Saturday, May 25, 2013

Save Me, Season One: Pilot

The episode opens with Beth Harper talking about how she died on a stormy night, in a marriage which had gone bad. She stands over Tom with a hammer, after discovering his affair and quickly decides that killing her husband is no way to deal with a hangover.  Beth heads downstairs and raids the fridge but supposedly chokes to death on a sandwhich.

The next morning, Tom comes downstairs and sees a mess all over the floor but no Beth. She bursts in and tells him that she choked on a sandwich and thought she was dead but she is still alive.  Tom asks her if she is still drunk and Beth leans in and kisses him. Beth tells him that she has loved him since they day they met and is glad that she didn't bash his head in last night.

Beth decides to go for a run to celebrate still being alive but is forced to stop and puke in her neighbours recycle bin. We get a flashback to the night before of Beth partying on a coffee table, as the people around her stare. Beth heads home to dump the alcohol down the sink and her daughter Emily enters the room.  Beth asks Emily if she would like to go and see a movie and Emily tells her that she is now pretending to get a text message about something else she has to do and then pretending to feel really bad abut it.

Beth goes running again and says that she has become the source of Emily's teen angst.  Later that evening, Beth goes to Emily's room and says that she is going to do better. Emily tells her where the door is in case she needs directions. Beth tries again and tells Emily that there is magic in her and that she knew it the first time she held her.  All of a sudden, it appears as though Beth has read Emily's mind and brings up Ben, the kid Emily was making out with earlier.  Emily calls for help and Tom comes running.  Emily complains that Beth suddenly knows about Ben and that she calls all of her friends Jessica because she once had a friend named Jessica. Tom asks about Ben and Emily quickly deflects.

Tom goes to see Beth who is jumping up and down on the bed.  He starts to tell her that he wants a divorce but Beth cuts him off saying that what he really wants is an explanation for her behaviour. Beth spurts out that she choked on a sandwich and died Friday night and that is why she feels so different, so alive. Beth adds that ever since it happened, she knows things she shouldn't know.  Tom tells Beth that she has given him a lot to think about, as he backs out of the room to go and sleep on the couch.

When next we see Tom, he is in a hotel room with Carly McKenna explaining that he couldn't tell Beth about the divorce because she was jumping on the bed talking about how she had died. Carly suggests that Tom get Beth a catscan saying that if she is clean, it's an act, because no one just bumps their head and goes crazy. Carly adds that Beth has him just where she wants him and says that she has to run because her boss is kind of a knob.  Tom says that she is upset and Carly replies that she thought that today was the day they were going to start living their lives outside of the hotel.  Tom tells her to get the puppy they were talking about as a way to pacify her.

Back at the house, Emily wants to know how Beth knows about Ben and asks if she is spying on her or reading her text messages.  Beth tells Emily not to worry about it and adds that she wants to know all about it. Emily tells her that she is annoying and weird and that she is not going to just open up to her. When Beth responds that this is a start, Emily says that she is not going to do this with her again and pretend that everything is normal.  Tom walks into the room and asks Beth if she  cooked and Emily replies, "only in the very broadest definition of the word."  Emily leaves the room, as Tom asks what's on Beth's mind.  Beth answers that it turns out that God saved her and Tom points out that she has never even been to church.  Beth says that God has been talking to her and has told her to tell other people.  When Tom asks if she is a prophet, Beth says yes and that the label feels good.  Beth tells Tom that God is pissed at him because he is hurting Emily and that Emily can smell perfume on his clothes when he comes in at night. Tom asks if Emily told her that and when Beth does not respond, Tom asks if God is going to smite him now.  Beth announces that first thing in the morning they have to get a catscan to see what is going on with her and Tom quickly agrees.

The next morning, the catscan reveals a blue spot and the doctor says that there is a part of Emily's brain has been activated that only happens with Tibetian monks.  The doctor suggests that this link is what allows the monks to talk to God. Tom goes back to see Carly and tells her about the results of the catscan.  Carly says that if all of Beth's screws are on right that she deserves an Oscar.  Carly suggests that Beth is bucking for fame and her own talkshow.  We learn that Beth was a weather girl when she first met Tom.  Carly suggests that Beth is either lying or nuts and Tom instructs her to step away from the window because God is feeling "smitie."  Carly calls Tom a wuss and a strike of lightening occurs, causing her to jump on the bed on top of him.

Beth is running again and says that for the first time, she is suddenly in charge of her life again. She stops at a coffee shop when she sees some of the neighbourhood women.  Beth apologies to Jenny for all of the horrible things that she has done and then reads Jenny's mind.  Beth tells Jenny that her husband really misses sex and that he wants her to give him head.

That night Pete and Jenny are lying in bed together and she asks him if there is something else he would rather be doing. He says that shark week doesn't start for another month. Pete then admits that it's been two years and one month and six days since they have been together and the two kiss.

Emily is in her bedroom, when Beth enters her room and sits on her bed.  Emily says that Ben thinks that they are just neighbours with benefits. Emily admits that it was fun at first and now it kind of sucks.  Beth tells Emily to text Ben that the window is closed and that she is into somebody else.  Emily sends the text and when Beth tries to high five her, Emily tells her that she is pushing it.  At the doorway, Tom listens in on the conversation. He then then follows Emily to the bedroom and asks what is going on and she tells him that it was girl stuff.  Tom asks if she wants to talk real and brings up the fact that she left him first by just dropping out.  Beth admits the truth of this and says that she is the same goofy weather girl and that she is going to make it tough to leave her.  Tom says that it's not that simple and Beth asks what if it is.

Ben knocks on Emily's window and she closes it on him when he suggests that they should talk.  Beth and Tom are flirting, when Emily pops her head in the door and says that Ben showed up anyway and she shut him down.  Tom is impressed with Emily getting her mom on. Tom the kisses Beth.

Carly accuses Tom of cheating on her with Beth and reminds Tom that he was willing to divorce Beth until she banged her head and decided that she is a prophet of God. Carly then slaps Tom across the face and says that she is not the other woman and that this is not her role in life.  Carly then kisses him before leaving.

That night, Tom gets together with the guys and says that Beth is acting weird but in a good way.  Pete says that his life is so awesome right now because his wife is sex texting him with a list of things he wants to do right now.  Outside, Carly drives into a pole and she starts to yell for Beth to get out there right now.  Beth runs out saying that she is going to call 911 but Carly threatens her.  Jenny shows up and thanks Beth for the advice.  Tom joins them on the lawn and says that he is going to take her home now.  Suddenly, Carly is struck my lightning and Beth says that she didn't do that but thinks to herself that she just might have.

Okay, I'm not sure that this is really a part of our genre.  It feels very much like a situational comedy rather than some sort of fantasy.  Yes, Beth knows things that she shouldn't about people and seems to have the ability to read minds but I am not yet convinced that this is for us.

I also don't like the madonna/whore streak that is running through this episode.  Beth is the good one because of course she is the wife and mother; whereas,  Carly is the man stealing homewrecker. It feels trite and I am tired of female roles being reduced to such ridiculous tropes.

Once again we have a largely White suburb.  So far I have seen one character of colour and I doubt she was given five lines of dialogue to say.  She hasn't even been named thus far.  She feels more like an insert so that Save Me could avoid being accused of being yet another all White comedy. 

I am also do not approve of the appropriation of the religion of the Tibetan monks.  They believe very deeply and it takes years to achieve the mastery that they do but suddenly a White suburban knocks her head and becomes an expert? Yeah, I'm not buying it and it's not in the least bit appropriate.