Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dirty Sexy Money: The Convertible (2.11)

'Endgame' is a term that has been bandied about between the fanbases of just about every TV series over the last couple of years, in regard to the idea of certain stories and (most commonly) certain relationships being chosen as the 'defining elements' of the series that will all come together when the show eventually wraps up. It appears that as Dirty Sexy Money got closer and closer to cancellation, the 'endgame couple' would be Nick and Karen, the writers determined to throw the two of them together in time for the last gasps of the series, regardless of rhyme nor reason.

While I like the concept of Nick and Karen together in principal, the show has gone so far out of its way this season to make Nick a shameless and obnoxious scumbag that it's a little hard to see him so in love with Karen again without thinking that he's manipulating her again, or will drop her as soon as he comes to his senses. It's also ridiculously ugly for the show to try and make Nick look a little less opportunistic and sleazy by writing Lisa as a manic, controlling caricature of who she once was. With a new boyfriend to boot! I wish the series had the intelligence to handle this story appropriately, without lazily resorting to character destruction so to cut corners.

What's disappointing is that The Convertible is actually a strong episode, in parts. Nick, Karen and Brian have mad chemistry when riding the highways together, Natalie Zea in her element and continuing to own her character, and Glenn Fitzgerald similarly engrossing when portraying Brian's internal conflicts in regards to his relationships. I also loved that they finally addressed the Mei-Ling-shaped elephant in the room.

The brief subplots everywhere else were a little less engrossing. Patrick's shenanigans in Washington are so on the periphery of things right now that it doesn't entirely work. While the continuing Simon/Nola/Jeremy saga feels a lot like a series of contrived shocks repeatedly piled onto each other, instead of an organic storyline with a beginning, middle and end. The bio-fuel, the manipulation, the explosion, the "kill me, please" ending... Gah! Too much, show.

One of the biggest problems with the series a whole is the cutting of corners to satisfy an idea. It's all well and good killing Carmelita or getting Nick and Karen together, but don't brush off any emotional weight purely because you're too lazy or antsy to write it. It's just offensive to your audience. Eh. Fun episode, in spots. B-

Guest stars John Schneider (Charles Whatley); Shawn Michael Patrick (Clark); Michelle Krusiec (Mei-Ling Hwa Darling); Victor Browne (Edward); Deborah May (Doctor); Darcy Rose Byrnes (Kiki George)
Writers Emily Whitesell, Jon Harmon Feldman Director Peter O'Fallon

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