Bradford emailed the NYT review of the CW's summer teen soap opera, Hidden Palms: "Will you watch this show and tell me all about it?" Silly question, despite the fact that I'm trying to cut down on my TV consumption. Kenneth, who recently caught me agog at the conclusion of Pochahontas II: Journey to a New World, smirked, "You'll watch anything!" Teen dramas are perhaps my favorite, and Hidden Palms features families with only children...how can I resist???
The pilot was terrific-- ingeniously tooled, with much potential etched into each character and relationship and with a wonderfully balanced set of analogs, foils, parallels, and rivals.
Beautiful sheet sets throughout.
A favorite moment:
the red umbrella (with Johnny [Taylor Handly]).
A beautiful Palm-Springs moment:
a shot of wheat grass and a shot of vodka.
youthful antics appearing early in the show, to be followed by Christina's World [above] near the episode's conclusion.
"Not fit for public consumption. I was too weird for the main stream, and I was too normal for the fringes. Hell, I didn't fit in anywhere. I. did. not. belong. And you know, all I ever wanted was just to belong."
That's the third step peeking out behind Jesse Jo [Leslie Jordan]. I don't know if I've ever seen a drag queen as a reoccuring character on television. Jordan's character appears both in and out of drag. I'd call his presence 1) a delight and 2) a smart move from the show's creators: a nice link (or wink) to the show's gay audience (what teen soap doesn't have a gay audience?) without the complications of gay-teen sex.
The pilot's main character, Johnny, is three months sober and without a driver's license after a downward spiral of drug and alcohol binges. It all seems to have started after he witnessed his father's suicide. Viewers get to share the spectacle, which opens the series: it, uh, starts with a bang. Thusfar, the writers offer an insightful representation of recovery and AA:
Johnny: I was thinking about going to a meeting. Dr. Hill gave me the name of a place.Teen Sex Sublimation:
Karen (Johnny's clueless mother): So soon? We just got here.
J: Well, they suggest I go everyday.
K: That doesn't seem very practical.
J: That was the plan. I think we should stick to it.
K: New town, new home: I thought we were done with all that.
J: That's not how it works, Mom.
Johnny's wet t-shirt. Hints of Hayden Christensen and John MacNaughton's Wild Things.
Box of Beautiful Books:
the return of the red umbrella?
I don't think I've ever seen such a tight close-up of a book before. How lovely that they selected this attractive and plausible hard-cover. This shot ends the first episode.