Gun Shy

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Djb: C- | Grade It Now!
A Wrong Turn On The Southern State

"There was definitely a lot of pageant talk at the dinner table," Jesse moans on. "I was a little taken back [sic] by the fact that they didn't have a lot of questions for me...the man who might marry their daughter." Maybe he could have made that comment directly to them, so they could at least have formulated the question "Who died and made you social arbiter of my living room, dink?" in a pinch. "Taken aback." "Aback." It's a mistake. "Aback." I'm not mad. It's just wrong.

After dinner, Mandy Jaye's very, very little stepdad takes Jesse downstairs to, it sounds like, "look at motorcycles." There, they speak a bit more about pageants. Jesse notes that "Mandy Jaye's step dad is obsessed with pageants." Meanwhile, upstairs, Mandy Jaye listens as her mom calls him "cute cute cute" (dialects make things mean different things in the South, right?), and Maydy Jaye tells her, "We'd have some good-lookin' kids." In a confessional, Mandy Jaye's mother notes, "I think Mandy Jaye would make a great NFL wife." I think she'd make a great Lanny's wife. They bid a quick farewell, and Mandy Jaye tells Jesse that she's glad he came to Texas. In a confessional, he tells us that he thinks Mandy Jaye is groovy and all that, but that he doesn't feel like he got to know her better at all. Because her family didn't sit around asking him questions? Maybe if they'd played that sequence in order I wouldn't be quite so taken back.

Even Mapquest is all, "Screw you!" when it comes to locating Tara's gun-totin', foot-stompin', cud-chewin', yee-haw-shoutin' pa in a town the subtitle wants us to believe is called "Paul's Valley, Oklahoma." But I did find a website that said you could buy a three-hundred-acre farm with a house on it for $425,000, which is pretty much my rent for a year. But then again...Oklahoma. We're on "Tara's Family Farm," which we were once, I believe, told was in Norman. It's near Oklahoma City. And a mere two hundred miles, as the carrion no longer flies, from the world's largest McDonald's, in Vinita. I have that on a plastic travel mug somewhere. Actually, I bought it for someone as a gift, because that's the kind of guy I am. Jesse tells us that he hopes Tara will be able to "open up more" now that she's in a comfortable surrounding. Tara, meanwhile, tells us that she hasn't seen Jesse in a while and that she totally, totally missed him and whatever. She foreshadows her father, calling him "an outgoing guy." Sitting down at a table with Jesse, they talk about how they both had trouble sleeping. Tara offers that her father will give Jesse a "hard time" about everything, and that he always -- and this is a direct quote -- "looks everybody up. He always gets people's records off the internet." Oh, well. So much for meeting Tara's dad under congenial circumstances, what with him knowing that I, um, have a relationship with the theeeee-ah-tah. And that I repeatedly call him a hick. Jesse says that he's never nervous meeting parents, but that he's a little on edge now. A big, black SUV pulls up in the open field, and out steps...oh, yay! Tara's dad is being played by Ricky Gervais! Fun! Man, his Southern accent is impeccable. He's brandishing a big, giant long gun, a big smile, and a love of the second amendment.

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