Thursday, August 15, 2013

Case Study No. 0923: Abby

Stephanie March - Early Edition (2/3)
A few years before joining the cast of SVU as ADA Alexandra Cabot Stephanie March had a small guest appearence on the show Early Edition.

Part 2 of 3

Enjoy! :)

disclaimer: I don't own anything. clips used without permission.
Tags: Stephanie March Early Edition a/o SVU Conviction ADA Alexandra Alex Cabot
Added: 4 years ago
From: xxxMegalomaniaCxxx
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[Gary (who knows that a member of the Bronte Reading Society is going to be crushed to death by a hanging mobile in the Chicago Public Library) rushes up the stairs - with the young female librarian (red hair, plain black dress) following close behind - and opens the door to find the woman reading below him]
ARLENE: "So angry they flung me out into the middle of the heap, on top of Wuthering Heights ... "
[he notices the cable supporting the mobile is about to snap, so he quickly grabs it ... as the members of the book club (oblivious to the danger) continue listening to the reading]
ARLENE: "My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath--"
[as Gary strains to hold the cable, the librarian comes up from behind and grabs him tightly]
ABBY: Gary, mon petit lebay!
GARY: Not now, Abby!
[the librarian (apparently offended) lets go, as Gary yells down to the members of the book club]
GARY: Ladies, get outta the way!
[the other women run off, but the woman reading (perhaps too wrapped up in the moment to hear him) does not move]
ARLENE: "I am Heathcliff ... "
GARY: Hey! Hey, blondie! Get outta the way, wouldja?!
[cut to a closeup of the cable as it snaps, so Gary uses his momentum to swing from the balcony down to the woman and grabs her ... then lets go of the cable, as the mobile comes crashing to the ground]
[cut to a closeup of Gary (who's still grabbing onto the woman even though they're safely on the ground), as she rests her head on his chest ... then he looks up at the librarian, who gives him an angry/hurt look and storms off]
ABBY: [in voice over] You! You'll just save anyone, won't you?



"Early Edition"
Season 2, Episode 10
A Bris Is Just a Bris (20 Dec. 1997)

Gary saves the life of an accident prone librarian several times in one day, and she falls head-over-heels in love with him. Unfortunately, Gary's cook at McGinty's was planning on asking the librarian out. Becoming jealous of Gary, he quits, but is hired back as Gary tries to be a matchmaker for the young lovers.

Kyle Chandler ... Gary Hobson
Jessica Hecht ... Abby
Stephanie March ... Arlene



Classics: Early Edition 2:10 - A Bris is Just a Bris
Overall: 6.0

Some moments are chuckle-worthy, but the comic exaggeration in the primary plot goes just a little too far -- and the secondary plot makes little sense and renders Chuck distinctly unattractive.

Plot Synopsis:
Chuck is watching the bris of his cousin's newborn son when suddenly, Gary rushes in. The paper reports that the newest member of Chuck's extended family will soon suffer a... very unfortunate injury. Chuck quickly stops the mohel, and the accident is averted.

At this point Chuck and Gary's storylines diverge. Gary returns to McGinty's, where he finds the chef, Tony, playing opera at top volume and making hamburger hearts. Tony requests the afternoon off so that he may ask a woman out, and Gary agrees. Tony rushes over to the public library at once to declare his love to Abby, the librarian, but before he can get the words out, he loses his nerve and asks for a book recommendation instead.

Unfortunately for Tony, sometime later, Gary must rescue the accident prone and flighty Abby from a knife-juggling mishap. As Tony watches Abby, pining for her from afar, Gary rides up on a horse he purloined and snatches Abby just before she is speared by one of the juggler's blades. Thanks to this dramatic rescue, Abby, an avid fan of Harlequin romance novels, instantly falls for Gary, and she ignores all of Gary's attempts to dissuade her. Gary first councils Tony to buck up and tell Abby how he feels, but Abby, still smitten with Gary, breaks Tony's heart. Then Gary tries to tell Abby frankly that he's not interested in her, but Abby assumes Gary's pushing her away for some tragic and romantic reason. Then Gary tries to use the paper to set Tony up to be a hero, but this plan also fails spectacularly. It is only when Gary rescues another woman from a falling mobile that Abby finally loses interest in Gary, angrily declaring him an "indiscriminate saver." Gary retorts that Abby needs to get her head out of her books and realize that Tony is a good man who really loves her. In the end, Tony and Abby are finally brought together.

Meanwhile, Chuck becomes interested in Rabbi Ellen, the rabbi who was supervising the aforementioned bris. He fears Ellen's "direct line to God," however, so while with her, he lets spill all the sins - major and minor - he has ever committed. Oddly, this does not turn Ellen off; as a matter of fact, she finds Chuck's compulsive honesty charming and even praises him in temple. In the end, Chuck dumps Ellen because he can't stand how honest and "nice" he becomes in her presence.

The Skinny:
One of my friends recently complained that this episode doesn't give librarians a fair shake, but actually, Abby is not the worst thing about A Bris is Just a Bris. Yes, she is ridiculous and melodramatic. Yes, real librarians - real people - don't behave that way. But I have to admit that she and Tony do make me laugh in a few places. Yes, their plot is overblown and goofy, but I like watching Gary playing the straight man to their drama. I also find it rather sweet how earnestly Gary tries to help the love-lorn Tony win Abby. Whatever else you might say about this episode, at least Gary remains a perfect gentleman.

What I don't like about this episode is Chuck's plot. I find it very unlikely that a woman like Ellen would find this Chuck appealing. He may be compulsively honest, but he's still the guy who skipped his bar mitzvah, stole Halloween candy from a kid on crutches, and took his best friend's flowers because he didn't want to spend fifty bucks on Ellen's account. If you behave like a jerkwad, being honest about it doesn't make you less of a jerkwad. Ellen realizes this by the end -- but this is something she should've known at the start.

Writing: 5.0
Sometimes writing caricatures for comic effect does work. By no means do I believe that only stark, unembellished reality can possibly good; heck, if I did believe that, I wouldn't like Early Edition as much as I do. Still, the zaniness of this episode only occasionally prompts laughs. And as noted above, Taub fails to maintain the proper balance between Chuck's selfish and heroic natures, and what results is a version of Chuck that is pretty contemptible.

Acting: 8.0
I'm not going to blame either Jessica Hecht or Jason Schombing for their melodramatic performances, as that is how their characters were written and directed. I also think Kyle does a pretty good job of making a silk purse out of a sow's ear with his amusing reaction takes.

Message: 5.0
I do agree with the episode's claim that waiting for a romance novel hero to walk into your life will result in your missing out on the real guys who are prepared to cherish you. I also don't believe, as does my friend, that Taub was trying to make any larger statement about librarians. Still, this episode also seems to claim via Chuck that running away from the consequences of one's actions is preferable to facing them, and that certainly doesn't rise to the show's usual high standard.

The Benevolent Hand:
The Force behind the paper helps Gary out of his predicament by giving him the chance to save another woman. Otherwise, this is a light week when it comes to divine interventions.

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