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the island of conclusions

Father's Day is the most confusing day--everywhere, apparently: H50 1.14 and Southland 3.02

the island of conclusions

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Father's Day is the most confusing day--everywhere, apparently: H50 1.14 and Southland 3.02

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I was wondering how I would fit two such dissimilar shows into the same post, but look—they practically joined themselves. Daddy issues? They've all got 'em.

H50 1.14

Okay, to be honest, I’d give the plot of this one about a B-. Plus, I was confused as to why this particular murder/kidnapping was a matter for the Governor’s Task Force—since it didn’t seem to involve international incidents or serial killers or even People-the-Team-Knows—just good ol’ domestic skullduggery.

But these are mere quibbles.

You can probably guess my favorite parts, in no particular order.

“What are you? A schmu—?" (Are you not allowed to say schmuck on network TV? Did someone look up what it actually means in Yiddish or something? “Penis”, in can you were wondering—most derogatory Yiddish words mean penis.)

“What? Am I riding in a car with Sigmund Freud?" + that whole conversation.

And the whole CHiPs thing was cute, but not as cute as the “courtesy knock” exchange. Or as Steve’s at-home outfit.

Kono’s badass driving.

I quite liked Chin’s ex-fiancee. I wish she’d had a little more to do.

Steve was very sweet with the little boy and his grandfather, and I have no problem with Steve McGarrett, Friend of the Stateless, but the citizenship papers from the Governor were a little OTT, imo.

Looking forward to next week!

Southland 3.02

You probably all know by now how hard I am crushing on this show, so, even though I didn’t manage to watch last week’s episode until over the weekend, it left me with THINGS TO SAY. Feel free to skip.

This episode was kind of jam-packed with STUFF—not just great character things, but also the show’s characteristic, ironic take on the culture around it: it’s not really pointed or ideological enough to be called a critique, I don’t think—more like acute, skeptical observation.

destina had a great post about the realistic depiction of sexism and misogyny on Southland, and I was struck, too, by what it had to say about “broken families.”

I thought Nate’s line about “Father’s Day being the most confusing day in the ghetto” could have been the tag line for the whole episode (or for the whole series, really, given the back story on Cooper and Sherman), and it was a nice, characteristically laconic response to Sammy’s rant about gang violence ultimately deriving from female-headed homes (Sammy, bless him, seemed more concerned with women who let themselves get pregnant without knowing who the father is, than with fathers who abandon their families.)

In true Southland fashion, Sammy’s rant was both proven true (by the woman saying the exact words he claimed mothers always said in the very next scene), and shown to be manifestly not true (we are often reminded that Lydia was brought up by just her mother, and the three sons of twice-divorced Josie seem to be doing just fine). Nor did the show allow the claim to stand as just a “ghetto” problem—since we know Father’s Day is a pretty complicated holiday in Nate’s own family.

As, we now know, it will be in Sammy’s. And as much as I hate it like poison when the show ends with a tear-drenched Tammy saying “I’m sorry, Sammy” (and as much as I would preferred the closing minutes to be more of Nate with the cars, or gratuitous shots of Ben getting sweaty with the “den mother”—or, best of all, Lydia and Josie going shoe shopping together), this time the somewhat strained story arc did seem to drive home a point.

A point that the episode was chewing like a dog with a bone: why does one guy end up a church-going, gainfully employed family man, and his best friend end up a gangbanger? How are we supposed to stop the roots of violence if there isn’t some formula of income or family structure or environment that can predict which side of the law someone will end up on?

Okay—I’m done—I’m not going to expound on the epic love of Cooper and Sherman, but feel free to in the comments :)

  • I was not very engaged with the H50 plot this week (I guess it would have helped if I hadn't seen the last 45 minutes before going back to watch the first 15). I guess the task force was involved because they thought it was a serial killer at first, with the head in the box, and since Chin and Kono were already at the scene...idk idk. This was not my favorite.

    I want to see more of Chin's ex in future episodes. I was wary, but they seemed sweet together. And I'm glad they're setting up for more Chin backstory.

    I loved the car conversation. And I thought of you when I saw Steve in his tank top, LOL.
    • lol--I am so easy and predictable when it comes to AOL's chest hair choice of attire.

      Yeah--I want to hear and see more of Chin and Malia too(the writers really have a way of making peoples' exes interesting). It seemed characteristic of Chin that he would try to spare her the pain of being associated with him, even if it kind of backfired. And I loved Kono being so protective of him.

      Not my favorite, either, but still lots to appreciate--
  • Sammy kills me. As much as I dislike his whole dynamic with Tammy, and the sexism of his discussion with Josie, I still love him in spit of it. I think that's probably something about the great writing and acting of Southland. I love the realistic depcition of sexism in the episode, and the realism in general. It's so rare in any show on TV.

    Best thing about the Hawaii 5-0 ep for me was in the CHiPs scene when Steve called Danny baby. ♥ Otherwise it was kind of a meh episode for me, lacking on the plot. I do like to see more of Chin, though.
    • I agree about Sammy. He's so messed up and annoying in many ways, but he also is trying so hard and still cares so much, you can't help but be drawn in. The realism of the show is breathtaking, combined with the way it manages to be warm and human, instead of cold and objective. (dl'ing 3.03 now--can't wait!)

      Yeah, it was kind of meh for me too (and I missed the "baby"--will have to rewatch)--but meh H50 is still pretty good :). I liked seeing more of Chin, too--I hope we get to see more of him and Malia together!
  • True dat!

    I'm new to the whole Southland-loving community, but was drawn to your review of 3.02.

    I think it speaks to the quality of actor when they can play such a hugely controversial opinion so intensely. We live in a culture that keeps itself (mostly) in check, so that can't be the easiest thing. Unless you're a jerk, which is possible, but unlikely based on cool interviews with the actors.

    I loved the scene where Cooper, SOMEHOW keeping himself in check with Dewey, managed to grunt the order to run to Ben and send him packing with him like two little kids running from the scene of an adolescent crime!
    • Re: True dat!

      I'm new too--inhaled the first two seasons over the holidays, and fell a little in love. Hence the excess of things to say!

      I think you're right--it is a tribute to the acting and directing that Sammy can say things like that, and you can believe it comes from frustration rather than just contempt (the way it seems to with Dewey). It makes it so the show doesn't seem tied to any one ideological viewpoint.

      And I loved Cooper and Sherman escaping together (I couldn't believe Cooper lasted ten minutes in the car with Dewey--especially given how much all the sanctimony about addiction must have struck home). Nice to see him doing something mischievous--though I did feel pretty bad for Chickie!

      (finally going to watch 3.03 tonight :))
      • Re: True dat!

        I can't wait to hear what you think about it ... there's a lot of very differing opinions out there on it!
        • Re: True dat!

          Interesting! It's been a crazy week and I haven't really read many reviews/ reactions.

          I loved it--though Ben just about broke my heart. I'll try to write up something coherent this weekend.
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