7th Heaven
Bye

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Cate: D | Grade It Now!
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How do you solve a problem like Mary?

I love the way this episode is so tersely called "Bye." The writers couldn't get much more dismissive, unless they'd called it "Buh-bye!" Maybe they wanted to call it that but David Spade threatened to sue them, since he didn't want to be associated with the show. The on-air promo people, on the other hand, recognize a golden opportunity when they see one. At all the places I've worked, the people who put together promos are some of the most jaded individuals you could ever hope to encounter, and they love to put together over-the-top ads for shows they can't stand. I mean, wouldn't you get cynical if your job consisted of selling dreck like 7th Heaven? I suspect that attitude influences this promo more than a little, as the voice-over guy dramatically intones, "Five years ago she danced her way into our hearts. Now Mary has lost her way..." You know, I can't imagine why the Emmy awards people spend so much time televising awards for crappy miniseries that I would watch only if I were in a full body cast and couldn't reach the remote control. Instead, they should have categories like "Most subtly sarcastic promo" or "Best mockery of a detested character in a promotional piece." Hey, I'd start watching the Emmys again. Anyway, the promo people keep calling this episode "Mary's Goodbye," but it's listed everywhere else simply as "Bye." I thought I'd point that out so you wouldn't get confused come Emmy time. Heh. I'm just joking, of course.

Cliché alert! RevCam's in his office, giving a lecture on recognizing troubled teens and taking action to help them. There's a long close-up of him talking earnestly. Because you've seen this technique employed four million times already in every awful sitcom since the dawn of time, you know immediately that there's nobody sitting across the desk from him. Mr. Cate bet that Eric would be talking to Happy; I bet that he'd be talking to himself. I won -- not that either of us had cared enough to come up with stakes for the bet. Also, neither of us imagined that Eric would alternately sit on one side of the desk and then the other as he plays the part of both lecturer and lecturee. Somebody's seen a few too many pretentious off-Broadway plays, I'm thinking! Eric's speech is convoluted and pointless. The only thing that sticks out is that he claims that "every person has a certain amount of free will." He says that like it's a bad thing. He tells himself to stop talking to himself and go home for dinner. Playful music lets us know that this is "funny."

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7th Heaven

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