Sunday, July 15, 2012

Review: Out With Dad 2.12 "Out of Mind"

I’m doing this in one post, no matter how long it gets!
Whereas episode 2.11 of Out With Dad was very much about the interactions and reactions of our cast to society’s treatment of homosexuals, the season finale was a much more personal story.

However, there is one societal issue that presents itself early in the episode.  So I’ll tackle that first.  This would be the issue of the girls being together in Rose’s bedroom.  I recall watching the series' first episode and noticing Nathan’s reaction when he suspects Rose and Vanessa have been doing more than studying in Rose’s bedroom.  I’m sure this isn’t something he’d thought about before—Vanessa and Rose were friends who hung out together and didn’t get into trouble.  But when he suspects there’s something beyond friendship going on between the girls, his thoughts change.  In the first episode Nathan noticeably leaves the door open before leaving Rose’s room.  And Claire is right, I’m sure, about him being a little freaked out with the her and Rose being together now.  I’m also sure Kenny would never have been allowed to be in Rose’s room, especially when Nathan wasn’t home.  Fathers tend to be very untrusting on teenage boys.  That’s because fathers used to be teenaged boys themselves.  Should the rules be different when it’s two girls together?  Is it only fair to treat it the same as if it were a boy/girl situation? It’s been okay for Rose up to this point, but now…are things different?  There’s one big difference, though.  There’s one really big thing fathers worry about happening to their teenage daughters.  And that’s something that can’t happen when two girls are together.

Will Conlon is funny as usual as Nathan, with his awkward interruption of the girls’ conversation and subsequent exit.  I also love the nonverbal communication between Rose and Nathan.  Caitlynne Medrek is totally charming in her role as Claire.  This episode we get to see a more serious side of Claire.  She begins with some light flirting talk with Rose.  After Rose’s response is a bit less flirty, she notices the bulletin board and the pictures of Vanessa.  You can see Claire’s emotions change.  When she talks to Rose about the pictures and Vanessa, I think what’s going through her head is something along the lines of: “This is the girl who broke your heart and she’s why you won’t get closer to me.  Why can’t you let her go so we can be together?”

This all sets up the dream sequence as Rose subconsciously struggles with her feelings for both Vanessa and Claire.  This is rather freaky!  To be kissing one person and then open your eyes and it’s another person!  The sequence is put together extremely well, and the loose divisions between fantasy and reality are very effective.  The ending, with Vanessa showing up in the kitchen, and the finger to her lips, is perfect.  And I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned music in one of my reviews, but the reprise of Late July’s “Side Swept” is just perfect as Rose rids herself of her visual reminders of Vanessa, symbolically moving on, even though it hurts.  The saddest part of this to me is that Vanessa is not a bad person.  She doesn’t even want to be away from Rose.  She just has no choice.  Rose, however, certainly can’t just sit around waiting, either.
The blank bullentin board is perhaps the most powerful single image of the series!

Kate Conway has elevated her portrayal of Rose to a new level.  Out With Dad is, ultimately, the story of Rose’s journey. Therefore, the series really belongs to Kate more than anyone else.  And I cannot praise her enough at how well she has done in her role as Rose.  My understanding of acting is very rudimentary, but I think it’s amazing how convincing a twenty-something straight woman can be as a 15-year old lesbian.   Of course, she’s won awards for the show, so I’m not the only one who thinks she’s doing this good!
Kate with her Indie Soaps Best Actress Award (and with Jason)

Well, Out With Dad has ended for a while, and many like me will spend a lot of time thinking about and eagerly anticipating what comes next!  Writer/director Jason Leaver suggests watching some other webseries, including Pretty In Geek, during the break.  I watched Pretty In Geek’s first episode, and I thought it was very funny and well done!  I hope you check it out too.  And don’t say you won’t like it because it’s about geeky things you aren’t interested in. You never know, so you might as well give it a chance!  After all, I like Out With Dad even though I’m not a teenage lesbian.

Another thing to do while you’re waiting for season 3 of Out With Dad is to come back here!  I have more to say about the series.  There are some essays bouncing around in my head that I’m going to write down eventually.  I also plan to post some Out With Dad fan art. (I’ve done this  before.)  I encourage all the fans to produce their own fan art also!  Maybe even fan fic.  I love seeing how other people express themselves creatively!

The final thing I’d invite you to do during the off season is totally self-promoting, but you could check out my webcomic, Mutant Elf, which can be found here!  There will be a new page posted every week.  Hope you enjoy it!

And that's all for now!  See you in a week or less!

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