SCOUNDRELS “Yes Sir, Yes Sir, Three Bags Full” Review

Scoundrels (ABC)

The lights go out at the West home when there’s no money left on the “Yes Sir, Yes Sir, Three Bags Full” episode of SCOUNDRELS, so the West kids get creative in trying to find a solution. Heather strips, Cal takes an arson job Wolf tells him about, and Hope turns to video piracy and blackmail. Cheryl, meanwhile, goes on interviews while delivering junk mail and self-pitying speeches to anyone who will listen. It seems her Big Foods arrest is off-putting to prospective employers, so she tears into Sergeant Mack for being the root of all her problems even after he explains the process for getting the arrest expunged from her record. Mrs. Hong slips a disc while having sex with Cal in a car that then lands in a lake, so Logan has to help out by pretending to be Cal for a package pick-up while Cal is helping Sparky burn down the video store Hope works at, which somehow leads to him sleeping with Mr. Hong’s daughter. Hope blackmails the video store owner who paid for said arson while copying bootleg films from Mr. Hong and selling them for a big profit. None of that counts as crime, though, because they all have the best of intentions: they’re doing it for the family. I’m pretty sure that’s the mob’s motto, too.

After a detour into the Wolf as center of the universe arena last week, we’re back to the usual Scoundrels formula: there’s a crisis so everything is terrible, life is so hard when you’re trying to not be a criminal (it’s amazing how so many of us manage), and the police are persecuting us because we committed crimes even though we’re so very good now. Half-baked schemes to raise money ensue, lessons are learned, and hope springs anew. Lather, rinse repeat. It’s tedious, to say the least. Worse, the schemes are dull and/or ludicrous with the tidy resolutions telegraphed way in advance. To psych herself up for stripping, Heather pictures herself as a fashion model with photographers surrounding her instead of half-drunk sweaty guys with crumpled singles in their hands and she’s so spectacular she not only gets a standing ovation but her boss finds her a modeling agent. Logan, who’s more of an ass each week, sleeps with Mr. Hong’s daughter in a pool and keeps his wig on straight while Wolf encourages Cal to help Sparky commit arson? So much for that West code, not to mention any basis in reality. It’s all nonsensical garbage at this point.

I have no idea what Scoundrels is trying to be. It veers between Seventh Heaven-type drama with the kids all giving Cheryl money and unoriginal caper comedy with tired writing. The cast-not to mention the audience-deserves better than this. I’m torn between wanting it to get better and wanting it to become so horrible it’s great. Right now it’s only on the bad end of mediocre, and there’s no fun in that.

Do you like Scoundrels more than I do? Defend it in the comments.

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