LOVE BITES “TMI” Review

LOVE BITES "TMI" Episode 6 (9)

LOVE BITES “TMI” Season 1, Episode 6 – I loved the first segment of this week’s Love Bites. “Fetishes” features Ashley Williams as Bridget, a woman with a secret uniform fetish who becomes mortified when her boyfriend, Jeff (James Roday) discovers an unexpected charge on their cable bill for the adult programming she had ordered while he was out of town.

We got a nice slice of Bridget and Jeff’s lives, their personalities, and their relationship in a well assembled and funny 15 minute narrative. The simplicity of the story allowed the characters to develop nicely on screen without getting muddled in complicated plot set ups. Relative to many other sex fetishes, I imagine that foot and uniform fetishes are considered rather tame, if not common. The fact that both Jeff and Bridget got so worked up over the fetish issue gave us a clear understanding of their relationship and it helped to make their goofy role playing scenes believable.

Jeff attempting role play was definitely the funniest bit in tonight’s episode of Love Bites. I could not stop laughing at all the ridiculous things he would say when he was in costume and I was absolutely tickled that we got to see him in character again at the end of the episode when he strolled up to Bridget’s window as “Meter Maid Dolph.”

In “Becky’s Situation,” Judd’s niece is struggling with the possibility that she may have been infected with an STD from a romp in the back seat of a car with her high school classmate, Ian. Despite Becky’s cranky adolescent attitude, I felt bad that she wouldn’t talk to her mom, had to deal with stupid high school boy issues, confided in half-witted friends, and ended up talking to a school nurse that couldn’t help her with anything. It was difficult to laugh at many of the gags in this segment because Becky was so genuinely stressed out about the serious ramifications of having contracted an STD before she had even obtained a driver’s license. In the end, I was relieved when things worked out for her even if it did play out a bit like an after school special.

The final Love Bites segment, “Creepy Dad,” had Becky’s mom, Kristen, going on a date with Bridget’s brother, Brian. Personally, I don’t know the dynamic of middle school parent politics, but I thought Kristen’s actions were juvenile and mean spirited when it was revealed that of all the students in her daughter’s class, she had singled out and excluded Brian’s daughter from the party as a result of their bad date. Yes, Brian was totally creepy and he made major cringe-worthy flubs, but he summed it up perfectly when he told the other parents not to punish his kid for his mistakes.

If I were Brian, I doubt I’d be interested in any kind of a relationship with a person who isn’t capable of drawing a line between her adult social life and her child’s school life, so I was irritated when they happily reconciled and planned a date. They’re all lucky that Brian’s daughter is incredibly resilient, patient and understanding at such a young age. I suspect that many eight-year-olds wouldn’t bounce back as quickly.

Although this Love Bites episode doesn’t loop back into Annie’s story, the segments of this episode came together more cohesively than previous episodes which used her as the connection between various plots and characters. I think Becki Newton is amazing and I want to see more of her on TV, but her role has been fizzling out as the season progresses and I don’t particularly like how Annie’s character has been used in the more recent episodes. Rather than scraping together a character arc for Annie throughout the season, I would have liked to see her in one or two perfectly scripted segments that wrapped everything up nicely. The way it seems now, Annie has become a minor character strung along in most episodes without a foreseeable resolution to all of her open story lines.

Six episodes in and three remaining in this season, but Love Bites still can’t commit to the type of show it wants to be. Are we still supposed to think of Annie and Judd as the main characters every week even if they only play minor roles? Or are we drifting along the degrees of separation without attempting to connect back to old plot lines? I find that I enjoy most episodes on their own (largely as a result of the brilliant casting in every episode) but when I think back about the season thus far, I’m not sure I can see the makings of a complete picture just yet.