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Episode 5 - Episode 5

28 March 2012

Episodes - 105 - Episode Five

Hmm. This was another interesting attempt at making a contemporary adult comedy and it was interesting. But I still don't think it works.

We already know that Beverley caught Sean masturbating to video of Morning (as mentioned in the 101) which takes a lot of the shock out of it. Otherwise it would have been a fairly serious moment. Although Sean is clearly tempted by Morning, there's no hint that he would consider committing adultery with someone he has known for a week. The writers cleverly insinuate that this is a real possibility because that is the exact situation which Sean and Beverley ended up in when they first met. However, that was clearly a meeting of the minds where Morning is only tempting him on a physical level.

Regardless of how well constructed this particular situation was I don't care about their marriage. If they got divorced and Beverley moved home and Sean stayed, I would shrug. They both seem like fairly normal likeable people but somehow I don't care about their marriage.

Perhaps a rocky marriage is just too unfamiliar territory for a sitcom. The most successful comedies tend to be about single people (Seinfeld, Friends, Frasier, Cheers, right now Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, The Office). There is just too much potential to be mined from sex and relationships. Shows that have had successful married couples have been shows built around families (The Cosby Show, The Simpsons, The Brady Bunch). Seeing a married couple struggling to fit in in Hollywood is an interesting idea but perhaps the show is too focused on them. Although we get a better perspective on Carole's emotional turmoil here, the emotional focus of the show remains firmly on how Beverley and Sean are adapting to life in America. It's not a conflict which has gripped me.

As for Carole, I liked the idea of her bonding with Beverley. But again the show continues this weird Trans-Atlantic tone. Despite the bonding being fairly genuine, Carole manages to make typical US-style sitcom blunders as the writers force some comedy into the scene. Opposite her Beverley stairs British-style disbelievingly as Carole inadvertently claims that Jamie's blindness is really a punishment for her. That clash continued over at the Rape Benefit (yep) as Matt le Blanc plays the comically insensitive yank to Sean's embarrassed Brit. Merc cheerily chimes in on the American side "For like the last six months all I've heard is rape, rape, rape, rape, rape, rape, rape."  

Sean and Beverley are scripted with odd statements sometimes too. Sean tells Beverley that he "chose" her over Morning and doesn't seem to realize that admitting he had to make a choice is pretty close to infidelity. Meanwhile Beverley doesn't have the professionalism to just tell the wardrobe department what she wants Morning to wear. Instead she has to go mildly hysterical at the sight of a low cut skirt and blather on about how inappropriate it is.



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