LOVE BITES “Stand and Deliver” Review

LOVE BITES "Stand And Deliver" Episode 5 (15)

LOVE BITES “Stand and Deliver” Season 1, Episode 5 – I didn’t really get the purpose of Simple Minds running through each segment or why this particular episode would be titled “Stand and Deliver” but there were a lot of things that didn’t really come together in this episode for me. That said, although Love Bites got off to a rocky start this week, it ended with what has become one of my favorite segments of the season so far.

I wasn’t impressed with the first segment, “There Goes My Hero.” The writing was below average for Love Bites and there wasn’t much the actors could do to carry the weight of so much unnatural dialogue. The whole thing revolved around Sam who is still hung up on his ex, Prudence, who is dating Sam’s sports idol, Dante Evans. Dante is the stereotypical scumbag professional baseball player who can’t keep his hands off the restaurant hostess even while he is on a double date with his girlfriend’s ex and his dad. (Judd and Colleen happened to be eating dinner at the same restaurant. Judd is the luckiest guy on the planet when it comes to running into people he admires. Practically everywhere he goes, he’s introduced to someone he idolizes and, big surprise, he’s a big fan of Dante Evans.)

This whole story line was totally predictable and painfully unrealistic. I could see the phone switch-a-roo coming a mile away and not because I’m particularly observant, but because their talk about having similar phones took up more time than any meaningful dialogue. In a completely eye-rolling turn of events, all four of them end up at the nearest professional baseball stadium for a casual one on one strike out challenge between the professional athlete and the guy that makes trophies and plays video games in his dad’s shop.

Judd and Colleen’s segment, “A Sexual Haunting” had them looking at new homes with their pushy realtor, Chad (Chris Parnell) and running into complications when Colleen remembers that she had sex in their dream house years before she had met Judd. (Judging by the type of homes they were looking at in Los Angeles, I have to assume that Judd’s tattoo parlor is doing incredibly well and that Colleen must have a very high paying job.) Although it wasn’t a particularly inspired story, it was another cute Love Bites style set up for these two characters that involved a “sexorcism” and “banging the demons away.” Since I enjoy the chemistry between Judd and Colleen, I was entertained. I’m also pleased to report that Dan returned in this segment, this time sans ponytail so it looks like we’re back on the right track.

Finally, “Not To Speak,” was my favorite segment of the night, and perhaps the funniest segment I’ve seen on Love Bites so far. The comedy and the acting were spot on and I loved every character in this segment. Julia (Emily Rutherfurd) had enjoyed a passionate fling on her recent vacation to Brazil and when she returns to Wichita, she dishes all the juicy details to her eagerly attentive coworkers. Much to her surprise, her Brazillian lover, Marcello (Cristian De La Fuente) unexpectedly appears at her door begging to continue their romance.

There was a hilariously awkward vibe to Julia’s work environment that reminded me of similar cubicle farms in Dead Like Me or Office Space. The grape-soda-shotgunning, Slim-Jim-eating Karen (Kathy Kinney), was so weird but so very sweet and I adored Dennis (Tim Bagley) as the married man barely able to suppress his closeted attraction to the suave Marcello. I could relate to their excited scheming to score the special cube since I have actually had conversations with my coworkers about coveted corner cubicles, although my conversations were not nearly as funny. Virtually every utterance from Dennis and Karen made me laugh out loud and I ended up re-watching this segment on its own just so I could hear some of their great lines again.

I even loved the way this final segment wrapped up the entire episode. Although I expected Julia to run away with Marcello, her decision to stay because, as she put it, “I’m an American. I like to work” followed by the rest of her closing narration, was much more funny than the stereotypical happy ending I wanted and expected. If there was any thought to giving any of the Love Bites mini-stories a spin off of their own, I would happily tune in to watch Julia, Dennis, Karen and Marcello again any day of the week.