The dumbest thing I saw on TV all week

Did anyone else see that new Fox show Reunion last Thursday? Come on, you can admit it. You were all pumped for the first new episode of The O.C., and once it was over, you were too spent to move from the couch or change the channel.

From what I can tell, the show is sort of modeled on Lost -- a program I haven't seen but that I understand is pretty good -- in that each week, we'll learn more about the characters' intertwining backstories. Which is a decent enough premise, but the show's writers pull out so many hackneyed tricks in their attempts at creating suspense that it's impossible to watch Reunion without either laughing or wanting to punch the show's creators in the mouth. Or both.

Take the opening. We start at a funeral, Big Chill style. Only the music is worse, we can't really see any of the mourners, and we have no idea who's dead. Our only clue comes via the anonymous (so far) guy giving the most improbable eulogy ever:

"I can't think about this person without thinking about all six of them, whose lives were so intertwined from the first time I met them."

Because what the relatives of the deceased really like to hear is that their son or daughter was indestinguishable from a crowd.

But there's a reason he's being so vague. You see, the "mystery" of the season is going to be who's lying in that coffin. Which really isn't really a mystery at all. You see, mystery is when the characters of a show are trying to figure something out, and the audience gets to follow along. Mystery is NOT when everyone on the show knows something, and they're just being pricks by going out of their way to not tell us about it. Who's in the fucking coffin? It's not as if the cop doesn't know, or the five remaining friends, or even the woman who delivered the flowers that morning. So why can't the audience know? Because the writers have pulled the oldest asshole storyteller move in the book, the one that gets you laughed at (or maybe yelled at) in even the most basic undergraduate workshop.

Next we meet the Police Detective (played by Keith from Six Feet Under) who, after the funeral, wants to interrogate one of the six inseperable characters. So, aha! It was a murder! Maybe! And whoever is dead, we know it's not this girl he's interviewing! (Yes, I realize I could look up her character's name on IMDB, but I'm never going to watch this show again, and really I don't care enough to bother).

The rest of the episode comes from 1986, the year all six of these intertwined characters graduated from high school. (And remember! One of them is dead! Which one is it? We're not going to tell you! Ha ha ha!) We see how one of the characters got in this drunk driving accident, or something, but then his friend takes the blame, and goes to jail, because he's in love with the guy's girlfriend, or something, and ... you know what? Who fucking cares?

At the show's end, just in case we've forgotten Reunion's main trope -- that someone is dead! and we don't know who it is! and maybe it was a murder! and there's a cop! -- we go back to the present day, where the female character is still talking to Gay Keith (See, all that backstory? It came from her mouth. That's what we call a frame story, people. Brilliant!)

And then, in the show's closing moments, we're treated to perhaps the worst dialogue in an hour that's been chock full of stupid, contrived dialogue:

Cop: So tell me about 1987.
Girl: Well, I guess you could say it started off with a bang...

Roll credits! Tune in next week!

But if you do, don't say I didn't warn you.

No comments: