Citizen Shame

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Citizen Shame

No Room at the Inn, the motel where Sam and Jane live. No really, it's called that. There's a knock at the door. Sam comes out of the bathroom to answer it, her hair wrapped in a towel, causing the viewers at home to lean into their television sets, all anxiously pondering the same question: will her hair suck tonight or won't it? And this towel is delaying our gratification. She answers the door and it's Penny, the cute neighbor with all the sassy lines from upstairs played by a twelve-year-old Janet Jackson. Oh wait, it's Carmen. And no sassy lines, or any sassiness whatsoever. She needs a place to stay. "My house is a war zone," she explains. Her parents are fighting. As she takes off her jacket, she's got a tank top on underneath, and there's a bruise on her arm that she hides just before Sam can turn around and see it -- in the unlikely event of Sam actually noticing something happening to someone else. But then it's hard to say that even Sam could miss the bruise on Carmen's arm with that wide-eyed look Carmen gives herself in the mirror and that serious synthesizer music building in the background. Oh yeah, and I thought I'd mention that there is this seriously cool mural on the motel room wall.

Jane is in a hospital gown in a doctor's office, and I really couldn't care less about her health. Actually, I do care about her health -- which is to say that I want her to die really soon, hopefully in an accident that that Mike is killed in as well. Oh, and it would be perfection if the funeral were held that very episode so the writers could get their existence out of the way really really fast. Damn. Jane doesn't have cancer but she's pregnant. Now those parents are never going to die. Jane is really upset that she's with child and gets to do a little "desperate single woman of a certain age" comedy about it. I can't blame her. Look who popped out last time this happened.


The Palace kitchen. Brooke makes breakfast for her father, but Brooke can't cook so they do a little stock domestic comedy of their own. Brooke asks Mike if she can call Jane and ask her to come over and make breakfast. Dude, it's just breakfast, grab a bagel at a diner or something. "No!" shouts Mike, as if Jane, having just caught him doing it with Peggy Lipton, is just dying to come over and serve him a hot breakfast. "I miss her!" says Brooke. Mike reminds her that she forgot all about her while Peggy Lipton was in town. "I'm late," says Brooke, flinging her nasty-looking Burberry plaid backpack over her shoulder and doing the Brooke stomp out of there. "It's only seven-thirty," says Mike. "I'm taking a prep seminar for the S.A.T.," says Brooke. "I really hope they don't have any questions about family on it because clearly I don't know how they work." They fight some more and she stomps off. End this plot line, now!

Sam's hair makes an appearance -- the towel is off and she's getting ready for school -- and it's just so wrong. Is there something in Carly Pope's biological make-up that makes her body repel good hair styles? I'm not even sure how to describe it. It's the same cut from last week, but it's a tiny bit longer, and it's been blow-dried out but not completely -- sort of like her stylist had to go take an important phone call in the middle of the blow-out and just forgot all about her after he'd only done half of her hair. While she gets ready to go to her S.A.T. prep seminar, Carmen is sitting in front of the TV wrapped in a bedspread like she's never going anywhere. Oh yeah, and she's chowing down on an entire can of Pringles, because it's important to remember that she's fat every once in a while. Jane wants to know when Carmen is leaving. Sam shushes her mother, telling her that Carmen is clearly upset. Actually, Carmen is feeling no pain, judging from all the snorting and Pringles crumbs flying from her mouth. Sam leaves for her seminar, and Jane becomes strangely fascinated by the movie that Carmen is watching, which turns out to be Yours, Mine and Ours, the Lucile Ball/Henry Fonda movie about these two people who have eleven kids from previous marriages and then have another baby themselves. She grabs a Pringle or two and sits down next to Carmen.

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