7th Heaven
Bowling For Eric

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Bowling For Eric

The episode begins with something approaching genuine drama, for a change, as a doctor explains to Eric that he requires open-heart surgery for two blocked arteries. Well, it might be dramatic for someone who actually gives a shit about RevCam. Am I a horrible person for not caring whether he lives or dies? Because I really, really don't. Eric looks thoroughly surprised to find out he's sick enough to require surgery, despite the fact that this doctor's diagnosis is apparently a second opinion to confirm what he's already been told by somebody else. RevCam's mired in denial, which is totally understandable, but that's really no reason for him to throw quite so much attitude at the doctor. This doctor is an incredibly patient man, by the way, and never once does he lose his temper or suggest euthanasia, as I would be tempted to do if I were in his shoes. He encourages RevCam to get his "affairs in order," which freaks the hell right out of Eric. He also suggests that the reverend tell the rest of the CamFam about the surgery. Will RevCam actually have to do that, though? Surely one of his children must have been stalking him when he left for this appointment. In fact, I'm sure that if you opened the exam room door right now, there'd be a Camden eavesdropping on this very conversation. Unfortunately, the scene ends before we can find out which one it is.

Stephen Collins has been known to do a decent job with comedy sometimes, but not even he can pull off this Opening Credits Timewaster. RevCam is sitting at a table -- at Pete's Pizza, I assume. He plays with the salt and pepper shakers; he makes funny faces, he constructs sculptures out of his cutlery. The only thing that could make this even more annoying would be if that awful "Doc" guy were sitting right across the table from him. Well, what do you know? There's Doc now, sitting right across the table from him. The last time we saw him, he was showing off his Elaine Benes dance moves at Dopey and PC's rehearsal dinner. I'd have thought for sure no one would ever invite him anywhere after that, but I was wrong. Here he is, trying to console RevCam by pointing out that his ailment is not necessarily terminal. Doc, of course, specializes "in terminal illness -- you know, helping people that have no treatments or options available." I'm not sure how telling rambling stories and spouting inane platitudes that sound like they were ripped out of Robert Fulghum's trash bin is exactly "helping" anyone, but who am I to rain on his parade? Another brilliant line that's supposed to cheer up the Revster is this: "You could step off a curb and get hit by a bus before you go into the hospital." You know, that would cheer me up some, but only if it were Doc getting flattened by the bus. Doc rounds off this splendid advice session by encouraging RevCam to tell his family about the surgery, adding that if he remains calm, his family will remain calm too. And Eric got all this advice for free? Why, that would be a bargain at twice the price!

Egads! Simon is playing the guitar. Actually, he's gamely trying to strum out a couple of chords, but it's really not going very well. All right, I have a confession to make. This summer, I did set up a CamDork family in The Sims. Pretty much all they did all the time was gossip about each other, so it quickly got as boring as the show itself. The only highlights I recall were when Simon spontaneously fell in love with Kreepy Kevin, and when he kept trying to play the guitar. He was terrible at it, and all the family members would drop whatever it was they were doing at the time so they could go listen to Simon and jeer at him. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen here. Annie resists the urge to heckle and merely informs Simon that RevCam "is on his way home and wants a family meeting right now." Right now? Because that would be a little hard to arrange unless everyone's in the car with him, and obviously they're not. Simon tries to weasel the purpose of RevCam's meeting out of Annie, but it's obvious that she doesn't have a clue. It's also obvious that she's furious because RevCam hasn't told her about it first.

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7th Heaven

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