Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Falling Down

So, I had intended to go back to the mid-80's this week for Tony and Annabelle's wedding or perhaps cover Gilly and Hamp's 1992 wedding to cap off Black History Month, but as I was going through our video files, nothing pleased me. I even looked at some other material and I just could not get excited. Days went by and, for various reasons (some personal and some relating to the travails of the GL online community), I had lost my lust for this project.

I knew I just need a jolt and I knew there was one source I could count on to get that spark of life: Beth Chamberlin. My love for Beth Chamberlin and the character of Beth is well-documented, so I won't go into more detail about my feelings there, except to say that I feel refreshed and ready to tackle any of life's challenges head-on ("Head On! Apply Beth directly to the Project!")

Falling Down finds us at the very beginning of 1998, mid-January to be exact, shortly after Severance and right before Alan & Annie's wedding. The title of this clipset is, in part, a direct reference to the danger in which young Lizzie (played by a brand-spanking-new Hayden Panettiere) finds herself as she reacts to the tumult caused by Phillip's relationship with Harley and seeming abandonment of Beth.

This is typical Esensten and Harmon-Brown scripting with Harley presented (on the surface at least) as impossibly good and noble and heroic and Beth presented (again, on paper only) as impossibly evil and calculating and needy. Such paper-thin, two-dimensional rivalries were the staple of Esensten and Harmon-Brown's reign as headwriters: think Reva vs. Annie, Jenna vs. Nola, Cassie vs. Dinah. In each case one character commits despicable acts and is considered "bad" and the other does the same kinds of things (or worse!) and is inexplicably meant to be thought of as a "heroine."
That frustrating aspect aside, there's lots to enjoy about Falling Down, not the least of which is a glimpse of the early star quality of HEROES star Hayden Panettiere as adorable, put-upon Lizzie. Especially effective are the scenes where Super-Harley rescues Lizzie from the well in which she finds herself and the Harley/Beth confrontation toward the end of the clipset. These clips also feature Alan, Buzz, Eleni (Jennifer Roszell, not Melina Kanakaredes), Jenna, and the always delightful Cynthia Watros as Annie.
Enjoy Falling Down--


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