Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Logan + Logan = ????

Thoughts on, in order, "Veronica Logan," "Logan Girls" and "Friday Night Logans" just as soon as I Logan my Logan with some Logan, and possibly top it with an order of Loganberry pancakes...

So what exactly are the differences between VM-Logan and GG-Logan? Both are sons of privilege, with abusive (or, at least in the case of Mitchum Huntzberger, emotionally distant) fathers, they surround themselves with obnoxious rich friends, know how to be polite in front of adults but generally behave like asshats except when they're around their respective girlfriend -- and even there, it can be iffy. Genetics aside, if Jason Dohring and Matt Czuchry tried to pull the Prince and the Pauper gag and traded places for a week, would anyone be able to tell?

Which, of course, made casting Czuchry as VM-Logan's long-lost half-brother on last night's "Veronica Mars" seem like such genius casting that it didn't occur to me that he was an impostor until he mentioned that he surfed. (The episode was called "Charlie Don't Surf," an "Apocalypse Now" tribute.) A nice showcase for Mr. Dohring and a better Logan/Veronica story than last week.

The "Just Shoot Me" reunion gave an interesting twist to the usual private eye infidelity case, in that Keith's client badly wanted her husband to be a cheat -- and not just because she liked having barefoot pizza parties with Keith. Looked like Keith wanted that, too. I am unspoiled on this, and am curious to see if she returns down the road.

The heavier focus on the rape storyline was welcome, though the amount of time spent on Logan Squared robbed it of some urgency, particularly at the end. I'm sure we'll deal with the mysterious Asian guy in the photograph next week, but it felt off to have Veronica clear the frat and then immediately go back to helping Logan without making any apparent effort to track this guy down.

Speaking of our mystery man, there was a "Lebowski" shout-out in that scene where Veronica said "The Chinaman is not the issue here," but the censors cut it. So we had to settle for the "Careful, man, there's a beverage here!" In other Things That Got Cut, the girl with the rat trap idea was at one point going to be Alia Shawkat's character from "The Rapes of Graff," but they couldn't get Shawkat to come back for some logistical reason. And I have to assume there were more Wallace scenes that wound up on the cutting room floor, because I know how carefully Rob and company try to dole out appearances by the non-Veronica/Keith/Logan characters, and they wouldn't waste one of Percy Daggs' episodes on a single scene, would they?

On to the show where the other Logan actually plays Logan, "Gilmore Girls" continues the hard sell on the Lorelai/Christopher relationship, arguably past the point they needed to. I think I understood Lorelai's point in the scene where she contrasted Chris abandoning Rory with Sherry abandoning GiGi, but it came across as her absolving him of all guilt because he was just a stupid kid. (As opposed to him continuing to float in and out of Rory's life through all of his 20s and most of his 30s...) And I'm surprised Lorelai or Sookie failed to mention the other pitfall of sending GiGi to Paris on her own: if Sherry suddenly becomes so gripped with maternal feelings that she doesn't want to give her back, Christopher's going to have a much harder time re-asserting custody across international borders.

While GG-Logan doesn't make me want to punch him in the face quite as often as when he was first introduced, I still don't care much about him or his relationship with Rory. But once again I'm relieved that the Rosenthal regime has characters actually expressing their feelings immediately instead of passive-agressively stewing for half a season. And wasn't that the Orbit gum girl as Logan's leggy colleague?

For me, the highlight of the episode -- outside of the look of pure, Stanley on Pretzel Day glee on Richard's face at the prospect of seeing the Emily in jail photos -- was the bad pickle smell, which was silly and broad but got just enough screentime that I didn't get sick of everyone's horrified reaction to it.

Finally, we have our one non-Logan-related drama of the evening in "Friday Night Lights." (And I tried really, really hard to find some kind of Logan-ish element. Closest I came was the fact that the actor who plays Voodoo is also on "The Game," which airs on the same network as both of the Logans.)

I don't know that this episode was quite as gripping as the first three, but I liked the extended focus on Saracen, as well as continued realistic friction in the Taylor marriage -- and the meeting of the two stories when Coach realized he had just suggested that his quarterback get his daughter into the back of a Volkswagen (or similarly uncomfortable place).

Questions: Is there any way the Street rehab storyline doesn't turn into "Murderball: The Series"? Will the writers need to make Voodoo commit some particularly heinous act to justify Saracen's continued status as QB One? And whatever happened to the good old days when high school sports rivals just stole each other's goat mascots?

What did everybody else think?


Anonymous said...

Friday Night Lights continues to be the surprise of the season for me. I don't think this episode had the immediacy of the earlier episodes, but the show does such a good job of drawing its characters that I'm already pretty invested. I hope we get to see Riggs visit Street eventually, though there's obviously a lot of additional baggage for that one now.

CM said...

I loved Rory and GG-Logan in this episode, unlike when they first started out -- they finally seemed like a real, committed couple.

As for Lorelai and Chris, I didn't think it was the hard sell at all -- in fact, just the opposite. I felt like this episode highlighted why those two are wrong for each other. They get along well, and they can mostly get over the past, but they don't fight well or really deal with issues. Chris gets defensive and sulks; Lorelai feels like she has to get everything off her chest at once. So they both end up not speaking until one of them finally comes up with some grandiose resolution, which they both happily accept even though they haven't talked through the problem, because they'd rather stop fighting than talk about what's wrong. I thought the part where she compares Sherry's and Chris's abandonment was also a good example of this -- she's obviously been thinking it through, and this is the rationale she came up with for his behavior, but she doesn't TALK to him about whether this is how he really feels. And he doesn't explain whether that is or isn't the issue, or why he's so upset, he just lashes out with an immature comment and walks away. I thought this episode showed that no matter how well-suited they seem, there's a part of their relationship that will always make them act like teenagers. (And not a dirty part.)

Good call on the Orbit girl -- if it's not her, she definitely has the beaming perkiness down.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty bummed about VM cutting the "Chinaman" comment. I'm always happy about a "Lebowski" shoutout, but the beverage one did seem a little too easy.

I feel like they're cramming a lot of them in this season. We're 4 episodes in, and 2 Lebowski quotes already.

As for Matt Saracen: poor kid has a lot on his plate. Some of the TWoP posters thought that the TPTB were trying to turn him into some perfect saint, but I don't see it that way.

I missed the beginning of FNL, but as soon as I saw Street's roomate, I went, "Murderball!"

Gilmore: I love the expression of feelings, and I love that they finally outed Rory as an English major. I do not like the new clause that stipulates that Lauren Graham must make her Pouty-Face in every episode from now on. I'm getting a little sick of it.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else think the pacing on Veronica Mars seems even quicker this season? It's almost like the characters are saying, "Sorry, can't slow down, we've got mysteries to solve!" Not that I'm complaining. Though the Logan/Veronica/Keith dinner was especially fun because it was one of the few times this season where characters have just sat around and talked (or not talked).

Anonymous said...

I'm suffering from Gil withdrawal, so it was good to at least get some Bach action in the form of Chris listening to Skid Row's "18 & Life" in the car en route to Friday Night Dinner.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the "Veronica Mars" ending was weird ... shouldn't someone have been at least a tiny bit excited that Veronica has a picture of someone who could be the rapist? Shouldn't that seem like a major thing? Since we still have several more episodes to go I'm sure the ATM photo won't clear the case, but unless next week opens with Veronica searching the Hearst yearbooks or doing something else photo-related, it's really going to bug me.

Anonymous said...

That ATM photo thing bugged me, too. This was actually the first ep where I got easily distracted into doing something else (mostly by the Keith subplot, which was kinda meh). And I'm really bummed there's not more Wallace. I feel like I should be raising funds so Rob can afford to Wallace and Mac on more often.

Anonymous said...

Nice Mallrats reference.