7th Heaven
Pathetic

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Pathetic

The show opens pleasantly, for a change, with Annie quitting her job. This bodes well for the youth of Glenoak, who no longer will be subjected to those useless classes in which she ostensibly teaches her odious CamMorals. Mrs. Mackoul is obviously not very cool at all, since she'd been planning on offering Annie a full-time job. She cites the school's expansion, obliquely referring to recent terrorism -- I assume -- when she says, "With everything going on in the world, parents want the added security of a private school, and we've had so many requests for admission that we're expanding." Now that CNN has finally stopped calling all their news broadcasts "America's New War" in my onscreen programming guide, I suppose it's about time for 7th Heaven to weigh in on last year's events somehow. I really wish they wouldn't, though. Glenoak is such a damn fantasyland anyway. Virtually nothing else is even remotely realistic on the show, so why can't Brenda just leave well enough alone? If you're going to do material centered on truly momentous topics, and you know you're not up to the task, maybe you shouldn't even try. Anyone who's ever seen the movie Swing Kids will know exactly what I'm talking about. But don't mind me. I'm just feeling extra-jittery about next week's show right now. Annie's not jittery, though. In fact, she's so calm throughout this scene that I have to wonder if she's doped up.

Out in the school hallway, Ruthie is waiting patiently for her mom. Suddenly her eyes go all buggy as she stares up at a sad-looking woman who's walking toward her. It's Ms. Riddle, the teacher who called Ruthie stupid back in public school. With barely concealed rudeness, Ruthie wants to know what the hell Ms. Riddle is doing in her new school. What do you think she's doing there, Ruthie? You should know by now that the show's producers can't be bothered to find new bad guest actors to make the regulars look better, so they just keep bringing back the old bad ones. Unfortunately, I'm sure it's just a matter of time before we'll be making the re-acquaintance of such luminaries as Chickenhead and Jimmy Plywood. Ms. Riddle tells Ruthie that she'll be teaching in her school now. Ruthie's eyes go even buggier to signify that this scene is comic.

The "comedy" continues in The Opening Credits Time-Waster, which consists of Ruthie opening and closing all the drawers in the CamKitchen. We catch quick glimpses of the contents of these drawers, but it doesn't look like there's anything interesting there. No Brenda's Hemorrhoid Cream or anything, though I'd like to think some subversive prop designer whipped up a fake product with that name and stowed it under the bathroom sink to amuse the crew. Ruthie finally finds what she's looking for: a pair of tea towels. She scrunches up her nose to remind us that she's cute, then starts whacking the countertop with the tea towels. RevCam walks in and asks her if she's "blowing off a little steam." Ruthie launches into a tirade about how, after all the work the CamRents did to get her out of public school, Ms. Riddle has "found" her again. A little paranoid, if you ask me, but then, I don't come from a family of stalkers, so I can't know what it's like to have that mindset. RevCam reminds us that Ruthie's school is called "Eleanor Roosevelt," though he mispronounces "Roosevelt." His advice to Ruthie is pretty good, though. He tells her not to run from the problem, and to change her own attitude towards Ms. Riddle so that the woman will no longer have the power to upset her. It sounds suspiciously like Method acting, but that's okay. I'd hate to think that any of the 7H actors were using Method acting to prepare for their roles, though. Especially Catherine Hicks in her Treehouse Period. But Annie's all better now. As she walks into the CamKitchen and overhears Ruthie saying something about Ms. Riddle being a "mean old woman," Annie smiles benignly and asks, "Me? I'm still the same mean old woman?" She doesn't even trash the kitchen or anything! I suspect the producers are backpedaling furiously after the treehouse debacle and trying to make SuperMom appear sane again. Ruthie tries to blame Ms. Riddle's appearance on the fact that Annie quit her teaching job, necessitating the hiring of more teachers. Annie insists that the school would be hiring more teachers anyway, but RevCam's not listening. He's obviously pissed that Annie never discussed this with him before she left her job. After maliciously throwing RevCam's earlier advice back in his face, Ruthie departs. RevCam tells Annie that he's disappointed that she didn't discuss the quitting situation with him beforehand. She apologizes and kisses him. She still doesn't smash or throw anything. Amazing!

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7th Heaven

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