Originally Posted by dave13
this thread has inspired me to watch the series, so i figured i'd add my two cents as i journey through. i had considered watching them in your order, dvd-fanatic, but decided against that. i'll just go season by season. as i watch each episode, i also plan to compare my feelings to yours, as well as rhett's in his reviews (won't be able to do that for season 4, for some reason). so, without further ado, season 1:
The Man Who Was Death
- I'm sure this will happen more than a few more times in watching this show, but as soon as it began i realized that i had seen this, a long long time ago (despite what i said earlier about only thinking i'd watching two episodes). i enjoyed the episode, although i think i fall somewhere in between dvd-fanatic and rhett. i too felt the constant talking-to-the-audience by william sadler was hit-and-miss. sometimes it worked quite well, and other times it began to get monotonous. the story it tells is pretty great, and sadler gives a wonderful performance. the ending is immediately predictable, though.
And All Through the House
- this was pretty damn good. i loved just how over-the-top it was. not only does she "give it to him" when he asks for it, but she must call her lover immediately (while holding the will, or course) to leave a voicemail detailing her entire crime (can't imagine how that could possibly be a problem in the future)! there's nothing even remotely subtle about this one, and it was definitely my favorite of the season.
Dig that Cat...He's Real Gone
- this one was...ok. Joe Pantoliano was great, as was Robert Wuhl, and it moves at such a great clip that its never not entertaining. is it scary or unnerving? no. but its fun, for the most part. everything is very spelled out, though, with Pantoliano delivering expository dialogue near the beginning with the subtlety of a bulldozer. I was able to easily predict what would happen at the end, but i wasn't sure how, exactly, he was going to miscount. when it was revealed, it was pretty satisfying, i must admit.
Only Sin Deep
- this was definitely my least favorite episode of the season. the scenes with the pawn shop owner are good, but everything with Lea Thompson is a chore to get through. Her accent is atrocious, and she's so intensely unlikable as a character. i liked her in back to the future, and she was cute in Caroline in the City, so i was surprised by how unpleasant it was to watch her in this. God, that accent....
Lover Come Hack to Me
- both rhett and dvd-fanatic had complaints about this one. Rhett thought it was the worst of the season, and went so far as to call Tom Holland a hack in his review. Ouch. DVDF enjoyed its atmosphere and setup, but despised the supposedly unnecessary sex scene. I've got to disagree with both of you. As far as rhett goes, well...I just really liked this episode. For all the reasons DVDF mentions, the atmosphere, the house, and the interesting relationship between the main characters. But I've got to question why DVDF thought the sex scene was so unnecessary? Amanda Plummer has been a complete shy mouse for the whole episode. Something is going on, with her constant references to the "perfect" night, but regardless, we're certainly not expecting her to come out of the bathroom the way she does. Its as surprising for the audience as it is for her husband. And it goes even deeper than the setup within the episode - I just wasn't expecting that from Amanda Plummer! After that huge about-face, what do you expect? A fade to black, and reveal them both in bed smoking cigarettes? No way! You've got to see that her transformation wasn't half-hearted. The sex scene that follows (which really isn't gratuitous at all, considering the way its filmed) is a pay off to the build up of her character and their relationship. We see what she's capable of. We see what she meant when she said she wanted the night to be perfect. We see him actually begin to have an authentic desire for her. It's a scene that is not just justified, but actually crucial. Without all the information we gather from this scene, about each one of them and how their relationship changes, the ending would be completely wasted. His protestations wouldn't have the same resonance. His claims that he never really loved her and only married her for her money are darkly funny, because its almost as though he has to remind himself of that. He's completely confused about his own emotions towards her. And her assertion that he DOES love her doesn't just come across as insanity. We've seen how they consummated their relationship, and we know that she's got some justification in saying that. I thought this was a pretty great episode.
- I thought this one was just "ok", too. I understand the inconsistency of character that DVDF mentions, with regards to the old lady, but in 25 minutes, there's only so much time to show someone going from being slightly off kilter to being completely nuts. i can cut the show some slack for that. i certainly wasn't bothered by the animal cruelty aspect. i know people who treat their pets like they are literally family members. it always makes me roll my eyes, and so i appreciate a satire that shows a man driven insane by his wife's inability to understand that "it's not your child, its a fucking dog!" (something i've dreamed of saying to a few people). you say that animal violence (even when its only implied) offends you, and that's fine. but i find it kind of amusing that implied violence to humans is ok. i know that you're by no means alone in this view. i think its actually quite common (hence why so many dogs heroically make it through in so many movies, while humans are being slaughtered by the truck load) - people have this weird unconscious double-standard when it comes to animals.
anyway, a good start. i look forward to watching the remaining seasons.