Wasteland
Pilot

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Wendola: D | Grade It Now!
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Pilot

Let me begin by pretty much skipping the opening scene. Okay? Please? Because it has, really, nothing to do with the rest of the show. I mean, Dawnie, the main character, is in it, but when you watch the whole show and then go back and see this scene again you realize that this is actually a cyborg Dawnie acting completely out of character. She sits in a bar and gets hit on by a drunk pathetic yuppie guy, and she plays along until she makes a big show of telling him she's a virgin and that he better have some "great sex chops" because the build-up in her head is extraordinary, and he better "rock her world," and we get the point that she is the Virgin Avenger, dropping her Cherry Bomb on all fools who cross her. Drunk Pathetic Yuppie Guy turns pale and flees, Dawnie smirks, and that is all the time I will spend recapping a scene that involves a cyborg. Thank you.

Then we get the opening credits: New York City! The main characters! The main characters in New York City! Flashy, frantic hyperspeed editing that could damn near give you a seizure.

Cut to commercial. L'Oreal HydraSoft Lipstick! I don't know about you, but when I want my lips to be a moisture magnet, I tend to just use a straw.

Now we get another desperate montage of stock NYC scenes trying way too hard to convince us of the setting. See! It's New York! Really! Look! The Statue of Liberty! We're here! Brooklyn Bridge! Really! Are you thinking New York now? Are you? How about the Chrysler Building? There it is! There it is again! Woo hoo!

At last we arrive at an actual scene, set in a yawning cavernous trendy-ass loft. Meet Jesse, Vandy, and Russell, who are so totally poor after paying the rent that they can only give their Dawnie a plate of scrambled eggs for her birthday. Oh, wait -- it really is "breakfast," and they're just being "cute." The group sings "Happy Birthday" and Dawnie exclaims, "Look at those candles!" before blowing them out. "You're old," says Russell. "We're old," adds Jesse. Yeah, yeah, old, whatever, but go ahead and eat that big pile of cholesterol on your plate, Dawnie. Dawnie, by the way, is the perky blonde; Jesse is the brunette; Russell is the swell-lookin' guy and Vandy is the guy wearing the do-rag on his head. And as they all talk, their voices seriously echo, because the apartment they're in is so very huge. Anyway. Dawnie gets up to try on one of her presents and asks, "So what time's the party?" Russell gets this "busted" look on his face, Vandy and Jesse act dumb, and when Dawnie leaves the room Russell points out that, well, they have been throwing her a party "every year since college." Ding-ding! They're all friends from college!

Jesse goes to answer the door buzzer. It's Sam, who comes in with a cake box and sassy Pippi Longstocking pigtails. After making sure Dawnie isn't around, Sam opens her mouth, and out of it slides the most sticky-sweet glob of Southern accent ever heard on network TV, made of a molasses heavy enough to suck in and trap large objects. "You are not gonna be-lieve who I ran into this mornin'!" she says. Sam goes on to say she was in the bakery picking up the cake, "When passin' by the window I saw Tyler Swindell walkin' by, eatin' a vendor bagel!" (Wow -- the accent is Carolina, and yet the sentence is Pennsylvania Dutch.) "No way," says Russell. "That's what Ah said," Sam continues. "Can't be! Not Tyler Swindell, Eastland's stud-man-about-campus! Not here, not in New York City!" Why Sam, I declare! You sound mighty fine deliverin' all that expos'tory dialogue! Sam persists, "I mean, hell, I haven't even seen him since, what, Dawnie dumped him back in college?" "Shh!" Russ cuts in, presumably to stop her from drawling out more backstory.

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