He tries to reassure her by saying that everybody has a fetish, and claims that he has a foot fetish. She looks rather turned off by that. But she goes to a salon the next day to get a pedicure and discuss the situation with her friend, who searches the internet for the creepiest stuff related to foot fetishes. She finds the idea bizarre and gross, especially the thought that Jeff might suck her toes and then kiss her, but she's resolved to do it for him, to make him happy. Jeff, however, lied about the foot fetish because he couldn't think of anything kinky to say. However, he decides to go along with it since he failed at the cop fantasy. So they have an awkward scene in bed before Jeff finally confesses the truth, and they decide to just be honest and explore what kinks they have together.

The second story is called "Becky's Situation." Judd and Colleen are visiting Judd's divorced sister Kristen Waltham, who is finally going on a date on Saturday. She's also stressed about her teenage daughter Becky who doesn't discuss any part of her social life anymore. Judd is going to come back later to give Becky a driving lesson. However at school, Becky is in a bathroom stall panicking and using her friend's mirror to look at something "down there". She recently had sex with a boy named Ian and now thinks that she caught an STD. She and her girlfriends panic and suggest ridiculous things like having Ian arrested. It was so funny that they did sound like stupid, overreacting teenagers! Becky tries to talk to Ian, but is interrupted by him saying that he's back together with his ex Jessica. Hurt, she decides to see the school nurse, who at first assumes that Becky is pregnant, and hands out pamphlets to her. On hearing that the problem is STDs, the nurse suggests going to a free clinic. Becky takes home the pamphlet but first looks up STDs on the internet with her girlfriends.

Suddenly Judd arrives for the driving lesson, and he brings a driving dummy named Alfred to ride with her at night when she's alone. So Becky drives with him but is distracted the whole time by her problem. Judd discovers a condom in the back and Becky crashes into a mailbox. She confesses her STD suspicions to him and asks him to take her to the free clinic, since it's going to close soon. He agrees, and they have awkward uncle/niece interactions at the clinic. She returns saying that she's fine, and now she allows herself to be upset about Ian breaking her heart. He comforts her and says she should also talk to her mother, because her mom had similar experiences. He even mentions the name of one of Kristen's old boyfriends. When they arrive home, Becky's mom is upset about not knowing where they've been and she starts to go into a rant, until Becky mentions the name of the old boyfriend. Judd hints that's sort of why they were gone. So Becky and her mom go inside to talk, and Judd says farewell to Alfred before heading home.

The third story "Creepy Dad" shows us that Judd's sister Kristen is on a date with Bridget's brother Brian from the first story, neatly tying everything together. Brian is awful on the date, constantly talking about his ex-wife, and Kristen is clearly glad to leave the restaurant. The next day, Brian is outside the school talking to another parent about his date. Brian claims that it was a good date, but then his little daughter Maddy exits the school and complains that she wasn't invited to Emma Waltham's birthday party. (Emma is Becky's younger sister and Kristen's daughter.) Brian goes to the Waltham house and asks Kristen about it, but Kristen says it was an unintentional mistake. However, Emma comes to the front door and says that Brian is that "creepy dad" that she's not allowed to visit. Kristen denies having said that, but is quick to shut the door anyway.

Brian discusses the situation with his friend again, and now he reveals that after the bad date with Kristen, he followed her home in the car, supposedly to make sure she made it home safe, but he came off more like a stalker. Brian's friend tells him that was definitely creepy, and then points out that the rocket-shaped cookies Brian baked for school actually resemble a penis and testicles instead. All the school mothers must think he's a pervert now! Brian can't sleep that night, so he gets up and sends an email to Kristen to apologize and jokingly say that he'll see her at the next parents' meeting at school. He also sends a photo of himself. Unfortunately, as Maddy reveals the next day, Brian hit "reply all" and sent the message to the entire mom mailing list. Everyone now thinks he's a creepy dad, and Maddy is being teased about it.

Brian apologetically gives her a jar of candy to apologize, and his sister Bridget visits to look at the disastrous email and give him a pep talk. She convinces him to attend the meeting at school and explain himself. So he goes, and after the business of the meeting is over, he stands up to apologize for the email. Several people criticize the way he dresses and one person even accuses him of being a witch! He asks them to give him a second chance and mentions that he's been trying too hard lately because he's recently divorced and still figuring out the single parent thing. He says, even if they don't like him, please don't take it out his daughter. As he's leaving he trips and falls onto a woman, though, spoiling his attempt to be less creepy.

But when he gets home, he discovers that while Bridget was babysitting, Maddy emptied her jar and filled it with 365 notes listing all the reasons that she loves her dad. That cheers up Brian, and he begins reading some of them in voiceover. We see Bridget driving home that night and being surprised by Jeff who is now in a meter maid costume (his words) doing another roleplay. He gets in the car and threatens to give her a ticket if she doesn't have sex with him. She wonders if he really means in the car, right here, and he says yes, this is his fetish. Elsewhere, Becky encounters Ian in an ice cream shop, and he sees the driving dummy from a distance. He jealously asks who that guy is, and Becky decides to pretend that Alfred the dummy is a college boy she's been seeing. Then we see Brian tucking Maddy into bed. The next day at school, Kristen talks to Brian in a friendly way now and apologizes for snubbing Maddy at the birthday party. They discuss the weird "witch" accusation and bond over being single parents. Kristen even mentions Becky crashing the car into the mailbox. Brian owns an auto body shop and offers to fix it. She thanks him and they talk about maybe having another date. Their daughters Emma and Maddy arrive together, apparently allowed to be friends again. Brian then leaves with Maddy, discussing a different party that she is now invited to.

I enjoyed this episode especially for Jay Harrington, but also for the way all the stories came together into a nice whole. Even the high school story was interesting and funny. I'm still wondering how long the Annie character will be gone from the show. (The actress Becki Newton was pregnant in real life, and possibly had to be gone for maternity leave.) I hope she will return, but I don't know how many episodes there are left before it's gone.


Shaina Rinaldi said...

Who is the little girl that plays Maddy?

Cress said...

Sorry, I don't know. I checked the credits, and they didn't list Maddy, even though they listed Emma, who had a smaller part.

Cress said...

Hey, Shaina, I asked around, and Maddy was played by G. Hannelius. Here's her IMDB page: