Monday, August 29, 2016

Everwood "Truth..." Review

“Truth…” would’ve marked the end of Everwood’s midseason run, if not for the long ratings-based hiatus between December and March. Like “A Kiss to Build a Dream On” and “So Long, Farewell”, this episode did not age well. Much of the episode’s tension, except for Irv’s side story, comes from secrets some characters held from other characters. The fallout from these revealed secrets would wait until the four or six week hiatus ended and the narrative, again, re-shifted for the final six episodes of the season. The long winter hiatus eliminated a brief hiatus between #416 and #417. The audiences waited a week to the fallout from the inept and stupid choices of our beloved characters, but I’ll get there in my next post.

TV schedules can and do make an episode work as the writers and producers want. This episode’s designed to keep viewers on the hook for weeks, wondering what would happen to Bright and Hannah, and sad Reid. Ever notice in your binge watches that you don’t see an episode full of dramatic reveals and frustrating cliffhangers until the season finale? Creators for streaming sites don’t need to worry about keeping viewers on the hook during a hiatus, but they do need to keep them hooked at the end of each episode so that they click the sweet and golden ‘Next episode’ button. The tactic works best during the first viewing, but never as well on rewatch. If a person rewatches a show, it’s not because they crave the re-experience of the twist or that gnarly/heartbreaking cliffhanger; the twist/cliffhanger is now superfluous, an archaic cheap trick to make sure the viewer doesn’t forget your show. A person rewatches because of they love unique reality of the story.

This episode hinges on will Bright tell Hannah about his cheating and will Harold tell Rose about the cancer lie. The overall episode’s theme is the truth hurts but not as much as not telling it. Both Abbott boys didn’t want to, but it came out someway. Hannah went into a kind of catatonic hysteria while Rose and Harold confronted the scary truth that they won’t be free of cancer for another five years. I still don’t like either story; however, the cancer storyline reinforced the solidity of the Abbott marriage, and Bright, who one may thought hadn’t changed, had changed but he realized it after his bad mistake.

Of course, in #316, a secret caused a seismic event in the lives of the Brown and in the relationship between Ephram and Amy. Amy used her choice not to tell Ephram about Madison and the baby as a reason why Bright should tell Hannah the truth. Everwood, no matter how hackney and convoluted the melodrama, always used the past to inform its characters for the future.

One needn’t ever rewatch “Truth…” because the recap before “All The Lonely People” includes the highlights, but if one does rewatch it, it’s worth more for the Harold/Rose scene in Act V, for the Ephram/Amy scene but only for Ephram’s line about the impossibility of totally connecting, on all levels, with another human being (not for the nonsense melodrama parts), and Irv’s decision to makeup for the time he lost with his daughter. The rest of it is only a reminder of TV’s bad habits.

Nancy Won wrote the episode. Matt Shakman directed it.

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About The Foot

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Originally, I titled the blog Jacob's Foot after the giant foot that Jacob inhabited in LOST. That ended. It became TV With The Foot in 2010. I wrote about a lot of TV.