Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Reviews: Out With PFLAG, part II & Chatting with Claire

This is my blog entry to review the latest episodes of Out With Dad.  I expected to get the review for episode 2.08 done before 2.09 was released, but 2.09 got released a bit early and I’ve been busy reviewing small press comics.  So allow me to digress a bit first.  Small Press comics are to mainstream comics what web series are to television series.  It’s something I discussed last year in this blog entry.  So, if you come to my blog looking for my commentary on comics, I suggest you spend some time checking out a web series, such as Out With Dad.  If you come here looking for my commentary on Out With Dad I invite you to check out some small press comics, like the SPACE Anthology you can find for free here!

Though it was originally my intent to discuss episode 2.08 of Out With Dad on this post, I find it impossible to think about ep. 2.08 without thinking about ep. 2.09 also. There’s just so much in both about Claire, everyone’s favorite new character.  So this review is just going to have to discuss both episodes together.  Now—on with it!!
I've been waiting to talk about this scene since I first saw the picture, so long ago...

“Out With PFLAG, Part II” begins with Rose talking to Claire on break from the group discussion.  There is just so much good stuff (meaning well-written interactions) in this conversation.  First, I just love Claire’s personality!  She has a “talk first think about it later” attitude towards life!  (In episode 2.09, “Chatting with Claire”. We see this even extends to “type first think about it later”!)  The contrast with Rose’s quiet, contemplative manner works great. I also love the way Claire doesn’t know why Rose is at the PFLAG meeting, and guesses it has something to do with her dad and Johnny.  Such an assumption is in character and understandable I think.  Rose mentioning her mother was a touching moment, too.  Rose and Claire seem to have a nice chemistry.  Ah, but how much chemistry??  (By the way, Claire, as portrayed by Caitlynne Medrek, really is adorable.)

Maureen’s story reminded me of something I was commenting on recently (here), about how someone’s life can take a very tragic turn when there’s a lack of support from family.  And knowing this is not a fictional account, but rather a dramatization of a true account shared by a viewer makes it even more tragic. I’d like to especially thank the people who were willing to submit such stories.  I know that if they affect me so much, they must really mean a lot to people who are going through situations like the characters in this drama.

It was nice to hear a light story like David’s.  I think for every person who treats someone badly because of their sexuality there are many more of us who treat such persons as we would anyone else: with dignity and respect.

Rose was true to character, with her hesitancy to speak.  Nathan was excellent, saying all the things he needed to say (though I keep thinking he still needs to tell his daughter he’s dating!).  When Rose did speak, her words were profound.  Her desire to put the Genie back in the bottle is sad but understandable.

The portrayals by the actors in this episode were fantastic. Just fantastic!

Chatting with Claire was a lighter episode, but still very compelling.  As I’ve noted before, my favorite thing about this series is how it makes me think about things.  It’s amazing how much a little 7-minute story had me thinking! The details put into this little episode with very little spoken dialogue and only one character present are amazing!  And I’m not just talking about the cameos by other Toronto web series on the Facebook page!  The little things like Rose deleting half of what she types while Claire types away then apologizes for what she has said are the little things that make this show so engaging.  Even Rose’s hesitancy when befriending Claire is so spot on and so well acted by Kate Conway! I love the focus on her wringing hands.  Allow me to digress a bit while I gush about how well Kate does in this episode with very little actual dialogue!  You can see everything Rose is thinking and feeling!  Just a wonderful job!  I even think it’s worth mentioning that many times in movies and television when a character types the character says aloud what they are typing. Director Jason Leaver doesn’t use this convention, though, and I think the episode is more realistic and dramatic because of it.

The two main plot threads of this episode are setting up the trip to the museum next episode and Rose’s Facebook information.  Claire notices that Rose’s info says Rose is interested in men.  Certainly something Rose entered before she realized her own sexuality.  In the end Rose decides not to mention who she’s interested in.  I like her decision.  I don’t see a reason for her to have to be public with such information.

I really like the relationship between Rose and Claire and it will be interesting to see how it progresses.  I know there are many people out there who want them teamed up romantically instead of Rose and that other girl…you know…what’s-her-name…the redhead…

In conclusion, both episodes were great!  I’m really looking forward to the next episode, coming May 3rd!  The show is wonderful.  In fact, It’s totally….dare I say it??


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