The North Shore was back to its silly antics this week as several cast members found themselves in contrived and campy scenarios. MJ and Chris’s date went sour when they accidentally got abducted by pot farmers. Oops! Tessa meanwhile orchestrated a police sting on her con artist ex. And Brooke Burns, well, she did nothing. Hmmm… I wonder if that’s why this episode was a notch above the rest.For the five people who watch this show, it’s become particularly painful to watch the endless “romantic” intrigue between Jason and Nicole. I personally am not against the storyline per se, but when you have an actress with the acting ability of a thimble carrying the load, the plot becomes somewhat laborious. That’s why it was particularly refreshing to have the Jason/Nicole saga pushed firmly to the sidelines this week. Brooke Burns must have been getting a collagen injection because she surfaced for only two or three scenes. Oh, but did she surface. Within seconds of the opening credits rolling, Brooke had us in stitches when she executed a melodramatic slap. As if that weren’t bad enough, her ensuing gasp provided the follow-up to a tremendously clunky dramatic moment. Brooke rattled off some lines about Jason and topped off the scene with what was supposed to be an emotional embrace with her fiance, but was more like what you’d imagine a grown man would look like hugging a crash test dummy.
While Jason and Nicole tinkered in their love rhombus, Tessa had a mess of her own. Her old con artist flame returned to the Grand Waimeia resort to make one more big score at the expense of a vulnerable Southern twit (who later turned out to be Tessa’s secret co-conspirator). His arrival came in the midst of reports that tourists from around the island had been beaten up and robbed. Later, when American Idol 3 loser Jasmine Trias popped up for a meaningless cameo, I sincerely hoped she too would be beaten up by these island thugs. Nevertheless, the reappearance of Tessa’s old partner in crime had her shaken, which led to Jason’s comment “You look as pale as a sheet”. Or a ghost, but I’m just saying. Similes can be very difficult for non-OC writers.
The good news for these writers though is that they finally injected some life into the bland Vincent character, whose boring presence is not helped by James Remar’s limited acting range. When Morgan tried to aim his passive aggressive cannon at the hotelier, Vincent shot him down with a formidable verbal smackdown. And then he went back to being bland and forgettable. Listen, it’s a start – although with the ratings dwindling, this show might need more than an occasional Vincent spark.
Gabriel isn’t helping with anything. He’s still spending more time at the bar than in his lifeguard chair. When resident stoner Frankie noted that he should get back to work, Gabriel moped again about how this wasn’t what he left Daytona for. Doesn’t this character have any new notes to hit on? I’m a little tired of his constant bawling. Just go out and surf already.
Speaking of spinning its wheels, the ongoing romance of MJ and Chris reached new levels of lunacy this week. The two went hiking, which in this case meant horseback riding, and for the first half of the show, we saw them trotting around the Hawaiian wilderness, slowly descending into what we hoped would be a Blair Witch scenario. Then just when our eyelids were getting heavy, polygon-faced Chris asked “Do you smell something?” to which MJ exclaimed “Uh oh. Marajuana!” Suddenly a bunch of Hawaiian thugs popped up with shotguns and abducted the horny duo. I don’t know what had thrown me more: the bizarre plot development or MJ’s amazingly wooden line.
Sadly, the two lovebirds were not shot in the head. Instead they were locked in a little shack where they opted to share stories about their career and family rather than devise any sort of escape plan. Personally, I would have loved to have seen MJ execute a hackneyed Maguyver type scheme.
Eventually, the writers realized they had dug their characters into a major hole – after all, the whole point of this afternoon hike was for MJ and Chris to have sex for the first time. Without a moment to spare, the writers hauled in the deus ex machina, which in this case was the druglord who just happened to be MJ’s old high school friend. Great. Everything was suddenly all good, and MJ – forgetting that she was, you know, bound and captive – took the time to catch up with her old friend. When he said that she looked great, she awkwardly – and I mean awkwardly – responded “You too, Brah!” Now let’s get something straight. Very few people, if any at all, can get away with saying “Brah” in real life. Even fewer people can get away with saying it on TV. How this line survived the table read is beyond me, but at least it made me cackle. Come to think of it, the last time I laughed that loudly was that one time when MJ said “Uh oh. Marajuana!” Oh wait, that was like five minutes ago.
The good news for MJ and Chris was that their little snafu with the druglords didn’t dampen the mood. They found a private beach (with the help of the pot kingpin – how nice of him!) where they did the nasty in the waves. I hoped a jellyfish might wash onto the duo – hey, stranger things have happened in this episode – but alas, the two finally consummated their love in peace.
Back at the hotel, Jason’s love rhombus grew more complex as he fell for Kate, a downtrodden assistant turned executive (played by one time TVgasm friend Chyler Leigh). Freshly burned by Nicole, Jason asked Kate out to dinner, but she revealed that she already had plans with… Frankie? Looks like the dredded one wants to up his role in the love rhombus. I guess we’ll see how this plays out over the next few weeks. I can’t say that I’m not looking forward to it. Any time Brooke Burns is relegated to the sidelines, I’m happy.