Saturday, October 07, 2006

I'm Thankful for Two-A-Days

At kick off, Alex and Cory go fishing to provide us with all of the expository information we need for this week’s episode. Alex has a huge hickey on his neck – how very classy. Hooters waitress? Keagan? Kristin? Will we ever know? The boys discuss who will get “beat” this week, and Alex predicts that Hoover will win big time. Then Cory puts on the Conversation Driver hat and asks how Alex and Kristin are doing. Alex explains that it is a day-to-day thing, but that currently they are all right. He hasn’t made up his mind yet whether it will be a good idea for them to remain a couple in college. Cory tempts him, saying, “You know how them college girls is,” apparently alluding to the notion that college girls are going to be wanting nothing but sex, all the time. If you ask me, Cory should stick to nothing but English class, all the time. Just at this moment of brilliant enlightenment, Alex feels a nibble on his line, which turns out to be a big stick. Cleverly entwining this silly mishap into the conversation, Alex announces, “My stick’s bigger ‘n yers.” Oh Alex, those college girls have no idea what they are in for.

Next we return to the setting for most Scene 2 conversations on Two-A-Days: the cafeteria. We are treated to a shot of Keagan, which is to be expected since the previews for this episode hint at some renewed Alex/Keagan hanky-panky. We’re right on track. Chatterbox Jessica asks Alex if he is aware of the fact that if they win the upcoming game, next week will be the state championship. Yes Jessica, I’m pretty sure Alex knows that, but thanks for telling all of us here in TV Land. Next we learn that Kristin is going away to Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving and will not be at this week’s Big Game. Yes, the Keagan storyline continues to set itself up. Kristin explains that she has to go to Pennsylvania to visit her grandparents, who are both dying of cancer. I can’t put my finger on which character will turn out to be the sympathetic one in this situation. I wish MTV would be more straightforward and stop being so tricky and allusive.

FOOTBALL PRACTICE! Today it is raining, so the Buccaneers are practicing in some indoor football field. If this is a Hoover facility, that school is swimming in athletic funds. Coach Propst delivers this week’s stunning surprise: The upcoming game is the most important ever. They are facing Oak Mountain in the state semi-finals, so there is no room for any error. Coach Propst actually seems optimistic about Hoover’s chances, so we may not have much drama from him this week. We go back to the indoor football field, where Defensive Coordinator Jeremy Pruitt is back in his usual position, foaming at the mouth in Max’s face. Max has a charming confessional moment that you really have to imagine with his southern accent: “I always wanted to play college football, but I never knew how I was going to be able to. And then Coach Pru comes here and teaches me all this stuff.” Max’s stepdad, Jim, has once again joined the boys for practice. I’m really beginning to think that Jim is carrying around a deep, dark, high school football story of his own, and trailing Max around is the only way for him to cope with his repressed frustration from years bygone. This is to say nothing of Defensive Coordinator Jeremy Pruitt’s tragic absence of anything in life besides this football team.

Promise me you'll never leave me, Max. Anna, Schmanna.

Now we go back into the hallways of Hoover High School to join Alex and Kristin bidding each other an extremely awkward farewell before the Thanksgiving holidays. They stand about a foot apart, take turns reaching out to pat one another’s shoulders, then give each other the kind of hug where they barely touch, and their hands are rapidly patting each other’s backs. Hmm. This is not the behavior of a happy high school couple. I’m picturing the MTV producers sometime in the spring summoning Alex and Kristin over to the high school to re-shoot their Thanksgiving farewell. Since it’s probable that by spring these two have long since broken up, the result is the enormous bumble we just witnessed. But it was nice of them to cooperate with the producers. Furthering our Keagan expectations, Alex confessionals that he and Kristin have been fighting a lot lately, and that her going away for Thanksgiving will give him time to think. Yes I think we can safely translate “think” into “hook up with Keagan and give me just the out I’ve been looking for.”

So! It’s now Thanksgiving break and Taylor, our Man of Many Faces – sometimes Master Party Planner, sometimes Coach Propst Jr., sometimes Expository Narrator, is throwing another shindig. Taylor runs around trying to verify whether or not Keagan will be in attendance, since Alex is present and ripe for infidelity. Sure enough, in walks Keagan in a hot pink jacket and full party makeup. Alex slumps against a wall covering his face. Oh the trauma of the internal tug-o-war. And for Alex we all know that war involves whether to jump up now and make out with Keagan in front of the party-goers, the camera crew, America, and God, or whether to bide his time and sneak her out the door in 15 minutes. He opts for Plan B. Or perhaps he was instructed by producers to opt for Plan B so that they can stretch out the suspense for another week. Did they or didn’t they? The producers take us to commercial to the strains of All American Rejects’ “Dirty Little Secret.” Man, the uncertainty is killing me.

Hi. I'm Alex Binder's dirty little secret.

Back from commercial, Alex and Cory are driving around and Alex is saying how much fun he had last night at the party. He tells us that when he and Kristin go to parties, it’s different, because they are “less involved in the fun department.” You know, the coy cheating game just doesn’t quite work when you are at a party with your girlfriend. It’s much better when she’s in Pennsylvania for the weekend visiting her dying grandparents. Alex says that he’s sure news of last night will spread around the school quickly. Cory offers very typical fix-it male advice saying, “Night’s over with now – can’t do anything about it.” Brilliant. That solves everything! Alex says that he couldn’t do nothing about anything last night and he’s just glad he came home with clothes on. I guess they did. But it wasn’t his fault! Keagan tied him up and took dirty advantage of him. What was he supposed to do? Poor Alex.

MORE FOOTBALL PRACTICE! It’s Thanksgiving and the boys have come bright and early to what looks like the Superdome to show their undying devotion to the Buccaneer Dynasty. Alex confessionals that Oak Mountain has done a lot of trash-talking leading up to Friday’s Big Game and that now it’s personal. Coach Propst announces to the team that he takes offense at what Oak Mountain has been saying, and he doesn’t want to just beat them, he wants to embarrass them. Look out!

Next it’s back over to the newly introduced Binder residence. Alex wanders into his kitchen where his dad is reading the newspaper and inquiring as to what time Alex came home last night. Alex admits that he came home at 2:00, but insists that he was at Taylor’s party, which we all know is a big fat lie. Mr. Binder says, “Buddy, consider yourself grounded – indefinitely.” Ha! Alex whines that next week is state championship week, and Mr. Binder tells Alex he should have thought of that at midnight. Ha – again! I, too, had a midnight curfew in high school, and I, too, would have been grounded for coming home at 2:00. I got grounded all the time for coming home at 12:20, and I wasn’t out cheating on someone and creating a “dirty little secret.” Well done, Mr. Binder!

At Max’s house, Jim is slicing the turkey and telling Max to find out when Defensive Coordinator Jeremy Pruitt will be arriving to dine with them. See what I mean about the absence of a life besides the team? I think we can define that as a general team fixation, and a Max-specific obsession.

We switch to Coach Propst, who, in a bid for audience sympathy, is driving to a small town called Ohatchee to visit his parents’ graves, like he does every Thanksgivin’. We see the Propst family headstone and I’m genuinely surprised that there is not a giant football engraved over the names of Coach Propst’s parents. This is filmed and played out to make it look like Coach Propst is very sad and lonely, with only this trip to the cemetery after football practice, and a visit to his bedridden grandmother Clara to keep him company on Thanksgiving. I happen to know that Coach Propst is actually married with three small children, so I don’t think his holiday could have been too lonely. The producers need to realize that they would have to get up pretty early in the morning to trick me that easily.

Happy Hoover Holidays from the Propst Family!

A montage of Ohatchee does, however, give us some clues as to Coach Propst as a person, if this is actually where he grew up. First there is a Confederate flag flying, which makes me wonder where this town’s Grand Dragon lives. There is also a sign in front of a church that reads “Death to the Christian is like a transfer to the home office.” That’s funny. There is actually an American flag flying next to this sign, so that’s a step up (and forward in time).

Back to Max’s house, where Jim is giving the family prayer, including the following: “Please help us have the energy to eat good and beat Oak Mountain.” Well, far be it from me to criticize a prayer of Thanksgiving. I’ll leave that one alone. We now get close-ups of all the food and I am starving. Luckily Defensive Coordinator Jeremy Pruitt doesn’t spy any asparagus. Ha ha, that joke never gets old. Over dinner we learn that back in his day, Defensive Coordinator Jeremy Pruitt gave up a college scholarship to be a walk-on football player at Alabama. We also learn that Max was much better behaved than Alex last night – he played video games with friends and was home at 9:40. Pass that gravy, I’m hungry! How many days until Thanksgiving?

Back from commercial, it’s time for the Big Game. Alex confessionals that the great part about football is that for 48 minutes, nothing else matters. You know, he doesn’t have to think about the fact that he just cheated on his girlfriend, that he is grounded indefinitely, that the Hooters waitress probably wasn’t that into him, or that this is all on television. Of course, the problem is that all football games must come to an end, and then Alex is going to have a whole lot to worry about. Coach Propst delivers his motivational speech, screaming about how he is insulted that Oak Mountain has the nerve to think they are as good a team as Hoover, just because they made it to the semi-finals, and he wants the boys to go out there and once again BEAT THE PISS OUTTA ‘EM!

Out run the boys through an enormous banner that says, “Turkey on Thursday, Eagle on Friday!” Apparently the Oak Mountain mascot is the eagle. My powers of deductive reasoning are astounding, I know.

Time for highlights!

  • Defensive Coordinator Jeremy Pruitt and Repete’s father, Pete, both scream at Repete from the side.
  • Repete makes a tackle.
  • Ross throws a very long pass that is intercepted by Oak Mountain. Oops. Coach Propst tears of his headphones and the announcer tells us that he also threw his clipboard and his visor. Ross had better run for cover.
  • Max makes a tackle.
  • Coach Propst, amidst violent profanity, calls for something dubbed the “NASCAR Offense,” prompting everyone to start making hand motions as if they are driving cars.
  • Hoover makes a touchdown 7 to 0. Hooray! Gotta love NASCAR.
  • Ross throws a small pass to Dennis, who runs it in for a touchdown. 14 to 0! Coach Propst is now leaving his gear in place.
  • Cornelius makes a touchdown and the first half ends 21 to 0.
  • Coach Propst screams at possibly illegal decibels into the face of player #5. His words are unintelligible, but something about a wide receiver and ending in “God Almighty!” Do Christians still get to transfer to the home office when they are huge blasphemers in front of young impressionable teens?
  • Oak Mountain makes a touchdown and Coach Propst suffers a mental attack that is manifest physically. The score is 21 to 7, is all this insanity necessary?
  • Max intercepts a big pass. It’s funny because Max is clearly a defensive player and is not sure what to do once he catches the ball. He teeters around and is promptly tackled.
  • Dennis makes another touchdown, and I guess it’s over.
  • Final score: 28 to 7. Hoover is going to the state championship! Was there really ever a question?

Back in the locker room, Coach Propst gives a victory speech. He tells us that “All eyes are on the Hoover Buccaneer football progrum.” They need to be ready next Saturday to play their best football game ever. The boys give the team rally chant, “Dynasty!” and proceed to change out of their reeking gear.

Uh oh, what’s this? Goose is in the corner sending someone a text message. Repete, going against everyone’s advice to just shut up, starts hounding Goose, asking, “Who’re you texting Goose? Who’re you planning to go do Goose?” Oh Repete, didn’t we have a lesson last week about acting like you’ve got some class? Goose explains that the only person he is talking to is out of town. I’m not sure if Goose means “talking to” as in being in the early stages of courtship, or simply “talking to” as in someone is on the other end of the phone line. But we all know that the person is, of course, Kristin. Alex is not happy, and admits that now that the game is over, he can’t avoid reality anymore.

Alex's folly is Goose's good fortune.

So here we are in the last 30 seconds of the episode, and we are just getting to Alex making that fateful phone call to Kristin that was touted in the previews. Kristin joins us from the confessional room, obviously at some later point in time, explaining that Alex was acting really weird and saying they needed to talk. Alex confessionals that he just blurted out that, “I didn’t think we needed to see each other anymore.” Hmm. Nice euphemism for “I banged someone else.” He does it with top class as well, over the phone at 3:00 in the morning. What a dreamboat. He says it’s the hardest thing he’s ever done, but he did what he thought was right.

What say you? Will Hoover win the state championship? If you don’t want to know, DON’T visit the Hoover Football website until after next week.

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Two-A-Days episode links:

Episode 1 - So Much Better Than Laguna Beach (Two-A-Days)

Episode 2 - Second Time's the Charm (on Two-A-Days)

Espisode 3 - Starring Coach Propst as God (on Two-A-Days)

Episode 4 - Starved for Something on Two-A-Days

Episode 5 - Hoorah for Hoover High Homecoming on Two-A-Days

Episode 6 - Revendge is Sweat on Two-A-Days

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NoiXdeCoco said...

Last night I sat and I watched a four episode marathon of this show. It was also my first time sitting down and watching this show at all. It is just like watching the movie after having read the novel - clearly not as good, but it was hilarious to see some of the things I had been reading about. Like when Coach Propst say - "they're starving for discipline, they're starving for discipline." Holy crap - that was funny. Or when he said 'progrum.' Ha ha ha. And who could forget the asparagus. I almost thought you were fabricating a lot of this, because it was too ridiculous, but there they were on my tv screen. I also noticed how you caught a lot of the details - like the hickey on Alex's neck, I didn't even see it.

I watched the begining of this episode, but then after an hour and forty minutes of this accent and yelling from Coach Propst, I quickly lost interest.

Blair even has the voice of a conversation can tell by the way she talks that she evokes information from all who surround her. She is hilarious. Kristin seems to be a bit aloof most of the time, and kinda uninvolved in her surroundings, until she gets upset. Like at the Thanksgiving farewell, it's probably like you said - a re-enactment. But if it wasn't, she was so out of it.

Keagan I have to say is not very cute. Maybe it's her perm, or maybe it's her attitude that she thinks she's really cute. I think Kristin is much more beautiful.

I also don't know how you follow the football part of this all seemed so confusing! Thank heavens for your bulleted recap :)

As always a brilliant post - thanks!

Anonymous said...

*wipes tears from eyes* I absolutely LOVE your recaps. I can't wait to read about the season finale.

Hmm, Keagan really needs a makeover. I mean, who wears a bright pink suede (faux?) jacket. I guess it goes with her perm and the makeup demarcation at her jaw-line. Poor thing.

Anonymous said...

Loved this recap!

I thought it was really cute when Max intercepted that pass and just sort of stood there.
And I agree with the person who said Keagan needs a makeover. When I saw that bright pink jacket I thought what the hell is she wearing???

Can't wait for the final recap, hopefully you'll recap the next season too =]